Réal MÉNARD

MÉNARD, Réal, B.A., M.A.

Personal Data

Party
Bloc Québécois
Constituency
Hochelaga (Quebec)
Birth Date
May 13, 1962
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Réal_Ménard
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=595bcf3a-ea43-42d7-937e-1018bfde5547&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
political scientist

Parliamentary Career

October 25, 1993 - April 27, 1997
BQ
  Hochelaga--Maisonneuve (Quebec)
June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
BQ
  Hochelaga--Maisonneuve (Quebec)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
BQ
  Hochelaga--Maisonneuve (Quebec)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
BQ
  Hochelaga (Quebec)
January 23, 2006 - September 7, 2008
BQ
  Hochelaga (Quebec)
October 14, 2008 - September 16, 2009
BQ
  Hochelaga (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 362)


September 16, 2009

Mr. Réal Ménard (Hochelaga, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform the House that I will be leaving my position as a member of Parliament and that my resignation will be effective today. I could not leave without saying that I have loved my work here in Parliament. As parliamentarians, we have chosen to transform our communities, our society and our world through ideas, and of course, through debate.

I would like to thank the people of Hochelaga, who placed their trust in me six times. Of course I would like to thank my assistants. Working with them has been a pleasure. I would like to thank Benoît Demuy, in my constituency, and Mario Lalancette, who has been with me for 13 years, which makes him practically a saint, I know. I would also like to thank my riding assistant, Denis Bourgeois, my riding association president, Maxime Bellerose, and my colleagues. I would like to thank my leader, who always gave me responsibilities that made my work here in Parliament a pleasure. I would also like to thank my party whip, who has always been so understanding and has so graciously fulfilled his duties. I leave this House knowing that I have friends in all the parties. It has been a pleasure to serve democracy and the people of Hochelaga.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Resignation of Member
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September 15, 2009

Mr. Réal Ménard (Hochelaga, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to congratulate our colleague for her work on this private member's bill. I know she has worked very hard. However, I would like to caution her and all of us with regard to certain reactions that could unfortunately be likened to demagoguery.

I was an MP in 2005 and at that time the Bloc Québécois supported a bill introduced by the now defunct Liberal government, which had established a new provision in the Criminal Code, namely the offence of human trafficking. At the time, we unanimously supported the Criminal code amendment proposed by Bill C-49.

Bill C-49 created clause 279.01(1) which stated that “...Every person who recruits, transports, transfers, receives, holds, conceals or harbours a person, or exercises control, direction or influence over the movements of a person, for the purpose of exploiting them...” must be considered to be trafficking in persons.

I would like to remind my Liberal colleague that, at the time, his government did not see fit to make a distinction between persons under the age of 18 and over the age of 18. The government at the time did not see fit to impose mandatory minimum sentences. In 2005, I believe that this House unanimously adopted these provisions which, to date, have not surfaced much in the judicial system given that we have only had about ten convictions. I will come back to that.

It would be quite inflammatory to suggest that any member of this House is not vigilant, pro-active or dedicated when it comes to dealing with the trafficking of children or sexual exploitation.

The question we must ask ourselves is what are the objectives of the bill introduced by the member? Does the bill contain the right tools to achieve these objectives? The member leads us to believe that the courts have not been tough enough or that there have not been charges in cases of exploitation or trafficking involving young children.

From spring 2008 to spring 2009, five charges were laid under section 279, four of them involving persons under 18 years of age. So it is not true that the courts have not dealt with charges involving persons under 18. The proposed sentences contain at least three: a five-year sentence, a seven-year sentence and a ten-year sentence. Clearly, under section 279.01, as it stands, prosecutors can charge persons under the age of 18.

Does anyone in this House believe that, in a properly constituted case by a crown prosecutor involving a child victim of human trafficking, any judge worth his or her salt would fail to take that fact into account?

That is where the Bloc Québécois and the government disagree. The Bloc Québécois trusts judges and believes in their wisdom. If the sentence is not harsh enough, prosecutors must appeal. Our colleague did not say anything to suggest that these provisions conflicted with charges for trafficking in victims under the age of 18.

I can see that my time is up. I would like to congratulate the member on her bill, and I hope she understands that we are just as dedicated as she is to fighting human trafficking, but that we would rather find other ways to do it. That was the argument we heard from the member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Motion in Amendment
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June 18, 2009

Mr. Réal Ménard

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague. I can even boast that he is not just a colleague, but a friend as well.

Obviously, we all know that he is a learned jurist. He wrote his bar exams in the 1970s—AD, that is. There is no chance I will ever write my bar exams, but I take a certain pride in having completed my law degree.

The sort of questions I would like the committee to debate concern the profile of people who were eligible for early parole. What is the rationale for abolishing section 745.6? I know that some police forces have called for it to be abolished.

In my introduction, which was cut short prematurely, I gave three reasons why we had passed section 745.6 in 1977. We wanted to give hope to people in the prison population and to make certain inmates with the appropriate profile eligible for early parole.

Are the reasons section 745.6 was added to the Criminal Code in 1977 and reviewed in the 1990s no longer relevant?

These are questions I would like the committee to debate, obviously with the friendly cooperation of my colleague from Abitibi—Témiscamingue.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act
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June 18, 2009

Mr. Réal Ménard

Madam Speaker, if I may, and without questioning your ruling, I really took the floor at 11:55 a.m. Therefore, I feel like the House is depriving me of five minutes. I do not want to take up the time of the House, but I clearly recall taking the floor at 11:55 a.m.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act
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June 18, 2009

Mr. Réal Ménard

Madam Speaker, in order to clear any ambiguity, in all friendship, and again without questioning the chair's ruling, could you ask for the consent of the House to give me five additional minutes for my presentation, since I am the Bloc Québécois critic on justice, and since I am the second speaker? I would really appreciate that.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act
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