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  • 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

Salaries Act December 12th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague opposite if the bill simply validates something that already exists. As far as I know, ministers of state already receive this salary.

If we are here to validate decisions that you have already made, I can suggest other bills, such as bills on charging and collecting taxes and the GST that undermine our entrepreneurs.

If you want to change things to suit you and put the House at your service, say so right away.

Salaries Act December 12th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, it does not take a rocket scientist, only a good head of hair.

My colleague talked a lot about SMEs. With all the backpedalling the Liberals do, making decisions and then changing laws accordingly, would he not expect them to come here with some sort of legislation? I would like to see them put in writing that we are gearing up to shortchange our small businesses and retailers so we can blithely give major international corporations a tax break on GST and provincial sales tax.

While they are at it, they should put in writing that they prefer to help American giants.

Salaries Act December 12th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I rather agree with my Conservative colleague that we are once again spending time passing legislation in support of a decision that has already been made. These ministers of state already receive the salary usually paid to ministers. We are now covering up the tracks and amending the law to address a broken promise made during the election campaign and to let the Liberals cloak themselves in righteousness, which is something they do very well.

This state of affairs is summed up by the term “entitlement”. It has resulted in the Liberals coming to power and using this chamber's time to cover up their mistakes.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister indicated that the Liberals would not make Canadian consumers pay more taxes even though companies like Netflix and Amazon do not charge the GST. This mistake will hurt our own businesses. It is hurting people like Peter Simons, who invest millions of dollars, hire hundreds of employees, and than are at a complete disadvantage because of it.

Are you going to amend an act to justify the unjustifiable here, too?

Salaries Act December 12th, 2017

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech. He has once again reminded us of our duties. He wants to ensure that each one of us remembers how this Confederation works and the type of exchanges we should have in Parliament. I appreciate that very much.

I know that he was speaking to his constituents at the beginning of his speech and I believe that it is very healthy for an MP to remind people of what we are supposed to be doing as their representatives.

He also clearly pointed out the role of regional ministers as representatives. We are actually evolving into a top-down organization even though what we really need is the opposite. He reminded us of how pathetic it is that we are once again wasting parliamentarians' time in this chamber covering up the government's mistake, simply because during the election campaign the Liberals promised the moon and the stars on about everything. For the past two and a half years we have spent a good part of our time in this place covering up their mistakes.

Does my colleague believe, for example, that there will be a new bill to cover up the finance minister's mistakes, a bill that will condone the type of privilege extended to him and his family? Does he believe, for example, that the Minister of Small Business and Tourism might consider it a good idea to pass legislation to ensure that there is no GST or provincial sales tax on online sales to mess up all the small businesses she has to represent?

Canadian Heritage December 11th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage came back to Montreal on Friday to say the same thing she had said two months ago. The only difference was that she added that she had heard Quebec and would stop defending Netflix's tax break, but that the Minister of Finance would have to be consulted.

Quebec is united in condemning the unfair tax treatment enjoyed by Netflix and other web giants. Everyone is against it, including unions, business leaders, the media, journalists, and artists.

Did the Minister of Finance give any answer other than no? This is pathetic.

Is that how important Quebec's unanimous opinion is to this government and to the Prime Minister?

Do they have anything to offer besides the same old blather at UNESCO and standing up to defend our culture, or are they going to defend the indefensible—

Canadian Heritage December 7th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the Netflix agreement is already dead and buried in the eyes of Quebeckers. It is over. Everyone, business people from the cultural sector, the National Assembly, everyday Quebeckers, everyone rejects this unfair tax break that Ottawa is giving the web giant.

A poll released this morning shows that 72% of Quebeckers find the Netflix agreement unfair and 89% find that this agreement can no longer remain secret.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage is delivering a major speech tomorrow in Montreal. All eyes will be on her. Everyone is expecting her to get things back on track.

Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Finance stop passing the buck, admit that they made a mistake, and reconsider these unfair handouts?

Canadian Heritage December 4th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, a lot of people are fed up with the heritage minister. The cultural sector, print media, and even a number of her own Liberal colleagues are calling on her to take action to help our cultural sector and our media, but she is refusing to do so.

When we tell her about newspapers that are shutting down, she talks about the CBC or a federal fund that does not support daily papers. Everyone, from her own colleagues to people such as Fred Pellerin, Boucar Diouf, and Alexandre Taillefer, has reached the breaking point. Even a former advisor to Jean Chrétien had some choice words for her recently.

For pity's sake, can the minister offer up just one concrete measure she will take to save print media, if only to salvage her own reputation? She has two reports full of ideas to choose from.

Media Industry November 30th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the crisis in journalism continues, 30 newspapers are shutting down, but the Minister of Canadian Heritage is not worried about it. Some Liberal members are, however, La Presse reporting today that it is obvious that not everyone is on board and that some Liberal members are privately voicing their dissatisfaction with the government's inaction. They “have trouble understanding the government's laissez-faire attitude to web giants”. The member for Ottawa West—Nepean said that if any solutions exist, we should pursue them. The member for Vancouver Centre said that the minister had said that she would help press journalism but that that is not what people are asking for.

How many lost jobs will it take for the minister to lift a finger? How many members from her own caucus will it take for her to consider this issue?

Committees of the House November 30th, 2017

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech full of goodwill.

Earlier he said that the government has not followed up on the unanimous recommendations at all. I would like to point out that this morning's debate is not about, say, forestry or fisheries. If it were, we would be talking about well-known cases that we are familiar with or have heard about, ones where we met with unions and advocacy groups. Today's subject is one we are very familiar with. We have staff whom we supervise and who do a great job handling those cases. They are specialists.

Is my colleague hopeful that the government will actually pay some attention today and not ignore this as it did when the report was tabled?

Committees of the House November 30th, 2017

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech. He is absolutely right about how we are in an excellent position to see how these crooks endanger people's lives, take advantage of whatever they have left, mainly hope, and can damage our reputation.

The member was also right when he said that, although we may be familiar with the issues, it is experts like Vanessa Taylor in my office who repeatedly save people from being deported to their home countries. She has even saved people who were in the clutches of people who had abused their trust and good will.

This is where recommendation 10 could be very helpful. Recommendation 10 reads as follows: “That Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada create a mechanism that will effectively allow individuals who have been abused by unscrupulous representatives to file a complaint without fear it will jeopardize their application or status.”

I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on that.