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  • His favourite word is colleague.

Liberal MP for Honoré-Mercier (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 57% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Infrastructure November 15th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, allow me to say again that we are delivering the most ambitious infrastructure program in the history of Canada. I am talking about $81 billion in new funding. I talked about green and social infrastructure and public transit. Perhaps my colleague overlooked this part of the document, but there is also $2 billion going directly to small rural communities. We are investing not only in our cities, but also in all of our regions. It is time the hon. member understood that.

Infrastructure November 15th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, we were elected on the promise of creating the largest infrastructure program in Canada's history. That is exactly what we are doing with $180 billion in investments: $81 billion in new funding, $25 billion for public transit, $22 billion for green infrastructure, and $22 billion for social infrastructure.

The infrastructure bank is an additional tool that will allow us to build more infrastructure. We want more, not less.

Infrastructure November 14th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, we were elected on the promise of creating the largest infrastructure program in Canada's history, and that is what we are doing. We are working with the provinces, territories, municipalities, and the private sector in order to do even more. The infrastructure bank is one of the tools that our partners will use to build more infrastructure. There will not be fewer projects, there will be more.

Infrastructure November 4th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, that is an excellent question. It gives me the opportunity to point out that we announced $81 billion in new funding for infrastructure, including $25.3 billion for public transit, $21.9 billion for social infrastructure, and $21.9 billion for green infrastructure. We are adding two categories: $10.1 billion for trade and transport and $2 billion for rural communities. This means more highways, more buses on the roads, better housing for those who need it, and direct support to our rural communities.

The Economy November 4th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, since we were elected, we have introduced the most ambitious infrastructure plan in Canada's history. We are talking about total investments of $187 billion, with $81 billion invested over the next few years. More importantly, since taking office we have approved more than 950 projects; 750 are part of the first phase, and 65% of these are currently under construction. There will be better transportation systems and cleaner water for our children.

Conservatives like to talk. They like to talk and talk and talk. We prefer to act.

Infrastructure October 26th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's enthusiasm.

The 2020 deadline was chosen arbitrarily by the previous government. We are not going to throw a date around like that. We are going to be responsible about this.

The selected company will be the one to give us a date. When we know what company we will be dealing with, we will have more details and we will be able to move forward.

I want to assure my colleague that this project is just as important to the Government of Canada as it is to him. We are moving forward as quickly as possible, but in a responsible manner that takes into account the best interests of Canadians.

Infrastructure October 26th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to answer my colleague.

I would like to begin by saying that the government recognizes the importance of the Windsor-Detroit corridor and is firmly committed to completing the Gordie Howe international bridge as quickly as possible.

As the member said, the Windsor-Detroit trade corridor is one of the busiest commercial land crossings on the Canada-U.S. border, and one of the busiest in North America. More than a quarter of our two countries' surface trade activity depends on this famed corridor.

The Government of Canada has made major progress on this file. The first phase of the tendering process, the request for qualification, was launched in July 2015 and completed in January 2016.

The process resulted in the preselection of three teams for the second phase of the tendering process, the request for proposals. Preparations to launch the request for proposals are under way. The Government of Canada expects to officially launch the process soon, and it is likely to take about 18 months.

At the end of this process, a public-private partnerships contract, or P3, will be reached with the selected private partner. Upon completion of the contract, the private partner must provide detailed information about the project, including the construction schedule and anticipated opening date.

Major infrastructure projects like the Gordie Howe international bridge require extensive preparatory work before construction can begin.

During that time, however, we are hardly twiddling our thumbs. In fact, while the procurement process continues, it may reassure my colleague to know that the Government of Canada is moving ahead in a number of other areas. For instance, nearly $60 million is being invested to prepare the plaza site in the Brighton Beach industrial area. This includes constructing the perimeter access road and relocating utilities, as well as backfilling, grading, and drainage operations. That work began last summer and is moving ahead at a very good pace.

On the Canadian side, nearly all of the properties required in Windsor have been procured, which means we can move quickly in preparing the P3 concessionaire site.

In addition, we are working to acquire all necessary properties on the other side of the bridge, in Detroit. Under the direction of the Michigan Department of Transportation, offers to purchase have been made to procure the many properties needed in the Delray area, where the bridge and border inspection plaza will be located. The demolition of the acquired buildings has already begun.

As I mentioned, the Government of Canada recognizes the importance of infrastructure, and is committed to investing over $120 billion over the next 10 years for the benefit of all Canadians.

Latin America October 21st, 2016

Madam Speaker, October is Latin American Heritage Month.

Latin America has a history rich in culture and traditions that is as diverse as its many component countries. It tells of the birth of many civilizations and peoples, such as the Miskito, Mapuche, Inca, Maya, and Aztec peoples.

Then came the conquistadors and the Spanish conquest, the wars of independence, and the creation of independent states.

Over the years, despite the ups and downs, Latin American countries have evolved and developed their own identities. They have influenced the world, whether it is through music and dance, including salsa, merengue, rumba, and tango, or the literature of such authors as Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Pablo Neruda, not to mention their great athletes, like Maradona, Pelé and, currently, Lionel Messi.

Today, more than ever, Latin America is vibrant and successful.

[Member spoke in Spanish as follows:]

Señora Presidenta, que viva América Latina!

Paris Agreement October 3rd, 2016

Madam Speaker, clearly, the infrastructure program is much broader than that and includes investments in public transit as well as investments in things like water, waste water, local infrastructure, and social housing. All of these program elements will directly benefit my colleague's constituents. They will have a direct and immediate impact on his riding. That is why this huge program brought forward by the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities is so important to building the Canada of tomorrow.

Paris Agreement October 3rd, 2016

Madam Speaker, I have always found my colleague to have excellent judgment.

Obviously, investing in infrastructure is an important part of our strategy to combat greenhouse gas emissions. There are a number of ways to do so, one of which, as I mentioned in response to my colleague's question, is to invest in public transit. Why public transit? Because that gets cars off the road, gives businesses in the regions access to quality skilled labour, and ultimately reduces greenhouse gas emissions. There is a direct link. Just as there is a link between the economy and the environment, there is also a direct link between infrastructure and the fight against climate change.