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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was conservatives.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Laurentides—Labelle (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 44% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act May 11th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak to Bill C-38, a perfect bill for the paper shredder. The Cascades paper company would be happy to de-ink the confetti and make useful, recycled paper out of it.

The death of democracy is seldom sudden. It is almost always a slow and painful death caused by indifference, apathy and cynicism. The first signs of this death are the authoritarian regime's loss of perspective and its insensitivity towards the people. Next, people lose their freedom and the means to criticize the regime.

I would like to read a quote in English. I am relying on the interpreters to ensure that the member opposite understands.

“There is no doubt that dictatorship is a much more efficient way to govern”. That was George W. Bush.

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act May 11th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the member for Mississauga—Streetsville's speech, but unfortunately, I have not reached the same conclusions as he.

Certain facts cannot be denied. Canada is in an enviable position compared to other countries, but that is in spite of the government, not thanks to it.

I remember an election campaign a few years back just before the crisis hit. The Prime Minister accused those who saw the crisis coming of being defeatist and enemies of Canada. Today we see the same thing happening. It is all well and good to boast about how strong our banking system is, but it is worth pointing out that our banking system is strong because it is better regulated than those of other countries.

In the long term, if we continue down this path, we are headed for chaos. I would like to know what my colleague thinks about that.

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act May 10th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I want thank the hon. member for her excellent speech. She seems to have a good grasp of time and space, unlike the members opposite.

For days I have been hearing about “future generations”, “long-term growth”, “our children” and “our grandchildren”. In my riding of Laurentides—Labelle, thousands of my constituents are affected by the forestry crisis and the government is doing absolutely nothing about it. I wonder whether, amongst all this rambling rhetoric and everything they stuffed into Bill C-38, there is a single concrete measure for the people living in today's reality.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act March 16th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that the bill does not take into account the fact that the people we are discussing are human beings and that there are special cases. I would like my colleague to talk more about that.

I am thinking of some very specific cases. We have heard the government's outrage over the treatment of the former prime minister of Ukraine, who is in jail for fraud or something. Everyone agrees that the charges were bogus.

If she were to seek asylum tomorrow for health reasons or in order to escape certain death, because she will spend her life in prison and she has health problems, the government would say that she is a criminal who has been found guilty of fraud and she cannot enter Canada. If my colleague is unable to answer, I would like the minister to explain what he would do in that specific situation.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act March 12th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, earlier, I asked the minister a question and he did not really give me an answer.

I am wondering what will happen to refugees who arrive at our borders in some very specific cases. In general, I find that Canada's international reputation has suffered greatly. We have always been regarded as a progressive country that is open to people from all over the world who need our help. Our reputation is being greatly compromised. We have become a host country for the brothers-in-law of dictators who come and buy luxury mansions in our posh neighbourhoods, in Montreal, for instance. Construction companies are going to build prisons in Libya and others will provide electricity to a corrupt regime in Syria. We are losing ground all along the line.

What are we going to say to Kurdish refugees who come from Syria without papers? Are we going to invite them to stay, saying that we have safe housing with bars on the windows and that they can stay there for at least a year, and maybe up to five years? I did not really like the minister's response.

These are the questions that are raised by such a shoddy bill. This bill affects so many aspects of our international reputation that we have to wonder if we will ever re-establish it. And, of course, there are also the Canadian security firms, or security firms operated by Canadians, who help fleeing dictators by taking care of logistics for them.

We are wondering where the government is going with our international policy in general. Bill C-31 sends a very bad message. Soon we will be the laughingstock of the world.

Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act March 12th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, the question I would like the minister to answer has to do with some aspects of Bill C-31 that raise some very serious concerns.

For instance, in Syria, there are between 400,000 and 500,000 Kurds who have no identification. The births of Kurdish children are not even registered. These people are going to wind up with no identity. When these people want to seek refuge in Canada—where we are supposed to be open to real immigrants and refugees who really need our help—are we going to tell them that if they come to Canada without any papers, without a passport, they will be thrown in prison until they can be identified, for perhaps up to five years?

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act March 6th, 2012

Madam Speaker, what I cannot stand about this debate are all the rather extreme terms used by the government, as if Canada were being invaded by bogus refugees. We are just trying to warn them about certain realities.

I am sure that everyone empathizes with Syrians, who are going through an absolutely horrible crisis at present. However, almost 2 million Kurds live in Syria, and about 400,000 to 500,000 of them have no papers. For the past 30 years or so, Syria has refused to register the birth of Kurdish children and has refused to issue passports and identification papers to Kurds. If Kurds are trying to flee Syria right now, we would have to tell them to come to Canada, where they will be detained in a lovely prison for perhaps five or six years.

There are concrete examples to back up our concerns and our questions. In my riding, an Algerian family is facing deportation simply because their claim was not legitimate. They were threatened for several years, but those who were threatening them were armed on only one occasion. The government now considers the situation in Algeria to be stable. However, these people are here with their two children who were born in Algeria and their third who is a Canadian citizen. They are wondering if they are going to be able to stay. They are model citizens who have successfully integrated into their community. They have the support of their entire town. Nevertheless, they may be forced to return to Algeria and face the people who tried to steal their business.

Letting ministers make arbitrary rulings on all sorts of situations is risky. There are examples here in our country. One minister looks at a garden shed in Attawapiskat and says that it is a house. He sees two trailers pushed together and that becomes a school or a community centre. We are wondering whether people who are living in similar conditions in another country and who want to come here would be eligible for refugee status.

Europe is full of lovely law-abiding countries with very advanced legal systems like ours, where life is wonderful unless you are Roma. In fact, in France, Italy and everywhere in Eastern Europe, the Roma are persecuted. They are imprisoned, their camps are destroyed and their vehicles are seized. Hungary, which according to the minister is a beautiful, safe country, is infested with right-wing extremist, neo-Nazi and homophobic groups. That may be why, all of a sudden, many people want to leave.

We have to ask ourselves some questions. What type of country do we want to become? Do we want to be a country that imprisons minors? A country that goes after permanent residents who have successfully integrated into the community? A country that deports children who were born here? We do not want to be added to the list of countries that are not safe for refugees. Our country sees everything from a trade and investment perspective. International trade is a good thing, but it was not so long ago that the brother-in-law of Tunisia's president and an investor, Mr. Trabelsi, was welcome here. He bought a mansion in Westmount. Libya was a good place to invest. Today, Gadhafi huggers are much less popular.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act February 13th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I just have a small problem with the debate on Bill C-19. I would like the member for Nipissing—Timiskaming to explain what he means by a law-abiding citizen. I thought I was one because, when the bill was passed, I registered all my guns. I keep them under lock and key in my home and I obey the law.

I bought a rifle in December and it is registered. Many people did the same thing. Is the law-abiding citizen the person who, like me, registers his guns, or is it the person who is told to not register his guns because the registry will be abolished and we are going to get rid of this law?

I would like to know who is the law-abiding citizen: the person who obeys the Conservatives or the person who obeys the law?

Pensions February 8th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the members opposite that the Prime Minister and his government are improvising at every turn and saying things to scare anyone approaching retirement. One of my constituents has worked hard her whole life to raise her son and even send him to university. She will be 65 in May and she is extremely worried. She is wondering what will happen to her and how much longer she will have to work.

If the Prime Minister has no intention of touching that, he needs to say so unequivocally, because millions of Canadians are worried at this time and are wondering what their futures hold.

Ending the Long-gun Registry Act February 7th, 2012

Madam Speaker, as for breaking the law, it was voted on by Parliament under a previous government. This government strongly urged gun owners to disobey the law and gladly promised that it would scrap the legislation. Encouraging people to disobey the law—and then accusing others of wanting to criminalize them after the fact—is just wrong.

Earlier, the minister mentioned the very young ages of some of our elected representatives. I have a great deal of admiration for my party's young MPs. These young people are serious, hard-working individuals who are doing an excellent job. The minister needs to remember that we were all elected to Parliament and we all represent Canadians. If he wants to base his actions on the legitimacy of his mandate and act nonsensically, leading the procedure any which way, I must remind him that there are rules we must follow. That is all we are asking for today.