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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

Employment February 3rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is a shame because I was talking about the skills link program, but in his answer, he talked about everything but that program.

I recently found out that the Charlevoix chamber of commerce has also been waiting nine months for an answer about a project that was supposed to start in September 2014. I am not talking about a project that nobody in the department knew about. On the contrary, this is about years of partnership, tangible results and an 80% youth employment retention rate. What more could the minister want?

Despite the fact that the minister has been aware of the problems with the skills link program for months—nearly a year, actually—he has not done anything about it. The system is broken. We see that clearly on the ground. The program has been dismantled and the program officers have been muzzled.

I would love to hear the minister explain why these many problems exist. Has he lost control of his department, or is he coming up with a new version of the program that will do even more harm to worker training organizations?

Employment February 3rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the youth unemployment rate is very worrisome. It has never been this high.

There is currently a youth employment crisis in Canada. It is a crisis that the government refuses to acknowledge, just as it refuses to acknowledge its abysmal job creation record. The youth unemployment rate reached its highest level in April 2008, before the recession. The official unemployment rate was then 11.8%. In September 2011, the youth unemployment rate reached 14%. Today, it is approaching 16%. That is about double the Quebec rate, which is around 7.6%. Canada's unemployment rate is 6.6%

However, programs such as skills link, which directly supports youth facing barriers to employment, are being dismantled by the Minister of Employment . Despite a youth unemployment rate of 16%, the minister tolerates the intolerable, that is, never-ending delays and broken partnerships with solid organizations with a proven track record, but whose future is now in jeopardy.

Does the minister not realize that leading organizations in our communities are waiting for him to take action, and also that his lack of action is hurting youth in need who could get help finding a job with well-established projects under the skills link program if only they were able to get the nod?

Is that the government's plan, to deliberately leave these young people out in the cold, people who need a little helping hand to improve their quality of life and take charge in order to find or keep a job? The Conservatives have already abandoned the regions and now they are abandoning our youth.

Young people are waiting for a nod from the government to contribute to the economy of their region. They are waiting for a nod to discover the dignity and pride that comes from getting a job. Will the minister give them the nod?

On November 25, 2014, I was asking the minister in this House about some problems related to the skills link program. To provide some background, my question on November 25 was about shedding some light on why the many applications for subsidies under the skills link program have been gathering dust for over a year. It took 18 months for a simple acknowledgement of receipt, while other integration projects were rejected entirely.

In my question to the minister, I asked him specifically why the youth employment centres in the Quebec City region all had their applications rejected. Their applications to implement a social and occupational integration program, a project that Service Canada has been a partner to for 10 years, were rejected out of hand.

Will the minister say that the projects were rejected for lack of funding? That would be too easy. There is more to it than that. When the program no longer has any funding, officials know it. However, in this case, the officials are being shut out and no longer understand what is happening with the program. The skills link program was working and was helping young people find employment.

I also met with young participants in the Chantiers urbains program, a project run by the Quebec City youth employment centre. I was touched by their stories and surprised at the ingenuity with which the staff carry out social and occupational integration projects while providing support to these young people to help them succeed.

The minister must take into account the efforts made by employment and training organizations to provide young people with a unique experience and a launch pad to success.

Twenty-two organizations, including 14 in Quebec, have contacted their MP to find out whether they could expect any funding soon. Most of them have been taking part in the program for many years. Some of these partnerships have been in place for eight or 10 years, and this is the first time they have faced such delays.

When will the minister take action?

Business of Supply January 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it goes without saying that the Prime Minister of Canada should meet with Canada's premiers. The NDP fully agrees with that and we have been saying it for a long time now.

I believe this goes beyond collegiality. The Prime Minister has a duty here. This is how Canada was founded.

I fail to understand the Prime Minister's attitude or his vision for working with Canada's premiers. In fact, he has no vision with regard to working with them.

Does the hon. member agree that this goes beyond collegiality, that there is a duty here and that in the future, prime ministers, such as our leader, the hon. member for Outremont and future prime minister, will indeed work with the premiers?

Petitions January 29th, 2015

Lastly, Mr. Speaker, the final petitions are calling for an end to the cuts to the CBC.

Petitions January 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, some of the other petitions are calling for the protection of beluga whales in the St. Lawrence.

Petitions January 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, other petitions are calling for an end to the cuts at Canada Post.

Petitions January 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I have before me hundreds of petitions, which I am pleased to present in the House today.

Some of these petitions have to do with creating an ombudsman position for the extractive sector.

Employment January 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we cannot simply sit back and do nothing while jobs continue to disappear. We in the NDP are working hard to ensure that more jobs are created for Canadian families.

A year ago, I asked the Minister of Employment whether the government had a plan to save high quality jobs in the Charlevoix region after General Cable shut down. Instead of an answer or concrete action, we have seen nothing but contempt from the Conservatives.

Now, in just a few days, the Resolute Forest Products plant in Clermont will be shutting down a machine, another tough blow for the workers of Charlevoix.

What is the minister's plan to boost employment and the manufacturing sector?

Michel Guimond January 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, last Monday we heard the sad news that my predecessor, Michel Guimond, had passed away unexpectedly.

I want to pay tribute to this political figure, here, in the House where he sat as the member for Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord from 1993 to 2011.

Political differences aside, I want to pay tribute to this larger-than-life man whose sole focus was the well-being of his constituents

Michel was a caring man who was committed to his community. Everyone was on a first-name basis with him, and he had an exceptional ability to make a connection with the people he met.

I hope that his children, Isabelle and Alexandre, his grandson Olivier and his partner Johanne will always remember how Michel lived his life to the fullest and how he dedicated the best part of his life to serving others.

Drug-Free Prisons Act December 8th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Québec for her very enlightening speech on the Conservative government's choices.

The previous question was about sending people to prison and not allocating any resources to provide the basic services they need.

In Canada, the government has been passing so-called tough-on-crime bills to send more people to prison. The provinces often end up footing the bill, and there are now more people in provincial prisons.

I do not know what my colleague thinks about this, but the government makes decisions without consulting the provinces, although that is a very important part of every decision, and without regard for who will be footing the bill.