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 (Youth) (June 30, 1984 - September 16, 1984)
  • Minister of State (Fitness and Amateur Sport) (June 30, 1984 - September 16, 1984)
  • Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons (June 30, 1984 - September 16, 1984)
  • Liberal Party Deputy House Leader (June 30, 1984 - September 16, 1984)
September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
LIB
  Shefford (Quebec)
  • Minister of State (Youth) (June 30, 1984 - September 16, 1984)
  • Minister of State (Fitness and Amateur Sport) (June 30, 1984 - September 16, 1984)
  • Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons (June 30, 1984 - September 16, 1984)
  • Liberal Party Deputy House Leader (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 339 of 340)


November 30, 1979

Mr. Jean Lapierre (Shefford):

Mr. Speaker, 1 am pleased to speak to this motion on behalf of the official opposition and to assure the House and the Canadian public that we are very much interested in the voluntary sector. Hon. members can appreciate better than anyone else the important role of that sector of our Canadian society since we owe a large number of our seats to the hundreds of volunteers who work for us every election time.

The government initiative aimed at creating a special committee to inquire into means to strengthen the role of the voluntary sector in Canadian society may, at first glance, seem worthy and inspired by the highest and noblest motives. Still, some doubts persist in my mind as to what really motivated this initiative. Several observers claim that the proliferation of committees is a Conservative strategy aimed at appeasing the frustrations of the backbenchers who were appointed neither members of the cabinet nor parliamentary secretaries.

Others suggest that the government wants to keep the opposition busy to prevent hon. members from dealing with political organization. Finally, old hands are convinced that this is a neat way for the Progressive Conservative government to defer important decisions. As long as the committee is considering the issue, the government will not have to make a decision.

Be that as it may, I do not think that the government would stoop that low and use the voluntary sector of this country as a tool of political strategy. I cannot believe that this government would compel members of this House to devote their time and energy to a vile and futile exercise. I do not think either that public funds would be earmarked merely to restore peace within the Progressive Conservative caucus.

This is why, Mr. Speaker, in the interest of the voluntary sector in Canada, we are giving the benefit of the doubt to the government and are willing to take part in that special committee. We deeply regret that by appointing this committee the Secretary of State is delaying the implementation of 81 recommendations drawn to his attention in the report of the Advisory Board of People of Action, which is also called the Andreychuck report. I think the Secretary of State now has it

and, through that exercise, he will unduly defer the implementation of those recommendations.

The 15 members of that board spent over two years studying all aspects of voluntary work in Canada, and seven parliamentarians are now asked to do the same work in six months. We must admit that it is a huge task and that some doubts remain in our minds. However, as 1 said, we will take an active part in the proceedings of the committee hoping that it will be a pause for reflection before taking strong and positive measures.

The Canadian people have doubts when they are told about new study groups, they are fed up because we are forever studying. They want action and, as strange as it may seem, after having elected a party which promised them some action, once in power we have never seen such a number of study groups, special committees, missions and consultants, and recently we have heard a lot about them. It is almost as if they have actually elected a government of students.

Coming back to the essence of the motion for debate today, it is imperative that everyone should acknowledge the fundamental value of voluntary work within Canadian society. Respect for this type of action must presuppose respect for the freedom, the integrity and the independence of members of the voluntary sector, no matter what they stand for, what they believe in or what they are doing. Parliamentarians who will deal with this issue will have to display this type of open mindedness and I would even dare say liberal spirit which alone can ensure the success of such a study.

In order to get a better perspective of voluntary work, we must look beyond the limits of federal involvement and study the treatment it gets from provincial and municipal governments as well as from school boards. Voluntary workers, for the most part, are not specialists in constitutional law and do not want to become bones of contention between levels of jurisdiction. The people who want to get involved in voluntary work should not find their activities curtailed by political bickerings. It is up to us to create a sound and open climate for everyone. The advisory board warned us not to take voluntary work for granted and I am personally convinced that these political conflicts can undermine this whole sector.

This whole situation will have to be studied and recommendations made to overcome these problems which may be insurmountable for the layman. The private sector and the media also have a role to play in strengthening the role of the voluntary sector in our society. The committee will have to find the present flaws and propose realistic ways for the voluntary sector to have access to the media and especially the private sector which, because of its capacities, can do much to help us achieve our common objectives.

We must not be afraid of going to existing organizations and sharing their experiences concerning the demobilization of their workers and their causes. We must also get the general public's perception of the role of these organizations, since the public is more and more leery of frauds as far as their

November 30, 1979

donations to such organizations are concerned. Why? That is a question we must answer. Should there be better control over the funds or the accounting of these organizations? Should we review their operation, either through a government agency or otherwise? These are all questions which should be answered.

We will also have to consider carefully the various categories of organizations. There are, of course, the national and the provincial organizations, but it will be important to evaluate the role and credibility of local and community organizations which certainly have the best public penetration. We will have to visit the small communities since they often find it impossible to be heard in Ottawa as they cannot afford to come here to make presentations. In this same area, we shall have to show creativity in recommending means to enable all voluntary associations, whatever they are and whatever the number of their members and their budget, to have equal access to grants and other means of support offered by the Canadian government.

The complexity of regulations concerning the various government programs is a major obstacle to the development of the voluntary sector. For instance, several groups in my constituency have met with an unbending attitude on the part of some public servants, which has discouraged them and killed their initiative. However, I am not blaming these public servants because they often have no choice but to apply the regulations dreamed up in Ottawa by legal officers who have no knowledge of what goes on in the field. I am firmly convinced that if we want to help improve relations between the state and the voluntary sector, we shall have to emphasize the need to leave more freedom of action to local public servants. We shall also have to develop mechanisms which will prevent ministers from being tempted to interfere politically in the distribution of grants. I hope that one of the colleagues of the Minister of Employment and Immigration (Mr. Atkey), who has just left the House, will give him this message-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   VOLUNTARY ORGANIZATIONS
Full View Permalink

November 27, 1979

Mr. Jean Lapierre (Shefford):

It is with pleasure that I repeat tonight the question I asked on November 19 and for which I could not obtain an answer for several reasons, including the noted and notable absence of the minister responsible for Cl DA. As we know, it is very difficult for members of this House to obtain answers on Cl DA since the minister responsible does not sit among us. This is a situation that 1 deplore and that is to the disadvantage of all members of the House.

The Secretary of State for External Affairs (Miss MacDonald) told me that she would take my question as notice and give me an answer later. Indeed, she sent me a letter on

November 22, but in fact my question of November 19 was only one of two questions I wanted to ask. What I wanted most of all was to obtain details about the Joal project. Mr. Speaker, the Secretary of State for External Affairs has said that this project has been in existence for only one year. However, I know from reliable sources that this project has been going on for much longer than one year. It began several years ago when the Canadian government provided motors for the canoes of the Senegalese fishermen. Since then, there has been a surplus of fish in Senegal and there have been many losses because of a lack of facilities to process this surplus.

Since 1976, at the request of President Senghor, a group within a non-governmental organization called Granby and its twin cities, whose headquarters are located in my constituency, has been closely interested in this project and has made many representations in favour of its implementation. The figure of $12 million has been mentioned. President Senghor gave his approval, and in September, 1978, the assurance was given that the city of Joal would be considered as the site of a future fish processing plant.

Unfortunately, the Secretary of State for External Affairs makes no reference to Joal, answering in a most evasive way, that five other fish processing plants will be built under those projects. Mr. Speaker, this does not answer in any way my question. What 1 want to know in particular is whether the Joal and Fadiouth plants will be built.

As I said earlier, the Minister of State for CIDA (Mr. Asselin) was not available in this House. I do not think he is outside the House either, because since June 16 the people from that Granby association and its twinned cities have been trying in vain to meet with that famous minister. They have been seeking an appointment for more than five months. Among others they have representations from the government of Senegal to bring to the minister. They must be content with a mere acknowledgement stating the letter will be brought to the minister's attention as soon as he comes back to Ottawa. The letter is dated June 16 and I hope that the minister's new obligations have not been keeping him outside the country since that date. This is why I am asking for answers. On November 19, the day I put my question, I had a complete delegation from the Granby groups and its twinned cities who had come to Ottawa in the hope of meeting with the minister. They still have not been able to meet him, and they were disappointed with the answer given by the Secretary of State for External Affairs.

In their names and on my own behalf, I would like to know what CIDA's real intentions are? A lot of hope was created among those people from Joal and Fadiouth. There was a commitment to build that famous fish treatment plant, but then no answer is forthcoming. 1 think a clear answer would help.

I am informed that the Minister of State for CIDA will travel to Senegal in a few days. I would have rather liked he

November 27, 1979

met the delegation from Granby and its twin cities which is well informed about the Senegal files. He has chosen to ignore them and it is too bad for him. However, I would like to know if the city of Joal is still under consideration as it was at the outset. I would also like to know if the minister intends to make concrete proposals regarding the five other fish processing plants to be built. We would like to know that. 1 have been asking that question since last June 16 but he does not answer his mail. Ever since he became a minister he does not answer questions from hon. members and I think it is the role of the Secretary of State for External Affairs to keep herself informed about these projects. I know that she is absent tonight but she must certainly have someone to speak in her name and I hope the answers will be more encouraging and, above all, much more direct and pertinent.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-AID IN CONSTRUCTION OF FROZEN FISH PLANTS IN SENEGAL-GOVERNMENT POSITION
Full View Permalink

November 19, 1979

Mr. Jean Lapierre (Shefford):

Mr. Speaker, since hon. members cannot ask questions directly of the minister of state

November 19, 1979

responsible for CIDA, 1 shall put my question to the Secretary of State for External Affairs.

Since the Canadian government and the coastal population of Senegal have been awaiting eagerly for two years for the construction, with the assistance of Canada, of frozen fish plants, I would like to ask the minister where this project of over $12 million stands with CIDA and whether she could give us an indication on the construction schedule of those plants.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Full View Permalink

November 19, 1979

Mr. Jean Lapierre (Shefford):

Mr. Speaker, I rise under the provisions of Standing Order 43 to ask for the unanimous consent of the House to discuss a motion relating to a matter of urgent and pressing necessity.

Since 1976, the city of Granby, and more particularly the association formed by Granby and its twin cities, have been making representations to CIDA and asking it to provide financial assistance for a frozen fish plant project in Senegal. Since 1978, Canadian experts have been going to Senegal and creating expectations among local residents. Unfortunately, few concrete results have been obtained from these visits and talks. Therefore, I move, seconded by the hon. member for Rosemont (Mr. Lachance):

That the House recommend to the Minister of State for CIDA to inform Canadians and Senegalese of the current status of this project and of the date of its implementation if any.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
Full View Permalink

November 12, 1979

Mr. Jean Lapierre (Shefford):

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 43, I seek the unanimous consent of the House to move a motion on a matter of urgent and pressing necessity.

In view of the fact that budget cuts have greatly reduced the supply and development of new postal services in Canada, which has resulted in serious deficiencies in the services pro-

vided to all Canadians, but more specifically to the people of Rock Forest within my constituency, I move, seconded by the hon. member for Rosemont (Mr. Lachance):

That the House recommend that the Postmaster General (Mr. Fraser) carry out a full and complete reassessment of the postal service in Canada, giving special attention to boom towns where quick development has resulted in rapid deterioration of the postal service, and to announce as soon as possible to the House the appropriate corrective measures.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE
Full View Permalink