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

Food and Drugs Act May 17th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I mistakenly rose with the members voting against the motion. I am in favour of the motion.

Petitions May 16th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I rise this morning to present a petition that concerns Lake Champlain and is addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

People in Brome—Missisquoi who live along the shore of Lake Champlain drink the water from that lake. For years now, proliferation of cyanobacteria has been negatively affecting water quality to the point where the situation is critical. Consuming water contaminated with cyanobacteria poses a health risk to shoreline residents. All matters relating to the water quality of Lake Champlain are governed by the International Boundary Waters Treaty and the International Joint Commission. In 2008, that commission looked into the water quality problem in Missisquoi Bay, but its work has since ceased.

Protecting Lake Champlain is of paramount importance, and we are calling on the minister responsible for Global Affairs Canada to review the mandate of the International Joint Commission so that it may resolve the issue of water quality in Lake Champlain.

Petitions May 11th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition to the minister responsible for Global Affairs Canada. In 2008, the International Joint Commission began its study of water quality problems in Missisquoi Bay but has not pursued the matter since.

All levels of government on both sides of the border, as well as other watershed organizations, are making a tremendous effort to combat cyanobacteria in Lake Champlain.

Despite their efforts, cyanobacteria still pose a threat to local people's quality of life. People in my region, Brome—Missisquoi, and around Lake Champlain drink that water. I am not sure that water is even potable at certain times of the year.

Residents of the Lake Champlain region are asking the minister responsible for Global Affairs Canada to instruct the International Joint Commission to develop effective solutions to the cyanobacteria problem in order to restore water quality in Lake Champlain.

Committees of the House May 9th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank Christine Holke, the clerk of the Standing Committee on Official Languages, and Lucie Lecomte, our analyst. I would also like to thank all of my committee colleagues, who are doing such excellent work. We work together so harmoniously. It is very special. I am grateful to my colleagues from Madawaska—Restigouche, Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix, Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, Sudbury, Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, Saint Boniface—Saint Vital, and Perth—Wellington.

As chair of the Standing Committee on Official Languages, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Official Languages entitled “The Enumeration of Rights-Holders Under Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Toward a Census that Supports the Charter”.

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

Committees of the House April 6th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, two-thirds of our House colleagues are either bilingual or working on it. Before I present the report, I would like to acknowledge the outstanding contribution made by the Translation Bureau’s translators, interpreters, and terminologists as well as all of its employees to building a country that is proud and respectful of its two official languages.

I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Official Languages entitled “Follow-up to the Study of the Translation Bureau Reverse the Trend: Strive for Excellence”.

Canada–U.S. Relations April 5th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the opportunity to meet with my American neighbours from Vermont, including Senator Bernie Sanders' and Senator Patrick Leahy's teams.

I think it is crucial that we strengthen our ties with our neighbours, since we share so many concerns, including the environment. In fact, we plan to have another meeting in my riding in early June to continue our discussions.

In my region, the water quality of Lake Champlain is a perfect example of the need for co-operation. It is a serious issue that calls for all stakeholders to work together. That is why we will continue to fully support Canadian values when it comes to the environment.

It is imperative that most of the funding allocated to Lake Champlain in budget 2016, that is, $7.5 million, be spent primarily on the water quality of our lake.

I encourage all my colleagues to reach out to American senators to build meaningful relationships with our neighbours to the south.

National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians Act March 24th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend my colleague opposite for her extraordinary contribution to the Standing Committee on Official Languages. She does outstanding work there.

Allow me to set the record straight. We are talking about a committee of parliamentarians. Many countries have this type of oversight committee made up of parliamentarians, elected officials, so I am having a hard time understanding my colleague's concerns. This committee is way overdue.

International Day of La Francophonie March 20th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, as the chair of the Standing Committee on Official Languages, I wish everyone a wonderful International Day of La Francophonie.

I would like to point out the importance of the Francophonie in Canada and the world. Canada is the second largest French-speaking member of the international Francophonie with almost 10 million Canadians who speak our beautiful and rich language in every province.

Yves Duteil said it so well in his song La langue de chez nous:

It is a beautiful language with splendid words
whose history can be traced in its variations
It built bridges across the Atlantic
It left its home for another land
And like a swallow transported by the spring
It returns to sing of its sorrows and hopes

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

It is a beautiful language to those who know how to defend it
It offers treasures of untold richness
The words we lacked to be able to understand one another
And the strength required to live in harmony

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act February 8th, 2017

Madam Speaker, my colleague from Joliette had a lot to say about agriculture. Agriculture is very often the loser in international negotiations. The parties agree on all kinds of issues, but agriculture is the last thing they talk about.

In Canada, we had the same problem with culture. The World Trade Organization held culture in low regard. Some years ago, Canada decided to push for an international instrument on culture. We wanted to remove culture from WTO negotiations and create an international instrument under UNESCO. We believed that future negotiations should not put culture on the same table as guns, submarines, computers and so on. Culture is the soul of the people, and we felt it had no place in the WTO, so we took it away from the WTO and found a new home for it in an international instrument under UNESCO.

Why not do the same with agriculture?

Marcel Prud'homme January 30th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to the Honourable Marcel Prud'homme, an MP and senator who passed away a few days ago at the age of 82.

Marcel was here within these walls for 45 years, 29 as a member of Parliament and 16 as a senator. Marcel was known throughout his career as a straight talker on matters of foreign affairs and as a defender of difficult causes, including the Palestinian cause.

Marcel, you gave true meaning to freedom of expression, one of our fundamental values. Marcel, thank you very much for being an important player dealing with nations that were not necessarily natural allies at the time. Thank you for moving our country forward over the years, Marcel. We will never forget the friendship we shared over the years. Keep building bridges on behalf of Canada wherever you are up there, Marcel.