House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was conservative.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Madawaska—Restigouche (New Brunswick)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 35% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Balmoral Trout Festival June 15th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, on June 5, I had the great pleasure of attending a breakfast put on by the Balmoral municipal council during the Balmoral trout festival, held in my riding from June 2 to 5.

The Balmoral trout festival was held this year after a group of volunteers decided to revive the event after a 10-year hiatus. The festival was held to raise funds for the Balmoral community centre.

The festival's revival was a resounding success, and I want to congratulate the co-chairs of this event, Jenny Chouinard and Manon Pelletier, and all the volunteers who helped organize it. I am also pleased to say that the organizing committee has announced that this festival will be held again in 2006.

Finally, I want to thank the Balmoral municipal council for inviting me to breakfast.

Fight against Cancer June 13th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, on June 4, Edmunston held its third annual Relay for Life. This is an activity held Canada wide by the Canadian Cancer Society to raise funds for the fight against cancer.

I would like to recognize all the volunteers on the relay organizing committee for their contribution to this event. Cancer is a disease of such concern to us all and I am sure that activities like the Relay for Life help raise public awareness of the need for cancer research.

The Edmunston Relay for Life collected more than $140,000, which will be used for funding promising research projects, information and support programs, defending the public interest as far as cancer prevention policies are concerned, and improving the quality of life of people living with cancer.

Finally, I wish to acknowledge the efforts of all the Relay for Life participants in Edmunston and elsewhere.

Dalhousie, New Brunswick June 7th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, last week I was invited to take part in an activity in Dalhousie, New Brunswick to recognize 108 individuals who made a difference to the development of that region. The activity was part of the celebration this year of the 100th anniversary of the City of Dalhousie.

People's contribution to their community is vital to keeping our regions dynamic and furthering development. The people who were recognized at the celebration on Saturday had all contributed to making their community a good place to live.

I would like to congratulate the nominees of that special event in Dalhousie and to thank everyone in my constituency who is involved in the development of their community.

B. Fernand Nadeau May 31st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the people of New Brunswick, and Edmundston, especially, were deeply saddened to learn of the death yesterday of B. Fernand Nadeau, a former minister of the Province of New Brunswick and the former mayor of the City of Edmundston.

B. Fernand Nadeau was committed and active in his community. He served as mayor of the City of Edmundston from 1963 to 1969. He contributed considerably to New Brunswick's development between 1967 and 1970, while he was the member for the Edmundston region in the New Brunswick legislature and then minister of municipal affairs and minister of labour in the government of the late Louis J. Robichaud.

I would therefore like to offer sincere condolences to the family and friends of B. Fernand Nadeau on behalf of myself and the people of Madawaska—Restigouche.

Forestry Award May 20th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I would like to use this opportunity to address the House today to recognize a student from my riding of Madawaska—Restigouche, Trevor Connors.

On February 10, Trevor was awarded a silver ring from the Canadian Institute of Forestry, Maritime Section. The silver ring distinction symbolizes the achievement of completing a recognized forestry program. Trevor is part of the class of 2005 in the Bachelor in Forestry at the University of New Brunswick.

I would like to congratulate Trevor for the distinction he received and wish him the best of luck in all of his future projects.

Congratulations to Trevor, and the best of luck for the future.

Infrastructure May 19th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, many roads in our rural regions need to be repaired in order to allow our individual and commercial traffic access to the highways. This will facilitate connections between the regions, thereby contributing to tourism and trade while also ensuring the safety of our drivers.

In my riding and in the riding of my colleague from Beauséjour, the need to repair some roads, for example, highways 11 and 17 in New Brunswick, is becoming increasingly urgent.

On behalf of the citizens of Madawaska—Restigouche, I would like to know the status of this matter. Could the minister give us an update on the negotiations between the Government of Canada and the provinces?

Supply May 18th, 2005

Mr. Chair, I have one last question. I gathered from the minister that there is enormous collaboration among various countries in order to meet needs when certain situations arise affecting individuals.

Could the minister indicate if the Government of Canada will continue this collaboration and these partnerships? We know that partnership is a key to successfully negotiating the process here in Canada and also throughout the world. Can the minister indicate whether we will maintain such partnerships, should such situations occur, to ensure that the needs of these people are met?

Supply May 18th, 2005

Mr. Chair, I have been told that the Canadian government, that Canada, could have and should have acted sooner to solve this problem. According to some members, the Government of Canada ought to do more still by expanding the family category permanently.

I have listened with interest to the two points of view that have been expressed on this. To my knowledge, neither the international community nor the United Nations High Commission for Refugees has deemed the Vietnamese population in the Philippines to be in need of protection by resettlement.

Normally it is up to the UNHCR and the appropriate host country to determine whether or not the people in question are refugees. They did so in this instance, and determined that the 2,000 Vietnamese in question were not.

Nevertheless, the Government of Canada agreed to help by allowing those who had close relatives in Canada to be sponsored immigrants. Could, or should, Canada have done more to help this group of people? How many will be able to qualify under the Canadian criteria that are set out in the new policy?

Supply May 18th, 2005

Mr. Chair, this summer will mark the 25th anniversary of the arrival in Canada of the first group of refugees fleeing the Communist regime that had just taken control of Vietnam.

The sight of tens of thousands of refugees on makeshift wooden boats is something that many of us will never forget. Their suffering changed lives and forced us to act. Today, this same spirit of compassion and concern for others burns as brightly in the hearts of all Canadians.

We were all deeply moved by the suffering of these families from Vietnam or the Philippines, by the many stories of absent loved ones, and by the hope of reuniting those family members here in this great country.

Family reunification is extremely important, both to me and—I am certain—all of government. When we consider the situation of these families in their native land compared their family members here, it is very important for us to try to reunite these families and give them every opportunity to live together and in harmony.

When we look at an example as ordinary as a birth in the family which, as members are aware, happened to me in recent weeks, we see even more the importance of reuniting family members and ensuring that people can work, be together and love those near to them.

Naturally, for many new arrivals the government brings to Canada, families are an anchor and a source of energy for the future. Families also represent more solid bases for the health and future of communities and nations, whatever they may be.

Another example is that of my riding. We very recently set up a program, the Programme de carrefour d'immigration rurale, to be sure we integrate people from other countries, those who have recently arrived.

We set up a system to be sure to use new approaches, to show Canadians here how we can welcome new arrivals and reunite families at the same time.

We must therefore ensure that the family classremains a vital element, an integral part of Canada's immigration program.

I am extremely proud that the Government of Canada accepted many of the 2,000 Vietnamese still living in the Philippines, who may find close relatives here. It is good news for everyone.

That said, I believe we can all accept that the job will not be easy. Some applicants may lack sufficient and appropriate proof of identity. I know the minister has worked hard with the appropriate intervenors, such as SOS Viet Phi.

My question this evening is as follows. Are the measures intended to help the people in question come to Canada progressing and when may we expect the first families to arrive?

An Act to Authorize the Minister of Finance to Make Certain Payments May 16th, 2005

Madam Speaker, I want to examine the position adopted by the Conservative opposition, not only in the past few days but the past few weeks as well. The Conservatives are saying that the budget does nothing, absolutely nothing for Canadians. At the same time, however, they are saying that they will respect the good initiatives implemented by the Liberals, if there is an election.

This leads me to say that, in fact, our initiatives have been excellent. I want to ask my colleague the following question. I was a municipal councillor for the city of Edmundston for six years. So I know that refunding the gas tax is a top priority for communities—cities, towns and local service districts—throughout Canada. This remains extremely important.

I want my hon. colleague to tell me if he has ever heard negative comments about this extremely important initiative for our communities?