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Track Rosane

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NDP MP for Alfred-Pellan (Québec)

Won her last election, in 2011, with 42.10% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions April 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, today I am presenting a petition signed by hundreds of people from Laval, Terrebonne, Mascouche and Longueuil. They are calling for the creation of an effective and independent legislated ombudsman mechanism for Canada's mining sector.

On that note, I would like to thank everyone who is working with Development and Peace, including the Saint-François-de-Sales parish, for their involvement in this issue.

Canada Revenue Agency April 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, today, Canadians cannot file their taxes online or access the CRA's online services because the website has been shut down in response to a security breach caused by the Heartbleed bug.

Let us remember that, two years ago, the Auditor General harshly criticized the Conservatives for their failed approach to cybersecurity.

How many Canadians have been affected and how much money has the government invested in cybersecurity per year over the past five years?

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 April 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his speech.

This bill contains dozens and hundreds of pages on various pieces of legislation. Does my colleague not find it incredible that so many laws will be affected by a budget implementation bill, laws that have absolutely nothing to do with implementing the budget? The Conservatives have already done the same thing over the past few years. Once again, they have introduced the same kind of budget implementation bill.

As a parliamentarian, does he not think that muzzling other MPs and limiting the time for debate constitutes an attack on democracy?

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 April 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. He is getting at the crux of the problem when he talks about the toxic relationships—which is an interesting word to use—or the lack of relationship between municipalities in Quebec and the federal government. This is quite evident here; the issue of social housing and the Conservative government's lack of commitment is only one of many examples.

As I mentioned earlier in my speech, the government made promises to Laval about building a large arena to serve a number of community and sports organizations in the city. The people had been waiting for that for years. The federal government promised to invest with the building Canada fund and to pay for its share of the project. Unfortunately, the Conservatives abandoned the idea. That is unbelievable and it is just one example.

As my colleague mentioned, there are infrastructure problems all across the country. Montreal has a glaring infrastructure problem, in both the inner areas and outlying suburbs. A few years ago, the de la Concorde overpass unfortunately collapsed onto highway 19 in Alfred-Pellan, killing about 10 people. Another overpass collapsed in Laval, the Boulevard du Souvenir overpass, which is a little further west in Laval. We have serious problems and investments are needed. We need the Conservative government to sit down and talk with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to come up with solutions to this problem.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 April 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I think that the lack of social housing measures is extremely important in terms of the budget and what the federal government can do. Budget 2014 does not offer anything tangible to help with housing. It does not have any objectives, timetables or specific commitments to develop a long-term social housing plan.

I am relying on what Mayor Demers said, but the Federation of Canadian Municipalities has also sounded the alarm for the Conservative government.

Funding for social housing will drop by about $1.5 billion over the next five years, as federal investments start to expire. That is in addition to the lack of a long-term plan and lack of leadership on the part of the Conservative government.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 April 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to speak out against the budget implementation bill, Bill C-31.

I am against this bill and I am going to try to state the reasons why as quickly as possible in the 10 minutes that I have to speak. Various measures in this bill affect the people of Laval and, today, I am speaking on their behalf.

First, I would like to talk about debt. My colleagues would be very surprised to know how many people write to me every month to share their concerns about our debt. Many people are concerned about the way their money is being spent at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. People know how to count. They expect politicians to spend the money that is available to the different levels of government wisely, and I understand that.

The federal debt went from $582.2 billion in 2011-12 to $627.4 billion in 2013-14 and, according to projections, it will reach $634 billion in 2014-15. What is more, there is no reason to believe that the Conservative government will achieve the surpluses it expects given how much the deficit has grown over the past few years.

I therefore believe that the members on the other side of the House should take the debt issue a bit more seriously and deal with it head-on. According to our numbers and forecasts, this is a very serious situation. Our national debt has increased significantly.

Furthermore, I am still extremely disappointed in the Conservatives' lack of commitment to community organizations and particularly the lack of funding given to these organizations across the country. I cannot mention them all because it would take me much longer than 10 minutes. I could spend a whole day listing them.

As an aside, I would like to talk about the chronic lack of funding for amateur sport. As a result of decisions made regarding the building Canada fund, the federal government was going to help fund an arena for amateur sport in Laval, but at the last minute it decided to back out of the project. We never found out exactly why. That is just one example.

In fact, other amateur sports organizations get very little funding. I am thinking, for example, of Josée Lepage, executive director of the Club de gymnastique Laval Excellence, which continues to work miracles with very few resources. The government is not there to help finance the work needed to maintain the organization's facilities, which costs $35,000. That does not even include the operating budget, which is practically non-existent.

There is another element that affects both the people of Laval and Canadians in all of our ridings. I am talking about funding for cadet corps, which help young people immensely. The young people I met in Alfred—Pellan are involved in community organizations and do volunteer work. For example, they help out at spaghetti suppers and are always there to lend a hand.

In addition, they successfully find ways to raise money for other community organizations, by packing groceries and so on. The people who work in cadet corps are very dedicated, and that includes not only the youth who often become civilian instructors, but also all the officers and civilian instructors.

Because of the current lack of funding for cadet corps services, some people basically use their salary to help pay for activities. I am thinking about Major Felix Macia, from the 2567 Dunkerque cadet corps in Laval, who uses his meagre officer's salary to pay for his cadets' activities.

This budget should have done more to address the challenges facing youth organizations. People can work miracles with very little.

The riding of Alfred-Pellan is an urban but highly agricultural riding on the island of Laval; its economy is largely based on many small and medium-sized businesses. They are a key part of the economy of the eastern part of Laval.

I was very disappointed to see the lack of action for small businesses in this budget and to realize that we will have to wait for the next budget, in the coming year, before small-business owners will see their tax rate drop. They asked for this relief years ago. Ottawa has already granted that privilege to big businesses but refused to do the same for small businesses. Under the Conservative government, the tax rate for big business dropped from 22% to 15% in order to kick-start investment. The government seems to be willing to show some flexibility with small businesses, but we need to wait for the next budget, during an election year, for that to happen. They are simply insulting people who own small and medium-sized businesses.

Where I come from, we are proud of our small and medium businesses. One that comes to mind is the Dolce Pane bakery in Saint-François, which makes cakes with dulce de leche. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. Another is Ongles Royal at the Centre Duvernay, where amazing, incredibly gentle and polite women work every day. Another is Démen-Ciel, a restaurant in Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, where an absolutely charming couple, executive chef Éric Côté and pastry chef-host Sophie Lapointe, devote themselves to serving local products every day. Au Féminin in Vimont is a clothing boutique run by Chantal Côté and her team that sells only clothes made in Quebec. These are extremely dedicated people who have small businesses with five, 10 or 20 employees. If the government wants to help the economy, it has to help our small and medium businesses.

I also wanted to talk about youth unemployment. Even though 1.3 million Canadians are unemployed, this budget contains not a single significant measure to tackle that problem. In January 2014 in Laval, the unemployment rate was 5.7%. In Quebec, it was 7.5%. This problem hits younger Canadians hardest; their unemployment rate is 2.4 times higher. Statistics Canada's comprehensive study of youth unemployment dynamics found that, in 2012, the unemployment rate among youth aged 15 to 24 was 14.3%, while it was just 6% among adults aged 25 to 54 and those over 55.

I am thinking about the young people in Saint-François who are going through a very difficult time and who are even more isolated than the other young people in Laval. They are having a hard time finding work. The young people in Auteuil and Vimont are also struggling to find work even though they are highly educated. Youth employment has never recovered since the 2008 recession. What is more, young people are twice as likely as adults to be laid off . Young workers with low seniority are at greater risk of being laid off by their employer. The sectors that are most affected are construction, manufacturing, retail sales, and hospitality and food services. This budget proposes far too little for young, unemployed Canadians across the country.

I would like to close by talking about arts and culture. In Alfred-Pellan, arts and culture are important to the community. Just look at all the agencies that work in arts and culture in Laval, such as Choeur Chanterelle du Collège Laval, La Chorale le 400, Corporation Rose-Art, Société littéraire de Laval, St-Vincent de Paul Art Gallery, Maison des arts de Laval, Galerie du Ruisseau, le Pépin d'Art, and the list goes on.

As far as culture is concerned, the budget earmarks $105 million in ongoing funding for a number of cultural funds such as the Canada arts presentation fund, the Canada book fund, and the Canada music fund. It should be noted that in all three cases, the allocated funding is not as high as the actual expenditures for those programs for 2012-13.

For its part, the Canada media fund is to end in 2014-15. There is nothing in the budget for now, which is causing some uncertainty and concern among culture stakeholders.

I just want to mention very quickly that the Mayor of Laval, Marc Demers, laments the federal government's disengagement when it comes to social housing. I totally agree with him because there are no measures for social housing. I hope to be able to address this point during questions and comments.

Again, I must say that I am opposed to this omnibus bill. The NDP will keep fighting for a fairer, greener, and more prosperous Canada.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 April 7th, 2014

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

I would like to mention that Bill C-31 is massive. The Conservatives have once again introduced an omnibus bill. What is more, the Conservatives are once again muzzling the other members and refusing to let them talk. The Conservatives have imposed closure. Unfortunately, not all members will have an opportunity to speak to this bill, which contains so many things that it is impossible to cover them all in a 10-minute speech.

I would like my colleague opposite to tell us whether they will introduce any more of these omnibus bills amending legislation that has nothing to do with the budget. Why are the Conservatives systematically refusing to discuss bills and stifling debate in the House?

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 April 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by thanking my colleague from Chambly—Borduas, who did an incredible job of presenting the concerns of the people who live in the suburbs of the south shore, including their concerns about the Champlain Bridge.

Toward the end of his presentation he mentioned the omnibus bill. Once again, Bill C-31 is a mammoth bill, with countless clauses that affect many laws.

Since he did not have enough time to talk about it, I would like to know what the member and the people of Chambly—Borduas think of the fact that we are faced with yet another omnibus bill in this House?

As well, what does he think about the fact that we are being gagged with another time allocation motion, which means that not all the members will have a chance to talk in detail about Bill C-31?

Rail Transportation April 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, in committee yesterday, the rail companies said that there are limits to safety. This kind of talk is troubling and unacceptable. The people of Lac-Mégantic deserve better. Conservative and Liberal governments have left the industry to decide everything for itself. They have allowed rail companies to operate with a single conductor and to use DOT-111 cars despite the known risks.

When will the government finally take responsibility and reject the fatalistic rhetoric being used by rail companies?

Rail Transportation April 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, a year before the Lac-Mégantic tragedy, Transport Canada gave MMA permission to have a single conductor on board, despite the known dangers. MMA provided documentation regarding how it would manage the risks involved in its plan to cut staff, but the department refuses to make those documents public. Even worse, the department is saying that it never really gave its consent and that MMA simply informed the department of its plans to go with a single conductor.

Will the Minister of Transport accept her share of responsibility for this fiasco?