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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was quebec.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Bloc MP for Mirabel (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2019, with 51% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Members Not Seeking Re-election to the 44th Parliament June 15th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, here I am back again for the third time after what I thought was my last speech. If there is no election, then I will come back and give another one.

In 2015, I was elected as an MP. I was 30 years old and I had young children. I travelled back and forth for two years in order to make sure that I did not miss any part of my children's lives, and if I had the chance to do it all again, I would. My goal was always to give my children a better world and, for me, that meant giving them a country that is not Canada, but Quebec.

I have always been proud to be the member for Mirabel, but I was never proud of the land that was stolen by the federal government. The federal government took 97,000 acres of land in my riding, land that was owned by people I know, neighbours. I am proud to be the member for Mirabel and to have stood up for those people.

I thank my children for waiting for me so often. When I left home earlier, they knew I was coming here to give my farewell speech. They were looking forward to my return, but I will not see them until tomorrow morning because they will be asleep when I get home. That is okay. I thank my wife, Johanie, who has always been by my side, who has helped me and who believes in our cause.

I am not the Prime Minister, so I will not start crying, but now that I am done with my praise, it is time for a little criticism.

Canada is its own biggest problem. It claims to be a progressive state, and it jumps at the chance to write that into treaties and laws, but deep down, it is an archaic state ruled by a monarchy.

Canada's progressive message is that we are not all born equal under the law because royals are better than mere mortals and inherit their power as their birthright. That goes against democracy and everything this House claims to stand for. I understand tradition, but the metal in the House mace alone is so valuable that it could support a family for a year.

Canada claims to be a champion of human rights. It boasts all over the world about saving widows and orphans, but it is not even capable of providing clean water for the indigenous communities it is responsible for within its own borders. There are third-world conditions right here on Canadian soil. It is happening right there in front of them and they do not even see it.

Canada also created peacekeeping and boasts about its peacekeeping missions around the world. However, at the same time, the arms deals it signed with countries in the Middle East were supplying the Jeeps being used to kill civilians. Canada may be a peacekeeping country, but it is complicit with the totalitarian states that are decimating their populations.

Canada also claims to be an egalitarian state, but it refuses to enact legislation to combat tax havens and recover all kinds of lost tax revenue that could be put towards health transfers. Canada refuses to do this. That is the ethical problem. Another ethical problem is that Canada is a tax haven for mining companies because the laws do not apply.

Canada still claims it is green and says it is pro-environment, and it wants everyone to be well and for everyone to be able to breathe. It says it will plant two billion trees and that that is great. On the other hand, it is a petro-state that finances oil companies and the energies of the past, but that does not finance those of tomorrow. Quebec is greener than Canada, because we pay with our taxes.

Canada claims to be strong and unified, and says that the Canadian identity is great. However, the Canadian identity is fragile. It is a giant with feet of clay. Albertans are proud to be Albertans. Quebeckers are proud to be Quebeckers. Pierre Falardeau said to topple monuments to see the worms squirm. That is the problem.

Canada claims to be a democratic country. However, it stole the referendum of 1995—so says the Gomery commission—not to mention the sponsorship scandal and the irregularities Canada has introduced into a democratic election.

Canada also claims to be at the forefront of workers' rights, and yet this country cannot even pass preventive withdrawal legislation to protect women or legislation to protect the right to strike. There is no anti-scab legislation in Canada.

Canada's history was built on the conquest of indigenous peoples, on the will to assimilate them. Canada's founding father, John A. Macdonald, was an inveterate racist, although the member for Ahuntsic-Cartierville says he was a decent guy.

In order to create an identity for itself, Canada has usurped all the cultural symbols of Quebeckers, who used to be called “Canayens”. These symbols include the maple leaf, which hardly grows anywhere else in Canada, our music, the lyrics of the national anthem, the beaver, which Canada does not have, and even poutine. Can we agree that there is no edible poutine west of the Ottawa River? One thing is certain. The two cultural icons that remain Canadian and were never taken from anyone else are the bloody Rockies and the Toronto hockey team that just cannot win.

To quote Mononc' Serge, “Canada is not my country”. They said it in English so everyone would understand. I am a separatist MP, a member of the Bloc Québécois. I have been a separatist all my life. I want Quebec to be its own country. Vive le Québec libre.

Governor General's Act June 11th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I request a recorded division so we can see exactly who supports the monarchy and who is against it.

Governor General's Act June 11th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, five minutes is enough time for me to say everything I need to say about the position of governor general.

That position has been vacant since we started debating this bill. Does anyone really miss the governor general? Does anyone think not having one is unfortunate? Is anyone in a hurry to get a governor general? I do not hear anyone saying so, and I am pretty sure the atmosphere is much improved since the former governor general decamped.

To be perfectly frank, if I were the Prime Minister, I would take advantage of the fact that I was in England to tell the Queen that our country can survive without a governor general. My last sentence was a bit clumsy, but that is because the Prime Minister has two second languages, English and French, and one can never be too sure his words will make sense.

The Prime Minister will not do that though, because Canada needs that connection to the monarchy. The monarchy is an ever-present symbol, much like multiculturalism, bilingualism and even the prayer in the House. That prayer is utterly absurd, as my colleague from Manicouagan pointed out earlier, because the state is supposed to be secular. None of that stuff represents Quebec.

The events of recent months have clearly demonstrated that we do not need this type of outdated and truly offensive symbol of British imperialism. It is a nostalgic tribute to the great victory of the English over the French, and we are sickened by it.

That does not reflect who we are in Quebec. The solution is to do away with this position, but that will not happen. We see that our colleagues from Canada are not there yet. I understand that. They have also not made enough progress when it comes to labour law or family rights and they are not even able to provide adequate child care. That is not the first area where they lag behind Quebec.

For reasons of their own, they still want to keep in position the representative of a regime that fought against their country's democracy and independence, even though they often forget that. They still bow to the Queen and are still happy to have a governor general.

The Bloc Québécois has made many compromises. We are reasonable people. We are therefore proposing a measured solution: a symbolic salary for a symbolic position. We propose that the governor general's salary be just one dollar. It is simple and coherent and it is perfect because the position is useless in any case.

I remind members that the governor general is housed at taxpayer expense. He dines on the finest hors d'oeuvres and petit fours, all the fancy little tidbits that are served at high-society receptions. He drinks champagne and gets to go to all the parties he likes. I am certain that many people would gladly sit through a few boring ceremonies for free year-round room and board.

The governor general exists, but serves no purpose. In short, it is a symbolic position that deserves a symbolic salary. I urge my esteemed colleagues, who are not so esteemed as all that, to vote in favour of my bill. Unfortunately, they will not, because they like the monarchy.

A constitutional monarchy is irrelevant in a democratic Parliament. Instead of the governor general or the Queen, we ourselves can better represent the hard-working citizens who elect members to help them and represent them in Parliament. That is what democracy is all about. People are proud to be independent, and they are proud to be governed by the people and the will of the people as embodied by elected members. Members are proud to be here, no matter what their profession or surname may be, because they were chosen by the people.

Maybe Canada does not need a symbol that is fundamentally based on the notion that not everyone is born equal. This country prides itself on being a great democracy, but by constantly recognizing the monarchy and the governor general, it is saying that not everyone is born equal. That is a major problem. This position is undemocratic.

Canada is certainly not ready to take this step. My colleagues may have an epiphany and understand what we are trying to say, but until then, I will just say that one dollar is enough.

Governor General's Act April 26th, 2021

Madam Speaker, Julie Payette's swearing-in ceremony cost $625,000. That is more than the cost of a house and it was paid for by taxpayers. Should we be paying for fancy trappings, caviar and limousine rides? I think that is pointless.

It was said that there was no partisanship in the case of David Johnston. However, we must not forget that he was on the “No” side in 1995 when the referendum was stolen from us. It is not a useful position and it serves no purpose. We must stop paying for that.

Governor General's Act April 26th, 2021

Madam Speaker, anyone working for the British Crown should not receive a salary. The British Crown should not even be represented here. It does not matter whether the former governor general did a good or bad job. In my opinion, the position is obsolete.

The member said that the Bloc Québécois wants to destroy the democratic system. That is not true. Quebec is a great democracy. Quebec will be a great democratic country and not a constitutional monarchy.

Governor General's Act April 26th, 2021

Madam Speaker, Bill C-271 calls for this to apply in the future because the Governor General's Act already exists and is established law. I therefore hope this can be done for the future.

As for the former governor general, the problem is that the institution itself is so flawed. Funding is being used to support an archaic institution. If I had my druthers, not one red cent would ever have been given to the British Crown, but that is what the bill calls for going forward. From this point on, governors general would no longer receive a salary or a pension. Some former governor generals have won the jackpot.

Governor General's Act April 26th, 2021

moved that Bill C-271, An Act to amend the Governor General's Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Mr. Speaker, the bill that I have the honour of introducing in the House is not complicated and the reasoning behind it is quite simple. If Canada wants to keep its monarchist symbols, then it should only pay them a symbolic salary.

It seems to me that one dollar per year to live in a castle, eat like a king, sit on a throne and travel at the taxpayer's expense is enough to make ends meet, particularly when there are no other bills to pay.

The ideal scenario would be to have no monarchy at all. If we are all equal, then I think that the concept of being the humble subjects of Her Majesty the Queen no longer has its place today. However, in order to make that change, we would have to reopen the Constitution, which the Liberals have locked up tight over the years. Since Canada is not going to separate from the British monarchy any time soon and since Quebec will likely be independent before that happens, we could at least make the symbolic nature of that relationship more clear.

Under the Governor General's Act, the position comes with an annual salary of $270,602, which is indexed as of 2014, meaning that salary could go up to roughly $300,000. It also includes a pension for life afterwards, regardless of the length of the term. That is a lot of money to most people. This means that Ms. Payette, who served in the role for only a short time, will get a pension for life and will be reimbursed for all her expenses. This is like winning the cash-for-life lottery.

Ms. Payette, who was not a good boss, began her reign of terror at Rideau Hall after being appointed in 2017. According to a recent investigation report on the terrible work environment, witnesses reported yelling and screaming, aggressive behaviour, degrading comments and public humiliation. I think we would all agree that such behaviour should not be rewarded with a life-long pension.

Adrienne Clarkson, who was governor general from 1999 to 2005, has claimed over $1 million in expenses since her departure, in addition to her full pension. The reason given, according to a La Presse article from October 31, 2018, deserves a long, hard look. Here is what it said:

Besides their pensions, former governors general get lifetime public funding for office and travel expenses through a program that has existed since 1979, on the premise that governors general never truly retire.

Oh, sure, governors general never truly retire. No doubt their schedules are packed after retirement because, as we all know, everybody wants a chance to see these superstars, these former governors general of Canada. Seriously. Nobody even knows the point of their existence while they are in office. Are we supposed to believe they serve an even greater purpose after their term in office?

Michaëlle Jean found another job, and it is a real job that does not involve speechifying while going ballistic about a lack of hot water in a hotel.

Other than acting like monarchs and pretending they have any political importance whatsoever, governors general play a purely symbolic role, so the Bloc Québécois suggests that they receive a symbolic salary of $1 per year. They do not need more than that anyway. Our proposal is actually moderate considering that Quebeckers want to get rid of the monarchy altogether.

Even Canadians are waking up to the fact that the monarchy is pointless. According to a Leger poll, 74% of Quebeckers want to abolish the monarchy and just 12% want to keep it. That means 88% of Quebeckers feel zero attachment to this symbol of submission. According to another survey published in La Presse, three out of five Canadians want to abolish the position of governor general or at least scale back the responsibilities associated with it.

What responsibilities are we talking about? All a governor general has to do is sit down, listen to speeches, receive the prime minister when he announces an election, and assent to legislation that does not even concern the Crown. This ridiculous protocol that is out of step with reality could even seem amusing if it were not that we pay for all the pomp and ceremony.

This position is far from being symbolic because there is a lot of money, $67 million a year, allocated for an unelected official whose main role is to remind us that we are humble subjects of the British Crown. That is the price tag of our relationship with the Crown, which comes out to $2 per person. We pay $2 to kneel before the monarchy. If we could cut this absurd expense a bit, it would be better than nothing. We could at least do something useful.

In the government's recent budget, $50 million is allocated to the forest bioeconomy over two years. The annual amount of $25 million for forestry is a little more than a third of what goes out for the monarchy. That is rather ridiculous.

The government is investing $25 million a year in the forestry sector and gives $67 million for the Governor General. The forest is a powerful symbol. It is rather current and represents the future. The forest and the wood it provides allows us to create nice things, more than the monarchy does.

Speaking of symbol and speaking of the forest, there is also the symbol of the maple leaf. It is a symbol that Canada stole from Quebec because there are hardly any sugar maples in the rest of Canada. Imagine if the Quebec flag bore a symbol representing oil. That would make no sense. Anyway, it is not the only thing Canada has ever stolen.

Some $67 million annually is allocated to the Crown. How much money has been allocated to our sugar shacks, which have lost two seasons to the pandemic? Not one cent has been allocated to save the symbolic maple leaf. The money that should be going to our sugar shacks goes to the British Crown instead because there is always enough money for that.

We have a good, real opportunity here to clean up these completely ridiculous expenses for an outdated and unequal position. It is completely arbitrary. The governor general resigned and no one else has been appointed. The chief justice of the Supreme Court inherited the Crown.

If ever there was a time to reflect on whether we need a governor general, now would be the time. Nothing has changed. No one seems bothered. There has been no revolution and people are not protesting in the streets demanding that a new governor general be appointed quickly, since no one wants that. Because it would take a constitutional amendment to get rid of the position of governor general, we can at least remove some the benefits by paying a symbolic salary with no pension. That is what I am proposing in my bill. I would propose getting rid of the position altogether, erasing any reference to the monarchy, cutting wasteful spending, like the little prince and princess did when they went to live in California. They were able to cut ties, and I do not see why we could not do the same. The Constitution does not allow us to do so, and that is a problem.

I went into politics because I believe in Quebec. I believe in its independence. I advocate for its independence, and I will be there the day it becomes independent. I believe in a francophone Quebec that is free and that has no king or queen. The British monarchy and Canada's attachment to it also serve as a reminder of the conquest. The symbol that Canada is so fond of is the symbol of the British victory over the French. The song God Save the Queen and the unicorn on the coat of arms are symbols that mean very little to me. Perhaps they are a nice symbol for Canada and many members of the House, but for me and many of my colleagues, it is a symbol of colonization and stolen land.

Without the monarchy, there is only one true master and that is the people. We will never be a real and complete democracy as long as the people have to ask the royal representative whether they can vote, to recognize the validity of the results and to sanction our laws. Some members will say that the role is strictly symbolic. If that is the case, then they should vote in favour of my bill.

Barbados cut ties with the British Crown, but it is still the kingdom of tax havens. Australia is still thinking it over. Canada seems unable to do it, but we have an opportunity to send a clear signal. If we do not do it, we will miss an excellent opportunity. A vacancy in the position of governor general does not come along every day. Let us take advantage of it and cut these extravagant expenses.

Before I wrap up my speech, I want to say that this will probably be my last speech in the House of Commons. Against all odds, I was elected in 2015 thanks to voters who care about Quebec. It has been an honour to serve my country, Quebec, as the representative of a patriotic riding. It is an honour I will cherish for the rest of my life.

I want to thank my wife, Johanie, who has made many sacrifices because she knows our cause is just. I am grateful for her tireless support, and I want her to know that I love her. I also want to thank my children and tell them that this is the last time. From now on, I will be home for good.

Governor General's Act February 19th, 2021

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-271, An Act to amend the Governor General’s Act.

Madam Speaker, today, I am pleased to introduce a bill to reduce the amount of money that Quebeckers pay to support the monarchy. I am sure that all of my colleagues will be pleased to support it out of respect for the taxpayers they represent.

The monarchy is an outdated, archaic and undemocratic institution based on the idea that we are not equal. To remain connected to it in anyway is tantamount to saying that we agree to submit, which is obviously out of the question. It goes against our values of freedom and equality.

It is outrageous to pay $270,000 a year to a representative of the monarchy. We are told it is a symbolic position, so let us solve the problem by providing only a symbolic salary for this position. We are proposing a salary of $1 a year. We are also proposing to do away with the generous retirement pension for the Queen's representative. To be frank, even $1 is far too much, but as members know, our party is all about compromise.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Infrastructure December 9th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I do not want there to be any confusion. I respect your position. I even put on a tie for you today.

When I asked a question earlier, I was talking about the government not doing its job, not you.

Public Safety December 9th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, someone needs to stop listening and do his job.

We have been talking about this for 30 years. It is time to take action. The government can do it. We support the government in its desire to ban assault weapons, but the weapon used to kill 14 young women in a school in 1989 must be added to the list of prohibited weapons.

Will the government commit to prohibiting the Ruger Mini-14 and implement a buyback program for those who own such a weapon?