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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is media.

NDP MP for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert (Québec)

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

Statements in the House

Taxation March 1st, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I do not know too many people who got a tax break in Tuesday's budget, except for major web giants such as Netflix—no taxes, a lovely little financial gift paid for by ordinary taxpayers. The government's only response to the Quebec consensus on taxing web giants is to conduct a five-year study and to talk about it with other G7 countries this summer. The government is going to look rather silly because all the other G7 countries are already charging sales tax.

Will the government acknowledge that we must immediately adopt the solution used by almost every OECD country? That takes piecemeal agreements with multi-nationals.

Business of Supply February 26th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, things are getting a little intense here.

I heard the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement apologize a few moments ago. That is point (d) of our motion today.

I would like to back up to something before point (d) and talk about point (c) of the motion.

(c) compensate those in the public service who have experienced damages from Phoenix, both financial and otherwise;

Will my colleague not recognize that the right thing to do is compensate the public service employees who have suffered, financially or otherwise, as a result of the Phoenix debacle?

It seems to me that if we did this little by little, we might actually get somewhere, rather than throwing stones at one another and leaving the workers high and dry.

I know the Liberals often see themselves as bluebloods; they never do anything wrong.

In fact, mistakes were made. The Liberals need to show a little intellectual honesty and recognize at least something in the motion.

Returning to point (d), that is, issuing a public apology. They just did so, and we will remember that.

Now I want to go back to point (b), because I still have some time.

(b) exempt those who have been overpaid by Phoenix from having to pay back the ‘gross’ amount, despite actually receiving a substantially lower ‘net’ amount;

This makes sense to me.

Taxation February 26th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, on the eve of the budget, we would hope the finance minister and the heritage minister have been talking. According to Le Devoir, not only did the Minister of Heritage never answer a letter written to her last October by Quebec's minister of culture, but it also seems that the budget contains no measures that would finally require web giants to do their fair share. Furthermore, we hear that the Liberals are going to continue granting tax credits to Canadian companies that buy ads on these foreign platforms. The heritage minister has been hearing concerns about web taxation for almost six months now.

When does she think the Minister of Finance will hear her?

Interests of Quebec February 26th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, as the representative of Longueuil and Saint-Hubert in Ottawa, I cannot help but notice the contempt that this government seems to show for Quebec. Last week, official sources stated in a press release that, when he was playing dress-up in India, the Prime Minister of Canada spewed a bunch of nonsense about Quebec. What a disgrace.

That is the same Prime Minister who, with the complicit silence of the Liberal and Conservative members who are supposed to represent Quebec, has spent the past two years ignoring the consensus in Quebec on tax unfairness, on Netflix deals, and on our culture. I guess he too takes us for a bunch of hot dog eaters.

I am very proud to say that it is the NDP members from Quebec who have stood up to this contempt. While the quiet nationalism of Quebeckers reaches a level of consensus at the National Assembly, members representing Quebec here in Ottawa have a duty to defend the Quebec nation regardless of their personal or partisan convictions.

Quebeckers are calling for nothing less than Quebec's voice to be heard, listened to, and respected in Ottawa.

Business of Supply February 26th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.

I will not be asking him or his party for any personal recommendations for software or anything else, but I will admit that he made an excellent point in his speech that the Liberals are the ones who hit the start button.

Does the member sincerely believe that we can get this blue-blooded government to admit that it is responsible for this problem?

When the government agrees to pay financial compensation, can this be considered to be a fine and that the government is acknowledging its mistake?

Historic Sites and Monuments Act February 26th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I am thrilled to rise today to speak to Bill C-374, which would amend the Historic Sites and Monuments Act to create three new Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada positions, thereby providing for first nations, Inuit, and Métis representation on the board.

This subject is of tremendous importance to me. When I was re-elected, our oath of allegiance was changed to reflect this. Although many people find it odd that we still swear allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II, we nevertheless added a sentence to the oath about how, in carrying out our duties, we will honour and respect the treaties signed with first nations. That was particularly important to me because, as a proud Quebec nationalist, I am acutely aware of some of our gravest misconceptions about this country.

Although I am very proud of NDP members across Canada who chose to recognize the 1982 repatriation of the Constitution as a historical error that violated Quebec's rights, I can also certainly understand the perspective of first nations representatives who feel that their rights were ignored.

We are living in very interesting times, both politically and socially. Many things are no longer considered acceptable. As I myself have had the privilege of attending one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, with the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, I truly appreciate how urgently these changes are needed.

There is nothing more fundamental in a society than its heritage, including its historic sites and the significance attached to them. Adding these three additional representatives to the board is just common sense. Looking at the bill, one has to wonder why this was not done sooner. When was the tipping point finally reached? Was it two years ago or 12 years ago? In any case, our colleague's bill can only be commended at this point, and I know the NDP fully supports it. We think it is quite obvious that the bill should be supported. It is the right thing to do for our friends, with whom we share so much.

I think it is a great idea for the Historic Sites and Monuments Board to embrace the first nations' belief that we need to recognize more than just physical sites. We must also recognize places where people have had significant or important experiences, whether they are natural sites or built heritage. Accordingly, I am delighted that our colleague's initiative in sponsoring Bill C-374 has been exceptionally well received by all stakeholders aware of the issues and injustices that need to be fixed. One person who comes to mind is Karen Aird of the Indigenous Heritage Circle, who had this to say:

We feel that in this time, this time of reconciliation, this time when we see a new change in government, there's a need for people to start thinking differently about heritage, and moving it beyond built heritage, and thinking about how indigenous people perceive it and how we want to protect it. We do have our own mechanisms. We do have our own methods and approaches to protecting and interpreting heritage, and we feel it's really time now for indigenous people to have a voice in this.

I would also like to quote Mr. Sinclair, of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation:

the [Truth and Reconciliation Commission] has described the mountain, the calls to action issued by the TRC represent the path to the top. The Calls to Action represent the synthesis of one of the largest engagement sessions with indigenous peoples in the history of the country. We must understand these calls as the articulation of the collective voices of thousands upon thousands of Survivors, families and communities across the Country.

Central in the work of reconciliation is this is the recognition that Canada, as a nation, has not accurately or effectively portrayed the perspectives of indigenous peoples in the telling of our collective history. So long as this continues, Canadians and visitors to this country will be prevented from knowing not only who we were, but will be denied an understanding of what we can become.

Including indigenous perspectives and histories in commemorating national historic sites is paramount. Ensuring there is a clear strategy to commemorate and honour community perspectives on the residential schools is in our national interest.

Through these collective steps, we have the potential to tell a much more accurate, richer and honest story of who we are and where we are going.

For these, and many other reasons, we offer our full support for this bill and encourage all parliamentarians to do the same.

At a time when many things are being challenged, when many foundations are being rocked by shifting paradigms, I am proud to say that this Friday I will be using some of my constituency time to visit the community of Kahnawake in a neighbouring riding. This community is part of the greater Montérégie area and lies on the fringes of Montreal's south shore.

It is crucial that we recharge and reconnect with the first nations. I urge all of my colleagues to attend the Secret Path screening being held somewhere in this building this evening.

I call on all of us, as Quebeckers and Canadians of unquestionably mixed origins, perhaps because of the French regime, to discover the roots that we share, either by blood or by spirit, with the first nations.

On June 21, I got to attend the summer solstice ceremony on Victoria Island with Dominique Rankin and an elder who lit a fire. Moments like these make us realize that what these people care about is not buildings, or stained glass windows, or statues. What they care about is the fundamental principle behind these places and these activities.

As vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, I consider it a privilege to acknowledge how relevant this private member's bill is. I also want to acknowledge how enthusiastically the NDP stands behind this bill. Naturally, we support this initiative, and we hope to see as much concrete and immediate action taken as possible.

Everyone saw these images over the weekend. We need action, and we are taking parliamentary action here. I am keeping my fingers crossed. I urge the government and all parliamentarians to support concrete action to make this bill a reality.

Once we have a board that will establish what we deem to be part of the official heritage of this country, first nations, Inuit, and Métis people will be able to express their views in an atmosphere of full respect and equality.

Business of Supply February 15th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I have to acknowledge my colleague's good faith, especially since he himself served in the forces. I hear his truth and how he talks about this with as much objectivity and as little partisanship as possible. I would therefore ask him to explain to me why the government is determined to continue its proceedings in this case. I do not want to rub salt in the wounds, but he must know because it was his colleagues who began the proceedings.

Business of Supply February 15th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her speech. We have to appreciate the intellectual honesty behind her claim that veterans deserve our admiration and congratulations, and that we must address their needs in such a situation. They have made the greatest sacrifice, and the least their country can do is give them what they are owed. I truly admire what my hon. colleague said.

However, I wonder whether she is aware that Mr. Blaszczyk's situation can be traced back to the Conservative government. Yes, he may be utterly disappointed with a broken promise. However, this can be traced back to quite some time before the election campaign. It can be traced back to the Conservative government, and the blame lies at her party's doorstep. The issue of compensation goes back to the Conservative government.

Was my colleague aware of that?

Business of Supply February 15th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to rise in the House to remind veterans how much we appreciate all they have sacrificed for us. It is a well-known fact that young veterans, those who have recently returned from the front lines, live in isolation to an extent. They certainly deserve our attention, our engagement, and the debate we are having today.

How can my colleague across the way justify having two classes of pensions for our veterans? How can she add insult to injury in this situation?

Indigenous Peoples and Canada's Justice System February 14th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, we are very happy to hear that we all sit on the same side concerning the terrible issue of Colten Boushie and what his family has been through. Obviously, we agree there is a huge, 150-year-old issue. I can appreciate the government wants to tackle it, but please enlighten me and explain the term “framework”. We keep hearing about a framework of measures. What are you referring to?