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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

Beauport Bay February 5th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, at a press conference yesterday, the chairman of the board and the CEO of the Quebec CIty port authority unveiled a development concept for the beach area of Beauport Bay.

The proposal makes it possible to further develop the natural attractions of the bay, while integrating its present and future vocation as a port.

This project, designed both to promote tourism and recreation and to underline the importance of expanded port activities, will gain the approval of all residents of the Quebec City area, I am sure.

I congratulate the port authority for this project, which will showcase the economic, touristic, sporting and environmental aspects of the region's potential.

The best of success to Beauport Bay and to all the various stakeholders involved in this collaboration.

Rail Transportation February 4th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, many rumours circulated recently about a new rapid rail service in the Montreal-Toronto corridor. Although I believe that establishing this type of infrastructure is excellent news, I am very disappointed to hear that Quebec City is not included in the projected plans.

Can the Minister of Transport confirm that Quebec City is not excluded, that it will be included in a rapid rail plan and that, in the future, it will be the Quebec City-Toronto corridor?

Queen's Jubilee Medal December 3rd, 2002

Mr. Speaker, on December 8, I will have the honour of presenting the Queen's Jubilee Medal to 20 of my constituents.

These medals are awarded to Canadians who, in the past 50 years, have helped make Canada the country that it is today.

Each one of these recipients has made an exceptional and exemplary contribution in various areas to the betterment of our community, and their sustained commitment goes beyond what is reasonably expected of paid workers or volunteers.

I am proud to publicly recognize the contribution of these outstanding citizens in the riding of Louis-Hébert and to present them as models for our young people, who will have the responsibility of shaping the future of our country.

Congratulations to all of them.

The Environment November 21st, 2002

Mr. Speaker, this morning the hon. Minister of the Environment released the Climate Change Plan for Canada. The plan incorporates the best ideas gathered in ten year's worth of consultations and cooperation.

It is based on the general outline of the draft plan on climate change tabled here in the House in October, and on the comments from provincial and territorial governments, industry, environmental groups and citizens.

The Climate Change Plan for Canada puts us on the path to becoming the most conscientious energy users and producers in the world; it will make Canada a leader in the area of developing new, greener technologies.

The plan will enhance quality of life for all Canadians, providing cleaner air, improved health and an increasing number of new economic opportunities.

Athletes Forum October 8th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to recognize the impact of the Athletes Forum held in Quebec City from September 27 to 29.

With more than 120 delegates in attendance, including the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport, it is the largest annual gathering of Canada's national team athlete representatives.

The forum provides Canada's high performance athletes with an opportunity to network with others, share ideas, learn about the sport system and develop leadership skills.

The Government of Canada is proud to have supported such a major event, and I congratulate all those participants who contributed to the success of this gathering.

Municipalities June 14th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, there have been a number of discussions recently on the future of municipalities and the fact that the Government of Canada was not paying much attention to them.

Given that cities represent the vitality of our country, will the Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister tell the House what the government plans on doing to assist municipalities?

Figure Skating June 13th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, today, I want to pay tribute to the Canadians who proposed changes to the figure skating judging system. These changes were approved by the International Skating Union, at its congress meeting in Japan, from June 2 to June 6, 2002.

Major questions were raised regarding the judging of figure skating competitions, and we are pleased that Canadians played a key role by proposing solutions that will improve the sport and allow all Canadians to compete in a fair and just context.

We all remember the incident at the Salt Lake City Olympic Games, which resulted in medals being awarded to Canada following protracted appeals, and in response to public outcry over the conduct of figure skating judges.

We hope that, following the most recent proposals adopted by the International Skating Union, our athletes and all the athletes of the world will be able to take part in fair competitions and be judged on their sport achievements.

Once again, I congratulate the Canadian Figure Skating Association for the key role that it played in proposing such solutions.

Species at Risk Act June 10th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, there has been much use of the word “collaboration” within the debate on the proposed species at risk legislation.

This is more than a mere word. Collaborative effort is the very foundation of this bill. It is the very fabric of all parts of the policy.

For example, the proposed legislation addresses all species at risk in Canada, as well as their essential habitat, wherever in the country that habitat may be located.

Collaboration, however, means that the federal government plays an important role, as do the provinces and territories, the landowners, the users of resources and all of us as well.

In the proposed species at risk legislation, this also involves a balanced approach based on nearly nine years of consultations and discussions with all sectors of Canadian society.

This is an approach that is unique to Canada. Not only does it reflect current practice, but it is also the very foundation of our constitution. It is also an approach we know works in the field. That is a fact.

I will give a few examples, if I may. We have a number of them, but I will quickly touch on two very specific ones.

One of these is the wood buffalo, the largest land mammal in Canada. It has already been in imminent danger of extinction. Its status has now improved and it is now in the threatened category.

This is the direct result of collaborative efforts between the federal government, the governments of B.C., Alberta, Yukon and the Northwest Territories, as well as their partners.

It is the outcome of a recovery initiative based on collaboration. This is the term on which the emphasis must be put. The initiative was launched in 1957. It is still in place, and the buffalo population has benefited from it all these years. The wild population has risen from 200 to 3,000 over the past few decades.

Another example is the peregrine falcon. The peregrine was designated as endangered and now it too has moved up to the threatened category.

This too is the result of collaboration between the governments of Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Nunavut and Canada.

We believe there are now 500 nesting pairs in Canada, where there were 34 in the 1970s.

These are but two success stories in the long tradition of co-operation between the provincial, territorial and federal governments regarding species at risk.

In the spring of 1995, in order to improve the protection of species at risk in Canada, the provinces, territories and federal government held public workshops in many places across the country to determine what should be included in a national approach to protect species at risk.

This initiative led to the development of the accord to protect species at risk. This accord got the support of the Canadian ministers responsible for wildlife.

The accord recognizes that protecting species at risk is a shared responsibility and that a single jurisdiction cannot, alone, effectively protect species at risk. Species do not recognize jurisdictions.

No government has all the legal, political and other means to ensure adequate protection to species. Again, co-operation is essential.

The proposed Species at Risk Act is part of the federal government's contribution to the implementation of the accord.

This approach is in compliance with the commitment made under the accord by all the provinces and territories to protect species and their habitat, to the extent that they come under their jurisdiction.

This is an approach that emphasizes co-operation, so that we can ensure its success.

The provinces and territories took part in the development of the safety net of the bill and they co-operated in this regard.

This approach was expressly designed to provide provincial or territorial governments with the first opportunity to protect the essential habitat of a species that comes under their jurisdiction.

Given these facts, how could we possibly support amendments to the bill that would undermine this approach, which is based above all on co-operation? We also know that in order to change behaviour, we need incentives. We also know that there needs to be a great number of cases pending in the system. This is why we must re-establish obligations so that each government is responsible in its own jurisdiction, while allowing enough flexibility for the federal government to intervene anywhere, if it deems it necessary. This is the safety net. It is a delicate balance by which the proposed Species at Risk Act can provide protection for all species and for all essential habitat in Canada, while protecting the co-operation between different levels of government that is absolutely essential for the successful protection of species and their habitat on private land.

The government motions also clarify territorial responsibilities. Canada's three territories are responsible for all of their wildlife species, not simply species that are considered game, as set out in the current version of the bill.

The government believes that the protection provided by the provinces and territories must be effective in order to avoid resorting to federal prohibitions.

However, we insist that the policy must be developed in an open and inclusive manner, instead of through legislative measures. The work on this has already begun with the provinces and territories. The government motions ensure that this initiative based on co-operation is not compromised by the imposition of any unilateral program.

Some critics proposed that we adopt an approach similar to the United States' Endangered Species Act. This act takes an authoritative and controlling approach, which orders people to act at their own expense. It hardly leaves room for co-operation.

Here are a few examples of remarks made by American officials who were commenting on what they are now doing. Representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for example, said that they had lost control of the species protection process because they were overloaded with the huge number of court orders. They reported that their 2001 budget for listing species was spent on enforcing compliance with settlement agreements and court orders.

The home secretary said “For a long time, we spent precious money on lawyers' fees and fighting in the courts instead of protecting species and fighting to bring them back from the brink of extinction”.

This fall, it was estimated that 240 court orders have not been implemented by the U.S. government because the resources were used in legal battles.

Because of this atmosphere of mistrust between landowners and the U.S. government, which is made worse by the hostile approach of the U.S. legislation, no information is available concerning the situation of over half of the endangered or threatened species living on private property in the United States.

When species at risk legislation is unduly focused on penalties and prohibitions, it is remarkably difficult to enforce. Is that really what we want here? Absolutely not.

The co-operative approach of the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk is already working. Since it was approved, most provinces and territories have introduced or amended legislation in order to respect the terms of the accord.

The federal, provincial and territorial governments are now working on bilateral agreements and a policy to establish effective protection under the accord. By working together on our accords, we ensure that each government understands its responsibilities and what triggers the safety net.

Before this bill is passed, we must do our work under the accord. We should be a world leader. We should not be fighting with each other. This bill deserves our support.

St. Lawrence River June 5th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, the annual report of the St. Lawrence River Vision 2000 Action Plan was released on May 13.

This report also summarizes the initiatives undertaken by the various action plan parties, as well as the progress achieved for the protection, the conservation and the enhancement of the St. Lawrence River.

Progress has been made in most of the areas designated as priorities by St. Lawrence Vision 2000.

For example, a fish-pass was built at the Saint-Ours dam, allowing five species at risk to have access to habitats located between the Saint-Ours and Chambly dams on the Richelieu River. New recovery plans were prepared for three animal species.

In the area of community involvement, some 30 new concrete action programs have been funded through the Community Interactions Program.

This annual report is evidence of the continuing efforts by the governments of Canada and Quebec to clean up the St. Lawrence River.

La Soirée du hockey May 31st, 2002

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the co-chair of the Standing Joint Committee on Official Languages.

The media are alluding to the possibility that Radio-Canada officials may appear before the committee to explain the decision not to broadcast the Montreal Canadiens' hockey games during La Soirée du hockey , as has been the case for 50 years already.

Can the co-chair confirm that Radio-Canada officials will soon appear before the Standing Joint Committee on Official Languages?