House of Commons photo

Elsewhere

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was city.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Québec (Québec)

Lost her last election, in 2015, with 27% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions April 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the fruit of a national day of action and door-knocking to denounce the banks' unfair fees and schemes. Banking fees are too high considering the ever-growing household debt levels and social inequalities. I am pleased to present this petition signed by many people.

The NDP proposed practical solutions to limit ATM user fees to a maximum of 50¢ per transaction, to improve access to low-interest credit cards, and of course to put a stop to collusion in setting the price of gas.

Quebec Bridge March 30th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, that is nonsense. We know very well that this minister is not doing anything at all for Quebec City.

In Quebec City, we are still waiting for the bridge to be repainted. We have been waiting seven years for the Quebec City armoury to be rebuilt, and still nothing has been done. Plus we are still waiting to hear whether the tall ships project for 2017 will be funded.

Will the minister finally take the interests of the people of Quebec City seriously and do his job?

Telecommunications March 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the minister is saying one thing, but Canadian consumers know full well that their bills continue to increase.

Canadian consumers pay some of the highest wireless rates in the world. Recent data show that Canadians pay almost double what French and U.K. consumers pay. Rising costs affect not only the middle class, but also those who would like to have these services.

Why is the minister refusing to take action to ensure that Canadians have access to affordable services?

Housing March 23rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we have asked the Conservative government multiple times to maintain the general character of the homelessness partnering strategy. The NDP recognizes the excellent results obtained by the At Home program but believes that the housing first approach is not a panacea because it cannot respond to all types of requests. That is the subtle difference that must be understood and that my colleague opposite would do well to understand.

The NDP believes in using a variety of approaches to combat homelessness, and we believe in the importance of prevention.

I spoke about the jobs affected by these cuts. I am thinking of the Maison Richelieu hébergement jeunesse, where three jobs are funded by the HPS; the Centre résidentiel et communautaire Jacques-Cartier—my neighbours, the people who work across from my office—where two jobs are funded by the HPS. These organizations provide transitional housing for young people aged 16 to 35. As I was saying, the Fiducie de la Maison de Lauberivière has four jobs funded by the HPS. This organization provides budgeting services. It helps people to manage their income and expenditures and provides psychosocial evaluation and follow-up.

Housing March 23rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today. A few weeks ago I asked a very clear question to the government about the important homelessness partnering strategy, the HPS, a federal program to fight homelessness. Homelessness is a problem in every city, including Quebec City. The problem may not be as bad in Quebec City as it is in Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver, but homelessness is still an issue.

Why do we not see many homeless people on the streets of Quebec City? It is probably because there are organizations to help them, organizations that are proactive and try to ensure that people do not become homeless. If a person does become homeless, these organizations can help that person and follow up with them to ensure that the person is on the right track.

Prevention makes all the difference. Prevention is very important in Quebec City. Indeed, there about 36 listed organizations that are taking concrete action against homelessness in this city. Of these 36 organizations, 26 are funded by the federal government's homelessness partnering strategy, or HPS. All these 26 organizations are to use 55% of their federal funding on prevention and all services not related to housing. We know that the Conservatives want to promote the housing first program, which aims to ensure that every homeless person has a roof over their head.

However, fighting homelessness does not just involve providing housing for a homeless person. If the homeless have health, mental or psychological problems, they are entitled to a certain amount of follow-up. It also means ensuring that the resources are available. That is what is important. The Conservative government announced that it was going to eliminate the entire budget for prevention. It does not respect the holistic approach preferred by the Quebec City stakeholders that have been working together on this issue. That is our criticism of the Conservative government. Without these funds, the organizations cannot provide everything I talked about earlier.

If the government does not understand the reality in Quebec City and the holistic approach that makes all the difference, sooner or later we will once again see homeless people roaming the streets because they have not been helped by the system.

I have plenty of examples. I am in frequent contact with these organizations, and I salute them because they do exceptional work. One of these is the Maison de Lauberivière, a major shelter in Quebec City. Its trust is in jeopardy. That trust keeps a roof over people's heads and prevents them from becoming homeless again. The Maison de Lauberivière provides many different services, such as those helping people sober up. All of these services have been affected. Another organization is the Salvation Army, and I have close ties to these people who work hard to follow up. Another is the YWCA. Services provided by these four organizations will be cut unless this approach is taken.

When it comes to homelessness, I think the federal government should play a much bigger role. It should prevent rather than cure because that costs much less. This is the economical choice. I urge the government to sit down with people from Quebec City and understand how they are working together on this issue.

Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act March 23rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, with regard to my colleague's speech, I would like to reiterate the importance of avoiding extreme positions.

In any political position, it is important to reflect Canada and be nuanced and balanced. We must not be on either end of the spectrum.

Just by introducing this bill, the government is trying to influence people or scare them, not through the content of the bill, but by exploiting certain prejudices. I invite all the members of the House to be careful and avoid extremes.

Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act March 23rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, as I was listening to my hon. colleague talk about this important issue, I was wondering if she agrees with me that what we really need are human and financial resources.

One thing is for sure: we need to make sure that we can do things properly when it comes to this issue. I know that her riding must be like mine. We can have an impact on society by investing in resources for organizations, police forces and various front-line actors. That is how we can enable them to tackle the problems we do not really know how to address. The first step is talking to the community and making investments where they are needed. I would like to hear her thoughts on that.

Public Works and Government Services March 23rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the people of Quebec have been waiting for the new armoury for seven years, but they will have to keep waiting because last week, we found out that the work that has taken over Place George V will not be done in time for Canada's 150th anniversary in July 2017. The 150th anniversary celebrations will take place among scaffolding and orange construction cones. What a delight the celebrations will be.

This reeks of ad hockery, and Quebec deserves better. Why did the Conservative government wait so long to start work on the new armoury?

Quebec Bridge March 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, with this Conservative government we will never see the $75 million it promised for the Quebec Bridge. It is waiting for CN to do something and CN will not budge. We know that. Everyone knows that.

We know that we need an NDP government if we want to see some action. The Conservatives are definitely not going to be the ones to do anything. They are like Scrooge and do not put money where it should go, like the Quebec Bridge, which is really important. It is Quebec City's emblem.

What are you going to do? Are you going to again wait six years, like you did with the armoury? Are you going to wait longer? Quite frankly, that makes no sense. You must act now, you must assume your responsibilities and not leave Quebec City with such a problem.

Quebec Bridge March 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure for me to rise in the House to talk about issues that matter to Quebec City. Today it is a pleasure for me to talk about an issue that is of great importance to Quebec City: the Quebec Bridge.

The Conservative government promised $75 million for a new paint job, but that offer is conditional on CN's participation. The Conservatives are really playing games with the Quebec Bridge. They say they have money and are ready to take action, but then they pass the puck to CN. If CN does not make a move, the government will not spend anything. In other words, the Conservatives will not do anything with the Quebec Bridge. They announced funding, but then they passed the puck to CN and said they would wait. They will continue to sit on their hands as they have done for many years now, waiting for the issue to sort itself out. That is absolutely deplorable.

Sixty percent of the surface of the Quebec Bridge is rusted, and the corrosion could eventually affect its structural integrity. This bridge is a symbol of Quebec City. It is a symbol and the city is proud of this bridge. It is an internationally recognized landmark. I hope that the Conservative government will take responsibility if the Quebec Bridge falls into the water because no one took care of its structural integrity.

It will not be solely responsible since this is a mistake that dates back to the time when the Quebec Bridge was handed over to CN, which was privatized in 1995. Basically, in 1995, a previous Liberal government decided to sell the bridge. It sold the bridge to CN for one dollar. Once again, this is nothing new, since it is a way for the federal government to shirk its responsibilities and to tell the municipalities and provinces to take care of their own business because it does not care. The bridge was even sent to the private sector, which means that year after year, even after this case went to court, this issue drags on and nothing has been fixed. In the meantime, the Quebec Bridge is covered in rust. The bridge has lost its original charm.

It is time for the Conservatives to take action and assume their responsibilities. It is time for the Canadian government to admit that it is responsible for this mess, that it should pay for this and come up with a long-term solution, because the bridge will need to be painted again and again. There is a game plan for painting every other bridge in the world from one end to the other to ensure that it does not rust. The Quebec Bridge, however, is a flagrant example of the Conservatives' failure to act and their laissez-faire attitude. They allow infrastructure as important as the Quebec Bridge to deteriorate. It is completely unacceptable.

I must admit that this is not the first time we have seen the Conservatives abandon an issue that is extremely important to Quebeckers. Look at the Quebec City Armoury. It took nearly six years before the first tendering process to rebuild it was launched after it burned down in 2008. The tendering process was just recently announced. The government just said that perhaps it should be rebuilt. The way this government treats issues that are extremely important in Quebec City is absolutely appalling.

Quebec City is still waiting. Quebec City wants to host about 40 tall ships in 2017 as part of the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. The city proposed the project in May of 2013, and two years later, we are still waiting. We want answers.