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NDP MP for Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert (Québec)
Won her last election, in 2011, with 44.60% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the arguments that the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons is trying to make. With all due respect, I think he is dodging the issue.
He said that we do not want to create a toxic environment, but I think that is what is happening. Since I was elected to the House in 2011, I have been shocked to see that democracy is not respected in a democratic country like ours. We are elected by members of the public, who want to know what the government is doing for them, but unfortunately we constantly find ourselves under gag orders. This Conservative government has issued a record number of gag orders.
My colleague made erroneous statements, but I am not a legal expert. My background is different from that of many of my colleagues who are experts in law. However, the member said his own volition that he had witnessed that. I would assume that that is what led the government to introduce this bill to eliminate—
Rail Safety February 28th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, there was another train derailment last Saturday. This time, it happened in Montreal, right next to where people live.
This disaster reminds us of the many others that have occurred since the Lac-Mégantic tragedy. Following two days of consultation with my constituents, I can sense their concerns and bewilderment regarding the long freight trains that go through my riding every day. Saint-Bruno is the busiest stretch of track in Canada, and thousands of cars carry dangerous goods right next to people's homes.
The Auditor General's report recommended that the department ensure that it has enough competent inspectors to monitor railway companies and safety management systems.
Despite this troubling situation, there is nothing in budget 2014 to improve rail safety. The government must act immediately to prevent future tragedies like Lac-Mégantic.
Health February 26th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, we learned this morning that pharmacies might face a shortage of drugs, including Ritalin. Parents and the Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec are concerned about the situation.
The NDP put forward a real solution to address drug shortages by forcing companies to report any upcoming shortages. However, the government stubbornly relies on the goodwill of the industry, while shortages continue to increase.
Will the minister realize that action is urgently needed?
Petitions February 25th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I am rising in the House to present a petition in support of protection for Gatineau Park, as it is home to approximately 90 endangered plant and 50 endangered animal species.
My colleague from Hull—Aylmer and I are speaking out, calling on the government to pass legislation to protect and preserve this park for future generations.
The Budget February 13th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, Canada's space industry needs help to recover and develop. The latest budget has nothing to help the Canadian Space Agency. Thousands of direct and indirect jobs rely on this sector, especially in Saint-Hubert. The Conservatives are sitting on their hands as losses pile up in this highly competitive sector that is vital to our economy, especially with Bombardier and Héroux-Devtek. How can they let a jewel of our economy waste away like this?
The Budget February 13th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the speech given by my colleague opposite. We now know with certainty that this Conservative government has presented a do-nothing election budget.
This government is using a carrot and stick approach. This budget is just a smokescreen. There is nothing in the budget about provincial health transfers and the government has created a fiscal imbalance between the federal government and the provinces. Once again, there is nothing in this budget about that.
This time, the government is using the stick to tell Canadian families that are having trouble making ends meet to wait until 2015, when it will dangle the carrot. This is obviously a pre-election game.
According to surveys, and as pointed out many times, health is the priority for Canadians. That does not seem to be the case for our colleagues opposite. I would like to know what my colleague thinks about the provincial transfers and working with the provinces to possibly cover costs that will rise with an aging population.
Canada Post February 11th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, yesterday my colleague asked the Minister of Transport why the government did not act on the suggestions made in a secret report that provided possible solutions to save Canada Post. Every time, however, the minister replied that she supports the five-point plan proposed by the head of Canada Post.
Let us not forget that this plan means the loss of 8,000 jobs, a huge increase in postal rates and the loss of home mail delivery.
Why was that report kept secret?
Mandatory Disclosure of Drug Shortages Act February 6th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind members that drug shortages are a major public health problem in which the federal government has a role to play.
This bill would give Canadians access to the same information that Europeans and Americans already have in terms of care. Drug shortages put patients at risk. They create more work for doctors, pharmacists and nurses in our healthcare system, and result in additional costs.
We need to switch to solution mode. In a letter to the industry, the Minister of Health has asked the industry to regulate itself. A new website is also available for voluntary reporting. These initiatives do not really help with planning, however, since the information is not always updated during a shortage.
Professor Jean-François Bussières looked at the drug shortages reported on the vendredipm.ca website—these are shortages from the Sigma purchasing group, which makes mandatory reporting of shortages part of its supply contracts. His study showed that 20% of all drug shortages reported on vendredipm.ca are not reported on the government's drug shortages website. This is ironic.
Having the industry require its suppliers to disclose any supply shortage to protect its production capacity seems normal to the Conservative government. It does not seem so keen to apply the same logic to pharmaceutical companies by requiring them to disclose drug shortages.
The minister spoke during the first part of the debate on my bill and said that it did not amend the right law. I would like to say something. The health of Canadians is more important to me than pharmaceutical companies' profits. It is the Minister of Health's responsibility to guarantee that Canadians have access to drugs at all times. Unless I am mistaken, the Department of Health Act, which I seek to amend, sets out the minister's prerogatives. That is why I am asking the minister to coordinate efforts to prevent any drug shortage, remedy it and develop and implement more emergency measures to address these shortages.
The federal government, which is content to deregulate a number of public safety measures, claims that the voluntary approach in this area is working. However, the facts tell another story. Drug shortages are not reported within a reasonable amount of time to allow for a transition period. The Conservatives pushed with all their might for a voluntary approach that has not worked in a number of sectors. The penuriesdemedicament.ca website and the protocol for the notification and communication of drug shortages include many aspects of my bill, including the disclosure of drug shortages, but not the legal obligation to do so.
There is a reason why a number of groups of health professionals, including the Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec, the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, are calling for this mandatory approach. We are behind here in Canada, because the United States and Europe, our largest economic partners, have already passed similar bills.
In closing, I call on the Conservative government to accept its responsibility to protect public health and to pass my bill concerning the disclosure of drug shortages.
I urge my Conservative colleagues not to vote against common sense.
Fair Elections Act February 6th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I rise in this House whenever the government uses time allocation. That is the case today. Not only does the government introduce bills riddled with flaws, it also prevents us from carrying out the duty for which we were elected by thousands of Canadians, who want to debate issues that affect them directly.
Today, the government is once again using time allocation, long before the end of second reading. I would like to know whether this government wants to muzzle all members and work alone according to its ideology, or whether it wants to work for Canadians.
Grain Transport February 5th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, when the Conservative government dismantled the Canadian Wheat Board's single-desk system, my NDP colleagues gave many speeches predicting the problems that this would cause.
Once again, this government has a gift for destroying anything that works without thinking of the consequences. The proof is that we are in the House today having an emergency debate, after the fact, about the consequences of the government's ill-considered decision.
We know that the Minister of Agriculture has destroyed our niche market, and that this has resulted in complaints from Japanese and Chinese food companies about quality and service. The farmer-controlled CWB managed the supply chain, from farm to end user.
Would my colleague agree that this government is shirking its responsibilities? We urge the government to resolve this crisis caused by its ill-considered decision. It should not try to hide behind weather conditions.