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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is colleague.

Liberal MP for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 58% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Official Languages March 22nd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, bilingualism is very important to our government, as is respect for official languages. Federal services must be provided in accordance with the Official Languages Act.

Airport security is important and CATSA does good work, but it must also do so by providing service in both languages with courtesy and respect, of course.

Fisheries and Oceans March 22nd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, occasionally incidents such as this do happen, and we have made it clear to the owner of the ship that it is responsible for the cleanup, and we will make sure that it does happen.

Official Languages March 21st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, bilingualism and the Official Languages Act are extremely important for our government.

Federal services must then be provided in both official languages. We take that very seriously. We are of course responsible for safety in our airports, but we insist that it be done with respect and courtesy, and in accordance with the Official Languages Act.

Questions on the Order Paper March 20th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada’s top priorities are safety and security. Transport Canada’s primary mission is to serve the public interest by promoting a transportation system in Canada that is safe, secure, efficient, and environmentally responsible.

The minister does not approve projects. Rather he will, according to subsection 4.31(1) of the Aeronautics Act, make an order prohibiting the development or expansion of a given aerodrome or any change to the operation of a given aerodrome, if, in the minister’s opinion, the proposed development, expansion, or change is likely to adversely affect aviation safety or is not in the public interest.

Transport Canada is aware of the concerns that can arise in relation to the development of new aerodromes across Canada, including the project that is currently being developed within the municipalities of Mascouche and Terrebonne.

This is what notably motivated the Minister of Transport’s decision on March 4, 2016, to issue a ministerial order under the Aeronautics Act to prohibit the development of all new aerodromes in the cities of Mascouche and Terrebonne and to require the Corporation de l’aéroport de Mascouche, the Corporation, to hold a full public consultation on the project. The Corporation complied with the requirements of the order and sent Transport Canada all of the comments and documents—including the ones from the Cities of Mascouche and Terrebonne—that were submitted as part of the formal consultation process.

The department thoroughly examined all of the documentation and arguments submitted with regard to the project, both positive and negative, as well as the mitigation measures proposed by the Corporation, in order to address the population’s concerns.

A number of factors were considered in the project’s overall evaluation, including compliance with regulatory requirements, aviation safety, the project’s economic impact, environmental protection, and public and private interests.

The department conducted on-site verifications, reviewed the preliminary plans and the report on the public consultation held by the proponent, as well as the obstacles, all in accordance with TP312, Aerodrome Standards and Recommended Practices, and TP1247, Land Use in the Vicinity of Aerodromes in effect.

This thorough review of the project allowed Transport Canada to ensure that flight operations will be conducted safely, while having a significant economic impact on the region. To illustrate this last point, the former Mascouche airport’s flying schools employed over 50 people and trained some 185 students in 2016. Over the past two years alone, Transport Canada has issued 116 private pilot licences and 63 commercial pilot licences to candidates from these schools.

There are no public funds involved in this project. The department’s work related to the matter has not incurred any additional costs beyond those for regular operations.

It should be noted that part III of the Canadian Aviation Regulations, subpart 7(307), on consultations for aerodrome work, came into effect on January 1, 2017. Therefore, under these regulations, aerodrome proponents must now consult the interested parties and the communities before developing a new aerodrome or before making major physical changes to an existing aerodrome. No amendments to these regulations or to the department’s evaluation process are currently planned.

Air Transportation March 20th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, last week we announced government measures to make recreational drone flying safer, both in the skies as well as on the ground.

We put in place some measures that took effect immediately last Thursday. These are interim measures, until such time as we come out later this year with permanent measures to make our skies and the ground safer.

Air Transportation March 9th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, again, I thank my colleague for the question because it gives me the opportunity to reiterate that our highest priority is improving passenger service.

I think that people are beginning to notice that costs are going down and that they have more choice. They know we want to reduce the time it takes to go through security or customs. Furthermore, there will be a regime of rights for air passengers. That is what is important for our airports and that is what guides us.

Air Transportation March 9th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, this offers me another opportunity to point out something that I began pointing out last November, and that is that it is of the highest priority that we improve passenger service in the country. We are trying to lower prices. We are trying to offer more choice. We are trying to reduce the amount of time to go through security, or to go through customs, and yes, we are committed to a regime of rights for air passengers. Those are the factors that guide us in our decisions with respect to airports and airlines.

Infrastructure March 8th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, again, our primary motivation is to give air passengers better choices. That is what motivates us most. We are working very hard to lower costs, give travellers more choices, and reduce the time it takes for them to go through security or customs. We want to acknowledge that passengers have rights. Improving passenger service is what motivates us when we talk about our airports and our airlines.

Air Transportation March 8th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, in terms of concrete measures, I am sure my colleague heard the fact that we made the decision last November to increase the international ownership in our airlines from 25% to 49% in order to increase competition. I also announced at that time a bill of rights or a rights regime to make sure that air travellers' rights would be taken into consideration. We are already beginning to see more competition. The prices are coming down. We are very glad that we are offering more service to our passengers. That is our intention and we are going to continue to do that.

Air Transportation March 8th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I want to reassure my colleague that what is most important for us is improving service to the air passenger. That is why we are working very hard to lower their costs, to give them more choices, more competition, to reduce the time it takes for them to go through security or through customs. We will even be giving them a bill of rights. That is what is motivating us when we talk about our airports and our airlines.