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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was heritage.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Independent MP for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert (Québec)

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

Statements in the House

The Environment December 7th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I have a specific question. Yesterday the leaders of the NDP, Bloc Québécois and Green Party met for the purpose of reaching out to the rest of the House, because it is time we recognized the absolute urgency of climate change. There is no time to argue. We need to set aside partisan politics and launch no less than a war effort to combat climate change. No one party can meet this challenge alone. We need to come together. Taking a non-partisan approach is a message that will make all the difference.

Would the Prime Minister agree to participate in a non-partisan effort and convene a summit of all party leaders to combat climate change?

Our children are watching us.

Taxation December 5th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Government of Quebec confirmed that Netflix will start collecting the QST on January 1, 2019, but not the GST, because Ottawa is refusing to change federal laws and make California-based Internet multinationals collect the same GST it makes our businesses collect.

Quebec explicitly asked the federal government to work with it to change the law, but the government flatly refused. No other G7 country is dumb enough to refuse to adapt its tax system to the Internet age.

Can the Prime Minister do better than the Minister of Finance's pathetic attempts to justify the unjustifiable?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2 November 27th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I do not know whether this is a translation problem, but I was expecting a very simple answer. It took two minutes and I did not hear the words “I do not know”.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2 November 27th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech. I do not doubt his sincerity, but I really did not get an answer to the question I asked earlier. It was a very simple question.

My colleague attends many of our committee meetings and he knows very well that the Quebec cultural sector sees as an injustice the fact that regular buyers of their content will be at a disadvantage compared with Netflix, for example, when it comes time to offer content on the web using their on-demand platforms.

He knows full well that the entire cultural sector would at least like to make sure that buyers are not at a disadvantage on the web, since the government is not requiring that Netflix collect GST on acquisitions and services in Canada, just as it does not require that Google collect tax on ad sales.

I am asking the question. I hope that my colleague will not give excuses and that he will answer my question. It is baffling that, despite the fact that Canada is a G7 nation and that it is performing better in certain areas—although it is also less savvy—we are not asking that federal and provincial taxes be collected on these subscriptions.

I hope to get an answer or at least an admission that he does not know.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2 November 27th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I know that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage is not the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance. However, if he is following this file within his own department, he knows full well that failing to require that companies like Netflix or Google collect GST on their services is an injustice to all competitors that are Canadian and hire Canadians.

I am not even talking about corporate taxes, because I know that the Minister of Finance will say that it is complicated. The Liberals do not have much initiative, but I can understand that corporate taxes are complicated. That said, applying a transaction tax on transactions made in Canada is pretty basic.

Are the minister's rose-coloured finance glasses so big that he does not even see a need to collect taxes from service providers? Pathetic. Does my colleague have nothing to say on this? He knows very well that the cultural sector is unanimous on this issue.

Our service providers and creators at least want local broadcasters and over-the-top television services, which are comparable to Netflix, to be on an equal footing with the others.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2 November 27th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.

Many people in Canada who are aware of problems in the cultural sector and the media might be asking themselves this question. As my colleague said, our economic performance was among the best in the G7. However, yesterday in committee, Facebook representatives told us they had decided to set up their sales offices in Canada and would begin collecting GST on their ads sometime in mid-2019. How can that be?

How can it be that our government does not have the backbone to tell companies that sell ad services to Canadians to collect GST? That failure to act is inexplicable and has probably cost us billions in uncollected revenue at a time when we really need it.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2 November 27th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I wonder if my colleague across the way finds it inappropriate of the current government to once again introduce a mega-bill with a tremendous amount of pages and details. Everyone is having a tough time deciphering all these details.

I am vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. The committee has to review the Copyright Act. No one knows where this is going and we learn in this bill that this is how the Copyright Board of Canada will be reviewed.

Can the hon. member understand how someone like me, who is committed to understanding the issues, may find it unacceptable that the Copyright Board of Canada is being reviewed in an omnibus bill when it is such an important issue right now?

News Media Industry November 22nd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, there is a crisis in the media industry, and the Liberals finally decided to take notice yesterday, after tens of thousands of jobs had already been cut. This was a good decision, and I thank them for it, but it is a little late. Our media industry has been gutted, and 92% of the money will not be spent until after the next election.

The Liberals chose to make Canadians foot the bill, yet Google and Facebook, which dominate the online advertising world, are the ones that swallowed up our media's advertising revenue. They are the ones that caused this crisis. The Liberals are not making them pay taxes. What is worse, the Liberals make these companies' services tax deductible, as if they were Canadian companies.

Why does the Liberal Party not demand anything from Facebook, Google and the rest? Are they like firefighters who start fires?

Criminal Code November 20th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I hear the government talk about being a law and order government when it is clearly a common spin government.

I am not an expert on these matters, but all I can say about this bill is that everyone including the member for Papineau can see that the justice system is clogged up because of these very mandatory minimums.

Why not deal with the bigger problem, which is mandatory minimums? It is as though they called a plumber to fix a leak in the water heater and he is wasting his time fiddling with the taps.

Criminal Code November 20th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank my colleague for his speech. We discussed our positions, which sometimes align, but often do not.

Obviously, I always feel a need to point out how disappointing this government's legislative agenda is. Given all of the serious problems Canada is facing, including those faced by first nations, this bill once again seems insufficient.

In the spring, the Criminal Lawyers' Association said that, sadly, intimate partner violence is one of the recognized legacies of residential schools and the sixties scoop. It believes that creating a reverse onus at the bail stage and increasing the sentence on conviction will likely aggravate the crisis of the overrepresentation of indigenous people in our prisons.

I would like to know what my colleague thinks about that. I think that is a major problem. The government is always talking about reconciliation, but it would be nice if the Liberals would take concrete action to improve this situation, rather than just being satisfied with public relations exercises.