Gérard ASSELIN

ASSELIN, Gérard

Personal Data

Party
Bloc Québécois
Constituency
Manicouagan (Quebec)
Birth Date
April 19, 1950
Deceased Date
February 9, 2013
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gérard_Asselin
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=b56b160a-fd40-4cc1-9c45-336a167cf829&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
foreman

Parliamentary Career

October 25, 1993 - April 27, 1997
BQ
  Charlevoix (Quebec)
June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
BQ
  Charlevoix (Quebec)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
BQ
  Charlevoix (Quebec)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
BQ
  Manicouagan (Quebec)
January 23, 2006 - September 7, 2008
BQ
  Manicouagan (Quebec)
October 14, 2008 - March 26, 2011
BQ
  Manicouagan (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 79)


March 25, 2011

Mr. Gérard Asselin (Manicouagan, BQ)

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I am pleased to present in the House today a petition signed by hundreds of people. These people are calling for an increase to the guaranteed income supplement and for automatic enrollment in the program.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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March 24, 2011

Mr. Gérard Asselin (Manicouagan, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, for several years, the Bloc Québécois has been talking about its pre-budget consultations. It is asking the Minister of Finance for an increase in the guaranteed income supplement, which should be given automatically. If someone files a tax return and does not apply for the guaranteed income supplement, the government will not pay it. When the Bloc Québécois raised this issue, thousands of people who were entitled to the guaranteed income supplement were not receiving it. It should be automatic.

As well, the federal government should raise old age security. Seniors are increasingly being asked to stay in their homes as long as possible, with their families. Those people pay the same price for a pound of butter and a quart of milk, as the hon. member said, as everyone else. The Fédération des travailleurs du Québec has a program called “Une retraite à l’abri des soucis”—worry-free retirement—which the Bloc Québécois supports. My union representative on the north shore, Bertrand Méthot, will definitely be happy with my speech today on the budget.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   The Budget
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March 24, 2011

Mr. Gérard Asselin (Manicouagan, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the remarks made by the previous member and by the Minister of National Revenue were a little ridiculous, in my opinion. He said that the government had created and will create a lot of jobs, as a result of the budget. He also spoke about seniors.

Whole areas have been opened up on the north shore primarily thanks to the forestry industry. The mining and fishing industries obviously had something to do with this, too. What does the previous member think about the folks who lost their jobs at the Rivière-Pentecôte sawmill, the Kruger sawmill in Ragueneau, the Rivière-Saint-Jean sawmill and the Baie-Trinité sawmill? They lost their jobs because the federal government set aside a paltry $60 million in the budget for 2011-12, whereas last year, in Ontario alone, the government allocated $10 billion to the auto sector.

The north shore forestry sector needs loan guarantees from the government in order to reopen these sawmills and put people back to work at the pulp and paper mills. The government needs to give the forestry sector funding to modernize, so that plants and sawmills can remain competitive.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   The Budget
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March 24, 2011

Mr. Gérard Asselin (Manicouagan, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, transitional measures were put in place in 2000, after the employment insurance economic regions were inadequately reconfigured. Certain regions, like the Bas-Saint-Laurent–Côte-Nord region, have had a blended unemployment rate for more than 10 years, which was adopted in an effort to correct this error until the next reconfiguration. On March 12, 2011, the government started gradually phasing out these transitional measures.

But many unemployed and seasonal workers will not qualify unless these transitional measures are extended. Instead of undertaking a sweeping reform of this outdated system that does not reflect the current reality of workers, the Conservatives are keeping thousands of people in suspense and in poverty. The 2011 budget does not extend the transitional measures, which would have been good, as would a fair reform of the employment insurance system. Once again, the Conservatives are showing their contempt for the regions of Quebec and—

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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March 24, 2011

Mr. Gérard Asselin (Manicouagan, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for my colleague on the government side. Employment insurance is intended to protect against loss or termination of employment. Both the employee and the employer pay premiums. The federal government does not contribute a cent to the employment insurance program. The only role it plays is that of employment insurance fund manager. The Liberals were accused of siphoning off $58 billion from this fund at the expense of seasonal workers.

Moreover, 60% of people who pay into the employment insurance system are women and young people. We need a government that is prepared to have an independent fund established and run by those people who contribute to it, a government that will deliver genuine insurance by enhancing the employment insurance system.

And yet what is the Conservative Party doing in this budget? It has announced up front that it intends to siphon off $17 billion from the employment insurance fund over the next five years. My remarks are therefore directed at those voters who are watching us today. They will have a choice to make. It is our hope that they will vote in Quebec for the Bloc Québécois because its members are the only ones who stand behind workers, the unemployed and seasonal workers. They are here in Ottawa to condemn the misuse of the employment insurance fund by both the Conservatives and the Liberals.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   The Budget
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