Consult the new user guides
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the new user guides
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 15 of 235
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
Mr. Speaker, although no one knows just how many there are, many Chinese nationals who are under the Prime Minister's solemn responsibility and whom Canada let in, are being forced under threat to return to China. We can imagine what is waiting for them upon their return.
Our main ally is coming to Ottawa tomorrow. Is that not just one more reason to establish that the Prime Minister cannot choose who will lead the inquiry or establish that the inquiry does not need to be public?
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
Mr. Speaker, allow me to make a distinction between the Communist Chinese regime and the Chinese people, as well as the extraordinary Chinese culture, which dates back five millennia. Electoral interference, illegal financing, industrial espionage and the forced repatriation of Chinese Canadians: Enough is enough.
Have we not come to the point where a self-serving appointment is not going to cut it?
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister says we should not be partisan. That is rich, coming from him.
If that is how he feels, why do so many members in the House get the feeling that he is willing to do anything and everything to avoid an independent public inquiry? A public inquiry is urgently needed, and it should not be conducted by a family friend.
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
Mr. Speaker, my point is that the work must be done for everyone in the House and for all of our constituents. I am not convinced that that is going to happen. All opposition parties in the House want an independent public inquiry.
At a time when all eyes in the U.S. are about to be on Ottawa, which tolerates interference and looks like it has something to hide, who is being partisan here?
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
Mr. Speaker, all the opposition parties are calling for an independent public inquiry and they want to see a commissioner appointed. We are talking about the majority of members of Parliament, which is no small thing. Many experts are recommending such a commission, including Mr. Rosenberg himself.
There is broad consensus in civil society in favour of such a commission, and the intelligence agencies are expressing serious concerns. I, for one, do not understand and want to ask the Prime Minister a very direct question. Why not call an independent public inquiry led by a commissioner appointed by the House?
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
Mr. Speaker, I know a little something about independence, and the special rapporteur who was appointed is about as independent as I am federalist.
The President of the United States is going to be in the House on Friday. The fact that the government does not want to launch a public inquiry sends a rather odd message in terms of national security for the entire continent, does it not? I am not accusing the Prime Minister of anything, but why not take this opportunity to put an end to the unfortunate impression that he has something to hide?
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
Mr. Speaker, there are reports of two so-called police stations working for the Chinese regime in Quebec, yet the Prime Minister wants to be the one to choose who investigates. We know that the Prime Minister has had reports from the intelligence services for years, yet he has done nothing. He wants to act alone. He wants to act in secret.
Was it through negligence or ignorance that the Prime Minister failed to disqualify himself for the role?
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
Mr. Speaker, in the best case scenario, the Prime Minister is always three, four or five steps behind. However, he is going to have to do something. He is going to have to appoint someone. He can call that person a rapporteur if he wants. It does not really matter. What matters is that the person in question is independent, at complete arm's length from him.
Does the Prime Minister not realize that this sort of appointment would be best left to the House?
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
Mr. Speaker, at last count, the Prime Minister had ignored two Chinese police stations in Quebec, more than 10 ridings where China is alleged to have interfered to influence the election and several intelligence reports.
The Prime Minister did everything wrong on this file. Still, he wants to act alone and in secret, as though there is something to hide.
Who in this government will stand up and speak to the Prime Minister, have him listen to reason and tell him we need to appoint a commissioner to carry out an independent public inquiry, immediately, right now? Who will dare stand up and speak to him?
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
Mr. Speaker, on a somewhat lighter note, the arts, culture, language and communications are part of our soul in Quebec and part of what defines us as a nation.
The Bloc Québécois, and the member for Drummond in particular, was largely responsible for shaping much of the content of Bill C‑11. The arts community was very appreciative of that. Unfortunately, the Conservatives turned their backs on a unanimous vote in Quebec's National Assembly and, quite frankly, betrayed it.
Is the minister committed to getting Quebeckers on board when Quebec issues are at stake?
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
Mr. Speaker, the territories, the provinces and Quebec asked for $28 billion a year for health care, but they got $4.6 billion. I fully understand that they did not have a choice. It was that or nothing.
To rebuild a decent health care system, reduce emergency room and surgical wait times, and help people grappling with mental health issues, the provinces asked for $28 billion. My question is simple: Is $4.6 billion enough?
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
Mr. Speaker, the member is quite welcome for the question, and just to show that there are no hard feelings, here is another.
We were talking about $28 billion in new money, but I want to know this. If $4.6 billion is not enough, why give only that much? If $28 billion is too much, someone needs to explain why it is too much. If it is not enough, someone needs to explain why it will remain not enough for 10 years.
Is the legacy of the fiscal imbalance that, over time, Ottawa will run surpluses and, over time, the provinces will financially suffocate?
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
That the House remind the government that it is solely up to Quebec and the provinces to decide on the use of the notwithstanding clause.
He said: Mr. Speaker, rest assured that I am excluding you from this argument, but I get the impression that Quebec does not have many friends in the House. This has been made particularly evident by what seems to be—and this may seem harsh—the Liberal government's descent into hell. The government is essentially the only one to blame, and it is useful in this context to revisit—and, again this may sound harsh—a recent debacle. I will let you be the judge of that. Speaking of judges, we will, once again, have to refer to the Supreme Court of Canada on this matter.
I have made a little list. Bill C-21 on gun control was a lesson in clumsy backtracking, an unruly fiasco and a retreat that was anything but strategic. There was not even a whiff of them admitting to an error—an implicit error—and no recognition of the fact that, indeed, one must consider the safety of civilians and women while also preserving the legitimate privileges of sport hunters.
One example is the electoral map. I remember going to the Gaspé region last summer, just a few days after the Prime Minister, when the first new version of the electoral map had been considered and the riding of my colleague from Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia was disappearing. The Prime Minister was in the region and had not said a single word about the fact that the regions in Quebec were being weakened. There might even have been a threat regarding the expressed desire of the member for Gaspésie—Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine to keep the file. The Prime Minister, however, never said a word; again, the government is essentially its deputy minister.
There is Medicago, a company, a flagship in technology research that, due to a kind of negligence perpetuated over time and interventions that were often too late, risks seeing the achievements of Quebec engineering go to Japan, subject to the good will of Mitsubishi, which will certainly be a major loss for Quebec and Canada.
There is the acquisition of Resolute Forest Products by Paper Excellence, which is owned by Sinar Mas. That represents 25% of cutting rights in public forests in Quebec and does not qualify in the new Bill C-34, which does not even protect it. Good heavens, if that is not protected, what will Bill C-34 protect?
There are obviously the health transfers. That is really very interesting. Of everyone here, we see that only the Bloc Québécois is both speaking for Quebec and representing the provinces' common front. The Bloc Québécois is the only party to stand up for Yukon, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Alberta. We will wait for the thanks from the benches next to us. Only the Bloc Québécois is standing up for the will of the provinces, the territories and Quebec, while the others are being opportunistic or lazy. We will be told that what we are doing is a waste of time. It is not a waste of time; it is very revealing of how things work.
There is the McKinsey case. I do not have time to go through everything about McKinsey. There would be far too many secrets to be brought to light, like McKinsey and ethics, McKinsey and lobbying, McKinsey and defence, McKinsey and standing offers, and so on. McKinsey's former boss himself—who is surely not as naive as he tried to make us believe in committee—said that, if he had been the client, he would not have signed the contract that the Government of Canada signed. That is interesting. There is also McKinsey and immigration, as well as McKinsey and Century Initiative. One hundred million Canadians, how nice. That is quite a lot, given Quebec’s inability to absorb, over time, in French and with our values, the number of immigrants that that requires. I asked Mr. Barton whether he had considered Quebec. They did not consider it at all. It was not even on their radar.
Based on the ignorance expressed, my word, I want to be the boss at McKinsey. He does not work that hard and says he does not know anything. Also, I suspect the pay is not too bad. McKinsey has a role to play in border management and, of course, in language and identity.
There is also the exploitation of Roxham Road. As my colleague from Lac-Saint-Jean mentioned, according to recent revelations, not only do we have criminal smugglers, we now have an all-inclusive package on offer, on both sides. A bus ticket is provided and migrants are openly and brazenly sent to Roxham Road. No one likes handcuffs. However, a brief moment of discomfort from being handcuffed is worth it for migrants, who are very happy to have reached Quebec; of course Quebec is paying the costs of welcoming them in a humane manner.
There is the appointment of Ms. Elghawaby. I will not repeat the whole speech and I do not want to make this personal. That said, it was clear that the government has an extraordinary ability to isolate and protect itself. If our homes were as well protected as the government, we would not need insulation.
Of course, there is also the referral of Quebec’s secularism law to the Supreme Court of Canada in the hope of overturning it.
Beyond that, the divisiveness over Bill C-13 is quite dramatic. I would not want to invite myself to a Liberal caucus meeting, and I think its members would not like that either, but there must be some very passionate conversations within that caucus. It must be just as fascinating as the Conservatives’ conversations about abortion. There may be a few little things that need to be resolved. For our part, everything is going very well. The federal government may also go to the Supreme Court over Bill 96, which deals with the French language.
We have now come to the motion on the notwithstanding clause, which may also go before the Supreme Court of Canada. I would like to speak about a very interesting aspect. In principle, Trudeau senior said that the will of Parliament had to ultimately prevail. That is why the 1982 Constitution, which we consider to be a despicable document, includes this principle of ensuring the primacy of the democracy of parliaments. Let us keep in mind that we have never signed on to that Constitution. We have been pointing that out for a few weeks now.
That was quickly tested. In 1988, the Ford decision established, on the one hand, that the use of the notwithstanding clause was legitimate and, on the other hand, that the role of the court was not to engage in pointless discussions, but to rule on the substance and wording of things.
Let us not forget that Mr. Lévesque firmly invoked and inserted the notwithstanding clause in all of the laws passed by Quebec’s National Assembly. Many fits were had, but Canada survived.
It is important to understand the current government’s legislative or judicial approach—or flight of fancy. By invoking federal documents such as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Constitution, and by appointing new judges as old ones leave, the Prime Minister hopes to replace the decisions of the provincial legislatures and of the House of Commons with those of the Supreme Court of Canada in order to modify by interpretation the Canadian Constitution. As we said earlier, the Constitution is much more theirs than it is ours.
Having had the opportunity over time to appoint judges, the Prime Minister is confident that he has a Supreme Court of Canada whose constitution, pardon the pun, will be favourable to him. He wants to modify the Constitution by having it interpreted by judges he has appointed. This happens elsewhere in the world, and it is rarely an honourable procedure. A Parliament is always sovereign, otherwise any one Parliament could impose its will on another.
Quebec’s National Assembly is sovereign in its choices and its votes. Quebec’s Parliament is, in a word, national. Now, more than ever, Quebec’s National Assembly needs the notwithstanding clause, which guarantees the prerogative and primacy of parliaments and elected members over the decisions of the courts. Courts are there only to interpret, despite the fact that we have learned, particularly over the course of Quebec history, that interpretations can, over time, and without casting stones, be nudged in a certain direction. We do not want government by judges, but government by elected members, government by the people.
As I said at the beginning, it is important to mention that the notwithstanding clause is the legacy of Pierre Elliott Trudeau. I remember a question period during which we were told that it was awful, that they were not against the notwithstanding clause but against its pre-emptive use.
Of course, as it is wont to do, it is when the government runs out of arguments that it starts spouting the worst nonsense. That was a good one. If the notwithstanding clause is not to be used pre-emptively, what is the point?
The notwithstanding clause is like a COVID-19 vaccine. People get vaccinated to avoid getting COVID-19, not after they get it. The notwithstanding clause protects Quebec’s laws. We could say “the laws of Quebec and the provinces”, but let us be clear: Aside from a recent notorious case in Ontario, the notwithstanding clause is mostly used in Quebec, particularly when it comes to national identity and jurisdiction, precisely so that we do not have to hear the courts say that we cannot apply our own legislation, that it is being challenged, and that we now have to use the notwithstanding clause to fix a situation that, in the meantime, has had a deleterious effect.
Clearly, that is not how we want to or even how we should use the notwithstanding clause. Too often, harm would be done, and the same courts would have to suspend the application of the law. The notwithstanding clause is a small piece of sovereignty. “Sovereignty” is a word that frightens people. Using it inspires strong feelings and cold sweats. Sovereignty, however, is merely exclusive jurisdiction held by any party. This Parliament claims sovereignty, except in the case of Chinese spy balloons.
It is essential to recognize that, by invoking the notwithstanding clause, a jurisdiction that is a parliament, which by definition is sovereign, is claiming a small part of its sovereignty in jurisdictions which, logically speaking, should be exclusive to it.
This logical relationship between identity, the fact that Quebec is a nation begrudgingly recognized by this Parliament in a very specific context on June 16, 2021, and the fact that Quebec is the one that must resort to this clause is because Quebec is a nation, and its parliament is a national Parliament. Allow me to say that, in my opinion, this is too little.
It is too little because, of course, we want Quebeckers—in their own time, obviously, but we will encourage them—to think about sovereignty as a whole, a nation with a single national Parliament, which, as Mr. Parizeau said, would collect all taxes—we are capable of doing this and we would be having an entirely different conversation about health transfers—vote for all laws applicable in Quebec, sign all treaties and honour all existing treaties, as necessary.
Usually, people do not think about being normal. It goes without saying. We embrace normality, we seek normality and we assume normality. Quebec just needs to think about it right now, and for some time, and observe how its national identity is treated in a Parliament that should at least be a good neighbour if it cannot be a good partner.
This remains an essential reflection, but given the current context, it may no longer hold tomorrow or the next day. The game of cat and mouse, the jurisdictional stonewalling, the encroachments, the interference are anything but progress, efficiency or instruments for the greater good.
Until that necessarily deeper reflection occurs, we certainly need, in this Parliament, to solicit the good faith of colleagues and elected officials in recognizing that Quebec and the provinces have a legitimate right to use the notwithstanding clause. We are not requesting a change to the way things are done. We are asking that it be acknowledged. We simply wish to state the truth and are calling on Parliament to say that it does indeed reflect reality.
Voting against this truth would be akin to challenging the Canadian Constitution itself. This temptation was evident in the Prime Minister's comments. That raised some eyebrows, given the legacy. We are calling on the House to recognize a literal truth, if only out of respect.
In the meantime, and regardless of today’s vote, the Quebec nation and its representatives have only one true friend in this place. Only one political party raises the issues of language, identity, immigration, health care funding and the preservation of the notwithstanding clause in this House. Its members have just as much legitimacy as those of every other party. They are the members of the Bloc Québécois. The Bloc Québécois is proud to stand once again, without compromise, but with a sense of responsibility and with courage, to raise, defend and promote the interests of Quebec, which we hope will accomplish even more.
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
Mr. Speaker, the driver cannot really complain about the route that is taken. Members of the federal government hold more keys to the Constitution and the back rooms of the Supreme Court than Quebec sovereignists or the provinces and territories.
It would be surprising if the federal Parliament were to make use of a constitutional provision that serves to protect it from itself. History being what it is and future prospects being what they are, it is understandable that that did not seem realistic to us.
View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
Mr. Speaker, I would be surprised if he was not tempted to do so.
Sometimes in politics, I think people have a nasty habit of exploiting crises or difficult situations to serve their own ends. This time, he had a lucky escape.
There are so many crises, issues, failures, boondoggles and comedies of errors going on that he cannot turn them to his advantage in the short term. I would be surprised to hear anyone say that the government is on top of things.
If he really was hoping to exploit these crises, it seems like we can add that to his list of numerous failures.
Results: 1 - 15 of 235 | Page: 1 of 16

Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data