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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 2021, with 12% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Poverty May 29th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to hear my colleague say that even one poor person is one too many. We need to continue to fight poverty. I talked about some organizations in my riding. It is on their behalf that I will continue the fight and never give up.

It would be nice to hear government representatives talk more about the work that still needs to be done, rather than boast about what has been done. There are still 1.4 million children living in poverty in this country. That is far too many. We must focus on what still needs to be done.

Yes, we have taken some steps in the right direction, but in order to stay on course towards the goal of eliminating poverty, we need to stay focused on what remains to be done and on the challenges in front of us. We need to make sure that, in a country as rich as ours, no one lives in poverty.

I therefore repeat my question. When will the government take the next steps to lift children out of poverty?

Poverty May 29th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I recently asked the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development why, in a country as rich as ours, 1.4 million children are still living in poverty, and more than a third of them rely on food banks. These statistics are alarming and unacceptable.

In its 2018 Hunger Count, the organization Food Banks of Quebec reported that the number of free meals for children has gone up 48.5% since 2013 and that 37.8% of the households that rely on food banks are families with children. The figures for my riding, which were supplied by La Moisson maskoutaine, show that 34.1% of the people receiving food assistance are children under 17. That is one-third. It is a huge number.

Food banks across Canada are doing amazing work, and I want to take a moment in the House to thank them for their dedication and their efforts. I especially want to thank the organizations in my riding, their volunteers, their boards of directors and the people who work there day after day. They are making life easier for the people of Saint-Hyacinthe and Acton Vale.

With regard to food assistance, I am especially thinking of the Centre de bénévolat de St-Hyacinthe, the Centre de bénévolat d'Acton Vale, the Comptoir-partage La Mie and La Moisson maskoutaine.

In the riding, there are many organizations that do extraordinary work every day for those much less fortunate. I am thinking of ACEF Montérégie-est, the Centre Louise Bibeau and La Clé sur la porte.

Back in March, when the most recent Hunger Count was being compiled, La Moisson maskoutaine reported giving food aid to over 2,300 people across the RCM, including close to 200 children. It provided 31,751 kilograms of food to 13 organizations across the region and fed thousands of families and individuals who live with food insecurity. Specifically, 2,312 people received food assistance that month alone. I thank these organizations for their tremendous and essential work.

I also want to take the time to thank the organizations that work with and strongly support our children and young people.

I would like to thank all these organizations' members, volunteers and boards of directors. I am thinking about: Sylvie Joubert, Martin Rivard and Sylvie Caouette, from the Club Optimiste d'Acton Vale; Sylvie Carbonneau and Linda Proulx from the Club Optimiste de Douville, and particularly for their Tribute to the Youth activity; the Centre d'intervention-jeunesse des Maskoutains; Jeunes en santé and its coordinator, Jezabelle Legendre; Espace carrière; Grands Frères Grandes Soeurs de la Montérégie; the JAG, which stands for Jeunes Adultes Gai-e-s; and the Maison le Baluchon, where I worked for over a decade.

These people and others in my riding truly care about working with young people and children to improve their quality of life. Let's not forget the Maison jeunesse L'Oxy-bulle de Roxton, the Maison des jeunes de Saint-Hyacinthe, the Maison des jeunes d'Acton Vale, the Maison des jeunes des Quatre-Vents, the Table de concertation jeunesse maskoutaine and the Grand Galop, under the direction of Chantal Pelletier.

A simple expression of thanks in this debate pales in comparison to the incredible reach of their actions. I am well aware of that. I just want them to know that I continue to support them and have the greatest admiration for them. People like them make me proud to be from that riding and represent it as a member of Parliament.

In their name—

Accessible Canada Act May 29th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech, which was mainly a testimonial.

After I was elected as a city councillor, it likely came as no surprise to anyone when I was appointed as the person responsible for accessibility in the municipality, given my experience working with organizations for people with disabilities. Every year, the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec asked us to report on the measures that had been taken to promote accessibility in the municipality. We had to have an action plan that set out concrete measures.

I therefore decided to set up a committee made up of representatives from organizations for people with disabilities, and they are the ones who introduced me to the notion of universal accessibility. As my colleague was saying, it costs money to implement such measures, and these people did not want to be excluded from society because of a targeted action plan. According to the notion of universal accessibility, what is good for a person in a wheelchair is also good for a person pushing a stroller, and an elderly person with a walker has the same needs as a pregnant woman.

What is more, we realized that, by putting fences up around our parks to make them safer, we had made them less accessible. By deciding to set up patios on the sidewalks downtown, we had suddenly made our city less accessible. That is why it is important to listen to organizations for people with disabilities. They are experts on this.

I would especially like to commend my colleague from Windsor—Tecumseh for her work. The member mentioned the 57 amendments, but my colleague's job was to listen to what organizations for people with disabilities had to say and speak on their behalf. Unfortunately, not many of the recommendations were adopted in the bill.

I would like the member to elaborate on the amendments that were not accepted that should be adopted by future governments to improve this bill.

Accessible Canada Act May 29th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I am trying to speak, but the member is yelling over me.

Accessible Canada Act May 29th, 2019

Mr. Speaker—

The Environment May 27th, 2019

Madam Speaker, in Saint-Hyacinthe, young people who are well aware of the climate emergency organized demonstrations. I was with the 150,000 young people who marched in Montreal during the protest. I read the protest signs and talked with them. What these young people were saying is that the government needs to put words into action. They think that a government that believes in the climate emergency would not subsidize the fossil fuel industry or buy a pipeline.

When the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food states in the environment guide she is putting out in her riding that the purchase of a pipeline is unavoidable, does she mean that the government is not capable of standing up to the pressure exerted by oil companies?

Does my colleague not realize that, by taking to the streets in Montreal, these 150,000 young people are saying that the government's words are not consistent with its actions?

International Trade May 27th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, this is our last chance to fix NAFTA 2.0. We need to give the Democrats time to improve the terms of the agreement.

Considering the results of the Liberals' negotiations, agricultural producers are still very angry. With another breach in supply management, the Liberals are jeopardizing the viability of our family farms. Once again, agricultural producers are the ones paying the price for this bad deal.

Instead of getting a good deal for farmers and workers, why are the Liberals in such a hurry to ratify a terrible agreement?

Health May 15th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, Athéna Gervais's death, caused by a sweetened alcoholic beverage, should have raised a red flag. Experts and Éduc'alcool are calling on the government to make these products less attractive to young people, but the government is refusing to meet with them.

While new regulations around these beverages were being studied, the company that produces the beverage consumed by Athéna actively lobbied the Liberals, contacting them over 100 times.

Why have the Liberals yet again sided with powerful lobbies instead of helping our young people?

Health May 15th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, Athéna Gervais's death, caused by FCKDUP, a sweetened alcoholic beverage, should have raised a red flag—

Seniors May 14th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, whether it is during my tours of seniors residences or when I go to the Salon de la famille this Friday, May 17, from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Galeries St-Hyacinthe, seniors come up to me to tell me that they are having a tough time financially because their expenses are increasing whereas their income does not.

That is not surprising when we know that many families, seniors, and singles spend half their income on housing. It is not surprising when drugs cost so much; when families are not fully covered for dental fees and they pay a fortune to go to the dentist; when six out of 10 Canadians are not eligible for employment insurance; when our seniors do not automatically get the guaranteed income supplement. They need it now, not in 2020.

I go door-knocking every Saturday. The past two Saturdays, I had a petition signed calling for GIS payments to be made automatically for everyone. Everyone I met signed it because they think it makes no sense that we are not already doing that.