House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was however.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as NDP MP for Trois-Rivières (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 17% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply February 5th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Saint-Maurice—Champlain for his speech.

Obviously, he can count me as an ally when it comes to defending jobs at the tax centre in Shawinigan, since about half of the employees there are probably residents of Trois-Rivières.

Where I really have a problem, however, is when they say they are not going to play politics with this. That is why we are here. Politics is all about finding the best way forward. What we have here is a Conservative Party that seems to live in a magical land of unicorns and a Liberal Party that seems to live in a land of denial. During the previous Parliament, before my colleague from Saint-Maurice—Champlain was even elected, I was already defending the Shawinigan tax centre. Why is this investment coming so late when, during the campaign in 2015, he and I had proposed more or less the same thing to workers in that sector? This proposal is coming so late in the term that it could only be implemented in the Liberal government's hypothetical second term. That is what I would take issue with today.

Quebec's request is a legitimate one. Can we find a way to respond without saying either that it can easily be done without any job losses, or that it is impossible? The difference is that the NDP has decided that no jobs will be cut and that a way forward will involve the major unions, which protect workers. We can find a way forward. It make take longer to come up with than the solution that my party's supporters decided on or imagined when they introduced a resolution at a convention. However, this does not mean that we stop considering the possibilities the following day.

When will we be able to follow up on this request by the Government of Quebec and find a way forward? I believe that the NPD, which is willing to sit down with all interested parties, is offering the best possible solutions.

Pyrrhotite February 5th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, if the trend of announcements continues, after four years of governing, the Liberal government may end up having completely overlooked the needs of the people of Mauricie.

Here are some examples. There was an announcement about a pyrrhotite study, but the results will not be available until 2024. As for the construction of a new taxation data centre in Shawinigan, work will begin, at best, in 2022.

The government seems unable to meet the needs of the people of Trois-Rivières right now.

How much longer will we still have to wait before work on the high-frequency train begins? Can we expect an achievement out of this government or an announcement for a hypothetical mandate?

Federal Sustainable Development Act January 28th, 2019

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech.

I do not want to interpret her comments, and that is why I am asking my question. According to her explanation, Senate amendment 5 was rejected by the government because it did not reference the right act.

My question is very simple. Does the member accept the spirit of this amendment? Does the government agree with the spirit and is it simply saying that it is not in the right act?

If that is the case, in what legislation will it be included to ensure it becomes an integral part of the progress we want to make in fighting climate change?

Rail Transportation December 4th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, for years now, the TSB has been sounding the alarm about the dangers associated with conductor fatigue in the rail industry.

On the one hand, the minister keeps telling us that safety is his top priority, but on the other hand he allows the industry to self-regulate. In the end, nothing happens. Crude oil transportation by rail has doubled since the Lac-Mégantic tragedy, which is a comfort to no one.

Does the minister plan to do something about regulations regarding fatigue or will we get the same old rhetoric we always do?

Rail Transportation December 3rd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for her answer.

I do think there is an interest. At least we are both interested in the basic issue of developing rail transportation across Canada. Today we are talking about the Quebec City-Windsor corridor, but it could be about other routes as well.

Obviously, I did not get much of an answer to my question, but one element of my colleague's interesting statement caught my attention. She said her government will be studying long-term development.

My question is very straightforward. When the Liberals and the government talk about the long term, how many years do they mean? I have been raising this issue in the House since 2011, and soon it will be 2019. It seems to me that the long term is already here. It is high time for an announcement, rather than a vague mention of broad principles.

Rail Transportation December 3rd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I imagine that you are not surprised to see me using the adjournment debate to try to get an answer to a question I have been asking for many moons. In fact, it has been longer than that because we can now count how long I have waited in years. Moreover, I am not the only one waiting. I keep coming back to this because not only does everyone in Trois-Rivières agree on this, but everyone in the Quebec-Windsor corridor is waiting for a response from the Minister of Transport. After spending $11 million on studies, the minister is still unable to tell us anything about the government's plans or directions.

To illustrate, last month, at special meetings held by the UMQ in Trois-Rivières with a special committee of elected members committed to determining how we might develop rail transportation in Quebec and Canada in the years to come, the invited guest was the Minister of Transport. We were obviously pleased that he was there, since we took his presence to mean that we would finally find out his vision for developing passenger rail service in Quebec and Canada.

No such luck. During his speech, the minister told us yet again about how important safety is to him. Far be it for me to diminish the importance of transportation safety in any way, but the question remains: How is it that after all this time the minister is still unable to give us at least a hint about his plans for the VIA Rail high-frequency train project?

The UMQ president expressed this hope, which I will now reformulate as a question: If nothing else, will the Minister of Transport tell us whether his development vision includes a high-frequency train along a corridor dedicated solely to passenger transportation?

As a supplementary question, the UMQ and I would also like to know if the current government will actually fund a high-frequency VIA Rail train, or if this will merely be an election promise that would end up putting off indefinitely this long-awaited project, despite the community's unanimous support.

I am using this adjournment debate to try to get an answer because, the last time I asked the question, the government once again changed the subject and talked about VIA Rail's fleet renewal. Obviously, we applaud that initiative, even though we have serious concerns about the fact that the government is giving VIA Rail $1 billion as part of that renewal without including a clause that would guarantee jobs for workers here, which would have made it possible to build on and maintain our existing expertise.

My question is this: is there an interest in passenger rail? Is there an interest in VIA Rail's project? Will the government soon make a funding announcement or will we once again have to wait for an election campaign announcement?

Petitions November 28th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, for weeks, months, years, the people of Trois-Rivières have been eagerly awaiting the return of train service. However, instead of just waiting for a response, they are taking action. Every week, dozens of people from Trois-Rivières and the surrounding region add their names to the petition.

The petition calls on the Minister of Transport to finally provide funding for VIA Rail's high-frequency rail project, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote economic development in several regions in Quebec and Ontario.

I am proud to present another instalment of this petition while awaiting a favourable response.

Rail Transportation November 27th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, workers have suffered enough. After massive layoffs at Bombardier and the closure of the GM plant in Oshawa, now our workers might not see a penny of the contract to build VIA Rail's new fleet.

The United States requires 65% domestic content, and China requires between 70% and 90%.

Why is it so hard for the Liberals to protect Canadian jobs, integrate Canadian technology and develop homegrown expertise?

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

Madam Speaker, I listened closely to my colleague's comments. I really appreciated the parallel he drew at the beginning of his remarks between the current Liberal government and the previous Conservative government and their approach to doing things.

I wonder if he could expand on that because on reading Bill C-86, I am having a hard time differentiating between the Conservatives and the Liberals. Employment insurance has been overlooked, the fight against tax evasion and tax havens has been abandoned. The hon. member talked about Netflix and web giants. All these questions that we have been asking since our cohort was elected in 2011 have not been getting answered, not by the Conservatives or the Liberals.

Is it six of one and half a dozen of the other with these two parties?

Pyrrhotite November 26th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, over two months ago, I asked the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development to announce a scientific study, a solution everyone has known about for ages, to help pyrrhotite victims caught in the grey area. His office later told me that a research protocol would be signed with Université Laval very soon. However, it is now two months later, and still nothing.

Can the minister give us an update today on when this agreement will be signed and how long this widely anticipated study will take?