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  • His favourite word is languages.

Conservative MP for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 29% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Firearms Act June 19th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I would like to come back to something my colleague said earlier. We see less of these in Quebec, but the rest of Canada holds what are called gun shows. People who own firearms gather together in villages, municipalities, usually very small communities and bring their firearms. That means they are transporting their firearms from one place to another. Imagine the situation. Before leaving home, these people have to contact the department by telephone or Internet to get a document that will allow them to bring their firearm to a gun show. That is just one example.

Obviously, that is just red tape on red tape, an administrative burden that most people do not need. Someone responded earlier that this will affect less than 10% of people. Why have a rule for 10% of the population? What about the 90% of law-abiding people who have no issue? Why pass legislation for only 10% of the population?

I think that people obey the law, particularly hunters, those who collect firearms, and people who take their firearms to gun shows to show them off to others with the same passion. We must not forget that these are passionate, law-abiding citizens.

Firearms Act June 19th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

I almost feel like returning the question and asking him what he thinks of the hoodlums who drive around and use a car or van to kill dozens of people, as was the case in Toronto recently. The principle is the same. The problem is in those people's heads; it is not the firearms themselves. Some people collect firearms, just as other people collect other everyday items or trinkets. I do not think that is the problem. On top of that, people who use firearms to commit crimes are often deranged, as we have seen on many occasions.

Firearms Act June 19th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak in the House today to represent my constituents in opposing Bill C-71, which is causing concern not only in my riding, but across Canada, especially the rural regions of Quebec.

Let me provide a brief history lesson. The former Liberal government of Jean Chrétien promised a gun registry in 1995 at a net cost of $2 million. He believed that it would cost only $119 million to implement it and he would collect $117 million in fees. Well, it took only seven years before the auditor general sounded the alarm in 2002, saying that the cost of this initiative had reached $1 billion. Two years later, it was valued at $2 billion. It went from $2 million to $2 billion.

That does not include the harm caused to thousands of hunters and farmers across the country, some of whom lived hundreds of kilometres from major centres and risked having their guns confiscated if their registrations or renewals were not done on time. That is when we noticed the disconnect between the Liberals and rural Canada and we still see it today. We had to wait for a Conservative government to make things right.

Let us be clear. The Conservatives support common sense gun control measures and the responsible use of firearms. It always has and it always will. In fact, it was a Conservative government that added the requirement for a firearms safety course to the national safety code in 1991. A Conservative government also amended the Criminal Code to include mandatory minimum sentences for firearms offences.

Let us not forget also that street gangs do not walk around with hunting rifles. That is the first thing. They like being discreet and they prefer handguns, which are already controlled and prohibited by law since 1934. Those criminals will continue buying their firearms on the black market, probably from the box of a pickup truck in some back alley in a large urban centre. This does not necessarily happen in the regions. Bill C-71 will not change that reality.

The Conservative government suspended the mandatory registration of long guns in 2006 and abolished the firearms registry in 2012 because it was costly and inefficient. Today, instead of looking forward and finding solutions to reduce the crime rate in Canada, the Liberals prefer to take us back to the 1990s by introducing Bill C-71.

First, they tell us that the bill does not include a registry, but the wording says that a retailer who sells a firearm must check the reference number with the registrar and record it in a system, where it must be kept for a period of 20 years. What is a registrar doing other than maintaining a registry? I am not sure how this translates into English, but in French, the word enregistrement includes the word registre. The word used in the English version of Bill C-71 is “registrar”, which comes from the Latin registrum, meaning “registry”.

As Jean Chrétien said, “A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof.” The Prime Minister likes to say, “A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.” Well, a registrar is in charge of a registry.

They can claim that this registry will be simpler than the last, but there is still going to be a registry and they should not hide that fact. Unfortunately, that is exactly what the Liberals are doing. They are hiding the truth from us. The minister evidently recognized the lack of clarity of Bill C-71 when he introduced it on Monday, March 26, 2018. He indicated that there was no established standard for complying with the obligation to keep records for a mandatory period of 20 years. He recognized that certain small businesses still keep paper records. I can attest to that because I am a hunter. I am not a collector, but my son and I regularly exchange firearms, in accordance with the law and the rules, and the retailer who has sold us our guns still keeps paper records, which he will have to hold on to for 20 years.

Companies sometimes change owners, computer systems are changed sometimes every five years, and even tax documents are only kept for seven years. How did the minister decide on 20 years, which is three times longer? What are the penalties if the records are lost, misplaced, or destroyed as a result of a fire or technical malfunction?

Before introducing legislation, the government must ensure that it is complete.

Furthermore, Bill C-71 requires the owners of certain restricted firearms to call and request authorization to transport their firearm every time they leave home with it.

On March 26, 2018, here in the House, the minister said that owners could request authorization by phone or by Internet, and that the process would take about three to five minutes. However, there is no government office that can serve the public in three to five minutes.

The Auditor General criticized the Canada Revenue Agency, because it is almost impossible to get an agent on the line. Many have spoken out about similar situations of being stuck on hold for 15, 20, 40 minutes, or even longer, with employment insurance, immigration and citizenship, and other government agencies. The Liberals suddenly think that gun owners will be able to get someone on the line in less than five minutes. That is completely ridiculous.

Earlier, my colleague talked about how the Internet is not as fast in rural areas as it is in big cities. In my riding, there are some places where the Internet is not available at all. People have no way to access the Internet to get the PDFs. This will never work. Let's be realistic. Law-abiding people are going to get tired of waiting, and criminals who own illegal guns are not going to call the toll-free number to request permission to transport them.

With respect to privacy, the federal government is getting ready to transfer files from the old long gun registry to Quebec authorities that are trying to set up their own gun registry. Not only is the government doing that without the consent of the people involved, but it is also transferring information that has not been updated in a long time. Registration stopped being mandatory in 2006, which was almost 12 years ago, and the files have not been updated since the registry was abolished in 2012. The government is about to transfer files that have been out of date for six to 12 years.

I ask the Liberals across the aisle what guarantees the federal government obtained to ensure that Quebec's firearms registration service, or SIAF, is fully aware that this list is largely obsolete, and to ensure that Quebeckers do not end up in a situation where they have to prove that they genuinely no longer possess the firearm listed in the old registry or face fines ranging from $500 to $5,000.

Everything seems to point to the fact that this bill was hastily put together. Furthermore, instead of taking meaningful action to reduce crime in Canada, the government did the exact opposite by opposing mandatory sentences and consecutive sentences through Bill C-38.

I am not going to vote for a bill that will create more red tape for hunters in my rural riding and that has the potential of treating my law-abiding constituents as criminals.

Instead of trying to pass Bill C-71 before summer break, I urge the government to take a step back, listen to the concerns of rural residents, and withdraw Bill C-71 before the fall.

In conclusion, I can say that people in my riding are talking to me about this bill. I consulted my constituents and received tons of feedback, several dozen responses, in fact. Everyone is on our side. No one wants a registry, and yet, despite the government's claims, there will inevitably be a registry.

Marijuana June 19th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I am going to give this a third try.

Quebec and Manitoba have made it clear that they do not want home cannabis cultivation. That is as clear as can be, but the Minister of Health had no intention of considering the Senate's thoughtful amendments. She made her decision without even taking the time to talk to the provinces about it.

The people of Chicoutimi sent a very clear message: they have had enough of the “Ottawa knows best” attitude.

Will the Prime Minister now respect the provinces?

Cannabis Act June 13th, 2018

Madam Speaker, just two days ago, the Government of Quebec adopted its own bill for the province, and it was extremely clear about the province's desire to be able to ban home cultivation.

The minister says that they talked about the bill throughout the entire two-year process and that the senators did good work. They did such good work that their 46 amendments speak to the mediocrity of this bill.

The reality is that the Government of Quebec does not want its citizens to be allowed to grow plants at home because it feels that it is not in the interest of young children.

Why will the minister not respect the will of the Province of Quebec?

Natural Resources May 31st, 2018

Mr. Speaker, when the Liberals came to power, there were four viable private-sector pipelines. Now there are none.

How many other private enterprises does the Prime Minister intend to first sabotage and then go behind the scenes to nationalize for billions of dollars? Is this his attempt at making his father's dream come true with national energy program version 2.0?

Export and Import Permits Act May 30th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate my colleague on his fascinating speech on how we supported sustainable development in Canada without running unnecessary deficits.

As my colleague mentioned, we went through a significant economic crisis, but we still made unprecedented investments in the environment, which produced results.

The government is currently spending outrageous amounts of money left and right, as we saw yesterday with the $4.5 billion it handed over to the United States to buy a pipeline we did not need.

Responsible managers are able to achieve clear economies of scale and look after the environment. Can my colleague speak to that?

Regional Economic Development May 25th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, today, I welcomed to Ottawa over 40 elected officials from my riding who have infrastructure projects they want to carry out. Despite the Liberals' promise to invest $180 billion over 10 years, there is no program under which they can apply for funding for their projects.

The mayors of Kamouraska and Rivière-Ouelle want to fix up their waterfronts to make them major tourist attractions in their communities.

Could the minister responsible for Canada Economic Development tell us why his department will no longer fund this type of project in our rural regions, which have been abandoned under this Liberal government?

Engagement of Municipal Elected Officials May 25th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to salute municipal elected officials from my riding as well as their spouses and staff. They are here to take part in federal government consultations.

The riding of Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup is made up of 58 municipalities and four RCMs, most of which are represented here today. Despite their very busy schedules, these mayors and reeves agreed to take the time to come learn about the nation's capital and participate in workshops.

I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to salute these men and women who work so hard and are so dedicated to developing our communities.

As the former mayor of La Pocatière, I know first-hand how important it is for public officials to be engaged with their fellow citizens. I have no doubt that every one of them cares deeply about helping their municipalities and RCMs flourish

I am proud to speak on their behalf here in the heart of our democracy.

Business of Supply May 24th, 2018

Mr. Chair, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship actually started paying his employees to share links on the IRCC's Twitter account and discourage migrants from crossing the border illegally. On May 3, they tweeted this:

There is misinformation online about the grounds for making an asylum claim.... Don't enter Canada illegally [their terms, not the opposition's] based on false information and false promises.

The IRCC has just 163,000 followers on Twitter, but on January 27, 2017, the Prime Minister reached over 4.2 million Twitter followers with the tweet that set off this saga of false information and false promises.

Why did the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship not ask the Prime Minister to retweet the IRCC's tweets advising people against illegal crossings? The Prime Minister could even do that today, this very evening, if he wanted to. It would not cost the Prime Minister a penny to retweet the IRCC's tweets to his 4.2 million followers.