House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was ndp.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 30% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply March 10th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, in response to the answer my Conservative colleague gave earlier, I agree that a low-paying job is better than no job.

However, what is most disgraceful about the member's pride in the Conservative government's record over the past nine years is that nearly 1.3 million Canadians are still unemployed.

How can the Conservative member be so proud of the Conservative government's economic policy over the past nine years when the government has not even been able to help these 1.3 million Canadians find jobs?

Business of Supply March 10th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I was flabbergasted when I heard my Conservative colleague say that he was proud of what his Conservative government has done in recent years.

I want to quote Benjamin Tal, the deputy chief economist at CIBC:

...the job creation gap between low and high-paying jobs has widened with the number of low-paying...positions rising twice as fast as the number of high-paying jobs...Those trajectories are largely behind the softening in our measure of employment quality over the past two decades.

How can my Conservative colleague be so proud of job creation in Canada when last year the government created mainly unstable, low-paying jobs?

Business of Supply March 10th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I completely agree with the last comment that my NDP colleague made because we see that the Conservatives do not understand the reality of the middle class. The same goes for the leader of the Liberal Party.

The question I have for my colleague is about income inequality in Canada. That is what truly defines the reality of the middle class in 2015. Their salaries are stagnating and even decreasing over time, while the very rich grow significantly richer. The Conservatives are helping that to happen.

What does my colleague think about this income inequality?

Business of Supply March 10th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank my NDP colleague for her excellent speech.

This debate really highlights the difference between the NDP vision to support small and medium-sized businesses that create more than 70% of new jobs in Canada, and that of the Conservatives, who prefer to stay out of the economy and not stimulate job creation in Canada. It is too bad. That is why the unemployment rate is so high in Canada, especially in resource regions like mine, Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean. It is not easy.

I would like my NDP colleague to say a few words about the NDP plan to support small and medium-sized enterprises so that people in the middle class who fill many of these jobs in the SMEs, can earn a good living and raise their family with decent salaries. They especially need to have jobs because the issue of employment is crucial in 2015, especially for our young people.

Business of Supply March 10th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the speech by my Conservative colleague. He talked about the importance of creating good jobs in Canada. However, the reality is that a person who works 40 hours a week at minimum wage to support his family is living below the poverty line, even if he periodically gets help from the federal government. We cannot underestimate that. Obviously, the middle class is also suffering, but people living in poverty cannot make ends meet, even if they work 40 hours a week.

I would like to know if my Conservative colleague thinks it is normal for a person working 40 hours a week to support his family to still be living below the poverty line.

Business of Supply March 10th, 2015

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

I agree with my colleague. Canada's middle class is not doing so well, whether in his province or in my region of Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean. Yesterday, I asked the minister a question about this. I pointed out that 85 jobs were lost in my region last week. Those were good jobs that paid well.

I also agree with the report that was presented to us. It shows that the middle class is struggling in Canada. Good jobs are rare. The Conservative government chooses to put its eggs in the wrong basket.

I would like my colleague to elaborate on what could be done to help small and medium-sized enterprises create good jobs in communities. These enterprises create a lot of jobs in the country.

Employment March 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, here is another sign of the depressed climate: on Thursday, the executive of Resolute Forest Products announced the permanent closure of paper machine #9 at its mill in Alma. This represents a loss of 85 jobs and some difficult months ahead for many families. My thoughts are with them today.

The worst part is that these jobs will be transferred to Tennessee in the United States.

Will the Conservative government finally do something to protect jobs in our regions and show some leadership with respect to the forestry industry?

Employment February 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, over the past nine years, 400,000 well-paying jobs have been lost in the manufacturing sector. That is the reality.

The Conservatives have abandoned middle-class families and instead are helping the richest 15% in Canada.

The Quebec economic development program has been cut by $13 million. That is the number: $13 million less to invest in developing our communities.

Will the minister do something besides pose for photo ops and really work on diversifying Quebec's economy?

Forestry Industry February 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, forestry is tremendously important to Canada and the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region, but it is vulnerable. We have no choice but to innovate. Unfortunately, the Conservative government's lack of interest in forestry innovation is compromising the future of our forestry communities.

For example, the government has not yet renewed a high-level research initiative by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, NSERC, in forestry sector research and development. If that federal funding dries up in 32 days, strong research programs and groups will be dismantled. We cannot afford to lose the people who are building the forestry industry of the future.

I would also like to talk about the $90 million over four years that was set aside in the last budget for the investments in forest industry transformation program. That amount is already gone. Demand is so high that the money ran out in a year. This is not complicated: the forestry industry needs $500 million over six years. The federal government has to do more.

The forest was central to the lives of my ancestors, and to this day it is vital for forestry communities, including mine, the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean. The government must take action now to renew and improve these two programs.

Canada Post February 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, a year and a half ago, Canada Post tried to close the Chicoutimi-Nord post office; however, it stayed open thanks to strong, vocal opposition from the public.

Despite this clear message from the people, Canada Post refuses to listen, and last month it again threatened to close that post office.

I rise in the House today to condemn Canada Post's stubbornness and lack of transparency. If I may, I would like to quote the Canadian Postal Service Charter:

At least one month before deciding to permanently close, move or amalgamate corporate post offices, Canada Post will meet with affected customers and communities to jointly explore options and find practical solutions that address customer concerns.

Canada Post officials refused to travel to meet with the local population on two separate occasions, so the evaluation committee will have some explaining to do if it decides to ignore the 2,537 letters expressing opposition to the closure of the Chicoutimi-Nord post office that the people have signed and sent to Ottawa.

Any time Canadians join forces to assert their right to speak, that commands respect. Canada Post needs to respect the people of Chicoutimi-Nord and keep their post office open.