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  • His favourite word is colleague.

Liberal MP for Westmount—Ville-Marie (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 37.20% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Veterans November 27th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General tabled a scathing report about this government's disregard for our veterans and now the minister is not available to answer questions.

The minister has a well-earned reputation for fleeing the scene to avoid tough questions.

Where are his priorities? Why are the Conservatives hiding instead of being accountable for their disregard for our veterans?

Business of Supply November 27th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to commend the NDP for putting this motion forward. I think we all bear a responsibility. Certainly, in the Liberal Party, we support this wholeheartedly. I am delighted to see the government does as well.

One of the very specific things that the remaining 95 people who live with the effects of thalidomide have asked for, and this is following in the vein of my previous colleague's questions, consists of two components. One is a one-time amount of $250,000. The second is an annual payment of $100,000.

My colleague from the Conservative Party has said that this is an exceptional case. We are talking about a group of people who have suffered during their entire lives. This is a various situation. Will the government commit to the specific amounts that have been asked for by the 95 survivors: $250,000 in one shot; and $100,000 per year for the rest of their lives?

Veterans Affairs November 25th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General's report is clear. While the department put a mental health strategy in place, it has no way of knowing if it is working.

Our veterans would say that it is not working. If a strategy is put in place and we want to know whether it is working, it needs to be assessed from time to time. The government did not do that.

When will the Conservatives take our veterans' mental health seriously?

Veterans November 24th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, despite our soldiers' pleas, the Conservatives closed nine veterans' service centres this year. They preferred to spend $743 million on partisan propaganda. Although there have been 160 military suicides in the past decade, the Conservatives preferred to keep $1.1 billion that was allocated to veterans.

Today, the day before the Auditor General is set to release a report, they are making a last-minute promise to allocate $200 million over six years to help veterans with mental health issues.

Why should our veterans believe this government?

Veterans Affairs November 21st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, our veterans had every reason to be furious when the government announced that it was closing nine service centres in order to save a few million dollars.

Now we have learned that Veterans Affairs has returned over $1 billion in unspent funding to the public treasury since 2006. What is the government doing with that money? It is spending $743 million on ads to get re-elected.

If the government really wants to save money, why not make cuts to propaganda instead of veterans' service centres?

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act November 21st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her comments.

Everyone in this chamber agrees that sexual crimes are among the most horrible crimes in our society and that we definitely have to tackle this problem.

The government is constantly telling us that we also have to protect victims' rights. We all agree on that point, but I would like to ask my colleague if she discovered any measures in this bill that focus on victims' rights.

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I think we can all agree that some of the most despicable crimes in our society are committed by sex offenders.

The government speaks a great deal about victims' rights being extremely important, and we agree. I would like to ask my colleague whether she has identified within this proposed bill any explicit provisions addressing victims' rights.

Veterans Affairs November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, despite our soldiers' pleas, the government closed nine veterans' service centres to save a few million dollars.

We have learned that Veterans Affairs Canada has returned over a billion dollars in unspent money to the Treasury since the Conservatives took office in 2006. During that same period, the government spent $743 million in advertising.

Can the government explain why it places a higher priority on advertising to get re-elected than it does on taking care of our veterans?

Children's Rights November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Canada played an important role in drafting the convention and was one of the first nations to sign and ratify.

Canada has made progress in the intervening years but we still have much to do. Today, the well-being of our children is average among the world's affluent nations. UNICEF's index of child well-being shows that the health of our children is not what we would expect it to be, given the knowledge and resources we have. There is a widening inequity of opportunity among children living in urban, rural, and northern communities.

As elected members, we represent all Canadians, including children.

The government still has no focal point for children or policies and programs aimed specifically at all Canadian children, but most importantly for those at risk. We must do more as their future and the vitality of our country depend on improving their opportunities and well-being.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act November 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, my question is aimed at trying to understand something here.

My hon. colleague spoke about the need in some cases to protect informants or sources. I can understand that intuitively, and the reasons he brought forward are logical, but at the same time I would like to better understand exactly what is involved.

I am not a lawyer, but if somebody is accused of an act of terrorism, for example, I assume there is some sort of proceeding in a court. Is it as simple as the prosecution saying that it has information from a source that the accused did this or that? Is that the way it would actually happen, where the informant's identity is hidden and what is put out by the prosecution is taken as fact? Is that the way it works?