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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was region.

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

André Bourbeau May 8th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, André Bourbeau, a music lover, philanthropist, and resident of Brome—Missisquoi, passed away on March 25, 2018, at the age of 81.

André loved music. For 18 years, he chaired the Jeunesses Musicales Canada Foundation, where he was able to share his passion. He was also very involved in politics, serving as senior adviser and mayor of Saint-Lambert, chair of the Conseil des maires, and commissioner for the Commission de transport de la Rive-Sud de Montréal. In his time at the Quebec National Assembly, André Bourbeau served as minister of municipal affairs; minister of labour, security and revenu; and minister of finance, in Robert Bourassa's government.

He was the recipient of many honours, including the Chevalier de l'Ordre national du Québec in 2009 and the arts-business award from the Conseil des arts de Montréal and the Chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitain in 2015.

André was a kind man who contributed greatly to developing the music scene, and he passed his passion on to the next generation. I was saddened to learn of this huge loss. I offer my condolences to the family and loved ones of André Bourbeau.

Committees of the House May 8th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, as chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 10th report of the Standing Committee on Official Languages entitled “Growing Up in French in Western Canada: A Review of Federal Support for Early Childhood Education”. Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

This report is about early childhood services in minority communities in Canada. That is important, because once children are lost, it is hard to get them back again.

I would like to thank the committee members who contributed to the report, all of the witnesses, the clerk, Christine Holke, and the analyst, Lucie Lecomte. Ms. Lecomte suffered a fall recently. I hope she recovers and comes back to us soon.

Petitions April 30th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition on behalf of the people of Brome—Missisquoi, especially the residents of Sutton, Frelighsburg, and Abercorn.

They are calling on the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to create an inhabited park covering our great region, where wildlife protection and activities like hiking would be encouraged. Our region is home to this country's most beautiful scenery, and I am presenting this petition on behalf of my constituents.

Canada-France Interparliamentary Association April 23rd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, as president of the Canada-France Interparliamentary Association, it gives me great pleasure this week to welcome the French delegation of our association, chaired by MP Annie Chapelier, with the co-chairs of the friendship groups, Senator Claudine Lepage and MP Jean-Luc Lagleize.

As the two key players in the international Francophonie, Canada and France are inseparable friends. We share many values. We have many things in common, such as culture, civil law, ways of thinking and doing things, and especially language. As Yves Duteil said in his song 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
...

A warm welcome to our colleagues from France.

Committees of the House April 19th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, today, as chair of the Standing Committee on Official Languages, I am presenting a report on literacy in minority language communities.

The report says that literacy should be a component of the education continuum, not only with respect to employment but also within families. Literacy is important in that regard. We need support programs that do a better job of meeting communities' needs and bilateral agreements that include binding clauses. That is the report in a nutshell.

I would like to thank Christine Holke, the clerk of the committee, Lucie Lecomte, and all the witnesses, stakeholders, and committee members.

I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the ninth report of the Standing Committee on Official Language entitled “Adult Literacy and Skills Development: An Essential Component of the Education Continuum in Official Language Minority Communities”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

Petitions April 18th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I am deeply concerned and I am not alone. The people of the Lake Memphremagog region who signed this petition are also deeply concerned. They fear for the quality of the water from Lake Memphremagog, which is deteriorating.

On the Canadian side, the water is safe to drink and the people from the towns of Magog and Sherbrooke do drink it. However, on the U.S. side, the water is not safe and people there do not drink it. The petitioners are calling on the Minister of Global Affairs to submit this problem to the International Joint Commission so that it can review the quality of the water in both Canada and the United States.

Interparliamentary Delegations April 18th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-France Interparliamentary Association concerning its participation at the Visit to Paris of the Executive, held in Paris, France, from December 4 to 8, 2017.

Petitions March 29th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition from my constituents in the Lake Memphremagog region regarding that lake's water quality.

Sherbrooke and Magog get their drinking water from Lake Memphremagog, but as we know, this lake straddles the Canadian-American border. The lake is a source of drinking water on the Canadian side but not on the American side. That does not make any sense, but that is how it is.

We are asking the Minister of Foreign Affairs to raise the issue of the lake's water quality with the International Joint Commission because there have been some questionable dumping practices on the American side.

Petitions March 22nd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from residents of Magog about Lake Memphrémagog. We have a big problem. On the Canadian side of the lake, the water is potable, but not on the American side. There is a garbage dump on the American side that could pollute Lake Memphrémagog, which is where all 200,000 people of Magog and Sherbrooke get their drinking water.

The petitioners are asking the Minister of Global Affairs to raise this matter with the International Joint Commission.

Water Quality February 12th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, last week, I went to Washington to meet with the teams of Vermont senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders, as well as with the U.S. secretary for the International Joint Commission. I also met with Canadian embassy officials.

The main focus of these strategic meetings was the water quality of Lake Champlain and Lake Memphrémagog, two of the largest water resources shared between Quebec and Vermont. We also talked about the economic challenges faced by the region, trade between Brome—Missisquoi and Vermont, and border security.

I would like to thank Jacques Landry, the mayor of Venise-en-Québec, for his involvement. He also chairs Actions Lac Champlain, a committee dedicated to protecting the water quality of the lake.

Let us do what it takes to leave clean water in our extraordinary lakes for the next generation, since that is our drinking water after all.