- Get e-mail whenever he speaks in House debates
- Subscribe to feeds of recent activity (what you see to the right) or statements in the House
- 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 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.
Paris Agreement October 3rd, 2016
Madam Speaker, my colleague might have missed an important piece of information about how we are implementing our infrastructure plan gradually. As my colleague knows, there are two phases to the plan. Phase 1 is more about rehabilitating and repairing our public transit system. Quebec is getting $923 million for that. We are making major investments everywhere, from Ontario to Vancouver and all across Canada.
Phase 2 investments will be much more structural and long term. We will do what we promised to do. Our word is our bond; those of us on this side of the House do not speak out of both sides of our mouths.
Paris Agreement October 3rd, 2016
Madam Speaker, I would like to get back to the Paris agreement because we got a little off topic.
I want to start by saying that our government is committed to strengthening the middle class and our communities from coast to coast. As part of that commitment, we are creating an innovative and green economy.
The effects of climate change are a real threat to Canadians and all of our communities. That is why our government has committed to doing its part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
As the hon. Minister of Infrastructure and Communities has said, the evidence for climate change is undeniable, contrary to what some of our colleagues say. It is a fact. We see it every day. We must continue to measure these changes and rely on solid, factual evidence.
In addition, the record response rate to the long form census reveals that Canadians realize that these data are an absolutely vital tool. Canadians are ready and willing to take part in this exercise. They want the government to demonstrate rigour and transparency, and they know that this requires reliable data and sound evidence.
That is why Infrastructure Canada and Statistics Canada are working together on a joint data collection initiative. The primary goal is to gather extensive, standardized, evidence-based information regarding the inventory and condition of public infrastructure in Canada, at all levels.
Similarly, the government also made considerable efforts to consult stakeholders all across the country, from every province and region, to ensure that the various aspects of our infrastructure plan meet the priority needs of Canadians.
In early September, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities met with the ministers responsible for infrastructure across Canada. It was the first time that those representatives all gathered around the same table to discuss the needs and priorities of communities and how we want to build the towns and cities of tomorrow. Cities are very much at the heart of our priorities and our future.
The minister worked closely with our partners in order to gather useful information, which was then used to develop phase 1 of our infrastructure plan. We will use the same information to develop phase 2.
Our program is centred around three priorities: public transit infrastructure, social infrastructure, and green infrastructure.
As part of our investment in green infrastructure in phase 1, we plan to integrate the concept of climate resiliency into the National Building Code, which serves as a model. We will do the same for the other codes, standards, and guides relevant to key sectors in public infrastructure.
We will also fund infrastructure development for alternative transportation fuels. This is absolutely necessary. I am talking about electric vehicle charging stations and natural gas and hydrogen refuelling stations. All this will also help us support technology demonstration programs that advance electric vehicle charging technology. We are always looking ahead.
It has been mentioned once or twice before, but we are going to make significant investments in public transit to repair or replace the existing fleet of vehicles.
This is absolutely essential because we are talking about workforce mobility, access to skilled workers for companies, but also a clear reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
We are currently working with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities on improving the capacity of cities and communities to identify and address the challenges related to climate change, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For that we created a special fund of $75 million. We have already mentioned that, but it bears repeating. We are allocating the necessary funding in order to do what we say we are going to do.
Before the launch of phase 1 of the investment program, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities held countless consultations with provincial, territorial, and municipal partners, as well as other stakeholders. That is how to build a plan: by consulting, and by working on the priorities of our cities, of our communities, and of all Canadians. I can assure my colleagues that we are doing the same thing for phase 2 of our infrastructure plan.
A common theme in all these consultations was the need to build sustainable and green communities that use efficient public transit that gets cars off the road. We need communities that capitalize on green infrastructure to grow sustainably and that are resilient to the effects of climate change.
We have collected all that information and we are analyzing the data from this entire consultation process in order to prepare phase 2 of our plan. In phase 2, we will incorporate structural changes when rebuilding our infrastructure, always keeping in mind that the priority is to improve Canadians' quality of life as well as to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make our country much greener.
Sometimes we take for granted what we have. We think that things will always be there. We tell ourselves that they will be there. That is how we sometimes think of our infrastructure. We use it every day, without thinking about it, until it no longer works, is no longer accessible, or until it is being rebuilt. Our infrastructure is a valuable asset.
That is why, as I was saying earlier, we are currently working with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to create an asset management fund. It would be a new $50-million capacity-building fund that would support the use of asset management best practices across the country. We know that asset management plans guide how core infrastructure assets are to be built, renewed, operated, maintained, and replaced. This planning helps maximize the use of public dollars, which is very important.
The information we obtain from all this work will help policy-makers and asset owners to manage, plan, and operate their infrastructure assets. It will also provide data on key results to inform our plan to invest in green infrastructure and public transit, two things that closely align with our climate change objectives.
Generations ago, our nation made strategic investments, for example in the national railway system and the Trans-Canada Highway, in order to improve the future prosperity and quality of life of every generation that followed. We need to continue to do that.
In the coming decades, we know that our communities must become cleaner and more resilient to climate change, no matter where they are. We need to help build communities where congestion and emissions are reduced, buildings are more energy efficient, and green energy is harnessed. That is something that we need to do for future generations. We need to do it for our children and our grandchildren.