House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was conservatives.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 18% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Fair Representation Act December 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the minster on one point, and the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay expressed it quite well. Yes, we are here to represent our constituents; however, right now, the government is preventing us from representing them and speaking on their behalf.

This bill ignores certain realities and is really out of touch with the realities in our regions. I have the impression that the Conservative government does not realize just how toxic this attitude is for the future of our country. And here, we are indeed talking about the future.

Why does the government not recognize the role of parliamentarians? Why does it not recognize the role of the media who study what is happening in the House and explain it to Canadians. Bill after bill, members are not being given the opportunity to study legislation in sufficient depth. On our side, we are not able to examine bills as much as we would like.

How does the government expect us to be able to do our work? How does it expect the media to be able to do its work? Do the Conservatives believe in our democracy? Do they believe in the work of the media and parliamentarians? Do they believe in the judgment of our fellow Canadians? The next election will be held in four years. These boundaries will apply only four years from now. Why the rush? We have four years to debate this issue.

Canada Post December 1st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, day in, day out, the Conservatives refuse to recognize the importance of rural post offices. Cuts to Canada Post and the closure of postal outlets will deprive these communities of essential services and an important economic development tool. The Conservatives' campaign slogan was “our region in power”. If they want to give power to the regions, we have to work together. We know where the regions are, but we are still looking for the power.

Will the government commit to maintaining services everywhere, in all the regions?

Safe Streets and Communities Act November 30th, 2011

Madam Speaker, what I just heard is very upsetting and disappointing. There are no words to describe it.

This Conservative government is undemocratic. It could not care less about the opinions of Canadians. Yes, there is the issue of our role as legislators, but it goes beyond the debates in this House. There is also the role of the media. How will they examine bills if a new bill can bury the previous one, which we have not even finished examining? The media, externally, and legislators both have roles to play. This is merely a tactic to prevent us from raising the issues we see in the government's bills. It has to be changed.

Business of Supply November 25th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his speech. At 11:35 a.m. today in question period, the member for Beauce said it is very important that bills be studied thoroughly. I wonder if my colleague could comment on that statement. Why does this government seem to have so many double standards?

Tadoussac Song Festival November 25th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the Festival de la chanson de Tadoussac has been celebrating French song for 28 years. This event features emerging artists who perform various types of music and it attracts people from everywhere, close to 38,000 in 2010. The festival's economic spinoffs exceed $1.7 million. This shows how the festival has expanded over the years.

During the Canadian Tourism Awards Gala, which took place on November 24 in Ottawa, the Festival de la chanson de Tadoussac was a finalist for the national award for cultural tourism. I want to acknowledge this recognition, which is the result of the hard work the organizers and volunteers have put in to make this festival a model to follow.

Congratulations and long live the Festival de la chanson de Tadoussac.

Copyright Modernization Act November 24th, 2011

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

No, I do not believe that $75 is a reasonable amount. However, I do feel that there should be a levy on those types of products. The NDP also believes that. I particularly like—“like” being one way of saying it—the way the hon. member delivered his question. He spoke about an tax on iPods. That demonstrates the government's attitude and desire to create an image surrounding the proposals that would create a balance between the rich and the less fortunate people in the industry. Some people like to use the word “tax” to scare people, but in reality, it is not a tax. The same decision to deal with this issue was made some time ago for blank videotapes and CDs. We did not have to pay $50 for a videotape to record our shows.

Copyright Modernization Act November 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, it will have short-, medium- and long-term effects.

As I said in my speech, I have kept my course notes and textbooks. I remember what is in them. I do not necessarily remember the details, but I remember that a certain textbook can answer my question and I will look it up. It might be a historical fact or something else. During the education process, if we succeed one year, we continue to delve deeper in our studies the following year, but we will still need past information. So, yes, this has immediate as well as medium- and long-term effects.

Copyright Modernization Act November 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, in fact, I was just saying that there are good measures and bad measures and grey areas in this bill. We do not disagree with everything. We have to stand up together and debate the bill in order to improve it and add things that are missing. Unfortunately, judging by the question from the hon. member from the government side, it seems she was not listening to what I was saying. She seems to be asking only about measures that the Conservatives happen to think are good. They are not listening to what we are proposing in order to improve their bill.

Copyright Modernization Act November 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, today we are debating Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act. I am part of the generation that was born with technology at our fingertips. I think many of the members on this side of the House are part of that generation and have had digital technology at their fingertips from birth. We have a great deal to offer this government, thanks to our vast experience with digital technology, when it comes to its future in relation to copyright. Any time we talk about copyright, it invariably concerns this technology.

Seeing any initiative to modernize copyright makes me very hopeful. However, when I open this bill, I see many shortcomings that will or could create problems. When I get up in the morning, I organize my entire day on my smart phone. I organize all aspects of my day, including my work, my personal life and my family life. It is also my source of entertainment. My entire world is becoming digitized and will become even more so.

Right now, I have the notes for my speech on a tablet computer. I can transfer data on my tablet, which I can take with me, to my office computer or to my desktop at home, for personal use. In this bill, there are grey areas with regard to the transfer of data that we purchase for personal use. We do not know exactly what will happen. That is one of my concerns about this bill. We do not know what we will legally be able to do with products we have paid for.

I am now going to talk about the impact that this bill will have on the school system. When I finished school—high school, college and skills training—I kept all my notes and all the relevant manuals that I bought or that were given to me at school. There are many that I still use. If today's students cannot use information for more than 30 days during their studies, how will they be able to do reasonably good work without paying even more? They should at least be able to use the information that they purchase throughout the entire course of their studies.

In the past, people had to fight over the two or three copies of a book that the university had and that they needed for their studies. Today, universities have implemented systems to solve this problem. The last thing we want to do is throw a wrench into this system, as my colleague mentioned earlier. We also do not want to impose time limits on the use of information that people will obtain in the future.

I am part of the generation that grew up with this technology. How can emerging artists, who are often young people, succeed if they reap hardly any economic benefit at all from their new creations? Royalties were paid to artists on videocassettes and CDs when they first came out, and that is still the case today. However, artists are receiving fewer and fewer royalties and eventually they will no longer receive any at all. It would be nice if we could adapt royalties to new technology. For example, artists could be paid royalties for every digital player to which their content is added.

That is something that is not in this bill. It complicates the lives of emerging artists, which are complicated enough as it is. These artists are not as well-off and they are unable to profit from their creativity and earn a living from it.

There is something else that I find a little disturbing. My colleague who spoke before me addressed this issue, which is the attitude of the current Conservative government. Right off the bat, with every bill, it systematically moves a motion to limit debate—a gag order. The government did it again with this bill. On this side of the House, we want to debate. We rise to defend our points of view, but right now we are faced with a government that does not even rise to defend its own bill.

It would be interesting to hear the Conservatives' arguments about why we should vote in favour of this bill. At the same time, we could propose amendments and they could listen in order to improve the bill. Because we agree with the idea behind it. We want to modernize the Copyright Act. However, there are some parts that need to be improved. It would be nice if the government changed its attitude a bit and was more open. It could include us in the debate, because we can do a lot to improve the bills it introduces, and it could see the other side of the story.

I want to briefly come back to the fast-changing digital technology that uses a host of products for all sorts of possible purposes. We cannot adopt just one measure for all these different products on the market. For example, if I get a product from a provider, I want to be able to keep the product I purchased, even if I have to change providers. New products come on the market and some might be compatible. If I need a new tool that has just come on the market, but my provider does not use that service, I have no choice but to change how I use my tools and change providers. Nonetheless, I want to keep my tools.

These examples show that we cannot have just one measure for all the tools we might use. There remains some work to do, because there are some matters that are not addressed in this bill.

In closing, I would like to come back to the government's current attitude. We, on this side of the House, have a lot to bring to this bill, and many others, because we are talking about the future of our country in terms of technology. That is the case, for example, with the bill on our institutions. The future of our country is at stake. It would be worthwhile to talk about this at greater length and to listen to what people have to say.

Senate Reform Act November 22nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I have a comment for the hon. member for Richmond—Arthabaska concerning his preamble.

Earlier, he said that we could not denigrate the other chamber when in fact the government is constantly doing just that, so I do not think that we are prevented from making such remarks about the other chamber. We can say that the Senate has never done its job and is still not doing it.

Does my colleagues think that the Senate is going to be able to do its job in the future as a result of this new bill?