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Results: 1 - 15 of 106
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer has determined that the Conservative government misled us on the cost of the F-35s. The government told us the cost would be $16 billion, but Kevin Page is talking about a bill of at least $29 billion. What is more, the Conservative government is unable to guarantee a modicum of economic spinoffs for Quebec.
Will the government cancel this deal, impose a moratorium on major military purchases and present a real foreign policy and defence policy to guide its military procurement?
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, since the government is determined to go ahead with the F-35s even at double the cost, it should at least proceed with a real call for tenders and conclude a contract with solid economic spinoffs for Quebec consistent with its share of jobs in the aerospace sector. That is what workers in the industry are calling for.
Will the government require a call for tenders and minimum spinoffs for Quebec?
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Speaker, first, I want to congratulate my colleague from Saint-Jean for an excellent speech that was very clear and specific. He talked about something that is important to me. There were several schemes aimed at hiding documents relating to torture in Afghanistan. Moreover, we want to know about major costs associated with prisons, but we cannot get them. We want to know the cost of the new fighter jets—this is an issue my colleague is following closely—but we cannot get anything. I would like to know what the member thinks of these issues.
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, first I want to congratulate my colleague on her excellent speech. I think she made a clear assessment of the Conservative government: its attitude and behaviour are anti-democratic and wrong and it stops at nothing to pursue this system of significant control that is centralist and bends the truth, as my colleague put it so well.
With regard to the lack of transparency and ethics, this government has shown that it is tops; it has been the Canadian champion for many years. If we go back in time a bit, we have the Liberals of course, but today we see to what extent this government tells lies. It is terrible to see how the privileges of duly elected members of the House are being limited. We are asking for simple documents, on Afghanistan or the F-35s, and the government refuses to produce those documents.
I would like my colleague to say a little more about the outrageous in and out electoral financing scheme.
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, once again, the hon. member has put his finger on the objective of the Bloc Québécois motion. This clearly demonstrates that we are now debating some important values. And the values on this side are not the same as those on the other side.
If we look at what is happening on the other side, we see a policy of secrecy, as our colleague was saying. We see a reduction in the privileges of the elected members of this House. We see theft, for they have been found guilty of theft by means of the in and out system. We see manipulation of the truth. This is unacceptable for members who should be legitimately receiving necessary information. We see a failure to respect this institution and all the institutions, and the various committees of the House of Commons. And then they come and tell us, at every meeting we have, that this government is the very embodiment of transparency and ethics.
It quite plainly is not. I would like to hear what my colleague has to say about the undemocratic behaviour and attitude of this government.
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend my colleague from Shefford on his excellent speech. As you know, this is the subject of the hour. As my colleague said, it is an urgent matter. Who pays the price? It is the workers who go to work every day and who buy groceries to feed themselves. I still call these basic or minimum needs.
Unfortunately, today, we are spending more money on gas than we are on rent, food, hospital visits, etc. This is an urgent situation; it is having a major impact. When they go to the pump in the morning, workers and everyone else are complaining about the price of gas. Unfortunately, it is only the government that does not hear these cries for help, in fact, it stopped hearing them a long time ago. I am aware that the Liberals, just like the Conservatives, also ignored these cries for help.
However, today, we have to do something. If we do not, the prices will skyrocket and it is the workers, those who cannot even manage to negotiate reasonable salary increases, who will suffer as they are forced to cope with increased gas prices.
I would therefore like my colleague to tell us about the impact this will have on workers.
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present three petitions with 250 names, signed by Air Canada workers. As you know, Air Canada is preparing to outsource jobs at its maintenance centres in Montreal, Winnipeg and Mississauga and to eventually transfer the centres to El Salvador. Thousands of jobs are in jeopardy: 4,500 direct jobs and 23,000 indirect jobs. These people are calling on the Minister of Finance, who has responsibility for the Air Canada Public Participation Act, to ensure once and for all that these jobs remain in Canada.
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, since 2007, Air Canada has been trying to export its technical services by handing them off to a separate company called Aveos. This could be finalized by April. But the Air Canada Public Participation Act officially prohibits Air Canada from exporting its operational and overhaul facilities in Montreal, Mississauga and Winnipeg.
Can the Minister of Finance guarantee that he will ensure that the legislation passed in 1985 by the Conservative government is enforced and that Air Canada is prohibited from exporting its operational and overhaul centres?
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, 3,000 jobs, the majority of which are in Quebec, are in jeopardy because Air Canada is transferring its technical services to Aveos, which could then move to El Salvador.
Why is the Minister of Finance not demanding that the letter and the spirit of the legislation be respected and that Air Canada maintain control of its operational and overhaul centres?
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, Air Canada executives have announced their intention to transform Toronto into a gateway to North America. Meanwhile, no major expansion is planned for Montreal in 2011 and Aveos may move some of its maintenance operations to El Salvador.
Is the government going to ensure that Air Canada respects the spirit of its incorporating legislation in order to prevent the company from ceasing its activity in Montreal?
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague from Gatineau said they went through hell. I think that is an apt description, since the houses there were systematically burned and the hon. member for Lévis—Bellechasse went to open an exhibit to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the massacre that occurred in what is now Forillon Park. He stated that the celebration represented reconciliation with the families of Forillon. At the same time, he claims he cannot apologize because a government does not make that kind of decision overnight. I think the member for Lévis—Bellechasse should realize that after 40 years, it is time to do something for those families. What are my colleague's thoughts on that?
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Gatineau. We saw how passionate he was in talking about the expropriations. Quebec has seen a number of expropriations and the member spoke about some of them, but Forillon was one of the largest and most insulting for Quebec. Forty years have come and gone with no formal apology, excluding the one from the member for Lévis—Bellechasse, who announced that a monument would be erected in Forillon Park.
I would like to ask my colleague about the Conservative government's position. Those whose land was expropriated were recently told that a small monument would be erected, and that they should be happy and shut their mouths. They need more; they need a significant apology. I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on that.
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Speaker, the Conservative member was talking about investments and the creation of employment in Forillon Park. The federal government had indeed promised that 3,000 jobs would be created, including 700 permanent positions, and that the park would attract over 600,000 visitors and tourists. In 2005, it was noted that jobs had been created for only 35 people per year, or the equivalent of 70 jobs including part-time positions, and that the park attracted approximately 146,000 visitors per year. This is a far cry from the number of jobs and visitors promised. 
I would like to hear more about what the hon. member has to say regarding the comparison between Manitoba and Forillon Park.
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, today, I want to pay tribute to Micheline Groleau, a woman who lives in my riding. On the occasion of the 2010 International Day of Older Persons, Ms. Groleau was named volunteer of the year for the Laurentians.
For 27 years, Ms. Groleau has been volunteering at the Centre d'action bénévole Les Artisans de l'Aide in Saint-Eustache as a receptionist and in other capacities as well. She arranges for and provides transportation for seniors going to medical appointments. Ms. Groleau is also involved in the para transit project in Saint-Eustache.
My Bloc Québécois colleagues join me in congratulating her and wishing her every success in her future endeavours.
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Speaker, Bill C-574, An Act to promote and strengthen the Canadian retirement income system, “creates a bill of rights for a retirement income system that promotes the goals of adequacy, transparency, affordability, equity, flexibility, security and accessibility for all Canadians”.
The bill introduced by the Liberal member for the Ontario riding of York West establishes a bill of rights that aims primarily to protect individuals who participate in pension plans, whether they are retired or still active in the workforce.
Bill C-574 protects various rights related to pension income, particularly the right to accumulate sufficient pension income and the right to receive complete and accurate information, in a timely fashion, when serious risks become known, specifically, a risk of non-payment or reduction in benefits.
The Bloc Québécois will be proposing an amendment to ensure respect for Quebec's jurisdiction. Private pension plans come under Quebec and provincial jurisdiction, with the exception of federally regulated industries like banking, communications and so on. The same is true of the Quebec pension plan.
The Bloc Québécois wants to avoid any confusion. We believe we must make the necessary amendments to make certain that this bill will not interfere with Quebec's areas of jurisdiction. The Bloc Québécois will propose an amendment to Bill C-574 to ensure that this bill targets only public or private pension plans under federal jurisdiction.
Furthermore, the introduction of this bill is a perfect opportunity to look at the issue of environmental, social and governance risk factors and respect for international treaties.
The Bloc Québécois believes that anyone who contributes to a pension plan cannot conduct a fair analysis of the risks involved unless they are informed of the company's environmental and social responsibility practices in the event that these have an impact on risk and performance.
This is supported by the Canada pension plan and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, which recognize how important it is for investors to have the information they need regarding the company's environmental, social and governance risk management.
“Corporate behaviour with respect to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors can generally have a positive influence on long-term financial performance, recognizing that the importance of ESG factors varies across industries, geography and time.
Disclosure is the key that allows investors to better understand, evaluate and assess potential risk and return, including the potential impact of ESG factors on a company's performance.”
And so the Bloc Québécois is proposing the addition of one right, the right to receive information on the retirement fund manager's assessment of social, ethical and environmental criteria during the initial risk analysis for each investment.
Clause 9 states:
Every individual who participates in, contributes to or receives benefits from a retirement income plan shall be entitled to receive, in clear and concise language, all the information the individual requires to understand his or her rights, obligations and choices under the retirement income plan, including...
And this could be amended to include the following:
“Regular disclosure of the list of stocks the retirement fund manager has acquired for the retirement plan. This information may be included in the retirement fund manager's annual report.”
The elected members of the Bloc Québécois, who have always supported demands made by retirees and seniors in Quebec, will continue to support measures that help them.
In addition to numerous other actions we have taken, we introduced Bill C-290, which would offer compensation to shortchanged retirees who are seeing cuts to their pension funds because a former employer has gone bankrupt and is not fulfilling its responsibility to contribute to the pension fund.
The Bloc Québécois is confounded by the rejection by both the Liberals and the Conservatives of its Bill C-290 to protect the retirement income of employees of a bankrupt business.
Once again, the Liberals and the Conservatives are showing their profound indifference towards workers, especially pensioners.
The Bloc Québécois will ensure that pensioners are not ignored by the Conservative government. We have continued to offer the government a series of solutions to protect pensioners. In fact, we have put forward a solid plan with a number of measures to protect their income, one of which would have the federal government follow Quebec's lead and put bankrupt companies' pension plans into trusteeship, when they are under federal jurisdiction. This is done in Quebec, under the Supplemental Pension Plans Act, to prevent these pension funds being liquidated while the markets are at their lowest.
The Quebec pension plan is thus able to take over management of the assets of bankrupt companies' pension plans. The government guarantees the payment of benefits owing to affected employees. However, this amount is adjusted to the solvency level of the pension plans, or their ability to pay all benefits to which contributing employees are entitled.
We have also proposed that preferred creditor status be given to disabled employees who lose their benefits due to a bankruptcy. In times of economic crisis, the declining value of securities diminishes the value of pension funds. If a company goes bankrupt during a downturn, the pension fund will be unable to meet its obligations towards its pensioners. This is not the result of the company defaulting on its normal payments to the pension fund.
Beneficiaries of this type of pension plan provided by companies in financial difficulty have often called for the laws governing bankruptcy to be revised so that pension funds would become preferred creditors in the event of bankruptcy.
The amendment to the investment act in order to maintain the threshold for automatic review of foreign acquisitions at $300 million would ensure that major corporations, like Nortel for instance, are not sold off at the expense of its retired workers. Nortel was sold off piece by piece. The foreign investment act does not force the government to review those transactions. In the case of Nortel, it was a very costly decision, and Nortel's Canadian assets could wind up in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Lastly, I would like to talk about improving the guaranteed income supplement. We are extremely concerned about the fact that over 80,000 Quebec seniors are living below the low-income line. The maximum GIS allowance is not even enough to get seniors out of poverty.
The Bloc Québécois has been working very hard to improve the GIS in order to: increase the guaranteed income supplement by $110 per month; continue paying both pension and survivor benefits, for a period of six months, to a surviving spouse; automatically enrol people over 65 who are eligible for the GIS; ensure full retroactive payment of the GIS for all those who were shortchanged; and increase the surviving spouse's allowance to the same amount as the GIS.
As for the thousands of people who rely on old age security, the federal government has unfairly deprived, and is still depriving, these people of the money owing to them. In order to access the guaranteed income supplement, one must apply. Tens of thousands of seniors in Quebec have been cheated because they did not apply for the GIS as soon as they were eligible.
In closing, the Bloc Québécois supports Bill C-574 in principle , but believes it is important to propose various amendments in order to ensure, above all, that it applies only to federally regulated pensions plans.
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