House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was farmers.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for La Prairie (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

275th Anniversary of Saint-Philippe June 14th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, 2019 is an important year for Saint-Philippe because it is celebrating its 275th anniversary. I have to admit that I have soft spot for this municipality because that is where I was born and where I raised my family, on my father's and grandparents' farm.

To give you a little bit of history, Saint-Philippe was officially founded on November 5, 1744, when Monseigneur de Pontbriand, bishop of Quebec, gave the order for a church, a rectory and a cemetery to be built there.

Saint-Philippe is 93% agricultural, but it has become more urbanized over the years. Everyone has been happy to see neighbourhoods and quiet residential streets springing up in the municipality.

As we celebrate this 275th anniversary, I invite residents of Saint-Philippe to keep an eye on the local paper to learn more about the events that will be taking place throughout the year. I also encourage them to express their pride in Saint-Philippe and its motto, “Semer pour l’avenir”, or “sowing seeds for the future”.

Seniors' Organization in Saint-Philippe June 7th, 2019

Madam Speaker, today, I am pleased to tell you about an organization that improves the quality of life of people 50 years old and over. I am speaking of Café liberté 50 in Saint-Philippe, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Established in 2009 by Maurice Bisson and Gilles Tardif, Café liberté 50 started out small with 20 members. The organization's mandate was basically to organize activities and outings for seniors throughout the year. Today, 10 years later, the organization has grown and now has more than 200 members.

I am pleased to support organizations such as Café liberté 50. I would like to take this opportunity to promote the new horizons for seniors program, which aims to help seniors lead fulfilling lives.

I invite anyone 50 years old or more who do not want to be isolated, like those who attend Café liberté 50, to immediately join this program. Let us be proud of our seniors.

Congratulations to Café liberté 50 for its 10 years of operation.

World Milk Day May 31st, 2019

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, farmers from across the country and around the world will celebrate World Milk Day.

In Quebec, more than 5,000 farms with an average of 70 cows produce over three billion litres of milk a year. Our dairy farmers ensure that our regions and rural communities remain strong and practise sound land management.

As a former dairy farmer, I know the pride and passion our producers feel for their farms, the products they provide to Canadians and the supply management system, which ensures prosperity.

We are the party that implemented supply management. We are the party that will continue to defend and protect it so that Canadians can enjoy milk that was produced here in Canada. Unlike the Conservatives, we are 100% united when it comes to defending supply management. I encourage all Canadians to raise a glass of milk to our dairy producers and their outstanding work.

International Trade May 10th, 2019

Madam Speaker, let me repeat that we are committed to fully and fairly supporting supply-managed farmers by giving them $3.9 billion in compensation for any negative repercussions of CETA and the CPTPP. We are also looking at the impact on processors and the potential impact of CUSMA. Working groups continue to discuss the best way to distribute the money.

I would also like to remind the House that all opposition members voted against the budget, which includes compensation for farmers.

International Trade May 10th, 2019

Madam Speaker, our government has always been very clear. We are the party that brought in supply management and we will protect and promote it.

We committed to supporting our supply-managed producers fully and fairly by giving them $3.9 billion in compensation for the repercussions of CETA and CPTPP. The working groups continue to discuss the best way to distribute the money, and the minister hopes to finalize everything by the end of June.

Hélène Sentenne Foundation May 8th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, the Fondation Hélène-Sentenne will be celebrating its 30th anniversary on May 16. This arts and culture organization was named after the Town of Candiac's first secretary, who served for 30 years before retiring.

The foundation operates out of the Maison Hélène-Sentenne, formerly known as Maison Melançon. Over the years, this building has become an arts hub for Candiac and the surrounding community, hosting no less than 20 national festivals, 28 juried art shows, 20 solo exhibitions, six art symposiums, over 40 classical music concerts, and 30 Son et brioches concerts, not to mention countless Christmas and Valentine's Day concerts.

Today, I join all the people of Candiac in thanking and congratulating the foundation's president, Ghislaine Nivose, and her entire team for all their hard work in promoting arts and culture in the riding of La Prairie.

Long live the Fondation Hélène-Sentenne.

International Trade May 7th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, let me repeat that the USMCA upholds the three pillars of supply management. The government understands how important Canadian agriculture and agri-food trade is for our economy and our jobs.

Our negotiators worked hard to defend the interests of Canadian agriculture at the bargaining table. Defending supply management has not prevented Canada from signing free trade deals and negotiating new ones with major partners. Supply management is the system our farmers chose for themselves, and it has been working well for many years. It benefits the Canadian economy, and I can assure the House that we have protected and defended it and we always will.

The government is committed to working with the dairy, egg and poultry sectors to determine the best way forward in order to keep these sectors strong, dynamic and innovative at all levels of the supply chain and to ensure that farmers are fairly compensated.

International Trade May 7th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Essex for raising this important issue.

The Government of Canada fully supports dairy, egg and poultry farmers, as well as our supply management system. Canada's dairy, egg and poultry producers and processors contribute to countless other industries, help support local economies, and create prosperous and dynamic rural communities. Promoting trade and upholding our supply management system are not mutually exclusive. We just concluded two of the most important agreements in Canadian history, namely the Canada-United States-Mexico agreement and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. We have also seen our agreement with the European Union come into force. All these efforts benefit the Canadian economy, the agri-food sector and farmers.

We did all this while protecting our supply management system. The United States tried to dismantle our system, but we managed to preserve it, protect it and defend it. The USMCA upholds the three pillars of supply management: production control, price control and import control. Transparency provisions are common in free trade agreements and do not compromise Canadian sovereignty in any way. They also do not interfere with our ability to change our milk classes as we see fit. The provisions do not apply only to Canada. The USMCA will require Canada and the United States to publish, notify and consult regarding various aspects of the milk pricing system.

The government fully supports the dairy, poultry and egg industries, and we are working together to assess the impact that the USMCA will have on those sectors. In order to mitigate the effects of more open access to the dairy, egg, and poultry markets, we have repeatedly said that will we fully and fairly compensate those affected by the agreement.

On that point, the government recently formed working groups with dairy, egg and poultry farmers to discuss the new agreements and collaborate on developing strategies to help them adapt, innovate and remain competitive.

International Trade May 3rd, 2019

Mr. Speaker, the total amount they will be able to borrow will increase from $400,000 to $1 million, and the interest-free portion will increase from $100,000 to $500,000.

This request came from our partners, the Premier of Saskatchewan and industry representatives, and we are going to keep working with them to get this problem settled as soon as possible for canola farmers. We are committed to fixing this situation.

International Trade May 3rd, 2019

Mr. Speaker, our government cares deeply about the success of canola farmers and farming families. Whereas the opposition has only been interested in canola for a few days, our government has been working on resolving this issue for over two months. We know that Canada produces the best canola in the world, and we have full confidence in our reliable, effective inspection system.