House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was quebec.

Last in Parliament February 2017, as Liberal MP for Saint-Laurent (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 62% of the vote.

Statements in the House

First Ministers' Conference June 17th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, the provinces' financial weight compared to that of the federal government has not stopped growing since the 1960s.

Does the book Option Québec by René Lévesque mean something to the official opposition? This book refers to a conference given by Jacques Parizeau in the late sixties, in which Mr. Parizeau said about the decentralization process then starting in Canada: ``This goes too far. This decentralization will go too far, and this country will become unmanageable. Quebec must get out of it''.

This is how the problem should be put: "Are we too decentralized?" I do not think so. Can the decentralization process be improved? I think so. But this so-called centralized federation is a chimera that only today's independentist leaders are trying to sell people; that term is inaccurate.

Federal-Provincial Relations June 13th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada respects the Constitution of Canada and the official opposition wants to tear up the Constitution of Canada. That is the truth of it.

Federal-Provincial Relations June 13th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, in all other federations, federal spending power is exercised without limitation. The division of powers is, substantially, legislative. Where spending power is concerned, in the U.S., the federal government spends money in the various sectors.

Here in Canada we shall go further than all other federations. For the first time in the history of this country, except for constitutional negotiations and acts, the Government of Canada has committed to a more harmonious federation in which the federal spending power will be directed in such as way as to allow us to work in conjunction with the provinces.

This, then, is the Canada the hon. member wants to break up.

First Ministers Conference June 13th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this meeting is certainly not to discuss the Constitution except for the specific matter of section 49.

The hon. member mentioned Premier Klein. I quote Premier Klein. He said the agenda of this conference is a good one, that we finally have some meat and potato items on the agenda that affect social policy reform, labour training and governmental harmonization and environmental assessment. It deals with overlap and duplication which exists in a lot of inspection and security services. We are actually addressing some of the issues that go right to the heart of the problem of the rebalancing of federal powers.

First Ministers Conference June 13th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I repeat to the hon. member that the sole aspect of the Constitution that will be discussed is to fulfil article 49 and it is to discuss the process by which we will have an open discussion among Canadians about the amending formula.

Federal-Provincial Relations June 13th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, if, for once, just for once, the official opposition members were to look at the problems we have not through their glasses which make them see plots everywhere, but with the best interests of Canadians in mind, they would have to agree that we have a wonderful federation that gives us the best standard of living in the world and that we can work together to improve it even further. You only have to believe in this federation of ours.

Federal-Provincial Relations June 13th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, if the provinces of Canada are limited to carrying out the orders, what about the German L«nders, the Swiss cantons, the American states, the Australian states, all federated entities that dream about the powers the Canadian provinces have?

Federal-Provincial Relations June 12th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, is the hon. member trying to say that unemployment insurance is not a federal responsibility? If so, he had better take a refresher course on the Constitution.

Federal-Provincial Relations June 12th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I assume that my hon. colleague, the hon. member, is aware that the unemployment insurance fund, as it used to be known, is financed by all Canadians. Money is transferred from certain provinces to others. The Government of Canada has the responsibility of ensuring that these moneys are administered responsibly.

Moreover, the provinces are responsible for education, which is rather closely related to occupational training. It is, therefore, all these constitutional responsibilities which the Government of Canada, in conjunction with the provinces, will be better assuming, thank to the reform proposed by the minister.

Federal-Provincial Relations June 12th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I invite the Leader of the Opposition to make a bit of an effort. What we are saying is quite simple. We can keep on repeating it.

We have the most decentralized federation there is. The Government of Quebec has certain responsibilities. It has a hard time assuming them all the time, and we are offering government assistance to ensure that this responsibility is carried out as well as possible. We have responsibilities as the Government of Canada and we are assuming them together with the provinces.

We are going to improve things in various sectors, be it manpower training, mining, forestry, recreation, public housing, tourism, the environment, freshwater habitats, etc.