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  • Her favourite word is conservatives.

NDP MP for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles (Québec)

Won her last election, in 2011, with 45.00% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Ebola Outbreak September 15th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have two questions for the member.

First of all, how many Canadians live in the three countries we are talking about here this evening: Guinea, Sierra Leone and the third, whose name escapes me just now?

Second, the member pointed out that she sat on the board of the Canadian Red Cross in Toronto for 10 years. Could she tell us about the protocol followed when the Canadian team returns from West Africa and is replaced by another team? What is the protocol for ensuring that those people are not infected and that they do not bring the epidemic here to Canada?

Ebola Outbreak September 15th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, when research budgets are cut, the results and findings of that research are definitely affected. As the government said a little earlier, we know that vaccines that are not yet ready, that have not been tested, will be used on humans. Ethically speaking, I would rather see an agency like Health Canada carry out research and development at the right place and time. I would prefer to avoid such experiments on humans if they are not completely proper.

Yes, I think that cuts to Health Canada do have an impact on a situation like this, when we run the risk of a pandemic.

Ebola Outbreak September 15th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I believe that the medical teams on the ground are being stretched to the limit and need reinforcements from around the world.

Doctors Without Borders is doing an extraordinary job, but this organization needs additional resources. Canada should be sending doctors, specialists, drugs, equipment and money.

In fact, countries are always thankful for the money contributed, no matter the amount, even when it is small compared to what the U.S. donates. The Canadian contribution is important nonetheless, and we must thank the government for at least thinking to send this aid.

However, vehicles, gas, water, tents and medical infrastructure are also needed so that people can operate and work in safety.

Ebola Outbreak September 15th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, does Canada plan to help with transportation so that personnel can travel to treat the sick?

Ebola Outbreak September 15th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, before I begin my speech, I would first like to welcome everyone returning to the House: staff and MPs, regardless of what party they belong to. There are so many people around that it is like a bustling city.

When I heard the hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie request this emergency debate earlier today, I did not wait a second to put my name down to deliver this speech. I will start with a little story about another well-documented epidemic, the Spanish flu.

My mother was 12 years old at the time and lived through the pandemic. She later became a nurse. I am telling you about my mother because she often spoke to us about the Spanish flu and the toll it took. According to the Pasteur Institute, this virus claimed close to 30 million victims around the world. People now say the number is probably higher.

One of the stories my mother told us was about Johan Beetz, for whom the village is named. Johan Beetz raised foxes and lived on the north shore in Quebec when the Spanish flu epidemic became a pandemic. Anyone familiar with the north shore in Quebec knows there were no roads back then. There still are not many.

Everything arrived by boat back then, including food, but Johan Beetz refused to have the boats resupply the small village. There were no cases of Spanish flu in the small village. I am relating this anecdote because one way to avoid a pandemic is to isolate populations. Isolation can occur in two ways. The affected populations can be isolated or we can isolate ourselves. Johan Beetz decided to isolate himself.

Everyone dreams of being rich and healthy, but not everyone's dreams come true. The African population is growing. Average projections by the United Nations indicate that Niger's population may reach 50 million in 2050, compared with 12 million in 2004, and that the populations of Mali and Burkina Faso could reach 40 million, compared with 13 million in 2004. Ivory Coast's population may reach 34 million in 2050, compared with 18 million in 2004.

A rapidly growing population, problems with poverty, and a lack of health infrastructure and drinking water are just a few of the factors fuelling the disease. I want to share with the House my concerns about the spread of the Ebola virus epidemic.

By the end of July 2014, the World Health Organization had sounded the alarm to say that the virus was out of control in West Africa. Indeed, the Ebola virus is spreading very quickly in West Africa. The virus is deadly in 25 to 90% of cases. The epidemic was first declared in Guinea, then in Liberia and Sierra Leone, two neighbouring countries. At the end of July, those three countries combined had at least 1,200 cases, including 670 deaths. It should also be noted that there is no treatment for this hemorrhagic fever.

As of September 12, according to the World Health Organization's most recent figures, the number of deaths had doubled to roughly 2,400 and about 5,000 people were infected. The WHO predicted that the number of cases would reach 20,000, which is quite worrisome. The data may vary across the different speeches delivered by others, according to the photos taken or the references used. Today, the spread of the disease is such that the most affected countries are now considering taking extreme measures such as imposing a lockdown on their citizens.

In addition, on September 12, 2014, the Cuban government announced the deployment of 165 health professionals to provide care to those with the Ebola virus in West Africa. In Canada, there are no known cases of Ebola, which is excellent news. Border controls are in place, namely the screening of sick passengers and quarantine measures. Those who watch the news have seen the sick being transported to Spain or the United States. People who were working on site were transported in entirely safe conditions.

I would like to know what the Government of Canada plans to do to help the countries that urgently need assistance. Does Canada plan to send health professionals? If so, under what conditions will that be done?

Another concern I have is about the health strategies that Canada has implemented in the event that we should have to treat someone who contracts the virus during their stay in one of the affected countries.

How many Canadians are currently living in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone? Could we get those numbers? Is there a specific process for bringing Canadians who have contracted the virus back to Canada? Is there an emergency health plan in place for health authorities, airlines and the public?

What support does Canada plan on offering to WHO which, according to its road map, aims to end transmission worldwide within six to nine months?

WHO also points out the urgent need to scale up the international response in order to curb the epidemic. What is Canada proposing? How will Canada get involved in this international effort and what role will it play?

I would like to share one last quick word. On behalf of Canadians, I would like to thank the Doctors Without Borders team, our first line of defence against this epidemic.

Energy Safety and Security Act September 15th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, if there is one issue that sets us apart from the members across the way, it is natural resources.

Today, in response to a question I asked as to why nuclear energy was not included in Bill C-22, the minister more or less said—I do not have his exact words in front of me—that when disaster struck Japan, it was so bad—those are my words—that the government had to take matters into its own hands.

If I understand what this government is saying, we will pay once disaster strikes. Canadians will pay for everything that happens with regard to health, cancer, the environment, and cleanup. We saw what happened in Lac-Mégantic.

The NDP prefers to plan ahead. When a company sets up somewhere, can we estimate the environmental cleanup cost in the event of an accident? What would be the human cost and the health-related cost in the event of an accident?

We have to look at this from a sustainable development standpoint. That is the right approach. We need to have green development—we are indeed a green party—for our country so that Canadians can have what is best for them and their children.

Energy Safety and Security Act September 15th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to read a quotation to the member.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission requires that there be, at most, a 0.01% chance of any given nuclear reactor having a nuclear accident with core damage. For the 10 reactors in the Toronto area, a simple calculation demonstrates that this probability, over five years, is 10 times 5 times 0.01%, or 0.5%.

The probability exists. How can the member say that there is no risk to Canadians?

Energy Safety and Security Act September 15th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the NDP also believes that polluters must pay. This reduces the liability of taxpayers, who should not have to pay for something that they did not do.

Could the minister explain to Canadians why the bill does not apply to the nuclear industry? I am referring to the 33rd meeting of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources on June 3, 2014.

Furthermore, why does a company like General Electric, a reactor supplier, not have any obligation in the case of an incident? This question is in reference to the 34th meeting of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources on June 5, 2014.

Red Tape Reduction Act September 15th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, in his speech, the member asked why we do not simply get rid of all these regulations. The Liberals contributed to the deregulation in Lac-Mégantic. That happened to us, in Quebec; it did not happen where he lives. That caused such a mess, with such serious consequences.

Regulations are often needed to ensure the safety and protection of the public. Deregulation and special treatment for certain companies can jeopardize public protection.

How does the member plan to get out of this quicksand? Can he tell us how he sees these things?

Red Tape Reduction Act September 15th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, businesses and young business owners are the key to Canada's economic prosperity. Under the Conservative government, the manufacturing sector is struggling and has lost some of its lustre. A number of manufacturing companies, such as Electrolux, have lost employees and had to shut down.

What measures is the NDP putting forward to support SMEs in the near future and as of 2015?