House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was federal.

Last in Parliament October 2010, as Bloc MP for Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2008, with 38% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Regional Economic Development March 24th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, if I understand the minister correctly, it amounts to the same thing. As well as cutting many of the organizations funded previously, the measure is in effect for only two years, threatening their survival and undermining the ability to support businesses.

Will the minister acknowledge that his announcement is aimed solely to get through the next election and does not contribute to consolidating these organizations vital to regional development?

Regional Economic Development March 24th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' elimination of funding for not-for-profit economic organizations has hurt the economy in Quebec's regions. The Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec) reversed only somewhat the unjustified decision of his predecessor when he said that a few of the organizations in Quebec eligible before November 2007 could apply.

By refusing to reinstate the total amount cut, does the minister realize that he will be continuing to harm Quebec's regions?

Regional Development in Quebec March 9th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, the minister should consult the main estimates on page 7-2. There is no increase in the budget. It is clear and these are the numbers from his own government.

Not only is the government not making any extra effort to help the regions, but it is also making ruthless cuts to not-for-profit economic organizations.

How will the minister explain to the thousands of people in the regions who are losing their jobs that his ill-informed decision will hurt them rather than help them?

Regional Development in Quebec March 9th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, since the Conservatives have come to power, the budget for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec has decreased by more than $100 million and this year's budget has not added anything.

How can the minister explain that in the midst of a recession, his government is not making any additional effort for the regions of Quebec, many of which are being hit hard by the forestry crisis?

Budget Implementation Act, 2009 March 2nd, 2009

Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate my hon. colleague from Berthier—Maskinongé on his speech.

In his speech, he touched briefly on one sector of the economy that affects my riding in particular and his region, Trois-Rivières and Berthier—Maskinongé, that is, the softwood lumber sector. I read recently that, in addition to the businesses going bankrupt and the companies in the softwood lumber sector that are closing, all forestry operators are affected. In the budget, the Conservative government responds by telling us that no action should be taken in this sector, because it would be too dangerous. Otherwise, it could be disputed under the softwood lumber agreement. Compared to the auto industry, which is receiving billions of dollars, even though it is in loans, nevertheless, we see that there is not much in this budget for the softwood lumber agreement. I would like my colleague to say a few words about this.

Budget Implementation Act, 2009 March 2nd, 2009

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Vaudreuil-Soulanges for her wonderful speech.

I would like to give her an opportunity to continue, particularly concerning employment insurance. The government is proposing to extend the employment insurance benefit period by five weeks for those who can receive benefits. Only a minority of the population presently receives employment insurance benefits or could do so.

I would like my colleague to explain why the Bloc has demanded real employment insurance reform.

Léonard Otis February 2nd, 2009

Mr. Speaker, Léonard Otis was recently honoured by the Coalition urgence rurale du Bas-Saint-Laurent. At 84 years of age, Mr. Otis remains one of Quebec's most ardent defenders of forestry. Born on a farm in Saint-Damase, in my riding, Léonard Otis devoted himself to ensuring sustainable forestry practices to better serve humankind, not capital gain. This pioneer in agricultural and forestry trade unions held many posts in that sector for over 40 years. He became an ardent promoter of tree farming, a perfect example of sustainable development.

Léonard Otis has always maintained that it is our duty to preserve the forest in order to pass it on to future generations. Mr. Otis is a man of great courage and conviction who has shown us how to achieve balanced regional development.

The Economy December 1st, 2008

Mr. Speaker, the regions of Quebec have been penalized by this government, which is stubbornly keeping the cuts to the not-for-profit economic organizations that provide structure for regional development in Quebec.

Does the Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec) understand that because of his government's stubborn ideological approach to these organizations, Conservatives from Quebec no longer have any credibility when they talk about the economy?

Forestry Industry November 26th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, not only must the government help this industry by promoting the use of forest products, but it must also help the communities affected by the forestry crisis, which has been exacerbated by the current economic slowdown.

To support his community, does the Minister of Finance intend to bring back a program to support diversification in the regions hit hard by the forestry crisis?


Mr. Speaker, that is not very generous. I have only 30 seconds to respond to such a broad question.

In my opinion, the federal election was useless, as is the one currently going on in Quebec. Let me be clear. An election was called when we were heading towards a major crisis. The House of Commons was called to meet as quickly as possible, but nothing has been proposed. I hope that is not what will happen in Quebec after the election. Since there is an election going on in Quebec, I hope that the government will react much more strongly and quickly.