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- Her favourite word is women.
Liberal MP for Saint-Maurice—Champlain (Québec)
Won her last election, in 2011, with 39.10% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Government Advertising March 5th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the government has an ad campaign that targets Canadians, but it seems more like propaganda than anything else. During the Oscars, the government spent hundreds of thousands of dollars unjustifiably.
How does the government reconcile the partisan spending with the fact that thousands of young Canadians will not be able to find a summer job in the next few months?
The Budget February 14th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the 2014 federal budget contains nothing tangible for women. It contains no incentives for social housing and nothing for universal child care. With respect to access to justice, countless women have fallen through the cracks. Can the finance minister provide any assurance that women will be a priority in the implementation of his budget?
Petitions February 13th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, today I am presenting part of a petition signed by 24,000 people in New Brunswick who, like those in northern Mauricie, are struggling with cuts to rail service.
Fair Elections Act February 5th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I imagine that electoral reform legislation takes years to develop. Why is there nothing about electronic voting?
The parties already use electronic voting for their leadership races. Did the government look at that possibility? Even if it does not happen this year, it will probably be very important at some point and would fix a number of problems.
Employment Insurance January 30th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the latest available socio-economic data for Mauricie show that the population is aging at an increasing rate and that there are chronic economic difficulties. In addition, recent changes to the employment insurance regime for seasonal workers are forcing young people to leave their region. Has the government taken steps to compensate for the regulatory inconsistencies that threaten these so-called seasonal jobs?
Employees' Voting Rights Act January 28th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the government can come up with all the arbitrary legislation and restrictive measures it likes, but, given the significance of the issues we are now dealing with, we are asking it to think about the consequences of Bill C-525 for parliamentary and public sector employees.
The mandatory voting system that will be imposed for certification will cause insurmountable difficulties for unions, in an economic climate in which the union movement is in somewhat of a precarious position. In recent years, we have seen many failed attempts at unionization in a number of sectors of the economy because of the economic disparity that exists between employees and employers.
A number of companies are getting around the certification rules in effect in Canada by imposing unusual labour standards, by manipulating the weakest and most disadvantaged employees, and by threatening to fire those attracted by the benefits of association. To propose the abolition of the current card system is a curious message to send to employers, especially from, to say the least, a major employer in the world of labour relations.
For decades, we have seen the financial status of thousands of Canadians deteriorating because of the industry crises shaking a number of communities in the country. Coming up with changes to the current bargaining system is one thing, but obstructing the limited opportunities for certification that unions have is another. We cannot deny that this country's growth and prosperity have depended on the toil and the commitment of workers and employees in all economic sectors. We cannot deny that our socio-economic progress stems from the efforts of many of the employees who are unionized today.
Think about the Canada of yesterday, the Canada of our parents or of my youth, where the word “equality” found its meaning solely in the dictionaries of our respective languages. The government's desire to upset the balance of power in labour relations and its narrow vision of the word “negotiation” are black marks on the record of social progress made in Canada since the Second World War.
I remember the changes made to Quebec's provincial public service in the early 1960s. Inequality was the norm. Women had so few rights, even within the public service, that they were forever stuck in low-paying jobs, on the fringes of power. The labour movement awakened the public conscience. Quebec was Catholic, then secular and, above all, committed to modernizing employee-employer relations. It seems odd to us to take a step backwards when society is undergoing such profound change.
Can we meddle with unions to straighten out labour relations in Canada? The answer is self-evident. However, the Conservatives' desire to change our country's basic values raises a thorny issue, that of social equality. We agreed to civilized employer-union relations, so that everyone can have access to decent working conditions.
Everyone here has witnessed the exploitation of the weakest in our society, yet the alternative being proposed here is not to study union accreditation rules but to limit access to unionization.
They should give us their statistics and their studies on how the current certification system is being abused. We are still waiting for their hasty conclusions on the place of the union movement in Canada.
As usual, we are left with only public speculation, which leads to these bills that restrict our rights. We are trapped in Conservative rhetoric. According to the Conservatives, unions are the only threats to the social balance of our communities. According to them, unions are the only cause of all of our economic troubles. This government's refusal to recognize the importance of healthy labour relations is reflected in a harsh bill that serves a political class inspired by an agenda from another era.
Instead, let us look together at how the existing certification rules work and what employees really need. Hundreds of millions of current and future unionized workers will be affected by Bill C-525. We can all agree that narrowing the prerogatives of unions is part of the Conservatives' magnanimous plan to change the very foundations of our democracy.
We wish that the government would realize, once and for all, that workers' rights and the rights of Canadians in general pose no threat to the cornerstones of our economic system. However, the potential dissolution of hundreds of union locals as a result of the adoption of Bill C-525 represents a genuine threat to Canada's socio-economic well-being.
Employees' Voting Rights Act January 28th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, this Parliament and the members here have seen a litany of legislation, introduced by government members, that would restrict fundamental freedoms in order to build a new federative pact.
Every time, we are baffled by the methods that are used in the House, that disregard any will to consult, even though we are talking about social issues.
The Conservatives are redefining labour relations using a restrictive vision of the freedom of association as recognized by the charter. Bill C-525 is yet another way to erode the civilized power relationship between employers and unions.
Over the years we have seen that the union movement, for all its good and bad, has helped workers in the public and private sectors get their rights recognized on many occasions. The history of labour relations in Canada has been enriched by the battles fought by public sector employees who paved the way for union recognition and balanced negotiations that gave meaning to the word “justice”.
The government can come up with all the arbitrary legislation and restrictive measures it likes, but, given the significance of the issues we are now dealing with, we are asking it to think about the consequences of Bill C-525 for parliamentary and public sector employees.
The mandatory voting system that will be imposed for certification will cause insurmountable difficulties for unions, in an economic climate in which the union movement is in somewhat of a precarious position.
In recent years, we have seen a high number of failed attempts at unionization in a number of sectors—
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns January 27th, 2014
With regard to Canadian Forces (CF) pensions: (a) for each of the last five years, how many people have been eligible to begin receiving a pension; (b) how many people have retired from the CF in the past year and have become eligible for a pension; (c) for the next five years, how many retirees are projected to become eligible for a pension; (d) what is the average amount of a monthly pension cheque; (e) how much money was spent on pensions for each of the last five years; (f) how much money is allotted for pensions for each of the next five years; (g) what is the process by which one applies for a pension; (h) between the last CF pay cheque and the first pension payment, how much time elapses, (i) what is the service standard for the department with regard to time lapses between the last pay cheque and the first payment, (ii) how is the service standard determined; (i) what are the current delays between the last pay cheque and first pension payment processed, broken down by province or territory; (j) what are the current delays between the last pay cheque and first pension payment processed, broken down by facility; (k) how many retirees have had to wait longer than 12 weeks for their first payment to be processed; (l) how many applications currently remain to be processed, broken down by province or territory; (m) how many applications currently remain to be processed, broken down by facility; (n) what steps are in place to mitigate any delay in processing pensions; (o) what additional procedures will be enacted to mitigate delays in processing pensions; (p) what studies have been undertaken with respect to the effects of delayed pension payment on former CF members; (q) what studies and analyses have been undertaken with respect to ensuring immediate processing and service of the pension payment; (r) with regard to the previously-mentioned studies and analyses, have any budget forecasts been prepared, and if so, (i) on what date, (ii) by whom, (iii) using what standard; (s) who is responsible for the administration of payment of pensions, (i) in what ways is the process reviewed, (ii) at what intervals is the process reviewed, (iii) by what standards is the process reviewed; (t) what is the average processing time per pension claim, broken down by province and territory; (u) what is the defined range of acceptable processing times, broken down by province and territory, (i) how is this timeline determined, (ii) by whom is this timeline determined, (iii) with what metrics is this timeline determined; (v) where is the payment of pensions processed and (i) by whom, (ii) with what qualifications for employment, (iii) how many are employed in said capacity, broken down by facility in the years 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013; (w) what consultations have taken place with the Veterans Ombudsman regarding timeliness of payment delivery; (x) what consultations have taken place with veterans groups regarding the timeliness of payment processing and delays; (y) what consultations are scheduled with veterans groups regarding the timeliness of payment processing; (z) with what individuals has the Minister of Veterans Affairs met regarding the issue of payment and processing for veterans pensions; (aa) with what individuals have officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs met regarding the issue of payment and processing for veterans pensions; (bb) what other government departments or agencies are involved with the processing of pensions and benefits and to what extent; (cc) broken down by month, how long on average have individuals waited in the last five years to receive their first pension cheque; (dd) what measures are in place to communicate delays in payment and processing of pensions to applicants; (ee) what specific statistics are tracked by the department with regard to applications for, processing of, and payment of pensions?
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?