Jean-C. LAPIERRE

LAPIERRE, The Hon. Jean-C., P.C., LL.L.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Outremont (Quebec)
Birth Date
May 7, 1956
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Lapierre
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=c7818821-54ca-4818-959f-245a333b9c02&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
communicator, lawyer, radio & tv host

Parliamentary Career

May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
LIB
  Shefford (Quebec)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
LIB
  Shefford (Quebec)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of State (Sports) (October 1, 1981 - September 30, 1982)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Secretary of State of Canada (October 1, 1981 - September 30, 1982)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Secretary of State for External Affairs (October 1, 1982 - September 30, 1983)
  • Minister of State (Fitness and Amateur Sport) (June 30, 1984 - September 16, 1984)
  • Minister of State (Youth) (June 30, 1984 - September 16, 1984)
  • Liberal Party Deputy House Leader (June 30, 1984 - September 16, 1984)
  • Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons (June 30, 1984 - September 16, 1984)
September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
LIB
  Shefford (Quebec)
  • Minister of State (Fitness and Amateur Sport) (June 30, 1984 - September 16, 1984)
  • Minister of State (Youth) (June 30, 1984 - September 16, 1984)
  • Liberal Party Deputy House Leader (June 30, 1984 - September 16, 1984)
  • Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons (June 30, 1984 - September 16, 1984)
November 21, 1988 - August 23, 1992
LIB
  Shefford (Quebec)
  • Bloc Québécois House Leader (September 21, 1990 - January 1, 1992)
June 26, 1990 - August 23, 1992
IND
  Shefford (Quebec)
  • Bloc Québécois House Leader (September 21, 1990 - January 1, 1992)
December 18, 1990 - August 23, 1992
BQ
  Shefford (Quebec)
  • Bloc Québécois House Leader (September 21, 1990 - January 1, 1992)
February 5, 2004 - August 23, 1992
LIB
  Shefford (Quebec)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
LIB
  Outremont (Quebec)
  • Minister of Transport (July 20, 2004 - February 5, 2006)
January 23, 2006 - January 28, 2007
LIB
  Outremont (Quebec)
  • Minister of Transport (July 20, 2004 - February 5, 2006)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 340)


November 27, 2006

Hon. Jean Lapierre

Mr. Speaker, I know that this debate does not lend itself to partisanship. However, when examining the Prime Minister's leadership style, this is not the first of his ministers who was totally ignored. I am told that in this government there are one and a half ministers, that is the Prime Minister who occasionally will deign to consult one of his ministers.

In the case of this motion, I am told that even his Quebec lieutenant was taken by surprise, as was the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec. I am told that, on that morning, the latter was wondering if he would still be a minister at the end of the day. I was even told that the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, the Quebec lieutenant, was writing an article for La Presse to explain why he was voting against the Quebec nation when all of a sudden he arrived in Parliament and the Prime Minister told him he was in favour of the Quebec nation. Thus, it was a surprise all around. I am under the impression that the federal-provincial relations minister was just as surprised.

In these circumstances, I can understand that a minister wonders what he is doing there. If he is not consulted in the least, if he is not in the loop, it is not worth being a minister. There are rumours circulating in the House that the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs may tender his resignation. If he was completely ignored on such a fundamental issue, I can understand his sense of isolation. However, that does not mean that this motion does not have merit and, for my part, I hope that the majority of members in this House will vote for the motion without it bothering their conscience. We must also bear in mind the symbolic value of this motion, the message sent of openness and of reaching out, and that is all. For that reason, one day the country will want to reform its institutions and at that point we will draw inspiration from the discussions we have had these past days.

For the time being, I am not surprised to see that some ministers and some Conservative members are somewhat frustrated. This is not the first time. I am told that since this government was elected, they have been kept in the dark. The government is led by one minister, that is the Prime Minister. The others follow behind somewhat sheepishly, but they do not have a choice unless they wish to lose their jobs.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   The Québécois
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November 27, 2006

Hon. Jean Lapierre (Outremont, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the minister cannot act on impulse and decide on foreign investment to suit his mood.

Will he ask the House for certain specific power? He does not at this time have the power to use this type of control. Will he ask this House for such power?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Economy
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November 27, 2006

Hon. Jean Lapierre

Mr. Speaker, the difference between the member and me is that my word means something and when I make commitments, I honour them. As for him, everyone knows that his word has no value and that no one can have confidence in him.

I believe that in the development of federalism and the development of my own beliefs, I have remained consistent. I remember the period when the Bloc Quebecois was established—the minister was here, I believe—it was a rainbow coalition. I remind him that throughout all that period, I had my membership card in the Quebec Liberal party and every week I spoke with Robert Bourassa. It was at his request, a request from the federalist premier of Quebec that I stayed here for two years. Personally, I had decided to abandon politics in 1990 after the collapse of the Meech Lake Accord.

I believe that this week I am the member who has been the most consistent in my position on the Québécois nation. Several of my colleagues have had to go through all kinds of contortions in trying to revise their positions. For my part, my position has always been consistent.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   The Québécois
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November 27, 2006

Hon. Jean Lapierre (Outremont, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we know how this government has already spoiled our relations with China. In the past few days, the Minister of Finance has put out feelers about wanting to use harsh measures against certain foreign investment.

What legislative measures does he intend to introduce in this House to control certain foreign investment, and what type of investment?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Economy
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November 27, 2006

Hon. Jean Lapierre (Outremont, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I want to say that I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for York Centre.

I am pleased to take part in this debate, although we Quebeckers in the House find ourselves in a very strange situation. The House is being asked to define our identity. It is as if we had come here searching for it, and all that just because the Bloc Québécois wanted to play petty politics on the backs of Quebeckers. That is too bad, but while the Bloc claims to be their servant and the trustee of their interests, it actually wanted the House to say no to Quebeckers, to say that they do not constitute a nation.

Confounding their tactics, the hon. members of this House—the federalist members—decided to say that Quebeckers form a nation within a united Canada. Now that the federalist members have decided to join forces, we see the Bloc members going through contortions that could earn them a job with the Cirque du Soleil. They do not know which way to squirm and wriggle any more.

In light of this situation, I think that Quebeckers are being recognized here. I met a lot of people over the weekend who said it was nice, and that this helped them feel comfortable with their dual identity. It helped them say they are both proud Quebeckers and proud Canadians.

That is what this motion gives us today. I would not want people to nurse any illusions about the meaning or huge import—other than symbolic—of this motion. In addition, the issue of Quebec signing on to the Canadian constitution has not been resolved. In my view, that is on a future agenda. I know that the C-word, Constitution, is banned for now, but some day we will obviously want to find a way to bring Quebec back into the bosom of the Canadian family—if that vocabulary is not too antiquated—with honour and enthusiasm.

I think, therefore, that our colleagues realize today that they have to recognize the Quebec nation. I know that some are making an effort to do this because it is hard for them, and I can understand that. Ultimately, though, this is an olive branch extended from an outstretched hand.

Some day we will have to remember this. I may have too much personal experience in the House, but I remember the Meech Lake era very well. Looking back at the five elements we had at that time, ultimately we can say that things are quietly progressing. At the time, we spoke about a distinct society. Then, all of a sudden, the House passed a motion recognizing this wording. The vocabulary has evolved now: distinct society, people, nation. Who knows how our children will want to define themselves in 10 or 15 years?

Insofar as what we wanted in the area of immigration is concerned, it has been achieved and Quebec has power over the selection of immigrants. Some other provinces have taken on the same power because they think it is important.

Our discussion about spending power is still hypothetical, but this is an important element, nevertheless.

Perhaps the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities remembers former premier Robert Bourassa and the many speeches he made about spending authority. He repeated them so often we know almost all of them by heart.

With respect to the Supreme Court justices, that is a fact.

On the subject of veto rights, even this House passed a law saying that every region has a veto. As such, Quebec has a de facto veto right.

If we take a step back and look at the bigger picture, we realize that things evolve. Little by little, certainly, but this gives us confidence in the future.

When history judges the past few days we have experienced together, it may be said that on this momentous occasion, Canadian federalists were united as never before thanks to the Bloc Québécois.

I honestly did not think that such unity would happen during this session with a minority government and a very strong opposition, not to mention a party in the throes of a leadership race. In the end, it took a major catalyst to make this happen.

That being the case, I would like to thank the Bloc Québécois because it gave us the will to fight. It convinced us that we can have two identities—Quebecker and Canadian—and that those two identities can co-exist and help us grow.

I think that even though nobody wanted it to happen, this debate has strengthened Canada and will enable us to exchange ideas about our deep roots and the very nature of Quebec as it is today.

I know it is very hard for the Bloc to say it—

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   The Québécois
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