House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was community.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Jeanne-Le Ber (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 45% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions February 8th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition from people in Quebec and New Brunswick to support CBC/Radio-Canada, and also to protest the funding cuts to our only national, bilingual broadcaster, whose funding was reduced by more than 50% by two parties: the Liberal Party, followed by the Conservative Party.

Despite these cuts, CBC/Radio-Canada continues its powerful presentation of the voices of Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Those Canadians like and want CBC/Radio-Canada. For the Conservatives to say that they speak on behalf of all Canadians is false, just like their politics.

Black History Month February 1st, 2012

Mr. Speaker, on this day, the first day of Black History Month, 2012, I call on Canadians to join in celebration of the contributions that Canadians of African descent have made in the building of Canada. The contribution of African Canadians did not start with the waves of Caribbean immigrants during the 1960s, nor did it start with those who found refuge here by the grace of the underground railroad. It started with Matthew de Costa, an interpreter and negotiator for Champlain. It is the black Loyalists who fought for King George through the American Revolution and settled as Loyalists in Nova Scotia. It is the settlers of Amber Valley, Saskatchewan; Windsor, Ontario; Salt Spring Island, B.C. It is their brave participation in every battle for Canadian and world freedom.

They are inventors, businessmen, leaders, creators, thinkers, healers, warriors, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and ancestors. The children of Kush have given to Canada even before Canada existed.

However, there is work to be done. Balance and equality are still out of reach. I urge every Canadian to take a moment to discover who their neighbour is, to learn about their journey and to share their own.

Black History Month is not simply about looking back at the past, but using the past to move forward into the future.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns January 30th, 2012

With regard to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and its current and former employment of Bruce Carson, Dimitri Soudas, Sandra Buckler, Guy Giorno, Nigel Wright, Ian Brodie, Ray Novak, Andrew McDougall, Kory Teneycke, Alykhan Velshi and Angelo Persichilli: (a) what were/are the employment agreements with each of these individuals in terms of (i) salary, (ii) vehicle allowance or provision of car and/or driver, (iii) expense account for food, drink, alcohol and hospitality, (iv) out-of-town accommodations for the individual; (b) in each of the years between 2000 and 2011, how much did each of these individuals expense for (i) food, (ii) travel, (iii) hotels, (iv) hospitality, (v) drink, (vi) vehicle use; (c) what were the itemized amounts and descriptions of each individual’s individual expenses as identified in the answers to (b); and (d) if the PMO provides any of these individuals with a vehicle for his use, as identified in the answers to (a)(ii), broken down by individual, (i) what is the model and make of the car, (ii) how much does this benefit cost the PMO on an annual basis?

Questions on the Order Paper January 30th, 2012

With respect to salaries at the Prime Minister’s Office and Ministers’ offices, how many employees earn more than $100,000.00, and what are their names and salaries?

Questions on the Order Paper January 30th, 2012

With respect to the Prime Minister’s Office, ministerial exempt staff and Ministers, what is the itemized list of expenses for hospitality, food, drink, hotels and transportation in (i) Paris, (ii) London, (iii) Washington, (iv) Rome, (v) Boston?

Questions on the Order Paper January 30th, 2012

With regard to contracts and costs associated with the Prime Minister’s office (PMO) and ministerial exempt staff: (a) how much is paid to Nigel Wright or any company of which he was a proprietor or partner; (b) did the PMO hold an open tender for Dimitri Soudas’ job or was the contract untendered; (c) how much did the PMO spend on (i) Canada’s Economic Action Plan, (ii) the G8 and G20 summits, (iii) Canadian television productions; (d) what contracts has the PMO signed with Ezra Levant or any registered lobbyist, government relations or public opinion firm in the last five years, if any, (i) for how much money (individually and in total), (ii) what was provided in return, (iii) which of these contracts were put out for open competition and which were not; and (e) how many untendered contracts have been signed in the last five years, and, if the PMO or Minister’s office has signed any such contract, (i) with whom, (ii) for how much money (individually and in total), (iii) what was obtained for each of these contracts?

Canada-Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity Act December 14th, 2011

Madam Speaker, I am quite baffled and actually quite insulted by the constant reference to these bills having been in this House last year. There are 108 new members of Parliament in this House today who were not here last year, who are being denied the right to debate bill after bill after bill.

I want to ask the hon. member, why does he feel that is a fair, just and democratic process? There are 108 new MPs in this House who have not had the opportunity to debate any of these bills. Would he answer that question?

War of 1812 Celebrations December 2nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, then I guess he needs to speak to his minister. In less than two months costs have already more than tripled.

What is the final price tag going to be for Canadian families? Canadians deserve to know the real costs, not “around $70 million”. That is simply unacceptable.

Why, in a time of economic crisis and with 19,000 more jobs lost, does the government believe that spending $12 million on military re-enactment is appropriate?

War of 1812 Celebrations December 2nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages showed once again that this government is incapable of keeping its spending in check.

Celebrations for the War of 1812 will now cost three times more than planned. One would think it was the President of the Treasury Board drafting the budget.

Could the minister explain what happened between mid-October and December 1 to triple the costs?

December 1st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I am heartened that the hard work of the arts and cultural community to impress upon the government the importance of its existence has finally been taken to heart. However, it still does not answer the question as to how the cultural capitals program works. In fact, in his speech, he did not even mention the cultural capitals program.

This is a program that is supposed to help smaller communities target the arts and cultural aspects of their communities and these communities are being left out. Why are they being left out? With all the work that the hon. member says is being done, why are smaller communities being left out, with no answer as to why the two levels of the cultural capitals program were not acknowledged this year?