House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was quebec.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Hull—Aylmer (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 20% of the vote.

Statements in the House

June 17th, 2010

Madam Speaker, the Conservatives were elected in 2006 on a platform of accountability and transparency. However, once the election was over, the Conservatives' true colours shone through: they traded in transparency and respect for deceit and intimidation.

On April 22, I asked the Conservative government why it has systematically attacked senior officials who were trying to do their job.

As usual, the Conservatives resorted to smart remarks instead of the truth. A number of watchdogs have been victims of intimidation or have been dismissed because they dared to do their job. I have some examples.

Jean-Pierre Kingsley, the former Chief Electoral Officer of Canada. The Liberals had asked the Conservatives to come clean once and for all on election financing and to shed light on some serious allegations. The Conservative Party had allegedly broken the law by exceeding the legal limit allowed during the last election campaign by more than $1 million. There was also a dispute on the issue of political contributions received during the 2005 national convention.

As a result of these disputes with Elections Canada, Jean-Pierre Kingsley tendered his resignation after 17 years of good service. I blame the Conservative government for the resignation and the loss of this senior official who was highly respected by all, here and abroad.

Bernard Shapiro, Ethics Commissioner. The Conservatives appointed a new ethics commissioner after Mr. Shapiro held an inquiry into whether the Prime Minister employed improper means to persuade the former member for Vancouver Kingsway and Liberal minister of international trade, David Emerson, to switch parties.

Yet the Conservatives did not object to his appointment. Mr. Shapiro had a brilliant background. He was the rector and vice-chancellor of McGill University, a professor of public policy at the University of Toronto, and a deputy minister in four Ontario government ministries.

Linda Keen, chair of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. The Liberals called for an independent review of Ms. Keen's dismissal because the Prime Minister completely ignored the law when he fired her. But that criticism was motivated primarily by petty politics.

It seems that the only interests protected by that decision were the Prime Minister's political interests. He found a scapegoat. He even silenced Ms. Keen in the middle of the night, just hours before she was to appear before the House of Commons committee. The Conservatives shut Ms. Keen up instead of letting her tell the truth. What will the Conservatives do next? We are starting to see a real trend here.

Robert Marleau was Information Commissioner. After serving the House of Commons for 31 years, Robert Marleau was appointed Information Commissioner in January 2007. In June 2009, he resigned for personal reasons.

Robert Marleau had the nerve to criticize the Conservative government's lack of transparency. In his annual report, he stated that Canada had “to regain its status as a leader in the area of access to information”.

Instead of changing its corporate culture, this government relied even more heavily on secrecy to prevent access to information.

The Conservatives have created a climate of fear and intimidation throughout the public service.

Robert Middlemiss June 17th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, today I want to honour the memory of a former Liberal member of the National Assembly of Quebec, Robert Middlemiss.

Robert was a McGill University graduate and a geotechnical engineering consultant. He began his career in politics as a municipal councillor for the former city of Aylmer from 1970 to 1979.

“Bob” was the MNA for Pontiac from 1981 to 2003. He served as the parliamentary assistant to the minister of the environment and to the minister of health and social services, later becoming minister responsible for agriculture, the fisheries, food, transport and public safety.

We will miss his generosity, his dedication and his love for our region. We want to acknowledge his vision and his great determination to develop McConnell-Laramée Boulevard, which is now Allumettières Boulevard.

I offer my deepest condolences to his wife Lorraine and his family.

Bob, we thank you and we salute you.

Committees of the House June 17th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the official report was tabled in the House yesterday, so the parliamentary secretary is trying to contravene the Standing Orders. She is trying to table a dissenting report that contains a different opinion than in the report that was tabled. Time ran out before it could be tabled yesterday. In my opinion, she cannot do indirectly today what she did not want to do directly yesterday; to include her negative report in the report tabled. I therefore object to the tabling of her dissenting report.

Points of Order June 16th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, it is a question of somebody wanting to mislead the House, so I ask for unanimous consent to table the pictures.

Points of Order June 16th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, on the same point of order.

A press release was issued by Industry Canada on June 25, 2009 saying that the Minister of Industry and the member of Parliament for Parry Sound--Muskoka announced four new projects, and these four projects included the bridge.

A picture is worth a thousand words. I have a picture here that is worth $730,000. This picture, showing a G8 sign, was taken over the weekend, three days ago.

G8 and G20 Summits June 16th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the press release says the opposite. He should apologize.

The Minister of Industry showered his riding with gazebos, public washrooms and sculptures that have nothing to do with the G8. The minister indulged in some serious pork barrelling.

Why is the Prime Minister twisting and sullying Canada's international reputation?

How much of that $1 billion did the Conservatives waste on useless partisan spending, thereby blatantly disrespecting taxpayers?

G8 and G20 Summits June 16th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities just said a few minutes ago that the project for the bridge was not part of the G8 funds. I have in front of me the press release of June 25, 2009 saying the contrary.

The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities said that it was not part of the G8 fund. The June 25, 2009, press release says the opposite. Will the minister apologize and withdraw his statement, or do I have to table the press release?

G8 and G20 Summits June 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives manipulated Canada's foreign policy for partisan purposes. The G8 and the G20 represent yet another missed opportunity, another step backward for Canada. Leading up to the summits, the Prime Minister has done everything in his power to avoid environmental issues and chip away at women's right to choose. The only economic proposal we can expect will have to do with saying no. Their fake agenda is as scandalous as their $2 million fake lake.

Does the Prime Minister realize that his partisan blindness is compromising Canada's future?

G8 and G20 Summits June 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the G8 and G20 summits were supposed to give Canada an opportunity to put its best face forward. Unfortunately, the Conservatives missed the boat with their billion-dollar muck-up, their partisan spending and their $2 million fake lake. The worst part is that most of the contracts were awarded without a tendering process. In other words, it is payback time for the party's pals.

Why is the Prime Minister using these summits to promote his party instead of his country?

Committees of the House June 14th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has decided that the law does not apply to his director of communications. He has Dimitri Soudas doing all of his lying, finger-pointing and manipulating, yet he would have us believe that Mr. Soudas is too fragile to appear before the committee. Yet he appeared to be in fine form when he was attacking Steven Guilbeault's reputation in Copenhagen.

One would think we were in the Soviet Union. Since when does the Prime Minister have the right to place his friends above the law, which applies to everyone here and to all Canadians?