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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was situation.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Bloc MP for Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2008, with 40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Technical Assistance for Law Enforcement in the 21st Century Act October 29th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I would like my colleague to elaborate on the Conservatives' methodology when it comes to these bills.

We are realizing more and more that this is all for show. However, this show is very flawed because it disregards the rules and procedures of the House of Commons. The Conservatives have taken to presenting bills to the media but not answering any questions on those bills because they have not yet been introduced in the House. In the meantime, the Conservatives manage to get their message out. It is a way of manipulating House of Commons procedure and it is also a way of manipulating public opinion with the help of the media. The media end up asking questions and not getting answers. It is as simple as that.

I would like the hon. member to say a few words about that.

Gaspé Peninsula October 27th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw attention today to the fact that the October 2009 issue of Traveler, published by the famous National Geographic, included the Gaspé Peninsula among the top 50 “places of a lifetime”. My region is the only place in Quebec and one of only three in Canada to have made the list.

The Gaspé Peninsula earned this ranking in the category of “Places where man and nature live in harmony”, among such places as Asia's Gobi desert, Montenegro in Europe and Argentina's Mendoza region.

The text describing the Gaspé Peninsula was written by well-known singer-songwriter-composer Kevin Parent, who talks about places that are dear to his heart, where one can see both sea and mountains, two pillars of the Gaspé landscape. He also pays special tribute to the warmth and gregariousness of Gaspesians.

As the member of Parliament for Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, I am proud of such recognition, and I encourage the hon. members to let themselves be charmed by the wide expanses and spaces of leisure that make the Gaspé Peninsula such a wonderful place.

Business of Supply October 19th, 2009

Madam Speaker, I would like to ask the member who just spoke a few questions that will be easy to answer. In his speech, he mentioned that Bill C-50, which is currently being studied, would help forestry workers.

I would like him to identify these forestry workers: in which regions do they live and how many are there?

Bill C-50 actually does not benefit those forestry workers. I imagine he could reconsider what he said. I would just remind him that Bill C-50, supported by the New Democrats, will help people, but only those who have not drawn more than 35 weeks of benefits over the past five years.

Business of Supply October 19th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to congratulate my colleague on his speech and say that the Bloc Québécois' position has to do not only with the past and the present, but also with the future.

A massive intervention to help the forestry industry would say that we still believe in a future for that industry. At present, the government seems to want to completely rule out any future development of the forestry industry. The industry has to be well positioned for the coming recovery. If nothing is done, that will be too bad, but when the recovery comes, there will be fewer workers and less industry in the municipalities in question.

I would like to hear what my colleague has to say about the future of the forestry industry.

Business of Supply October 19th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I did not necessarily intend to ask questions or make a comment, but in light of what the minister just said it might be appropriate to put things into context.

He spoke of Gaspésia. I would like him to elaborate because Gaspésia is a matter in which the governments got involved to help save a municipality, a company, a region. They did not achieve the desired results, but nonetheless, let us not forget that governments have to approach such matters responsibly and not have a double standard.

The softwood lumber issue cannot be viewed through rose-coloured glasses. The facts are the facts. The facts provide hard numbers that prove that there is a double standard in the current government's action when it comes to the forestry industry compared to other measures it took, for example with respect to the automobile industry.

We are simply saying that the effort made for the auto industry was indeed substantial. It was necessary because industries and jobs were at stake. The same is true in the forestry industry. It would be irresponsible of a government to say that if something happens in a certain province or a little further west it will make a large-scale effort, but if it is a little further east, in Quebec, it will leave things be. The forestry industry, to my knowledge, is present across Canada. The Bloc Québécois' intervention is not simply an intervention by a political party; the Bloc Québécois represents the unanimous consensus in Quebec.

I would invite the minister to be more moderate in his comments. Believing that everything he says is true and everything we say is false just does not work. It may be time to put a little water in the wine.

Business of Supply October 1st, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I have a simple question for the Liberal member who just spoke.

Why is she so enthusiastic about the $1.4 billion cost of the 360-hour standard, yet she has completely forgotten about the $57 billion—$57,000 million—that has been taken from unemployed workers and the regions, including my riding of Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine? How can she be so carried away by $1.5 billion and not even mention the $57 billion that has been purloined from the regions and the unemployed?

Business of Supply October 1st, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the New Democrats and the member who just spoke, the New Democratic Party critic.

Considering everything the Conservatives have done or not done, how can she, in her comments and her way of seeing things, vote against this motion? The question is whether the House still has confidence in the government. Given everything that has happened until now and the New Democratic Party's statements, the answer is self-evident. The question is simple: does she have confidence in the current Conservative government?

Employment Insurance Act September 28th, 2009

Madam Speaker is halfway there. If you travel 250 kilometres to the north and west, you reach the Gaspé. The fact of the matter is that I represent the riding of Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

I would like to address two issues. I fully agree with part of what the hon. member for Madawaska—Restigouche said in his speech. There was another part, however, where I had a hard time following him. He seems to be very sensitive to the NDP, and what it does or does not do in any given circumstances, but how quickly he forgets the Liberal involvement in the employment insurance issue. If there is more than $50 billion in the EI fund today, it is due in large part to the Liberals. When in government, the Liberals made regions like the member's and mine suffer. Instead of being sensitive to what is happening on the NDP side, he should pay closer attention to his own party's record.

I do agree that Bill C-50 tends to divide the unemployed into two categories: the good and the bad. The good have never, or hardly ever, for 35 weeks over 5 years, had dealings with EI or received EI benefits. Otherwise, one falls into the other category. The reality of seasonal work is such that workers find themselves, sadly, with no choice but to collect benefits. EI is a social and economic safety net for regions like ours.

Therefore, I would like the member of the Liberal Party to be careful when throwing stones at others because they could be thrown right back at him. There is some kind of boomerang effect. I think he better not forget the involvement of his own party in the employment insurance issue. At the same time, I support his statement to the effect that Bill C-50 is disrespectful and, I might add, creates two categories of unemployed people.

Transport September 17th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I would like to talk about another subject that has to do with a different minister.

The winter maritime link between the Îles-de-la-Madeleine and the mainland is essential to the economic development of our region. The winter crossing pilot project was a success this year; the number of vehicles transported was 75% higher than expected.

Does Transport Canada plan on renewing funding and making the winter maritime link permanent?

Lobster Fishery September 17th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, the 2009 lobster season was a very difficult one. Sinking prices on the export markets and rising costs have hit the fishermen hard. In response to our pressure, the minister recognized the need to help these workers. However, the assistance plan announced in June was not warmly received in Quebec, particularly in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Does the minister plan on revising her plan, to stop penalizing the Quebec fishermen who have been practising conservation measures for a long time now?