House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was riding.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for Laurentides—Labelle (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 33% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canada's Contribution to the Effort to Combat ISIL February 22nd, 2016

Madam Speaker, first, I would like to commend my colleague on his very clear speech.

Could he tell us a little bit more about the importance of training, particularly since his riding is home to the Royal Military College Saint-Jean?

Training has been one of our country's greatest areas of expertise for a long time, has it not? Is it not one of the abilities that we are known for throughout the world and one of the areas in which we can provide the most help?

Canada's Contribution to the Effort to Combat ISIL February 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, we must not give people fish; we must teach them how to fish. We will triple the size of our mission to train the forces on the ground that are fighting Daesh. Our plan is not to withdraw our help from the region, but to be effective and provide significant assistance on the ground. That is in line with the UN objective my colleague mentioned.

Does my colleague not believe that training is important? Would he prefer to send no advisors?

My colleague wants us to do more to degrade the Daesh forces. Does he therefore agree that tripling the number of advisors will improve the situation in the long term by giving people the tools they need to fight Daesh on the ground?

Canada's Contribution to the Effort to Combat ISIL February 19th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives talk extensively about their support of soldiers, of veterans, of wars, of fights. While pushing that agenda, the Conservatives attempted to destroy peacekeeping as a Canadian value. I suppose having peace is not good for those who prefer war.

However, it is very important to check with the member, the former minister of defence, why, if his leadership in war has been so good, if his vision in war has been so clear, did every one of the Afghanistan war veterans in the House, and there are four here who served in that theatre under that former minister of defence, choose to endorse his brilliant leadership by running against him as Liberals?

Does he doubt the wisdom of those military personnel to whom he claims to have listened?

Canada Revenue Agency February 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, in his mandate letter, the Prime Minister instructed the Minister of National Revenue to turn the Canada Revenue Agency into a client-focused institution.

The government must ensure that Canadian taxpayers are always treated with respect. That respect must permeate the way it interacts with citizens.

Can the minister tell us what she has done so far?

Business of the House February 4th, 2016

Madam Speaker, the Conservatives have, once again, taken the opportunity to put forward real policy on this opposition day and traded it for a chance to talk about themselves and the mirage of their own ostensibly brilliant record.

If we take the old books off the Conservative stove long enough to read them, we might find a few entries that make sense. We will not find very many, though. If we have the callouses needed to turn those still-warm pages, we will find a lot of capital assets that were quietly removed from the books, liquidated; that is, sold, trimmed from part of the inventory of supplies the government owns to provide services to the people, to a one-time supply of cash that can be ever so briefly used to show that the government is making money.

When the Conservatives tell us that they balanced the budget, what they are not telling us is that they sold the house to pay off the mortgage. Unfortunately for them, Canada has found a new place to live.

Business of the House February 4th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the member for York—Simcoe wants to talk about past Conservative surpluses, so let us talk about them.

The former Conservative government of the member for Calgary Heritage was the first Conservative government since that of Sir Robert Borden in 1912, the year the Titanic sank, to balance any budget whatsoever. The two governments had something very important in common. Both squandered the surpluses left to them by the previous Liberal governments prior to the onset of significant economic challenges.

For Mr. Borden, 1912 saw a surplus inherited from Sir Wilfred Laurier in 1911. In 1913, Borden posted a deficit. In 1914, the First World War broke out.

For the former Prime Minister from Calgary Heritage, the Liberal surplus was so significant that it took him two full years to squander it before the onset of the 2008 fiscal crisis the following year.

That Conservatives are in any way good fiscal managers is one of the great myths of Canadian political discourse.

Does the member know that the last time the Conservatives actually took us from a deficit to a surplus on their own competence was in the 1870s, and does he know that every Liberal Prime Minister to introduce a budget has balanced at least one?

Centre Block Fire of 1916 February 3rd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, exactly 100 years ago today, on February 3, 1916, a fire broke out in the reading room here in the Centre Block of the Parliament buildings. The fire destroyed the entire building, with the exception of the library, and claimed seven lives, including those of the member for Yarmouth, Bowman Brown Law and the assistant clerk of the House of Commons, Jean-Baptiste René Laplante, a member of the Quebec bar who served in the House from 1897 until the day of the fatal accident. Florence Bray, Mabel Morin, Randolph Fanning, Constable Alphonse Desjardins, and his uncle, who shared the same name, also died in the blaze.

Today, some of the descendants of Mr. Laplante, Messrs. Desjardins, and some of the other victims are here in to Ottawa to mark the 100th anniversary of this tragedy.

Today, in commemoration of the disaster, we are using the wooden mace that served as a temporary replacement for the original mace, which was destroyed in the fire.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship January 28th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign, I was proud of our commitment to grant immediate permanent residency to spouses who have been sponsored to immigrate to Canada. A number of my constituents are waiting on these regulatory changes to be reunited with their loved ones, whom they have not seen for years in some cases. Can the Minister of Immigration share his plans on this issue?

Laurentides—Labelle December 7th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour to rise and speak here today after working in the back rooms of this place for many years.

I want to begin by thanking the people of Laurentides—Labelle for placing their trust in me and this new government.

The riding of Laurentides—Labelle is the most beautiful riding in Canada. It is where I was born and raised. Our 43 municipalities, spread over 20,000 km2, can count on me to give them a strong voice here in Ottawa and across Canada.

In honour of my great-great-uncle Leon Crestohl, who served 13 years in this place, and my great-great-grandfather Hirsch Wolofsky, the founder of Canada's first Yiddish daily, I wish everyone Chanukah Sameach.

When a flame is lit, its benefit is not restricted to the one lighting it; it is for everyone.

Let us all benefit from the flame of this Hanukkah in the year 5776.

Joyeux Hanukkah.