Rosane Doré Lefebvre
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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
Public Safety March 6th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I sincerely hope that the minister does not think that his responsibility to protect our communities ends when offenders are released.
The circles of support and accountability program has a proven track record. It helps reduce recidivism among sex offenders and makes our communities safer.
This program is so effective that other governments have decided to use it as a model in developing their own programs.
Why did the minister decide to eliminate the program and why not simply reverse that decision immediately?
Petitions March 4th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to table this petition signed by dozens of people in the Gatineau region. The petitioners want Gatineau Park to have legal protection that will preserve it for future generations.
I feel it is important to table this petition in support of the member for Hull—Aylmer. In my riding, Alfred-Pellan, a group called Sauvons nos trois grandes îles is working to protect a region along the Rivière des Mille-Îles, and I am sure that the people of Laval and Alfred-Pellan are happy that we are also fighting to protect a park in the Gatineau Valley.
Democratic Reform February 28th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, changing the Elections Act is to change the very benchmarks of democracy. This has to be done in the most non-partisan and transparent manner, so that Canadians can continue to have faith in our electoral system.
Unfortunately, the Conservatives think that the benchmarks of this democracy have to be established behind closed doors, without consulting Canadians and the Chief Electoral Officer.
Why does the minister refuse to get out of his Ottawa bubble before changing the benchmarks of our democracy?
Democratic Reform February 28th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, experts from all areas have pointed out major problems, including with the power granted to the Chief Electoral Officer, the investigative power of Elections Canada and the vouching for voters system. The minister believes that the only democratic reform possible is the one that was created in his ivory tower in Ottawa.
When will he get out of his bubble and go to the communities to listen to what the thousands of Canadians who signed the petition have to say about this reform?
The Budget February 26th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to the Conservatives' 2014 budget for the remaining five minutes.
We now have 300,000 more unemployed workers than we had before the recession, and the Conservative government is just marking time with the budget it tabled. While thousands of families struggle to make ends meet, the Conservatives are playing petty politics and postponing the major announcements until next year, an election year, as everyone knows.
Let us start with the environment. Wetlands are very important to many aspects of our environment. They serve as a natural filtration system for water, provide exceptional wildlife habitat and offer a better quality of life for Canadians. The federal government has a responsibility to protect our wetlands. Unfortunately, the 2014 federal budget does not contain a single measure to protect wetlands. Ducks Unlimited Canada had the following to say about this unreasonable situation:
The policies and actions of the federal government, implemented through a variety of federal agencies, have significant impacts on Canada’s landscapes and the environment.
In recent federal budgets...no significant new money has been earmarked for conservation activities.
It is disturbing how unimportant the Conservatives seem to think our environment is. There is no mention of it in budget 2014, let alone of climate change. Everyone knows that the government's record on this issue is poor. It dropped the Kyoto protocol and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. It cut funding for Canada's Experimental Lakes Area and gave tax breaks to big oil companies. These are just a few examples of the government's lack of leadership on climate change adaptation.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has been sounding the alarm about this for some time now:
Canada's infrastructure deficit is significant, and the ongoing impact of climate change is expected to increase this deficit by shortening asset-replacement cycles.
Climate-change adaptation could save Canadians billions of dollars, and position our economy to provide solutions for a challenge that will soon face communities around the world.
Unfortunately, there was no mention of climate change in the Conservatives' budget.
Next I would like to talk about infrastructure. On February 13, the Conservatives finally revealed the details of the 10-year building Canada fund, which was one of the biggest promises in the 2013 budget. However, the spending laid out for the first five years of the program adds up to $5.8 billion less than infrastructure spending for 2013-14.
The Conservatives have made several announcements about the new building Canada fund since tabling budget 2013, but they have been unable to release the promised funds. Municipalities are now worried that they will have to just forget about this summer's construction season. Moreover, the delays are costing our communities thousands of jobs.
Laval was promised over $31 million for a multi-use sports and culture complex in 2009. The Conservatives made a very big deal about that announcement. Later, the government quietly withdrew from the project, sticking Quebec and the municipalities with the bill. Laval is not the only city this happened to.
The federal government is now refusing to fund sports infrastructure projects through the building Canada fund even though the municipalities are in desperate need of that money. Why were the municipalities not consulted about this?
The drastic cuts affect a great many areas. Unfortunately, I do not have enough time to speak to each of them. However, there will be an impact on seniors, the Canada job grant—which is extremely serious—and youth unemployment. There are 1.3 million unemployed Canadians, yet the budget contains no meaningful measures to address the issue. In January 2014, the unemployment rate was 5.7% in Laval. It was 7.5% in Quebec. These cuts will also have an impact on arts, culture and railway safety. In Laval, the trains travel through Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, Duvernay and Saint-François, right through our communities. That concerns people.
Since I do not have much time left and I need to cut my speech short, I would simply like to say that I am extremely disappointed to see that the Conservatives have shifted the focus of the HPS and did not increase its envelope. International co-operation is at a standstill.
To conclude, the NDP is proposing simple, practical, meaningful solutions that would provide some relief to families, such as capping ATM fees, cracking down on payday lenders, reining in credit card interest rates and bringing back the eco-energy home retrofit tax credit.
Canadians deserve better. They do not deserve a government that is just marking time, as the Conservatives are doing. In 2015, voters will have the opportunity to choose the NDP, who will fight for a fairer, greener, more prosperous country.
Ethics February 14th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, one would have to be naive to think that there is no link between the $1.5 million paid by an SNC-Lavalin associate into a secret Swiss bank account belonging to the Liberal president of the Federal Bridge Corporation and a $127 million contract that was awarded at the exact same time. Friends of the Liberal Party stuffed their pockets, profiting from the collusion and corruption that was running rampant at the time.
Will the government launch an investigation to ensure that federal money was properly awarded in this contract?
City of Laval February 12th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, this month, Laval was proud to be recognized as a senior-friendly municipality.
This recognition was the result of a long process that began in April 2010 and the combined efforts of many organizations in our wonderful region, including the Table régionale de concertation des aînés de Laval, the Laval volunteer centre and food bank, and the Laval committee on abuse and violence against seniors.
Laval now has a specific action plan that details the needs expressed by seniors and promotes social inclusion. These measures relate to public transit, community support, health services and more.
The NDP believes that seniors' quality of life is a priority. That is why we have proposed specific measures, such as a plan to improve the CPP and the QPP and lowering the age of eligibility for old age security to 65. All seniors are entitled to spend their retirement years in dignity.
Congratulations and thanks to all of the people who have made Laval into a senior-friendly municipality.
Northwest Territories Devolution Act February 11th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Compton—Stanstead for his question.
In fact, his question deals with an extremely important point. It has to do with the way the Conservatives draft their bills. The vast majority of members, if not all the members of the House, probably agree that Bill C-15 is a good bill overall.
However, the Conservatives have added sections to this bill that do not have unanimous support and that raise deep concerns in our society, particularly among the people who will be directly affected by Bill C-15. The bill addresses major issues, such as the development of our natural resources in the north and the transfer of powers.
Nonetheless, the failure to understand the regional reality and the merging of the regional boards that manage natural resources in the Northwest Territories pose a serious problem. We need to recognize our mistakes because that is how we make good laws.
That is why we are asking that those two parts be dealt with separately. For once, let us create a piece of legislation on which everyone agrees and let us act in the best interests of the people of the Northwest Territories.
Northwest Territories Devolution Act February 11th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I believe that my colleague opposite does not quite understand the NDP's position on this issue. We are only troubled by clauses 136 and 137, which we do not really agree with, and they have nothing to do with my colleague's question.
The rest of the bill is extremely worthwhile, and it will be good for first nations and the people of the Northwest Territories.
Clauses 136 and 137 concern the merger of several boards into a single land and water board. First nations are worried about having a single board.
We agree with the responsible and sustainable management of our natural resources. We also agree that the powers it does not currently enjoy must be transferred to the Northwest Territories. That is a logical step.
However, the experts, the Northwest Territories' MLAs and first nations peoples do not agree with the merger of regional boards. That is a problem for us.
Northwest Territories Devolution Act February 11th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to Bill C-15.
Before I begin, I would like to thank two people who worked extremely hard on this bill. First of all, I wish to thank our leader, the hon. member for Outremont, for his support and for listening to the Government of the Northwest Territories, the groups affected by these changes and first nations groups. The hon. member for Outremont moved an extremely important motion today concerning clauses 136 and 137 of the bill. I will come back to this point.
I would also like to extend sincere thanks to my hon. colleague from Western Arctic for the incredible job he has done. He has done an enormous amount of work, both in committee and during consultations with the affected groups. This issue is very important to the member; it affects him personally, since he represents the Northwest Territories. He was born there and knows this file very well. My colleague from Western Arctic is truly committed to representing his constituents, which he does admirably, and I thank him for his work.
The NDP believes in a fairer, greener and more prosperous world. We believe in the fair, sustainable and responsible use of our natural resources. The NDP believes that we can create better bills by consulting and listening to the public and to interest groups. We also believe that the best way to work with the first nations is to adopt a nation to nation attitude and approach—not a paternalistic approach.
When the NDP forms the government in 2015, we will honour the existing international treaties. That is why we take Bill C-15 very seriously. Today, the leader of the NDP moved motions to delete clauses 136 and 137 of Bill C-15 so that they can be examined separately from the bill.
No one here is against virtue, and almost everyone agrees that Bill C-15 generally makes sense. That is why we would like to separate clauses 136 and 137. We have some concerns with these clauses, as do the people who will be affected by Bill C-15.
We want to ensure that Bill C-15 meets the expectations of northerners, among others, and we will address some of the concerns that have been raised regarding the Conservatives' plan to include changes to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. Indeed, the problem with Bill C-15 is precisely the part regarding the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.
What are clauses 136 and 137? I want to talk about them for the benefit of the Canadians who are watching today's debate in the House. These clauses would create a single land and water regulatory board and would eliminate the regional land and water boards. All of the land and water boards would be merged to create a single board. The Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories is very concerned about this, since the existing boards work very well. I want to share something that Bob Bromley, a member of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories, said in February 2012:
The federal government’s proposal to collapse the regional land and water boards into one big board is disturbing, unnecessary and possibly unconstitutional...a single board does nothing to meet the real problem, failure of implementation.
Existing land and water boards in the Northwest Territories are working well. He is not the only person to have expressed concerns.
Later, I would like to quote others who are concerned about these provisions in Bill C-15.
Today in the House, we are wondering why we cannot debate these provisions separately. That is why our leader, the member for Outremont, moved a motion to delete them from Bill C-15, to study them thoroughly, to undertake appropriate consultations with the people who will be affected in the Northwest Territories and with first nations communities, and to adopt a nation to nation approach to these changes. We must listen to northerners' concerns about clauses 136 and 137.
The New Democrats want to delete these provisions from the bill, vote unanimously for Bill C-15, and pass the rest of the measures in Bill C-15 separately.
I also want to say that we, the NDP, strongly support devolution of other powers to the territorial governments. That is extremely important. I am from a province, not a territory, so I live in a place that has more powers than the territories. Honestly, when I found out that the Northwest Territories did not manage its own natural resources, I was a little surprised.
I would like to go into more detail about how it works with the provinces. For decades, people in the Northwest Territories have been trying to get more province-like powers. The NDP is in favour of devolution and supports the Northwest Territories in taking over some federal responsibilities in the north. The Northwest Territories knows best how its resources ought to be used, and ultimate authority should rest with it.
This is so important. It makes complete sense for the NWT to control its own natural resources.
I am pretty young, and not long ago, I completed an undergraduate degree in political science and environmental geography. During my early university years, I did an internship with Quebec's department of natural resources and wildlife in Mont-Laurier. I would like to say hi to the folks in Mont-Laurier.
That experience changed my life. I had the chance to work on different projects for an entire summer. Among other things, I worked on natural resource management, chiefly with regard to land, forests, lakes and the fishery. It was a wonderful experience and I learned a great deal. The thing that struck me the most during that experience is how respectful the people who work in natural resources are. The people I worked with had the onerous task of implementing new legislation. This meant taking a completely different management approach to forests, with regard to logging. They took this extremely seriously. I witnessed the implementation of this legislation, and I saw how the workers and the scientists worked together to fully respect the natural resources. The fact that it was the province that managed this directly changed many things in the overall approach to managing the land. I completely understand the concerns that the people of the Northwest Territories have when it comes to how their natural resources are managed, and I support them.
In closing, I would like to say that all the NDP members deeply respect the first nations' desire to manage their natural resources responsibly. It is also important to take a nation to nation approach when dealing with the first nations that will be affected by the various clauses of this bill. This is important to building a world that is more just, more green and more prosperous. Unfortunately, the Conservatives missed something in the consultation on clauses 136 and 137.
I must say that I am against an approach as paternalistic as the one used in these sections. At the same time, I fully agree with the provisions on access to natural resources and their management.