House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was missisquoi.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for Brome—Missisquoi (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 44% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Water Quality May 9th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, on May 1, I tabled a bill to amend the International Boundary Waters Treaty Act between Canada and the United States to incorporate water quality.

I was inspired by members of my community who advocate day in, day out, for the protection of our waterways. It is important to highlight the hard work of Jacques Landry, president of Actions Lac Champlain and mayor of Venise-en-Québec. I will soon be awarding him a medal in recognition of his outstanding efforts.

I want to thank each and every resident for always defending our water quality so passionately. We all need to keep up the fight.

Soon I will get to award an honorary medal to the people of my riding. Brome—Missisquoi is extremely lucky to have such earnest advocates defending the environment and the liberal values that make us proud.

Petitions May 9th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, in the second petition, the people of Brome—Missisquoi are calling on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to begin the process of amending the Boundary Waters Treaty concluded between Canada and the United States in 1990 to include environmental standards to protect the waters in both countries. I introduced a bill to that effect last week.

Petitions May 9th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources has granted permit approval to expand the landfill managed by the New England Waste Services of Vermont in Coventry, Vermont. Right next door, Lake Memphremagog supplies drinking water to 175,000 Canadians.

In this first petition, the people of Brome—Missisquoi are calling on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to ask the International Joint Commission to conduct an environmental impact assessment of the plan to expand the landfill in Coventry, Vermont by 51 acres.

International Boundary Waters Treaty Act May 1st, 2019

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-444, An Act to amend the International Boundary Waters Treaty Act (water quality).

Madam Speaker, this bill would require the Minister of Foreign Affairs to undertake negotiations to amend the current International Boundary Waters Treaty between Canada and the United States.

This treaty dates back to 1909, so it is essential that it be amended to include new environmental standards, especially for water quality. For instance, it could include the establishment of buffer zones where the construction of infrastructure likely to affect the environment would be prohibited without the approval of the other country.

This bill relates to 82 boundary waters, rivers and lakes and involves 75 Canadian members of Parliament and 91 American senators and congressmen.

One concrete example is the landfill located in Coventry, Vermont. This landfill is just a few metres away from Lake Memphremagog, and Vermont recently approved an application to expand the dump significantly. It is important to note that 175,000 Canadians in Sherbrooke and Magog rely on this lake for drinking water.

The International Joint Commission, which already exists and reports to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, will oversee the enforcement of the proposed standards. These standards will be established on the basis of consultations with experts in both countries and in collaboration with the relevant provinces and states. We have to make sure that no other initiative like the Coventry landfill expansion disturbs boundary water relations between Canada and the United States.

We have to make sure that we protect the quality of boundary waters between Canada and the United States for our future generations.

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

Boundary Waters Treaty April 30th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, on April 22, Canada highlighted the importance of protecting our planet by celebrating Earth Day.

In Canada, it is vital to protect our natural resources, especially our lakes and rivers. A large number of these bodies of water are located along the Canada-U.S. border. Many of them are sources of drinking water for thousands of people in both countries.

For that reason, tomorrow, May 1, I will be tabling a bill to amend the Boundary Waters Treaty, which was signed by the United States and Canada back in 1909. It is important that we amend the treaty to include new environmental standards for water quality.

This bill will be instrumental in protecting our transboundary waters across Canada for today's Canadian citizens and for future generations.

Lake Memphremagog April 4th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I want to restate my concerns about the water quality of Lake Memphremagog, which supplies drinking water to 175,000 people living primarily in Sherbrooke and Magog.

Coventry, Vermont, is home to a massive landfill very close to our lake. Last fall we learned that the American authorities had approved a 51-acre expansion to the site. I remind members that this landfill is seeping toxic tailings into the lake. The landfill limit will jump from 250,000 tons to 600,000 tons of waste per year for the next 22 years.

Elected officials at the federal, provincial and municipal levels, along with experts and residents on both sides of the border, are demanding that the project be halted and that more extensive studies be carried out. A number of environmentalists in Vermont even thanked Canadians for their commitment. I urge all levels of government and neighbouring municipalities to support this cause day in and day out.

Clean water is essential not only to our everyday lives, but also to the lives of our children and our—

Interparliamentary Delegations April 1st, 2019

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian parliamentary delegation of the Canada-France Interparliamentary Association respecting its participation at the visit of the executive to Paris and Lille, France, from October 22 to 25, 2018.

International Day of La Francophonie March 20th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, today is the International Day of La Francophonie. Millions of people around the globe speak French, but only one wrote the most beautiful songs of the century in that language. He promotes a culture of peace and non-violence from coast to coast to coast. Today I want to highlight the extraordinary genius of Yves Duteil.

As Yves Duteil sings in La langue de chez nous:It is a beautiful language with splendid words
Whose history can be traced in its variations
Where we feel the music and smell the herbs
Goat's cheese and wheat bread
It tells us that in that far-off country of snow
It faced the winds blowing from all directions
To impose its words even in the schools
And that our own language is still spoken there
And from Île d'Orléans to Contrescarpe
Listening to the people of this country sing
It sounds like the wind moving over a harp
And composing a whole symphony

Infrastructure March 19th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, everyone knows how committed I am to the environment and water quality.

Our drinking water and waste water systems are vital to the health and sustainability of our communities. Our government is making investments across Quebec to ensure that municipalities get the funding they need and have systems that are in a good state of repair.

Can the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities inform the House of our government's most recent investments in the water systems of Quebec's municipalities?

Transboundary Lakes in Brome—Missisquoi February 28th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, the water quality of our transboundary lakes continues to be a major concern for my constituents.

We share two beautiful lakes with our American neighbours, Lake Champlain and Lake Memphremagog. We are fortunate to have two organizations whose members devote much of their time and energy to protecting these two lakes. Memphremagog Conservation, which is led by Robert Benoit, works for the protection of Lake Memphremagog, which includes the issue of the Coventry landfill in Vermont. Five mayors of villages along Lake Champlain formed Actions Lac Champlain. This group is committed to doing what it takes to clean up the lake water.

Jacques Landry, the mayor of Venise-en-Québec, told us that Lake Champlain is a source of great pride for the people of Venise-en-Québec and the entire region. The lake is a popular tourist draw during the summer, so it contributes greatly to the region’s vitality. As a result, it is vital we look after the quality of the water, especially since it is the source of drinking water for the towns of Bedford and Saint-Armand. Cleaning up this lake is a priority for the region.