Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was justice.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Liberal MP for Ahuntsic (Québec)

Lost her last election, in 2008, with 39% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Income Tax Act May 31st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I think I mentioned in my remarks that a lot of it is under provincial jurisdiction. I think I was clear in my remarks, and I would like to reassure the member, as I want to reassure the members in this House.

We have to ensure that families across the country have access to high quality early childhood learning and child care programs that can help them put their children on the path to success later at school and in life.

That is why quality and development are two of the leading principles of the initiative.

We are working together with our provincial and territorial colleagues. The government is very confident that it can ensure its investments support high quality early learning and child care programs, that these services meet the needs of the children and their families and that there is a partnership between our provincial and territorial colleagues and the federal government.

Income Tax Act May 31st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I welcome this opportunity to elaborate on an important issue raised by my hon. colleague, the member for Sault Ste. Marie, concerning agreements in principle reached with provinces and territories for early learning and child care.

Just recently, the Minister of Social Development signed agreements in principle with his counterparts in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, as the hon. member for Sault Ste. Marie mentioned, as well as Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia, to support the development of quality early learning and child care in these provinces.

These agreements represent a clear commitment on the part of governments to build something significant, to build a system of early learning and child care in each province that children and their families can benefit from. We are using these agreements as models and we are hopeful that we can reach agreements with all provinces and territories in the days and weeks ahead.

As my colleague can see, every agreement in principle reflects our common commitment to a national vision and national principles and objectives for early childhood learning and child care. The agreements also incorporate the priorities and specific objectives of each province and territory. This will allow them to design and deliver programs and services that best respond to the needs and circumstances of the children, an area that comes under their jurisdiction.

Manitoba and Saskatchewan have longstanding policies of promoting non-profit child care and this is reflected in their agreements in principle, but provincial and territorial governments all have different systems and different priorities. As my hon. colleague knows, many of them rely on a mix of profit and non-profit regulated services. Under the agreements in principle we are putting in place, they will retain the flexibility to invest as they see fit to enhance early learning and child care in their jurisdictions.

However, if I may step back for a moment, I believe it is important that I quickly review what is meant by non-profit and profit child care in order to clarify this issue.

Non-profit early learning and child care services are incorporated under provincial or territorial legislation. Like other organizations in the social economy, they either generate no surplus or invest any surplus funds back into the program. Public child care services operated by municipal or provincial governments, hospitals or educational institutions are generally considered to be part of the non-profit sector.

For profit early learning and child care services can include child care centres and regulated home child care agencies. Child care services can be operated by an individual, a partnership or a corporation incorporated under provincial or territorial legislation.

As I have mentioned, right now Canada's mix of supports and services for early learning and child care includes both non-profit and for profit.

The non-profit sector made up 77% of all child care places in Canada in 2001, the last year for which national data are available. The highest proportion of for profit child care services was in Newfoundland with 64% and Alberta with 56%.

Government funding policies on for profit child care services vary from one province and territory to the next. Some provinces, such as Manitoba and Saskatchewan, limit funding to the non-profit sector and the percentage of child care spots in the for profit sector is very low at 8% and 1% respectively.

Other provinces, such as Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta also fund both sectors and a relatively high proportion of child care places is provided by the for profit sectors.

Working together with our provincial and territorial partners, the government is confident that we can ensure its investments provide high quality--and those are the key words--early learning and child care programs and services that meet the needs of children and their families across Canada.

Question No. 141 May 20th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns May 20th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, if Questions Nos. 129 and 141 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Government Response to Petitions May 20th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 100 petitions.

Privilege May 20th, 2005

I think I have risen in the House many times, Mr. Speaker. I believe that you will, after checking the blues, see the comments made by the hon. member for Portage—Lisgar. As the Standing Orders in the House say, the language used was totally unparliamentary to the point of doing more of the same we have seen before in the House.

Canadians expect better of us. We have to live to a higher order than that which is in the public venue.

I bring that to your attention again, Mr. Speaker, and I would ask you to ask the hon. member from Portage--Lisgar to withdraw his comments. They were totally unparliamentary.

Social Development May 20th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, they do not want to listen, but it does not matter. Negotiations are continuing. We will continue to negotiate, and we will achieve the same results that we achieved with the other five provinces. We will sign an agreement.

Social Development May 20th, 2005

I am very pleased to announce that we have already signed agreements with five provinces. These are very good agreements in principle, and we are—

Pontian Greek Genocide May 20th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, May 19 is the date designated by the Greek Parliament and by Canadians of Greek origin as the Pontian Greek genocide remembrance day.

“Pontus” means sea in Greek and it is located in the southeastern coastal region of the Black Sea. Its connection with Hellenism stretches back to prehistoric times, to legends of Jason and the Argonauts and of Hercules, but for the Greeks living in Pontus, it all ended in tragedy in 1922. Over 350,000 were killed at the hands of the Ottomans.

I have always spoken up against these types of atrocities, these crimes against humanity, and I have fought for the recognition of genocides, including that of the Armenian genocide, on which I rose a month ago to draw attention to the first anniversary of the House's recognition of it. I will continue to speak up until the international community also recognizes the genocide of the Greeks of Pontus.

I close with the 1997 quote of Richard Beeston, diplomatic editor of the U.K. Times : “The efforts may be modest, but the importance of keeping the memory of the victims alive is more than simply an argument over history”. Member spoke in Greek and provided the following translation: ]

Long live their memory.

We will never forget.

Budget Implementation Act, 2005 May 18th, 2005

Madam Speaker, I agree wholeheartedly with what the hon. member has said. In fact, there are economic rewards in terms of setting up this system. I used the example of Quebec. In Quebec a lot of small enterprises are day care centres and employ teachers or other child care workers within that system. I have two children who were in that system and they benefited enormously in terms of what they learned.

As I said, and I want to underline this, we are creating a system, not what the hon. members of Her Majesty's loyal opposition are suggesting, which is just giving tax breaks. I thank the hon. member for putting that on the record too.