House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was conservatives.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Compton—Stanstead (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 27% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Riding of Compton—Stanstead September 27th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, since this is my first speech here in the House, I would like to sincerely thank the people of Compton—Stanstead for their courage in voting for change.

Having been elected, I vowed to work for everyone in my riding, regardless of their allegiance and their beliefs. Over the next four years, I will try to help this government, which was elected by only 39% of Canadians, to see its social and economic policies more clearly in order to guarantee a more prosperous and fair future for all Canadians.

I would also like to congratulate the organizers of the Virée gourmande, or gourmet tour, that was held on September 24 and 25 as part of the Comptonales festival. The goal of this agro-food event was to highlight the quality and contributions of the region's farmers, whose products are the pride of the region. Whether at the Ferland orchard, BioBon, the Tremblay winery, Domaine Ives Hill or the Fromagerie La Station, just to name a few, the determination—

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, people have to start by showing goodwill at the negotiating table. That is the essential principle on which any good negotiation rests. It may take 6, 8 or 18 months. The letter carriers guaranteed that they would provide services during negotiations in good faith between the two parties.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Richmond—Arthabaska for his question.

All this is going to do is poison working conditions and relations. Moreover, the imposition of an “orphan clause” will make things even worse by creating two salary scales. This provision was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada in a judgment involving the Sherbrooke municipal police force and the City of Sherbrooke, which had created a second salary scale. This is no way to settle the conflict and bring about labour peace.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, as we have said repeatedly during the night, the workers are ready to go back to work. It is that simple. They are ready to negotiate an agreement peacefully, as equals.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, it is quite simple. The solution is at the bargaining table. Let us remove the locks and make the parties sit down with one another.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I see that the calendar on the table says June 23. That should be corrected since today is June 24. Last night, few francophone members spoke but some will this morning. I will speak in French from start to finish. I would appreciate it if questions were asked in French given that this is Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day.

We remain optimistic about the resolution of the dispute but, as the hon. member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord said earlier, both parties must demonstrate goodwill. When both parties are present, they must frankly discuss the problem and resolve it.

For several weeks and a few days, the government has been wanting to violate the fundamental rights of Canadian workers, not just those who are unionized but also those who are not. The working class's battle to have its rights respected is not something new. Unfortunately, with this Conservative government, it is an ongoing battle.

The government is quick to attack fundamental rights such as the right of association and freedom of expression, which are guaranteed by section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as, by extension, the right to peacefully negotiate working conditions in accordance with the fundamental principle of labour relations—industrial peace. We wonder how far the government will go. All night long, the Conservatives have been nasty, arrogant and sarcastic and have shown a total lack of respect for human rights. That is what this is all about.

Freedom of association is the freedom to combine together for the pursuit of a common purpose. This fundamental freedom, along with freedom of opinion and expression, come within the realm of civil and political human rights, which find affirmation in the Constitution. The government must respect this right and can only infringe it by a rule of law, within limits that are reasonable and demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. These are not my words, but those of Justice Bastarache, in Dunmore v. Ontario.

It is mind-boggling. I have been awake for 24 hours. Furthermore, I am somewhat intimidated by the quality of the interventions by all these people around me. This is my first speech. I would like to say hello to the members of my fans club who, I am sure, are watching me at 7 a.m. on CPAC.

Yesterday, I listened to the hon. member for Beauce try to give us a crash course in economics and quote such outdated and utopian theorists that you would think we were back in the 19th century. I get the impression that his colleague, the labour minister, attended the same university, because she wants to take us straight back to the 18th century when it comes to labour relations. It might be time for the members opposite to come up to speed by studying more pragmatic theorists given that modern civilization has evolved. Extreme capitalism is dead. That is what started the economic crisis. They are going backwards.

When a bill is introduced to dictate working conditions that are less favourable than those previously negotiated, and without acknowledging this fact and claiming the contrary, it makes us wonder where the government has been these past few weeks. Is there a pilot on board? That is how I would summarize the past few days.

We are moving towards an abyss, the suffering of the working class. The gap between the ruling class and the working class is widening once again. What will happen? Which services will be privatized in the coming weeks and months? What is this government's hidden agenda? Will it be honest with us?

Through no fault of their own, postal workers are often seen as spoiled public servants. I would like to challenge a government member to do the work of the letter carriers, day after day. Perhaps then they would understand the frustration of these workers, who do not deserve what is being imposed on them.

Yesterday, while listening to the leader of the official opposition, I said to myself that it was a great speech by a great democrat. I am proud to be a member of this party, which defends the interests of all Canadians. Is there anyone opposite who will rise and say that today they wish to stand up for the working class or the middle class and all the interests of Canadians?

I am a little nervous, and I will end on that note. Thank you for listening. This is what this is all about.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I was born in Asbestos. An entire generation of workers have talked to me about the conflict that took place under a government that was in power in a period that we call the great darkness in Quebec. We will see how history will depict the government opposite.

I would like to ask my hon. colleague from Chambly—Borduas what will be the social cost of a collective agreement that is not negotiated, a bogus agreement. Once again, the gap between rich and poor is growing and is greater than ever before.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency June 13th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the E. coli outbreak in Germany gives Canadians even more reasons to worry about the safety of Canada's food. In fact, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food patted himself on the back for the hiring of 170 people by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, but refused to say how many were hired as inspectors.

How many of these new employees will act as inspectors and protect Canadians?

Food Safety June 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, with the E. coli outbreak in Europe, in Germany in particular, Canadians have good reason to be concerned about the safety of their food. This crisis emerged despite the fact that Germany has a better food inspection system than Canada.

Can the government assure Canadians that our food inspection system will protect them from this type of harm?