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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is quebec.

NDP MP for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 31% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canadian Heritage May 22nd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I would not normally intervene in the relationship between broadcasters and Quebec's many production companies, but since it was theheritage minister who drew up the agreement with Netflix in absolute secrecy, I would like to ask her if she is satisfied with her precious partner's approach. Forcing production companies to convince anglophone American bigwigs of the relevance of producing francophone stories for Quebec in English is like a throwback to the 1950s.

Is this the kind of colonialism that was redacted from the Netflix deal she has been hiding from us for months?

Customs Act May 9th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask my colleague across the aisle to cast his mind back two or three years to the time when his party was outraged by several elements of Bill C-51. Regardless, he pledged to vote for the bill and amend it once his party came to power.

Now we are faced with Bill C-21, which is essentially an extension of that other bill. Bill C-21 could give Canadian citizens legitimate grounds to fear that their cellphones will be confiscated for the purpose of accessing their data and seeing if there is any information worth giving or disclosing to the Americans.

Is he aware that his own party promised to amend Bill C-51 and make it less intrusive?

Customs Act May 9th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, not many people know this, but before I came to the House, I trained to become a border officer, so I know that these officers already have a lot on their plates. They have a lot to do. I have to wonder what my colleague thinks of their being given an extra duty to collect all of this confidential information to give it to the United States.

Why should we do this work for our neighbours, who are already more than adequately equipped to do so?

Customs Act May 9th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I invite my colleague to listen carefully because we had a pretty good chuckle over how much the parliamentary secretary underestimated our immigration critic's ability to respond and her knowledge of the file.

This government thinks that it can do what it wants and sincerely believes that the public will accept any of its nonsensical policies. Is that not the problem with this government?

Latin American Heritage Month Act May 8th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to stand here today and salute the contribution of Latin Americans, people from Latin American countries, and their presence in Quebec, particularly in my riding of Longueuil—Saint-Hubert.

I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to thank the authors of the bill and my colleagues here in the House who are responsible for bringing this bill forward for our consideration today.

The bill before us today invites Parliament to recognize that members of the Latin American community in Canada have made an invaluable contribution to Canada's social, economic, and political fabric. It also suggests that designating a Latin American heritage month will allow Canadians to learn more about this contribution, and ensure that it is never forgotten. We know that Latin American communities from across the country would take advantage of Latin American heritage month to celebrate and share their unique culture and traditions with all Canadians. We also know that October is an especially important month for Latin American communities the world over.

The bill therefore proposes that October be designated Latin American heritage month throughout the country.

The bill mentions the diversity of Latin American communities in Quebec and Canada, since Latin Americans come from various countries and states. It also mentions the important contributions they have made to the broader communities around them, to community spirit, to the economy of our cities and towns, and to the social fabric of our country. The presence of communities with which Quebeckers share a certain affinity, similar values and culture, and where there is mutual recognition, contributes a great deal to our communities, and that is what I want to acknowledge about this bill.

Quebec's intercultural project is based on this ability to live together and work together to build a community. This involves recognizing our shared values and the contributions of every individual, which are shaped by his or her personal experience and cultural background.

It is also the reason why this bill proposes that Quebeckers and Canadians learn more about the contributions of Latin American Canadians in order to provide an opportunity to remember and recognize them. That is what designating a Latin American heritage month would do: allow us to learn about the achievements of Latin American Canadians in communities throughout Quebec, particularly in our own neighbourhoods. I do not want to appear biased, but of course everything is better in Longueuil and Saint-Hubert. The same holds true in communities across Canada that have been enriched by the contributions of people from many different backgrounds.

There is a reason why October has been proposed for Latin American heritage month. As mentioned in the bill, October is an important month for Latin Americans. Fall is a time when many Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Chile, celebrate their independence.

Many of these countries were among the first former colonies to declare independence in the 19th century, and some became models of republican harmony. They projected the idea that racial segregation could be consigned to the dustbin of history, along with colonial institutions and economic exploitation. For that, they deserve to be honoured.

There are other reasons why this bill proposes making October a month for celebrating Latin American communities. October was chosen because of certain traditions and customs. We know that it is a significant month in Latin America and South America, since it is the month when Costa Rica celebrates the Day of Cultures, Venezuela observes the Day of Indigenous Resistance, Argentina marks the Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity, Brazil has its Children's Day, and various Latin American cultures celebrate the Day of the Dead.

We feel that dedicating the 10th month of the year to our Latin American communities would give members of those communities an opportunity to share these cultural traditions with their neighbours, in a spirit of harmony. The bill also notes that this event would bring people together and give them a chance to share and celebrate this rich cultural heritage.

A little while ago, L'Actualité published a profile of Quebec's Latin American community that highlighted the strong kinship between Quebeckers and the tens of thousands of members of that community, who refer to themselves as Latino-Quebeckers. According to the article, 90% of Latino immigrants choose to learn French when they arrive in Quebec. The community has a political presence in Quebec too, with people like former minister Joseph Facal and the member for Honoré-Mercier, who is originally from Argentina.

Our cities bear witness to the political history of these peoples. The statue of Simón Bolívar located five minutes from here, just off Rideau Street, was a gift to Canada from Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

We also have Salvador Allende Street in Laval, a tribute to the former Chilean president who was assassinated in a coup d'état. Let us not forget Quebec City's Parc de l'Amérique-Latine, which was established at the mouth of the Saint-Charles river to pay tribute to great figures in Latin American history, such as poet, writer, and Cuban national independence hero José Martí, Haitian independence hero Toussaint Louverture, and military leader Bernardo O'Higgins, a hero who fought for Chilean independence. They are legion, but those who have left the most indelible mark on Quebec are the men and women who made a life here. Thousands of people from various Latin and South American countries now live in Quebec City, Gatineau, Sherbrooke, and the area I am from, Longueuil and Saint-Hubert.

At the Nouvelle Vie church in Longueuil, there are Venezuelan, Peruvian, Cuban, and Quebec musicians. The Sacré-Cœur-de-Jésus church on Brodeur Street, right above our community centre, Entraide chez nous, hosts colourful, welcoming celebrations. Since I was elected in 2011, one of the encounters that has stood out for me was with Marco, who has been dedicated to the Table Itinérance Rive-Sud for many years and who, to me, is one of the greatest symbols of community involvement. Although Marco does a lot of work in the community, and everyone back home in Longueuil agrees, I am sure that if you asked him what he is most proud of, he would say his children, whom he teaches about his heritage every day, since the most beautiful language of all is the one spoken by our children.

It is in our best interests to actively create stronger relationships with Latin American countries, to build cultural bridges, and to share our ambitions with trade blocs like Mercosur. The Latin American communities established here, in Quebec and Canada, can help facilitate these joint projects. These communities and their heritage also make unique contributions to our culture and to the spirit of community in Quebec. I am very proud to highlight these contributions today and to support this proposal to designate a Latin American heritage month.

Business of Supply May 8th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I work with my colleague on a regular basis and I hold him in very high esteem. I believe him when he says that he represents the interests of the people in his riding. Obviously, he is a man of experience who knows the rules of governance and the parliamentary process. I am going to ask him a question that he may find somewhat forthright.

I understand that he finds that the Liberals are imposing their will on the country. We are all familiar with their belief in their royal and divine right to hand down laws. It bothers all of us. However, I believe that a carbon tax is appropriate.

I would like to ask my colleague, whom I hold in high regard, how he suggests we fight climate change.

Business of Supply May 8th, 2018

Madam Speaker, their biggest problem is that they do not keep their campaign promises. Their platform reads as follows:

We will fulfill our G20 commitment and phase out subsidies for the fossil fuel industry over the medium-term.

When will those people stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry?

Business of Supply May 8th, 2018

Madam Speaker, you can immediately eliminate a policy on the electrification of transportation in Canada from that long list of great concrete measures, because there is no such policy. You did not mention it, and that was wise. It is quite unfortunate because the provinces are taking the lead.

One year ago, the Minister of Transport went to Montreal to announce that the government would create a committee to establish a transportation electrification strategy. That is not happening.

In general, the Liberals' biggest problem is that they have portrayed themselves as heroes. They have all the answers. In this case, what I can tell you is that your biggest problem is also that you do not keep any of your promises. In your platform—

Taxation May 8th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, La Presse has just announced that it will become a non-profit entity because Ottawa is still refusing to support our national media.

This morning, the newspaper's president said that the newspaper could no longer compete in an environment where more than 80% of digital advertising dollars in Canada go to Google and Facebook, which do not have to pay taxes but get tax credits. Why on earth is the Minister of Finance favouring the web giants? First La Presse. What's next?

Will our media have to start hiring hordes of lobbyists to finally get the government's attention?

Taxation May 7th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, today, the Ottawa Citizen revealed the true story of a former Liberal Party strategist who was just hired as a lobbyist by Google, a Google department head who became chief of staff for the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and another former Liberal strategist, now the chief lobbyist for Facebook, who forgot to disclose his many meetings with the Minister of Finance.

Who said Ottawa was a boring city? This is like something out of House of Cards!

Could it be that the cozy relationship between web giants and the Liberals is holding the government back from forcing those companies to pay their fair share of taxes?