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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was bridge.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Bloc MP for Louis-Hébert (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 24% of the vote.

Statements in the House

GlaxoSmithKline November 5th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is to blame for the chaos surrounding the H1N1 vaccination campaign, but it is desperately trying to pass the buck. It has accused GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) of being slow in delivering the vaccines, even though this company is working at full capacity to produce the 50.4 million doses ordered.

The reality is that the federal government waited until the last minute to order the adjuvanted and unadjuvanted vaccines, and these last-minute decisions have delayed the regular production of vaccines. In other words, the government is using GSK as a scapegoat to shirk its own responsibilities.

In light of recent events, my thoughts are with the employees of GSK in my riding, in Sainte-Foy, who are working very hard to meet the demand for quality vaccines, but who must unfortunately contend with the difficult situation created by this government.

Business of Supply November 4th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a fairly simple question.

Earlier, the Minister of Health told us that she would give us facts. I will quickly go over some facts. The WHO instituted a state of emergency for the H1N1 flu on June 11, over four months ago. H1N1 flu appeared for the first time in April, over six months ago.

Will the member finally admit, once and for all, that her government alone is responsible for this crisis?

Quebec Bridge October 29th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, 15 years ago, at its annual general meeting, the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Québec passed a resolution to:

[Ask] the governments of Canada and Quebec, which own and use the Quebec Bridge, to come to an agreement and take necessary measures to fully restore the bridge as soon as possible before it is too late.

Exactly 15 years ago today, in the Le Soleil newspaper, the president of the Quebec bridge coalition called on the authorities to do the right thing and urged politicians to manage our heritage structures responsibly.

It is high time the government remedied this injustice. In the coming weeks, it will have an opportunity to support the Bloc Québécois motion on the Quebec Bridge. I hope that parliamentarians will unanimously decide to put an end to this saga that has unfortunately gone on too long already.

Infrastructure October 19th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, using the Delcan report as a basis, the former director of Laval University's civil engineering department found that the Quebec City bridge is deteriorating very quickly and that only political will can result into concrete measures being taken regarding this issue. The same document, which was prepared for Transport Canada, tells us that the initial work was not done properly and that it will have to be redone.

Can the minister responsible for the Quebec City region tell us whether or not she will support the Bloc Québécois motion calling on the federal government to resume its ownership of the Quebec City bridge and complete the work that is needed as soon as possible?

Guy Laliberté October 1st, 2009

Mr. Speaker, our man is in space. The founder of Cirque du Soleil has once again shown himself to be a worthy ambassador for Quebec's culture and know-how, bestowing a great honour on the whole Quebec nation by pushing back the limits of imagination and creativity.

His action is all the more significant since he will have to orchestrate, from the international space station, a worldwide artistic event on behalf of his foundation, One Drop. The foundation seeks to raise public awareness regarding access to clean drinking water. Let us hope that this event will inspire the government in the fight against poverty, which is directly related to this issue.

On behalf of all Bloc Québécois members, I offer our support to this great Quebecker, and urge everyone to follow this worldwide artistic event on October 9, because it will send a message of peace and hope.

Quebec Bridge September 18th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec Bridge, declared an international historic monument of civil engineering, has been neglected for far too long. Early this week, I moved a motion calling on the federal government to resume its ownership of the bridge and complete the work it needs as soon as possible.

Will the minister responsible for the Quebec City region stop hiding behind legal procedures and assume her responsibilities by resuming ownership of the Quebec Bridge?

Martin Dubé June 17th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois wishes to honour the memory of Corporal Martin Dubé of the 5 Combat Engineer Regiment based at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier, and member of the 53rd Canadian Counter-IED Squadron, who lost his life on June 14 while carrying out his duties dismantling an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.

Quebec is proud of this soldier and his regiment. We wish to honour the courage it takes to practice the trade Corporal Dubé was engaged in, as well as the courage it takes to choose a military career in the field. The men and women who choose that career path are fired by great passion, which they devote to serving the international community, with the ultimate goal of achieving a lasting peace. We must salute with pride the work that they do and their unflagging commitment in the service of peace.

I join with the rest of my colleagues in the Bloc Québécois in extending our most sincere condolences to the family, friends and comrades of Corporal Martin Dubé. Be brave, our thoughts are with them all.

Liberal Party of Canada June 1st, 2009

Mr. Speaker, this House has twice supported implementing a refugee appeal division. The first time, Bill C-280, introduced by the Bloc Québécois, went through all the stages in the House and the Senate, but died when this government made an early election call. Reintroduced barely a month ago, Bill C-291, sponsored by my colleague from Jeanne-Le Ber, once again received the support of the House.

Yet even though they supported Bill C-291 during the vote at second reading, the Liberals are now working with the Conservatives to block the bill in committee. The Liberals claim to stand up for refugees, but in fact, they are in bed with the Conservatives.

It is pathetic that the Liberals, who claim to support Bill C-291, should be playing the government's game.

Clearly, the Liberal leader's new strategy is to talk out of both sides of his mouth in order to fool the public, especially refugees, whose status is precarious.

Youth Voluntary Service May 27th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to discuss Motion No. 299, tabled in this House by the member for Papineau.

This motion calls for the introduction of a national voluntary service policy for young people. I must explain that in my speech I will use the French term “service bénévole” instead of “service volontaire,” which I think is a better translation of the text that was likely created here in this House.

The main reason I am speaking today is that I am worried that this motion clearly infringes on the jurisdictions of Quebec, and, more specifically, of Quebec's department of education, leisure and sport.

Before going into more detail on my position, and, of course, my party's position, I would like to take a few minutes to show not only that this motion infringes on the jurisdictions of Quebec, but also that the means proposed to implement this national voluntary service policy for young people are not new or innovative, do not make it possible to achieve most of the objectives one would expect of such a policy, and would duplicate other means that already exist in Quebec schools, among other things.

Motion No. 299 states:

That the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities be instructed to consider the introduction in Canada of a national voluntary service policy for young people by analyzing existing programs...

It makes complete sense to me to conduct analyses before introducing this kind of government policy, but we are talking about programs that already exist. The member for Papineau says himself, in his motion, that these programs already exist. There is the evidence of the duplication. If he had done some research before tabling his motion in the House, he would have seen that across Canada, and especially in Quebec, there are policies, means and programs that directly meet the objectives of the policy he is trying to introduce with Motion No. 299.

The motion goes on to say:

...and using the work done by the Voluntary Sector Initiative in 2003...

We must understand while the Voluntary Sector Initiative, or VSI, was doing its work, Quebec was already in the process of negotiating with organizations to develop a policy of recognition and support for the community sector. This policy of recognition had the exact same objectives as the VSI.

Many stakeholders were not able to participate in the VSI because they were in talks with the Government of Quebec. Naturally, the Government of Quebec was not even invited to participate in the development of the policy, most likely because it was already in talks with organizations. The mover would like to base the motion on some document or study, but neither the Government of Quebec nor primary stakeholders from the province were involved. At any rate, there can be no doubt about the result: VSI policies were founded on an English-Canadian model because most of the work was done in English and Quebec was left out of the initiative.

I have a hard time understanding why the member for Papineau thinks that the House will pass this motion, which is based largely on work from more than six years ago that excluded Quebec and used an English-Canadian model. What is even more astonishing is the fact that a Quebec member is moving the motion.

I have to hold back and wrap up my comments on the measures proposed in Motion No. 299. I do not have much time left and would like to talk about other aspects of the motion.

Perhaps I should close with the end of the motion:

...by holding public hearings; and by presenting a report to the House no later than October 2009 that would contain among other things a review of similar policies in the rest of the world and a summary of the evidence heard.

I am taken aback by the administrative burden Motion No. 299 calls for, with all of the work to be done by October 2009. I will have to end my discussion of the measures here, but there are other reasons I oppose this motion.

I have been clear about how this policy would encroach on Quebec's jurisdiction. The policy proposed in Motion No. 299 is based in part on the Katimavik program for youth aged 17 to 21, which provides opportunities to learn skills while performing volunteer work. Katimavik's goal, and the goal of Motion No. 299 with respect to a national voluntary service policy for young people, is to demonstrate Canada's commitment to national voluntary service for young people and the importance of integrating young people into the social and economic fabric of our society.

The principle of integrating young people into society and helping not-for-profit organizations is very commendable, and I agree completely with it. But that is exactly what the Government of Quebec did in 2006 when it created the youth action strategy. After consulting more than 1,200 young people, 70 national groups and the anglophone, cultural and aboriginal communities, Quebec put in place its own youth action strategy. Even though it is still imperfect, this strategy, which was developed just three years ago, is bound to improve with time.

Quebec's youth action strategy has a number of objectives, including fostering young people's entry into the workforce and enhancing their participation in society, in their community and in the world at large.

The wheel was invented around 3500 B.C.E. in Sumer, in lower Mesopotamia. We do not need to reinvent the wheel today. Quebec already has a youth policy with almost the same objectives as Motion No. 299. Not only does this motion interfere in Quebec's areas of jurisdiction, but it also amounts to needless duplication of effort, because Quebec already has its own youth policy.

What is even worse, the proposed policy also represents an intrusion into education. The Katimavik program provides participants with continuous learning in five areas: leadership, official languages, environmental stewardship, cultural discovery and healthy lifestyle. The new education program introduced by the Minister of Education, Recreation and Sport has objectives that are exactly the same as Katimavik's. I will quote some of them. Page 24 of Quebec's new education program states:

Each discipline can play a part and provide an opportunity to cultivate in the student the qualities essential to realizing his or her potential: creativity, self-confidence, initiative, leadership...

This is almost exactly what Motion No. 299 says.

In conclusion, this motion is a flagrant intrusion into the jurisdictions of Quebec and the provinces. In addition, it amounts to needless duplication of effort. I am therefore opposed to this motion.

Competition for Disabled Athletes May 13th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, Défi sportif recently brought together 3,000 disabled athletes in Montreal. Despite the enormous success of this event, the government is refusing to provide the organization with the funding it needs. I asked the Minister of State for Sport a question about this last week, and he said that he had already supported Défi sportif. Yet the organization's funding committee is not satisfied with the attitude of the government, which is refusing to give it an additional $25,000.

Will the minister change his mind and give Défi sportif the $25,000 it has requested?