House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was french.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Ottawa—Orléans (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 31% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply October 23rd, 2007

Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity. It is a privilege for me to work with you. I commend the people of Elmwood—Transcona for sending you to this place nine times. You are our dean and, as a rookie, I value your wisdom.

I am the 18th member to represent the people of Ottawa—Orléans in this House, and I know that my responsibility is as great as the debt I owe to all the constituents, regardless of their political affiliation.

Today, in the debate in reply to the Speech from the Throne, I plan to share with the House my personal story and my hopes for Ottawa—Orléans and for Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I also would like to inform you that I plan to share my time with the hon. member for Peterborough.

I have known eight of my predecessors, starting with Omer Gour. The one who made the greatest impact on the country was the Right Honourable Jean-Luc Pepin. The one who has had the greatest impact on the disadvantaged is my friend Eugène Bellemare.

My all-time favourite will remain Jean Pigott. An Officer of the Order of Canada, Jean is a model for anyone who seeks to balance duty to country and duty to the people. Her insight is an inspiration to all who know her.

I also wish to thank our colleague from Kingston and the Islands for recommending my name twice to the House for the position of Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole. Before reaching this recommendation, I know that the Speaker consulted all party leaders.

I would like to thank the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the hon. members for Laurier—Sainte-Marie and Toronto—Danforth.

I thank the hon. Bill Graham and wish him health and happiness in his retirement. I also thank all hon. members for twice consenting to the Speaker's recommendation about my House duties.

I am aware that I am the first rookie MP to occupy this function and that my 26 predecessors had an average of nine years in the House before being given this trust for impartial service. It is that much more humbling. I also thank the hon. member for Regina—Qu'Appelle for his support.

Although I have often spoken from the Chair in this 39th Parliament, it is the first time that I participate in debate.

As much as Canadian unity has fed the fire of my patriotism since childhood, the people of Ottawa—Orléans have witnessed that I am not a one-trick pony. So, to balance my passion for matters that constitute the cultural makeup of our country, I am focused tirelessly on turning the National Research Council into a pole of attraction for economic development in east end Ottawa.

The key to this came from my friends Bob MacQuarrie and Ken Steele, when 30 years ago they advocated the establishment of a technology transfer centre. In the past 21 months I have been very active in reviving that dream. This goal is realistic and this project can be the most significant element in the transformation of Orléans from a bedroom community to a self-sustaining community where, in addition to sleeping, people work, shop and play.

Some people feed expectations and make empty promises about moving federal jobs to Orléans from elsewhere. That is like robbing Peter to pay Paul. It creates no wealth, except for selected speculators. Economic development is not just a matter of serving the interests of land speculators. It must be based on a web of compatible assets, such as the intellectual property that lies dormant at NRC. Just as Bell Northern Research was a source of spinoffs for economic development in Nepean and Kanata, the NRC must be for North Gloucester and Orléans.

On St. Joseph Boulevard the Government of Canada owns a site of 180 hectares. With Mr. Pepin and the hon. Jean-Jacques Blais, I worked 25 years ago for the revitalization of the Land Engineering Test Establishment. Now, my staff and I provide active support for a national security infrastructure partnership focused in Orléans.

Parking lot 174 must regain its vocation. It must truly become highway 174, a roadway that is equally used in both directions at all times. I said that in my swearing in ceremony 18 months ago. Last Friday, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities turned good intentions into hard cash when he announced an investment of $40 million to help resolve this issue.

The poorly designed 417-174 split must be fixed before more traffic is added to the volume, but the most practical solution to traffic congestion is improved public transit. That is why I have worked for three years on the east-west light rail transit environmental assessment committee and my heart is still there.

Public libraries are the most practical and democratic way for Canadians to share knowledge. I had the privilege of working in this area for six years, and I will always have fond memories of it.

While serving on the Ottawa Public Library Board, I was determined to filter access to Internet pornography. Some thought that intellectual freedom was more important than the protection of children and we lost the first vote. Two weeks later we voted again. Now, children in Ottawa no longer have access to Internet pornography.

I am pleased that the House will consider a bill to extend the protection of children against sexual predators by raising the age of consent. We are at the service of families at all stages of life and as such I am glad that pension income can now be split for taxation purposes. This will be a great benefit to retired couples.

I thank the government for its ecoauto rebate program. Before the tabling of budget 2007, I had recommended such a program to the Minister of Finance for energy efficient vehicles. The environment is not just a popular slogan. It is a treasure that we must all protect.

That is why I am fully supportive of Tree Canada. One tree absorbs 800 kilograms of carbon emissions. In my lifetime I have planted 50,000 trees. That is the same as absorbing 40,000 tonnes of CO2. That is not all. My children are doing it too. My youngest son, Claude, planted 23,000 trees so far. How about that for getting things done?

Since the establishment of the Canada-U.S. Auto Pact, some 45 years ago, this country has progressively reduced international trade barriers. Frankly, it is now time that we pay as much attention to the breaking down of interprovincial trade barriers.

Linguistic duality is an added value for Canada. Here in Ottawa, 120,000 francophones speak French, but did you know that 180,000 anglophones also speak the language of Rabelais? Let us move forward together to promote the positive aspects of our heritage. When the last statement is made, when the last vote is cast, when we return home, we will have a clear conscience and the knowledge that our country is better off.

As we inspire our community leaders that non-partisan service goes further than petty partisanship, we become more effective as servants and we understand better that we are only tenants in this place. The landlords are the electors who temporarily give us their trust.

I would like to pay tribute to Team Ottawa-Orléans. There is great talent among the members of its committees, and I am fortunate to receive advice from them. In fact, on January 24, 2006, I moved my office to the same building.

I also organized the first meeting of all the elected officials in Ottawa—Orléans. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate my provincial counterpart, Phil McNeely, on being re-elected, Mayor Larry O'Brien, and the four municipal councillors, Rainer Bloess, Michel Bellemare and Rob Jellett, who are all committed to working together to help Ottawa-Orléans flourish.

I would particularly like to highlight the efforts Councillor Bob Monette has made to protect and promote Petrie Island Park.

It has been a privilege for me to participate in this debate in reply to the Speech from the Throne. I look forward to the months ahead as together we implement the elements of the speech.

I would like to thank my staff, under the capable direction of Ginette Gagnon. Lastly, I would like to thank my family, my wife and social conscience, Anne Pallascio, as well as our four children, Louis, Paul, Claude and Miriam.

Monuments to la Francophonie June 14th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow at the Orleans Cultural Centre, the third in a series of six monuments will be unveiled as part of Monuments de la Francophonie. I would like to salute the creators, including Richelieu International.

MIFO, the Orleans francophone involvement movement, opened the cultural centre in 1985 because it wanted to make French services available. I was there. Over the years, many programs and organizations got their start thanks to the dedication of the centre's members, volunteers and employees and the francophone and francophile communities.

MIFO's mission is to promote French culture and to meet our artistic, cultural and educational needs. This tool creates new torchbearers.

The monument, which is a huge Franco-Ontarian flag, will be raised on a 25 metre flagpole in a place that celebrates our community's vitality.

Archbishop of Ottawa May 17th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, this week we welcomed Ottawa's 10th bishop in 160 years. In that time Ottawa has had 66 mayors and Canada has had 37 prime ministers.

Pope Benedict XVI named His Grace Terrence Prendergast of the Society of Jesus. Our new archbishop is an exemplary teacher and spiritual father.

Our new archbishop will minister to half a million Christians. He will also be an inspiration to this capital city and to parliamentarians of all faiths.

At a time of social upheaval, the Church must instruct the faithful, minister to the needy, and strengthen the family as an anchor for hope for future generations.

I know that His Grace will have the strength to follow the advice of Saint Paul: “—preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction”.

We offer these best wishes to our new Father: Ad multos et faustissimos annos.

Privilege May 16th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon in the House there was an exchange between the member for Ottawa South and myself and I want to speak to that this evening. I made some efforts to have the member in the House but, unfortunately, it is not so.

The exchange between he and I resulted in a call on his privileges. After that we both met the media outside where I admitted that I should not have crossed the floor to complain about his attack on me. Since I admitted it outside the House, it is only fair that I do so inside the House.

Within 10 minutes I will be presiding over the committee of the whole House and, before that happens, I need to clear the air.

I am sorry to have approached the hon. member for Ottawa South in that manner. As a father, I have often told my children that two wrongs do not make a right. If he wishes, I will still speak with him.

I would hope that all hon. members would respect the fact that as a chair occupant I steer clear of partisanship and that I stick strictly to the impartial running of the proceedings of the House. Since the event occurred, an hon. member from the official opposition has already commended me for that sort of behaviour and I had planned to continue in that way.

Privilege May 16th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I am glad that somebody raised a question of privilege. In fact, if anyone's privilege has been breached, the member for Ottawa—Orléans' has. The members of this House are well aware that since I have been carrying out the role that my voters and all members assigned to me on April 5 of last year, I have tried to maintain the greatest possible degree of impartiality, without partisanship and without attacking any member of this House, regardless of party affiliation.

I must say that today, I was very surprised to hear the member for Ottawa South attack me personally when I was not in a position to defend myself. Because I respect the impartiality of the position to which the House has appointed me, I do not engage in partisanship. I find the double standard a bit strange.

The fourth paragraph on page 522 of Marleau and Montpetit's House of Commons Procedure and Practice reads as follows:

Remarks directed specifically at another Member which question that Member's integrity, honesty or character are not in order.

The honourable member for Ottawa South specifically cast aspersions on the reputation of two members of the governing party, including the reputation of a chair occupant who, of course, was unable to defend himself. I went over to the member for Ottawa South, who is, as it happens, an old friend, to tell him that I thought that was a bit low. That's all.

There is no doubt that there was a breach of privilege and it just so happens that the member whose privilege was breached is the one talking to you now, the member for Ottawa—Orléans.

Battle of Vimy Ridge March 30th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, on April 9, Canadians will commemorate the 90th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge.

I rise today to salute the students of Ottawa—Orléans and the 5,000 students from across Canada travelling to France next week.

Together, they will remember Canada's victory, which was the successful capture of Vimy Ridge, in a struggle for peace, liberty and hope.

Each student has prepared a personal tribute to honour one of our fallen soldiers. Most victims were close in age to the student doing the research and for some, even relatives. For all, it has been a very moving experience.

We are proud of our brave soldiers and of the young Canadians who will follow in the footsteps of the 3,598 who died on Vimy Ridge, where Canada earned its face in the world stage as a nation.

Lloyd Francis January 30th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, this is the first time that I rise from my seat to speak as the servant of the population of Ottawa—Orléans.

Ten days ago, during the parliamentary recess, the Hon. Lloyd Francis, who was Speaker in 1984, succumbed to cancer at the age of 86.

In our thoughts, let us commemorate the service to Canada of a man from that remarkable generation who defended this country during Word War II and who then continued with public service and public life in post-war Canada. He is among the brave men and women who built today's Canada.

Lloyd Francis worked on RADAR and trained navigators during his air force days, a vital building block in Canada's effort against Nazi tyranny. He then continued to build his city and his country.

Few know that Dr. Francis was an economist at the Department of National Health and Welfare and that he contributed to the design of the Canada pension plan.

Twenty years before my own election to city council, he was already serving the City of Ottawa as an alderman, commissioner and deputy mayor.

As a candidate for this House, he had a perfect record. He won the 26th, 28th, 30th and 32nd general elections and he lost the odd numbered elections in between. In this House he rose to the highest office, that of Speaker.

However, it was as Deputy Speaker that he truly made his mark. Along with the late Speaker Jeanne Sauvé, he focussed his efforts on reforming the administration of this House so as to make it more efficient and helpful.

I knew Lloyd Francis. Lloyd Francis was a friend of mine. I did not serve in the same functions at the same time but we worked together. Together we fought certain parochial interests to relocate out of Ottawa a huge number of federal employees from the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources. It worked and his letter of thanks hangs on my wall.

Lloyd left Parliament in 1984 and yet for all of us he remains part of the House that we know today. His reforms live on.

His unfaltering commitment to the population of Carleton and Ottawa-West as well as to his colleagues in Parliament can serve as an example to us and to those who will come after us.

Today we extend our sympathy to my friends, Paul, Donald and Elaine Francis, and to their children and grandchildren. I also want to remember his late wife, Margery, who walked with me to cast my first vote in 1968. I offer my sincere sympathies and those of Canada's government to his widow, Mary.

Above all, we offer our thanks and the thanks of a grateful country. The Hon. Lloyd Francis set an example of public service to Parliament and to Canada.

Business of Supply November 1st, 2006

I would like to open this committee of the whole session by making a short statement on this evening's proceedings. Tonight's debate is being held under Standing Order 81(4)(a) which provides for each of two sets of estimates selected by the Leader of the Opposition to be considered in committee of the whole for up to four hours. The debate is also held under the motion adopted by unanimous consent earlier today.

Tonight's debate is a general one on all of the votes under Human Resources and Skills Development. Each member will be allocated 15 minutes. The first round will begin with the official opposition, followed by the government, the Bloc Québécois and the New Democratic Party. After that, we will follow the usual proportional rotation.

As provided in the motion adopted earlier today, parties may use each 15 minute slot for speeches or for questions and answers by one or more of their members. In the case of speeches, members of the party to which the period is allotted may speak one after the other. The Chair would appreciate it if the first member speaking in each slot would indicate how the time will be used, particularly if it is to be shared.

When the time is to be used for questions and answers, the Chair will expect that the minister's response will reflect approximately the time taken by the question, since this time will be counted in the time originally allotted to the party.

Though members may speak more than once, the Chair will generally try to ensure that all members wishing to speak are heard before inviting members to speak again, while respecting the proportional party rotations for speakers.

Members need not be in their own seats to be recognized. I would remind hon. members that, according to today's motion, during this evening's debate, no quorum calls, dilatory motions or requests for unanimous consent shall be entertained.

As your Chair, I will be guided by the rules of the committee of the whole and by the motion adopted earlier today. However, in the interests of a full exchange, I am prepared to exercise discretion and flexibility in the application of these rules.

It is very important that the traditions of the House in relation to decorum be respected and that members make their remarks and pose their questions in a judicious fashion. The Chair will expect all hon. members to focus on the subject matter of the debate, the main estimates of the Department of Human Resources and Social Development.

I also wish to indicate that in the committee of the whole ministers and members should be referred to by their title or riding name, and of course all remarks should be addressed through the Chair.

I ask for everyone's cooperation in upholding all established standards of decorum, parliamentary language and behaviour.

At the conclusion of tonight's debate, the committee will rise, the estimates under Human Resources and Skills Development will be deemed reported and the House will adjourn immediately until tomorrow.

We may now begin tonight's session. The House in committee of the whole, pursuant to Standing Order 81(4)(a), the first appointed day, consideration in committee of the whole of all votes under Human Resources and Skills Development in the main estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007.

The hon. member for Halifax West.