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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

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 25th, 2011

Madam Speaker, I would like to tell my former MP—since I once lived in his riding—that I would like to work with the government and with him in our vast region. We are already bringing forward proposals. Let us end this lockout. It will all be settled and people will get their mail.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 25th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the answer is simple. The public interest means respecting the rights of everyone in the country. In that way, we will be respecting the economy and the health of our businesses.

I note that the member said this is still Thursday, June 23, 2011. We also see that on the other side they keep repeating the same things. It would indeed be desirable for us to co-operate in the public interest. We are already proposing solutions. We are simply waiting for some phone calls to be able to put an end to this lockout.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 25th, 2011

Madam Speaker, let us end this lockout. Let them continue to negotiate. No one will be treated with contempt, and everyone will receive their mail.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 25th, 2011

Madam Speaker, my colleague just spoke. I just received messages on my BlackBerry because I told my constituents that I would take the floor at 10:45 a.m. They said they would wait until I rose to speak. There are currently people watching CPAC to find out what is going on. They are gaining an understanding of what the Conservatives are trying to sneak through.

Earlier, I heard the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons speak, and I thought I detected some openness there. He said that Canadians want to receive their mail. We just have to remove the locks from the doors for people to get their mail. Before the lockout, people were receiving their mail.

When will the government realize that the NDP is not preventing postal employees from working, the Conservative Party is? The Conservatives are the ones who conspired to impose the lockout. When will the government realize that it has the power to allow the postal employees to work? With the consensus in the House, we could immediately decide to let them work.

When will the government realize that it has the power to unlock the lockout? If we had a consensus, we could put an end to the lockout right now. The NDP supports reopening post offices and getting postal workers back to work. Furthermore, when will the government realize that it has the power to unlock the lockout with a simple phone call? When will the government realize that we could require the employees to go back to work by ending the lockout, while we continue to consider the rest of the special legislation before us?

When will the government realize that small businesses could receive their mail as well as send and receive packages, that seniors could receive and send letters, cheques and gifts, that both workers and the unemployed could receive their cheques, and that all Canadians could once again have access to postal service, as soon as the government agrees that it is essential to immediately end the lockout, well before voting on this bill?

When will the government realize that ending the lockout is the only way to remove the threat to the economy, a threat it created, economic losses it created? When will the government realize that preserving a healthy employer-employee relationship is the only way to ensure a company's future prosperity?

When will the government realize that creating an unhealthy climate and adding to people's workload, which already is not obvious, will hurt the economy? Has it assessed how costly an increase in the number of workplace injuries will be to our society?

When will the government realize that it is flouting the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and disregarding rights that were recognized and confirmed by the Supreme Court in 2007? When will the government realize that Canada Post is a profitable and efficient crown corporation?

Is the government's objective to increase the profits of its friends at the expense of workers? Is its objective to destabilize postal services in order to privatize this sector? When will the government realize that disregarding the rights of workers will do nothing to improve their physical and moral well-being, or the economic health of the country?

When will the government realize that in order to stand up for democracy in the world, it must also safeguard democracy here at home?

Since being elected to power, this government has thumbed its nose at democratic rights in Canada. I am talking about the rights of trade unions, the right to associate and everything connected with union rights, party financing, voting methods, the use of the media and public funds, to give you just a few examples.

When will the government realize that members have a duty to represent all citizens? They have a duty to work for all citizens. When will the government realize that the public will not put up with this kind of behaviour for very long?The official opposition is prepared to work with the government, but the government does not appear to be listening to us. The message goes in one ear and out the other.

We have a duty to represent all citizens and to do everything in our power to preserve our vested rights. Our duty is to defend our democracy and our democratic processes, along with our young people, their future and their rights. We must work together, not merely defend the interests of a select few.

Why is the government not worried about public opinion? Just like some government members, I, too, I have been flooded with words of encouragement to continue our opposition to this bill.

But what is the cost of the Conservatives' interventionist policy? The workers are paying the price by being oppressed. Negotiations require a consensus of both parties, we recognize that. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers knows that; the law recognizes it; and the people, whether they belong to a union or not, also know it; but not Canada Post and the Conservative Party.

Finally, with regard to a brief debate that took place earlier, I, too, would like to know why the minister misled the government by proposing this bill to deal with a strike. As everyone knows today, we are not dealing with a strike, but with a lockout. In fact, I would like her to take the time to explain this to us. Perhaps it was only the result of some confusion and not a premeditated act. She will now have the opportunity to clear this up or simply to explain things to us. But if the government was truly misled, this means it has introduced a bill for which there are no valid grounds. I simply want to ask the minister to take the time to reply, because we are debating this bill which may well have a questionable rationale.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 25th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, being born in 1984 and as a representative of young people, I would like to know what the hon. member thinks about the special bill, more specifically about the discrimination between the new and old employees in terms of rights and justice.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, what I can say is that there are a great many possibilities. For example, we can keep the current collective agreement.

With the unanimous consent of the House, we can do what we want. If we decided together to amend the special bill with the unanimous consent of the House, we could leave in two hours, and it would be done.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Madam Speaker, with all due respect to my colleague, I do not think that he understood my message.

I have another proposal to make: remove the locks. That way, our colleague will have his cheque, and all the entrepreneurs will have their cheques and their papers.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, like many of the MPs in the government, I too have been inundated, not with complaints, but with words of encouragement to continue our opposition to this interventionist bill.

Do the members opposite realize that their party is interventionist? The party that advocates individual and economic free enterprise at the expense of everything else is being interventionist, but not just anywhere. It is being interventionist for the sake of personal and political interests. The government is controlling workers, not companies. We are not naive. There have been other special bills like this before, but not when the Internet was in every home. Today, we can make payments by phone or by Internet. If anyone is left out, they can call their MP and people who can help them out. As others mentioned earlier, the most important cheques were being delivered. As I was saying, we are not naive. An agreement was reached between senior government officials and Canada Post to impose a lockout in order to introduce a special bill to reduce working conditions and force Canada Post employees back to work under lesser conditions.

I was listening to the radio this morning. Economists and sociologists were unanimous on this. I hope that certain people realize that their position is increasingly being challenged. The government can admit its mistake. We are prepared to work with the government to come up with a special bill that will suit all Canadians. The government would come under less criticism than if it continues on its current course. Once again, I am reaching out. I hope the government will listen to us and take our considerations and public opinion into account.

People back home fear that the current government's attitude will become more widespread and that the government will take away the fundamental rights of workers in Canada who contribute to the economy, which would not be viable if 75% of the population did not contribute to the tax base. I would like the minister to explain how she plans to deal with the potential loss of many high-quality jobs in our regions.

What do I tell the people in the various towns in my riding? They are fighting to keep their post office. The post offices are in part the heart of these villages. What do I tell people at Château Mont Ste-Anne who are currently locked out? Do I tell them to go back to minimum wage? What do I tell the AbitibiBowater retirees and workers who are worried about their pension funds? Do I tell them to go back to work until they are 70? They have paid into their pension all their life.

What do I tell the young workers in my riding and young Canadian workers? I myself am a young man. Do I tell them that they will have to work until the end of their days without security? Canadians have rights.

Is the government prepared to change its mind to suggest negotiation opportunities without flouting the workers' rights? Could this interventionist government work with us and listen to us to help Canadian workers? Could this interventionist government step back, reflect and admit its mistake?

I am reaching out. The entire NDP is reaching out. We can make other proposals for the good of the workers.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I have heard some disturbing comments from the other side of the House and also from the second opposition party, but I can understand their frustrations.

With respect to the special legislation and arbitration, what does my colleague trust? Does he trust the partisan interests of the government or the free judgment of the arbitrator?

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I would like my colleague to tell me what he thinks of the fact that the government wants the workers to return to work when there is a lockout. Does he think that it would make more sense to have the employer allow the workers to work?