House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was economy.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Vaudreuil—Soulanges (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 22% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Fair Representation Act November 3rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, this country, and this chamber in particular, has a long history of debates about representation. We know that Quebec had a special place in the House of Commons when our country was established.

I would like to ask my colleague, because another colleague mentioned the 19th century, what the representation of Quebeckers is under the Constitution Act, 1867, in particular section 51. Can the member explain to the House what section 51 means and tell us if the bill is consistent with that section? Can he clarify section 51 of the Constitution Act, 1867 for the House?

Fair Representation Act November 3rd, 2011

Madam Speaker, on a point of order, the hon. member will know that it is not parliamentary to refer to a member's absence or presence in the House.

Fair Representation Act November 3rd, 2011

Madam Speaker, all governments believe that their bills are very important and should be passed expeditiously, but the process of our democracy is that we debate bills in the House in order to improve them, so that they can get to the best point to be passed. That is the purpose of first reading, second reading, third reading and committee work.

In the past, time allocation was an unusual procedure in the House. I use, for example, Louis-René Beaudoin who was the member for Vaudreuil--Soulanges in the 1950s. He was also Speaker of the House and during the famous pipeline debate, he moved with the government a time allocation motion. There were weeks of chaos in the House due to the cutting off of debate because it was so unusual.

I find it sincerely disturbing that the government is using this so often. Where is the respect for democracy? Where is the respect for the traditions of the House?

Champlain Bridge October 31st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the NDP is calling on the government to stop hiding behind cabinet confidences and to respond to our access to information request by immediately making reports on the safety of the Champlain Bridge available to the public, instead of hiding them from the bridge's users. Every day, 200,000 people cross that bridge, and they have a right to know about its condition.

Will the government finally reveal the information that the cabinet members share freely among themselves, but refuse to share with Canadians?

Canada Post October 28th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary is avoiding questions on the cuts at Canada Post and continuing to give vague answers.

Can the parliamentary secretary finally tell us why Quebec is being so unjustly penalized? Postal service is crucial across the country. Why is this government abandoning Quebec? Quebeckers deserve an answer.

Canada Post October 28th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, how does the minister explain the unfair treatment of Quebec when it comes to the cuts at Canada Post? The cuts in Quebec are alarming at 53%, when elsewhere in the country they are only 4% to 8%.

How does the minister explain that Quebec is not entitled to the same postal service as the rest of the country?

Coptic Christians in Egypt October 27th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I have been sitting here for a few hours now and the last thing Canadians want to see is partisan sniping or politicians fighting in a church over a microphone for the right to speak or such actions like that.

Canadians want to see concrete actions on the international scene to improve the situation. What would those concrete actions be that all three parties should take to improve this situation?

Ending the Long-gun Registry Act October 27th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I would like to mention that one of the names that was not mentioned by my hon. colleague was that of Heidi Rathjen, who was one of the lucky ones who was not killed that terrible night. The hon. member mentioned stories close to her home. Heidi Rathjen was a woman who grew up in my home town. I went to elementary school with her sister Claudia. I know the family very well and I know how that act of violence deeply touched that family in particular.

Ms. Rathjen has been very vocal over the years about the preservation of the gun registry. I am wondering if my hon. colleague could elaborate on the consequences if the registry is scrapped and Ms. Rathjen's fear that gun-related tragedies will increase as a result.

Business of Supply October 25th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, what is an insult is that western farmers had a plebiscite whose results were released on September 12 where 51% of barley growers and 60% of wheat growers wanted to maintain the single desk.

The Minister of Agriculture, in response, said that the direct vote was flawed. I would like to define plebiscite for the members across. It is the direct vote of all members of an electorate. In this case the electorate would be rural western farmers.

Why does the member not protect the integrity of his government by allowing a direct vote of western Canadian farmers on a clear question on whether they want to maintain the monopoly of the Wheat Board. Why muddy the results of our election that we had in May and insult western farmers by implying that they saw the May election as a CWB plebiscite?

Business of Supply October 25th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I have heard, on a few occasions, government members describing Canadian values as life, liberty and property, which are more in tune with the founding values of the nation to our south. As the hon. member knows, the founding principles and values of our nation are peace, order and good government, or conversely, peace, welfare and good government. They were used interchangeably in the 19th century. Welfare here refers to the common good.

How would preserving the Canadian Wheat Board fit with the values and principles that our country holds to be true? How would a private monopoly, which would probably take place once we scrap the Wheat Board, be even harder to get out of than the Wheat Board that we have now?