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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was languages.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Acadie—Bathurst (New Brunswick)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 70% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Mining Industry October 2nd, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of the House the importance to my riding of a mining project that will create 210 much needed jobs in northern New Brunswick.

This summer, the Breakwater Resources project, evaluated at $54.4 million, made it possible to resume operations at the Caribou mine. New processes enable Breakwater to predict that it will be able to extract more zinc, lead and silver ore from the mine than it produced prior to its closure in 1990.

This mine will, therefore, be a source of ongoing employment for my constituents of Acadie—Bathurst for the next eight years.

The Caribou project clearly highlights the new face of Canadian mining, a high technology industry—

Supply September 30th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order.

If I recall correctly, I was reprimanded last week for having used the word “steal”. Earlier, my colleague in the Bloc Quebecois used the word twice. He has just used it a third or fourth time. I therefore ask, Mr. Speaker, whether there are two sets of rules in the House.

Supply September 30th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Reform Party member.

I believe what is happening is that some people do not understand what is going on in Atlantic Canada. The federal government even has trouble recognizing that the Atlantic fisheries are in crisis. How many times did we hear people say that Atlantic Canadians are lazy and do not want to work? Even the Prime Minister said he was going to get them out of their house and prevent them from going to the pub.

This image of the Atlantic provinces is totally unacceptable. It is not the fault of Atlantic Canadians if the fisheries are in a state of crisis. It is not their fault if a moratorium was declared on cod. It is not their fault if quotas for crab fell from 20,000 to 12,000 metric tons. It is not their fault if lobster catches are down. It is not their fault if herring quotas are down. It is nature's fault. It is because of what is happening in our region.

It is true that, at one time, our region of New Brunswick was a nice, prosperous place, where people could find work. Then, as a result of Confederation and other changes, everything went to central and western Canada.

Let me tell you one thing: if we want a united Canada, if we want to remain a united country, westerners will have to support easterners. If westerners support easterners, understand them and help them set up companies and get into secondary processing in the fishery and forestry sectors, if they allocate money for mining, then Atlantic Canadians will have work and will not have to move out west.

So, is the Reform Party member saying that the government should prevent Atlantic Canadians from getting employment insurance and let them starve?

Speech From The Throne September 29th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask our colleague a question.

He says he is proud of being with the Liberals, because the Liberals have made promises in the red book. I just hope he is talking about the promises contained in the second red book and not in the first red book, because those promises were not kept, and a minister was forced to resign and to seek re-election and another member was forced to join us here in the back. They made promises that they could not keep.

As a member, did you and do you still agree with the employment insurance reform that imposed cuts on the workers of this country? You talked about that in the past as a union organizer. Did you and do you still agree with these cuts that our people were subjected to in the regions?

Employment Insurance September 25th, 1997

I am sincerely sorry, Mr. Speaker, for using the word “stealing”. So I will say “taking the money”.

Employment Insurance September 25th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, are the minister and the government insensitive to the pain and suffering inflicted upon these families? Will this government stop stealing money from the unemployed by using the surplus in the employment insurance fund to reduce the deficit?

Employment Insurance September 25th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

Considerable time has gone by since the last changes to the employment insurance were introduced. The verdict is clear: ordinary people and seasonal workers are hard hit by the changes introduced by my predecessor, the former member for Acadie—Bathurst.

Consequently, is the government prepared to amend the Employment Insurance Act to ensure that children from families affected by the reform are not sent off to school on an empty stomach?