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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was liberals.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as NDP MP for Salaberry—Suroît (Québec)

Won her last election, in 2015, with 30% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Organ Donations December 5th, 2011

Madam Chair, I would like to thank my colleague opposite for his heartfelt speech.

There are a lot of problems in terms of delays obtaining organ donations and transplantations, and very little research is carried out when it comes to recipient lists. While people wait, would the member opposite agree with the federal government investing money so that more research can be conducted in the area of recipient lists? Just as there is a need for donor lists, there is also a need for recipient lists, so that—

Health December 1st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the government is dragging its feed on funding for community organizations through the federal initiative to address HIV/AIDS in Canada. Organizations had to wait months before applying for funding and a number of them may now have to close their doors because of the delays. Today, we are still in the dark about the Conservatives' proposed new funding formula.

On this World AIDS Day, will the government finally announce the funding criteria and provide an explanation for the delays?

Citizen's Arrest and Self-defence Act December 1st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for providing some explanations, especially concerning the care that was taken in drafting this bill and the importance of having the time to study each of these measures in committee.

I would specifically like to talk about the potential dangers facing crime victims. I worked for 10 years in a corner store and I was the victim of armed robbery. It ended well, but you do not know how you will react in such a situation. You do not know the kind of strength you have when you are scared or when your adrenalin is pumping. Serious accidents can happen.

I would like to know what he thinks about the danger that this bill could present. This bill is very important, but we have to frame it in order to minimize the risks.

November 29th, 2011

Madam Speaker, she was in New York, but the Minister of Health was here during the Rio conference. She did not seem to know anything about the conference, because she was unable to answer the question and she shifted her response to another subject. If taking action on the social determinants of health that create health inequalities were truly the government's priority, the minister would not have been here and the parliamentary secretary could have answered the question.

It is fine to say that this is important, but action must be taken. They must walk the talk. Consequently, if 20% of the health envelope is slated for social determinants, we must examine what has been done about homelessness and what is being done in the area of social housing.

November 29th, 2011

Madam Speaker, Canada missed an important opportunity to make a positive contribution on the international stage during the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health, which took place in Brazil from October 19 to 21. In fact, the Minister of Health did not believe it was necessary to participate in this event, where 118 countries came together to establish an action plan.

Nevertheless, in Canada, 20% of health care expenditures are attributable to social issues that affect health, such as homelessness and unemployment. When I asked the minister to explain why she did not attend this important meeting, she was unable to provide an answer. Finally, she responded that she was attending other international meetings.

Clearly, the minister was completely unaware of this conference on the social determinants of health or it was not one of the priorities of the Conservative government, which has demonstrated a complete lack of leadership on this issue. I will explain why this conference should have been a priority for Canada. First, according to the World Health Organization:

The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, including the health system.

These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels, which are themselves influenced by policy choices.

The social determinants of health are mostly responsible for health inequities—the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen between industrialized and the least fortunate countries and even within industrialized countries. Canada, which is part of the G8, should thus have been concerned about this issue and participated in this meeting.

From what I know, even here in Canada, people are still suffering as a result of poverty, social exclusion, stress, unemployment, homelessness and malnourishment, just to name a few of the most important social determinants of health. Here are a few concrete examples of the direct impact these social determinants can have on health.

According to a 2003 WHO study by Wilkinson and Marmot, those living on the streets suffer the highest rates of premature death. Homelessness is still a relevant issue these days, as was highlighted during the 22nd edition of the Nuit des sans-abri on October 21, 2011, in Quebec. Do my colleagues know that it costs the Quebec health care system about $24,000 to take care of a homeless person, whereas if community services received adequate funding to fight homelessness, it would cost the federal government half as much? I think that some strategic choices need to be made.

In 2004, the Canadian Institute of Child Health stated that the lower the household income, the higher the incidence of emotional and behavioural problems in childhood. As a teacher who worked in a disadvantaged area, I can confirm that children who grow up in an unsafe environment with low levels of stimulation are unfortunately more affected by learning difficulties and behavioural problems. There are plenty of studies to corroborate that.

More recently, a number of health care experts testified before the Standing Committee on Health, and they all agreed that seniors who are isolated are more likely to develop mental health problems. They also said that low-income seniors are not able to buy fruits and vegetables, which are a nutrition staple, and that this often leads to problems. Those are just a few examples.

Every day, 21,000 children in the world die before their 5th birthday. All of these alarming facts and figures are from the WHO.

If health is one of this government's priorities, why was it missing in action in Brazil?

Canadian HIV/AIDS Awareness Week November 29th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, today I wish to recognize Canadian HIV/AIDS Awareness Week, which runs from November 24 until World AIDS Day on December 1. This is an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the invaluable work of health professionals and agencies such as COCQ-SIDA and the Canadian AIDS Society in raising public awareness about the risks related to this devastating disease and how to prevent it from spreading. Despite such efforts, there are still more than 3,000 new cases of AIDS in Canada every year. We must recognize the important contribution of those who help people who have HIV/AIDS, their families and their loved ones.

I was saddened to learn that, because of this government's inaction, funding for these agencies is in jeopardy. Many will no longer be able to continue their activities or pay their employees beyond March 31, 2012. We must continue to support research into finding a cure and support the various stakeholders who work on prevention and awareness, since contracting HIV/AIDS is preventable. I hope the government will do the right thing.

Safe Streets and Communities Act November 29th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the member across the floor.

Can he show us at least two expert studies that prove that this bill will significantly reduce crime—which is already at the lowest rate Canada has seen in 40 years—more effectively than a nation-wide prevention program?

Safe Streets and Communities Act November 29th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine for her very compassionate speech focused on prevention.

As a former teacher, I can testify to the positive contribution made by social workers, community organizations, CLSCs, psychoeducators and psychologists who help those with difficulties. Often, it is the most underprivileged people in our society who have problems and they do not really know how to deal with them, so they end up committing certain minor crimes.

I would like the hon. member to explain how prevention initiatives for these people could help to reduce the number of crimes and victims and the number of prison sentences.

Health November 28th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that this issue relates to the CETA, not the provinces. If this is the government's idea of defending the interests of Canadians, so much for that.

We will have to spend an estimated $2.8 billion more a year on drugs if Canada signs this agreement with the EU. And Canadians will receive nothing in return: no access to better drugs, generic drugs or low prices.

Why is the minister taking this file so lightly without showing any leadership? Why is she defending large pharmaceutical companies instead of Canadians?

Health November 28th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, this government's record on health is appalling. Not only has it been unable to have current health accord commitments honoured, but now the Minister of Health has said that she will not be involved in negotiations for a free trade agreement with the EU. The accord calls for greater protection for pharmaceutical patents, which would force us to spend billions of dollars more every year.

Will the minister do the responsible thing and intervene in order to ensure that we do not have to pay more for our medication?