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Results: 1 - 15 of 165
View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2019-06-19 15:13 [p.29393]
Mr. Speaker, there is no denying that rural communities have a significant impact on the national economy. They provide jobs to over four million Canadians and contribute nearly 30% of the GDP, which is considerable.
It is important for our government to have a “made in rural” plan to address the unique infrastructure needs and economic opportunities facing rural communities.
Can the Prime Minister tell us about our government's efforts to support Canada's rural communities?
View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2019-06-11 18:51 [p.28955]
Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security spent several weeks on Bill C-59. During that time, we heard from scholars like Mr. Forcese, who shared some very relevant remarks, as did the agencies.
I would like the minister to talk about the public aspect of the consultation. He said that tens of thousands of Canadians were consulted. I would like him to tell us how that historic public consultation met the needs that Canadians themselves had expressed.
View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2019-06-04 14:12 [p.28495]
Mr. Speaker, I want to take a few minutes to talk about the fabulous Marguerite Charlebois.
Armed with a great sense of humour and an infectious joie de vivre, this wonderful woman has been serving the House of Commons since January 1981, when Pierre Elliott Trudeau was leading the government.
Marguerite worked as a server in the parliamentary restaurant for 15 years before becoming a hostess, the job she has cheerfully held for the past 23 years. On the eve of her 79th birthday, she is planning to retire for what would actually be the third time.
I know that our beloved Marguerite is with us today. On behalf of all my colleagues, I want to thank her for her 38 years of service to the House. We wish her good health, happiness and fun in her well-deserved retirement.
Marguerite, you are so precious to us. You are one in a million.
View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2019-05-29 14:07 [p.28213]
Mr. Speaker, I want to tell you about the Maison de l’entraide, an organization in my riding that has been supporting families in Sainte-Julie for 40 years. The organization got its start with a fundraising drive organized by Denyse Labrecque in 1976 and was incorporated on July 4, 1979.
Today, the Maison de l’entraide continues to fulfill its founders' mission by supporting low-income families in Sainte-Julie and working in collaboration with local partners to improve their quality of life.
The organization's main source of funding is a thrift store that is open to the general public. The store generates roughly 80% of its revenue. The board of directors and volunteers are determined to keep overhead expenses as low as possible to ensure that all funds raised go directly to the recipients. This financial support represents about 75% of its expenditures.
Congratulations to the Maison de l’entraide for 40 wonderful years.
View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2019-05-28 14:58 [p.28147]
Mr. Speaker, this week the international grand committee on big data, privacy and democracy is meeting in Ottawa to understand how governments around the world can tackle challenges to our democracies.
We know that Canada enjoys a strong democracy that is an example to the world. However, a lot of work remains to be done to develop our model of open government.
Could the President of the Treasury Board tell the House about the leadership role Canada is playing on this important topic?
View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2019-05-15 14:12 [p.27827]
Mr. Speaker, there are great people in my riding who work to make this country a better place. It is the case of Mrs. Rita Plante, an elementary school teacher from William Latter School.
With her students, Mrs. Plante created a quilt six feet by six feet, representing realities from all the provinces and territories in Canada. Not only is this masterpiece beautiful, but it has helped her students understand the abundance of diversity that lies within our country, a diversity that is one of our biggest strengths in Canada.
Mrs. Plante is here today with 56 wonderful students and parents to see her exposed piece of artwork in the Wellington Building and to learn where democracy takes place in the country.
I invite the House to check out this lovely quilt and I would like to thank Mrs. Plante for dedicating her career to creating the leaders of tomorrow.
View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2019-05-14 13:03 [p.27746]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to tell my colleague a bit about transfer pricing. A bilateral treaty like the one my colleague just mentioned requires the parties involved to agree on the fiscal parameters of commercial transfers. This treaty leads to agreements between the two parties and also to information sharing aimed at reducing this type of tax evasion problem.
Besides increasing tax fairness, a bilateral treaty also allows access to more money that can be used quickly, for example, to make necessary investments rather than to be remitted to the public treasury. Furthermore, it creates a bond of trust between two nations. With this agreement, Canada is showing Madagascar that it intends to build relations based on trust and economic growth.
Perhaps my colleague could say a bit more about Canada's intention of contributing in good faith to the economic growth of both parties.
View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2019-05-14 13:22 [p.27748]
Mr. Speaker, I want to come back to my colleague's speech about money laundering. I have been interested in this issue since 1995. We need to understand that these longstanding issues involve several authorities over a period of many years.
The report released in Vancouver describes a situation that goes back some time. This bill has been in the works for several years. In the previous government, it seems that my colleague was also the minister of public safety and responsible for these issues because he was responsible for the RCMP.
Why has the problem persisted?
Are we to understand that this is a longstanding problem or that the current reality is the result of cuts they made to the RCMP?
View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2019-05-06 12:42 [p.27380]
Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to welcome our colleague to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. His stellar reputation and professionalism precede him, and our discussions are always constructive.
When he appeared before the committee, he received a response from departmental representatives. They explained to him that eliminating criminal records involved more than a simple click of a button because of the complexity of the files. Certain procedures are required. It is not as automatic or as easy as he suggests.
View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2019-05-06 13:00 [p.27382]
Madam Speaker, before I begin, I should inform you that I will be sharing my time with my hon. colleague from Vaudreuil—Soulanges.
I am delighted to have a chance to speak at second reading of Bill C-93. This important bill would amend the Criminal Records Act to allow persons convicted only of simple possession of cannabis to apply for a record suspension, more commonly known as a pardon, without being subject to a waiting period or to the $631 fee once they have served their sentence.
This is a important step in the implementation of Canada's new cannabis legislation, following the entry into force of the Cannabis Act on October 17, 2018.
As we know, criminal records can seriously impact people's lives. It can make it harder to travel to foreign countries, restrict job prospects and housing options, and prevent people from going to school and upgrading their skills or education.
Another way of looking at it is that a criminal record is a useful public safety tool, including for landlords or employers.
People have to take responsibility for their actions. People have criminal records because they broke the law and their actions had consequences. However, those who serve their sentence should have a way of getting back on track without the burden of a permanent criminal record. That is especially true for the offence of cannabis possession, which no longer exists in the Criminal Code and had a disproportionate impact on minority communities.
The Canadian pardon system gives people this opportunity to move forward. A pardon is almost like a reset button that erases all criminal convictions from a person's record. When the parole board grants a pardon, federal files about the conviction are immediately set aside. Given that the provinces and territories also have their criminal records, the board informs them and they generally comply with the request to set aside the record.
When a pardon is granted, convictions are deleted from the RCMP national repository of criminal records. Pardoned convictions are not generally disclosed when undergoing a background check to find a job, rent a home or obtain a passport or a loan.
A pardon also eliminates any prohibitions associated with a criminal record, including eligibility for Canadian citizenship. Only the Minister of Public Safety has the authority to disclose information about pardons based on exceptional circumstances, such as when a person convicted of a sex offence applies to work or volunteer in a vulnerable sector.
Pardons are almost always permanent, unless the individual breaks the law again. Additionally, pardons are fully protected under the Canadian Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on convictions for which an individual has received a pardon.
Similar laws already exist in many provinces and territories. Another important consideration related to pardons has to do with crossing international borders. If a pardon has been granted, American border officials will not find any evidence of a criminal record when they search the Canadian databases to which they already have access. Of course, we cannot control what questions border officials might ask Canadian travellers. An official might ask travellers whether they have used cannabis, and if the answer is yes, neither a pardon nor expungement would allow them to respond honestly in the negative.
However, the advantage of pardons over expungement is that the documentation remains accessible as needed. For example, if a person's cannabis conviction was previously logged at the U.S. border, that person can provide documentation about that conviction on request. Once a criminal record is expunged, there is no longer any documentation for the person to present at the request of U.S. border officers, in which case the person can be denied entry into the country.
Under the current system, a person can wait up to 10 years before being able to apply for a pardon. Bill C-93 proposes to waive that waiting period, making those found guilty of simple possession of cannabis immediately eligible to apply for a pardon after serving their sentence.
The bill would also eliminate the $631 application fee. The applicant will have to show that he or she was found guilty of simple possession of cannabis, that this was the only crime on their record, and that the sentence was served.
Why is it important to provide a no-cost expedited process to the specific group of individuals targeted in this bill? This is about fairness. For Canadians convicted of simple possession of cannabis, having a criminal record for a relatively minor infraction can have major long-term consequences.
Those consequences are disproportionately severe considering that cannabis is now legal in Canada. Members of minority, ethnic and indigenous communities are overrepresented among those with criminal convictions for simple possession of cannabis. That can seriously hinder their ability to find work and succeed in their endeavours.
The measures proposed in Bill C-93 would open up better opportunities for them and other Canadians. They would not have to put their lives on hold for 10 years before they can apply for a pardon. They would not have to worry about the financial stress of saving up for the $631 application fee. Bill C-93 would do away with those fees.
Now that cannabis is legal in Canada, pardons should be accessible, affordable and available to anyone who has a criminal record just for simple possession. A pardon would help them reintegrate into their communities as productive, law-abiding and contributing members of society. This would also improve public safety for all Canadians.
I would also like to point out that a broader review of our pardon system is under way. Public Safety Canada and the Parole Board of Canada have held public consultations, and the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security published a report on the issue of pardons as part of a study initiated by the member for Saint John—Rothesay.
These measures are part of the efforts being made to ensure that our pardon system is fair and proportional and that it helps people who are not breaking the law reintegrate into society.
For all these reasons, I will be voting in favour of Bill C-93 at second reading, and I encourage my hon. colleagues to do the same.
View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2019-05-06 13:08 [p.27383]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question. His many concerns are warranted.
However, the answer is fortunately much simpler. It is too bad that my colleague's party is forcing him to take the position that the bill does not go far enough. The NDP voted against the legalization of cannabis. Decriminalization was not the answer. One cannot seek a weaker measure and then complain that this one goes too far or is not adequate.
One side is saying that we moved too fast and the other side is saying that we did not move fast enough. I think the time is right. After cannabis was legalized, steps were taken in a timely manner to help applicants by eliminating the wait time for submitting an application and the fees associated with doing so.
View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2019-05-06 13:10 [p.27384]
Madam Speaker, the first initiative, legalization, sought to put an end to the stigma associated with the recreational use of cannabis. Whether people use it or not is not the issue. It is something that some people choose to do recreationally and it has no adverse effects. Accordingly, in order to minimize the negative impact on these people, we must undertake the correct and proper procedure set out in the bill we are examining today. In my opinion, it is time we did that. We should have done it as soon as possible after cannabis was legalized.
This bill goes above and beyond what is legal today. In other words, it will eliminate the stigma faced by those with a criminal record by granting them a pardon and suspending their criminal record. This will help restore the reputation of honest citizens who want to continue their lives in society—both those who want to integrate into society and those who already have a place in it—in a healthy, suitable and friendly environment.
View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2019-05-06 13:12 [p.27384]
Madam Speaker, we heard that in spite of the logistical concerns about obtaining a pardon, such as the fact that the records cannot automatically be electronically suspended because the information is scattered all over, this bill fulfils the very specific objective of reintegrating people into society.
View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2019-05-06 14:43 [p.27399]
Mr. Speaker, summer is fast approaching, or at least we hope it is, and festival season is starting up.
The calendar is already packed in Montarville, with outdoor stages, exhibitions and other activities, and they are counting on even more people to attend.
Budget 2019 increased funding for festivals and various local events. Can the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism tell the House how the government will support festivals like the ones in my riding?
View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2019-02-28 21:06 [p.25978]
Mr. Speaker, my colleague shares the same opinion as the Liberal members from Quebec. In fact, we think the major issue facing the employees from Quebec and Canada as well as the pensioners, and even the suppliers and other third parties that provide goods and services and employ other workers because they have contracts with SNC-Lavalin, is to increase the value of the company. They understand that and we understand that. A logo cannot be put in prison.
A logo cannot commit a crime. Only individuals can commit crimes. That is exactly the point of remediation agreements.
There is a slight nuance. Perhaps my colleague could help me explain something to my colleagues opposite, namely, the notion of what seems to be inappropriate and misunderstood? Everyone keeps using the word inappropriate without actually defining it.
Would my colleague agree that entering into a remediation agreement requires a certain amount of dialogue and discussion with management, and that the complex files related to something like this probably require more than one meeting? This would help our colleagues opposite understand a little more about the reality of what constitutes appropriate dialogue.
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