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  • His favourite word is communities.

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 December 14th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, for more than a year now, the Prime Minister has been talking about how important the relationship with indigenous peoples is. For more than a year now, I have been rising in the House to ask why the government is not really sending that same message to first nations.

This morning, we learned that survivors of St. Anne residential school, where there was an electric chair and children were forced to eat their own vomit, have to go to court to fight for compensation and to ensure they will not have to cover the government's legal costs. That is what I call disgusting and despicable.

When will this government start walking the talk?

Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement December 12th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, my question is related to indigenous peoples, and not only from an internal perspective. As members know, we have a duty to consult and accommodate indigenous peoples whenever legislation that would impact their interest is considered by the House. There is a also dimension to all of this to needs to be considered whenever we negotiate international trade agreements in the interests of indigenous peoples in our country.

Does the member agree that in this age of nation-to-nation relationships and reconciliation with indigenous peoples promised by the other side, indigenous peoples should have been at the table when this legislation was drafted?

Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement December 12th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I want to reiterate what I said earlier about the duty to consult and accommodate indigenous peoples when legislation is considered here. It is not just about respecting those rights. It is also about our responsibility as members of Parliament to uphold the rule of law, which means respecting the Constitution, in which we find in Section 35 the rights of indigenous peoples and the duty to consult them. That has not happened with this legislation.

My colleague is deeply committed to indigenous peoples, including the indigenous peoples in his riding. Could he comment and perhaps provide examples as to why we must continue to insist that the government upholds its commitments and promises to indigenous peoples, including that nation-to-nation relationship and the consultation it promised with indigenous peoples, including on international trade deals like the one we are considering today? Or is just a case of all talk and no action, as usual?

Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement December 12th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I have one comment and question for my colleague, the member for London—Fanshawe.

First, one of the worries I have about this proposed legislation is that it has been rammed through the House in the absence of consultation with our indigenous peoples, without adhering to our constitutionally protected right or obligation to consult and accommodate indigenous peoples. I have seen no indication from the present government that it did so. That is extremely problematic.

One of the things the Canadian Environmental Law Association has said about CETA is that “It will significantly impact environmental protection and sustainable development in Canada.” In particular it “will impact the federal and provincial governments’ authority to protect the environment, promote resource conservation, or use green procurement as a means of advancing environmental policies and objectives.”

I would like my colleague, the member for London—Fanshawe, to comment on that.

Indigenous Affairs December 9th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, once again the indigenous community has been excluded from the main discussion of provincial premiers on climate change. This blatant lack of respect flies in the face of the Prime Minister's promise to establish a new relationship with indigenous peoples. They are directly affected by climate change.

Why have they not been invited to participate fully in the meetings on such a crucial issue?

Indigenous Affairs November 29th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, this is a sad day because I have to rise once again to remind the government that reconciliation is more than just words. By appealing, the minister is sending survivors of horrendous residential schools the message that they do not have the same right to justice as every other citizen. That is nothing short of appalling. What happened to the promise to build a new relationship?

I will repeat my question: will the Minister of Justice drop the appeal?

Indigenous Affairs November 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the government's own ministers agree that the government is not investing enough to help young indigenous people.

In committee yesterday, the Minister of Health said that federal health infrastructure investments were merely “a drop in a bucket” compared to the pressing needs.

My question is very simple. When will the minister finally provide adequate funding for the infrastructure and services that communities need?

Indigenous Affairs November 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, almost a year ago, just on the other side of the river here, the Prime Minister told the chiefs at the Assembly of First Nations the following:

We will support the work of reconciliation and continue the necessary process of truth telling and healing, we will work with [you] to enact the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, starting with the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Prime Minister promised real change, yet unfortunately we have yet to see the real or the change in this case.

We are heading towards the 150th anniversary of this place we now call Canada. The first peoples of this country should not have to wait another 150 years to see their fundamental human rights protected, respected, and fulfilled.

I invite the Prime Minister to respect that promise of reconciliation with the first peoples of this country.

Indigenous Affairs November 1st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs has confirmed that she will vote in favour of our motion today, so that is a good thing.

At the same time, she also said in an interview yesterday that the $155 million in additional funding that we are asking for and that is needed to address the underfunding of child welfare could actually have “really bad results”.

Is the minister truly committed to implementing our motion, or is she supporting it simply to avoid embarrassment?

Indigenous Affairs October 31st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I did not hear an answer. Without a deadline, it is all just hot air.

In 2007, the Liberals voted for our motion on Jordan's principle. Now the Liberals are in power, and even after two court orders, the children are still waiting. They cannot and must not wait any longer.

Therefore, I will repeat my question: what deadline has the government set for putting an end to this discrimination?