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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was riding.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as NDP MP for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot (Québec)

Lost her last election, in 2019, with 18% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Poverty June 13th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, in the last budget, the Liberals noted that the NDP, the Assembly of First Nations, the Breakfast Club of Canada and many other organizations have been calling for a national school food program. Given that one child in five is living in poverty, that is crucial.

Unfortunately, the Minister of Families refuses to commit to a time frame and, worse still, no funding has been announced for the program.

Was that announcement from the last budget a genuine promise—not that that means much to the Liberals—or was it simply another Liberal PR exercise?

Public Services and Procurement June 12th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, this is National Public Service Week, but many public servants do not feel like celebrating.

Céline, a public servant who lives in my riding, told me that, because of the Liberals' and the Conservatives' Phoenix pay system fiasco, she has been owed over $18,000 for more than a year and a half. Once again, the Liberals are giving hundreds of millions of dollars to a large corporation while problems just keep piling up.

Why have the Liberals still not repaid Céline and the other public servants who are in the same situation?

Seniors June 11th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, yet my seniors' committee has told me how many of them struggle to pay for their medications and their rent. We should be working on making life more affordable for them. Instead, the Liberals are giving millions of dollars to big businesses because of loopholes. Lise, a 71-year-old senior in my riding, told me that all too often she feels that the Liberals, and the Conservatives before them, have forgotten about her.

Why have the Liberals chosen to help the wealthy instead of seniors?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship June 6th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, in 2015, the Prime Minister asked us to show some compassion and generosity and welcome Syrian families. We would like him to show the same compassion for Nour Mohammad, a 22-year-old Syrian woman who is stranded alone in Libya, far away from her eight brothers and sisters, who live here in Saint-Hyacinthe with their parents. They are here today. I asked the Minister of Immigration to help Nour, but he refused.

How can the Liberals ask us to show compassion when they have none?

Employment Insurance June 5th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I have asked our self-proclaimed feminist Prime Minister many times to reform his sexist EI program. This program is failing far too many workers, and especially women workers. Fifty percent of men are eligible for benefits, but just 35.2% of women, many of them mothers, are eligible. Workers are tired of the Liberals' inaction and want a government that is on their side.

When will the Liberals take action and reform this sexist EI program?

Poverty June 5th, 2019

Madam Speaker, I am pleased that the parliamentary secretary took the time this evening to point out that there are still 1.4 million children living in poverty in Canada.

Tonight, I am more specifically concerned about poverty among seniors because they write to me every week. The hour is late, 12:20 a.m., but it is also the eleventh hour for seniors living in poverty, because they are at the end of their lives. We need to meet their needs now.

My colleague from North Island—Powell River introduced a bill that would make it possible to do that immediately. The bill would not even have to be passed. The government could take action to prevent the temporary suspension of the guaranteed income supplement for seniors and should do so immediately.

Seniors should not have their guaranteed income suspended. We are talking about the poorest seniors in our society.

Poverty June 5th, 2019

Madam Speaker, too many Canadians are suffering because of our government's lack of initiative to eradicate poverty. The measures in the Liberals' proposed bill are insufficient and do not go far enough. A thousand organizations and citizens from across the country are saying this, including some from my riding.

Ms. Denise wrote to me to say that she cannot find affordable housing that is accessible for her son, who uses a wheelchair. This mother is worried that she cannot properly care for her son, since housing costs are too high. Ms. Denise's concerns are shared by many others in my riding, who are asking for affordable housing units to be built. Affordable housing should be a right, not a luxury. It is a right that many Canadians do not have access to.

I could also mention Ms. Francine, who said that she cannot believe the government's inaction on social housing, especially to help retired Canadians. Pensions are still too low for our seniors to enjoy a decent standard of living.

I heard from Ms. Lyette, Ms. St-Pierre, Mr. Blanchard, Mr. Fournier, Ms. Nicole, Mr. Réjean and many others who want the pension benefit to go up because people who have worked their whole lives should not have such a hard time making ends meet. Estelle and Yvan's only priority is the old age pension, which they wish were higher. The OAS benefit is too low to help our fellow citizens achieve financial security, particularly if they have no other source of income.

The Liberal bill in no way reflects the reality of poverty in Canada. We still have a long way to go, not least when it comes to health care. Many of my constituents talk to me about that.

Mr. Houle, for example, has trouble managing his health because the cost of prescription drugs is more than he can afford on his pension.

Ms. St-Pierre has told me how hard it is to get hospital care because of the lack of equipment and personnel. Yes, I realize health care is a provincial responsibility, but the government needs to increase federal health transfers. Such an increase would considerably improve our health care system and help ensure better care for our patients. Much like housing, health care must not become a luxury. We need to focus on the progress that remains to be made.

The difficulties encountered by my constituents are the same ones encountered by thousands of other people across the country. The federal government needs to show leadership on fighting poverty or certainly regard it as a public relations exercise. After a four-year wait, the Canadian poverty reduction strategy still seriously lacks ambition and basically duplicates existing measures.

Did Canadians really need to wait for years for that, especially with the election just months away? It is smoke and mirrors. When will the Liberals finally stop ignoring Canadians, my constituents and everyone living in poverty, and finally introduce legislation that will really wipe out poverty?

Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1 June 4th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, despite what my colleague said about access to housing, I will still be voting against this bill.

I hosted a luncheon in Saint-Hyacinthe on the topic and I learned that there are now over 200 families on the waiting list for low-income housing there. Seniors in the region are also in dire need of it. A number of people have told me that they spend 30% to 50% of their income on housing.

The students and people under 30 in my riding are saying they are in debt. They do not have RRSPs with which to buy a house.

This budget does not reflect the reality of the people in my riding at all. I cannot fathom how my colleague can say that they have solved the housing problem.

Labour June 4th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, the government still has no plan to deal with the labour shortage in rural areas like mine, despite the disastrous consequences for many businesses. Everyone agrees that immigration is one solution, but it is a long process. I asked the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to open an office in Saint-Hyacinthe to help SMEs and agri-food companies, but nothing has happened.

Why is the minister ignoring the people in my riding and in rural areas?

The Environment June 3rd, 2019

Mr. Speaker, the IPCC report was clear: we must act now to deal with the climate emergency.

The NDP has an ambitious plan to deal with this emergency. The plan is focused on the jobs that support our workers and their families by providing training, helping them go back to school, helping them find good jobs and making life more affordable for them. The energy transition needs to happen quickly.

Can the Liberals assure workers that they will have easy access to EI so they can make this energy transition?