House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was colleague.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Beauport—Limoilou (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 26% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions May 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition signed by dozens of people who are calling on the government to remove the tax on feminine hygiene products.

I am pleased to present this petition because, when working in food banks, I realized that the more expensive this type of product is, the more inaccessible it is to people with limited means and the more difficult it is for them to make ends meet and fill their grocery carts.

Safe and Accountable Rail Act May 7th, 2015

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

The Canadian disaster relief fund is an interesting aspect of the bill, but it does raise some concerns.

First, we do not understand why the amount was set at $250 million. Second, the money for this fund will be in the general revenues of the government.

I studied the budget extensively and I am in the process of going over the budget implementation bill, and I cannot say that the government inspires confidence. For example, to balance the budget this year, the Conservatives raided the national contingency fund.

I would like my colleague to clarify all this. I am not sure he will be able to reassure the public.

Safe and Accountable Rail Act May 7th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I have been an MP for four years. I have often seen how the Conservatives operate and the occasional collusion of the Liberals. These two parties like to join forces on certain issues. A recent example I have in mind is the anti-terrorist bill, which unfortunately passed at third reading here in the House. The Liberals and the Conservatives are also complicit in matters of deregulation, as my colleague from Saint-Jean pointed out.

In 1999, the Liberals went ahead with implementing complete deregulation and allowing self-regulation. Furthermore, it has taken 20 long years, under Liberal and Conservative governments, for the Transportation Safety Board to sound the alarm about the DOT-111 tank cars. In the end, those 20 years of neglect make for a truly pathetic track record.

Although the bill is not without merit, and we support it because it does take some preliminary steps to improve the situation, it does not address the problems of inspection and prevention. Furthermore, it removes the issue of fatigue management, which is an urgent and central problem.

What justification is there for eliminating fatigue management from the Railway Safety Act?

Safe and Accountable Rail Act May 7th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Brossard—La Prairie for his speech.

One of the troubling aspects of this bill—because the devil is often in the details—is the removal of the definition of “fatigue science” that already appears in the Railway Safety Act. People need to be aware of the fact that in all areas of transportation, managing fatigue is an ongoing challenge. For instance, when it comes to highway transportation, the provinces have legislated the issue. Truck drivers have to keep log books.

On the rail side, obviously, given that trains operate day and night and cover very long distances, this is a very serious problem, and the NDP brought forward an amendment in committee that, unfortunately, was ruled out of order by the chair.

I wonder if my colleague could talk about the problem of fatigue and what the witnesses reported regarding the risks associated with removing that definition.

Citizen Voting Act April 30th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it makes me laugh every time a government member claims to be a victim of the procedural war that is going on right now.

The minister of state could never criticize the opposition for defending itself against this cheap gamesmanship we have to endure. This is the second time allocation motion today. The minister is following in the footsteps of the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and claiming to be a victim of the big bad NDP.

Really, she is the one who is betraying the very spirit of the work of this House. She is betraying her role as a member of Parliament by preventing us, the representatives of the people, from expressing ourselves.

How is she going to face her voters and explain this denial of democracy?

Unemployment Rate April 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for moving this wonderful motion, which reiterates our priorities and once again calls on this uninspired government to take action. Fortunately, the government's lack of inspiration led it to use NDP measures in the recent budget. Unfortunately, though, the Conservatives' measures are not even half-measures.

My colleague talked about the problem of underemployment. In fact, the latest Bank of Canada report clearly indicated that the most active category of workers, those aged 25 to 55, had a very low participation rate. It was comparable to what it was nearly six years ago, as we were coming out of the last crisis.

I wonder if she could talk about the government's poor record, which, I think, is the result of its failure to act.

The Budget April 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I said that I was searching for the term “income splitting”. Unfortunately, no one had any answers for me as to where it might be found.

Take, for example, how the Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification carefully avoided using that term in her 10-minute speech, even though she tried to respond to me by saying that this was not a taboo term. This mystery remains unsolved. The term “income splitting” was widely used by the Conservatives several months ago to boast about a new government achievement. However, that term has vanished completely from the budget. Some ministers now never use that term.

I would like my colleague from Winnipeg South Centre to explain to me why Conservative members are no longer allowed to use the term “income splitting”.

The Budget April 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Ahuntsic for her speech, which touched on a number of very interesting topics.

However, I cannot help but come back to the topic of TFSAs, since unfortunately, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice gave an unsatisfactory answer to my question.

This morning, at the Standing Committee on Finance, the Parliamentary Budget Officer's team made it clear that TFSAs essentially are not meeting the objective of encouraging people to save. On the contrary, the assistant parliamentary budget officer, Mostafa Askari, clearly stated that, unfortunately, savings are simply being transferred from another instrument to a TFSA.

As a result, the billions of dollars in public money being spent to give people a break on their taxes constitutes a net loss, since it is not resulting in additional savings.

Could my colleague speak to the government's unfortunate misuse of public money?

The Budget April 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice for his speech.

I would like to talk about TFSAs. As we know, the Conservatives do not seem to know what they are trying to accomplish with this measure. We saw that at the Standing Committee on Finance. The assistant parliamentary budget officer, Mostafa Askari, said:

...there is no indication that the amount of money that has gone to TFSAs is actually new savings. It's very likely that most of it is the money that was saved in other instruments and had been transferred to a TFSA.

Mr. Askari showed that tax sheltering TFSAs did not result in new savings.

Why is he okay with billions of dollars in public money being thrown out the window when this mechanism is not even leading to new savings?

The Budget April 28th, 2015

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

Speaking of income splitting, when the Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification spoke in defence of her colleague who gave a speech earlier—unless I missed something, and my colleague can correct me if I am wrong—she refused to use the words “income splitting”.

I have to say that such self-censorship on the part of Conservative cabinet members is certainly a mystery. They refuse to use the words “income splitting”, which are actually nowhere to be found in the budget.

Can my colleague comment on the restriction that seems to be in place for certain Conservative caucus members, or at least for the Conservative cabinet?