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NDP MP for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier (Québec)
Won her last election, in 2011, with 42.70% of the vote.
Statements in the House
National Defence December 10th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, the question is not whether Communications Security Establishment Canada is supposed to obey the law, but whether CSEC actually did obey the law. The documents uncovered by Snowden indicate that the Americans operated in Canadian facilities here and abroad. It therefore seems that the Conservative government was complicit in spying on some of our trade partners.
Can the government confirm whether that is indeed true? If so, who approved this operation?
Air Transportation December 4th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport is trying to justify her inaction by claiming that the City signed a memorandum of understanding with the Neuville airport developer. However, there are two major problems with her logic. First, the minister cannot escape her obligation to hold public consultations and produce an environmental assessment. Second, the airport proposal violates municipal and provincial regulations.
The Conservatives set a precedent with the Parkland County airport in Alberta. Why not do the same thing with the airport in Neuville?
National Defence December 4th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, the government asks Canadians to fight for their country, but when they return they have to fight for adequate health care.
The closure of Veterans Affairs offices, the lack of mental health resources and the decrease in support for military families clearly show that the Conservatives have missed the mark.
Can the Minister of National Defence promise to increase the number of mental health professionals and set up clinics to diagnose post-traumatic stress syndrome?
Corporal Alexandre Beaudin-D'Anjou December 4th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today to pay tribute to the courage and determination of Corporal Alexandre Beaudin-D'Anjou from Pont-Rouge, which is in my riding of Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier.
Corporal Beaudin-D'Anjou proudly served in Afghanistan, where he was seriously injured by an improvised explosive device on December 6, 2009.
That tragic experience left him suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, but now he is overcoming his difficulties and taking on a major challenge.
Currently en route to the South Pole, Corporal Beaudin-D'Anjou is one of two Canadians on Team Soldier On who are taking part in the UK's South Pole Allied Challenge. He and his team, made up of other injured veterans, will cross-country ski 335 km over a period of more than two weeks, braving temperatures as low as -50oC.
His bravery merits our respect. He is a role model for each and every one of us.
Good luck on your journey, Corporal Beaudin-D'Anjou, and thank you for your exemplary service.
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns November 29th, 2013
With regard to the Translation Bureau: (a) what was the total number of translator, interpreter and editor positions at the Bureau, per year, since 2005-2006; (b) what is the Bureau's total number of client institutions; (c) what was the total number of client institutions, per year, since 2005-2006; and (d) what is the total amount invoiced to these institutions for (i) translation or editing services, (ii) interpretation services?
Canadian Armed Forces November 28th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in the middle of the night, there was another tragic suicide in the Canadian Armed Forces. It happened in Petawawa this time.
There have now been three suicides in the past 48 hours. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families.
There are currently 50 boards of inquiry under way into this type of death, some dating back to five years ago.
What is the government doing to prevent further tragedies if it is still investigating what happened five years ago?
Respect for Communities Act November 28th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to see that the Conservatives have finally decided to join today's debate in the House. Unfortunately, I also feel as though my remarks and intentions have been misjudged.
In the comment I just made, I clearly mentioned that I am completely open to consultation. What the hon. member for Langley has failed to mention is the huge list of conditions that organizations seeking to open new supervised injection sites will have to meet.
The member also failed to mention that, even if the applications submitted by organizations meet all the criteria, the minister can still refuse to allow these sites to open. Clearly, the criteria for opening new sites are excessively restrictive.
My colleague also seems to forget that some of his constituents may be struggling with drug addictions and may need the help provided by facilities such as InSite. We must not think only about the most fortunate people in our ridings. We also have to think about the most vulnerable. However, this government forgets and neglects these people, which I find extremely unfortunate.
We all have vulnerable people in our ridings who need our help and who gave us the mandate to represent them and stand up for their interests. However, unfortunately, these are the people who are being neglected in the Conservative ridings.
Respect for Communities Act November 28th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to thank my colleague for his excellent question.
I fact, as I mentioned earlier, InSite has managed to reduce overdose mortality in Vancouver by 35%. That is very significant. It shows the positive impact that a supervised injection site such as InSite can have.
Earlier, my colleague opposite, the member for Langley, seemed to insinuate that people opposed to this bill also oppose public consultation. If we read between the lines of the bill, we see that the Conservatives are trying to establish a structure to prevent the opening of other sites. I just cannot understand that.
Unfortunately, I do not have the time to read all the criteria that the Conservatives have put in their bill in an attempt to tie the hands of people who would like to open new sites like InSite, which help people dealing with addiction.
However, the statistics that my colleague and I have provided show the direct positive effects of centres such as InSite. I find it unfortunate that, even today, we are debating reducing access to services for those with drug problems.
Respect for Communities Act November 28th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I am rising in the House to join with my colleagues in opposing Bill C-2.
To be quite honest, I am extremely disappointed that the amendment proposed by the hon. member for Vancouver East was rejected. It is very unfortunate. She put forward an amendment that was sensible, reasoned and based on scientifically proven facts. Unfortunately, Conservative ideology has once again prevailed over science and reason. We are debating yet another seriously flawed bill that reflects the Conservatives' outdated thinking and prejudices. Falsely touted as legislation that will protect Canadian families, Bill C-2 is designed to violate the Supreme Court's 2011 decision regarding safe injection sites.
I think it is important to note that at the time, the Supreme Court ruled that the minister's decision to close InSite, in Vancouver, violated the rights—as guaranteed in the charter—of InSite's clients and that the minister's decision was arbitrary and undermined the very purposes of the act, which include public health and safety. The Supreme Court also ruled that the minister's violation was very serious. It endangered the health and lives of the clients as well as people in similar situations. The Supreme Court also stated that InSite and other supervised injection sites should be granted an exemption as provided for under section 56 of the act when a supervised injection site will decrease the risk of death and disease, and there is little or no evidence that it will have a negative impact on public safety.
Naturally, this decision contradicted the Conservatives' obvious desire to get rid of anything that could even remotely resemble a supervised injection site. Bill C-2 is another attempt to satisfy this desire, even though many scientific studies have proven that supervised injection sites like InSite are beneficial. Studies have also proven that these sites do not represent any risk to public safety and that they actually tend to enhance public safety in our neighbourhoods.
Scientific evidence has shown that supervised injection sites can effectively reduce the risk of contracting and spreading blood-borne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C, and also help decrease overdose-related deaths.
Supervised injection sites are consistent with a harm reduction approach, an approach that Canada took until 2007, when the Conservatives decided to impose their abstinence ideals at the expense of the public, even if it risked the lives of people struggling with addictions.
I think it is rather ironic that we are debating Bill C-2 to get rid of supervised injection sites so close to December 1, World AIDS Day. Yesterday, the Canadian AIDS Society was handing out red ribbons, like the one I am wearing proudly today. My Conservative colleagues went to pick up ribbons and wore them proudly, but today they are here in the House continuing to push their partisan agenda. They are still doing everything they can to get rid of supervised injection sites. They are directly undermining the work done by health care professionals to eradicate epidemics of blood-borne diseases like AIDS.
While talking yesterday with representatives from the Canadian AIDS Society, I learned that some parts of Canada are currently facing an actual AIDS epidemic. For example, in Saskatchewan, the HIV infection rate is almost three times higher than the national average. These figures are disturbing. One factor that contributes to the spread of HIV/AIDS in certain parts of Saskatchewan is unfortunately injection drug use.
Having sites like InSite would be a very effective way to reduce the incidence of this disease, in addition to reducing overdose deaths, as I mentioned earlier.
However, rather than directly supporting the efforts being made to eradicate this epidemic, the Conservatives are trying to prevent the opening of new sites and depriving vulnerable Canadians of the services and support they actually need. Rather than helping these vulnerable people, the Conservatives are using them to raise funds from their voter base. Honestly, this is one of the most disgusting things I have seen this government do, while hiding the truth from its base.
The Conservatives tell their voter base that this bill will help keep heroin out of their backyards. This is totally false. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. If people no longer have a place where they can go, receive medical care and get the help they need, in addition to having a safe place, inside, to use the drugs they are unfortunately addicted to, where will these people go? They will go into the streets and the parks and near schools.
In recent weeks, we have heard a number of Conservative members say they care about Canadian families and they want to protect mothers, children, widows and orphans. Really, they are simply fearmongering in order to fill their coffers in preparation for the next election and using vulnerable people in our society to do so. Those people really need our help; they certainly do not need the contempt this government is showing them every day.
Frankly, I cannot believe the Conservatives are waging such a fundraising campaign in our society. It is beyond comprehension and furthermore, based on a campaign of fear and prejudice, with no basis in fact. The Conservatives are trying to address some legitimate concerns of the people they represent.
Quite honestly, each and every one of us has people in our riding who are worried about supervised injection sites. These are legitimate concerns that must be addressed. We must not react by fearmongering or encouraging prejudice and scorn towards people with substance abuse problems. Instead, we should be using our resources to try to solve the problem. We need to ensure that people can get the support they need, as well as easy access to resources to help them treat their addiction.
That is exactly what is happening at InSite. People have direct access to health care professionals who are there to help them in case of any problems or to simply provide advice. They have access to social workers and can be referred to detox centres.
Research has shown that in addition to reducing overdose deaths in Vancouver by 35%, which is significant, people who use InSite's services are almost twice as likely to enrol in a detox program. They are also more likely to have access to the resources that will help them turn their lives around and overcome their addiction. However, we have to go to them. To simply say that services exist, without making them easily accessible to the people who need them most, does not guarantee access and will not have the desired effect on public safety.
I do not have any children yet, but I can picture myself taking my children to a park one day and watching them discover discarded needles that might expose them to communicable diseases. I do not want that to happen. No one does.
However, that is what we might see happening in our streets as a result of the Conservatives' decision. People will no longer have a safe place to go to. They will have to go back to what used to be standard practice in neighbourhoods across the country, when people would shoot up here and there in the street, in the lobbies of commercial and residential buildings, near schools and in parks. Unfortunately, that is what we can anticipate if Bill C-2 passes as is. I hope it does not.
I am totally against passing such a bill. I hope that the Conservative Party members will listen to reason and understand the message from social organizations, health professionals and people who work with addicts daily and know their reality.
These people and these organizations dispense with prejudice and false, backward ideology, and focus instead on research and proven clinical trials. That is what we should be basing our decisions as parliamentarians on. The government should rely less on ideology and more on facts. For that reason, I hope that Bill C-2 will be defeated.
Respect for Communities Act November 28th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord for his excellent remarks and for his excellent work as the NDP's deputy health critic. He knows his stuff.
His arguments as to why Canada should have supervised injection sites are based on facts. I find it unfortunate that the Conservatives' arguments are based on their ideology and prejudices. What is more, they are unable to provide any scientific evidence or point to any scientific studies that show that supervised injection sites are harmful and detrimental to public safety.
I would like my colleague to elaborate on the importance of supervised injection sites. Their importance has been scientifically proven, through various studies. I would like to hear what he has to say about those studies.