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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

Telecommunications April 10th, 2019

Madam Speaker, the problem is that an area like the one I represent is only 50 kilometres from Montreal. It is not in a remote area.

The problem with satellite Internet services is that they do not work in our area. They use a wireless technology and when it snows or is windy, it does not work. If a silo is built between our antenna and the transmission antenna, it stops working. If a tree grows, it stops working. We need fibre optics in all areas to have efficient service.

In my riding, young adults go to Montreal, Sherbrooke or Quebec City for their post-secondary studies. Parents tell me that their children do not go home on weekends because they cannot connect to their institution's portal. We want our young people to remain in our region and to return to our region.

Telecommunications April 10th, 2019

Madam Speaker, in our region, high-speed Internet access is indispensable, especially for families, students, SMEs, self-employed workers and of course agricultural businesses.

More than 350,000 households in Quebec still do not have not have an affordable and reliable Internet connection. There is a desperate need now, but the Liberals are telling us today that we will have to wait until 2030.

Much like the Conservatives before them, the Liberals are turning their backs on our rural regions. Budget 2019 would have been a great opportunity to invest in this infrastructure to give everyone access and to help our region develop faster. Instead, we have to wait more than 10 years.

Since I was elected in 2015, I keep repeating over and over that this government is not doing enough to ensure everyone has Internet access, but now, with the election just six months away, the government is saying it is going to invest. Be careful, though, for the devil is in the details. Canadians and Quebeckers will not all have access for another 10 years.

The people of Saint-Hyacinthe and Acton Vale cannot wait 10 years. In my region, 16 of the 25 municipalities have connectivity problems and need Internet. We are talking about a riding that is less than an hour from Montreal. It is truly appalling.

Instead of giving millions of dollars to multi-billionnaires, the government should invest that money now so that our young people can pursue their studies close to home, so that our small businesses can innovate, so that our farmers can prosper, so that our regions can achieve their economic development potential and so that our seniors can access health and social services online if they want to.

Saint-Hyacinthe is an agrifood technopole. Our farmers and producers want to be on the cutting edge of technology, but the government has to give them the tools to achieve that.

Many farms in our riding still do not have a reliable connection. That is a drawback for farmers who want to innovate and improve their efficiency and productivity. Many of our farms and rural areas do not have cable or fibre optic access.

Wireless Internet access is the only solution, but the available networks are often way too slow to be functional. That has a direct impact on farmers, who need Internet access on their farm, in the barn, in the stable, in the fields and in the house to manage their books. To be productive, they need access to fast, reliable Internet.

Connectivity to high-speed Internet is necessary for accessing the latest health care technologies, providing modern education for our young people and students, and helping businesses innovate and grow.

In 2019, reliable access to the Internet is not a luxury. It is an essential service. Only 37% of households have access to high-speed Internet in rural, remote or sparsely populated areas. That means that six out of 10 people living in a rural area do not have access to reliable Internet service.

Why? Because the Liberals, like the Conservatives before them, are not doing enough.

In rural areas, Internet access, if it is available, costs about $100 a month, and sometimes even twice that, for service that often falls short on capacity and quality. Telling people six months before an election that they will have reliable Internet access in 10 years is not going help our SMEs prosper, keep our young people in the regions, help our farmers succeed, support self-employed people, equip our families, and the list goes on.

Why are the Liberals waiting another 10 years to do something about this?

Questions on the Order Paper April 10th, 2019

With regard to infrastructure investments through the Canada Infrastructure Bank, since its creation: (a) what are the Bank's investments, broken down by (i) province, (ii) constituency, (iii) investment partners, (iv) investment projects, (v) investment amounts; and (b) how many jobs are generated by these investments, broken down by (i) province, (ii) constituency?

Petitions April 10th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition to the government that calls for universal access to employment insurance.

Employment insurance unfairly penalizes women in terms of their access to benefits. Only 35.2% of unemployed women are eligible for regular EI benefits compared to 52.5% of men. The petitioners are therefore calling on the Government of Canada to enhance the current employment insurance system to ensure universal access to it.

To achieve that, they want the government to do the following: lower the eligibility threshold to 350 hours or 13 weeks instead of 420 to 700 hours; establish a minimum threshold of 35 weeks of benefits instead of 14 weeks; increase the benefit rate to 70% of salary based on the best 12 weeks of salary instead of 55%; annually index the levels of the family supplement, including a retroactive readjustment as of 1997, calculated based on individual income rather than family income; eliminate total exclusions resulting from resignation or misconduct; and amend the Employment Insurance Act so that any absence related to pregnancy, maternity or parental responsibilities does not prevent access to regular employment insurance benefits.

The Environment April 10th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, to fight climate change, the Liberals are giving $12 million of our money to a billion-dollar corporation led by the second richest person in the country, while our local markets and independent grocers struggle to survive. Our local businesses are greener, yet they are not getting any help from the government.

The Liberals would rather help billionaires than make life more affordable for families and fight climate change for future generations.

What is the Liberals' priority?

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act April 9th, 2019

Madam Speaker, we will support this bill. I thank my colleague for his clear, detailed description of the bill.

Since we passed my colleague's bill to recognize the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, it is important that all bills affecting indigenous communities mention compliance with this declaration.

Does my colleague not think that the bill should be improved by including a reference to compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns April 5th, 2019

With regard to federal funding in the constituency of Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, between April 2016 and January 2019: (a) what applications for funding have been received, including for each the (i) name of the organization, (ii) department, (iii) program and sub-program under which they applied for funding, (iv) date of the application, (v) amount applied for, (vi) whether funding has been approved or not, (vii) total amount of funding, if funding was approved; (b) what funds, grants, loans, and loan guarantees has the government issued through its various departments and agencies in the constituency of Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot that did not require a direct application from the applicant, including for each the (i) name of the organization, (ii) department, (iii) program and sub-program under which they received funding, (iv) total amount of funding, if funding was approved; and (c) what projects have been funded in the constituency of Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot by organizations tasked with sub-granting government funds (e.g. Community Foundations of Canada), including for each the (i) name of the organization, (ii) department, (iii) program and sub-program under which they received funding, (iv) total amount of funding, if funding was approved?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns April 5th, 2019

With regard to Employment Insurance (EI), for 2017 and 2018, broken down by year: (a) what was the volume of EI applications in total and broken down by (i) region and province where the claim originated, (ii) the number of claims accepted and the number of claims rejected, (iii) month; (b) what was the average EI application processing time in total and broken down by (i) region and province where the claim originated, (ii) month; (c) how many applications waited more than 28 days for a decision and, for these applications, what was the average wait time for a decision, in total and broken down by (i) region and province where claim originated, (ii) month; (d) what was the volume of calls to EI call centres in total and broken down by (i) month, (ii) region and province; (e) what was the number of calls to EI call centres that received a high-volume message in total and broken down by (i) month, (ii) region and province; (f) what were the national service-level standards for calls answered by an agent at EI call centres, broken down by month; (g) what were the actual service-level standards achieved by EI call centres for calls answered by an agent, broken down by (i) month, (ii) region and province; (h) what were the service standards for call backs from EI processing staff, broken down by month; (i) what were the service standards achieved by EI processing staff for call backs, broken down by (i) month, (ii) region and province; (j) what was the average number of days for a call back by EI processing staff, broken down by (i) month, (ii) region and province; (k) what were the number and percentage of term employees and indeterminate employees working at EI call centres and processing centres; (l) what was the rate of sick leave use among EI call centre and processing centre employees; (m) what was the number of EI call centre and processing centre employees on long-term disability; (n) what was the number of overtime hours worked by call centre employees; (o) who authored the report on EI processing for which the former Parliamentary Secretary for Employment and Social Development was credited; (p) what are the details of the Table of Contents for the report; (q) will the government make the report public; (r) how many complaints did the Office of Client Satisfaction receive, broken down by (i) month, (ii) region and province where the complaint originated; (s) how long on average did a complaint take to be investigated and resolved, broken down by month; and (t) what were the major themes of the complaints received?

Questions on the Order Paper April 5th, 2019

With regard to the funding granted under the Investing in Canada plan, since March 2016: (a) what applications were initially approved by Infrastructure Canada officials but then rejected by the Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; and (b) what requests were initially rejected by Infrastructure Canada officials but then approved by the Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities?

Child Care April 3rd, 2019

Mr. Speaker, we saw this in Quebec with the creation of the day care network. This really served as a launching pad for women, allowing more and more to get into the workforce and go into more interesting careers. Unfortunately, this network can no longer keep up with the demand. To secure a place for nursery school, women often have to apply or get on a waiting list before even becoming pregnant.

I recently hosted a town hall at my constituency office on the topic of debt. Many people came out to talk to us because they are worried about their high debt levels. I would remind members that the average Canadian household debt is 168%. Many people from young families told me that high day care costs are contributing to their debt load. Unfortunately, the high cost of day care is often the reason that one of the parents might decide to stop working, driving them further into debt.

That is why leadership is crucial. It is unfortunate that we keep talking about the past. It is important to look to the future, to take into account the precarious nature of work, and create a day care system for everyone.