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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

Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste September 27th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, we learned that the following Saint-Jean-Baptiste societies have joined the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste of the Sherbrooke diocese and expressed their pride in being part of Canada.

They are the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste of the diocese of Valleyfield and the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste of the diocese of Quebec City, which met last weekend with the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste of Sherbrooke, in the eastern townships, and sang the "Ô Canada".

To all these men and women who are not afraid to show that they are proud to be Quebecers and Canadians; to all our French Canadian ancestors who built this country; to Wilfrid Laurier who, almost one hundred years ago, became the first of many Canadian prime ministers from Quebec; to my friends from the Bloc Quebecois who have dreams of sitting again in this House after the next election; I want to say that, like all of you, I am very proud to be a Quebecer and a Canadian.

However, it is important that we all say no to separation.

Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste Of Sherbrooke September 26th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, Saturday night in Orford, in the beautiful riding of Brome-Missisquoi, where in a by-election held almost nine months ago voters said No to separation, the Governor General of Canada, the Hon. Roméo LeBlanc, became an honourary member of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste of the Diocese of Sherbrooke.

In fact, as the Director General of the Société, Marcel Bureau, told me, "Our Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste is federalist. The pride we have always felt as Quebecers never prevented us from being deeply attached to Canada".

Members of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste of Sherbrooke are proud to be both Canadians and Quebecers. Mr. Bureau, on behalf of all Canadians represented in this House, I take my hat off to you.

Oceans Act September 26th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, Canada's motto is a mari usque ad mare , from sea to sea. It may be that Bloc members are upset because the title of the bill before us is an Act respecting ``the'' oceans of Canada. Had we used the singular, Bloc members might be happier today.

Canada is bordered by the Pacific ocean, which gives us access to all sorts of foreign markets. It is important that Parliament pass the act respecting "the" oceans as quickly as possible. No, that legislation should certainly not be postponed to a later date.

As you know, some people always want to postpone everything. In the last few days, we even heard some say that the referendum should be postponed. The fact is that the referendum date must not be postponed, and nor should the review of the Oceans Act. We must put an end to uncertainty and we must do so in the best interests of Canada. As the hon. member for Laurentides just mentioned, we must make the best possible decisions for the future of both Canada and Quebec. This is why we are here.

Federal-provincial considerations are a major component of this bill. Earlier, the member for Laurentides said that the proposed partnership agreements could be a source of conflict. It goes without saying that if you want to separate, partnership agreements are indeed very difficult to implement and can lead to conflict. However, if we want to get along, co-operate and reach agreements, anything is possible and partnership is definitely the best option for Canada today.

I want to ask a question to the member for Laurentides, regarding federal-provincial relations. Does the hon. member know that the act allows for the implementation of guidelines on the quality of the marine environment, as well as-and I want to overlook her comments on the sources of conflict-the reaching of partnership agreements with other interested persons or groups? Is the hon. member for Laurentides aware of the importance of federal-provincial relations in that regard?

Study By Economist Georges Mathews September 20th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. In the context of his ministerial responsibilities, does the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs agree with the economic impact of Quebec's possible separation as described in the Mathews report?

Manganese-Based Fuel Additives Act September 19th, 1995

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-94, an act to regulate interprovincial trade in and the importation for commercial purposes of certain manganese-based substances, and in particular to the motion now before this House to adjourn the debate as proposed by the hon. member for Calgary North.

I feel it is important not to delay the debate under way. We cannot keep putting off indefinitely environment issues. Matters as important to our future as the environment cannot be postponed endlessly. But before talking about the proposal to adjourn the debate on this crucial matter, I would like to say a few words about some general environmental issues that deserve our attention.

This morning, we debated in this House a bill to amend the Auditor General Act, which provides for the appointment of a Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development reporting to the auditor general and requires departments to develop environmental strategies to be laid before the House.

Environmental matters are always a little less tangible than issues such as finance, revenue or day-to-day management. I used to sit on the public accounts committee and the auditor general often came to explain or question the regular management of various government departments. Regarding the environment, however, I think it is important for the government to be concerned about the environment, about the future of all Quebecers and Canadians.

Environmental issues transcend borders. Some examples come to mind. In my riding, we have one, in fact two international lakes, namely Lake Memphremagog and Lake Champlain, about which we are having environmental difficulties with our American neighbours.

It makes us realize that not all problems are resolved with borders. Agreements must be reached with neighbouring states.

Over the summer, I participated in discussions with our neighbours in Vermont and people in Washington to try to resolve an environmental problem affecting Lake Champlain. I think it is important for neighbours to make an effort to understand one another and ensure that future generations on both sides of the border, in Canada as well as in the U.S., can agree in future.

In that sense, I do not see the use of having borders sprouting up all over the place in terms of the environment. With NAFTA, with the World Trade Organization, we are now in an open economy and the same should hold true for the environment.

As far as this bill is concerned, I think we should move on this, and not in six months time. There have been enough studies. I think that the government should go ahead with this bill.

I mentioned earlier how important the environment is to this country. I would like to share with you more of what I have learned during the summer. We witnessed this wonderful co-operation between the federal, provincial and municipal governments across the country. I am referring to the infrastructure program which had an impact on the environment in Quebec. Some communities got funding from the infrastructure program to build a water treatment plant. The program helped promote environmental projects in several sectors.

I want to go back to the importance of the decisions which have to be made today, not tomorrow, to preserve our future. As you know, when a decision is made concerning the environment, it costs money. However, it may be better to pay today than to be blamed by future generations for not having acted quickly enough regarding the environment.

This is important for our safety. There is the ozone depletion, as well as all the problems with our lakes and rivers, pollution problems. We have to act immediately and this is what the government intends to do. It wants to take immediate action, so that our future generations can live safely.

We must also look at the impact on the industry sector. By acting now, the government prompts the industry to develop, produce and export new technologies and products. The environment is a promising sector for our engineering firms, our industries, our producers, our exporters, and everyone else. For that reason, we should not let the debate go on and on. We should look at this bill right now.

Earlier, I alluded to the debate that took place this morning regarding the auditor general, the new commissioner of the environment and sustainable development.

I think that this act, which seeks to regulate interprovincial trade in and the importation for commercial purposes of certain manganese-based substances, shows that this government is a good government. This is a good government's program. It is a program which makes people realize that environmental safety is important. It is important to all Canadians today and it is also important for future generations. Such an initiative does solve the real issues, even though it may not do much for hypothetical questions such as where will the border be located, etc. We are together in this country and we work together to find solutions to the real issues that confront Canadians. This is what is important.

There has been co-operation on environmental matters between the Canadian government and the provinces. To mention only two instances, under the previous Quebec government, the Liberal government, the environment minister at the time, Pierre Paradis, and the present Minister of Environment of Canada, Ms. Copps, signed a number of agreements. The plan for the St. Lawrence, for instance, referred to as Vision 2000, and the agreement between the Government of Quebec and the government in Ottawa on the St. Lawrence. But the St. Lawrence starts in the Great Lakes. Everything is inter-related. So these agreements are extremely beneficial for Quebec and for Canada, for present and future generations. It is important to have this co-operation between the federal government and the provincial governments.

Ten months later we had a second agreement, an agreement with the pulp and paper mills, an agreement signed by the Government of Quebec and Ottawa. Incredible. We have not had many environmental agreements since the separatist government came to power, but we have had an agreement between Quebec and Ottawa on environmental matters. This bill, sponsored by the Minister of the Environment, makes me proud to be a Canadian, to be a member of a generous and sharing society, a society that is open and secure.

We live in a system that is evolving. We should let it evolve. Let there be new agreements and new ways of sharing. Let us also ensure that Canada, which, according to a UN report, ranked first on quality of life and, according to a report by the World Bank published yesterday, is the second richest country in the world, let us make sure that in the future, this country keeps up the good work through its environmental programs, as we have done in the past and will continue to do so.

Studies Commissioned By Government Of Quebec September 19th, 1995

On September 2, 1994, Quebec's premier wondered out loud about alleged studies that the previous government would have kept from Quebecers. He said to the Journal de Montréal : These studies exist. They were commissioned by Robert Bourassa. If he does not make them public by September 12, we will have to draw conclusions about the honesty of these people.

One year later, after the minister responsible for restructuring wasted millions of dollars in fancy studies, the pequiste government too finds itself with studies which it refuses to make public because they do not serve its separatist propaganda. Will the pequiste premier finally agree to make public all these studies which Quebecers paid for with their tax dollars, and will he stop hiding the truth on the real cost of separation? Separation is a costly proposition and Quebecers will say no to the waste of public moneys used for the ego trips of the likes of Lisette, Jacques, Mario and Lucien.

Antidrug Videos September 18th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, young people in the Matane region just discovered another aspect of the intolerance of separatists. Last June, students at the Matane secondary comprehensive school joined forces with the local community service centre of that municipality to produce a video against drugs. Since the beginning of the school year, that video has been shown on the Radio-Québec channel in eastern Quebec.

The director of the yes committee in Matane, a separatist, protested against that video which underlines the courage of young people who say no to drugs. There, I have said the n word, no to drugs. The separatists put so much pressure on the LCSC that it decided to withdraw that publicity from the air until the end of the referendum campaign.

Obsession and paranoia have prevailed over the initiative of a group of young students who had decided to do something worthwhile for their community. No to drugs was for their future, that of our youth. No to separation is also for their future.

Income Security June 21st, 1995

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

On Monday in Quebec, Minister Blackburn announced a thorough reform of the income security system.

Within the context of flexible federalism and consultation with the provinces, how does the Minister of Human Resources Development, who is about to table components of the federal reform plan, intend to work together with his counterparts in Quebec?

Referendum On Quebec Sovereignty June 13th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, the Château Frontenac was all lit up. Those in charge of the protocol had been at work since the early morning; everything was ready for the big ceremony. Mr. Parizeau himself, also known as "Vibrant Weasel", was presiding and the excitement filled the air.

This is how we learned that the leaders of the PQ, the Bloc and the ADQ had signed a document in which they ask that a referendum on the separation of Quebec be held this fall. But, for many observers, there was no need to wait for this so-called signature ceremony to learn that the PQ leader and his two associates want Quebec to separate.

Four months ago today, people in Orford, Sutton, Cowansville, Lac-Brome, Bedford and the Brome-Missisquoi riding as a whole, said no the separatist adventure. They chose Canada. Quebecers do not want separation, and they will make it clear at the referendum.

National Transportation Week June 6th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, National Transportation Week provides an excellent opportunity to thank all the men and women in the transport sector. These people work to ensure the free movement of goods and people throughout Canada at any time of the day or night, putting food on our tables and taking us home after work.

Quebecers are fully aware of how important the transport sector is. To the workers at Orléans Express in Montreal, at the Viens bus company in Farnham, at Transport R.P.R in Cowansville, to the independent truckers across the country, to CN, CP and VIA employees, to airline and shipping company staff, to the industrious taxi drivers, to the dispatcher's secretary, to all the people of Brome-Missisquoi who are associated in any way with the transport sector, to all the people from coast to coast who maintain all kinds of links between each province and the rest of Canada, I join with my parliamentary colleagues in saying, "Thank you for all you do for us, and I wish you all a great National Transportation Week".