House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was liberal.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Bloc MP for Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 35% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Infrastructure October 19th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, opposition from Quebec and the provinces forced the government to drop the deadline for joining its Canada-wide securities commission. However, while municipalities are calling on the government to push back the March 31, 2011, deadline for infrastructure projects, the government is insisting on imposing an artificial and irresponsible deadline.

If the government was able to push back the deadline for joining its securities commission, why can it not do the same for municipal infrastructure?

Strengthening Aviation Security Act October 19th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I gather that my speech will be cut short by question period unless I request the unanimous consent of the House to delay members' statements. Rest assured though, I will not be doing that.

This bill deals with disclosing the identity of passengers flying over the United States who are not stopping there. Given that we have just started debate at second reading, I would like to say, on behalf of my Bloc Québécois colleagues, that we will be supporting this bill simply because we want to examine it more thoroughly in committee. I do not want to get into a long speech about parliamentary law, but typically the vote at second reading is about the principle of the bill.

We will vote in favour of the bill because we want it to be studied in committee. There we will be able to hear from witnesses who will share their diverse experiences and talk about the problems that this bill raises. To prepare for my speech earlier, I was talking to our colleague, the hon. member for Ahuntsic, who is the excellent Bloc Québécois public safety critic. She gave me the names of people who represent various groups that might be interested in providing testimony on this bill.

As I have already mentioned, the purpose of this bill is to allow airline companies to disclose information about their passengers to the countries whose airspace they will be using. That is slightly different wording from the former Bill C-44, which we adopted in 2001, when it was a question of stopovers and passengers in transit. It is appropriate for the country receiving the airline passengers to know the past and present of these individuals.

This bill talks about planes travelling through an airspace, which raises a few questions among members of the Bloc Québécois. We understand that this bill responds to a specific request by the United States. We recognize that the United States is a major trading partner, but that does not mean we have to blindly accept every request the U.S. makes. We saw what type of democracy the Americans had under George W. Bush.

The Bloc Québécois obviously recognizes that every country has the right to regulate its airspace, but the fact remains that we think this measure goes too far. As I was saying earlier, the identified passengers will not even land—or at least not during this trip—in the country that would be receiving confidential and substantial information. I hope I am not telling the House anything new, but planes travel through the air and not always through free or international zones. Sometimes, at 33,000 or 35,000 feet, planes travel through airspace subject to the sovereignty of certain countries, but the passengers of those planes will never touch the soil of those countries. They will only fly over those countries.

The bill gives the countries being flown over the right to receive personal information. We want to study this bill in committee to determine if that is really necessary. The Bloc Québécois wants to ensure that we are doing everything we can to avoid violating travellers' privacy. For instance, one of the questions we would like to ask the department's witnesses regarding the government's approach in this bill is whether the Canadian government tried to reason with the United States and ask it to justify this measure.

As vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, I will have the opportunity to ask such questions on this measure, which, as we all know, comes from the United States. We believe that the information available must be kept to the absolute minimum required. We are concerned about the lack of any guidelines, including for instance, ensuring that only the information requested by the United States will be transmitted. But that is not the case; a blanket disclosure can be made.

Will the transmitted information be determined by legislation rather than regulations? Should the transmission, if necessary, be conditional on the signing of a protocol between Canada and the country requesting the information? Such a protocol would govern how the information is used, stored and deleted. Furthermore, it could provide a mechanism to give the victims of errors an opportunity to correct their information, as well as a process to compensate them if necessary.

Lastly, we believe that passengers must be clearly informed, before they purchase their plane tickets, about the fact that certain countries will be receiving some of their personal information. Given these many problems, the Bloc Québécois reserves the right to oppose the bill at future stages in the parliamentary process. The responses we obtain in committee will determine how we decide to proceed during the clause-by-clause study of the bill and how we vote at third reading.

Mr. Speaker, since you are indicating that the time for members' statements is about to begin, I will continue after question period.

Quebec City Arena October 18th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, Mayor Labeaume needs an answer before December 31. After that, Quebec City’s Olympic bid could be compromised.

Will the government be fair to Quebec City and treat it the same way it treated Toronto by announcing its financial pledge to the construction of the multi-purpose arena in Quebec City?

Quebec City Arena October 18th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the multi-purpose arena for Quebec City, the Conservatives’ shilly-shallying has been a disgrace. On the one hand, the hon. member for Lévis—Bellechasse says that advance seat sales are enough to meet the government’s requirement for private sector participation. On the other hand, the Minister of Finance and the Minister responsible for the Quebec City region are saying now that there will have to be a major contribution from the private sector.

Instead of looking for a way out, what is the federal government waiting for to join with the Government of Quebec and the City of Quebec and announce its financial participation?

Infrastructure October 6th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, for three weeks now, the Bloc Québécois has used numerous concrete examples to prove that the March 31 deadline makes no sense whatsoever. Municipalities will be unable to meet this deadline because of federal administrative red tape and a shortage of workers and materials, as well as colder temperatures.

Will the government stop being so stubborn and extend the March 31 deadline so that municipalities will receive all the money that was promised to them?

Infrastructure October 5th, 2010

It is funny, but the Fédération Québécoise des Municipalités passed a resolution calling on the federal government to act. Did it do this for nothing?

Let me give you an example from the minister’s riding. In Roberval, there are no contractors to do the work. In East Angus, in the Eastern Townships, a water and sewage treatment plant project is in jeopardy due to a shortage of pipes. In Montreal, the cost of expanding the Deux Mondes theatre will rise because the deadline is going to force builders to work over the winter.

Will the government ever listen to reason and extend the deadlines, which is what the Fédération Québécoise des Municipalités and the Union des municipalités du Québec have been calling for?

Infrastructure October 5th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the federal government's deadlines for the completion of infrastructure work are making life impossible for municipalities, which are faced with a shortage of pipes and labour, the first frosts of the season, and ballooning construction costs. Quebec's municipalities may end up with a $200 million bill or lose their projects.

Will the government stop being paternalistic, do away with its case by case review process, and confirm that every approved project can be completed without penalty, regardless of any deadlines?

Quebec City Arena October 4th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives like talking about fairness, so we will give them an example.

The minister claims that we have to wait for Quebec City to win its bid to host the Games before the federal government will agree to invest. We therefore have to wait five years to get an answer. However, Toronto received $500 million from the federal government in 2001 to boost its bid for the 2008 Olympic Games. There was no requirement that it be selected by the IOC. If it is good for Toronto, then why is it not good for Quebec City?

Quebec City Arena October 4th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, while people in Quebec City are waiting for a federal contribution to build a multi-purpose arena, the minister responsible for the region of Quebec is making excuses. Now she is saying that Ottawa will not make a decision until 2015, the year the host city will be selected for the 2022 Games. Mayor Labeaume needs an answer by December 31.

Does the minister realize that her hesitation to fund the multi-purpose arena is jeopardizing Quebec City's Olympic bid?

Infrastructure September 30th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, 48 hours before thousands of people converge on the Plains of Abraham for the “blue march”, will the Prime Minister confirm that his government will provide up to 45% of the funding, as the Government of Quebec is currently stating, for the construction of a new multi-purpose arena that is essential for Quebec 's capital city, according to Mayor Régis Labeaume?