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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

Seniors May 14th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I asked the Prime Minister to take action to help families, seniors and single people going through tough times.

Together with ACEF Montérégie-est, I recently held an informal gathering of citizens on the topic of debt. I heard from lots of people who were deep in debt. People often talk about how expensive housing is. Social housing is in short supply everywhere, not least in my riding.

Two months ago, Jean-Claude Ladouceur, executive director of the Office municipal d'habitation des Maskoutains et d'Acton, told me there are nearly 300 families on the waiting list for social housing. That barely seems possible in a riding of 100,000 people. That is not even counting all the other low-income housing providers in my riding. I met Mr. Ladouceur in February when he came out to a public event I held in Saint-Hyacinthe to talk about the social and affordable housing crisis.

I also invited Geneviève Ledoux, the director of an advocacy group called Groupe de ressources techniques de Saint-Hyacinthe, and the member for Hochelaga, the NDP's housing critic. I would like to congratulate them on the important work they are doing. I would also like to thank all the citizens who came out to express an interest in this crisis. There were over 50 of them, and some of them, especially seniors, shared their concerns with me. They told me that we need to build more social housing for families, single people and seniors. They are absolutely right. People need us to show some political courage. The NDP is ready to make courageous decisions and invest heavily in social housing.

I have been in politics for a long time because I want to change people's lives. I want to improve people's lives. There are some very simple things we can do quickly to make life better for our seniors. One of those things is to make the guaranteed income supplement automatic for all seniors. As I have said many times, I do not understand why GIS payments are not automatic for all seniors. That is unacceptable to me and to the FADOQ, too.

I would like to recognize the outstanding work of the FADOQs, especially those in my riding. I am thinking for example of Serge Mathieu of the FADOQ Aquinois in Saint-Hyacinthe, Fernand Beauregard of the FADOQ Saint-Dominique, Mario Gagnon of the FADOQ St-Joseph in Saint-Hyacinthe, Linda St-Pierre of the FADOQ Saint-Pie, Jean-Denis Leboeuf of the FADOQ Acton Vale, Donald Chagnon of the FADOQ St-Liboire, Laurianne Cusson of the FADOQ Saint-Théodore-D'Acton, Gérard Beaulieu of the FADOQ St-Valérien, Jo-Anne Delage of the FADOQ Ste-Christine, Jocelyne Jodoin of the FADOQ Ste-Hélène and Micheline Guérette of the FADOQ Upton. I am also thinking of all the volunteers who work with and gravitate to these FADOQ to bring seniors together. As I was saying, many of my constituents are going through hard times.

My question could not be simpler. When will the government finally help those who need it most?

Infrastructure May 13th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I did a tour of the municipal councils in my riding. Every time I meet with them, they say they are disappointed. When they look at the Canada-Quebec agreement on the plan to invest $180 billion over 10 years, they see that a lot of that money will be spent only in years nine and 10. That is not what they need. They need investments in infrastructure now.

They also need the government to think about the smaller municipalities that feel forgotten when they see the Canada-Quebec agreement. Five billion dollars of the $7.5 billion is going to the nine biggest cities in Quebec, and the smaller municipalities are feeling left out.

What is more, as the Parliamentary Budget Officer said in his reports on phase 1 of the Liberals' plan, less than half the money was earmarked for that phase. I am not saying spent, but earmarked. The municipalities need investments now. The municipalities need the government to be there for them now.

Infrastructure May 13th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, on March 15, young people took to the streets of Saint-Hyacinthe to alert the government to the climate emergency. In Montreal, 150,000 people marched. Around the world, millions of people, primarily young people, took part in the climate march. I was in Montreal that Friday, and I want to congratulate everyone who took part in the movement, and those who continue to do so, on their engagement.

Conversely, I have nothing to congratulate this government on, except perhaps its incredible investment in greenwashing rather than effective ecological measures. Giving millions of dollars to support the Keystone XL project and purchasing the Trans Mountain pipeline, for example, both point to the fact that the government is all talk and no action when it comes to preserving the environment.

The situation is critical now. We need greener and more sustainable infrastructure. The Liberals make lofty promises but are doing absolutely nothing about this. Speaking of promises, after three years of inaction, the Liberals say they are completely focused on infrastructure. It was about time. However, this is an election year. Is that a coincidence? What a shame.

From now on, we need to design and build all our infrastructure based on sustainable development criteria, and that includes the environmental, economic and social cost as much as it includes the cost of maintenance, restoration or partial replacement as needed.

There are local initiatives, such as roller-compacted concrete, or RCC, produced by Carrières de St-Dominique, a company in my riding. I invite the minister to come meet Jacques Sylvestre Sr., the president of the Carrières de St-Dominique board of directors, Jean Dubreuil, the R&D director, and David Jodoin, project manager. This is a perfect example of sustainable innovation.

Infrastructure developed with RCC is an example of an innovative process that everyone should be on board with, including the federal government. It needs to support such ideas. As I have already said, sustainable development must be a criterion in the awarding of federal contracts. We must stop seeing infrastructure as an expense and start seeing it as a real investment. I should add that the Parliamentary Budget Officer agreed. Infrastructure that is more environmentally friendly, more social and longer lasting will offset the cost of the investment.

As critic for infrastructure and communities, I am calling on this government to review its infrastructure policy. We must plan for the future. Young people in Saint-Hyacinthe and Montreal are worried about the future. It is not difficult to see why, when you look at the government's inaction on the environment. My youth committee has made the environment a priority, as have thousands of young people across the country. However, the committee is worried by this government's inaction, the purchase of a polluting, leaky pipeline, and the plastics that are polluting our oceans, lakes and rivers.

The NDP already tabled a motion to do away with single-use plastics by 2022. We want more investments in the creation of greener jobs and large-scale building renovations. We need to be bold because we are leaving an enormous economic and environmental debt for future generations.

My question is simple. When will the government start walking the talk and finally make the transition to a green economy?

Employment Insurance May 13th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, William Morissette lives in New Brunswick and has a cancer that makes it impossible for him to work. He has used up his 15 weeks of sickness benefits and does not have access to disability benefits.

In addition to fighting cancer, William has to fight the Liberal government, even though there are 32 Liberal members in Atlantic Canada. William, like thousands of others, believed the Prime Minister and the minister responsible for this file when they promised to enhance the EI's unfair sickness benefits.

When will they keep this promise to William and thousands of other sick people who cannot work and do not have a dime?

Employment May 6th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, nearly a thousand temporary foreign workers got a nasty surprise upon arriving here.

Rather than receiving a tax refund, they had an outstanding balance because Revenue Canada made mistakes. When the agency makes mistakes in one out of five cases, how can it say the matter is resolved?

The president of the Union des producteurs agricoles, Marcel Groleau, is calling on the minister to fix the problem cases and make sure this never happens again.

When will the minister take action?

Environmental Protection in Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot May 6th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, we are fortunate to have organizations doing amazing work in our riding. The Comité des citoyens et citoyennes pour la protection de l'environnement maskoutain is a grassroots organization dedicated to protecting the environment around Saint-Hyacinthe. Our sub-watershed committees, OBV Yamaska and Le Boisé des douze, also work hard to protect our environment.

The people of Saint-Hyacinthe and Acton care deeply about the environment.

Last month, hundreds of our young people took part in a climate rally to alert the government to the climate emergency. Young people know we need to act now. My youth committee made this a priority file. That is why we are organizing a gathering to discuss environmental protection and single-use plastics on June 8.

I invite all my constituents to join us, because protecting the environment is everyone's business.

Business of Supply May 1st, 2019

Madam Speaker, my colleague knows how proud I am to represent a riding where the agri-food sector is the main economic driver.

Would he agree that the government's lack of support for canola farmers is yet more proof of its lack of consideration for the agri-food sector?

The farmers I represent became disillusioned in the first six months as they saw how little consideration the government gave to the agriculture sector in all of its international trade agreements and international relations, from the agreement with Europe to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which, incidentally, had been initiated by the previous Conservative government.

Dairy farmers and food processors struggle to understand why 17,000 tonnes of European cheese is flooding into Canada. Our beef farmers cannot believe they are barred from exporting their beef to Europe. Veal farmers in my riding worry that Europe's veal market will kill our own. Farmers in supply-managed sectors are afraid of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the USMCA.

Does my colleague agree with Canadian farmers that this government's agriculture ministers have no voice at all at the cabinet table?

Indigenous Affairs May 1st, 2019

Mr. Speaker, the people of Kashechewan had to once again be evacuated because of flooding. This could have been avoided. The Liberals promised to relocate them to higher ground, but two years later that still has not happened. Yesterday, children and leaders from the community were here to remind the Liberals about their promises and ask them to keep them.

When will the Prime Minister finally keep just one promise?

Government Priorities May 1st, 2019

Mr. Speaker, three months ago, 46% of Canadians were $200 away from insolvency. That figure rose to 48% last week.

While half the population struggles to make ends meet, the Liberals continue to subsidize oil companies and give multimillion-dollar handouts to Loblaws.

The Prime Minister is completely out of touch with reality. We need a government that is on our side, not on the side of the ultra rich.

When are the Liberals actually going to start working to save half the population from financial insecurity?

Government Priorities April 11th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, the OECD is calling for us to do more for the middle class. That is not surprising since half of Canadians are $200 away from bankruptcy. What are the Liberals doing to help those people? They gave $12 million in taxpayers' money to Loblaws, a billionaire company that is making huge profits, so that it could buy fridges. We are talking about a company that refuses to gives its employees decent work and working conditions.

Is that the Liberals' plan? Are they going to continue to help the rich instead of our seniors and families?