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Independent MP for Ahuntsic (Québec)
Won her last election, in 2011, with 31.80% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Public Safety November 19th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I am rising during this adjournment debate to talk about a question I asked the Minister of Public Safety regarding the violent radicalization of young Canadians to Islam and regarding what he could do in terms of prevention. I told him that a specific budget was needed to address this phenomenon, which is becoming increasingly common in our society.
According to a very recent 2014 report from the Department of Public Safety, the government knew that there were 130 individuals with Canadian connections who were abroad and who were suspected of terrorism-related activities. Syria is unfortunately the main destination of extremist travellers, as they are called. The report estimated that there were more than 6,000 of these people in Syria, including nearly 30 individuals who were apparently from Canada. Those are conservative figures. These individuals can also be found in Somalia, Algeria and, particularly, in Iraq. The government apparently knew that about 93 people had returned to Canada after travelling abroad for various terrorism-related reasons. This situation is very worrisome.
The government introduced a bill about terrorism. We have also seen government policies and bills on dual citizenship. I would like to talk about a young person whose mother I have been speaking to. I have had a number of conversations with her, and I will likely have more. This mother, a good person, a Canadian, had a son named Damian Clairmont, 22, who was born in Nova Scotia into a francophone Catholic family of Acadian heritage. His family moved to Calgary when he was seven. He had anxiety and identity problems and converted to Islam. At the beginning, everything was normal. He was very comfortable in the faith. Then he became radicalized. He went to Syria and was reportedly killed while fighting in Aleppo. This young man is an example, a tragedy. We are seeing this more and more. For example, there are the Gordon brothers and many other young people. What is tragic is that the bills being introduced will not do anything to change the situation. Damian Clairmont is Acadian. He does not even have dual citizenship. This kind of bill will not change his mother's life. What victims want, what the families of these young people want, are prevention programs. This woman is fighting for programs that will help other families and other young people. That is what I am asking of the government: a program with a budget so that we can work on prevention with families and young people.
Rail Transportation October 29th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, today the Minister of Transport announced new safety measures for rail transportation. There was nothing about creating a minimum distance between railways and the construction of new buildings.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities recognizes the problem and made recommendations in 2013, but it does not have the authority to establish mandatory standards.
What is the government waiting for to take action and to establish a standard for a minimum distance between the construction of new buildings and railway tracks in Canada?
Health October 24th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, more and more Canadians are concerned about radio frequency emissions. The fact that Canada, like the United States, has the lowest safety standards of the industrialized countries is worrisome.
Why does the government not follow Switzerland's example and adopt stricter radio frequency standards just to be on the safe side?
Public Safety October 24th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Safety claimed in the House that the RCMP had hundreds—yes, hundreds—of programs to prevent violent radicalization.
In fact, there are programs to prevent people from joining street gangs, but not to prevent violent radicalization.
Can the government commit to creating and providing a budget for programs to prevent violent radicalization, which will make it possible to take appropriate action when young people are flagged?
Youth Prevention October 23rd, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the recent attacks on soldiers and the attack on Parliament yesterday raise many questions.
Investigations are under way, of course. However, we already know that the perpetrators were known to the authorities. Their passports had even been taken away to prevent them from fighting abroad with jihadist groups.
While our intelligence agencies and our police forces are equipped to deal with well-organized terrorist groups, they cannot deal with this kind of terrorism alone. Evil is striking our country and the western world: youths with no direction who are being brainwashed by jihadist propaganda every day. This kind of terrorism attacks the conscience of vulnerable young people.
We must therefore put in place prevention programs, with specific budgets, that address the violent radicalization of young people and make it possible to intervene when tips on those young people are received.
Ministerial Statements October 23rd, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking all my colleagues for giving me the opportunity to speak for a few minutes.
One may not reach the dawn save by the path of the night. Those are the words of poet Kahlil Gibran. Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo were murdered, and let us not forget that a third soldier was wounded. They embody one of our institutions dedicated to defending our freedom and democracy. Our thoughts are with their families. They will not be forgotten.
Our eternal gratitude also goes out to the women and men who kept everyone in the House of Commons safe. A man tasked with providing that security told me one day that his role was to protect us all even at the risk of his own life. Yesterday, Mr. Vickers, you and your team were true to your word. Thank you.
Evil is striking our country and its vulnerable youth, whose minds are being poisoned daily by jihadist ideologues who blithely prey on our young people on the Internet. This type of terrorism assails the conscience of vulnerable youth that have lost their way. We must combat this with love and prevention and by defending the right to freedom, democracy, and individual rights. We must not lose our way and attack individual freedoms out of fear and turning inward.
Today, I see that we can rise above our challenges when we want to. Let us all work together with this same solidarity and love that I am feeling in the House today. Let us work together to help these young people resist the pull of these groups, to help our youth and our country.
Military Contribution Against ISIL October 7th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, as my colleague knows—it is no secret—Canadians have reportedly gone abroad to join the jihadists. This is outlined in the report from the Department of Public Safety. Apparently, there are even some Canadians who have come back and are like sleeper cells.
I asked the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness whether there were specific programs, with specific budgets, to prevent this and limit violent radicalization of young people. He was not able to respond.
Could my colleague tell me whether any such programs exist, with their own budgets, to prevent violent radicalization here in Canada?
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 capacity...to 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?