Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was heritage.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Liberal MP for Laval East (Québec)

Lost her last election, in 2004, with 40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions March 31st, 2004

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I have the honour to present to the House a petition asking the government for regulations banning children's programs that show violence as a normal means of conflict resolution and prohibiting the broadcasting of extremely violent films until after 10 p.m.

RAI International March 29th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, today, I would like to reaffirm my support for the Italian-Canadian communities of Laval East and of other regions of Canada that are asking to have access to RAI International, the Italian digital television broadcasting network.

On Tuesday, along with other Liberal members, I met officials from RAI International to discuss the application submitted on September 15, 2003 to the CRTC.

RAI International is accessible in 215 countries in the world, but not here in Canada. The Italian-Canadian community is getting impatient. It has already presented a petition signed by over 106,000 people and over 330 letters to the CRTC, urging the commission to approve the application to add RAI International to the list of eligible services.

I strongly support this application for RAI International in Canada, because I believe that the Italian-Canadian community in Quebec and Canada should enjoy the same rights as other Italian communities around the world.

Cultural Development February 19th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, for 25 years now, the aim of Music Arsenal has been to encourage the love of music in young people through concerts designed just for them.

Over the years, Music Arsenal has also played an important role as a cultural agency for young people by initiating them to the joy of cultural discovery.

On Tuesday, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announced $30,000 in financial support for this organization, so it can continue its work with young people.

I am extremely proud to mention this financial support, granted by the Department of Canadian Heritage through its Canadian Arts and Heritage Sustainability Program.

This example is a perfect illustration of our government's commitment to cultural development and access to culture and the arts by Canadians.

National Teachers Week February 6th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw my colleagues' attention to the fact that this is National Teachers Week.

All too often, Canada's teachers work in the shadows.

Yet we entrust them with one of the most fundamental tasks in our society: preparing our young people to take responsibility for their own futures, and consequently for the future of this country.

Theirs is no easy task. As well as imparting the knowledge students require to become fully participating members of society, teachers are there to share the joys and sorrows of each and every one of their charges.

As such, they are invaluable allies for all Canadian parents, and those parents are the first to recognize just what a wonderful contribution they make.

On behalf of us all, I salute and thank all of this country's teachers.

Employment Insurance November 7th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was a big day for the Liberal Party and this government's administration.

Finally the truth comes out. The Superior Court of Quebec made it clear to Bloc Quebecois MPs that they are exaggerating when they accuse the Liberal government of mismanaging the employment insurance fund.

I will quote from the ruling:

—in light of the evidence presented, the court is unable to conclude that the federal government used or appropriated the surplus accumulated pursuant to the legislation illegally. This surplus is still posted to the employment insurance account.

What a victory.

Will the members of the Bloc Quebecois finally understand that the people of Quebec are not stupid and that one day they will be unmasked? This only shows that truth always triumphs.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation October 28th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform this House that this morning, CBC officials appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. They answered a barrage of questions, but their answers confirm that they are fully capable of fulfilling their national broadcaster mandate with the $1 billion the government gives them each year.

Arts and Culture October 28th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

I can tell him that he is not the only one concerned about the dissatisfaction of the public in English-speaking Canada with respect to English-language Canadian drama. The CRTC is also concerned and has just issued a public notice to gather comments from Canadians. Those who have opinions and observations to offer have until November 14 to do so.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite all the members of this House to respond to the CRTC's request.

Telecommunications October 27th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce in this House that, with respect to the standing committee's report on the situation of broadcasting, which was tabled last summer, the department will be able to provide my hon. colleague with an answer within a few days.

Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act October 22nd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, we are here tonight to discuss Bill S-7, an act to protect heritage lighthouses. This bill gives suggestions on the best way to identify them. It also suggests holding a public consultation before giving authorization to remove, alter, destroy, sell, assign, transfer or otherwise dispose of a heritage lighthouse.This would ensure that the designated heritage lighthouses would be well maintained.

More specifically, Bill S-7 suggests that heritage lighthouses be designated by the governor in council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Canadian Heritage. The bill also provides for public petitions to begin the designation process. If requested to do so by the Minister, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada would be responsible for considering all lighthouses and making a recommendation. If the board is involved, it will have to hold public hearings.

Bill S-7 also establishes an objection system. A person may object to the proposed alteration or destruction of a lighthouse. In such a case, the Minister of Canadian Heritage has to decide, in consultation with the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, to approve the proposal or not.

Even if the government of Canada supports the principles underlying Bill S-7, we are still concerned that this bill only deals with only one type of historic buildings, heritage lighthouses. As the members are no doubt aware, of all the federal historic sites, only national historic sites managed by the Parks Canada Agency are protected by the legislation. All historic sites administered by other federal departments or organizations are, at best, protected by a policy.

Apart from shipwrecks that are covered by the Canada Shipping Act, there is at present no federal protection for the archeological resources that can be found on federal properties, along our long coastlines or on the ocean bottom.

The Historic Places Initiativewas launched in 2001 as an overall strategy to seek to involve the public, private and volunteer sectors in the conservation of our man-made heritage. Since then, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Parks Canada Agency have worked with their provincial and territorial partners to create three basic tools to support the Historic Places Initiative: first, a Canadian Register of Historic Places; second, Conservation Standards and Guidelines, and third, a certification process to assess the eligibility of the expenditures and proposals under the contribution program. That program was announced in February 2003 to encourage private investment in the restoration of historic places.

In the fall of 2002, the Minister of Canadian Heritage released a working document entitled “Towards a New ActProtecting Canada's Historic Places”. It included proposals for legislation to provide the Government of Canada with the tools needed to address gaps in legislation in order to protect federal heritage and fulfill its obligations for stewardship of historic places owned by the Government of Canada.

The proposed legislation on historic places, as set out in the consultation paper, would offer legal protection for all historic places on federal lands and protection for archaeological resources on or under federal lands or waters. It would also formally recognize the Canadian Register of Historic Places and commit the Government of Canada to the agreed-upon Conservation Standards and Guidelines.

The proposed legislation would provide protection for federal buildings with heritage value and national historic sites.

The federal government departments would be requiredto ensure that their “classified” buildings are appropriately maintained and protectedagainst harmful or destructive actions.

Maintenance and any proposed change oraddition to a “classified” building would have to be carried out in accordance withthe new conservation standards and guidelines. Twenty-eight lighthouses would be covered by these two designations.

If a “classified” building were ever sold or leased out by the Government of Canada,the consultation document proposes that specific legal instruments be put in place to ensure that the building wouldcontinue to receive the same high level of conservation protection.

For “recognized” buildings, the proposed legislation wouldencourage the use of the standards and guidelines, and require departments,agencies and crown corporations to take into account the heritage status of thebuilding. Ninety-nine lighthouses would be in this category.

The proposed legislation would also ensure that no demolition of any part of national historic sites or “classified” federal heritagebuildings could take place without the consent of Parliament.

The consultation document proposes that allfederal departments, crown corporations and agencies be required to givepriority consideration to using these sites and buildings before opting for new construction or leases.

The conservation of Canada's historic places requires enormous effort by a vastarray of Canadians. The government is determined to engage Canadians inensuring that our country makes the most of the Historic Places Initiative launched in 2001.

The principles behind Bill S-7 deserve our warm applause. In many ways they match the principles of the 2001 initiative and the historic sites legislation proposed in 2002.

Still, the government believes that an approach focusing more on heritage protection is required, an approach that imposes a high degree of rigour in determining which properties should be listed.

The government also believes that the responsibility for protecting the heritage value of these federal properties should be shared by the organizations that take responsibility for the management of real property.

The most important point is that Bill S-7 adopts a fragmentary approach, since it addresses only one type of historic structure, heritage lighthouses. That is unfortunate. We believe that protection should be extended to all federal buildings with a heritage designation.

For these reasons, although the government supports the overall objectives of Bill S-7, it cannot support the bill as introduced without major amendments to allow to meet the objectives effectively. By doing so, the government wants to ensure that the appropriate resources have been identified to allow it to fulfill its obligations under the law.

Canada's historic places are the soul and spirit of this country. These places are evidence of the life and history of those who built Canada. The famous Haida totems, our Parliament Buildings, Africville in Nova Scotia, the historic district in Quebec City, the Cabot Tower in Newfoundland and Labrador, all these historic places are as important to our Canadian identity as the maple leaf, the beaver and the Rockies.

Historic places may be buildings, battlefields, lighthouses, shipwrecks, parks, archeological sites, cultural landscapes, bridges, houses, cemeteries, railway stations, historic districts, ruins, wonders of engineering, schools, canals, courthouses, theatres and marketplaces. They may be large, they may be small.

There may be only fragments left or they may have survived intact.

Historic places provide tangible benefits on the economic, environmental, social and cultural level. They contribute to Canada's social cohesion.

Buildings that have a heritage value enhance the warmth of urban centres. They may be a source of tourist dollars. When visitors come to see them, they spend money in the communities they go through.

Thus, historic places really contribute to job creation, community pride and national well-being in modern Canada.

Historic places connect us to our past, to our future and to one another. Unfortunately—

Nicole Demers October 20th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, it is my great pleasure to announce in this House the honour that was bestowed this morning upon a citizen of Laval, Nicole Demers. She and five other Canadians received the 2003 Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case.

This award honours women who contribute greatly to the advancement of equality for girls and women and, in doing so, enrich their communities.

Everyone in Laval knows Nicole Demers. I would say that Nicole is a genuine person and that this award suits her to a tee. She is an outstanding listener and has devoted her entire life to enhancing the well-being of those around her.

She is the eldest of six children and wanted to become a missionary. This speaks volumes about the compassion of this woman, who currently runs the Fondation Vivre Chez Soi, which provides assistance to seniors and people with decreasing independence.

On behalf of myself and everyone in Laval, I want to congratulate Nicole and let her know how proud we are that she is one of us and proud of the honour which, thanks to her, reflects on Laval and all of Quebec.