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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was quebec.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Bloc MP for Terrebonne—Blainville (Québec)

Lost her last election, in 2011, with 30.80% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Natural Resources February 11th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is meeting the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador today to discuss the underwater cable project. We know that Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are trying to get funding from the Conservative government for electrical transmission lines to get around Quebec and send electricity from Labrador to the United States.

Since Quebec developed its electricity network without federal assistance, will the Prime Minister tell Newfoundland and Labrador in no uncertain terms that Quebeckers' taxes paid to Ottawa will not be used to fund this project?

Quebec Teacher Appreciation Week February 10th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, again this year it is my honour to tell the House about Teacher Appreciation Week in Quebec. I am a veteran of the wonderful world of education, and I would like to reiterate my full support for the people who work in the amazing profession of teaching.

Every day, we entrust them with the things we hold most dear, our children. They pass on their knowledge and know-how to the generation of tomorrow. Teachers are examples for our youth, and we must tell them they are all indispensable. Our children are privileged that they can count on people like them, who give and expect nothing in return. Our teachers embody everything a nation like ours can hope for from our knowledge crafters.

On behalf of my colleagues in the Bloc Québécois, I want to congratulate the teachers of Quebec on their dedication and professionalism and thank them for all they do.

Canada-Panama Free Trade Act February 4th, 2011

Some aspects of this agreement are still flawed, including the one the hon. member just mentioned. It is all well and fine to ratify agreements very quickly, but we have to make sure the agreements are not missing anything before we open the floodgates.

Canada-Panama Free Trade Act February 4th, 2011

According to the Institut de la statistique du Québec, 30% of exports to Panama come from Quebec. As far as imports are concerned, Quebec's share is under $2 million.

We are all for trading with Panama and exporting to that country. Nonetheless, we do not want to be involved with these rogue states that use freer trade and making money as an excuse for violating environmental laws and workers' rights established by the International Labour Organization. These things are extremely important to Quebeckers. Even though Quebec does business with Panama, if such agreements are concluded, Quebeckers will not forget how important these two concepts are for Panamanians.

Canada-Panama Free Trade Act February 4th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, we are here this morning to debate Bill C-46, An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the Republic of Panama, the Agreement on the Environment between Canada and the Republic of Panama and the Agreement on Labour Cooperation between Canada and the Republic of Panama.

The Bloc Québécois is not in favour of this bill for a number of reasons. First, this is a bilateral agreement, which the Bloc Québécois believes is ineffective. We believe that a multilateral agreement would be more effective in developing much fairer trade that respects the interests of all of the nations.

The Conservative government has decided to drop the multilateral approach to trade and is entering into many negotiations to sign bilateral agreements. There have not been any studies done by officials at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade or at Industry Canada to help us determine whether these bilateral agreements would be beneficial to our economy. Regardless of whether these agreements are good or not, they seem advantageous, so the Conservatives and the Liberals are jumping at them. They are jumping into other bilateral negotiations before conducting any studies.

If we do not know that we will come out a winner by signing a bilateral agreement, we should not move forward. For example, the Conservative government plans on signing a bilateral agreement with China. In 2005, Canada imported $32 billion worth of Chinese products, which generated a trade deficit in Canada of $26 billion, or $1,000 per capita. When trade with a country generates five times more imports than exports, the main priority should be to balance the terms of trade and not to make them even more liberal.

The Bloc Québécois will not support these bilateral agreements until we receive a guarantee or can be convinced that they will benefit the Quebec economy.

We are told that Panama is the most industrialized country in Central America and it has the highest economic indicators in the region. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canadian exports to Panama consist mainly of finished products, such as machine tools, automobiles, electronic and electrical equipment, pharmaceutical equipment, pulses and frozen potato products. Canada also exports financial, engineering and professional services, as well as information technology and communications services.

Canadian direct investments in Panama are made mainly in the banking, financial, construction and mining sectors. Every time the Conservative government comes forward with a bilateral free trade agreement, it always includes mining.

Our primary imports from Panama are metals—mostly gold—precious stones, fruit, exotic nuts, fish and seafood.

The free trade agreement between Canada and Panama will have an impact on our country. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, this deal includes eliminating Panamanian tariffs on many Canadian products.

This means that our businesses will be able to invest in Panama without any tariff restrictions. Thus, Panama will eliminate all tariffs on non-agricultural products.

The Canadian exports that should benefit the most from these concessions are fish and seafood products, construction materials and equipments, frozen potato products, pulses, beef and beef products, most pork products, malt, forest products, and flight simulation and training equipment. So far, so good.

Canada, for its part, will eliminate 99% of its tariffs on products from Panama, except certain sugar products and products under supply management, of course.

The federal government wants to ratify this agreement very quickly because, so it says, it wants to get ahead of the United States and the European Union, which have both signed similar agreements but have a much longer ratification process.

The problem for us is that Panama is a tax haven. I would remind the House about a certain prime minister a few years ago who had interests in Canada Steamship Lines and who managed to get some deals ratified with known tax havens, including a deal with Barbados, which he just slipped through right under our noses. Panama is also part of this group of countries that are known tax havens. It is even on the OECD's grey list.

The OECD uses four criteria to determine whether a country should be placed on its grey list of tax havens: no or only nominal taxation; lack of transparency; laws or administrative practices that prevent the exchange of information; and indications that the country is attempting to attract investments that are tax-driven and do not involve economic activity.

One of the things that stands out for me is the fact that there is no or only nominal taxation. I have nothing against our corporations doing business. However, I do have a problem with the fact that, because of a lack of transparency, corporations cannot say how much money they make there and do not repatriate the money. As for laws and administrative practices that prevent the exchange of information, it seems to me that I have seen this before. I am currently a member of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates. We are coming to realize that the government is using the excuse that it must protect confidential information to withhold information about money, for example about the freeze on budget envelopes, or about what it is doing with the money. It is very annoying. It means that Canadians cannot find out what is being done with their taxes, and government officials cannot determine how much profit has been made in other countries. This issue of laws or administrative practices that prevent the effective exchange of information is tiresome.

Then there are the indications that the country attracts investments that are solely tax-driven and to not involve economic activity. We must remember that, in some countries, certain Canadian corporations have a dismal record when it comes to mining, among other activities. How will we ask questions to obtain information about what is happening? This is a problem for the Bloc Québécois.

Furthermore, the right-wing government has passed a repressive bill that, in theory, could criminalize workers. It has agreed to review the law but we are not sure that it will do so.

In short, the Bloc Québécois does not support this bill.

We do not know enough about it, and there are not enough guarantees and safeguards. It is a bilateral agreement that completely ignores human considerations and does not demonstrate the openness that should be the hallmark of such agreements.

Canada Revenue Agency December 10th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, Tony's boat is for sale for $9 million. The problem is that taxpayers paid to have it built. We have also learned that a false invoicing scheme generated a lot of cash to cover the personal expenses of executives of Constructions Louisbourg and Simard-Beaudry Construction.

Now that it has caught Tony Accurso's businesses, will the Canada Revenue Agency go after those who benefited from all that cash?

Canada Revenue Agency December 10th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the court proceedings involving Tony Accurso's businesses have revealed that at least a half-dozen public servants from the Canada Revenue Agency are being suspected of corruption and complicity. Spokespersons for the agency refuse to tell the truth about the scope of the scandal affecting Revenue Canada.

Can the Minister of National Revenue confirm how many public servants are being investigated and how many construction businesses like Tony Accurso's profited from this system in which tax auditors were paid off?

Simon Paquin December 10th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to a young man from my riding whose commitment to volunteer work is exemplary. Simon Paquin spends his time and energy fighting against cancer, poverty and childhood diseases.

Add to that his position as volunteer host of public affairs programs on Les Moulins' regional television station, where Mr. Paquin is also an anchor.

His volunteer work and the fact that he uses new information technology earned Simon Paquin the young volunteer—Claude-Masson award in communications, which is presented annually by the Government of Quebec.

Simon Paquin demonstrates the spirit, compassion and altruism of Quebec's youth. With people like him waiting in the wings, we can rest assured that Quebec's future is in good hands.

I would like to sincerely thank Simon Paquin for his commitment, and I want to assure him that the Bloc Québécois recognizes his efforts in carrying on Quebec's tradition of humanitarianism.

Jean-Louis Legault December 7th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the support that Jean-Louis Legault brings to the community of Les Moulins. As founding president of Servtrotech in 1983, which became Daktronics in 2001, Mr. Legault made his mark in the business world. Today, he is putting his expertise to work for his community in CLDs and FIERS—which are regional economic intervention funds—and in Quebec's industrial research association, of which he is the president and CEO.

And while his professional success is impressive, his commitment as a volunteer is even more so. He has already won the National Assembly medal for his social involvement. Mr. Legault invests some of his volunteer time in the Maison Adhémar-Dion, a peaceful place full of empathy, where people are supported in their final days.

My Bloc Québécois colleagues and I want to thank Mr. Legault for his commitment to the region of Les Moulins. We are privileged to be able to count on someone of his stature.

Infrastructure Program December 3rd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Bloc Québécois's insistence finally paid off. The government changed its mind, finally saw reason and announced that it would extend the infrastructure program.

Municipalities will have until October 31, 2011, an extra seven months, to complete projects undertaken as part of the program. Quebec's municipal affairs department and the Fédération des municipalités du Québec estimated that nearly a third of the projects would likely not be completed. The Bloc Québécois's victory represents $220 million for Quebec. Let us not forget that the National Assembly unanimously adopted a motion urging the federal government to see reason on this matter.

This is another concrete example of how the Bloc Québécois is useful and relevant in the House of Commons. We take a stand and get things done for Quebec.