Ghislain FOURNIER

FOURNIER, Ghislain

Personal Data

Party
Bloc Québécois
Constituency
Manicouagan (Quebec)
Birth Date
August 26, 1938
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghislain_Fournier
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=5d4a198d-e2ba-4191-ad0d-080ca024eff0&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
businessman, real estate agent, real estate manager, realtor, restaurant and bar owner, welder

Parliamentary Career

June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
BQ
  Manicouagan (Quebec)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
BQ
  Manicouagan (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3 of 35)


June 10, 2003

Mr. Ghislain Fournier (Manicouagan, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the 125 workers at the shellfish plant in Baie-Trinité will not be able to work the 420 hours required to qualify for employment insurance. It would cost approximately $120,000 to put in place a program similar to the one on the Lower North Shore to save these workers from living off welfare for the next few years.

Will the government extend the temporary income support program to the plant workers and fishers affected by the drastic drop in shellfish landings?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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May 13, 2003

Mr. Ghislain Fournier (Manicouagan, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, as the Bloc Quebecois' mining critic, and given that it is national mining week, I am pleased to talk about the effect of mining on our economy and our lives.

Mining is extremely important to keeping our economy strong. The construction, shipping and aviation industries, for example, would not have flourished to the same extent without the numerous resources our mines produce.

It is important to recognize the wealth and the majorimpact of the mining industry and ensure that this industry receives the tax measures and investments it needs for its development, for exploration, mining or research, and thus guarantee years of prosperity to miners.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Mining
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May 13, 2003

Mr. Ghislain Fournier (Manicouagan, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, last night, when I had the floor, I was going to talk about softwood lumber, but unfortunately, I ran out of time.

What I wanted to say about the softwood lumber issue is that the budget contained nothing to deal with the crisis. HRDC's plan for workers affected by the softwood lumber crisis has been condemned by everyone. The measures that have been announced to help these workers are utterly inadequate, as you know.

Certain ministers promised a second stage for the softwood lumber assistance program. The budget contains no funding for this stage, as though the government had forgotten its promises. Are there many people who are surprised that the federal government is forgetting its promises?

Many people are disappointed. Their needs are still not being met because the provinces are not receiving the resources they need from the federal government to meet these needs.

The list of significant measures not mentioned in this budget is a long one. There is no reduction in the excise tax on gasoline; no reduction of the GST per litre of gasoline; no further decrease in income taxes; no appreciable short-term improvement in the RRSP contribution ceiling; no increase in the pension adjustment amount; nothing in the budget for senior citizens; no substantial reduction in employment insurance contributions; no improvement in old age security pensions; no provision to recover taxes on hidden salaries; no tax deduction for volunteer work; and no additional deduction for charitable donations.

The federal government has no respect for the elected representatives in Quebec and the provinces, who are making their constituents' needs known loud and clear. And it has no respect for municipal representatives, nor the citizens who are living in a state of crisis the government itself has created, such as the fishers, for example.

At present, the fishers of the Lower North Shore are occupying the offices of MAPAQ, which is the department of agriculture, fisheries and nutrition, and of Economic Development Canada, since the government has plunged these workers, these fishers, into an unprecedented crisis. It is not their fault; it is the fault of the government and of the Minister of Fisheries, who did not plan ahead. In the five years the seal population has been left unmanaged, it has risen from 1.8 million to 7 million.

I will close by saying that we are very disappointed. Decisions must be made, and they must be made now.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2003
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May 12, 2003

Mr. Ghislain Fournier (Manicouagan, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, on October 11, transitional measures for employment insurance in the Lower St. Lawrence, along the North Shore and in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean will come to an end.

Is the government aware that not only is it refusing to help softwood lumber and fisheries workers, but what is worse, with the end of the transitional measures, the program will be even harder on them?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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May 12, 2003

Mr. Ghislain Fournier (Manicouagan, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I regret to announce that I am very unsatisfied with the answers that were given to me by the fisheries and oceans minister. I have been told the same thing over and over since April 8, and the answer never applies to my riding. In other words, there is never a solution for my riding.

As a member of Parliament, I have the right to get clear and precise answers from the government. On April 8, not only did the fisheries and oceans minister not answer my question, but he questioned the needs of the people of my riding, particularly the people of the Lower North Shore, for whom I have been requesting assistance since December 11, 2002.

We burned nothing down. The citizens of my riding tried, by civilized means, to get their point across. To no avail. Today, 75 fishers are occupying the offices of MAPAQ and of Canada Economic Development. Must we destroy something to get the government's attention? I think it is time for the government to wake up.

I have been saying this for weeks. I am asking for an exclusive quota of seals for the fishers because they have no other expected source of revenue.

The moratorium on crab and on cod penalizes them twice over. Since the last fishery crisis, they have been encouraged to convert their fleet to snow crab fishing. This was only two years ago. And now, after we have pushed them to convert their boats into a crab fishing fleet, the government completely bans crab fishing. This is complete nonsense.

They keep talking about the $14 million for Quebec. However, it does not apply to the Lower North Shore. This area has been completely ignored.

To receive EI benefits, fishermen have to prove cod catches of at least 25%. They do not catch any cod. We are told that there is no more. They do not catch cod anymore. There is a full moratorium on cod and a full moratorium on crab. There are no measures for the zone allocated to them. It is very clear. None whatsoever.

Does the Secretary of State responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec realize this? I ask that the quotas formerly granted to the crab fishers in zone 16A be extended for one year until the studies separating zones 16A and 16B are completed.

If access to zone 16A, one of the best zones for snow crab fishing, were allowed this year, this would save the 43 businesses on Quebec's Lower North Shore. If an exclusive and specific regional quota for seals were set over several years, this would enable the stakeholders interested in the economic development of the region to work on a recovery project based on the plan submitted on April 1. The developers could work on the implementation of a first, second and third processing plant. Clearly, a guaranteed supply is needed.

The proposals are realistic, objective and fair. Is this approach not better than inadequate employment insurance benefits? Is it not better than going through the same thing all over next year?

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and his department are actingin bad faith on this issue. The seal skin processing project was brought to his attention in an e-mail dated February 14. Yet, in his answer in the House, on May 1, and I conclude by quoting his own words, the minister said:

These quotas are being apportioned within the various regions through regional discussions.

Then, on May 8, at a meeting, the minister assured me that there was a quota and that he was keen in seeing this business plan succeed. However, it will not work with half-measures.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2003
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