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

Canadian Museums May 11th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, on May 3 the Government of Canada launched the second edition of the Canadian Museum Treasure Hunt.

This is an interactive learning game on the Internet, created to celebrate International Museum Day, which falls this year on May 18.

Through the treasure hunt, young people can discover 23 Canadian museums. Its purpose is to encourage young people to visit museums and learn about Canada and the world.

I invite young Canadians, as well as the not so young, to join in this ingenious treasure hunt by visiting the websites of the Department of Canadian Heritage and Virtual Museum Canada.

Have fun, everyone.

Research And Development May 9th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry. Would the minister tell the House what the government is doing to keep its commitment to double research and development spending in Canada by 2010? Is the government doing anything concrete?

Youth Outlooks May 4th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada just launched another career planning tool for youth called Youth Outlooks and designed to meet the needs of young people aged 15 to 24.

This tool is a kit that contains information products on the labour market, qualifications, standards, employment and wages. Young people will be able to use this information to make better educational and career choices.

The future of our young people is a priority of the Government of Canada. Since it took office, the government has taken a number of measures to help young people gain the skills and experience they need to enter the labour market.

I invite young people to use this tool, in addition to all the other ones put at their disposal under the youth employment strategy.

Mental Health May 3rd, 2001

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, under a brilliant sky, hundreds of people met at the Aylmer race track to take part in the event known as “En espadrilles pour la santé mentale”.

Organized to raise money for the Fondation Pierre-Janet, this fundraiser brought in over $35,000 to build a new day centre, exceeding the objective set by the organizing committee.

Today, I would like to thank all those who, in varying degrees, worked to organize this dynamic event, where good humour was infectious. “En espadrilles pour la santé mentale,” was a fine occasion to promote a feeling of solidarity with and generosity toward people facing problems of mental health.

This event is another great success for the Fondation Pierre-Janet, which, since 1990, has invested over $500,000 in the field of mental health in the Outaouais.

Long life to the Fondation Pierre-Janet and to Dan Guay, who instigated the “En espadrilles pour la santé mentale” event.

Association Pour L'Intégration Communautaire De L'Outaouais May 2nd, 2001

Mr. Speaker, on April 5, I had the opportunity to attend a benefit dinner organized by the Association pour l'intégration communautaire de l'Outaouais.

I am very pleased to pay tribute today to the volunteer work done since 1957 by members of this association, and to highlight the efforts of the men and women who daily face challenges to become autonomous.

Founded by a group of parents who wanted to improve the quality of life of their intellectually disabled children, the association has had the same goal for the past 44 years: to advance the cause of intellectual disabilities.

Through the many services made available to persons with intellectual disabilities and their families, the Association pour l'intégration communautaire de l'Outaouais makes it possible for them to become full members of our community.

Long live this association, its president, Lucie Charron, and its 200 volunteers and 28 employees.

National Day Of Mourning April 27th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, the people of Canada no doubt noticed that our flag is at half mast today. The reason for this is the National Day of Mourning, held to remember the people who have been injured or killed on the job.

The aim of this day is to have us reflect on the importance of occupational health and safety. The figures are staggering. In Canada, some 800,000 accidents occur on the job every year, over 750 of which result in the death of the victim. This means that three workers are killed every working day.

Steps taken by the government resulted in an 11% reduction in the number of industrial accidents between 1993 and 1997. But one accident is one too many.

I would assure those who have lost a loved one in an industrial accident and those who suffer because of such accidents of our profound regret and of our conviction that such misfortunes must be avoided.

Telecommunications April 6th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board. The Government of Canada has set an ambitious goal of becoming the most connected government in the world to its citizens by 2004. How is the Government of Canada progressing with its government online initiatives?

Is progress being made with the government online project?

Sporthèque De Hull April 3rd, 2001

Mr. Speaker, the year 2001 marks the 20th anniversary of a business that is solidly entrenched in Hull, the Sporthèque.

The Sporthèque employs 125 people and has a membership of over 5,400, as well as another 2,000 participants in its various programs.

Larry Greene, its CEO and co-owner, has a knack for surrounding himself with a highly professional team, and has also always made it a priority to ensure that the Sporthèque de Hull is an exemplary corporate citizen.

In addition to its role in making members of the community more fit, Mr. Greene has ensured that the Sporthèque played a role in helping a number of community organizations in the Outaouais region.

My best wishes for a long life to the Sporthèque de Hull, as well as to Larry Greene, who incidentally was named March personality of the month by the Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de l'Outaouais.

Outaouais Tourist Industry March 28th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday evening, representatives of the Outaouais tourist industry gathered at the Canadian Museum of Civilization for the Ouataouais' 16th Grands Prix du tourisme awards.

Congratulations to Robert Bourassa, the owner and chef of Café Henry Burger in Hull, who won Canada Economic Development's international marketing award. Presented to the SMB that made the biggest impact on the international market, the award is part of a series of promotional and communications activities initiated by the Outaouais Tourism Association, in which it has been joined by Canada Economic Development.

My warmest congratulations to all the winners in this great celebration of achievement in the Outaouais, and good luck at the Grands Prix du tourisme québécois awards.

Long live Mr. Bourassa and his team at the Café Henry Burger, and long live the Outaouais Tourism Association, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

International Child Abduction March 26th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to support Motion No. 219. International child abduction is a tragic phenomenon that affects too many Canadian families.

The motion calls on the Government of Canada to show leadership on this issue on the international stage. This is what Canada is already doing. Indeed, for many years the Government of Canada has been leading the efforts globally to find effective ways to prevent and solve international child abduction cases.

The Canadian approach toward child abduction has always been to ensure that children's best interests are a priority. The Hague convention on the civil aspects of international child abduction was drafted some 20 years ago and became a reality through Canada's efforts.

For a long time, Canada's priority has been to prevent international child abduction cases, whenever possible, and to find solutions when abductions happen. In the great majority of cases, these situations happen during or after the parents' breaking up, particularly when one parent or both have close family ties with another country whom they are citizens from.

Twenty years ago, Canada started negotiations that led to the drafting of the Hague convention on the civil aspects of international child abduction. The Hague convention came into force on December 1, 1983. Canada is still the first among those who are trying to broaden the application of the Hague convention, the only multilateral instrument providing for effective assistance to children who are victims of transborder abductions.

According to the objective and guiding principle of the Hague convention, the child's interests are best served by him returning promptly to his normal or regular country of residence.

In 1983, when the Hague convention came into force, only three countries signed it, including Canada. Thanks to pressure by the foreign affairs department, more than 65 states are now signatories of the convention and that number is likely to grow.

The Hague convention is the only international agreement that one can refer to when dealing with international child abduction. Its accomplishments are impressive, and the commitment to make it work and to increase the number of signatory states remains one of the most important and constant priorities of the government.

The Hague convention puts the interests of children first.

In 1998 the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade published a report entitled “International Child Abduction: Issues for Reform.” In that document, the committee recommended that Canada continue to promote the Hague convention and to increase the number of signatory states.

The Canadian government's reaction to the recommendations was positive. The Minister of Foreign Affairs stepped up his efforts and approaches to many countries in order to set forth the benefits of the Hague convention. Representations have been made internationally, especially with several nations in Asia-Pacific, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

For example, a team of officials of the foreign affairs and justice departments went to Vietnam in late February for bilateral consultations. Among the subjects discussed were the benefits of the Hague convention. Canada urged Vietnam to consider signing the convention and offered important practical advice on the implementation of the convention.

The same kind of initiative was taken several times in many countries throughout the world.

Canada has a leadership role in the preparation of the fourth special commission on the Hague convention on the civil aspects of international child abduction. This meeting will be the most important international operational review since the convention came into effect. Many options have been suggested. The international consensus is that the best option to prevent and remedy the problem of international child abduction is to abide by the Hague convention.

But we know that all countries party to the convention do not always implement it as it should be. Procedural delays, non-compliance with court orders to return children, contradictory domestic legislation and legal interpretations not always in accordance with the Hague convention are some of the problems that can arise when proceedings are taken in other countries under the Hague convention.

To maintain the confidence of the international community in the Hague convention, member states must commit to fully uphold their obligations under the convention. To promote a cohesive interpretation of the convention, the justice minister will hand out a $15,000 grant to the Hague child project in order to set up a data bank where will be stored legal decisions pursuant to the Hague convention.

The fourth special commission will be a crucial meeting where decisions on how to better implement and enforce the Hague convention will be made. Canada is sending to this meeting a huge multidisciplinary team: representatives of the foreign affairs and justice departments, provincial delegates in charge of implementing the convention and judges who have to apply the convention.

Canada is a world leader in promoting the goals of the Hague convention. We do everything we can to increase the number of signatories to the convention. In fact, we are taking all appropriate measures to make the Hague convention more efficient, to help the Canadian families of children who have been abducted and to ensure that abducted Canadian children are returned to Canada safe and sound.

With your permission, I will now examine the question of bilateral treaties respecting custody and access. Canadian consular authorities have growing responsibilities in the area of family matters, including the abduction of children by the father or mother and other types of matters where the wellbeing of Canadian families travelling or residing abroad is a source of concern.

This increased volume of family matters requiring consular assistance is due in part to the increased numbers of Canadians with dual citizenship and the high mobility of Canadians and Canadian families.

Encouraging countries to sign the Hague convention on the civil aspects of international child abduction remains Canada's method of choice in managing cases of child abduction. However, given the concerns raised by the Hague convention in many countries in the middle east, where Shariah family law is in effect, Canada has negotiated innovative bilateral agreements that constitute an effective way of dealing with such cases.

As cases of international child abduction are not covered by official agreements, they can drag on, be hard to settle and become bilateral irritants. Parents are separated from their children, and children are taken away from familiar surroundings. The parents of a family in conflict try turning to the justice system of one country in order to establish living conditions or terms of custody of members of the family that live usually in another country.

International child abduction is a crime. Canada has put comprehensive and effective measures in place to fight this phenomenon. However, cases of abduction continue. The Government of Canada is determined to find new ways to prevent and resolve cases of child abduction. We must all work on this objective. It is in the best interest of our children.