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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was veterans.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Saint-Jean (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 48% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions June 5th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, today, I am presenting a petition signed by dozens of people from Lac-Mégantic who are calling on the Government of Canada to set up an independent commission of inquiry, and I stress the word “independent”. The purpose of this commission of inquiry would be to shed light on the tragic events that occurred on July 6, 2013 in Lac-Mégantic, leaving 47 dead.

Second World War May 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, 70 years ago today, Nazi Germany surrendered, sealing the fate of the wild saga of Nazi ideology forever.

For my grandmother, Antoinette, widowed during the German occupation with a one-year old and a three-year old, this marked the end of a lengthy ordeal.

May 8 is also an opportunity for the Algerian community to remember that on May 8, 1945, the French Army massacred thousands in the town of Sétif who hungered for freedom and independence.

May 8 is a time to remember that we have a responsibility to combat all the ideologies that consider one category of people superior to another, or members of one religion superior to those of another.

On May 8, 2015, let us remember. Let us remain vigilant.

Safe and Accountable Rail Act May 7th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the remarks of the member across the way.

In the current context of deregulating rail transportation, the number of inspectors is not the only parameter to consider. Indeed, many of the inspection tasks are not done by Transport Canada inspectors, but by the railway employees.

Let us talk about Lac-Mégantic. When the shameful company Montreal, Maine & Atlantic was found at fault, the first thing that happened was that the employees in charge of inspecting the level crossings in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, for example, were laid off. All that safety work came to an abrupt halt because those employees were no longer employed by the railway.

Even though we agree on this bill and on creating this fund, we wonder how this will resolve the problems associated with self-regulation and the fact that the safety guidelines are written by the railway companies and not by the inspectors.

Citizen Voting Act May 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, speaking of respect, the member across the aisle mentioned in his speech that it is just common sense that non-resident voters should only be able to apply for a special ballot in relation to their last place of residence. It is not just a question of common sense, given that many countries have decided to have representatives for their diaspora. It is just a legislative decision by Canada. We must not assume that Canada's legislative decisions are more intelligent or more reasoned than those of other countries.

However, I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on another point. Bill C-50 will create two categories of citizens: one category of people who live in Canada and do not have to register for every election and another category of second-class citizens who will have to register every time there is an election in order to vote.

Citizen Voting Act May 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague from Louis-Saint-Laurent's speech. I would like to ask her two questions. I hope that she will have time to answer both of them.

First, can she share her thoughts on the fact that Canada has not recognized extraterritorial constituencies since 2008? Canada forbids other countries from conducting elections in embassies and consulates even though they are territories that are supposed to be independent.

Second, it looks like this bill would end up erasing the names of the voters currently on the international register of electors. Another register, an ad hoc register, would be created. Voters will have a relatively short period of time to get their names on the list of voters once the writ is dropped.

This is a double standard. Some Canadian citizens will have rights and will not have to re-register for every election because they live in Canada, but others, who live abroad, will have to re-register for the same list they have been on for years.

Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015 April 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague's speech.

He talked about the lack of resources, but even having enough resources does not necessarily translate into the ability to keep everything under control.

The Conservative government uses the example of the attack in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, where a young man with mental health problems indoctrinated himself. He was not indoctrinated from the outside, by Syria or Iraq. Since he did not speak Arabic, he was unable to establish contact with the Islamic State in Iraq or Syria. He indoctrinated himself and slipped through the hands of the RCMP. He was assessed by the RCMP, which came to the conclusion that he was no longer a danger to society. The RCMP released him and gave him back his passport. In a moment of madness, he killed an innocent soldier.

I would like my colleague to explain how even when we have all the information and even when the information is in the hands of the RCMP, we cannot foresee everything because there is the matter of mental health, which we cannot control.

The Budget April 23rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague opposite to comment on a table that struck me when I read through the budget. I am talking about Table 4.3.1 under “Supporting the Deployment of the Canadian Armed Forces to Combat ISIL”.

My colleague opposite has been a member of the Standing Committee on National Defence for many years, and the Petawawa military base is in her riding. I would like her to comment on this line in the budget that says that in 2015-16, $360 million will be dedicated to countering the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, but in 2016-17 and up to 2020, there is no money allocated.

I would like the member to explain how it is that the Minister of Finance has determined that at the end of the 2015-16 fiscal year the government will not have to spend a single dollar and will have resolved the problem with Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

Military Contribution Against ISIL March 30th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is very ironic that the minister is using the argument of responsibility to protect. They are trying to convince us that bombing Syria or Iraq is our responsibility to protect. I think it is the first time he has used this argument, and it does not make sense.

I would like to talk about the example that he uses of the attack and murder of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Conservatives try to use that as proof that Canada is under attack by Daesh, and I have even heard “under siege by Daesh”. The truth is that it is actually the contrary. The reason that the killer of Patrice Vincent committed that act is because he was not able to make any connection to Iraq or Syria and he was frustrated. He had been trying for months to make a connection through the members of the local mosque to Syria and Iraq. He was not able to do that. He was frustrated. He decided to kill an innocent officer in the Canadian army. That is proof that he was not connected to Daesh. Why do the Conservatives now want to limit debate and forbid members from explaining to Canadians the reason that this killing occurred?

Military Contribution Against ISIL March 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite mentioned that Canada was directly attacked by ISIL. He mentioned the despicable crime against Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent.

However, the truth about the mentally disturbed individual who committed that despicable criminal act is that he did it because he was not able to make any connection to ISIL in Iraq or in Syria, and the reason for that was that he did not speak Arabic.

Although he tried for months to make connections with ISIL, he was so frustrated that eventually he decided, in a moment of craziness, to use his car and run into Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent.

It is a contradiction. The reason he committed this crime was that he was not able to connect with ISIL. He wanted to go to Iraq or Syria to fight. He was not able to get anyone in the local mosque to connect him with anyone abroad. That is the reason he committed this crime.

How does the member explain that contradiction?

Military Contribution Against ISIL March 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I certainly commend the dedicated work of my colleague across the aisle at the Standing Committee on National Defence.

He is an engineer; I am an engineer. He served in the Canadian Forces; I served in the French forces. Knowing his military background, I wonder how he was able to believe that in the first place, Canadian special forces were in Iraq, not to carry out special operations, but to carry out training.

He is very knowledgeable about military operations. How can he explain that Sergeant Andrew Doiron was killed in action by the very people he was supposed to be training?