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  • Her favourite word is quebec.

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

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

Statements in the House

Assaults Against Public Transit Operators October 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as everyone knows, protecting bus and taxi drivers is a priority for the NDP. These individuals are more vulnerable because they drive longer hours than most people, their profession requires them to be behind the wheel at all times and they always have to deal with the public, which includes people who are nice and not so nice, even criminals. We will be supporting this bill because it makes sense.

The question I have for the member is this: a number of bills have been introduced on this topic, including one sponsored by the member for Burnaby—New Westminster. Why did the Conservatives not move forward on previous NDP bills?

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act October 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, every year, over 700 million Canadians are subjected to bullying in one form or another. It happens most often on mobile phones.

The member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord introduced an anti-cyberbullying bill and the government voted against it.

If cyberbullying and protecting victims are so important to the government, why did it vote against that bill?

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act October 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as you know and as all members on both sides of this House know, cyberbullying causes a lot of pain for the young women—and also young men—who fall victim to this crime. In most cases, the victims are young people who are still in high school and who do not have much power in society.

I would like to clarify something with the member for Terrebonne—Blainville. If I am not mistaken, the member thinks that the government is mismanaging this issue by associating cyberbullying with intrusive provisions regarding Internet spying. From what I understand, she demonstrated that these two topics should be separated. Could she explain why?

Rouge National Urban Park Act October 8th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, over the past few years, I have enjoyed some wonderful visits to Toronto. This great city has many lakes, islands and scenic views. It is a place that everyone should visit.

When they were in power, the Liberals had plenty of opportunities to invest in Canada's national park system, but instead, they helped to create a $2.8 billion backlog. That is why I am surprised by what they are saying.

They could have done this work and even more. The leader of the NDP, who was once the Quebec environment minister, knows what should be done with the national parks.

Quebec Community Centre for the Visually Impaired October 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to once again shine a spotlight on one of the achievements of my riding, Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles.

On Friday, September 26, we opened the new community centre for the visually impaired in Charlesbourg. This centre will host indoor activities for the Carrefour québécois des personnes aveugles. There are 11,000 visually impaired people in the region.

The Fondation Caecitas and the Lions Clubs in the Quebec City area worked together and raised $100,000 for the centre. The centre was also made possible by technology developed by HumanWare, a Quebec company.

The centre provides such services as Internet access with adaptive software, speech synthesis of texts and text magnification. Furthermore, every computer has a braille keyboard. The services will be available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. The centre is located at 523 Louis-XIV Boulevard in Charlesbourg.

Congratulations. This is a great achievement.

Rail Transportation October 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, since the Lac-Mégantic tragedy, there have been three other major rail explosions in the United States. That proves that when it comes to rail safety, we can always do better.

Yesterday, the president of Canadian National said that the Lac-Mégantic accident was one person's fault and that additional regulations were unnecessary.

Does the Minister of Transport agree with that, or does she intend to improve safety measures?

World Teachers' Day October 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, we will never forget the excellent teachers we had, from kindergarten through university.

I come from a family of five teachers, so it is an honour for me to talk about World Teachers' Day. We all know that teachers play a very important role in our education system, helping our children become educated, responsible adults. Good educators listen to our children, respect them and help them make life and career choices so that they can become members of society. They are the pillars of our education system.

I want to thank the teachers in my riding of Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, at all schools and grade levels, for their excellent work. I also want to take this opportunity to mention the Chabot school in Charlesbourg, which is educating students about politics and democracy. This public school offers an international education program, and students learn about the workings of our political institutions. Without our hard-working teachers, these kinds of initiatives would never be possible.

Thank you to all teachers across the country.

Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve Act October 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for the Northwest Territories for his excellent speech.

If our leader were in the House, he would agree that the hon. member's speech reflected our noble values and desire to protect the earth and keep it healthy. Those values are extremely important for the future of our national parks, which are often located in areas where there is less tourism than elsewhere and where we want to protect the flora and fauna.

For example, I am thinking about Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve on Quebec's north shore, where the remnants of the last ice age are being protected. These parks exist for good reason, particularly so that areas are properly developed.

I know that the hon. member spoke about tourism, but could he explain the socio-economic importance of this park?

Instruction to the Standing Committee on the Status of Women (violence against women) September 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to be debating Motion No. 504 with respect to violence against women.

Before I was elected as MP for the riding of Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles in the Quebec City area, I was the director of an organization that helped women integrate and re-integrate into the labour market among other things. I also had the honour of signing the first two special agreements regarding the status of women in Quebec's capital, Quebec City.

In the Quebec City area, there are some 15 organizations that provide assistance to women and work to reduce violence against women. This issue is of such concern and is so important to me that I felt compelled to speak to it.

To begin, I would like to share with the House the definition of violence against women set out in the United Nations 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women:

...any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.

In Canada, 173,600 women aged 15 and older were victims of violent crime in 2011. In Australia, Canada, Israel, South Africa and the United States, 40% to 70% of murdered women were killed by their partner, according to the World Health Organization. In 2011, approximately 8,200 girls under the age of 12 were victims of violent crime.

We must also not forget hate crimes against women in Canada. The best known is the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre in Montreal, which resulted in the death of 14 female students who were learning non-traditional trades. This massacre was carried out by a man who hated women in general. This tragedy led to the establishment of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in memory of these victims and all female victims of violence.

If we take the definition of violence against women that I quoted in its broadest sense, we must also include another form of violence that causes just as much damage, and that is psychological violence. This form of violence has lasting effects that are not physical. Unfortunately, the statistics are not available or they come nowhere near to reflecting reality.

We must address this issue and find real, permanent solutions. It is not right that violence against women is an ongoing problem, as attested to by the fact that the statistics have stubbornly remained the same.

Acts of violence against women have serious consequences for the future and for women's well-being. Psychological violence affects performance at work and the economy. Here are some figures from Statistics Canada:

Daily stress levels were elevated when women had reported being violently victimized in the preceding 12 months. Over half (53%) of women victimized by a spouse stated that most of their days were “quite a bit or extremely stressful”, significantly higher than the proportion of women victimized by someone else (41%) and the proportion of women not victimized...

More than one-quarter of spousal victims...and non-spousal victims...used medication to cope with depression, to calm them down or to help them sleep [a direct consequence of the violence]. This was significantly higher than the proportion of women who were not violently victimized...

Another problem is that the subject remains taboo among couples and families in which cultural pressures are still very strong. We often hear that few women will file a complaint against their spouse for any form of violence, physical or psychological. They feel ashamed and guilty, or else they know that they will not have the support of their loved ones. In many cases, when the women speak to those around them, they are told that this is temporary and that it is normal.

Various governments at the provincial and federal levels have implemented strategies, but they do not seem to work properly.

The crime rate in Canada is on the decline, but the number of sexual assaults and domestic assaults has remained the same.

These alarming numbers are not going down, which means that something is missing or something has not been considered. It is time to look at a national action plan that will coordinate all of the measures taken at all levels of government. That is also why I support the motion by my colleague from Sault Ste. Marie, with the amendment that the findings be reported within one year of the study's initiation.

We can conduct all kinds of studies and adopt all kinds of new practices, but they will not matter unless we can measure their impact and the real effects on the women involved. This is a very sensitive issue that affects women of all ethnic and socio-cultural backgrounds and in all socioprofessional categories, which is why it is difficult to find a coherent strategy that can apply to all women.

We have to realize that some people, especially minorities, cannot take advantage of all of the strategies that have been around for many years because those strategies are not adapted to their socio-demographic, cultural or religious environment. These women are the most at risk. It is critical that we start by thinking about that complexity within populations and about the circumstances of the people in danger so that we can come up with a multi-faceted plan and solutions that work for most of them.

For example, consider two provinces that are especially affected: Saskatchewan and Manitoba. They routinely have the highest provincial rates of violent crime as reported by police, and in 2011, their rates of violence against women were almost twice the national rate. The central provinces, Ontario and Quebec, had the lowest rates of violence against women as reported by police.

This example shows that the phenomenon can be more or less severe depending on the geographical context and the measures that have been taken in each region. We also have to think about those women who cannot be helped this way and come up with solutions tailored to specific cases because nothing is worse than feeling isolated and abandoned.

When a special day was held to try to determine where people went after staying at a shelter, roughly one in five women said she left the facility and moved into a new home without her spouse, while 15% of women went to stay with a friend or family member.

Many questions remain. Should there be specialized centres and more social workers? Will politicians legislate and increase sentences? Will victims be compensated and how? I think all these questions are worth asking.

I know that in the past, there have been information campaigns, such as the 12 Days of Action for the Elimination of Violence against Women Campaign, which was held in 2013 and mainly promoted by feminist organizations in the Province of Quebec. However, 12 days are not enough and communications should be sent out far more regularly through all the traditional mass media and social media.

As members can see, there is a long road ahead and many questions remain unanswered when it comes to reducing violence against women.

In closing, it is urgent that the NDP ask that the motion read as follows, with the amendments:

That the Standing Committee on the Status of Women be instructed to undertake a study on the subject of best practices in education programs, social programs and policies in Canada that prevent violence against women, and report its findings to the House within one year of the study's initiation.

This study must be undertaken and we must get the results as soon as possible so that we can come up with an effective national action plan.

Canada-Korea Economic Growth and Prosperity Act September 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Ontario wants a team to be created to oversee the implementation of this agreement. Does the Conservative government plan to consult or work with that province? Second, what will the government do to protect Canada's automotive industry?