House of Commons photo


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

Quebec General Election April 28th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, on April 14, voters in many Quebec City ridings, like Charlesbourg, Chauveau, La Peltrie, Louis-Hébert, which was in fact the riding of former minister Bégin, Montmorency, Portneuf, Vanier and Lévis, sent a clear message for change to the Government of Quebec.

These ridings, which were represented for years by members of the ruling Parti Quebecois, elected candidates from the Liberal Party of Quebec to join forces with their colleagues from Jean-Talon and Jean-Lesage who were re-elected to the National Assembly, Margaret Delisle and Michel Després.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Éric Mercier, Sarah Perreault, France Hamel, Sam Hamad, Raymond Bernier, Jean-Pierre Soucy, Marc Bellemare and Carole Théberge for their impressive victories.


MetroStar Gala March 17th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, last night the MetroStar awards gala once again showed Quebeckers' admiration for television artists. Sophie Lorain and Guy A. Lepage received the awards for female and male artist of the year respectively.

I would also like to note that for the first time a woman, Sophie Thibault, received the award for best news anchor.

Among the winners in other categories were: Sophie Lorain and Roy Dupuis for female and male leads in a television series, Élise Guilbault and Denis Bouchard for female and male leads in a television drama, Véronique Cloutier for variety show host, Benoît Gagnon for sports show host and Guy Mongrain for a game show.

I would also like to congratulate all the other winners and nominees. Thanks to them, the quality of our television programming is undeniable. Bravo to all.

De Rochebelle Secondary School February 19th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I would like to applaud the efforts and determination of the young students at De Rochebelle secondary school in Sainte-Foy in my riding of Louis-Hébert.

These young people decided to raise awareness among those around them, their family and friends, about the negative impact Canada's participation in a war against Iraq would have.

They held several debates on the issue and collected 4,000 signatures on a petition that they will present to the Prime Minister today after oral question period.

They want to send a message of peace, and they hope this message will be heard by the political decision makers.

It is inspiring to see young people getting involved in their future and the future of their peers. I would like to congratulate the school's leaders for encouraging such initiatives.

House of Commons February 18th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, in three months, three of our colleagues have experienced heart problems.

This emphasizes how important it is for us, with our fast-paced schedules, to adopt lifestyle habits that will prevent health problems.

Could the chief government whip tell the House what measures she plans on proposing to the Board of Internal Economy with regards to a fitness consultant to help us?

Supply February 13th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I must trust most Canadians not to try to defraud the system. There will always be people who will try to cheat, but let us trust Canadians. They will certainly be honest in using the system.

Supply February 13th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. In my speech, I talked about economic factors that have to be taken into consideration both in terms of the cost of such a card and in terms of the current costs related to the fraudulent use or falsification of various identity documents.

This debate will give us the opportunity to consider both the cost of producing such a card and the costs currently incurred because of the false documents that are in circulation and that are used to gain access to government programs. This is very costly for the economy, for consumers and for businesses.

Supply February 13th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this debate is to give members on both sides of the House the opportunity to express their views about the security aspect of this issue, a crucial element in the implementation of a national identity card.

Anyone taking part in this debate can voice his or her concerns, suggest improvements or talk about any irritant at all. This debate will ensure that what my colleague has mentioned will never occur again. All suggestions are welcome.

I want to thank the opposition for raising this issue today. It gives us the opportunity to go over some very important issues.

Supply February 13th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I am following the debate on a national identity card with great interest, all the more so because I had the opportunity to listen to some entrepreneurs from my riding talk about new technologies that could be used to make the biometric portion of such a card.

I am also very happy to learn that the Standing Committee on Immigration and Citizenship is now touring Canada to consult Canadians about this matter.

In our country, identification documentation is a shared responsibility. The federal government, through Citizenship and Immigration Canada, is responsible for issuing immigration and citizenship documents. The provincial governments are responsible for issuing birth and death certificates.

These documents are called primary documentation. They are used to obtain all kinds of other documents, such as passports, driver's licences, and health cards.

However, in reality, we know full well that none of these are specifically meant to be used as identification. Most of them, however, are commonly accepted and used as such. Just recently, my daughter told me that, to attend a basketball tournament in the United States, she only had to show her health card with a photo or her driver's licence.

We also know that these documents have security features that vary considerably and some can be easily reproduced. Consequently, numerous attempts have been made to use fraudulent cards.

Theft or fraudulent use of such documents can present a security threat to Canadians, the integrity of government programs or economic prosperity.

In terms of government programs, for example, some documents have proven very easy to counterfeit, allowing certain people access to employment insurance, for example, or even welfare. This easy access has cost the various levels of government billions of dollars.

In Canada as elsewhere, there has been a shocking rise in fraud and identity theft. Despite cutting-edge technology, identify theft is rising in the industrialized world. It is clear that the easier the technology is to access, the easier the documents are to reproduce and obtain.

According to the Canadian Council of Better Business Bureaus, identity theft and fraudulent use of identity documents cost billions of dollars each year. Obviously these crimes affect consumers and companies and clearly have a negative impact on our economy.

In the current context, with the technology available to us, Canadians can be better protected against such theft and fraud. The Department of Citizenship and Immigration has accordingly been asked to coordinate the Government of Canada's efforts to strengthen document integrity.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada issues documents to citizens, permanent residents, foreign students, refugee claimants, temporary workers, and visitors to Canada. Consequently, it is vital that these documents incorporate cutting-edge technology.

The new Permanent Resident Card is an extremely safe document that can include biometric identifiers. The Permanent Resident Card was introduced last year. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has already issued more than 170,000.

The card has been well received by clients and security experts.The International Card Manufacturers Association gave Canada's Permanent Resident Card two awards, and it has been referred to by U.S. experts as the most secure ID card in the world.

In fact, the Permanent Resident Card can be improved so as to include biometric technology. This is new technology that uses unique biometric identifiers, such as fingerprints, facial recognition or iris scans and can be used to verify an individual's identity with unprecedented precision.

In the United Kingdom, public consultation is currently underway on the introduction of a voluntary national identity card.

The government is fully aware of the concern about privacy, and this issue clearly remains a focus of discussion.

Privacy is a primary consideration. In Canada, we already have the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian privacy legislation, which ensure that the privacy of Canadian citizens is protected. Needless to say, any proposed national ID card will have to comply with government guidelines on the protection of personal information as well as with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

This is an important debate that touches on key issues, and we must consider those issues relating to security, privacy and citizenship, as almost everyone in this House has indicated in debate. There is also a need, in this debate, to remain objective, given how serious the issues under consideration are. We must steer clear of any sensationalism and examine the pros and cons of a national identity card in a calm and reasoned fashion.

This is how Canadians would want us to address the matter.

Journée internationale de la Francophonie February 13th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, on March 20, Canada will celebrate the Journée internationale de la Francophonie.

Can the Secretary of State responsible for the Francophonie tell us what special plans he has in store for us on this special day?

Mélanie Turgeon February 10th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure and emotion that I rise in this House today to pay tribute to Mélanie Turgeon for her performance.

I had the pleasure of rubbing shoulders with Mélanie when she was just starting to ski. Already, she demonstrated the passion, tenacity and potential suggesting a very promising future.

In spite of injuries and setbacks, Mélanie persevered and went on to win eight World Cup medals during her career with the senior team. In 1994, she won five medals at the World Junior Championship, a yet unsurpassed record.

Yesterday, she finally won the brilliant victory of becoming the downhill world champion in Saint-Moritz. This well-deserved victory made everyone in the greater Quebec City area who knew Mélanie and had been following her performances for years very happy.

Congratulations, Mélanie, and good luck to Canadian skiers Emily Brydon, Kelly Vanderbeek and Geneviève Simard, who, I am sure, will be there next time to give us a thrill.