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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

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2 November 28th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech.

I would also like to remind him that the government proposed its tax reform in July. In fact, the Liberals launched the consultation in July, when farmers were not at home, but in the fields working. Fortunately, the opposition managed to get the government to back down. If the tax reform had been implemented as proposed, no young person would ever have been able to take over the family farm, because it would have been more advantageous to sell the farm to a stranger than to one's own children.

Fortunately, I see that the government has reversed its position, thanks to the opposition, which did a tremendous job collaborating with Canada’s business community to ensure that 80% of the measures in the ridiculous tax reform were withdrawn.

I would like assurances from my colleague. The Liberals created a $250-million fund to help producers. I hope they remember that the Conservative government set almost $4 billion aside for compensation. We are talking about compensation under treaties with Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Do the Liberals intend to increase the $250 million earmarked for farmers?

Petitions November 27th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to speak for the vast majority of the people in my riding in presenting a petition signed by over 9,000 members of the Cercles de fermières du Québec from across the province. These people are against the legalization of marijuana, and especially against Bills C-45 and C-46, which are rushed and sloppily drafted.

Given that political, police, and legal authorities say they are not ready to handle this situation, they are calling on the government to impose a moratorium on marijuana legalization until the provincial and territorial governments are properly equipped to oversee the legal sale of marijuana. A survey showed that more than 82% of my constituents are against legalization. Maybe the 40 Liberals across the aisle are not taking the time to—

Report Stage November 21st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I come from Quebec as well. In the coming days, I will have a chance to present a petition from Cercles de fermières with 9,600 signatures on it.

Cercles de fermières is a group of women from across Quebec who work hard and are deeply involved in their community. These women are truly scared and concerned that legalizing marijuana will become a scourge in Quebec.

I am sure that Cercles de fermières has a group in my colleague's riding. They are not the only group to criticize this bill, but the Liberals do not want to listen to anyone.

I would like my colleague to tell us who else in his riding, other than Cercles de fermières, has criticized this bill.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns November 20th, 2017

With regard to the recent influx of asylum claimants since January 1, 2017: (a) how much does it cost Canada Border Services Agency to process asylum seekers who have valid identification; (b) how much does it cost the government to detain asylum seekers; (c) what is the per day cost of detaining an asylum seeker; (d) what is the average time of detention of each asylum seeker; (e) how much does it cost the government to screen asylum claimants for health and security concerns; (f) how many asylum claimants have failed to appear at their scheduled Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada hearings; (g) what is the total number of asylum claimant cases; (h) what is the appearance rate for asylum claimants in cases referred to in (g); (i) in cases referred to in (g), how many asylum claimants received a successful ruling; (j) what is the current number of asylum seekers since the beginning of December 2016 who entered through non-traditional ports of entry; and (k) what are the details of any expenditures to third party organizations which have housed or provided assistance to asylum seekers since November 4, 2015, including for each the (i) vendor or recipient, (ii) amount, (iii) date, (iv) location, (v) description of good or service provided, (vi) number of asylum seekers housed by funding recipient, if applicable?

Cannabis Act November 9th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, an expert came to committee and said exactly the reverse of what my colleague just said. The Liberals do not believe the facts. That is the reality. They do not believe what the police, the doctors, and all the associations across Canada say to them. That is a fact. That is a problem with the government. It does not believe them.

Cannabis Act November 9th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, my colleague's question clearly exposes the Liberal's hypocrisy with respect to this bill.

The facts are clear: the legalization of marijuana will not reduce its consumption by youth. On the contrary, it is being legalized. That tells young people to go ahead and enjoy it, and it is no big deal to use it. That is the message the government is sending our youth.

This makes no sense in terms of public health. My children and especially my grandchildren, who are still growing up, are going to be part of a society where, as of July 2018, a 12-year-old can possess five or six grams of marijuana. That makes no sense. If that is what you call protecting children, it makes no sense.

Cannabis Act November 9th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to hear my colleague's question. In the 1980s, we introduced the GST and the Liberals were adamant that they would eliminate it as quickly as possible. Quite the opposite happened and, even worse, they increased this tax several times. It was lowered again under Mr. Harper.

In reality, the government is now proposing a tax on a good that will be sold to young people. Not only are they taxing all Canadians, they are taxing young people. The goal is to collect money to pay off the Liberal deficit at the expense of young people. That is what they are doing.

Cannabis Act November 9th, 2017

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is very good of you.

Obviously, the party across the aisle does not want to listen to what we have to say. There were studies in committee; we were asked to propose amendments. The NDP proposed 36 amendments, all of which were rejected, one after the other. The Liberals are calling us out for not proposing any amendments, but what is the point of doing so when we know that the bill is going to stay the way it is?

Here is another example of the absolute hypocrisy of this bill. It mentions the cultivation of four marijuana plants at home. I raised my children at home, and they are raising their children at home. I am trying to imagine having four marijuana plants at home and explaining to the children that they are not to touch them. That would be really confusing for them. It is total hypocrisy. How can we protect children when people can grow marijuana at home?

When you do the math, people looking to really maximize their yield can grow quite a lot of marijuana in six weeks with four plants. I did the math, but I do not have the exact figures with me. However, it takes about six to eight weeks. Imagine that over 52 weeks. There can be many harvests over the course of a year, which holds tremendous financial potential. I can just imagine young children at home helping their parents water the pot plants because they want to sell them later on. That is obvious. Can we be so blind as to think that young people will not help themselves directly from the plants at home?

The other concern is that we keep hearing that this will reduce organized crime. I have a report from Colorado, where marijuana was legalized four years ago. There has been an increase in organized crime. There is a reason why it is called organized crime. These people are able to react and adapt to situations like these. Legalizing marijuana will increase organized criminal activity, not decrease it.

Worse still, this bill does not deal with cannabis derivatives at all. In Colorado, these derivatives are now more profitable for the government in terms of sales and taxes, than the sale of marijuana itself. What are we going to do in Canada? People have already started asking me if they will have access to derivatives. Will they be sold in the equivalent of SAQ in Quebec and LCBO in Ontario? If employees are making $25 an hour, what will be the price of the marijuana? I can understand that the quality would perhaps be the same across Canada, but the reality is that organized crime will only increase the rate of THC in the marijuana and drop its prices. It will not stop selling it. It will increase its sales, even. This is the reality. This is what could happen.

We have talked about training and information. This is ridiculous. The Liberals are barely allocating any funds, only $40 million over a five-year period. They have just invested $500 million in an infrastructure bank in China. This money was spent outside of Canada. They should have invested it here for training and prevention. This is not what is happening at all. An investment of $40 million for the whole country is peanuts for prevention.

The Liberals accepted not a single amendment. We proposed only one, which aimed to scrap the bill and start again from scratch. The problem is that the government across the way does not listen to us at all. The Liberals gave no consideration to the NDP's 38 proposed amendments. I am certain NDP MPs came up with some very well thought out amendments to improve the bill. The Liberals thinks that they know everything on that. I cannot believe it.

People can hear us and see us from the gallery. I am convinced that not all of them are in favour of legalizing marijuana. In my riding, 80% of the people who responded to a survey said they were opposed to legalization. Our government does not listen at all; it just says everything will be fine and we should proceed.

I could talk about this issue for hours. Once again, the government is being completely hypocritical on this issue.

Cannabis Act November 9th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured and very proud to represent the people of Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup.

When I was elected, I started touring my riding. In the spring, I visited our schools to explain what the Government of Canada was, the way it worked, and the process of passing a bill. Since at that time the Liberal Party had already introduced the possibility of passing a bill to legalize marijuana, that was the example of a bill that I used. We already had an idea of what this bill was, and I spoke about it openly, mostly to primary and secondary school students, as well as CEGEP students.

At some of these meetings I led in 10 different schools, I talked to 300 students between the ages of 12 and16 in an auditorium. I presented them the bill as it was written. I explained to them that it legalized the production of marijuana at home, among other things, and that it did not contain meaningful provisions addressing drug-impaired driving. In short, by discussing the various elements of the bill, I asked the students to tell me, by raising their hand, if they agreed with the legalization of marijuana.

To my amazement, 80% of the young people in my riding raised their hands to say they did not agree. These were not seniors in homes, these were students. I was stunned because I thought that the Prime Minister's sunny ways would have encouraged open-mindedness and the liberalization of pretty much everything. However, these young people unequivocally showed me that they did not at all agree with legalizing marijuana, for all kinds of reasons. This also gave us more opportunities for discussion.

That said, I was also able to meet with groups of seniors, including members of all the senior citizen clubs in my riding, and some groups of farm women. These women do a lot of work with young people, since they train them for all kinds of trades. All these groups are in daily contact with young people. They also told me unequivocally that they oppose the legalization of marijuana.

I have no words to describe the government’s level of hypocrisy with this bill, which would be in violation of three international treaties, among other things. The government claims to respect the UN and to abide by international treaties. It says that it works all over the world and that it has taken all sorts of steps to ensure international consistency, and yet this bill is in violation of three major international treaties on drug control. Apparently, that is no big deal.

Also, the Liberals keep on boasting that their actions are based on science and the facts. That is what they have been telling us non stop for the past two years, and yet, the science is quite clear—

Cannabis Act November 9th, 2017

Madam Speaker, I listened to my colleague defend this bill with great passion, but I do not know where this passion is coming from.

The Liberals want to usher in the type of world where, starting July 1, 2018, a 12-year-old will be able to legally access marijuana. I have children and grandchildren. In all honesty, I cannot believe that, in a developed country like ours, we are going to be sending a message to kids that it is perfectly acceptable and easy to do drugs whenever they want.

Does my colleague have any grandchildren? Does he think that the day when they can easily buy drugs on a street corner will be a good day for his grandchildren?