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

Tourism Industry October 26th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, recently the minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency commented on the economic impact of the September 11 events on the Atlantic region and its tourism markets in the northeastern U.S.

Can the minister responsible for the ACOA tell the House how this information will foster the adoption of future tourism promotion strategies that will benefit the Atlantic region?

Infrastructure Program October 23rd, 2001

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister responsible for infrastructure for Quebec.

A year ago, the Government of Canada signed a memorandum of agreement with the government of Quebec concerning cost shared infrastructure projects involving the municipalities.

Given the very low number of projects that have already been accepted in Quebec, will the minister give us an overview of the status of applications?

National Security October 19th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, after the events of September 11, I noticed an escalation in the fears of Canadians. Security is certainly one of our main concerns.

I am pleased to see that our government is committed to making sure that we can live according to our values and beliefs. The measures it has put in place are reassuring.

I would mention a number of examples: border post security has been increased; a new citizenship card has been announced; a cabinet committee on security has been formed; and a new bill to protect us against terrorism is now before this House.

I believe that our government is responding satisfactorily to the concerns of Canadians. It is responsible and it is vigilant.

The Parliament of Canada Act October 18th, 2001

moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.

Madam Speaker, it is an honour and a pleasure to take part in the debate on Bill S-10, an act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act by providing for the appointment of a poet laureate in Canadian parliament.

First, I would like to commend the hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine for introducing this bill in the House. I would also like to congratulate Senator Grafstein for taking this initiative in the other House.

The position of poet laureate has been a tradition in several countries for many years. In England, the position of poet was created back in 1616 and this tradition has been retained by several Commonwealth countries.

Since the 1930s, the United States have had their poet laureate. In Canada, Saskatchewan appointed its first poet laureate in the Fall of 2000.

The holder of the position of poet laureate writes poetry that is read in parliament on occasions of state. The poet will sponsor poetry readings and will also be responsible for giving advice to the parliamentary librarian regarding the library's collection and acquisitions. This poet laureate would be appointed for a period of two years.

Some people will think: why do we need a poet laureate in parliament? Dowe not have enough positions already?

Everything is there, in fact. We all know that poetry serves to beautify, but it can also serve as grounds for reflection. Poetry inspires, poetry raises awareness. It transcends the interplay of question and answer. It is a sort of conscience, which reminds us not only of esthetic values, but of philosophical values as well.

Curiously enough, Plato excluded poets from his ideal Republic. Did he think they might question the entire basis of society? It is true that words are not innocent, that they bear meanings. There is no better place than this House to convince us of that.

Yes, I agree that poetry can exorcise some certainties, but it is also a source of inspiration. As the great poet Shelley said, “Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration, the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present”.

In France, over the centuries, court poets have celebrated the armed exploits of the nobility, from Charlemagne to Napoleon.

During the occupation of France in World War II, the entire country was whispering a poem by Paul Éluard. This poem on freedom, Liberté , was a perfect mirror of the soul and state of mind of his fellow citizens.

Éluard is not the only poet to have been inspired by patriotism. There have, of course, been many others.

I will read, if I may, two excerpts from Mon pays by Canadian poet and songwriter, Janine Simard.

More could be said For our country is great And yet it has not; A limitless land And picturesque too But young and unsure Like a child too polite Who is told what to do But does not get it right

Much has been said That my country is cold That my country is great How attractive it is But I say, as none properly have That it is the finest of all!

The poet is a free spirit. He is able to feel the suffering of others, for often he has experienced it himself. This is why he is able to capture it on paper or in song.

If we politicians have the power to change things, so do poets, for sometimes the movers and shakers of this world hear their cry.

Poetry unites us. It allows us to pause and makes us human, for it is the voice of the people. A parliamentary poet laureate would only increase our feeling of belonging to a free society.

Because of poetry's universal appeal, UNESCO declared March 21, 2001 World Poetry Day. This year marked the first official celebration of the day in Canada.

I invite members on both sides of the House to launch this tradition of parliamentary poet laureate by voting in favour of this bill.

The Parliament of Canada Act October 18th, 2001

moved that Bill S-10, as amended, be concurred in at report stage.

Inter-American Democratic Charter October 4th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, on September 11, Canada joined with 33 other member countries of the Organization of American States to adopt the inter-American democratic charter in Lima, Peru.

Will the Secretary of State for Latin America and Africa tell the House how the adoption of this charter will back up Canada's efforts to promote democracy in the Americas?

Katimavik October 3rd, 2001

Mr. Speaker, Katimavik is a national program that gives young Canadians the opportunity to discover our great country.

While they stay with a host family, young people do volunteer work and practice their second language skills. Most importantly, they discover their environment and learn more about their compatriots.

Over 20,600 people and 2,000 communities have taken part in the program since it was created in 1977 by former senator Jacques Hébert. Last evening, he launched a book entitled Katima...Quoi? on the program.

I invite my colleagues and all young Canadians to read this book. It will take you through an unforgettable experience.

National Defence June 4th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, the community of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu has a long military history dating back to the 18th century. This tradition is being maintained with the presence of the Canadian forces in the region.

The Minister of National Defence recently made an important announcement in St-Jean, Quebec. Could the parliamentary secretary inform the House about this announcement?

Petitions April 27th, 2001

Madam Speaker, it is my privilege to table in the House a petition signed by 42 constituents of my riding of Saint-Lambert.

They ask the government to bring in amendments to Bill C-16, the charities registration act. They suggest that the bill violates fundamental freedoms and would like to see legislative safeguards added to ensure that it does not disproportionately target ethnic or religious groups.

International Astronomy Day April 27th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is International Astronomy Day. It will be an opportunity for all Canadians, young and not so young, to develop an interest in this exciting science.

Stars have an importance for all of us. For some, they point the way to the future or to the past. For others, they explain our time. And for others still, they represent a mystery, the stuff of dreams.

Whatever the stars mean to you, I suggest you go as far as your curiosity will take you. Many activities are being organized in celebration of this pleasant day, including at museums and astronomy clubs.

Be on the lookout for what is happening in your community and take up the invitation science is extending. You will discover a new hobby for sure and even a new passion, perhaps.