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

Drug-Free Prisons Act June 17th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to share with my colleague and Conservative members the comments of Michael Parkinson, the community engagement coordinator for the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council. I mentioned in an earlier debate the task force that it came up with.

Parkinson starts by saying that, “The United Nations estimates that substance abuse costs society about $700 billion globally every year”. He goes on to say that, “...incarceration...can't fully deal with the issue of substance related crime”. He elaborates by saying that as a government, “It costs a minimum of $80,000 to incarcerate someone in Canada”. He goes on to ask, “...are they likely to get any treatment for the addiction? Not likely”. He goes on to say that, “...there are no prison systems internationally that have eradicated drugs internally”.

This task force looked at the actual prison systems.

He then comments about the criminals, “And then they’re popped back out into society and the root cause of the criminal behaviour has yet to be addressed”.

I would like the Conservatives on this side, many of whom represent the Waterloo region, to listen and collaborate with the stakeholders in their regions who are telling them their approach is wrong.

We are going to support this legislation at second reading but we believe that the scope of it is very narrow. It is trying to address a wicked problem with insufficient solutions.

Respect for Communities Act June 17th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to address some of the comments the member for Cambridge has been making during this debate.

We should not live in glass houses. The member for Cambridge should know that the Waterloo region has the highest level of alcohol abuse in Ontario, and he should have some compassion for people in his riding who are having problems with substance abuse.

There was a task force of 26 individuals that included police, street workers, social workers, and government. It came up with a set of 99 recommendations to deal with this problem. Recommendation number 45 deals with the stigma and discrimination associated with substance use and the importance of people realizing that addiction is a health issue, not a moral issue, and can be addressed with treatment. That was from the task force in the member for Cambridge's own area. He should listen to his own constituents. Does my hon. colleague not agree with me?

Respect for Communities Act June 17th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, on a day like this, when we are debating this issue in the House and another decision was made in British Columbia today for British Columbians, we see the hypocrisy of the government. It is speaking out of both sides of its mouth. Out of one side of its mouth it is saying it wants to consult with Canadians to judge the locations of these centres and, out of the other side, it is saying it does not really want to listen to Canadians in consultation for something like northern gateway.

Could the member perhaps elucidate for the House and Canadians the record of the government in terms of public consultations and due diligence in listening to Canadians?

Respect For Communities Act June 17th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, there have been 74 time allocation motions, as disturbing as that is; as you know, it is the curtailment of debate in the House. However, even more disturbing than the 74 times that debate has been shut down is the fact that the government is trying to change what has been a precedent in the House of allowing one further sitting day to now what is becoming a precedent of five hours of debate. This is a dangerous precedent.

Does my colleague not agree with me that changing this precedent in the Standing Orders of having one sitting day to interpret it as five hours is the height of cynicism and that it will feed the cynicism of Canadians who want us to make Parliament work? Does he not agree that this dangerous precedent will certainly do damage to this institution in the future and our work as parliamentarians?

Victims Bill of Rights Act June 13th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am certain that the member for Scarborough Centre, one of the greatest fans of demagoguery in the House, will ask a question at some point in this debate.

As usual, we see that this bill is a symbolic gesture by the government. It is not a substantive bill. This is obvious from the evidence given by the mother of a young girl who was murdered. The mother told us that the changes proposed by the government would only fuel the desire for revenge. From a psychological point of view, it does not help victims go through the healing process.

Could my colleague comment on and tell us more about why this bill will not help victims and about the fact that this is instead a symbolic gesture?

Petitions June 11th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a petition on behalf of the people living on the south shore pertaining to the assaults on bus drivers that happen every year. They want a new separate criminal code offence punishing the assault of bus drivers.

Festivals in Vaudreuil-Soulanges May 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to tell the House about five festivals that have become must-see events in my region of Vaudreuil-Soulanges: Les Seigneuriales in Vaudreuil-Dorion, which transports us to New France; the Vaudreuil-Dorion international circus festival; the Hudson Music Festival; the S.O.U.P.E. festival; and, to close out the season, the Rigaud festival of colours.

This year's theme is “Stimulez vos six sens dans Vaudreuil-Soulanges”, in other words, stimulate your six senses in Vaudreuil-Soulanges.

I am proud to be from a region that puts culture as a top priority. Developing the creative economy is crucial to the New Democrats because we realize the importance of arts and culture to economic development. Arts and culture constitute 8% of real GDP and bring in billions of dollars to the Canadian economy. However, money is not the only benefit we derive.

This also nurtures our sense of belonging and brings us all together regardless of our age, where we are from or what language we speak.

I commend the Groupe des 5 and I wish them good luck.

Come one, come all to enjoy the magnificent Vaudreuil—Soulanges.

Prohibiting Cluster Munitions Act May 29th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, we all know that the NDP always tries to work with the government in order to improve legislation. We have worked with groups in civil society to convince the government to come up with a common sense bill that prohibits Canadian soldiers from using cluster munitions.

Can my colleague explain why we cannot support this bill if we leave legal voids? It is not enough to leave these legal voids; we must ban these bombs outright.

Prohibiting Cluster Munitions Act May 29th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the great philosopher Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”.

I heard the member for Edmonton say that we do not live in a perfect world and that we need to accept that these bombs may harm children and civilian members of society. He mentioned the war in Afghanistan, which is increasingly becoming part of our history instead of part of our future.

I want to ask my colleague a question: looking to the future, would it not be a better idea to ban these tools of war?

Energy Safety and Security Act May 29th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it goes back to what I said at the beginning of debate.

What I have understood from the two other main parties in the House is that we have to settle for less, and we are constantly being accused of not being realistic. They have the interests of the profits of these companies in mind. The NDP is thinking of the very real human costs and the greater interests of the population of Canada, the human element of this, not the bottom line of an industry.

In the greater interests of future generations, we see that the human element is the more important one. When we pass away, we do not take our money with us, but we still have the world to leave to our children. That is the most important thing: that they are left a world that is clean, safe, and healthy.

Our progressive vision has that human element in mind. We sometimes put that human element above profit. Sometimes it is more important than profit. In this case, this is one of those times.