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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was quebec.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Bloc MP for Manicouagan (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 31% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Environmental Enforcement Act May 13th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, we know that the Conservative Party is not necessarily in a big hurry to enforce the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act. The environment is not among its priorities. Recently, I was asked to replace a member of the committee that is currently studying the Species at Risk Act.

I would like to tell the member who just spoke that when the Liberal Party was in power, it did enforce this act. It revised it and provided money in the budget to protect wildlife, vegetation and aquatic and terrestrial species. But the Conservatives cut more than 50% of the funding for these programs, and they abolished some of them.

Did the government slash 50% of the funding for these programs and abolish some of them because this money was not being spent? Did that give the government of the time a surplus of $12 billion a year?

North Shore Region March 6th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, these are hard times for economic development in the regions of Quebec.

For example, in the North Shore region, Wabush Mines laid off half its workforce indefinitely in January. We learned this week that Alcoa would cut the hours of employees at its Baie-Comeau plant by 15% in response to the global economic slowdown. The forest industry, which is also in crisis, is important in my region as well.

Even before this economic crisis, employment in the North Shore region was declining significantly each year. Unfortunately, that decline could get worse.

Instead of helping the regions of Quebec, the Conservatives have cut funding for CED and refused to invest heavily in forestry, limiting assistance to $170 million over two years for all of Canada.

What a mess the Conservatives have made.

Budget Implementation Act, 2009 February 27th, 2009

Madam Speaker, as the hon. member just explained and I noted earlier, the Prime Minister often accuses the NDP of opposing the budget before even reading it. The problem with the members from the Liberal Party is that, in their case, they voted for the budget without reading it. Since the economic update was tabled in this House, I have not seen a single member rise to say anything positive about this budget.

We are talking about a $3 billion envelope to be administered by the Treasury Board. This is not a casino where the Prime Minister can play blackjack with taxpayers' money. Let us be serious here. We have responsibilities. We have to account to the people. How could we let the Prime Minister use this money? Chances are we would see history repeat itself. Members no doubt recall the sponsorship scandal. The House of Commons is accountable to the people. The budget has to be approved and spending reported to Parliament.

Budget Implementation Act, 2009 February 27th, 2009

Madam Speaker, I have been a member of Parliament since 1993. I too, as the hon. member correctly indicated, was here when Preston Manning sat in this House. Mr. Manning was the leader of the Reform Party of Canada.

The current Prime Minister was a Reform MP under Preston Manning, and a majority of members, including the ministers in this House were with the Reform Party. In Quebec, support for the Reform Party was a mere 1%.

Now, they have changed party banner and colour. They have failed to deliver the packages for infrastructure and do not even maintain their own infrastructures. In the regions, wharves are in an advanced state of decay, yet the government is not maintaining—

Budget Implementation Act, 2009 February 27th, 2009

Madam Speaker, more often than not, since the budget was brought down in this House, the NDP has been accused of opposing the budget before even reading it. As for the Liberal Party, it said it would support the budget, then proceeded to vote for it. Questions were asked after the fact.

The question we have to ask ourselves is whether it is possible that the Liberal Party of Canada voted for the budget without even having read it.

Marine Liability Act February 25th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I have listened carefully to the hon. member's speech. It was a good and impassioned speech. This member has certainly done a fair bit of research in preparation and it showed. The Premier of Quebec, Jean Charest, talks of developing the north. That is my part of the world. He also talked of developing the Manicouagan rail system in order to develop the north and providing access to the mining industry.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask, through you, for unanimous consent from the House. I know that the hon. member has a lot to say about this. He has a very interesting speech, especially the part concerning the north and rail development in Manicouagan. I would like you to seek consent for the hon. member to have an extra 20 minutes for his speech.

Budget Implementation Act, 2009 February 11th, 2009

Madam Speaker, I would first like to congratulate the hon. member for Chambly—Borduas on his excellent speech.

I would like to raise two points. I represent the riding of Manicouagan, one of the largest ridings in Canada, located between the Betsiamites River and Blanc-Sablon.

I had the opportunity to serve as a municipal councillor in the City of Baie-Comeau for 14 years. Since becoming a member of this House, I have noted that the tax burden of many small municipalities is carried by the residential sector. This does not affect industrialized cities, but rather it affects the towns that do not have access to business taxes and various property taxes. These municipalities therefore depend on their citizens.

The Bloc Québécois proposed a policy to the federal government that would give money to the regions in order to help municipalities. The contribution rate would have been 50% from the federal government, 35% from the Quebec government and 15% from the municipal level.

The Conservatives have come back once again with a division of contributions into three equal parts. The municipalities in my riding will have to let that train go by, since they do not have the means to get on board.

Petitions February 4th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, today, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I wish to present to this House a petition with more than 800 signatures from Manicouagan voters, most of whom are workers.

Illness comes on surprisingly and suddenly and is not limited to any particular social class. These petitioners are asking Parliament to review the employment insurance program to ensure an acceptable minimum of benefit weeks, which would better correspond with timing of medical treatments for workers who are forced to quit their job to deal with an illness that, by its nature, requires prolonged treatment.

Economic and Fiscal Statement December 3rd, 2008

Madam Speaker, I want to try to put myself in your position. It must be difficult to preside over the House and prevent the Reform Party from reading the emails and letters it receives from its voters. When a member does not have anything substantive to say about the economic statement, he just reads his correspondence. We could do the same thing. The Public Service Alliance, the Canadian Federation of Labour and the FTQ are all in favour of the coalition.

There is therefore virtually nothing substantive left to say about the economic statement. It announced cuts for the political parties, but that was withdrawn. It announced a freeze to pay equity for women, but that was withdrawn. The Prime Minister made it known through his finance minister that he would remove the public service’s right to strike, but that too was withdrawn. So what is left in this famous little document? Where are the requests that the Bloc sent to the finance minister regarding an economic recovery? Where in the statement are the Quebec National Assembly’s requests, as forwarded by the Premier of Quebec? There are reasons why the main stakeholders in Quebec unanimously support the coalition and are asking the Bloc Québécois to make the House work. The government has lost all credibility and no longer enjoys the confidence of the House.

Business of Supply May 8th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I would like to reply to the member's speech. She said that the current unemployment rate in Canada and Quebec is at its lowest. That is true. Seasonal workers in the fishing, forestry and tourism industries, along with all forestry workers, are now in the spring gap. What I mean by that is that they have not been receiving employment insurance benefits since about the start of April, yet they will not begin work until the start of June or, for most of them, the start of July.

People do not have any more employment insurance benefits because they have exhausted the number of weeks covered by this government for employment insurance. They had been receiving employment insurance since September, the end of the season, and now they are not receiving anything. That is what is called the spring gap. Quite often these people find themselves on welfare.

The Bloc Québécois introduced Bill C-269, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (improvement of the employment insurance system), but the Conservatives voted against it. We also introduced a bill that would create an independent fund, but the Conservatives were also opposed to that.