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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is first.

NDP MP for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Indigenous Affairs September 20th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is at the UN, where two of his ministers recently promised to implement the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

How can this be the same government that approved the permits for the Site C hydroelectric dam without consulting indigenous peoples?

The Minister of Justice has a constitutional obligation to ensure that indigenous peoples are consulted before those permits are issued. Is this what the new nation-to-nation relationship means to this government, violating the rights of indigenous peoples in such a careless manner on this issue?

Indigenous Affairs September 19th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government was elected with a promise to build a new nation-to-nation relationship, so why is it still discriminating against first nations children?

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found the government guilty of discrimination, but it is still failing to comply with the tribunal's order.

My question is simple: how can the Prime Minister, the Minister of Youth, justify systematic discrimination against indigenous children in 2016?

Indigenous Affairs June 17th, 2016

Madam Speaker, this morning, Algonquin elders, supported by community members, are gathering on this Hill to remind parliamentarians of a sacred place near here.

The Algonquins have asked politicians at all levels to respect our rights regarding important matters that affect our community, and yet the Zibi development project continues ahead.

The government has committed to a new nation-to-nation relationship, so I would ask again, when will the government honour its promises and commitments to indigenous peoples, and move forward by supporting Bill C-262 to adopt and implement the UN declaration?

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1 June 10th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his very clear presentation.

I know he did not address any indigenous issues, but he was part of a government and sat around the cabinet table. I would like to hear his views on the Liberal approach to indigenous issues, and I want to know whether he sees much of a difference.

Let me give an example. The budget has earmarked $500 million for indigenous housing. If we divide that by the number of communities, it gives about $300,000 a year to each community. One house in the northern part of my riding costs about $300,000.

I would like to know if he sees much of a difference between the Liberal approach to indigenous issues and the previous government's approach.

Indigenous Affairs June 10th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, last month in New York, the Liberals promised to fully implement and adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The TRC's call to action number 43 calls on the government to do the same.

Here is the good news. Bill C-262 would implement both that promise and that call to action.

The question becomes very simple. Will the Liberals support my bill or will that become just another broken promise?

Indigenous Affairs June 8th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Human Rights Watch released a damning report on access to drinking water in indigenous communities.

The organization believes this issue is the direct result of discrimination against first nations in this country. There are no regulations and there is a flagrant lack of oversight. People's health is being put at risk, and this is a violation of their human rights.

Can the government share its plan to put an end to this inhumane crisis, which has been going on for far too long?

Indigenous Affairs May 16th, 2016

Madam Speaker, in the early 1960s, several Inuit kids from the north were taken away, selected as part of a Canadian government experiment to assimilate the Inuit into non-indigenous cultures.

These children have come to be known as the “experimental Eskimos”. As with the residential school system, the impacts and consequences the policy would have on the children were never considered.

This past week, the parties involved in the class action suit for residential schools in Newfoundland and Labrador have finally reached an agreement and settlement, which, as a survivor myself, I applaud.

It is in the same spirit of reconciliation that the Government of Canada needs to do the same in favour of the experimental Eskimos. The survivors of this other dark chapter of our history are calling on us to help them, so they too can turn a page on injustice, with dignity and honour.

Indigenous Affairs May 11th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals say that reconciliation with the indigenous peoples is one of their top priorities.

However, today, the Department of Justice is in court to fight against a survivor of the St. Anne's Indian Residential School, whose history is nothing short of revolting. Allegedly, the federal government deliberately hid documents proving the abuse that the victim suffered. The victim was denied compensation for lack of evidence.

How does the minister justify opposing this survivor's right to a new hearing?

Indigenous Affairs May 10th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, yesterday and today the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs reiterated her government's intention to endorse the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. However, the government is rather short on details as to what that will look like.

I am pleased to inform you, Mr. Speaker, that the work has already been done. My bill seeks to adopt and implement the declaration. The question therefore is very simple.

Will the government support Bill C-262? A yes or no will suffice, by the way.

Indigenous Affairs April 22nd, 2016

Madam Speaker, six years ago, Canada endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Since then, little has been done to implement it.

The bill I introduced yesterday for the second time would ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the declaration. The Prime Minister gave his ministers a mandate to establish a new nation-to-nation relationship starting with the implementation of the declaration.

My question is a simple one. Will the Liberals support my bill as they did when they were in opposition, or not?