Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was strategy.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Liberal MP for Saint-Lambert (Québec)

Lost her last election, in 2004, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Parkinson's Awareness Month April 11th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform hon. members and all the people of Canada that April is Parkinson's Awareness Month.

Parkinson's is a devastating disease characterized by tremors, rigidity and loss of balance. At the present time, approximately 100,000 people in Canada are affected by Parkinson's. More than half are diagnosed before retirement age.

The Parkinson's Foundation raises funds for research and treatment, and ultimately the discovery of a cure. Volunteers across the country provide training, counselling and workshops for patients, natural caregivers and health care providers.

Let us all wish the Canadian Parkinson's Foundation and its many volunteers a highly successful Parkinson's Awareness Month.

Cancer Awareness Month April 10th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, every year spring brings with it cancer awareness month. This is the subject of my statement.

As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said so well, “In life there are no solutions, there are only active forces; they must be created and the solutions will follow”.

The community of Rimouski has understood this and created a permanent fund in memory of Luc Beaupré, who died in February 2002 at the age of 31, following a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Mr. Beaupré, a well-respected police officer from the community, will live on in the memories of the people of Rimouski thanks to the creation of this fund. The fund will raise money for the Association du cancer de l'Est, which helps people living with this terrible disease.

I invite my colleagues to join with me in sending those involved our best wishes for success in this excellent initiative.

Epilepsy Awareness Month March 31st, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House and the people of Canada that March is Epilepsy Awareness Month. Epilepsy is a serious disease of the brain affecting more than 300,000 Canadians. Its symptoms include seizures, uncontrollable trembling, convulsions and confusion.

Many persons suffering from epilepsy are hesitant to admit that they have this disease and even to seek treatment. The goal of Epilepsy Canada is to raise public awareness about this disease and remove the stigma that has been attached to it.

I strongly encourage Canadians to make an effort to learn more about this disease. Together, along with medical research, we can improve the quality of life of all who suffer from this disease in this great land.

I congratulate Epilepsy Canada for its remarkable work and offer my best wishes for its success in the future.

International Day for the Elimination of Racism March 20th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today to remind everyone that Canada was among the first countries to support the United Nations declaration in 1966, which proclaimed March 21 International Day for the Elimination of Racism.

The campaign to eliminate racism is carried out through conferences, the arts, culture, music, literature and movies. These media are used to describe, expose and denounce racism.

Young people are at the heart of the annual campaign on March 21. They have the energy, commitment and creativity needed to advance the fight against racism. They are the voice of the present and the future and are among those most exposed to racism in their schools, on the street, in small towns and big cities across the country.

The March 21 campaign encourages young people to look beyond race and religion and to embrace diversity.

The Budget March 17th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, my colleague opposite is referring to a situation that may be different from that of the homeless. She is talking about affordable housing and social housing.

This year, the government chose to add funding. Naturally, for the working poor, it will not be enough. It will never be enough. But if we look at what the government is doing for the homeless, in social housing and in other areas, I think that this budget is doing a great deal for our less fortunate fellow citizens.

The Budget March 17th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague opposite for this question. I listened to his remarks, and I can assure hon. members that in my riding, for example—to speak of a place I know well—nearly $7 million was invested, resulting in more than 20 initiatives. A dozen beds were added in a shelter for the homeless; apartments were provided for former residents of psychiatric institutions who need a transition period; Repas du Passant is another initiative in my riding to feed people living on the street. About 15 such projects are underway in my riding.

Allow me to share a little anecdote. Three or four weeks ago, the labour minister said to me, “You have been lucky, Yolande; there are several projects in your riding.” My reply was, “That is one way of looking at it, Madam Minister, but, in fact, this shows how great the needs are in my riding, and across Canada”.

The Budget March 17th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to address the House this morning. I am very proud to be part of a government whose priority it is to improve the quality of life of all Canadians.

I am especially proud of the fact that in the 2003 budget our government decided once again to address what I consider to be a very serious problem. I am talking about homelessness, a tragedy for thousands of people, especially young people who find themselves in this hopeless situation.

The dichotomy between those whose personal situation is improving and those whose situation is getting worse also exists in my riding.

At the dawn of this century when the effects of globalization and technological innovation are increasingly transforming not only the relationships between countries but also the daily life of all citizens, I feel we must pay special attention to the life of the community.

In an address to the House in October 1999, I commended the programs, then in their infancy, set up specifically for the homeless. I said that these measures could lose their effectiveness and end up being too scattered if they were not all coordinated by a single minister.

Today I would like to reiterate my comments and pay tribute to my colleague, the hon. Minister of Labour and federal coordinator on homelessness, whose efforts have been remarkable, and who has demonstrated such energy and sensitivity when it comes to working on this complex and difficult issue. She understands that thousands of Canadians have an urgent and pressing need for help.

Allow me to provide some context for homelessness. Who are the homeless in Canada? It is estimated that half of those who live on the streets are people with a history of mental illness, people who have been discharged from psychiatric care and have nowhere to go.

There are also single parent families. There are also youth who have dropped out of school, who live on the street and who have not received the needed education or who are not ready to find a job and certainly not to hold one down.

We need a broad understanding of the problem in order to develop and implement programs and services that will provide support for all those who have no home.

Anyone can become homeless, regardless of age, gender or ethnic origin. Homelessness does not discriminate, one could say.

The fate of the homeless is such a pressing issue across the country that our government has announced that the supporting communities partnership initiative, or SCPI program, will be renewed for two years. The government will provide $135 million per year over two years in order to help communities solve this problem.

Even a government with the best intentions, and even all levels of government working together, will never be able to solve the homelessness problem without the support of all Canadians.

Homelessness is a problem that affects all of society, and all of society must fight it together. We need to develop approaches and initiatives together with public administrations, community groups, educational institutions, the private sector and everyone who wants to contribute to the betterment of their community.

In closing, I would like to raise another point from the 2003 budget that is near and dear to me. I am referring to the announcement made by the Prime Minister of Canada last week on the action plan developed by the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs to promote official languages.

I am a member of the Standing Committee on Official Languages, and I am very proud to support and applaud this government initiative.

Josée Lavigueur February 28th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, each year, the South Shore's chamber of commerce and industry celebrates International Women's Day by inviting a local celebrity to speak.

I am very pleased to see that, this year's guest of honour will be Josée Lavigueur, Quebec's current fitness guru.

Josée Lavigueur, from my riding, has made a name for herself in this industry. She is a popular aerobics star, mother of two young girls and a professor of physical education. She also hosts the show Tonus on TVA, has a column in La Presse and has produced many videotapes.

My hearty congratulations to the South Shore chamber of commerce and industry, which is promoting women in our society.

Latin America February 26th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, will the Secretary of State for Latin America, Africa and the Francophonie tell us what the Canadian government's reaction is to the anti-guerilla struggle and tensions between Colombia and Venezuela?

Port Facilities February 19th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, on January 28, the Minister of Transport announced that construction of a temporary facility at the Escoumins wharf will begin next April. After many representations by local stakeholders, the Minister of Transport Canada and the minister responsible for Quebec have decided to listen.

This investment will allow the Compagnie de navigation des Basques to provide ferry service between Les Escoumins and Trois-Pistoles this summer. This is great news for the North Shore and Lower St. Lawrence River tourism industry.

The Minister of Transport and his department know how important this ferry service is and are working to find a long-term solution to make port facilities in Les Escoumins safe.

Thanks to this construction, the Compagnie de navigation des Basques can provide services to the local population and to tourists visiting these magnificent areas of Quebec.