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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is information.

NDP MP for Beloeil—Chambly (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 31% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply February 26th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. It is interesting because he was talking about the pay centre that is in his riding, if I understood correctly.

Through an access to information request, we obtained the minutes of a teleconference meeting that took place in December 2015, after the Liberals took office. One of the issues raised during that meeting was the lack of resources at the pay centre, as well as the team's morale, which was already greatly affected by certain problems.

Is my colleague not aware that it was the Liberals and not the Conservatives who made this major change? There has been talk of a time bomb, but I would venture to say that the Liberals are the ones who lit the fuse.

Does my colleague not think that it is problematic that these same public servants in his riding are now suffering the consequences of a decision that was made by the government led by his party?

Business of Supply February 26th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague and neighbour for her speech. One of our biggest concerns as members of Parliament is the way in which cases are resolved. It is a question that has been raised a number of times today. There has been a lot of talk in the House about all the measures that were put in place to help members help their constituents with specific cases. Unfortunately, in actual fact, all the resources that were said to have been put in place do not amount to much. For example, in my riding, people whose cases were particularly sensitive were directed to a hotline. These are people at risk of losing their house, for example, and they are not alone of course. They got no help in the end.

All members, regardless of their political stripe, are dealing with similar cases. I would like to hear how my colleague reconciles the government's claims of the resources in place with what is really going on, given that these files remain in limbo.

Business of Supply February 26th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, we can see just how ashamed the government is of its record on this file when the Liberals talk about how they negotiate collective agreements just to change the subject.

To echo the comments of the member for Windsor West, as the public safety critic I have often met with customs officers, who have not had a contract for quite some time. What the Liberals say they will do may be different, but what they bring to the table is not so different than what was proposed by the previous government.

I would like to thank my colleague for his speech, and ask him why the government refuses to take responsibility. It is odd because the parliamentary secretary tried to apologize, but I do not believe him. Instead of saying “we shortchanged you” or “we failed in our responsibility”, he said that he was sorry that they are experiencing these difficulties and that the system is not working. That is the opposite of taking responsibility.

Why is the government refusing to openly admit that it showed a lack of judgment, made a mistake, and is sorry?

Business of Supply February 26th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, in light of the repeated allegation that there is no evidence, I will again seek the unanimous consent of the House to table the documents obtained under the Access to Information Act. These documents indicate the dates the Phoenix pay system was not working after the Liberal government was elected.

Parks Canada February 26th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I would like to give this one more try.

I have some more documents for the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services, who is still asking for evidence that the Phoenix pay system was not ready on time. This time, I would like to table the record of a teleconference during which the following statement was made.

There are still outstanding technical issues, such as connectivity, 50% fail of EUAT, EDP issues that are now occurring, business transformation gaps, blackout impacts, and lack of morale and capacity at pay centres.

Once again, I would ask for not debate but unanimous consent to provide that proof to the parliamentary secretary.

Business of Supply February 26th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Gatineau has been asking for evidence all day. I therefore seek the unanimous consent of the House to table some evidence. It is a memo written by the Office of the Comptroller General, addressed to the Treasury Board, and dated January 13, 2016, or one month before the Liberals implemented this system.

It is a readiness assessment of Phoenix that says things such as “Unknown if collective agreements are well coded into Phoenix”, “Testing results...unknown”, “less than 50% success” rate, “30% errors”.

Mr. Speaker, I think you get the picture. This is proof enough for the parliamentary secretary to show that Liberals knew full well this system did not work, and I would ask for unanimous consent to finally give the parliamentary secretary the information he ignores.

Business of Supply February 26th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to asking my colleague from Gatineau this same question. After all, he asked for proof that the government was aware of the problems with the Phoenix pay system.

I have a memo provided by the Treasury Board, dated January 13, 2016, a little more than a month before the Liberals pressed the metaphorical big red button. It is a readiness assessment of Phoenix, and it has such gems as “System readiness is questionable out of our 25 outstanding defects 10 are still critical and not fixed”; “Increase in overpayment at the moment without the Phoenix implementation, what will be the impact later”; “On the fix there will not be any testing before go live”; “What is the contingency plan, not serious of not having this.” Here is another gem, from Public Safety Canada, which says, “Testing results issue: 30% errors not satisfactory. Issues with conversion.”

Members get the picture. I am sure this access to information request is a great long read in The Ottawa Citizen for the member for Gatineau.

At the risk of posing a rhetorical question, I am wondering if the member who just spoke can explain why the government refuses to do what governments should do, which is take responsibility and fix the problem.

2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games February 8th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, in less than 24 hours, Canadians will be glued to their screens as the Pyeongchang Olympic Games kick off.

Events include biathlon, bobsleigh, curling, hockey, luge, figure skating, speed skating, ski jumping, skeleton, freestyle skiing, and snowboard. With so many exciting sports and so many athletes making us proud, we will not even notice the cold. From the Dufour-Lapointe sisters and Kaetlyn Osmond to Mark McMorris, Patrick Chan, and Marie-Philip Poulin, there will certainly be no shortage of spectacular athletes to cheer on.

However, I cannot forget our amazing flag-bearers, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. This is the first time Canada will have dual flag-bearers and they could not be more deserving. In 2010, here in Canada, they were the youngest skaters ever to win Olympic ice dance gold and won silver four years later in Sochi.

We may watch the medal count very closely, but let us enjoy the moment, and more importantly, take pride in these incredible ambassadors who, for a few exciting weeks, will be the face of our country to the world.

Go, Canada, Go.

Canada Elections Act February 5th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, if the member thinks so little of the power that he has in cabinet, we would certainly like to do the job for him. Basically, he is saying that opposition MPs stand on the same footing. He is not wrong in the sense that we meet with stakeholders. However, when the Minister of Justice attends a fundraiser at $1,500 a head with people who are in the law profession who are directly engaged as stakeholders with the issues that she has legal, regulatory, political, and financial power over within days, weeks, months, and years of that fundraiser taking place, to not understand that notion, as opposed to me as the public safety critic meeting with stakeholders who are concerned about the government's policies and what direction we should be going in, is absolutely crazy to me.

Let us be clear. To simply divulge even the fact that these cash for access things are taking place is at best a cosmetic change. We will support the baby steps. However, at the end of the day, the public already knows that these things are happening anyway. If the Liberals are really serious about fixing it, then they should be doing more and that is not what we are seeing here.

Canada Elections Act February 5th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, perhaps my colleague was too busy heckling the previous speaker to have heard what I said in my speech.

I specifically mentioned that I recognized that we all have an obligation in this place as candidates and certainly as members of Parliament to have the strictest laws and rules in place to ensure that we are not finding ourselves in positions of conflict of interest, or “cash for access”, which is the term that is used. We cannot pretend there is not a difference between an opposition MP, regardless of whether he or she may one day be in cabinet or even in the Prime Minister's seat, and the the immediacy of a minister who within weeks or months of having participated in said fundraiser will have the power to give out contracts, to hire people, to spend money, to make all kinds of regulatory and political decisions that are completely different from any decision that I may make after an election two years' down the road, in the event that there is an NDP government and I should be so honoured as to be part of that cabinet.

The point is to acknowledge that when one is in government there is a constant and immediate power that exists.

To my colleague's question, I recognize that extending that to party leaders and others who are in slightly more influential positions than a simple opposition critic is understandable. We are not going to disagree on that point. However, this notion that the government keeps putting forward, as it has with every conflict of interest issue that has marred it since it has been in power, that somehow we are all equal in this place and that it does not recognize the power it holds, is quite disconcerting for me.