House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was colleague.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Louis-Hébert (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 21% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Public Works and Government Services May 12th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would kindly remind the parliamentary secretary that my speech had nothing to do with what was voted on in the budgets or with the national strategy, and that I also mentioned the three contracts.

What I am saying is that the shipyard has shipbuilding capacity and the navy has problems. I talked about the supply vessels. Let us not forget that we have been without these ships for a year now. We have to lease them from outside. Pressure is building and the strategy will not get us these boats before 2022. What are we to do until then? That was one of the fundamental questions we were asking.

It is also important to know that this is the largest shipyard that currently has production capacity available in Canada, and the need is there. It seems that the government is having a hard time coordinating production capacity with demand.

In closing, I would kindly remind the House that the Davie shipyard is an underused partner that provides good jobs, significant expertise, and good production capacity. This also contributes to diversifying the economy.

Public Works and Government Services May 12th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we are here tonight to discuss a question that I asked on March 26 about contracts that might be awarded to Davie Canada, a shipyard that deserves to contribute much more to the success of the Canadian navy.

At the time, the minister replied that Davie Canada was welcome to bid on other contracts. That is a shame. I would like to talk a bit about the Davie shipyard. Founded in 1825, the company will celebrate its 190th anniversary this spring. To date, it has produced 715 vessels, and four more will be delivered shortly. The shipyard has a 348-metre dry dock, the largest dry dock in Canada. It also has five construction berths and six wharves. Until recently, it employed as many as 1,100 people.

This is not a small shipyard. It is one of Canada's major shipyards. In February, it was voted top North American Shipbuilder 2015 at the Lloyd's List North American Maritime Awards. It came out on top of all of the other shipyards in North America. That is a big deal.

What contracts has the Canadian government awarded to Davie Canada over the past few years? There have been very few. To date, there have been three contracts worth $24.6 million, when companies on the east coast and on the west coast have received billions of dollars in contracts.

Furthermore, to give some idea of the capacity at the Davie shipyard, the last contract that it was awarded, the biggest one, which is worth $13 million, will be carried out in the smallest dock that the Davie shipyard has. That gives some idea of its capacity.

The current team at the Davie shipyard is very proactive. The Canadian navy is having problems right now with its supply ships. In fact, it no longer has any, because those ships were built in the late 1960s and have both been retired. The Canadian navy has not had any supply ships at sea for over a year now. Davie Canada came up with a proposal in that regard. It is still being reviewed and unfortunately, nothing is happening so far.

Canada does not necessarily benefit from awarding small contracts worth $5 million or $6 million here and there. This does not reflect the Davie shipyard's ability to help make the Canadian navy strong. That is why I am asking the minister to consider the industrial capacity of this shipyard. This shipyard is capable of making a much larger contribution to the Canadian navy, and God knows we need it right now.

Railway Safety Act May 8th, 2015

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-676, An Act to amend the Railway Safety Act (maintenance of railway works).

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the people of the Quebec City area, I am proud to introduce this bill, which contains two measures: a measure to recognize that a railway work that is designated as a historic place must be preserved in a way that enhances its beauty and historic character; and, more importantly, a measure that allows the government, in the case of default, to order the work to be done at the expense of the owner.

For 10 years, the Conservative government has been unable to have the Quebec Bridge painted. It has given the people of Quebec City a false impression by claiming that it has put $100 million on the table, but on condition that CN does its part, which CN is refusing to do because it has no obligation in that regard.

My bill would force CN to paint the Quebec Bridge, and the mayors of Quebec City and Lévis think it is a good idea.

Therefore, I invite all members of the House, especially government members, to work together and agree to quickly pass this simple, pragmatic and effective bill.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

Quebec Bridge May 7th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' semblance of willingness to fix the Quebec Bridge is a political mirage. After 10 years they still have not found a solution.

However, the NDP has proposed an initiative that was well received by mayors Labeaume and Lehouillier. The mayors and the people of the Quebec City region understand that CN will not do anything unless it is forced.

Will the minister support out proposal?

Quebec Bridge May 6th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, yesterday my leader and I announced that the NDP has a realistic and practical solution to resolve the Quebec Bridge painting problem, a problem that the Conservatives have allowed to fester for 10 years. I will introduce a bill requiring owners of heritage rail infrastructure, such as the Quebec Bridge, to maintain the historic state of that infrastructure at the owners' expense.

Does the minister agree with our solution?

Citizen Voting Act May 1st, 2015

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

A number of groups live abroad and we do not talk about that enough. One group in particular is very important to me: the students who enrol in long study programs abroad to bring back their expertise to Canada.

I am rather astounded by the content of the bill. It seeks to further control a process instead of encouraging people to get out and vote. It is already hard enough to inform our citizens outside Canada.

I would like my colleague to say a few words about the fact that instead of working to inform people on the many ways to vote outside the country, the government is trying to control those who might try to vote.

Sainte-Foy Seniors' Organization May 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, Public Works and Government Services Canada should be contributing to the well-being of our society. Recently, an important organization in my riding, Entraide Sainte-Foy, was denied a grant under the new horizons for seniors program.

When I was informed why they were denied and when I saw that a misinterpretation was the problem, I politely asked the minister to review this decision. Last year, seniors at Entraide Sainte-Foy logged more than 14,500 rides, friendly visits and respite care visits for seniors who have lost autonomy. Entraide Sainte-Foy was trying to better prepare volunteers by creating new training sessions that reflect the realities of the growing number of seniors. This was an innovative project that fulfilled all of the eligibility criteria. This government chose to save face instead of admitting that it had made a mistake.

To govern means to encourage and support the drive of community stakeholders and to support innovative ideas. When the NDP comes to power in the next election, Canadians will truly see what it means to have a government that serves everyone.

Citizen Voting Act May 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her speech, which, quite frankly, was very instructive. After listening to her, we really understand the challenges with this bill.

Listening to the speech by the Conservative member and then that of my colleague, we realize right away that we have a major problem. Quite simply, and this is typical of the Conservative government, it wants to first control everything and then fix the problems. This has already occurred with several types of bills. One of the current problems in our democracy is encouraging voter turnout.

Would my colleague like to comment on this deep philosophical divide between the opposition and the government? What is really important today is to make it easier to vote, not to create obstacles.

Anti-terrorism Act, 2015 April 30th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to come back to what the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons just said.

Perhaps we debate for so long because the government ignores all the amendments we propose. Obviously, the role of the government in the House of Commons is to propose legislation. However, the role of the opposition is to critique it and propose ways to improve it. That is part of the opposition's duty, but this government almost never takes our proposals into account.

It is no wonder that debates drag on, because the government does not want to listen to reason. Our goal is not necessarily to prevent a bill from passing, but rather to improve it. In this case, as the Leader of the Opposition clearly stated, our goal is to have a safer environment while still protecting our rights.

Does the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons recognize that if his government accepted more of the opposition's amendments, debates would be more harmonious and our work here would be more effective?

Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015 April 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for that very important question, which raises a specific problem that we have rarely talked about during this debate, and that is looking at the problem as a whole.

People may have bad intentions, and we must prevent them from acting on those intentions. We must provide resources to prevent them from taking action, but that is not all. We have talked at length about preventing radicalization. Other types of resources are needed in order to be able to assess and correct certain problems.

I come back to what is happening in France. Under its new legislation, France is investing an additional 60 million euros in preventing radicalization. It is aware that we cannot focus on law enforcement alone and provide resources to law enforcement. We must also address the root of the problem, and that is what my colleague brilliantly raised.