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  • Her favourite word is prostitution.

Independent MP for Ahuntsic (Québec)

Won her last election, in 2011, with 31.80% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Air Transportation April 29th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Aéroports de Montréal, ADM, manages facilities that are of strategic importance to the economic development of the greater Montreal area. ADM manages billions of dollars' worth of contracts in a given five-year period. Security management is not supervised the same way there as it is in other sensitive facilities belonging to and controlled by the Canadian government.

To ensure transparent, accountable and secure management with a high level of integrity, will the government subject ADM to a review by the Auditor General?

Citizenship and Immigration April 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point something out to my colleague. He may have missed it and I can understand that.

During the 2006 Israeli-Lebanese conflict, the Canadian government—the same one that is in power today—ensured that Canadian children—not Lebanese, but Canadian children—could return to Canada with both their parents, even if the parents were not Canadian. We had the same program for Haiti.

We do not have this program for Syria. Why? I identified 15 children—there are surely more than that—who cannot return to Canada at this time because one or both of their parents are not Canadians. Why this double standard?

With regard to refugees, the former immigration minister announced the arrival of 1,300 refugees in 2013. How many of these 1,300 have come to Canada to date? There are perhaps a dozen, one hundred, or not even that. What is happening? The refugee camps are overflowing. There are one million refugees in Lebanon, which has a population of 4.3 million.

What are we waiting for to do our part and what is the Canadian government waiting for to do its part in this terrible humanitarian crisis?

Citizenship and Immigration April 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, during the humanitarian crisis associated with the Israeli-Lebanese conflict in the summer of 2006, and following the earthquake in Haiti in 2009, our country allowed Canadian children to return accompanied by both their parents, even if they were not Canadian.

That is currently not the case for Canadian children in Syria, which has been at war since 2011. Why this double standard?

The only concession the government is making in theory—again, in theory—is that these children can be accompanied by one non-Canadian parent. Families are being separated.

Out of the 14 cases of Canadian children that I identified in Syria, only one family agreed to make such an application and to live with the separation imposed by the government. Even in that case, the mother's visa was denied. That is why I say “in theory” because in fact, the Conservative government is doing nothing for these Canadian children stuck in Syria.

The question is: what is the situation in Syria? It is a terrible humanitarian crisis. On January 10, 2014, the United Nations announced that it would no longer update the death toll, which it estimated had gone well beyond 100,000. In April 2014, the death toll is estimated at more than 150,000, according to Le Monde. The situation for the children is catastrophic and despicable. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of orphans.

On March 13, 2014, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict said that the number of children affected by conflict had doubled in one year and that Syria has become one of the most dangerous places on earth for children. Three million Syrian children are being deprived of an education.

In March 2014, the United Nations estimated that 9 million Syrians had left their homes because of the violence and that 2.5 million of them had taken refuge in neighbouring countries. Half of them are children.

Lebanon, which has a population of 4.8 million, has reportedly taken in a million refugees. Turkey and Jordan have reportedly taken in nearly 600,000 refugees each. Iraq has reportedly taken in nearly 220,000 refugees and Egypt just over 133,000.

During the summer of 2013, the government announced that it wanted to welcome 1,300 refugees here in Canada by the end of 2014 but that only 200 of those would be resettled by the government. The others would be the responsibility of individuals.

While the demand for asylum increased by 28% throughout the world in 2013, Canada became known for reducing the number of asylum seekers it accepted by nearly 50%. That is appalling.

We are all members of the same big human family, and we should be sharing the burden of others' suffering. Like Canadian children, Syrian children are our children. We need to open our hearts and oppose the violence that these children are experiencing.

Unfortunately, what I am seeing today is that this government lacks compassion and humanity when it comes to this unthinkable situation. I find that extremely sad.

Robotics Competitions April 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Canada has been enriched economically, culturally and socially by the contributions of citizens from all walks of life.

Today I would like to acknowledge the presence of representatives and members of Quebec's Canadian-Lebanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ottawa's Canadian-Lebanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Lebanese association of Montreal taxi workers.

I am also proud to highlight the achievement of a group of grade five students from Saint-Gérard school who recently won the Robotique FIRST Québec tournament. The school, whose catchment area extends into my riding, will be one of two Canadian teams participating in the FLL robotics world festival in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 23 and 24.

Congratulations, kids, we are proud of you.

Foreign Affairs March 31st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the primarily Armenian-inhabited village of Kessab in Syria was recently attacked by armed men, including possible jihadists from the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front, who allegedly passed through the Turkish border.

This is similar to what happened in the Christian village of Maaloula. Another minority group has become a victim of this dirty war.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs confirm this information and call on Turkey to take the action necessary to prevent the incursion of armed gangs that are terrorizing civilians?

Status of Women March 24th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, prostitution is a system of exploitation and a form of violence against women and children.

Does the government intend to propose a new legislative framework for prostitution by making it officially illegal and criminalizing the purchase of sexual services rather than prostitutes? Above all, will it also endorse the establishment of support programs for those people across the country?

Citizenship and Immigration March 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, during the 2006 crisis in Lebanon and after the 2009 earthquake in Haiti, the government issued guidelines allowing non-Canadian parents to accompany their Canadian minor children to Canada. Again last week, two Canadian children—Gabriel, 3 and Laya, 4—were unable to come to Canada because their Syrian mother was denied a visa. The only reasons provided were the war in Syria and the possibility that they may not be able to return home. I should add that this file was followed by the minister's office.

Why is there still no special guideline for Syria?

International Women's Day March 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, March 8 will not be a day of celebration for all women in Quebec.

The Pauline Marois government has decided to make an election issue out of a charter that will cost women their jobs if they choose to wear a head scarf, even though one of the gains of the women's movement has been greater access to the labour market.

Until that shameful partisan bill is repudiated once and for all, let us think about all the women who suffer because they have chosen to wear a head scarf. Let us affirm the right to express our diversity. We are all Quebeckers and Canadians, without exception.

Happy International Women's Day to women everywhere.

Citizenship and Immigration February 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, during the 2006 crisis in Lebanon and after the 2009 earthquake in Haiti, the government issued guidelines allowing non-Canadian parents to accompany their Canadian minor children to Canada. Again last week, two Canadian children—Gabriel, 3 and Laya, 4—were unable to come to Canada because their Syrian mother was denied a visa. The only reasons provided were the war in Syria and the possibility that they may not be able to return home. I should add that this file was followed by the minister's office.

What has happened to the government since 2006? Why is it now asking a father and mother to abandon their children?

Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act February 27th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend my colleague on her speech.

I am wondering if she shares my concern. It seems to me that there is an underlying philosophy or vision of citizenship to this bill that creates two categories of Canadians. Earlier, the minister spoke about terrorism. What do we do with a young person who is born in Quebec—who is not of French-Canadian or English-Canadian heritage but may be of Italian heritage, for example—who decides to get involved with a terrorist group? In comparison, what do we do with another young person who was not born in Canada—who arrived from Morocco, for example—who also has Canadian citizenship and joins a terrorist group? What do we do with them?

What concerns me the most is that in the citizenship philosophy put forward by the minister—with whom I have shared many experiences—there are good Canadians and bad Canadians, real citizens and fake citizens. For example, the minister would deny a Canadian child who was born in Quebec entry into Quebec or Canada if one of the child's parents is not Canadian. Children are dying in Syria because the minister seems to think that the parents are coming here just to give birth. It is clear that the minister feels there are different types of Canadians.

I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on that.