House of Commons photo

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

Senate Reform Act December 8th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, before concerning ourselves with the retirees in the other place who sit around twiddling their thumbs, we should begin by ensuring that the 308 members here succeed in producing results for the public. I feel it when I meet with the public. They tell us that the system is ineffective and that we get paid to do nothing. It hurts me to hear that because I did not come here to do nothing and neither did my colleagues. We are even prepared to work with our friends across the way. That is why we are proposing amendments. The hon. members opposite should at least look at those amendments before voting against them.

Senate Reform Act December 8th, 2011

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

We would very likely do something else because there are far more pressing matters that need our attention, such as ensuring that our aboriginal communities do not have to turn to the Red Cross for help, or ensuring that our seniors are not living in poverty. There are plenty of other things to do. Personally, on my list, the Senate is item Z-270.

Senate Reform Act December 8th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, at the very least, when we want to reform an important institution—I say “important” because unfortunately it still is—the first step would at least be to consult the provincial and territorial partners and the public, instead of improvising like this. People across Canada are intelligent and reasonable. They are capable of forming an opinion if we ask them to. Taking action without any consultation means you can do whatever you want, as those across the way are proving in this House.

Senate Reform Act December 8th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, to the title “An Act respecting the selection of senators”, I would add “to ensure that the Senate resembles the bar scene in Star Wars”, as my colleague said. Senators appointed for life, senators elected through some crazy, vague process, all at the provinces' expense, people who lost elections, friends: the Senate is a goldmine for comedians.

Before reforming an institution like that, it is important to do a bit of thinking. In countries where several nations or ethnic groups share the territory, when there has been improvisation or when thoughtless things have been done, we have seen results as in Czechoslovakia, India or Belgium—we still see it today. When there is tension between different groups and someone decides unilaterally to limit the political force of one of those groups, it leads to conflict. That is what we are heading for.

Every constituent I speak to wants to know when the Senate will be abolished. Everyone thinks that getting rid of an outdated symbol of the monarchy would be an essential first step in parliamentary reform. We have to wonder where the government is going. This is the same government that lamented the presence in the House of a party that dreamed of dividing Canada. Let me say that the Prime Minister and his government seem to be even better at doing that themselves.

I ran in the election to represent the people of Laurentides—Labelle primarily because, like them, I could no longer take the government's sterile confrontation and inaction on important issues. People back home are not scared of cyberpredators and criminals. They are scared that the sawmills will remain closed and their children will move away to find work. The Senate does not even register on their list of priorities, except in that it costs taxpayers money.

In June, I signed the clerk's book and made a four-year commitment. I thought that I was signing on with the most progressive force in the country, and I do not think I was mistaken. We keep seeing improvisation from members on the other side, and the one thing we can count on is that their mistakes are already coming back to haunt them. Every day we see court rulings or international opinions about our country. We can see that they are losing ground. This kind of nonsense is not the best way to move forward.

Senate Reform Act December 8th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel for all the very serious questions he raised concerning this reform.

The only thing that I do not understand is why some of his colleagues dream of saving this institution and think that it can be fixed. It is like trying to fix a wound on a horse by sewing on a piece of an old fur coat. That does not work. It gets us nowhere, it seems to me.

Does the hon. member think that this institution can be fixed?

Business of Supply December 5th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon, I heard dates such as 2017 and 2020 and that we have to align with the United States. It is true that the economies are very interconnected. The United States uses our primary resources and our energy to manufacture vehicles and we drive those vehicles and put fuel in them. The real question has to do with the urgency of the situation: how many years do we have left to react? When we signed the Kyoto protocol, everyone said that it was the last chance for humanity. That was a quite a while ago. How much longer will we be able to continue like this? It is like people leaving their SUVs running in their garages. Eventually, they will get carbon monoxide poisoning. The attitude here is no different. I wonder how much time we have left.

Canada Post December 2nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I heard some holiday greetings being exchanged earlier. Like Canada Post workers, I am not feeling the Christmas spirit. I am feeling the spirit of Mr. Scrooge.

The government is trying to pacify us by saying it has adopted the Canadian Postal Service Charter, but the quality of service is not the problem, it is the lack of service when the government cuts hours at the post offices. With the cuts, postal workers in my riding will have to find a second job in order to make ends meet.

Will the government listen to reason and assure the people of Rivière-Rouge and elsewhere in Canada that their post office will remain open?

Pays-d'en-Haut Food Bank December 2nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to members of the Pays-d'en-Haut food bank. Every year, this organization ensures that everyone will have a Christmas dinner. This is an old Quebec tradition. A group of volunteers used to go out with a big sled, collect food from people who had a little to offer and then hand it out to those who had nothing. They were able to ensure that everyone had a Christmas dinner. These days, people work very hard to uphold these traditions, because food is very important. If no one made sure that everyone had enough to eat, we would all be in trouble.

Safe Streets and Communities Act December 2nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I would like to hear what my colleague from Gatineau has to say about one point.

What impressed me in the six-inch-thick document is the number of things it forgets about. It forgets about people like prison guards. I have met some of them. If an inmate spits in their face, they have to fill out a report and get treatment for six months in case they have contracted AIDS or hepatitis B. The inmate who committed the offence is transferred to another section, which is what they wanted. This is used as a weapon for extortion.

I wonder how many things like this have been forgotten about. But this bill should protect honest people, peace officers and prison guards. Not only is it full of errors, but it is also full of omissions. This is a bill I would rather see put into the shredder than into the presses of the Canada Gazette.

Safe Streets and Communities Act November 29th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, it seems as though the government did not think through some parts of this bill. I would like to hear what my colleague has to say about that. For example, the provinces will end up with overcrowded prisons and the justice system will no longer function because thousands of people will be put into the system unnecessarily and will turn into career criminals. That will force the provinces and local governments to find ways to try to control the situation.

Crown prosecutors will be tempted to drop charges for more serious crimes. We may see a lesser charge being prosecuted to avoid exposing the accused to penalties that are too harsh. The justice system itself may try to lessen the impact by not laying charges with too big a sentence. This simply may not work at all.