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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was federal.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Forces et Démocratie MP for Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 12% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Natural Resources September 26th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to natural resources, the government only cares about short-term profit.

By way of evidence, the Prime Minister said that the economic case for the Keystone mega-pipeline is overwhelming, despite disastrous consequences for both workers and the environment.

Why is the Minister of Natural Resources trying to do everything he can to please big oil instead of listening to the hundreds of people here on Parliament Hill today who are opposed to the increasingly uncontrolled development of the oil sands?

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 25th, 2011

Madam Chair, unfortunately, a new day is dawning today. We are sad to see how the government is going to be doing things for the next four years. Workers' rights will be thrown out. The message is clear: this government has no respect for the legitimate right of a legally certified association to bargain in good faith for a collective agreement. This interference sets the tone for the next four years and the message is clear: workers will have no right to be heard from now on.

Thank you, Madam Chair, for your handling of the debate, but unfortunately this is a dark day for Quebec and for Canada.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, we have to allow politics to be much more democratic. We have to allow citizens to regain political leverage. Participatory democracy has to become a new approach to politics. We currently have a patent example of an archaic approach to politics. It is time to change things and take other approaches that will ensure that parties, regardless of what side of the House they are on, will truly be able to co-operate to listen to reason and consider solutions that will benefit everyone.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question.

The government's strategy is a serious political mistake. Perhaps I consider it that way because I teach political science. This strategy, as it is being taught, is an unreasonable strategy that would show that the government is creating an entirely new precedent and a type of jurisprudence for future conflicts. It is important that the government change its mind, that it realize the impact of the choice it has made with this special legislation and that it humbly support the proposals presented by the opposition.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague on the other side of the House for his question.

We basically agree on the effect that the current lockout imposed by Canada Post is having. Indeed, the impact on small- and medium-sized businesses is notable. But the solution does not lie in imposing special legislation that flouts the workers' rights. The solution to this problem lies basically in the understanding that the government must have of the situation on the ground and that the workers must have a fair agreement with their employer.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to send greetings to the people of Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia.

Today is the national holiday of Quebec. Of course, I should be in my riding, touring the municipalities, going from one celebration to another and meeting my constituents in Matane, Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, Cap-Chat, Mont-Joli, Amqui, Causapscal, Saint-Gabriel and Sainte-Flavie. Nonetheless, here I am. It is important to be here and that is why my Bloc Québécois colleagues and I have been on duty all night to speak and intervene in this important debate.

My skin is not pale and greenish today because I was partying all night, but because I stayed up late. It is not that the Green Party's colour has rubbed off on me, it is that we fought hard all night with the opposition members to make the government listen to reason.

Yesterday, there was a chance of getting unanimous consent to a motion moved by my colleague, the hon. member for Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, in order to suspend the sitting of the House. Even though the government formally recognized the nation of Quebec, in practice it does not. It would have been nice if the government had given unanimous consent and allowed all my colleagues from Quebec, regardless of their party, to be in their riding to celebrate with their family and friends.

Today, I am sad not to be in my riding, but I know that my comments and today's debate are right. Most of all, I am sad for the postal workers. From the start, we have been hearing the government blame the postal workers. It claims that these workers are exercising a right to strike or are engaged in a strike that is not fair and is undermining all workers in Quebec and Canada who have obligations. We understand that the postal service is a very important service, but do we need to remind the government that we are not talking about a strike, but a lockout? A lockout is not remotely the same as a strike.

The postal workers' decision to go on rotating strikes was completely legitimate. A union has every right to apply pressure. The pressure tactics chosen by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers were considered appropriate and were not overly disruptive to Canada's postal services. On the one hand, rotating strikes allowed postal workers to get their point across, while on the other hand, they did not unduly penalize other Canadians who also had commitments, who wanted to get their mail and send letters and so on.

The source of the conflict is not the rotating strikes; it is the lockout imposed by Canada Post with the—dare I say it?—complicity of the government. This lockout was imposed too fast and is an inappropriate government strategy to try to move things too quickly. The bill is completely inappropriate, too hasty and too coercive. In my opinion, the government's strategy is completely unreasonable.

Postal workers play an important role. I am from a rural community. We were talking about isolated areas earlier. Mail plays a very important part in our lives. In our communities, our municipalities and our villages, post offices serve as beacons. In addition to getting their mail and using the postal services, people get together there. Post offices are a meeting point, a focus point.

As you know, local services in our communities are extremely important. When services are undermined through proposed legislation, as the government is doing here today, this generally lowers the quality of service. Canada Post is in the process of conducting a strategic review to examine postal services in rural areas. Some of our country roads have rural mailboxes.

These mailboxes allow people to have their mail delivered to their home. However, rural communities are increasingly being undermined whether due to privatization of some sort, or a reduction in services. I know many Canada Post employees who work out in the field and are disappointed right now by the way the Government of Canada is treating them. It is treating them like pariahs, and as if they have failed to negotiate in good faith, when in fact the methods used by the postal union were entirely legitimate.

The difficulties our regions are facing in terms of regional development are primarily due to government decisions like this one, which weaken our communities.

Earlier, I listened to the Honourable Minister of Health speak about what has been done for northern Canada, and of the difficulties currently faced by northerners. I am fully aware that the existing situation affects them terribly. However, the blame cannot directly be laid upon postal workers. The lock out is obviously to blame for this situation.

Earlier, the minister bemoaned the reduction in services to northerners, but was it not the very same government that reduced government subsidies lowering the cost of foodstuffs, and then reversed tack and reinstated the program to help northern communities? This government is engaging in doublespeak.

The government needs to see reason. It should consider the proposals brought forward by the opposition, take a step back, and acknowledge that it acted too hastily. It might agree to a number of motions or amendments and see them as being for the greater good. It is not a question of interfering in the current negotiation process, but rather of finding some common ground upon which both the postal union and employer could agree.

In closing, I would ask the government to take note of the opposition’s unanimous condemnation of the deplorable manner in which the government is treating postal workers. I call on the government to adopt the amendments, when proposed.

Public Works and Government Services Canada June 21st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, after $50 million for border infrastructure was used for other purposes by the former industry minister, now internal auditors are pointing the finger at the Privy Council Office for having thousands of dollars in unauthorized expenses.

What is the government, which claims to want to better manage public funds, doing? It is now eliminating the Public Works Canada internal audit service, which manages billions of dollars worth of government contracts.

How can we have any hope that taxpayers' money will be well spent when the government is getting rid of a strong internal audit service at Public Works Canada?

Employment Insurance Act June 20th, 2011

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-234, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (maximum — special benefits).

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present this bill, which would extend the maximum period for which employment insurance benefits for serious illness may be paid from 15 to 50 weeks.

This bill was introduced in previous Parliaments, but has never been passed at third reading. It is important to amend this 40-year-old measure. The amendment to paragraph 12(3)(c) of the act would allow people with serious illnesses to receive more than 15 weeks of benefits, as is currently the case. Marie-Hélène Dubé, who was behind a petition presented in the House in this regard, said:

A society that supports the sick during a critical time in their lives is a healthy society that helps these people to recover and reintegrate into society by avoiding the trap of personal and social poverty.

A few weeks of benefits can make all the difference. In order to give everyone an equal opportunity to overcome illness and recover, it is of the utmost importance that we extend the sickness benefit period so that everyone can obtain decent and fair compensation.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

Libya June 14th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, it is important for us to understand and to inform the House that when Parliament resumes in the fall, at the end of the three-and-a-half-month extension, the House will have to reflect on any further extension. We will have to have a much more complete analysis of this mission, in terms of the action taken, the costs and the results. We will require a complete analysis. I must point out that it is the House that must make any decision regarding the deployment of troops abroad. This fall, more information will have to be provided by the government so that we have a better analysis of the situation.

Libya June 14th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the clarification. First of all, the Bloc Québécois will support both the NDP motion and the Liberal amendment to the amendment, which will complete the government motion. To clarify, it is important to us—and my colleagues may have determined this from the approach presented—to set parameters for Canada's decision to continue its intervention in Libya.