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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was health.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Liberal MP for Louis-Hébert (Québec)

Won her last election, in 2000, with 41% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Literacy Action Day October 23rd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, like my colleague who preceded me, I want to rise today in recognition of Literacy Action Day.

Literacy influences all aspects of our lives. It is at the heart of our learning during our childhood and is what makes it possible to earn and contribute fully to society.

Literacy is also vital to us as a nation given its crucial role, in a knowledge based economy, in ensuring Canada remains productive and competitive. Although we live in a prosperous country that is rich in resources, there are still far too many adults unable to read and write properly.

We are aware of the challenges we face, and we are working hard to meet them.

2003 Special Olympics September 29th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, today I am pleased to commend the delegation that represented Canada at the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games held in June in Dublin, Ireland.

Winning 102 medals, the Canadian team impressed the international audience by at times outclassing its competitors in disciplines such as rhythmic gymnastics.

This excellent performance is a direct result of the hard work of Special Olympics Canada and its efforts to implement a solid and innovative program for the national team that is now the envy of the world.

The primary role for Special Olympics Canada is to enrich through sports the lives of Canadians with intellectual disabilities. It is a not-for-profit agency with a strong community presence that provides opportunities for training and competition to 28,000 athletes of all ages and levels of skill.

The organization also has an army of volunteers who give their time as trainers, officials and administrators.

Special Olympics Canada can be proud of its achievements and those of its athletes. Its remarkable contribution to the quality of life of countless Canadians—

Marine Industry September 22nd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Representatives from the marine industry in Canada, some 800 Canadian companies, submitted a proposal to the minister on August 26, 2002 for a long term agreement on the Coast Guard Cost Recovery Plan.

Users of the St. Lawrence River must foot half the national bill of $35 million, and more than 80% of fishing harbour breakout costs. All this in an environment where trucking, a major competitor to shipping—

Members for Lévis-et-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière and Témiscamingue September 15th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, it is our pleasure to welcome into our ranks two new Liberal members of Parliament who will be making their official entry into the House in a few moments. They represent the ridings of Lévis-et-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière and Témiscamingue, which they won in byelections held on June 16. Each of them defeated the leading opponent by more than 20% and obtained more than half of the votes cast.

These victories in ridings that were bastions of the Bloc Quebecois for 10 years constitute a vote of confidence in the Liberal Party and follow close on the heels of the Quebec Liberals' defeat of the Parti Quebecois in the April provincial election.

I am convinced that the voters of Lévis-et-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière and Témiscamingue will find their new members to be valuable representatives who will watch over the social and economic development of their region within Canada.

Supply May 13th, 2003

Madam Chair, quite simply, the point I was trying to make—and I think the speech was really quite interesting—was to say how important prevention is and how important it is that money be set aside to invest in physical activity and healthy lifestyles.

I would like the minister to comment on this, on the amounts that have been allocated in future budgets, on her commitments in this regard, to see whether, in fact, this is also a priority for her.

Supply May 13th, 2003

I would like to conclude in one minute.

Supply May 13th, 2003

Madam Chair, how much time do I have left?

Supply May 13th, 2003

These are very important points and it is important to be able to discuss them this evening. This involves a large part of the population and one whole issue we have not yet touched upon this evening. I think it is important to look at the statistics, at how we can address it, and ensure that there is the necessary funding for it as well.

Another equally important aspect of the lifestyle strategy consists in addressing the basic causes of the precarious health status of certain segments of the population, such as the aboriginal peoples, families living in poverty, the disabled, and those in rural and isolated areas.

Integration is an important theme of the strategy. It consists of grouping together the fragmented and isolated approaches for health promotion and the prevention of illness and injury. As well, it involves establishing common groups of risk factors relating to chronic diseases, monitoring the factors that determine individuals' quality of health, and finding new ways of managing promotion and prevention efforts where people live, work, study and play.

It also involves measures to encourage the participation of partners from all areas of knowledge in the health care system and in other sectors and systems that affect health.

If we can succeed in integrating three important areas, policy, research and public health intervention, we will be able to increase the real value of what we are now accomplishing. What this means, in other words, is better value in managing priority health care issues.

The minister no doubt knows that if the country finds a way to manage the resources in our health care system, Canadians will be healthier. Obviously, we are also talking about managing financial resources more efficiently and more effectively.

We all know that an approach based on prevention that seeks to change people's behaviour without addressing their standard of living is not likely to lead to lasting results. One of the fundamental elements of the strategy, and a major challenge, is to recognize and predict links between life choices and health determinants, such as social, economic and environmental influences.

To that end, we need to promote vertical participation of partners within the health care system, but also horizontal participation in other sectors and systems that influence health.

Consistent with this line of thought, as you know, the Romanow report recommended putting more emphasis on prevention and well-being as part of an overall strategy to improve the delivery of front-line health care services in Canada, and providing new funding for research on health determinants.

The report backed strategies to fight sedentary lifestyles, obesity and smoking. Incidentally, just this morning, a French-language paper published alarming figures on obesity among young people and said that more money was needed to fight this problem that is having a major impact on young people.

Supply May 13th, 2003

Madam Chair, first, I want to inform you that I will be sharing my time with my colleague, the member for Oakville.

Indeed, I will take a few minutes tonight to share my passion, my interests and my concerns regarding an important aspect of our health care system, of which, I am sure, the minister is totally aware.

First, it is important to state certain facts to be able to ask questions and see if the required amounts have been adequately invested in prevention. I am obviously talking about healthy lifestyles and prevention, an issue of particular interest to me.

Many things have led to the inclusion of healthy lifestyles in the priorities of Health Canada and of the Government of Canada.

A growing body of evidence from various countries shows that the human, social, economic and medical costs of avoidable chronic diseases that are non contagious, such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, diabetes and certain types of cancer, are significant and growing in various countries, including Canada.

The total economic cost of diseases, disabilities and deaths related to chronic diseases in Canada presently exceeds $80 billion.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 90% of type II diabetes and 80% of coronary heart disease could be prevented or delayed by eating healthily, exercising regularly, not smoking and effectively managing stress.

Allow me to quote some instructive statistics. It is estimated that 90% of lung cancers and 30% of all other cancer-related deaths in Canada could be prevented in a tobacco-free society.

We know that health is not just about treating disease. We must now look into how to redirect our efforts. We must—and I am sure the hon. minister is well aware of this—invest upstream, that is, in the health/disease continuum, to have a positive influence on the quality of life of Canadians.

Naturally, there are, among other upstream investments, integrated and cooperative approaches to health promotion, disease and injury prevention, as well as a complete range of public health activities designed to alleviate the burden of chronic disease on the health system.

As hon. members know, during their September 2001 meeting, the Minister of Health and her provincial and territorial counterparts agreed—I am happy about that—to work together on Canada-wide strategies for the short, medium and long term in terms of healthy lifestyles with a focus on eating habits and physical activity and their relationship with a healthy weight.

They also agreed to organize a national symposium on healthy lifestyles, bringing together government and non-government health organizations, among others. Health specialists, representatives of the first nations and the business community, as well as other stakeholders, will also be invited to participate.

I was also pleased to see that the federal government made a commitment to healthy lifestyles in its September 2002 Speech from the Throne. Furthermore, the 2003 first ministers agreement on the renewal of health care urged health ministers to focus on strategies and healthy lifestyles.

A number of territories and provinces have implemented or are about to implement integrated strategies combining healthy eating, physical activity, preventing chronic disease as well as preventing and fighting diabetes and smoking.

It is absolutely necessary, however, to take a coordinated, Canada-wide approach—

La Francophonie May 13th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, we know that the French-speaking segment of the population of the United States is growing. Could the Secretary of State responsible for la Francophonie share with us Canada's vision of the development of the French language south of the border?