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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was quebec.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Bloc MP for Brome—Missisquoi (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2008, with 35% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply June 10th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I totally agree with the statement by my colleague from Hochelaga. Indeed, they are going to present this, and then they will completely withdraw, saying that, in any case, now it is organized. But we are going to be stuck with this. We are going to lose a jurisdiction we have had since 1867. They do not respect that, and they ought to, because it is in fact the basis of what they call “our two nations”.

Business of Supply June 10th, 2010

Madam Speaker, it is indeed a fact that their senators, as my colleague says, are not in agreement on this. Neither do they agree that membership will be voluntary.

They are not the only ones not in agreement. The Lortie report says that the alleged freedom to join or not join the future Canada-wide commission is a con job. It seems to me that something is not working here, and we have to look into that.

Business of Supply June 10th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I was very surprised to hear the hon. member say that Canada is a nation. It seemed to me he voted that we too are a nation. Did he vote for that, yes or no? Yes, he voted for that.

So we are two nations. It is not one nation, but two. That is one of the reasons why we want to keep our securities commission in our nation, in Quebec.

Next, the example of Europe is an excellent one. Even though Europe is just an economic union, the fact is that in the end many countries easily come to an agreement on securities. We do not see why, in Canada where there are two nations, we too should not be able to agree on each of us having our securities bodies.

Business of Supply June 10th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I would like to inform you that I will be splitting my time with the charming member for Jeanne-Le Ber. I will be very happy to do that.

I am also very pleased to speak to the question of a single securities commission that is the Conservatives’ present proposal, unfortunately supported by the Liberals.

To us in Quebec, this is a very important question. It is not just a question of jobs. Since Confederation, in 1867, this has been one of our rights, under our jurisdiction. It is in the Canadian Constitution, in section 92(13), which clearly says that securities are matters assigned to the provinces.

A few seconds ago, the member for Edmonton—Leduc told us something else completely false. He said that under the passport system, there are 13 different sets of regulations, and there is no agreement. That is absolutely false. There is set of regulations for all 13. Passports are managed in one place. So these kinds of falsehoods mean that the people who are listening to us actually think that it would be a good thing to have a single office for all of Canada.

Why are they saying the passport system is not working? Perhaps because Ontario has not joined it. That might be it. However, has Ontario not joined it precisely so that it will ultimately be able to show that the passport system does not work? Then the people from that province could say that clearly it does not work, because they are not participating in it, it is not a Canada-wide system and they want to give us a Canada-wide system.

So there are a lot of falsehoods being spoken on that side. I would not want to rate the experts, who are better at this than me. Pierre Lortie, who wrote “Challenging Conventional Wisdom”, has said how well the Quebec system works, as do the other provinces’. Henri Brun says this is federal trick. Mr. Brun is a very well known constitutional expert, perhaps one of the greatest in Canada.

I would also just like to point out that someone like Jeffrey Macintosh of Toronto has said this bill might not pass muster with the Supreme Court. When someone like Mr. MacIntosh says that, we can imagine there is a significant chance that the Supreme Court will have to go back to what is in the Constitution.

When I hear the Conservatives opposite and the Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Finance, who was in fact joking with the member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup while my colleague was laying out the Bloc Québécois’ positions, positions that represent the ones taken by all of Quebec, I do not understand how they can look us in the face and laugh at our critic, when for 20 years we have represented a majority of Quebeckers in this House. I do not understand it.

Actually, I think the Conservatives from Quebec were elected on false representations. When the Conservative leader was not yet prime minister, he came to Quebec and made a big speech, and said: “If you vote for me in Quebec, I will respect your jurisdiction.” Everyone said yes. They are barely in office and the first thing they do is introduce a bill that very much does not respect our jurisdiction over securities.

It is amazing that the government said one thing to get elected and now totally forgets it. That could even be called misrepresentation. It said it would respect the jurisdictions of the provinces, and it should do so. When promises are made, they should be kept.

The government’s position on securities regulation is not very good at all. It is just trying to please some voters. These are the same voters the Liberals do not want to lose. That is why the Liberals are going to vote in favour of a single securities commission located in Toronto.

The government says it is absolutely necessary to harmonize all the rules and regulations in a single place. Europe is an economic union and not a cultural or social one. Yet it does not do this. It has harmonized its rules and regulations. The 13 commissions that developed the passport system are already harmonized. If they need further harmonization, I am sure that Quebec, Alberta and the other provinces would be willing to do so. It is shameful for the government to say the existing commissions are not necessary and it is going to create another one because there are no examples elsewhere. They say we are the only ones in the world who do it our way. I fail to see, then, why the European Union does not have a single securities commission. All the countries kept their own commissions. So it can work. The European Union did not try to centralize them, as the Conservative government is doing. The Conservatives are obsessed with centralization just to please certain people.

When they mandated Purdy Crawford to do a study, they could have asked him for an objective or comparative study or to examine what already exists. But no, he was clearly asked to do a study with a view toward a single system. The purpose of the study was not to examine what was done previously.

The government’s position is false and deceitful because it did not try to establish a better system. It just tried to establish a centralized system, full stop.

As long as the government wants to steer profits into Ontario, I do not see how the arguments could be any stronger. No one seems to care that we are going to lose 100,000 or 155,000 jobs. The government says we say the same thing over and over, but what else can we do? So long as it does not drop this bill, we are going to repeat ourselves again and again.

We wonder why the Conservative government does not have the wisdom to say officially that it is withdrawing the bill. It has asked the Supreme Court for an opinion. I think the honest thing to do would be to say this, but the government does not do it.

I will finish by repeating that the Quebec National Assembly—I am not talking about a sovereignist National Assembly but the one that was elected with a federalist party in power—voted unanimously on October 16, 2007 on a resolution to save these 155,000 jobs. The National Assembly told the government its bill was crap and the commission should be kept in Quebec. The National Assembly said again on May 27, 2010 that it did not want this bill.

It seems to me that we should respect the sovereignty of the National Assembly.

Business of Supply June 10th, 2010

Madam Speaker, the member for Edmonton—Leduc asked the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord a question a few minutes ago. He is not listening to me now, but I would still like an answer to my question. He asked why Quebec did not agree that there should be one commission in Toronto for all of Canada. His question was relatively simple.

Is he aware that in Quebec there are 14 statutes at present that protect our commission? It goes back to 1867, and it is under our jurisdiction.

If there were to be one commission in Canada and the Americans in Chicago asked Canadians why they didn’t join with them, what would the member for Edmonton—Leduc say to that?

Jobs and Economic Growth Act June 8th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my hon. colleague on his very clear speech on taxation, which could be much greener.

I would also like to ask him what he thinks of the initiatives the government has taken, which, I believe, have come up short and will not necessarily deliver what the government was hoping. This is particularly true in the case of biofuels. A huge amount of money has been invested, but will that really produce the desired results?

There is also what the government wanted to develop with regard to the capture and storage in the ground of oil companies' CO2 emissions. A great deal of money is being spent on this technology. Will this change the tax situation in our country?

The Environment June 3rd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the newspapers recently reported that a survey clearly shows that the public wants priority to be given to climate change at the next G8 and G20 summits.

46.2% of Quebeckers believe that this issue should be the priority of international summits. However, this has been rejected by the Conservative government, which believes that the environment and climate change are not important.

This pro-oil and obtuse government does not understand that any debate about the economy must necessarily include climate change, poverty and health of the populations most affected, because these issues go hand in hand.

During Canada's Environment Week, the Bloc reminds the Prime Minister that, at international meetings, he must not give priority to issues based on his right-wing ideology—

Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 2010 May 13th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague from Alfred-Pellan. His speech about Bill S-3 was very clear.

Still, I would like to ask him if the government was motivated to propose this bill by an old-fashioned notion of globalization. Going back 20 or 25 years, everyone thought that neo-liberalism would bring prosperity to the whole world. Now we know that it is bringing prosperity only to very rich countries like the United States. Other countries are trying to act as though they are as rich as the Americans, but the fact is that it will benefit others, not us.

We seem to be just keeping our heads above water in a system that is alien to us. In many countries, people are abandoning neo-liberalism and that style of capitalism in favour of a more traditional kind of globalization.

Would we not be better off working toward a form of capitalism that puts people first, that values cooperation, that gives people around the world an opportunity to be happy and equal? This bill promotes inequality. I think that my colleague from Alfred-Pellan was touching on this in his speech, but I would like him to comment further.

Fairness for Military Families (Employment Insurance) Act May 6th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague from Saint-Lambert for putting this bill into such clear perspective.

We support this bill in principle, but it is important to realize that it is not much of anything. If we really want to use a law to help our veterans, we will obviously have to do a great deal more than that. But, it is at least a small step.

The Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development used the same logic and the same arguments that were used for a bill that the Conservatives opposed.

Does my colleague believe that this bill could be detrimental to reservists, who are often sent on short missions. They may not necessarily have the required 35 weeks. It might be a good idea to protect them as well by automatically deeming them to have the required number of weeks when they participate in a mission.

I would like to know what my colleague thinks about this proposal.

Fairness for Military Families (Employment Insurance) Act May 6th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I believe the secretary's answer is along the same lines as my question. However, I wonder he could elaborate on something. It would be possible for a reservist to have been absent for 35 weeks. Could this apply to a reservist who was there 10 or 15 weeks, which is quite plausible for a reservist with the Canadian Forces?