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Track Maria

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Crucial Fact

  • 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

Military Contribution Against ISIL October 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like my colleague to clarify one thing for me. I am not sure that I understood correctly, and she could perhaps even reassure me. Does the NDP consider the al-Nusra Front to be a terrorist organization? I did not quite understand what she said.

In closing, what I find very frustrating about this situation is that with this whole humanitarian disaster, both in Syria and in Iraq, I have actual files in my riding concerning Canadian children currently in Syria. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is refusing to issue visas to some of the relatives, the mother, father and younger brother, who are not Canadians, to allow these families to come to Canada. That is a key issue in my riding. I have been trying to work with this minister for almost a year, and nothing has happened so far. The children are Canadian and are still in Syria.

Public Safety October 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the 2014 Public Report on the Terrorist Threat to Canada states the following:

Working with communities, the Government is contributing to efforts to build prevention impede the radicalization-to-violence process.

Can the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness stop with the rhetoric and tell us whether there is actually a radicalization-to-violence prevention program—such as the street gang prevention program—that includes a budget?

Rail Transportation September 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, in May 2013, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities published a document that recommended a minimum distance between main railway lines and new construction. However, regulations are still not standardized across the country.

When will the government establish a minimum distance between the construction of any new building and railway lines in Canada?

Burundi September 16th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to express the legitimate concerns of the people of my riding who are of Burundian origin.

Burundi's history has unfortunately been marked by several inter-ethnic massacres. A peace process, which was supported by Canada, led to the Arusha agreements in 2000 and a political transition in 2005.

In that context, in 2014, the Parliament of Burundi passed legislation to create a truth and reconciliation commission. However, some people have concerns about the process for appointing commissioners and the possible absence of international participants and human right observers.

I would also like to invite the Canadian government to provide Burundi with some expertise and support in the creation of that commission, so that it may lead to lasting peace.

The children of Burundi deserve a better future.

Public Safety September 15th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, in its most recent 2014 report, CSIS indicated that Canadians are going abroad to join jihadist groups, including Daech, and commit terrorist acts, mainly in Iraq and Syria. The possible return of these individuals poses an obvious threat to Canada's national security.

What does the government intend to do put an end to this new scourge that could one day come back to haunt us?

Ahuntsic Community Organization June 17th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the organization we now know as the Union des familles d'Ahuntsic was founded in 1963. Like many community institutions in Quebec, the Union des familles d'Ahuntsic was originally established by a church, in this case, the Saint-André-Apôtre parish. In the 1970s, Loisir Saint-André-Apôtre became the Union des familles d'Ahuntsic.

I want to commend the women and men who have helped make high-quality leisure activities accessible to everyone: women, men, teens and children.

Day camps, sports, dance, wood carving, stained glass, Japanese embroidery, music and singing are just some of the activities offered at the UFA. Over the years, many residents of Ahuntsic have developed their skills in this respectful and accepting environment.

On behalf of my constituents, I want to thank the people at the Union des familles d'Ahuntsic and wish them well in the future.

Justice June 16th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, people are saying that Bill C-36, as it stands, will not make prostitution illegal. This is an important aspect because the legal nature of prostitution was a fundamental element that, for the Supreme Court justices, justified their ruling in the Bedford case.

Will the Minister of Justice clearly state in Bill C-36 that prostitution is illegal in Canada?

Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act June 12th, 2014

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

I would invite her to look at most of the studies that have been done in Europe. We are incredibly lucky that, over there, people have already tried legalization and the so-called abolitionist Swedish system. The observation has been that, in the legalization system, there is a marked increase in prostitution, both in terms of the number of prostitutes and in terms of human trafficking. As for reducing the number of prostitutes, as the hon. member suggested, we can see that, in a system like Sweden's, there is a marked decrease in the number of prostitutes.

Where I tend to agree with my colleague is that criminalizing prostitutes in a public place, even by summary conviction, is problematic. I would like to make a slight clarification. Criminalization by summary conviction may involve a criminal record, but not automatically so. I wanted to clarify that. However, apart from that small element, that one subsection of the bill, I feel that we should all be working together in the same direction, but not towards legalization, because the legalization of prostitution is the legalization of violence against women.

Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act June 12th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I just want to clarify a few things. First, nowhere in this bill did I see anything about the criminalization of prostitutes who are minors. Johns and pimps who exploit minors or adult men or women are criminalized, but prostitutes who are minors are not criminalized. I want to talk about this, but I have not seen it anywhere in here.

The bill talks about criminalization by summary conviction—not indictment—of prostitutes soliciting in public places in general, not just public places where minors might be present.

I think this is the most tenuous part of the bill because if immunity is being offered, it should apply to solicitation in public places as well. However, given that this would be addressed by summary conviction, not indictment, these people will not end up with a criminal record.

Is this a way to bring them into the health care system? That is my question.

Citizenship and Immigration June 12th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, a few days ago, I personally witnessed the magnitude of the humanitarian tragedy caused by the presence of more than one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon. In northern Lebanon, I saw improvised camps and many children by the roadside, in the suffocating heat and dust, selling the little they have in order to survive.

In July 2013, Canada promised to accept 1,300 Syrian refugees.

As of today, what is the exact number of Syrian refugees who have arrived in Canada?