MARCEAU, Richard, LL.B.

Parliamentary Career

June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
  Charlesbourg (Quebec)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
  Charlesbourg--Jacques-Cartier (Quebec)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
  Charlesbourg (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 133)

November 24, 2005

Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to mark the departure of a number of our colleagues who will not be running in the next election campaign.

The Bloc Québécois wishes to thank the 20 or so MPs who will not be running again for the contribution they have made to democracy.

I would like to pay particular tribute to the dean of the Bloc Québécois contingent, our colleague for Saint-Maurice—Champlain, who is leaving us.

A long-time sovereignist and committed activist, who sat in the National Assembly under the leadership of René Lévesque, he has instilled all of his wisdom, determination and courage into our caucus.

We are proud to have had the opportunity to work with him and I can assure him that we will continue his fight to ensure that justice is done with regard to low-income seniors and the GIS.

Thank you for your work, your devotion to Quebec, and your friendship.

So long, Marcel.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Member for Saint-Maurice—Champlain
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November 16, 2005

Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to welcome to Parliament Hill Marie-Christine Côté the MP for a day from the riding of Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, who will be with us today and tomorrow to learn more about the workings of Parliament.

Winner of the seventh “MP for a Day” contest in the riding of Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, Marie-Christine beat out nearly 1,200 other secondary IV students in an test of general political knowledge.

During her stay in Ottawa, she will have a chance to see what MPs do and to experience firsthand the hustle and bustle of Parliament Hill. She and her father, Michel Côté, just had a private meeting with the leader of the Bloc Québécois a few minutes ago. After question period they will meet all the members of our caucus.

Mr. Speaker, you will also have the pleasure of meeting this dynamic young woman later today.

The Bloc Québécois wishes Marie-Christine and her father a pleasant stay.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Marie-Christine Côté
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November 15, 2005

Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, BQ)

Madam Speaker, Bill C-329 was introduced in first reading by the Conservative member for Wild Rose on February 1, 2005 and put on the priority list on June 20, 2005. This will be its fourth appearance in the House of Commons since 2001.

Bill C-329 amends the Criminal Code in order to give peace officers the power to arrest without a warrant a person who is in breach of a probation order, or a condition of parole or unescorted temporary absence.

I should point out to begin with that arrest without warrant by a peace officer is already in the Criminal Code, so this is nothing new.

At the present time, the Code allows a peace officer to arrest without warrant a person who has committed an indictable offence or is about to commit an indictable offence. He must have reasonable grounds to believe the person has committed or is about to commit an indictable offence. A peace officer can also arrest without warrant a person who is in the process of committing a crime or one in respect of whom he has reasonable grounds to believe that a warrant of arrest or committal is in force. This is all set out in subsection 495(1) of the Criminal Code.

Bill C-329 proposes to broaden the list of situations in which an arrest may be made without warrant. The first condition added is if a person is in breach of a probation order; second, if a person wilfully fails or refuses to comply with a condition of parole; third, if the person wilfully fails or refuses to comply with a condition of unescorted temporary absence

Bill C-329 therefore allows a peace officer to arrest without warrant a person who is in breach of a probation order, or who, on reasonable grounds, he believes has committed or is about to commit the offence. A peace officer may also arrest without warrant a person who wilfully fails or refuses to comply with a condition of parole or of an unescorted temporary absence or who, on reasonable grounds, he believes has breached or is about to breach such a condition;

The Bloc Québécois continues to believe in and support the principle of rehabilitation. Probation orders, unescorted absences and parole orders are effective means of rehabilitation that have proven their value.

The Bloc recognizes that rehabilitation measures have sometimes failed and allowed offenders to commit new crimes. We still believe that society has no choice but to promote measures to return people who have broken the law to society. There is always an element of risk associated with rehabilitation. The aim must be to lower the risk at all times, knowing full well that it will never reach zero.

The justice system will never be perfect. Judicial errors occur, for example, such as the one involving David Milgaard, who was sentenced at 17 to life in prison for a murder he did not commit.

The system's failings must not lead us to throw the baby out with the bath water. We have to resist the temptation to reject the system's basic principles, such as rehabilitation. Instead, we must increase guarantees of security, surveillance methods and instruments of action in order to strike a balance among public security, the need to promote rehabilitation and the importance of maintaining public trust in the judicial system.

To ensure this balance, offenders authorized to move about in the community must meet all the conditions set for them either by a judge or by a parole commissioner. The system's credibility and the public's trust depend on the ability of the police to have the conditions met. So peace officers must have the means necessary to intervene quickly when parole conditions have been violated.

Bill C-329 will give peace officers the power to prevent offenders from violating their conditions of parole, probation or absence and to return them quickly before a judge when they have violated one of the conditions of release.

It is therefore in this perspective that the Bloc Québécois supports the principle of Bill C-329. It represents, in our opinion, an important surveillance and intervention instrument that will better protect the public, give a measure of credibility back to the judicial and correctional system and still permit recourse to the rehabilitation measures the Bloc believes in.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Criminal Code
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October 18, 2005

Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to speak on Bill C-248, introduced by our colleague from Prince George—Peace River.

It will come as no surprise to hear me begin my remarks by saying that the Bloc Québécois opposes drug use. In our opinion, all drug use, particularly that by children, is bad. We also believe that an anti-drug strategy cannot consist solely of amendments to the Criminal Code and tougher penalties. A completely different aspect, meaning prevention, education and awareness, is also extremely important.

This morning in committee, my colleague from Windsor—Tecumseh used, in a completely different context, the example of drinking and driving. We can use this same example here. The substantial decrease in drinking and driving—unfortunately, it has not been stamped out entirely—is largely due to our public awareness and education campaigns. We must do the same thing with regard to drug use, and target, in particular, young people in Quebec and Canada.

There is no need for me to go back over the points raised by my colleague from Prince George—Peace River. However, it bears repeating that he would like to see a minimum prison sentence of one year for a first offence and two years for a subsequent offence in cases where a person is convicted of trafficking in a controlled or restricted drug or a narcotic within 500 metres of an elementary school or a high school.

As a father of two wonderful seven-year-old boys, I strongly support any initiative to keep drugs away from schools and places that my children may frequent either now or when they are older.

However, we do have some concerns with the bill as introduced by our colleague from Prince George—Peace River. It is not clear that the individual trafficking in narcotics, be it near a school, church, office, police station or fire station, thereby intends to set up shop there. It is possible for someone to sell drugs in a prohibited area without knowing that there is a school nearby.

I have a dandy anecdote to tell here. In 1992 an individual involved in boxing was getting ready to commit armed robbery at a doughnut shop where several police officers were taking a break, which proves that stupidity is universal.

The bill introduced by the hon. member for Prince George—Peace River does not clearly establish mens rea , or the intention to commit the crime, in other words, to sell the narcotics within some defined perimeter of a school. In the absence of mens rea , how can anyone be convicted of a criminal offence?

I hope the hon. member is listening to the elements I am raising and that he will take them into account during Bill C-248's legislative progress.

Since we are opposed to substance abuse by children and the sale of narcotics to children, and because the bill is only at second reading stage, I would say to the hon. member for Prince George—Peace River and to all the hon. members in this House that at this stage we have many reservations not only about the absence of mens rea , but also about the imposition of minimum sentences. As I have already said many times, we have nothing against the introduction of minimum sentences in bills before the House.

I introduced some into Bill C-2 on the protection of vulnerable persons. However, in this case, I am not sure this is the appropriate solution. As far as I am concerned, the absence of mens rea also prompts several reservations.

I would suggest to my colleagues from the Bloc Québécois that they nevertheless support Bill C-248 at this stage. We will refer it to committee and hear from various experts and witnesses on the aspects I have just raised and on other issues as well. I am sure my colleague from Windsor—Tecumseh will also have something to add.

Let us send the bill to committee and see what can be done to fight drug trafficking—especially when it comes to children. And let us make sure that thanks to the work that will be done in committee—if the bill gets that far, as I hope it will—these problems will be resolved and the bill will be improved. I promise the hon. member for Prince George—Peace River that the Bloc will work with him to improve this bill so that it can be passed.

We will support this bill at second reading stage in order to send it to committee so that we may work on it. Depending on the changes made in committee, I will indicate at third reading whether or not we will continue to support it. I reserve the opinion of the Bloc Québécois for third reading. Nonetheless, let us send it to committee and do a good job on it.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
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October 17, 2005

Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, my second petition also comes from my riding. It asks the Government of Canada, and particularly Canada Post, not to proceed with the closure of the sorting station in Quebec City, because it is an essential station and its closure will lead to the loss of well paying jobs in the Quebec City area.

This shows once again the lack of interest of this government for the national capital region of Quebec. This petition is thus used as a pressure tactic against the closure of this sorting station.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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