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Track Thomas

Your Say


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is liberals.

NDP MP for Outremont (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 44% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Indigenous Affairs September 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, indigenous people in B.C. say that they are heartbroken by the Site C betrayal, and it is not difficult to understand why.

The Minister of Justice said that the government was “running roughshod over aboriginal title rights”, but now she has been silenced.

Instead we have the fisheries minister saying that it is actually the responsibility of BC Hydro to hold consultations and respect indigenous rights.

Will the Prime Minister assume the responsibility to consult instead of bulldozing aboriginal rights?

Indigenous Affairs September 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister promised to establish a genuine nation-to-nation relationship with Canada's indigenous peoples. He also signed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. That means extensive consultations and accommodations are a must.

How can the Prime Minister clear the way for the Site C project when the indigenous rights issue is before the courts? Is that what he calls a respectful relationship?

Foreign Affairs September 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, what is that guarantee worth if it comes from a dictatorship that abuses human rights?

China is a dictatorship. It does not respect the rule of law. According to groups like Amnesty International, the country systematically violates human rights, yet the Prime Minister does not see a problem with extraditing people to China.

If China promises not to harm anyone it wants deported, will that be enough for the Prime Minister of Canada?

Foreign Affairs September 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister once said that the Chinese dictatorship is something that he admired. We now learn that that was not a slip of the tongue.

It is a fundamental principle of Canadian democracy that one does not send people to be tortured or killed. Canadians agree on that. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch confirm the systematic use of torture and frequent executions in China.

The immigration minister sees the profound moral problem of an extradiction treaty with China. Why does the Prime Minister not?

Hon. Mauril Bélanger September 21st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to rise today to pay tribute to a great parliamentarian on behalf of all members of the New Democratic Party.

I want to begin by expressing our most sincere condolences to his wife, Catherine, and all the members of their family. Everyone here knows the sacrifices that are made when one has a life in politics. It is always important to thank those who were always there for Mauril.

It has been mentioned many times, but everyone acknowledges that Mauril was a great champion of Franco-Ontarian rights. Even though it was a collective and community effort, we can say that Mauril Bélanger saved the Montfort Hospital, and that is to his great credit. The Montfort was the only francophone hospital here in Eastern Ontario.

He was also an ardent defender of co-operatives. He won awards and earned praise for his work around the world. In these two examples, saving a hospital for his Franco-Ontarian community and working for co-operatives, we see the very essence of a man who loved helping people more than anything else. One of my colleagues who was part of the 2011 cohort explained earlier that it was Mauril who was in some way in charge of preparing for the arrival of this very large number of new members. He told them that they would never get through all the work on their desks and to not even try. He told them to take care of their health above everything else. He knew what he was talking about.

He also made his mark on the international stage. He was one of the co-founders of the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association, where he built strong relationships. He advocated passionately for good governance, democracy, and the rule of law.

He believed in equality and inclusion. The English version of our national anthem will be a testament to that forevermore.

Mauril was a fighter, an idealist, and even when he knew his time here was limited he graced us with it, bringing us together as Speaker in a historic moment that allowed us all to rise above the fray. He united the House and Canadians in respect for his profound dignity and commitment to public service.

Mauril brought all of us together as Speaker in a historic moment in this House that none of us will ever forget.

Mauril once wrote: “We should be partners, not enemies, collectively invested in making Parliament work for the benefit of Canadians.” This epitomizes the core values of a man of profound dignity.

He will be remembered as a great parliamentarian and a great Canadian. He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He was a great friend to many of us in the House.

While it is a small consolation in the face of such a tragedy, his legacy will live on as an example to us all.

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all of us command.

Rest in peace, Mauril. We miss you terribly.

The Environment September 21st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister committed in Paris to restoring Canada's credibility on climate change. He cannot download that. He cannot subcontract it to the provinces. Canada signed. His platform says that Stephen Harper's targets are catastrophic. Hmm, no applause.

Now, suddenly, Canadians are expected to look the other way while he hits copy-paste on the Conservative climate plan.

Could the Prime Minister please explain whether his environment minister just got it wrong, or is he offering no other climate change targets than those of Stephen Harper?

The Environment September 21st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, are we talking about people “facing the death penalty” or people “in countries that use the death penalty”? The Prime Minister is trying to fudge the language.

On climate change, Canada has been left wearing the dunce cap. Canadians have had to bear the burden of both the Conservative and the Liberal governments' failure to address this very real global threat.

There was a glimmer of hope that things would finally change, but this government got on board with Stephen Harper's targets. Can the government explain why it is betraying future generations like this?

I repeat: the Liberals are on board with the Conservatives' targets.

What is behind this betrayal?

Foreign Affairs September 21st, 2016

How about a vote, Mr. Speaker?

The Minister of Immigration promised that Canada would never sign an extradition treaty with China so long as China still had the death penalty.

However, the Prime Minister is meeting with the Chinese Premier this evening to talk about an extradition treaty. He just confirmed that. He said the government should not blow hot and cold.

Who should Canadians believe, the Prime Minister or his Minister of Immigration? They are both saying exactly the opposite of one another.

National Defence September 21st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, Canadians also thought they were electing a government that was going to respect Parliament. They wanted that change.

Whether it is the Latvian deployment or any future peacekeeping mission, Parliament should be consulted and there must be a vote.

Could the Prime Minister simply explain why he no longer believes that Parliament should have a right to vote on these important issues?

The Environment September 20th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, we need only to look at article 4 of the Paris agreement to see that they have yet to do anything to fulfill our international obligations and they know it.

It was the same thing with the Kyoto protocol. The Liberals did nothing and we had one of the worst records in the world on greenhouse gases. They were forced to admit that they had no plan to respect the Kyoto protocol. It was an exercise in public relations.

Why can the minister not admit that it is the same thing in this case? For the Liberals it was pretence. The Liberals were a bunch of phonies when they signed the agreement in Paris. They had no real intention of reducing greenhouse gases. For the Liberals, this is just another public relations exercise.