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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

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome February 28th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, last week, the CBC reported that researchers at Toronto's Sick Children's Hospital had published a study pointing to a link between sudden infant death syndrome and secondhand smoke.

Researchers examined the lungs of 44 infants who had died of SIDS and the lungs of 29 other infants who succumbed to other diseases. The study showed that the SIDS victims had higher concentrations of nicotine in their lungs, even when parents said they did not smoke in the home.

Researcher Dr. Koren says that this study is biochemical proof that cigarette smoke is associated with SIDS, which, in Canada, claims as many as four of every 1,000 newborns.

This is why the Bureau of Reproductive and Child Health of the Laboratory Centre for Disease Control has set up the Canadian Perinatal Surveillance System. This system is part of Health Canada's efforts to strengthen Canada's national health surveillance capacity.

Although the number of SIDS deaths continues to decrease in Canada, I take this opportunity to urge members of the public to stop smoking in order to improve their own and our children's quality of life.

2002 Winter Olympics February 22nd, 2002

Mr. Speaker, last night, the women's ice hockey team showed that hockey is truly a Canadian sport. In a fast-paced game against the United States, the Canadian team emerged victorious, winning the gold with a score of 3-2 over our neighbours to the south.

Having lost eight consecutive games to the Americans, the Canadians finally took their revenge for the defeat they suffered in the game for the gold medal at the 1998 winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

It is athletes like Danielle Goyette, a veteran of this sport, Kim St-Pierre, and many others, who encourage our daughters to dream of the day when they will play on the Canadian Olympic team.

I hope that the men's hockey team will be inspired by the example of their female counterparts and will capture another gold in ice hockey at the game on Sunday.

Congratulations to the women's hockey team and to all our Canadian athletes.

Species at Risk Act February 21st, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in the House as a member of the Standing Committee on the Environment and as a member who has taken part in the debates on Bill C-5 over the past three months. I will start by saying that I do not completely agree with the colleague who spoke before me.

I wish to speak about the need to work with the provinces and the territories in order to protect the species at risk in Canada.

Our constitutional structure means that we must constantly work together with the governments of the provinces and territories regarding any important policy. This situation exists for a good reason, which most members here would describe as fair, practical and, above all, typically Canadian.

The development of the strategy for the protection of species at risk is one of the best examples of how well this system works. The success of this strategy is due to the collaboration between governments, which began a good number of years ago.

I would also like to recognize the joint projects on the protection of species and habitat, in which the federal government and the province of Quebec took part.

A good approach based on co-operation has been in place for a number of years. The province of Quebec attaches great importance to its role in the protection of species and habitat. It plays an active role in the evaluation and designation of wildlife species. The fact is that, last year anyway, the province stepped up its designation process and officially designated a dozen species under the provincial legislation.

The federal departments worked closely with their counterparts in Quebec. A federal-provincial committee on species at risk was set up and includes representatives from Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Parks Canada, who are working with the provincial representatives. Every year, more progress is made in delivering an effective program based on co-operation.

This situation is the same throughout Canada. For decades, the federal, provincial and territorial governments have worked together to manage wildlife species, not just to the benefit of species at risk but to the benefit of all species.

Through the North American waterfowl management plan, the provinces and territories are working with the federal government and their counterparts in the United States to conserve hundreds of hectares of wetlands and protect many waterfowl species.

We have helped each other and we have worked side by side to protect the piping plover eggs laid in the sand. We have met in board rooms to seek the support of corporations and resource-based industries in order to get them to create model forests and protected zones. We have worked together to create thousands of hectares of parks and game reserves.

It is obvious that we are all aware that the issue of endangered species is a national concern, and no single entity can do it all.

We must continue to work together. We must be able to readily cross over the demarcation line between the federal government, the provinces and the territories, a line that makes us good neighbours and good partners.

As a government, we have committed to certain laws and programs. We have made that commitment official in a number of ways including legislation.

It is time for the federal government to make its commitments official within the context of the proposed legislation.

The provinces and territories have worked along with us in drafting Bill C-5. For some three months, we heard from numerous witnesses. This bill reflects their contributions. The success of this initiative absolutely depends on their support.

It is clear that we will not be able to put the endangered species legislation in place without provincial and territorial co-operation. We cannot protect these species without the co-operation of the provinces and territories. They are the ones who administer the land and activities which have an impact on these species and their vital habitat. They are the ones responsible for land management policies, the ones responsible for the delivery of so many programs.

A large part of the lands that many species depend on comes under provincial or territorial jurisdiction. The provinces and the territories have a large part of the resources required to improve habitat and protect wetlands and parks.

Together—and I do mean together—we have laid the foundation to ensure the protection of all species and essential habitat across Canada. That is the reason that we developed the national accord for the protection of species at risk in Canada.

Much has been done in a short time. Quebecers have worked with official representatives from the province and the federal government as well as conservation agencies and other stakeholders.

The habitat stewardship program has developed a preliminary habitat conservation plan for species at risk in the Magdalen Islands and elsewhere. As a part of its conservation strategy for the Sutton mountains, the Ruiter Valley Land Trust has developed a plan recognizing the habitat of species at risk. These are a few examples of co-operation. These examples all contain a significant provincial component, and we cannot compromise this approach.

However, some of the amendments proposed by the standing committee undermine the agreement's underlying principles and compromise commitments that have already been confirmed: specifically, the fact that the committee would unilaterally determine the criteria to trigger the mechanisms for the safety net for essential habitat outlined in Bill C-5 and transfer significant territorial responsibilities to the federal government regarding species and habitat.

Under the agreement, all levels of government made a clear commitment to fulfilling the objective of the changes proposed by the committee. The government's motions eliminate the imposition of criteria that are decided upon unilaterally and re-establish territorial responsibility regarding wildlife species that come under their jurisdiction in order to allow provincial and territorial governments to remain full partners in the protection of species in Canada.

The federal, provincial and territorial governments are currently working on developing bilateral agreements and a policy to determine efficient protection under the agreement. By developing these agreements together, we are ensuring that each government understands its own responsibilities and has the means to trigger the safety net.

This is why the government is proposing amendments to re-establish an approach that is based on co-operation. This is why we must support these amendments.

2002 Winter Olympics February 6th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to the seven young people from the Quebec City area who will be part of Canada's delegation to the 2002 WInter Olympics.

They are: Mélanie Turgeon, Anne Marie LeFrançois and Sara-Maude Boucher, downhill ski; Guillaume Morisset, snowboard; Philippe Marois, Patrick Bouchard and Éric Brisson, speedskating. All will be members of the Canadian team taking part in the Salt Lake City Olympics, from February 8 to 24.

It takes almost superhuman effort to be chosen for this team, and we are proud of that these athletes were selected, as it reflects many long years of intensive preparation.

We wish them the greatest success in their efforts to give their best ever performances at the upcoming games.

Laval University February 4th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, researchers at Laval University have had a windfall. The Canadian Foundation for Innovation has awarded them over $54 million for a number of new projects. This in addition to the assistance from the Government of Quebec and the private sector, Laval will have invested close to $135 million by the summer of 2003.

Of that $135 million, $20 million will go to Laval's science and engineering faculty. Development here includes a second optic-photonics lab, the implementation of infrastructures and construction of a laboratory to investigate the lifespan of such infrastructures.

All of these new research projects, initiated as the result of commitments by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, will lead to the creation of close to 400 jobs at the Laval University teaching hospital and a potential thousand or so jobs at Laval University, according to the rector.

This is just one more fine example of teamwork between the provincial and federal governments and the private sector.

Quebec Economy January 31st, 2002

Mr. Speaker, yesterday KPMG released the results of a study presenting an international comparison of the costs of setting up an industrial operation in a G-7 country.

The purpose of this independent study was to compare the after-tax cost of startup and operation for 12 specific types of business, over a 10-year period.

Canada stood first for all the criteria examined, with a substantial cost advantage over the United States.

But I am particularly proud of the results for the Quebec City area, which also ranked first among cities in northeastern North America and which was surpassed by only the tiniest margin by the city of Edmonton among Canadian cities as a whole.

Quebec City, already world renowned for its tourist industry, can now boast that it is an area with a highly qualified labour force, and low energy, transportation and accommodation costs.

All foreign entrepreneurs looking for sites to start up and operate new technologies or products should take note that the Quebec City area is now recognized as a significant competitor internationally.

I wish to congratulate all the stakeholders who contributed to this achievement and—

Government Services December 14th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada's toll free 1-800-O-Canada number has been featured in government publicity for several years now.

Could the minister responsible for communications on behalf of Canada give this House a progress report on this initiative to meet Canadians' information requirements?

Homelessness December 14th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Labour is in Quebec today announcing the funding of several projects for the homeless.

As part of the community action partnerships initiative, $56.7 million are allocated to Quebec. Last February, the Government of Canada signed an agreement with the government of Quebec for the purpose of providing communities with access to programs, services and measures to support their endeavours.

Homelessness is a problem that is cause for concern and must be dealt with urgently. I therefore salute the Government of Canada's commitment to supporting organizations that are involved in the daily struggle to help the homeless. Their contribution is indispensable to our society.

This initiative is one more example of the Government of Canada's desire to fight poverty in this country.

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish all Canadians health, happiness and, most importantly, peace, in the coming year.

Acts of Bravery December 7th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, on December 6, exceptional Quebecers were recognized by the Governor General of Canada for their bravery.

I would like to congratulate Louis Gignac, from Quebec City, who received the Star of Courage. In 1999 he risked his life to protect seven Serb civilians being attacked by several Albanians.

The Medal of Bravery was awarded to 30 courageous Canadians. Included among them, I would like to mention Jacques Couillard, who risked his life by defying an armed man at the caisse populaire in Baie-des-Sables, and Mathieu Cusson, Daniel Douville, Benoît Roy and Shaul and Yonatan Petel.

Your ability to come to the assistance of your fellow humans is remarkable. You are most certainly heroes in your community and I congratulate you.

National Hemophilia Month November 30th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have this opportunity to remind the House and all Canadians that November has been designated National Hemophilia Month by the Canadian Hemophilia Society.

Hemophilia is a genetic disease, which occurs primarily in boys. One newborn boy in five inherits the disease.

The Canadian Hemophilia Society is devoted to providing support and service to Canadians with hemophilia and their caregivers. It also raises awareness of the disease among the general public and health professionals, and encourages self-help among hemophiliacs.

I trust you will join with me in thanking the Society and its many volunteers throughout the country for their ongoing commitment and contributions. Let us hope that this month will have been a great success in raising hemophilia awareness.