House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was conservatives.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles (Québec)

Lost her last election, in 2015, with 20% of the vote.

Statements in the House

National Strategy for Dementia Act March 13th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I will be brief because I know that a number of members would like to ask questions.

My mother succumbed to Alzheimer's. Therefore, I really get this bill. I also understand the families of people suffering from this disease and its consequences. In 10 years, an affected person can lose their intellectual independence and the ability to get around, feed themselves, even bathe themselves.

Is my colleague aware of the progress being made in research—even though it is not enough—to delay the illness? What more must be done?

International Day of La Francophonie March 13th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, as the official opposition critic for la Francophonie, I invite all Canadians to celebrate the International Day of La Francophonie, which is held every year on March 20.

It is a day of celebration for 275 million French speakers on five continents. This magnificent language, the fifth most spoken language in the world, gives us a great power, the power of numbers, but also the means to build international relationships.

We have major responsibilities with respect to this language. We can write and speak French properly in order to perpetuate it. By being committed to French, we undertake to promote French in all its forms. We should be proud of French and promote French through tangible and progressive actions. Our history, our traditions, our culture and especially our future are amazing because of the French language.

On March 20, let us be proud to celebrate la Francophonie.

Intergovernmental Relations March 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am always surprised by the fancy footwork and demagoguery of the members opposite. Listening to that member, one would believe there is a surplus and the government is giving more in transfers to the provinces, although it is completely ignoring the planned $36 billion cuts to health care.

Since 2012, the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer has been warning the Conservatives that their plan to cut health care transfers to the provinces will jeopardize the sustainability of the health care system and force the provinces to cut vital services that families rely on.

Since 2012, the NDP has been trying to make the government understand that it is headed for disaster if it adopts unilateral measures that will affect the financial strength of the provinces. The reality is that provincial budgets are becoming tighter and tighter because of the costs being downloaded from the federal level, job losses in the manufacturing sector, high household debt, weak employment growth, high youth unemployment and the drop in the EI accessibility rate.

Intergovernmental Relations March 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, during question period on December 12, 2014, I asked this government to answer for its false promises.

The Conservatives lied to us all when they promised flexible federalism, where the provinces would be respected.

In the history of Canada, I do not believe there has ever been a government as closed to the idea of consulting the provinces, when they are the ones most affected by a number of very serious concerns.

Recently, the Prime Minister decided to make unilateral changes to health transfers, without consulting the provinces. The provinces will have to deal with a net loss of $36 billion in the area of health.

Even though the cost of a number of medical services and investments in cutting-edge technology are growing, the message being sent to the provinces is to do more with less.

Having more and more bills and fewer and fewer means with which to pay them is a situation that oddly resembles Canadian household debt, another issue the government is not willing to come up with viable solutions for.

I want to read two passages from the preamble to the Canada Health Act.

The first reads as follows:

...that future improvements in health will require the cooperative partnership of governments, health professionals, voluntary organizations and individual Canadians...

This can be summarized in one word: consultation.

In that passage, there is an s at the end of the word “governments”. We wonder if this government understands its own laws. It seems to me that there is a huge difference between the words “co-operation” and “unilateralism”.

Since I was elected, the Conservatives have been the champions of unilateralism. The Conservatives unilaterally make decisions that will have a long-term effect on the quality of life of all Canadians. Making decisions without consultation seems to be their mantra.

The second passage from the same law reads as follows:

...whereas the Parliament of Canada wishes to encourage the development of health services throughout Canada by assisting the provinces in meeting the costs thereof...

Providing support means working with the provinces to come up with a lasting solution. Once again, this is an example of the Prime Minister's lack of leadership. The provinces need a federal partner that understands their concerns and wants to improve the public health care system.

Providing support does not mean cutting $36 billion in health transfers to the provinces; it does not mean cutting employment insurance; and it does not mean giving gifts to big business.

Supporting the provinces involves planning for the future by offering them reasonable funding and establishing joint strategies. The provinces are being forced to suffer the consequences of a government that does not want to pay its fair share and will do anything to off-load its responsibilities onto them.

We are jeopardizing the sustainability of our free universal health care system.

What will happen to the great Canadian promise of free universal health care when the provinces can no longer afford to provide it? Once again, it will be people in need, those who are vulnerable or sick, who will suffer the consequences of these high-handed decisions.

Provincial and territorial health expenditures continue to grow. In the long term, vital services that families depend on will no longer be available.

The NDP is simply asking the Conservatives to start working with the provinces. We want the Conservatives to stop cutting transfers and stop off-loading their responsibilities onto the provinces.

When will the Conservatives open their eyes and veer off the dangerous economic path they are going down?

Yukon and Nunavut Regulatory Improvement Act March 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is very discouraging to hear the Conservatives provide the sort of answers schoolchildren would provide. In fact, the answers they have been giving opposition members for the past 20 minutes are worse than the answers schoolchildren would provide.

We are asking to be able to talk about and explain things and participate in the debate. The Conservatives are cutting short the debate and saying something so terrible that I will not repeat it.

Official Languages March 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, Air Canada employees at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport are upset about being asked to work every day with a baggage scanner that operates only in English. This is despite the fact that the Commissioner of Official Languages has been clear: Air Canada employees have the right to work in the official language of their choice. This is by no means the first time that Air Canada has violated the rights of francophones.

Does the minister responsible for official languages think that is acceptable?

Pipeline Safety Act March 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, what the NDP is asking for is not very complicated.

We want social accessibility and environmental protections to be respected when major pipeline or economic projects are proposed. We want the government to show a little more respect for Canadians, as Mr. Suzuki does; he pours his heart and soul into the fight to ensure that we can leave future generations with a great place to live.

The bill talks about a $1 billion cap when fault or negligence cannot be proven. This means that taxpayers will once again have to bear any cleanup costs that exceed $1 billion, when fault or negligence cannot be proven. How can fault or negligence be proven in situations like Lac-Mégantic? Who will pay for that?

Pipeline Safety Act March 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals were in power before the Conservatives.

Why did the Liberal government not conduct a thorough reform of the National Energy Board? What changes would it consider necessary for this to be done today in order to give the government concrete proposals?

Pipeline Safety Act March 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the member for Toronto—Danforth spoke about how important the environment is to him and his constituents. The people of Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles feel the same way.

They care about the environment and about protecting it. The Conservatives seem to be the only ones lagging behind in responding to disasters. They take one step forward after a disaster happens. There have been three recently in northern Ontario.

Does the member not think that public safety should be a higher priority for the current government? Should this government not act more quickly and better protect Canadians?

Pipeline Safety Act March 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is another ecological disaster just a few kilometres from people's homes. The people living there were really very close to a major disaster. The consequences are enormous. We really have to look into the issue of safety, as I was saying earlier. In this case, the cause was not a pipeline but a railway. The railway tracks and crossings are in an absolutely deplorable state.