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Liberal MP for Saint-Maurice—Champlain (Québec)
Won her last election, in 2011, with 39.10% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Rail Transportation December 4th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, on October 25, VIA Rail decided to sell the Parent and La Tuque stations and signed an agreement in principle with the City of La Tuque. This agreement transferred client service jobs to the City.
Can the minister explain how a municipality can be given responsibilities that legally and morally belong to a national railway?
Ethics November 25th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, on Friday, the Prime Minister stated that, other than Nigel Wright, nobody in his office kept anything about the agreement with Mike Duffy from him. However, thanks to the RCMP, we know that three of his long-time staffers knew about everything from the very beginning.
Is the Prime Minister also aware of the criminal acts of his entourage, or did he simply decide not to ask about their activities?
Universal Children's Day November 20th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, Universal Children's Day is a time to celebrate life and young people. We feel confident about the future because our nation's children can hope for a life without violence or hate.
Despite all of our dreams and ideals, however, we have to face the reality of the lives that have been shattered by a lack of education and resources. Some children in our cities and towns do not have enough to eat. In our country of law and order, children are left defenceless. Here in this Parliament, all to often, we accept the unacceptable.
We must commit to developing structures for early childhood education and child care in order to give all Canadians a chance to be part of society, rather than excluding some from our so-called civilized world.
We must stand by children in Canada and around the world.
Official Languages November 8th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, the last report from the Commissioner of Official Languages points to a disturbing situation regarding of the use of French in the federal public service. The report makes a link between the inadequate delivery of services in French and budget cuts in the public service.
Has the government examined the negative effects of these cuts, and has it consequently planned measures to address this reduction of services in French?
Support for Volunteer Firefighters Act November 7th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, there are a lot of volunteer firefighters in my riding.
I thought that volunteer firefighters were under municipal, not federal, jurisdiction. That is why I do not really understand how the federal government can interfere in something that is pretty much solely under municipal jurisdiction.
Petitions October 24th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition signed by nearly 2,000 people for the government's consideration regarding the cuts announced by VIA Rail. These cuts will have a negative impact on users of the train stations in Haut-Saint-Maurice, in terms of both passenger services to remote communities and services to our communities.
It is also important to consider the consequences in terms of job losses and reduced services offered in the train stations in Haut-Saint-Maurice.
Business of Supply October 22nd, 2013
Mr. Speaker, there is one question I would like to ask my colleague.
Does she take a partisan stand when she is supporting a bill as a member of her party? Furthermore, would she say it is unacceptable to take a partisan stand when supporting a bill?
Business of Supply October 22nd, 2013
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member stated that senators must do their work, that is, they must participate in legislative work.
Why does he state that caucus meetings—of whichever party—do not constitute legislative work? Senators cannot work in a bubble, never aware of the legislative work that members of Parliament are doing.
How can he state such a thing? Clearly, the NDP has no senators in their party. I do not know how he can state such a thing.
Criminal Code June 18th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, the introduction of the human trafficking bill, which the Liberal Party supports, calls the attention of the House to the darkest aspects of the human soul. All over the world, women, children and men are deprived of their freedom and dignity. Examples of mistreatment and abuse abound in many countries, on every continent.
It is almost impossible to restrict human trafficking within a country, a city or a community. Children are forced to become soldiers in regional conflicts. Women are sexually exploited in the western world. Men toil in farming operations in the new world and the old. We powerlessly witness the proliferation of the most diverse forms of exploitation.
In earlier centuries, the slave trade was the bedrock of colonial settlement. From Santo Domingo to Haiti to Senegal to the Andean countries to the confines of Asia, this form of human exploitation prospered everywhere. We wrongly believed that eliminating the major slave trade networks from the colonial period had for all practical purposes disappeared.
However, the world today still appears to be heavily imbued with the stench of neocolonialism, in which servitude plays a fundamental role in the underpinnings of our economies.
Nowadays, efforts are being made to identify the contours of these new exploitation networks that have become an essential component of our production, distribution and consumption systems.
Children toiling on machines to produce consumer goods can be counted in the thousands. Countless women sell their bodies working for pimps. Thousands of exploited men work on tenant farms and unsanitary farms until they reach exhaustion.
All these products and services can be used to bind, exploit, abuse and discriminate. All these girls and women are raped and held against their will because of power relationships and the absence of justice.
A new bill has been added to the order paper to take away some of the latitude available to exploiters and abusers. Bill C-452 asks a fundamental question about trafficking in persons: what can be done to curb a growing phenomenon that has been taking the most unexpected forms?
By becoming more interdependent, the world can work to further advance the principles that underpin democratic regimes on the one hand, while on the other hand, it allows the proliferation of criminal systems for exploiting people. Canada's role in protecting people has been made increasingly complex as a result of the new human mobility provided by modern modes of transportation.
How can children be protected from compulsory service in armed conflicts? To be sure, concerted action has been taken by the nations of the world, at the instigation of exemplary people like General Roméo Dallaire who urge us to draw up international conventions and treaties.
Something must also be done to address the exploitation of stateless people who should have real access to international labour organizations.
Sexually exploited women should not simply be sent back, beyond our borders, but rather given our protection and the protection of other nations of the free world.
However, while Canada's ratification of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime is a step in the right direction, it must be based on criminal penalties designed to restrict the latitude of all kinds of abusers and exploiters.
This bill and its aims are certainly compelling.
We are attentive to the needs of the victims of this system of exploitation, and we believe that the elected members of this House are all aware of the social havoc wrought by human trafficking.
In another age, abolitionist legislation could have a definite effect. The centuries-long slavery of the colonialists of the past no longer exists, but has transformed itself into a modern form that is insidious and far-reaching.
We are wholeheartedly behind this bill and its goal of eliminating trafficking in children, women and men. We support this battle for freedom and dignity. However, given the scale of the phenomenon and its highly sinister ramifications, we are bound to note the limitations of our judicial intervention.
Mankind now has the financial and technical resources to eliminate human trafficking, but does it have the necessary awareness and empathy to do so?
The debate generated here by these amendments to the Criminal Code necessarily goes beyond the boundaries of parliamentary life. This is a step in the right direction. However, are the provisions for consecutive sentences contained in this bill, and the presumption of guilt established by living with an exploited person contrary to the principle this bill seeks to defend?
In Canada, in recent years, we have unfortunately seen significant restrictions placed on judicial discretion with respect to sentencing under the Criminal Code.
How can we reconcile the elimination of human trafficking systems with respect for the fundamental rights entrenched in the Canadian charter? How can we reconcile the new criminal restrictions on present-day servitude and slavery with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
We face a tremendous challenge: that of aligning our domestic legislation with the great humanist principles that guide our society. We can only be inspired by our colleague’s initiative, as she searches with us for a solution to this scourge. We believe that the elimination of these practices demands further political action along the lines of what we find in the form of this bill.
Federal policy in this area is unequivocal with respect to the educational effort required here and abroad in order to change these appalling behaviours. An inventory of the various types of human trafficking in Canada is contained in a report published in 2010 that leaves no doubt about the dimensions of modern slavery and the forms it takes.
We can only embrace this 21st-century challenge of restoring to millions of individuals a place and the resources to live their lives in dignity and respect. We must therefore be vigilant in everything we do that has an impact on the victims of human trafficking. Our refugee protection policies, our foreign policy, our financial investments and our criminal justice system are all things that can definitely contribute to the elimination of human trafficking.
I repeat: the Liberal Party will support this bill.
Financial Administration Act June 17th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the member's speech. She is making some interesting proposals, but there is one I do not understand.
How would prescribing quotas for women be doing them a disservice? My question does not go against her suggestions, but I really do not understand how that could be doing women a disservice.