House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was society.

Last in Parliament October 2000, as Liberal MP for Mount Royal (Québec)

Won her last election, in 1997, with 62% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Human Rights October 2nd, 1998

Mr. Speaker, on October 6 a special stamp honouring the late Dr. John Humphreys will be unveiled by Canada Post. This stamp will pay tribute to a great Canadian who made an unparalleled contribution to the international human rights community.

In 1945 after the world had witnessed the atrocities of World War II, Dr. Humphreys along with Eleanor Roosevelt drafted the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. The never before seen injustices of the Holocaust prior to and during the war gave need to find and define a new term, genocide, and to condemn it as a crime against humanity. This is but one of the legacies of the universal declaration.

Dr. Humphreys' visionary perspective laid the groundwork for the realization of human dignity across the world for all people, whether as groups or individuals, by affirming fundamental rights and freedoms. The principles enshrined in his legacy have been adopted in national constitutions in all corners of the world. His road map is a vision for peace and humanity so that we can live in human dignity and hope for a more respectful society worldwide.

Education June 9th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, this year at the request of the Quebec government and our federal government, we made changes to section 93 of the Constitution, moving from a religious base to a secular, democratic and culturally inclusive English and French education system.

Last Sunday too many Montrealers found our democratic right to this choice compromised, no, lost by an undemocratic system put into place without enumeration, using a type of negative option billing which is antithetical to Canadian governance.

I remain outraged. Despite my timely efforts to register my vote and my right to exercise it, I was not listed.

The revision procedure employed by the Quebec government shows a blatant lack of respect for a significant and deserving linguistic minority that should be valued in a sensitive and inclusive way, not excluded like was done during the referendum.

Interparliamentary Delegations June 9th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, I have the privilege to table the report of the parliamentary wing of the United Nations called the Interparliamentary Unions where delegates worked effectively to raise the urgency to commit to the humanitarian clearing of land mines and the removal of same and moved to adopt the needed Ottawa convention.

Therefore, it is my pleasure to table the report of the 99th interparliamentary conference held in Windhoek, Namibia, on April 5 to 11.

House Of Commons June 5th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, as we celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and the founding of the State of Israel I would like to thank the government House leader and the House leaders of all parties for taking a principled stand on the issue of the holocaust denial.

Yesterday all parties in the House of Commons took this important stance against Mr. Ernst Zundel. He is an active and vicious anti-Semite, as well as one of the world's largest publishers of anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi publications.

In denying him admittance to the precincts of the House of Commons this House's unanimous decision has paid respect to those who perished in acts too horrible to describe, as well as to those who are living witnesses to the atrocities of the holocaust.

We must continue to counter this hateful, repugnant revision of history and remember the inhumanity of the holocaust. Mr. Zundel and his kind do not reflect Canada, its people or its values.

Foreign Affairs June 4th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Last Thursday at a function in Montreal, Canadians of Pakistani, Chinese and East Indian heritage shared with me their deeply felt concern over the nuclear testing which has led to a really unstable situation in the area.

Can the minister tell this House what action the Canadian government has taken or is taking with respect to enabling a return to stability in the southeast Asia area?

Dna Identification Act May 11th, 1998

May I continue?

Dna Identification Act May 11th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, it has been a very interesting debate on DNA. A lot of issues around DNA have caused us some concern with respect to privacy rights and issues that relate to catching very serious offenders and not allowing a repeat of the offence.

Many members who participated in this debate have serious concerns. I share those concerns, but I believe the departments of justice and the solicitor general have done a very good job in listening to members, in particular members of the Reform Party, some of whom gave very well formulated and sound opinions and some of whom were off the wall.

That being said, I know there is a serious intent to ensure greater safety and security for citizens of the country by enabling us to target people who have the potential for repeated offences of the worst kinds.

The member for Wild Rose often brings into the House examples of serious offences which need to be addressed. It is very important to ensure in some way that multiple offenders never get out there again to continue those kinds of offences.

There are people who have demonstrated patterns of recidivism which are of serious concern to all of us. The legislation and the changes that have been made to it answer the concerns placed before us in a most efficient and effective way.

We had a conversation around the amendments found in Motion No. 11. I am sure members of the Reform Party recall the discussion around designated offences. The issue of a designated offence is a very broad term. Any designated offence is an even broader term.

I recall for those people who feel we are avoiding the issues in any way, shape or form by buying into the amendment that has been suggested that if we were to suggest an acceptance of Motion No. 11 we would be bringing into the prison system and into the taking of personal DNA, which is the most precious definition of who we are as a people, something that once out there in the public can never be recovered. It is vital information. If one has committed a B and E, has stolen a car or has broken into a shop, should we in those circumstances consider taking DNA? I am not in agreement. We were not in agreement in committee.

I see the member who did a very good job in defending his position in committee. He is talking with the Parliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General. I am sure they would both agree that this is not such a great idea. All three of us would agree that the best move is the move that will support the bill before us. It is a good bill. It contains the kinds of protection for society we need. Therefore I move:

That the House continue to sit beyond the ordinary hour of daily adjournment for the purpose of consideration of Bill C-3.

Israel April 30th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, it is Israel's 50th birthday, Hag Sameach.

Euphoria greeted the UN vote declaring the state of Israel. Finally, out of the ashes of the Holocaust, the rebirth of the Jewish homeland arose. It is this century's success story. This land of great diversity reflects differing cultures and languages and has reclaimed green pastures from desert land, lifted rocks, terraced land, utilized every drop of water, learned and developed new technologies to once again make this desert bloom.

The vision, the end goal, is to ensure that the fundamental principles of justice, fairness and equality that have been the pillars of this people would find life and reality in this new emerging democracy. And yet within this diversity of land and people we find extreme contrasts and challenges. As the state of Israel matures, its people will learn to live in peace and prosperity with its many neighbours.

The people of Israel will achieve this goal. Am Yisrael Chai.

Yom Hashoah April 22nd, 1998

Mr. Speaker, today is Yom Hashoah, a worldwide day of remembrance that commemorates one of the greatest tragedies of our century, the Holocaust.

On this day we pay respect, with the survivors, as we remember the six million people who were murdered in the ultimate affront to democracy, human rights and human lives.

From the ashes of the concentration camps rose the democratic state of Israel which will soon celebrate its 50th anniversary with just pride and honour.

Jointly we mark the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, a worldwide recognition of the fact that all people by virtue of their humanity possess the right to life and dignity.

Unfortunately, such atrocities continue to plague mankind which we must bring to closure. We must use more effectively the UN tools such as peacekeeping and peacemaking forces and the rule of international law so that all citizens are able to live in peace amongst themselves and amongst the world family of nations.

Judges Act March 30th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure to listen to the hon. member whose great concern for the well-being of society in general has manifested itself in many of the debates and certainly the exchanges in the standing committee meetings.

In listening to him three points came to my attention. With what is happening in the United States in particular with the murder of young children by young children, does he not think that perhaps there ought to be a change in the attitude of his party that he could deal with? I believe his party has a view of gun control that is not in the best interest of preventing this very dangerous equipment from being close at hand for young people. The member also might want to think about the fact that the number one killer of women are guns.

Also I would like to ask my hon. colleague about his concern with respect to the salary of judges. I am much more concerned about the election of judges. Does he not believe that this might put judges in a conflict of interest situation and open to potential abuse? I have serious concerns about the misuse of power in the hands of an elected person.

The last question I would like to pose to him is in light of the particular bent of the Reform Party. The member is talking about enabling legal aid. Does my colleague not realize that is provincial jurisdiction and perhaps it would be best for him to encourage his colleagues in the provinces to take a look at the way they allocate funds for legal aid? I do agree that many things need to be changed.

When he talks about the fact that we do not have a comprehensive plan and that he is approaching this whole debate with a comprehensive plan, it might be most informative if they looked at the work we are doing in prenatal parental care and the grants that we are giving to ensure nutrition, public health and a better understanding as mothers.

They should also look into the field of prevention undertaken jointly by the provinces and the federal government, the question of the aboriginal head start and the $1.7 billion child tax credit which is not enough but it is certainly on the way.

The concern of the hon. member is being addressed in a way that can end up being a consolidated approach to better child development and learning.