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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was conservatives.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Châteauguay—Saint-Constant (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 23% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions June 17th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the people of Châteauguay—Saint-Constant to present a petition signed by dozens of my constituents who oppose the cuts to postal services.

This is not the first time I have presented a petition like this, since this issue is very important to my constituents. The petitioners want the government to maintain home delivery and put an end to the cuts to our postal services.

Veterans June 2nd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, this government spent more than $700,000 to drag our veterans to court. That money should have been spent on something else. It could have been used to provide services to veterans and their families.

The postponement of the Equitas lawsuit until after the election is good news. However, veterans should not have had to take the government to court, period.

Can the government promise to respect its social, judicial, moral, and legal obligation to our Canadian veterans?

Knoll on Saint-Bernard Island June 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we were very proud to learn last week that the city of Châteauguay was honoured by the UMQ at its annual conference in Montreal. The municipality was awarded the Ovation municipale prize in the “economy, tourism and leisure” category for its project to purchase and develop the knoll on Saint-Bernard Island, as well as the jury's choice award. The purchase of the island was selected from about 20 or so other finalists. The winner was chosen based on various criteria, including originality and citizen participation.

I would remind everyone that Châteauguay purchased the knoll on Saint-Bernard Island from the Grey Nuns community in 2011. Since that time, the site has been open to the public and managed by Héritage Saint-Bernard and Compagnom. An estimated 165,000 people visited the site last year, which generated $2.5 million in revenues and created 80 jobs.

That said, I invite everyone to go and visit Saint-Bernard Island, which is without question an exceptional destination for recreation and tourism, and a source of pride and identity for the entire Châteauguay community. Once again, congratulations to the city of Châteauguay.

Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act May 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech.

Unfortunately, we completely disagree with several of his principles. My colleague said that the Conservatives were standing up for victims, when we see that, in a number of respects, they have no regard for victims, particularly for the aboriginal women who have been going missing for years. The government is doing absolutely nothing for these women who are the victims of violence and who have been going missing. The Conservatives are all about smoke and mirrors. This bill, which is supposed to help combat violence against women, is another example of this. There are a number of laws in place to protect women, yet the Conservatives are introducing dangerous measures that could have the opposite effect and that will not help victims.

Why is the government saying that it wants to help victims when it has no consideration for the aboriginal women in our country? Why does it not take measures that could help those women deal with the violence they are facing?

Veterans May 13th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is playing a dangerous political game. After making cuts to care and services for veterans and spending over $700,000 to defend itself against a class action lawsuit filed by veterans, the government is now trying to pass Bill C-58 in the middle of dozens of other measures, without debate, without examination in committee and without any consideration for veterans.

Why is the government playing partisan politics at the expense of veterans?

Veterans May 12th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we have a social covenant with our armed forces. They offer to fight for us, protect us and defend our values. In exchange, the government offers them benefits, care and services during and after their service. However, the Conservative government has not been shy about challenging its obligations in the courts and closing offices. That kind of behaviour is unworthy of a government.

Will the Conservatives support our motion, and if so, will they finally fulfill all of their obligations to our veterans?

Veterans May 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, when people decide to join the armed forces to serve their country, they expect to get their government's support once that service is completed. It is a pact that every member of the armed forces has with their government. However, after fighting in service, our veterans have to keep fighting against their government, this time to get the compensation and services to which they are entitled.

If the government plans to support our motion, in what tangible way does it plan to honour our obligations to our veterans?

Business of Supply May 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.

My colleague is also a member of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs. In May 2014, almost a year ago, following a study of the new veterans charter, we submitted a unanimous report on our observations and on ways to improve the charter.

To arrive at this unanimous report that all parties supported, I must admit that we watered down some of our positions to reach a joint agreement with the government, in order to present it to the minister and ask him to make the necessary changes to the new veterans charter.

Recent announcements include a very small minority of the things that were in the report, so much so, that I feel like we were swindled. By coming up with a unanimous report, we were under the impression that the government had no choice but to apply all these recommendations, which it did not.

What are my colleague's comments about the recommendations made with regard to the introduction of Bill C-58?

Business of Supply May 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question and his remarks. Yes, these are indeed half measures. The ombudsman said that they are insufficient, and Sean Bruyere said they were merely half measures, as did Jenifer Migneault, Donald Leonardo and Brian Forbes, just to name a few. They all agree that these measures are not enough.

The government has had several years to address all the problems related to the New Veterans Charter, which have been raised in various reports. Instead, it is proposing only a few small measures so that it can claim that is taking care of veterans and that it will give them more support, when that is just not true. When a spouse has to quit her job to take care of a veteran, which happens quite often, they are given $7,000 a year, and that is a pittance.

As another paltry measure, the government also proposed lump sum payments. According to Veterans Affairs Canada, that will help just a handful of veterans every year, even though many of them are seriously injured and not being paid adequate compensation. The government is still giving them just peanuts. It is obscene.

Business of Supply May 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Guelph for his question and comments. He is one of the newest members of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, and I have to say that he got into the swing of things quickly. It did not take him long to get up to speed on veterans' issues.

His comments on the government's half-measures are right on the money. After the government proposed its measures, many people said that they were just half-measures. They were announced in Bill C-58, which will die on the order paper because all of those measures were subsumed in the budget implementation legislation. We will be opposing that because it includes income splitting and many measures that we find utterly indecent.

I can already hear the government MPs saying that we opposed their measures, but those measures include lump sums that will help just a tiny fraction of veterans. They will not help enough people. For family caregivers, the government announced $7,000, which is not very much. Those are the only measures—