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

May 10th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I realize that the parliamentary secretary did not understand what I just said. It is obvious that the three elements I mentioned were tied to one of the organizations that received funding in the past and that was directly connected to the Atlantic coastal action program.

The parliamentary secretary identified groups in the Atlantic, for which funding was announced on April 7. This funding was obtained because the opposition exerted the required pressure last March 24 on the Conservative government.

Every time the public is told that the Conservative government will not fund certain groups, individuals or organizations, the government reacts instantly. It is a Conservative illness: they cancel funding or they wait until the last minute. Had they been proactive at the right time, we would not have had to remind them that they cannot cut funding to these organizations this year. They will have to continue in the long-term.

I need the answer. I need to know whether there will be long-term funding.

May 10th, 2010

Madam Speaker, this adjournment debate follows up on a question I asked on March 24, a question about the environment that the Minister of Industry was keen to answer.

As we know, many programs are being attacked by this Conservative government. We see it every day, every week and every month. One program that seems to be a particular pet peeve of the Conservatives is the Atlantic coastal action program.

As soon as we talk about the environment and improving life for our constituents, it seems as though a little bell goes off in their heads and it bugs them. But let us look at reality. If we do not take care of our environment, we are putting our future and the future of our children and future generations at risk. We are talking about the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. These three elements are closely linked to the environment and who better, in most cases, than those in rural areas to understand that without this environment, we cannot move forward or develop economically.

We know that the Conservatives are not interested in the environment. That is nothing new. The Prime Minister has already said that the science was not valid and that people should consider something else. However, as I said, the truth is that dismissing the environment means dismissing our planet and future generations.

Projects funded in my riding focus on natural resource conservation and wood turtle protection as well as on blue-green algae in the Lac Temiscouata and Madawaska River region, including Lac Baker. We know how important these issues are, but the third example is one that many people know about and fear will have a negative impact in the future. We have to keep working and funding various organizations to make sure that we continue to protect our environment. We also need to know how to deal with contaminated environments and how to respond quickly to events that cause pollution. We have to know how to remedy these situations.

Unfortunately, the Conservative government seems to have a peculiar illness. It is afflicted with a propensity for last-minute announcements or worse, a simple refusal to continue supporting these organizations. This is a very serious illness and it seems to be spreading. The Conservatives seem to take a perverse delight in waiting until the last second to tell our people, our fellow citizens, our organizations and our companies whether they will receive any federal government support. The federal government should take the opposite approach. It should announce funding in advance so that people can get their projects ready ahead of time and know exactly what to expect in the future. But the Conservatives have this disease, and it causes them to simply eliminate programs, turn groups down or wait until the last minute, forcing people to beg and plead for help.

I hope that the Conservatives will give us a clear answer about whether they plan to continue funding the environment in the long term.

Fairness at the Pumps Act May 10th, 2010

Prorogation.

Fairness at the Pumps Act May 10th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, my colleague explained the situation very well. It is clear that the Conservative government has no desire to make things better. The system is in place. The Conservatives have formed the government for four or five years. We have had problems with gas prices in this country for a number of years, but the Conservatives have done absolutely nothing. Now they have supposedly come up with a solution, but the solution already exists. They form the government, yet they cannot even put rules in place and ensure that the system is properly checked.

Does my colleague agree that the Conservatives have had plenty of time to come up with solutions? They are trying to fool people by talking about rules and measures that exist but that they do not want to strengthen. It is as though they do not want to solve the problem of gas prices in this country.

Economic Development May 5th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency was boasting in the media that he was going to personally ensure that no budget cuts would be made to ACOA.

What happened this week? The minister announced major cuts to programs related to economic development.

We all know that the Conservatives do not like economic development agencies and they are proving it once again today. Remember when the Prime Minister described us as having a “culture of defeat”?

When will the Conservatives stop attacking the people of Atlantic Canada?

Economic Development April 30th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, if he thinks that 12% of the money allocated is a lot of money for northern New Brunswick, he will soon get the message. That I can guarantee.

In northern New Brunswick, only three community projects and a single business project were approved by the Conservatives.

Instead, the so-called economic stimulus program helped develop a funding program for standard ACOA projects, in particular, some art gallery renovation projects.

How do the Conservatives expect to create long-term jobs in the north when only one business was able to benefit from the program?

When will we see long-term jobs in our regions?

Economic Development April 30th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, northern New Brunswick has been hit even harder by job losses in the manufacturing and forestry industries. The Conservative government used the money from the community adjustment fund for a variety of projects.

But only 12% of the money for that program was allocated to stimulus projects in northern New Brunswick. The Conservatives have always shown their disdain for the north.

Why are they penalizing the people of northern New Brunswick yet again? Why are we still paying the price today?

Employment Insurance Act April 29th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind you that the parliamentary secretary continues to talk about all sorts of things, but not about my colleague's bill.

While a bill can be very thorough, a member always has the opportunity to improve it and to take it to another stage.

In all due respect for my colleague's bill, the parliamentary secretary should only talk about this legislation and stop raising other issues. He should stop saying that the act already does this and that, and he should stop proposing improvements that have already been made. We have to see how the bill can be improved.

That is what my colleague is trying to say, but the parliamentary secretary refuses to hear anything.

Mr. Speaker, it is time for you to make it clear. If the parliamentary secretary does not have the right speech with him, then he should get another one to make sure he is dealing with the bill.

Employment Insurance Act April 29th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I think that there is a difference between what the member was talking about with respect to the bill and what the parliamentary secretary was talking about. The Conservatives are not telling people the whole truth when they talk about extending benefits. When the time came for the government to provide 20 additional weeks, seasonal workers got nothing. According to the government, they did not deserve extra benefits. The government does not consider them to be long-tenured workers. I will never forget what the Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism said:

“We will give it to those who really deserve it”.

Shame on her for saying that. There is a big difference between what the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources was trying to say earlier and the truth. The truth is that they did not want seasonal workers to benefit from additional weeks of employment insurance.

I would like my colleague to respond to that. I also wonder whether the parliamentary secretary will continue to question the way we vote in the House.

Official Languages April 27th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives want Canadians to believe that they care about and respect our official languages. When it is time for grandstanding, they show up; but as for everything else, that is debatable, as demonstrated by these few lines from a document sent to French-speaking citizens. I have left them in French, because they are unintelligible, as I will explain.

A partir des dernières années, répondants à l'enquête requis à répondre à L'enquête sur les établissements de soins pour bénéficiaires internes utilisant un système électronique au Internet. Nous vous prière d'annoncer que cette est maintenant possible. [...] Access à la nouveau système de questionnaire électronique est facile et vite. De la line d'adresse au votre Internet [...]. Veuillez inclure votre identifier l'enquête q'il est trouver juste en haute de votre nom d'établissements dans l'adresse.

My hon. colleagues should not worry if they did not understand any of that, because as I said, it is unintelligible. Imagine how hard it was for those who were supposed to understand this machine translation. This is how the Conservatives show their respect for official language communities.