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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was infrastructure.

Last in Parliament August 2017, as Conservative MP for Lac-Saint-Jean (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 33% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord December 4th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, a member of the perpetual opposition party, the Bloc Québécois, will celebrate the second anniversary of his re-election to Parliament on January 23. For several years now, he has been trying to move into the limelight, knowing that he has no hope of influencing decisions made here.

His inaction and inability to make progress on issues affecting our region have given our Prime Minister and our government the opportunity to rethink policies that will enable our region's economy to recover and adapt to international market conditions and strong competition from developing nations.

I would like to remind my colleague and his fellow Bloc Québécois members that my party is all about taking action. We promised to work hard to meet the needs of Canadians. We will do exactly that, because our government has always delivered the goods.

Bloc Québécois November 28th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, as its name implies, the “Bloc” is powerless to implement any measures in Quebec's interest. As you can see, all it can do is talk, criticize and block.

As for the ideas it comes up with, André Boisclair said it best: “when one does not have the responsibility that comes with wielding power, one can say whatever one likes”.

Not only has the Bloc been wandering around Quebec empty-handed, it has also failed to maintain a consistent position on assistance for the forestry and manufacturing industries. Now it is demanding that the federal government intervene, but the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord and his colleagues voted against the Speech from the Throne, which promised to take positive action for these sectors.

Moreover, the Bloc believes that, “historically, the federal government's economic policies have often had a negative impact on Quebec's development”. The Bloc should apologize to Quebeckers for its inability to take action.

Fortunately, workers can count on Conservative members because when we make promises, we keep them. We have what it takes to act in the best interest of Quebeckers and Canadians.

Storytelling Festival November 19th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, on November 10, 2007, I had the distinct pleasure of attending a wonderful festival in Dolbeau-Mistassini, the Festival de contes et légendes du Saguenay--Lac-Saint-Jean. At the festival, we had the opportunity to see and hear a number of amateur and professional storytellers.

I would like to tell the House about one performance that particularly impressed me, namely, the performance by the students of the arts studies program at the École secondaire des Chutes.

After months of hard work, these young people presented a tale called Julien et l'araignée. It was written by one of their teachers, Marie-Claude Tremblay, and directed by the students.

For the past three years, the school has been providing some 30 students with the opportunity to develop their skills within an arts studies program that offers various courses, such as plastic arts with Ms. Roberge, theatre with Ms. Tremblay and music with Ms. Gauthier.

Congratulations to the Commission scolaire du Pays-des-Bleuets, the École secondaire des Chutes, its principal and vice-principal, Mr. Dufour and Ms. Bouliane, to the Festival de contes et légendes, and most of all, to the students who put on such a wonderful play.

Bloc Québécois November 15th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, with the Conservatives in power, the Bloc is trying in every way possible to justify its presence in Ottawa. Today the leader of the Bloc and his current heir apparent are accusing the Conservative government of reducing Quebec's weight in this House.

Is it not ironic to see the Bloc worry about Quebec's representation within Canadian institutions? The hon. member for Joliette said, and I quote, “We are not here to reform Canadian institutions. We want out.” While the hon. member for Saint-Jean said that the future is in the National Assembly, not in Ottawa.

Considering that party's raison d'être, the Bloc is simply being hypocritical and inconsistent.

The Bloc should tell the truth and acknowledge that if it were anything more than a think tank, Quebec's representation in the House of Commons would go from 75 members to none at all.

Contrary to the Bloc's objective, our government is protecting the number of seats Quebec has in the House of Commons, which will never be less than the current 75.

Business of Supply November 13th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois campaigned in my riding by introducing a bill affecting Quebec and its regions that concerned the entire Canadian and Quebec forestry program.

While we campaigned to represent our fellow citizens, they introduced a bill. To date, as far as I know, two bills from this party concerning name changes to ridings have been passed.

So it is easy to come into the regions of Quebec and say that they will introduce a bill that will enable the forestry sector in Quebec to move forward, and then to ask the members who were elected what they will do in other sectors.

The Bloc Québécois has once again introduced a bill for everyone in our riding that ends up sitting on the shelf.

Business of Supply November 13th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, as we have said and as the Prime Minister also announced following the throne speech, we are going to continue to develop and introduce programs and measures to help workers in the forestry industry and other sectors across the country.

We are continuing to do everything in our power to analyze the situation and come up with practical solutions that will achieve our objectives, which are to help workers, of course, to help the industry go further and to enable Canada to remain the world's largest lumber exporter.

Business of Supply November 13th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. I would remind my friend that 75% of the measures announced in the economic statement directly benefit Canadian taxpayers and that 25% of the measures benefit businesses. Consequently, every Canadian will benefit from what was announced with regard to the lowest personal income tax rate, the reduction in the GST and all the rest.

As my friend said, I come from a region where the forestry sector is the largest in Quebec, the RCM that produces the most lumber in Quebec. When I am in my riding, I meet forestry workers, industry workers, every day.

We are working, as we have done in the past, to find solutions for the industry. The Prime Minister will announce those solutions in due course. Nevertheless, we are working every day. All the members of the Quebec caucus are working every day with their colleagues from across the country. The Bloc can talk all it wants; we will act and we will find solutions.

Business of Supply November 13th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege for me to speak today about what the government has done and is continuing to do to support the Canadian forest products sector.

The forest products sector is a dynamic contributor to the Canadian economy, generating some $80 billion annually. It also accounts for 3% of gross domestic product. Canada is the largest exporter of forest products in the world, and the most efficient. This sector is also one of the largest employers in Canada. It provides close to 900,000 direct and indirect jobs in 300 small localities and rural communities from Newfoundland and Labrador to Vancouver Island. These are well-paid jobs, characterized by high technology and strong productivity.

However, members on both sides of the House know that this sector is facing some serious problems. The world forest products market is fluctuating along with demand. The sector is prey to considerable pressures due to the rising value of the Canadian dollar, high energy costs, the mountain pine beetle infestation in western Canada, and competition from low-wage producers in Asia and South America.

The sector and the government have to work together to ensure that Canadian producers remain competitive. For its part, the sector has embraced new technologies, sped up productivity growth, adopted environmentally friendly practices at the international level, opened new markets and created new products. It knows that to remain a leader it must be at least as effective as all of its competitors worldwide in adopting new ideas and technologies.

In promoting competition, innovation and success, the government is now creating a healthy commercial environment for all industries, including that of forest products.

We are doing this within the framework of Advantage Canada, our strategic economic plan directly based on the challenges facing all industrial sectors. In continuing to reduce taxes and red tape, in building modern infrastructure and in encouraging a more qualified and educated work force, we are laying the foundations for economic growth, more market opportunities and more choices, for individuals as well as businesses.

Complementing Advantage Canada, our government has recently launched consultations on ways of making the tax incentive program for scientific research and experimental development more effective for Canadian companies, and of allowing it to play an even more important role in promoting a more competitive and prosperous economy.

We are streamlining the review of major natural resource development projects and reducing red tape and regulatory burden for businesses. We are investing in human resources, skills and training so that manufacturers can have access to the most educated, skilled and flexible manpower in the world. We are investing in our infrastructure so that manufacturers can take advantage of economic opportunities in Canada and abroad.

Budget 2006 gave an economic boost to manufacturers and to all Canadians. Budget 2007 continues on this path. We eliminated the federal capital tax, we reduced the small business tax rate and we enhanced the capital cost allowance, with a two-year deductible for tools and equipment, in order to stimulate cash flow and investment. We did not stop there. This government just provided its support to Canadian manufacturers and processors with a tax relief of $2.6 billion in the economic statement.

Through our new tax reduction initiative, Canada will have the lowest general tax rate on new business investments by 2011 and the lowest statutory tax rate by 2012 among G-7 countries. This will increase productivity, stimulate employment and improve prosperity.

The government is clearly working on creating a favourable environment for all industries. We are doing the same thing for the forest product industry. We have taken measures that are aimed specifically at supporting that industry.

During the fall of 2006, Canada and the United States eliminated one of the biggest obstacles this industry had ever faced, namely the softwood lumber dispute. Less than nine months after coming to power, the government kept its promise and resolved this longstanding dispute.

The softwood lumber agreement finally put an end to years of costly litigation and brought economic certainty to businesses, communities and workers in Canada. It allowed our softwood lumber producers to recover over $5 billion Canadian in deposits, which represents a considerable injection of capital for the industry.

The resolution of the softwood lumber dispute clearly shows our government's commitment to this industry.

Canadians asked our government to negotiate a settlement that would provide stability to the industry and that would protect the livelihoods of workers, communities and families in Quebec and Canada.

In addition to the resolution of this dispute that went on for several decades, the government announced, in the 2006 budget, a $400 million investment to support the long term competitiveness of the forestry sector, to address the pine beetle infestation in western Canada and to facilitate worker adjustment.

We are also honouring the following commitments. Last fall, that is in October 2006, the government announced a new shared-cost program with the provinces and territories: the targeted initiative for older workers. This two-year program is aimed at helping up to 10,000 older workers who have lost their jobs in communities where the local economy is plagued by chronic unemployment or where industries, such as forestry, are affected by downsizing and closures.

This year, our government announced measures aimed at reducing the pine beetle infestation and its impact on forests and communities in British Columbia. Developed in collaboration with the Government of British Columbia, the global strategy against this infestation includes measures to prevent it from spreading east and to help affected communities in developing new forest products, markets, sectors and services, in order to insure their long-term economic well-being.

We have also announced $127.5 million in funding to help the forestry sector increase its productivity in the long term. The initiatives—promoting forest innovation and investment, expanding market opportunities, establishing a new national pest strategy and creating a Human Resource Forest Sector Council—will help build the environment we need for our forestry sector to compete internationally.

Our government has supported and will continue to support the forestry sector in Canada. The Speech from the Throne highlighted the continuous commitment of our government toward supporting the main traditional industries in Canada, including the forest industry as well as manufacturing, fishing and tourism.

As I said, we have helped workers in these industries from the beginning of our mandate and we will continue to do so, as evidenced by the measures we have taken so far and those which we will be implementing in the future. It is clear for Canadians and it should be clear for the members opposite as well. Actions speak louder than just words.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean November 2nd, 2007

Mr. Speaker, among the citizens of Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean there are many workers, athletes and artists who contribute to the renown of our region throughout Quebec, Canada and the world.

In the worker category, Chantale Lalancette, from the artisan cheese factory L'Autre Versant d'Hébertville, was named woman farmer of the year by the Fédération des agricultrices du Québec.

In the athlete category, the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region racked up seven awards at the annual gala of the Fédération québécoise des sports cyclistes. The awards included a plaque for international organization of the year, won by the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in St-Félicien, and an award for professional female athlete of the year, won by Josée Tremblay, from the Vélo2Max club in St-Félicien.

And in the artist category, Pascal Côté, conductor of Forestare and a native of Roberval, won the Félix award presented at the ADISQ Autre Gala for instrumental album of the year.

Congratulations to these constituents of mine, who represent our lovely part of the country beyond its borders.

Agriculture and Agri-Food November 1st, 2007

Mr. Speaker, PQ supporters are calling on the Bloc Québécois to fold since they cannot support two separatist parties. Out of a possible 308 seats, the Bloc runs just 75 candidates. The Bloc confines Quebec to a role outside leadership circles, on the sidelines. In 17 years in Ottawa, the Bloc has made no decisions and has accomplished nothing.

Can the Secretary of State for Agriculture tell us what the Conservative government is doing to advance the interests of Quebec's producers?