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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

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act February 6th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, most of the people who have talked to me about the gun registry have asked me the same question. Where did the $2 billion spent on the registry go? People want to know where that money went before the registry is destroyed.

The Conservatives are so obsessed about economics, so why are they not asking themselves that question? Sure, they inherited a messed-up registry from the Liberals, but most of the mismanagement that made the registry so inefficient happened on the Conservatives' watch. Should the government not have a duty to the public to at least try to find out where the money went before destroying the registry?

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act January 31st, 2012

Madam Speaker, we hear the same thing every day in the news: the Americans have just announced that they are keeping their interest rates ridiculously low for the next three or four years. The Bank of Canada is saying more or less the same thing. The global economy is stagnating and the crisis in Europe is far from over. This is going to have negative consequences. Betting on financial markets is just about the last thing to do these days.

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act January 31st, 2012

Madam Speaker, it seems to me that this plan will provide a secure retirement for the managers of these funds. There are two important criteria involved in ensuring the success of such an undertaking. I listened to all the specialists and heard every analysis imaginable. Such a plan would require immense volume and everyone would have to participate. That is the only way to ensure a stable return in the long term. Once again, this is a voluntary plan. Not all employers will participate. We do not know what will happen with the financial markets in the long term or what type of returns this plan will generate.

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act January 31st, 2012

Madam Speaker, one thing is clear: it is difficult to govern a country and simultaneously consider each and every citizen of that country. Governments must make choices on behalf of citizens. They must not favour certain groups of citizens over others. It is becoming increasingly clear that, under our government, it is better to be rich and in good health rather than poor and unwell.

The right to live in dignity is not a right that belongs solely to certain age groups or social classes. Attempting to make this a generational issue by using the demographics argument is a little pathetic. Any thinking person understands that everyone grows old and that we all have an expiry date. Unfortunately, some people were born at the wrong time and they will be forced to wait two or three years to receive their old age pension. The Conservatives say that they will not go down this path, however, generally, when they talk about something, they unfortunately usually follow through with it.

If the Prime Minister and his predecessors only just realized that demographics are real and that changes are inevitable, that is unfortunate. The only hope that then remains for certain segments of the public is reincarnation. They believe that, perhaps next time, the chips will fall more favourably.

Bill C-25 is a prime example. The Conservatives call them pooled registered pension plans, when they should be called “swimming pool of champagne for banks and insurance companies”. The plan is surreal. It did not work in Australia, where, after 10 years, it has barely managed to keep up with inflation.

A mandatory public system would ensure a sufficient volume of investments and give Canadians a safety net. Fragmenting the system by creating a new entity will lead us nowhere. The financial sector and banks brought us to the brink of an abyss, and our economy almost slipped in a few years ago. I do not see why things would be any different in the future.

If we are on the brink of the abyss, perhaps the Conservatives are going to give us a little nudge forward. I do not exactly consider that desirable. I have difficulty giving any credibility to a government that tells people that they will have to wait two years to get their old age pension cheque, while at the same time signing a blank cheque over to Lockheed Martin for aircraft that may or may not even get airborne. I find that a tad irresponsible.

I think the government’s priorities committee has a little problem, because the first thing it focused on when Parliament returned was Canadians’ right to hang a flag on their balcony, when many Canadians do not even have a balcony or even have a home. I think that is something to think about.

My constituents are asking me the question much more simply. They are asking me what those people are smoking.

When I hear the government’s promises, I feel like I am listening to the cannibal chief telling me there are no more cannibals because they ate the last one the night before.

I do not see why, after looting the savings of millions of people around the world, the financial industry would suddenly become generous and not gobble up the principal with management fees and annual bonuses of $800,000 or $900,000 or $1 million. I do not see what a bill like this can contribute.

There are already systems that are working, like the Canadian system and the Quebec system. Those systems just need to be improved. But what they are going to do is provide what amounts to an open bar for the big financial corporations that are going to get rich off it. The only thing I see as extremely unfortunate is that in the House, we really do not have to worry about it because our pension fund is indexed and we do not have to be afraid for our future. It will be really unfortunate, however, for the people who have scraped together a little money and gone without basic necessities so they could save, when they see that their money has been invested in projects like Bre-X or outfits like that. They will really be living in poverty.

I think the government is on the wrong track yet again. Dividing people accomplishes nothing. These days, we hear that the baby boomers are wallowing in money and they are all in Florida playing golf and eating bacon and then they come home for their health care, but that is not the reality. I see ordinary people my age or a little older who have worked very hard all their lives. They are looking at having nothing and they are worried. They are not worried about the right to hang a flag on their balcony. They are worried about their future and their children’s future.

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act December 15th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member just raised some rather interesting questions about this bill. My concern is that we are giving citizens a role that is already the responsibility of the police. There have been times when I had to get involved in situations where I had to physically restrain someone who was being aggressive or the like. Those situations are always serious. They endanger our lives, and emotions are running high. Is there not a risk that people who feel that they have their wits about them enough to take control of a dangerous situation will be tempted to act a bit like a judge and to take things a little bit further?

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act December 15th, 2011

Madam Speaker, I would like to know whether my colleague agrees with me. The original idea of protecting people who defend their property is a good one, but what I am questioning is the context in which this bill was introduced. It was introduced as the last in a series of tough on crime bills, as they like to say on the other side. I see a danger for this to be interpreted differently by the people who support this type of policy. I fear that people will start acting like police officers and intervene in all kinds of situations. I think we should be cautious and think about this bill carefully to prevent people from thinking they are on a mission from God and intervening in all kinds of situations.

Fair Representation Act December 13th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, my colleague across the floor seems to really know his history. He seems to know a lot and appears to have done his homework, but I nevertheless have the impression that he is skipping over a few details.

Quebec has some concerns about this bill because we will lose some representation. If we look at history, at the time of Confederation, Manitoba's population was predominantly francophone. At that time, there were Lessards, Lemieux and Lamoureux, whose names were pronounced with a French accent. The same names exist today, except they are pronounced with an English accent.

From our perspective, when we look at a proposition like the one before us, we see a net loss for us. Incidentally, I would remind the member that the burning of the Parliament of Canada in Montreal was the result of a riot started by the Tories at the time.

Fair Representation Act December 13th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the member from the other side made a very impressive speech. I cannot imagine being so sure about so many things.

Our societies are becoming increasingly complex, and demagogues are always tempted to find simple solutions that generally do not work. The member said that the main problem is representation by population. That might be true if we lived in the United States or elsewhere in the world, where that is a basic principle. But I do not understand how he can ignore all of the other factors, such as the representation of aboriginals, women and visible minorities, and historic facts, such as the notion of the founding peoples of Canada.

How can he ignore all of the other issues and conclude that there is only one problem?

Copyright Modernization Act December 12th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, my colleague's speech got me thinking.

If we are prohibiting copying and forcing people to destroy data, would it not make sense to think about destroying old bills that have already been introduced? This would mean less paper hanging around and would save power.

Fair Representation Act December 9th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, my colleague on the other side raised some important issues: the quality of representation and the urgency of the situation.

Urgency means something different to me. What is urgent for my constituents and my riding is solving problems. For example, I live in a community affected by the forestry crisis. The five largest employers in the region have closed their doors. People have much more serious worries, such as the lack of Internet access, for example. Service Canada services are being moved online, so people in my riding do not have access to these services right now.

As for quality of representation, everyone working here should be more productive and target the problems that the public deems more serious and practical.