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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

The Environment January 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, an independent study that was conducted in Quebec and made public today has confirmed communities' concerns about the possibility of an oil spill from the energy east pipeline. These concerns were not unfounded.

The study shows that the systems used by TransCanada could not detect a leak of less than 1.5% of daily volume, which is the equivalent of 2.6 million litres a day, and that it could take weeks before anyone realized that a disaster had occurred.

Will the minister acknowledge the negative impact on municipalities of both the pipeline and the planned port, whether it is in Lévis, Cacouna or Baie-des-sables?

Business of Supply January 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the government has decided to postpone the budget to April at the earliest. In our opinion, that decision is completely irresponsible.

Of course, the price of oil has fallen, but that is somewhat the fault of the government, which put all of its eggs in one basket: oil development. Nevertheless, the government has to be responsible because there are consequences to postponing the budget, in particular for organizations and groups that are waiting for federal funding. Their fiscal year ends in March and postponing the budget will have a major impact on them.

There are also the provinces, which, as usual, are waiting for the federal budget to be tabled at the end of February or the beginning of March so that they can put together their own budgets with federal transfers.

The government has to be responsible, acknowledge the new economic reality and table the budget. I can understand the government’s unease, but it has to follow a game plan. It made so many promises in the fall that it is short of money. It has to be responsible and get the money from the most wealthy, the big banks, to balance its budget.

Business of the House December 11th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, if I may, I would like to join my colleagues in thanking you, the staff of the House and the security personnel, including the constables we honoured today.

On behalf of Forces et Démocratie, I want to wish all of our colleagues a merry Christmas and a happy new year. I hope we can all take this time to pause and reflect and return to our constituencies to celebrate with our loved ones.

However, it is also important to remember those less fortunate than us and those who are facing challenges in their lives. We can help the less fortunate by donating to food banks and fundraisers. I really wanted to share that, on behalf of Forces et Démocratie.

Mr. Speaker, thank you for all your hard work throughout the session, and I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Amendments to Standing Orders December 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to rise in support of Motion No. 535, which I moved. First of all, I want to thank all the parliamentarians who took the time to debate this issue, over the course of two hours of debate, to share their thoughts, to contribute to the discussion and to be thorough, as is necessary in any debate.

Are people afraid of change? Yes, the motion I moved involves some significant changes. These days people are cynical about politics. Parliamentarians should really be asking themselves some questions. We should be looking into why nearly 40% of people do not vote. Some people look to the voter and ask why they did not vote, but I look at us, here in the House, and I think that we need to change our processes. We cannot ignore the fact that democracy is ailing, and when someone or something is ailing—in this case, democracy—we need to make changes and fix what is wrong.

My fix would give more powers to the members. Over time, political parties have become more influential in the House of Commons. Originally, the House of Commons was designed as a place for elected members of Parliament to speak on behalf of their constituents. I understand that there are reasons, in terms of logistics and coordination, for the existence of political parties. I am not saying that they should not exist and should not develop strategies to get across a consistent message in their speeches, in order to score some points against the government or even other parties.

However, we cannot forget that at the very heart of democracy is the idea of electing representatives who have the power and even the duty to come to the House of Commons and to ask questions, pass laws and hold the government accountable. Over time, this power has eroded. Members have increasingly become champions of their party's wishes in their own ridings. Sometimes, they even become their party's spokesperson in their community, instead of being the spokesperson for their community, their region and their territory here in Parliament.

The motion I am moving today is primarily designed to correct certain shortcomings. It is not perfect, I admit. Each of us has a vision of how to reform question period. The motion I am proposing would give each opposition MP one question per week. Members would have had the time to take a close look at the motion. The question slot is assigned to an MP, who can allow the party to use it, trade it with another MP or agree, within the party, to use it in a way that would allow for that unity, that consistency, that powerful impact that each party wants to have in the House of Commons.

Currently, it is the party that determines which MP will be entitled to ask a question. I have heard from members who said that they have asked for the right to ask a question in the House of Commons, but they were not allowed to do so. For various reasons, their party denies them the basic right to question a minister, the government. This motion aims to change that.

I offered to make a presentation to all the parties, to answer questions, both to clarify the philosophy behind the motion and to explain how simple and workable it is. It was drafted with the House's legal experts. It was not drafted in a partisan manner. Every party can define their own terms to make it applicable in everyday life. Ensuring that MPs can have the power to ask questions is fundamental.

The second thing, of course, is to ensure that every member who has the qualifications and expertise can choose the committee he or she would like to sit on, according to the concerns of his or her constituency. That makes sense. Again, a very simple mechanism that would allow the member to trade places with other members, according to the party's strategy, or a strategy that would identify that member as the right person to defend the people of his riding in the interest of the party.

I invite all members to vote, to reflect over the holidays, ask me questions, contact me and see how this motion could contribute to improving democracy.

This is a good motion. Our cravings for democracy might not all be the same. Nonetheless, I invite people to chew on this during the holidays and change the practices of the House.

Work of Members December 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, people have become extremely cynical when it comes to politics, and we must recognize that. It is our responsibility to question how we do things. Thirty-eight per cent of people no longer vote. Political parties reign supreme and have forgotten what is important, the reason why we are here, and that is Canadians. Not taxpayers or voters, but Canadians.

The parties cultivate the myth that this is just the way politics works. However, that is not true. The confrontational attitude, the party line and pettiness have become commonplace. Our democracy is not just ailing, it has become a farce.

All members, as individuals, agree that this type of behaviour has no place in the House of Commons. However, the parties, which control that dynamic, do everything in their power to prevent change.

In the last session of Parliament, Forces et Démocratie became a party. We are proud of the motion we brought forward that seeks to give all MPs back their right, or rather their duty, to speak. We believe that it is imperative that we change this dynamic. All MPs must understand the power they hold as individuals to collectively change things.

The Environment December 8th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, last week a group of Quebeckers from Lanaudière and the Lower St. Lawrence were in Ottawa and came to Parliament Hill to speak out on behalf of the majority of Quebeckers who are against TransCanada's energy east pipeline.

While the company is going all out to sell the project, people are worried about the environmental and safety risks. It seems that there are second thoughts about establishing the oil port in Cacouna. We are now beginning to hear about the Baie-des-Sables site.

Will the minister consider people's well-being and understand that Quebeckers do not want to see this project in Cacouna, Baie-des-Sables or anywhere else?

Forces et démocratie November 27th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to confirm that Forces et démocratie met all of the criteria set out by Elections Canada and is now a recognized party.

Ours is a party that will support the development of all regions, including the metropolitan region, and that is prepared to work together with every other political party to achieve tangible results.

Ours is a party where there is no party line, but rather a common objective of providing for people's well-being and ensuring the vitality of all regions of Quebec.

It is a party where the loyalty of every MP will be first and foremost to his or her constituents and where the MP will be a representative with freedom of speech. It is a party that believes in decentralization through adjusted and adapted federal policies.

The public needs to have a say between election campaigns, and that can be achieved through participatory democracy, democratic reforms and a different approach.

In fact, we are proposing a coalition of people of all political stripes who want to do away with doublespeak and kowtowing and who refuse to play by the outdated rules of today's politics.

I invite you all to join forces with us.

Natural Resources November 26th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the truth behind TransCanada's energy east project is that the pipeline would have a serious impact on fragile natural environments and the people living around them.

All across Quebec and in Lanaudière, farmers are concerned about their land, peat bogs and the sensitive ecosystems that are at risk. As the project continues to take shape, more and more people are speaking out against the idea of more than a million barrels of oil crossing that land every day.

Will the Minister of Natural Resources acknowledge the opposition to the energy east project and stop claiming, as the leader of the NDP has done, that a pipeline next to the St. Lawrence River is a reasonable option?

Rail Transportation November 17th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the Lac-Mégantic disaster showed that everyday citizens are the ones who have to assume the risks, including the financial risks, of shipping oil. Elected officials on Montreal's south shore are joining others in Quebec to reject this idea. They are calling on the federal government to require oil companies to create a mitigation and compensation fund for modifying dangerous infrastructure, training first responders and paying for any spills.

Instead of trying to have us, like the NDP and the Liberals, believe that the solution is to build pipelines, will the minister listen to local officials and force the creation of a mitigation and compensation fund?

Amendments to Standing Orders October 31st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to thank the leader of the Green Party.

The fundamental role of an MP, regardless of party, is to stand up for his or her constituents. All members of the House have the same rights and should have the ability to articulate their constituents' desires.

It is therefore important that all members regain the power that has been taken away from them by the political parties so that we can, by establishing new Standing Orders, restore democracy and return to members the privilege of effectively representing their constituents.