House of Commons photo

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

Canadian Heritage January 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, as part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, Quebec City would like to host about 40 tall ships in 2017. Quebec City submitted its proposal to the government in May 2013 but has not heard a thing since then. The organizers need an answer within the next few days, otherwise the event may not go ahead.

Will Quebec City have to cancel another major international event because of the Conservatives' inaction? Could the minister pick up the phone and do something about this?

Affordable Housing January 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the work of members of the Fédération des coopératives d'habitation de Québec, Chaudière-Appalaches, also known as FECHAQC.

Co-operative housing provides 27,000 Quebec households with decent, affordable housing. Co-operative housing is a modern, effective and humane solution to housing problems.

Unfortunately, for the past few years, the Conservative government has refused to reinvest in affordable housing. Next year, about 100,000 households will be affected by those cuts. By 2030, the federal housing budget will have been cut by 85%. That is right, 85%.

The NDP believes that everyone has a right to decent housing at a reasonable cost. A roof is a right.

That is why we are calling on the government to maintain the total amount of $1.7 billion a year currently invested in those agreements.

It is time to bring in a housing strategy, and I will be attending FECHAQC's annual general meeting this Saturday to talk about just that. Everyone is welcome.

Canadian Heritage January 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I must represent the people of my riding and the events that take place there.

I love to hear that investments are being made back home, because that benefits the people there. However, the government has been lazy on some files. For example, it took seven years to look at rebuilding the Quebec City Armoury. There have been some lengthy and often unjustified delays.

Some events have vanished altogether because of a lack of federal funding. I think I have reason for concern. That is why I have a very simple question. Do the Conservatives understand that they need to set this budget by February? That is just a few days away. If they do not, the event could be in jeopardy, and I want it to go on.

Do the Conservatives plan on making a positive announcement by February 2015 to reassure everyone, especially the organizers and financial backers of this project?

Canadian Heritage January 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure for me to talk about issues that matter to Quebec City in the House.

In December 2014, I asked a question about a major and highly anticipated event, the 2017 tall ships. Quebec City would like to host about 40 tall ships as part of the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation.

From what I understand, the City submitted its detailed proposal to the government in May 2013, but it has yet to receive an answer. There has been nothing but radio silence. We have no idea whether the Conservatives plan to support this project.

I would like to point out that we are just days away from a deadline, which is in February. A decision about this project needs to be made this week. If the federal government does not get on board with the plan, the City of Quebec can withdraw its bid in February 2015 at the latest. The Quebec City tall ships project could be compromised if the federal government does not confirm funding in the next few days.

We have heard nothing but radio silence from the Minister of Canadian Heritage on this, despite the many times she has risen in the House to say that she understands how important the 150th anniversary is to Quebec City. It is indeed very important, and we want things to be done right. Unfortunately, even though she came to Quebec City many times last summer and fall, we have not had an answer. Frankly, it is disappointing, because we expect an answer. We need one soon in order to set the budget. The year 2017 is just around the corner. We are talking about booking 40 prestigious tall ships that could sail up and down the St. Lawrence and stop in Quebec City for us. It is important to be able to take care of things in advance so that they are done properly and budgets are respected.

Unfortunately, we now see that the Conservative government desperately lacks any vision, given that it has completely abandoned international events that draw millions of tourists and generate huge economic spinoffs. We know that in the tourism sector, one dollar invested translates into seven dollars in direct economic spinoffs. That is important.

The federal government had a program to help major festivals in the country, but since that program was eliminated in 2011, subsidies for festivals in Quebec have gone from 24% to 18%. We all know that just last year, the Conservatives decided to reduce the budget of the Canadian Tourism Commission by 20%. It is a marketing budget that helps these events get exposure and brings national and international tourists to just about every corner of Quebec, which is very profitable for us.

Someone very important to us reminded us that we want more money in order to generate more economic spinoffs. That someone is Daniel Gélinas, director general of the Quebec City summer festival, a huge festival that puts on more than 300 shows every summer. It is high time to get on board with this.

The Conservatives' inaction and the lack of funding has already created victims. The International Festival of Military Bands in Quebec City has folded after 15 years. It is important to remember that the Festival of Military Bands in Quebec City was so extraordinary that it attracted people and bands from all over. People came to Quebec City to learn from this expertise, knowing that such a massive and top-notch event could be organized.

I find it very unfortunate that we cannot keep running these events, especially because the federal government would just have to contribute a modest amount given that the provincial and municipal governments were on board. The initiative only required a little support.

With the disappearance of the International Festival of Military Bands in Quebec City, we wonder today whether Quebec City will have to cancel another international event, the very exciting Rendez-vous 2017 tall ships regatta, because of the Conservatives' inaction.

Job Creation January 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, 200,000 more Canadians are out of work than before the recession. Crossing our fingers and delaying the budget is not a good economic plan. That is not how to show leadership. As Kevin Page said, the government has the means and must invest to stimulate the economy and broaden its tax base.

That is exactly what our leader proposed today by putting forward a plan to stimulate job creation in the manufacturing sector and in small businesses. Rather than offering billions of dollars to large corporations that are already making a profit, we believe that it would be better to support SMEs, which are the driving force behind job creation in Canada.

It is time to diversify our economy and encourage innovation in order to revive job creation in Canada. While the Conservatives are delaying their budget and the Prime Minister is refusing to work with the provinces to address economic issues, Canadians know that they can count on the NDP.

Veterans December 11th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, 900 positions were eliminated at Veterans Affairs. That is more than a third of the unit that administers services and 372 positions in the health and rehabilitation unit. To mask their ideological cuts, the Conservatives claimed that this would not affect services.

That is what got us into the mess we are in right now: veterans are dying before they can get the care they need and others are committing suicide. This makes no sense.

What is the Prime Minister waiting for? When will he dismiss this completely incompetent minister?

Petitions December 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today to table a petition with several hundred signatures concerning the Quebec Bridge. It of course calls on the federal government, CN and all levels of government to come to an agreement about ensuring the longevity of the Quebec Bridge. As members know, last weekend, many of us took action in order to ensure the longevity of the bridge structure.

I would also like to take this opportunity to commend the exceptional work done by François-Xavier Labranche, a committed young man who helped me collect all these signatures. He is proof that young people have an important role to play in our society. They can take meaningful action because nothing is impossible for the intrepid.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act December 8th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, that is, in fact, the problem with this bill.

At this point, as it is currently worded, as all the NDP amendments have been rejected, the problem with this bill is that it does not balance civil liberties with strengthening national security. Things could get seriously out of hand and that worries me. This is why I am encouraging this government to take another look at these amendments and give them some consideration.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act December 8th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, we have a Prime Minister who focuses far too much on security.

We talk constantly about public safety here in the House of Commons. Granted, it is an issue, but it is not the only one. I would like it if we could talk more about economic development, about our small and medium-sized businesses and our great tourism industry, which unfortunately is being cut by the Conservatives. Tourism benefits every one of our ridings. I would like these matters to be debated in the House and more bills to be introduced on this issue.

Public safety is important but we talk for too much about it. We should be talking about the environment, economic development and other issues, rather than being obsessed with public safety. I read in the Hill Times that terrorism and security are two of the three issues that Canadians are starting to become tired of. I would suggest that we discuss it in small doses.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act December 8th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, that is an excellent question from the hon. member for Hochelaga.

We have no time, in committee or in the House, to debate and find common ground for everyone here and for Canadians. I find it regrettable that the government uses so many gag orders. It is a game to them. Debate is cut short and bills move from one stage to the next. It is really unfortunate because we are unable to delve into the details.

The impact of cuts to public safety organizations can be felt in each of our ridings. I am disappointed that we cannot look at the details and talk about specific examples. Again, there are experts on the ground who know what the needs are. We need to listen to them so that we know which priorities cannot be compromised. Budget cuts are one thing, but we cannot skimp on the essentials.