House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was chair.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for Shefford (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2021, with 33% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committees of the House June 7th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I am very proud to be able to answer my colleague's question.

As I mentioned earlier, agricultural land accounts for 75% of my riding, and I am proud to see that farmers are taking charge of their affairs. They came here to mark World Milk Day and to tell us that supply management is important to them.

I met with them and I agree with them.

Committees of the House June 7th, 2016

Madam Speaker, it will be a 10-minute speech. I will pick up where I left off.

How can the Conservatives claim to defend our Canadian producers while questioning an innovative system that guarantees them a fair income to feed and house their families while they do work they love?

Agricultural land accounts for 75% of my riding, and 15% of our jobs are directly or indirectly related to the agriculture and agri-food industry. My constituents realize that they cannot put a lot of faith in that kind of doublespeak.

The Government of Canada is determined to promote research and development so that our dairy industry can prosper in a constantly evolving global economy. The Government of Canada even invested $19 million in the dairy research group. The group is responsible for 23 research projects and employs over 100 scientists from 15 institutions and eight government research centres in Canada, including the cutting-edge facility in the Sherbrooke area.

In its leadership role, the dairy industry focuses on a certain number of key fields, such as the nutritional profile of dairy products. These sizeable investments will also support the research being done by scientists at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in two key areas: improving the quality of forage crops in Canada, which will help increase our milk production capacity, and understanding the role played by dairy-fat products, including their positive impact on people with type 2 diabetes.

We support this report. We are quite aware that diafiltered milk is not the only concern here: we also have to ensure that our supply management system functions effectively and over the long term in a global economy that is constantly changing.

To fully understand the sector’s concerns, we promised to consult with its various players, and that is exactly what we have done.

While others are working to abolish supply management, the system that allows farm families to earn a fair and dignified living from their calling, our government is making every possible effort to protect it.

In recent weeks, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada officials, the minister, and his parliamentary secretary have held discussions with representatives from all dairy sectors, ranging from small farmers to the bigger producers, processors, and the provincial and national producers’ associations.

These consultations have been very productive. They have enabled us to collect quality information that will help us build solid long-term bases for our dairy sector and for our supply management system.

Let us turn now to the future of agriculture in Canada, a promising future filled with opportunities for expansion, given the constantly growing global demand. More and more Canadian consumers are choosing Canadian dairy products because of their quality. To help our agricultural and agri-food industry seize these opportunities and build a solid, promising future, the federal, provincial, and territorial governments have committed to developing the next agricultural policy framework, which will guarantee better results for the sector.

This framework will be more focused on innovation and on strengthening the sector’s competitiveness, while aiming to improve sustainability and opportunities for the various links in the agriculture and agri-food supply chain.

The next policy framework will also enable the sector to properly manage risks in a productive manner, in order to provide farms with more stability. We are currently meeting with industry representatives to discuss the challenges before us.

In closing, productive and effective consultations, huge investments in R and D in the dairy sector, and the development of the next agriculture policy framework, which will focus on innovation, marketing, and risk management ,are all measures our government is taking to protect Canadian agriculture.

I am confident that all the effort and energy that our government is putting into this in the interest of Canadian farmers will result in a strategy that will ensure the long-term sustainability of our supply management system.

Supply management helps provide farmers with a fair and stable income in return for their dedication, while allowing them to remain competitive. This system also helps ensure that Canadians receive the best-quality products, produced by farmers in our own communities, processed in our communities, and at stable, predictable prices.

We on this side of the House will denounce anyone who would abolish such a system. Unlike the Conservatives, who say that the fundamentals of supply management fly in the face of their fundamental values, to the Liberal Party, those values are in our DNA. We fought to introduce supply management 40 years ago, and today we will do everything we can to protect it.

As the government, we want to ensure that our farmers are in the best possible position and that our food processing sector is on the leading edge of technology, and we will defend supply management against anyone who wants to eliminate it.

Committees of the House June 7th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I should begin by telling you that I will share my speaking time with the member for La Prairie.

I am happy to be able to take part in this debate today, as the Canadian dairy industry plays a key role in our economy and in the food security of Canadian families. I would therefore like to thank the member for Fundy Royal for raising this important issue on behalf of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.

The government concurs with the report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food on the following points: we will protect supply management from those who wish to abolish it. We recognize the scope of the problem involving diafiltered milk, and we are listening to the industry in order to develop a sustainable, equitable, and long-term solution.

While we are working with the industry to protect our supply management system, which provides farmers with fair compensation for their work and Canadian families with high-quality, safe local food products, the Conservatives are holding forums on abolishing this system. It is unacceptable—

Jean-Yves Phaneuf May 31st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, it is my immense pleasure to pay tribute to Jean-Yves Phaneuf.

He is affectionately nicknamed Johnny and is known as Mr. Soccer in my riding. He was named volunteer of the year in Quebec at the annual Sports Québec gala last week. Mr. Phaneuf devoted more than 40 years of his life to soccer, a sport he continues to be passionate about today at age 77.

Granby's father of soccer was inducted into Quebec's soccer hall of fame in 1999. He is the founding member of the Cosmos soccer club in Granby and the man behind the biggest international soccer tournament in Quebec, an event named the International de soccer Jean-Yves Phaneuf, in his honour.

Mr. Phaneuf deserves all this recognition for his contribution to our young people and for promoting healthy living.

Johnny, we are all very proud of you.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1 May 10th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I would first like to congratulate my colleague on his passionate speech and his hard work on behalf of his community.

The budget tabled by our government is a breath of fresh air for the vast majority of Canadians and for the people of Nova Scotia. People across the country are excited about the investments we are making in seniors and youth, among others.

Could the hon. member give us one or two concrete examples of the impact this will have on his riding?

Jean Lapierre April 11th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to pay tribute to Jean Lapierre, who left us far too soon under tragic circumstances on March 29.

Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends.

Jean Lapierre was a popular man of the people. He served as the MP for my riding of Shefford from 1979 to 1992 and was the youngest minister in the history of the House of Commons. Our paths crossed 35 years ago and he helped me to take my first steps toward politics. Jean, thank you for your sage advice, for sharing your thoughts and opinions with me, and for putting your trust in me. I will always remember you as a great friend and mentor with incredible political acumen. We had many good times together.

An optimistic man with a love for life, you always had something positive to say. You were in touch with Canadians, influential, an excellent communicator, and a tireless worker who made politics easier to understand and more accessible for people.

Farewell, Jean. You will be missed.

Canadian Heritage March 21st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, excitement is growing following the recent announcements about the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation in 2017. It will be a year of great celebration.

Can the Minister of Canadian Heritage tell the House more about the vision and the main themes of Canada 150?

Granby International Song Festival March 8th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the Granby international song festival is held in my riding and is in its 48th year. This festival can be proud of the fact that it is the largest French-language song competition in Canada, if not the world. Today, it is a non-profit organization that attracts 45,000 spectators every year.

In light of the fact that every dollar invested in culture returns seven dollars in economic spinoffs, I am proud that the Government of Canada has supported this festival for many years. The Granby song festival is directed by Pierre Fortier, a man who has spent many years promoting French-language songs.

He received a wonderful tribute for his work and dedication last fall, when he was decorated with the Ordre des francophones d'Amérique. He joined a very select group of people, including Luc Plamondon and Gilles Vigneault, who have made major contributions to our culture and heritage. We congratulate him and hope that he has a super festival.

Democratic Reform March 7th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, since being elected, I have met many incredible people and groups in my riding. I think that the people in my riding should have more access to their MPs and that it is too bad that we sometimes have to refuse, cancel, or put off such meetings.

Can the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons explain to the House how the work he is doing to improve work-life balance in Parliament will also help the people in my riding?

Canada Labour Code February 26th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague on his informative speech.

The key to developing our organizations is co-operation and partnership between unions and employers. How will this new bill ensure fairer and more balanced protections for employer-union relations?