Press Review: How to reclaim our place within Canada

25-May-2014 · 2 Comments  

newpapers My speech from last week on “How to reclaim our place in Canada” generated several reports, columns and editorials. Here are some of the main ones in both languages:

Regys Caron, “Ottawa wants Quebec to wean off equalization,” Sun News, May 20, 2014.

Melanie Marquis, “Trudeau would reignite Quebec’s sovereignty flames, Maxime Bernier says,” The Canadian Press, May 20, 2014.

Allan Woods, “Maxime Bernier urges Quebecers to embrace Canada,” Toronto Star, May 20, 2014.

Rhéal Séguin, “Oliver sees chance for economic reform in Quebec’s new government,” The Globe and Mail, May 20, 2014.

Andrew Coyne, “Maxime Bernier hammers home truths about Quebec,” National Post, May 21, 2014.

Barry Wilson, “Maxime Bernier’s common sense for Quebec,” CTV New Montreal, May 23, 2014.

Stéphane Dion, “Why Maxime Bernier is consistently wrong,” Huffington Post Canada, May 22, 2014.

Editorial, “Slurs taint Conservative plea to Quebecers to embrace federalism,” Toronto Star, May 22, 2014.

Joël-Denis Bellavance, « Le Québec doit cesser de ‘quêter’, dit Maxime Bernier », La Presse, 20 mai 2014.

Alain Laforest, « Propos de Maxime Bernier : Le Québec se défend de «quémander », TVA Nouvelles, 20 mai 2014.

Alain Laforest, « Ottawa demande au Québec de lui réclamer moins d’argent », TVA Nouvelles, 20 mai 2014.

Martin Croteau, « Levée de boucliers contre la sortie de Maxime Bernier », La Presse, 20 mai 2014.

Guillaume Bourgault-Côté, « L’anglais fait partie de l’identité québécoise, dit Maxime Bernier », Le Devoir, 20 mai 2014.

La Presse canadienne, « Québec doit cesser de « quémander » à Ottawa, selon Maxime Bernier », Radio-Canada, 20 mai 2014.

André Pratte, « M. Bernier a raison », La Presse, 21 mai 2014.

Stéphane Dion, « Un mauvais goût idéologique », La Presse, 22 mai 2014.

Pierre Jury, « Bernier et le Québec », Le Droit, 21 mai 2014.

Maxime Laporte, « On peut se passer aussi bien de sa démagogie que de ses Jos Louis », Le Soleil, 25 mai 2014.

Guillaume Bourgault-Côté, « Maxime Bernier, un penseur apprécié », Le Devoir, 24 mai 2014.

Johanne Marcotte, « À Maxime Bernier : Vous ne me choquez pas du tout! », Le blogue de Joanne Marcotte, 20 mai 2014.

How to reclaim our place within Canada

20-May-2014 · 26 Comments  

drapeau_quebecois This is the text of the speech I delivered this morning in Montreal before an audience of the Regroupement des jeunes chambres de commerce du Québec.

How to reclaim our place within Canada

Maxime Bernier, MP for Beauce

As was probably the case for many of you, when I reflected on the results of Quebec’s April 7 election, I got the sense that Quebec had reached a turning point in its history. Following a campaign haunted by the spectre of another referendum, the Parti québécois suffered its worst defeat since 1970 and the two federalist parties took home two thirds of the vote. Once again, Quebecers clearly rejected separation and embraced a stable future within the Canadian confederation.

Since the election, the media has devoted a lot of space to the uncertain future of the Parti québécois, and how it might bring young people back into the fold. But given the election results, there is a much more pressing and relevant matter to address, one that has received hardly any attention: How are we, as Quebecers, going to reclaim our place in Canada?

imagescae34dm8 Obviously, this question matters deeply to me, as a federal politician from Quebec. But I am here today, not as a member of the Canadian government, but as a Quebecer wondering what we can do to move our society forward.

The sovereignty issue has monopolized political debate in Quebec for decades. It’s a legitimate debate, but it’s one that just keeps going around in circles.

In the meantime, Quebec must continue to develop. We have serious problems that need fixing. Our public finances are in a sorry state. Ours is one of the most heavily taxed regions in North America, and one of the least wealthy. We need to make massive investments in our crumbling infrastructure. And as our population is aging quickly, we have particular challenges to face when it comes to integrating immigrants and keeping our social programs solvent.

If we are to meet these challenges, we need governments, both in Quebec City and in Ottawa, that are focused on the real issues at hand, not on identity crises, referendum dilemmas and constitutional debates that create uncertainty. What we needs is stability, and not just for the next four years, but for the long term.

As I see it, that stability hinges on three major changes in attitude, all of which are related to Quebec reclaiming its place in Canada.

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Third and last spending report

14-May-2014 · Comment  

With my Conservative colleagues, we’ve decided to move ahead with the disclosure of our travel and hospitality expense claims, for the sake of transparency. The following spending report (as an MP, and not as a minister) covers the period from January 1st to March 31, 2014. Reports will appear on Parliament’s website beginning in the future.

Maxime Bernier
Beauce
January 1st to March 31, 2014

Travel Disclosure Report

Traveler : Member of Parliament
Itinerary : Ottawa
Purpose : Parliamentary Business
Other Transport : $294.80
Meals and Incidentals : $57.10

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Justin Trudeau’s economic absurdities

13-April-2014 · 3 Comments  

newpapers The Huffington Post Canada and the Huffington Post Québec ran the English and French versions of my article this week on Justin Trudeau’s absurd declarations about the economy these past several months. The English version is reproduced below.

Also, I was in Calgary this week and gave an interview to Licia Corbella, the Calgary Herald‘s editorial page editor. You can read her excellent article here.

MB

If Trudeau Can’t Define the Middle Class, How Can He Work For Them?

Maxime Bernier, Minister of State for Small Business, Tourism and Agriculture

April 10, 2014

Should we trust a political leader who does not understand basic economic notions? This question is becoming more and more relevant as the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau, keeps making absurd statements about the economy.

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Justin Trudeau still doesn’t understand economics

25-February-2014 · 10 Comments  

As I noted a year and a half ago already, Justin Trudeau doesn’t understand much about economics. And this is still the case today, as he tries to justify getting us back into deficits and piling up more debt.

The National Post and the Huffington Post Québec ran my article today on the economic proposals of the Liberals following their national convention in Montreal. Here is the English version.

justin-trudeau More Liberal debt is not the road to growth

February 25, 2014

Maxime Bernier is the Minister of State for Small Business, Tourism and Agriculture

Now that its Montreal convention is over, we know a little bit more about the Liberal party’s economic platform. One of its central planks is that budget deficits are a good way to grow the economy, and that we should not be afraid to go further into debt.

In a recent video posted on the Internet, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau explains that Canadian households are heavily indebted, just like provincial governments, while the federal government has considerably lowered its debt level compared with other developed countries since the 1990s. His conclusion: Ottawa is the only entity with the ability to spend money and rack up more debt. It, therefore, has to “step up” and do the spending that others are not able to do.

At last weekend’s convention, Liberal delegates heard Larry Summers, an American economist, explain why we need “unconventional support policies” — economic jargon for “spending without restraint.” According to him, accumulating more debt is OK when it serves to stimulate the economy.

Are we in a recession? Does the current situation justify sending our public finances back into the red?

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Athletic feat of the year in Beauce

9-February-2014 · Comment  

exploitsportif2013 It is with great honor that I received the trophy for the athletic feat of the year 2013 at the Gala du Mérite Sportif in Beauce this past February 1. This prize was given in recognition of the 107-km supermarathon that I ran during the Great Crossing of the Beauce in September.

Second spending report

2-February-2014 · 1 Comment  

With my Conservative colleagues, we’ve decided to move ahead with the disclosure of our travel and hospitality expense claims, for the sake of transparency. The following spending report (as an MP, and not as a minister) covers the period from November 17 to Decembre 31, 2013. Reports will appear on Parliament’s website beginning in April 2014.

Maxime Bernier
Beauce
October 17 to December 31st 2013

Travel Disclosure Report

Traveler : Member of Parliament
Itinerary : Ottawa
Purpose : Parliamentary Business
Other Transport : $589.60 Meals and Incidentals : $246.40

Traveler : Member of Parliament
Itinerary : Ottawa
Purpose : Parliamentary Business
Other Transport : $294.80
Meals and Incidentals : $171.35

Traveler : Member of Parliament
Itinerary : St-Georges Beauce
Purpose : Travel within the constituency
Other Transport : $277.65

Traveler : Member of Parliament
Itinerary : Ottawa
Purpose : Parliamentary Business
Other Transport : $294.80
Meals and Incidentals : $230.65

Traveler : Member of Parliament
Itinerary : Saint-Georges Beauce
Purpose : Parliamentary Business
Other Transport : $294.80
Meals and Incidentals : $138.30

Traveler : Member of Parliament
Itinerary : Ottawa
Purpose : Parliamentary Business
Other Transport : $45.00
Meals and Incidentals : $72.85

Traveler : Member of Parliament
Itinerary :Saint-Georgegs
Purpose : Travel within the constituency
Other Transport : $614.26

Traveler : Member of Parliament
Itinerary : Saint-Georges
Purpose : Travel within the constituency
Other Transport : $131.86

Hospitality Disclosure Report
There were no hospitality expenses incurred during this reporting period.

First spending report

15-December-2013 · 1 Comment  

With my Conservative colleagues, we’ve decided to move ahead with the disclosure of our travel and hospitality expense claims, for the sake of transparency. The following spending report (as an MP, and not as a minister) covers the period from October 17 to November 17, 2013. Reports will appear on Parliament’s website beginning in April 2014.

Maxime Bernier

Beauce

Travel Disclosure Report

-Traveler : MP

Itinerary : St-Georges Beauce

Purpose : Constituency Business

Air Fare : $256.03

Other Transport : $56.28

Meals and Incidentals : $90.15

-Traveler : MP

Itinerary : Ottawa

Purpose : Parliamentary Business

Other Transport : $294.80

Meals and Incidentals : $195.40

-Traveler : MP

Itinerary : Ottawa

Purpose : Parliamentary Business

Other Transport : $294.80

Meals and Incidentals : $254.70

-Traveler : MP

Itinerary : Ottawa

Purpose : Parliamentary Business

Other Transport : $294.80

Meals and Incidentals : $318.60

-Traveler : MP

Itinerary : St-Georges Beauce

Purpose : Travel within the constituency

Other Transport : $445.95

Hospitality Disclosure Report

There were no hospitality expenses incurred during this reporting period.

Press Review: The Senate

1-December-2013 · 9 Comments  

senate_lrg Here are a couple of articles and an interview regarding my recent declaration on the Senate.

Conservatives float referendum on Senate abolition,Metro, November 2, 2013.

Chantal Hébert, “Harper misses boat on Senate plebiscite, Chronicle-Herald, November 5, 2013.

Bernier calls for national referendum on Senate abolition,” CTV News, November 7, 2013.

Vincent Marissal, « Un référendum sur l’abolition du Sénat? », La Presse, 2 novembre 2013.

Stéphanie Marin, « Le congrès conservateur se clôt sans pouvoir étouffer la crise du Sénat », La Presse, 2 novembre 2013.

Emmanuelle Latraverse, Les coulisses du pouvoir, Radio-Canada, Entrevue avec Maxime Bernier, 3 novembre 2013.

Spending freeze resolution approved by 75% of Conservative delegates

11-November-2013 · 5 Comments  

cpc-logo The Conservative Party of Canada national convention was held last week in Calgary. A resolution presented by the Conservative association of my riding of Beauce, which proposed to freeze government spending from the moment when the budget is balanced in 2015-2016, was debated in one of the convention’s policy workshops. It was approved (in a vote by a show of hands) by 75% of the delegates present. Organizers also told me that this vote is the one that got the highest level of participation in that workshop during the whole day.

Unfortunately, the resolution was not brought before the plenary session because of the rules of procedure of the convention, which means it will not become part of the party program. Still, I am very happy with the result of this vote which shows strong support from Party members for the principle of small government, and I want to thank all those who supported it.