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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

Canada Border Services Agency May 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I rose in the House on February 2 to ask the government if it would be reinvesting in the Canada Border Services Agency to make it more efficient. My colleague, the hon. minister, informed me at the time that an action plan would be implemented by the end of the year.

I rise here today because I must confess that I am concerned about the next few months. Between now and the end of the year, potentially illegal goods could leave the country due to a lack of resources. Immediate action is needed.

The Auditor General's February report highlighted some troubling facts. As we know, the Canada Border Services Agency plays an important role in protecting Canada's safety and security by overseeing the movement of people and goods in and out of the country.

The CBSA administers more than 90 acts, regulations and international agreements on behalf of other federal departments and agencies, the provinces and the territories. It is therefore unacceptable for an organization of this magnitude to fail to deliver on its commitments and its mission. The Auditor General's February report showed that the agency does not have close to what it needs to act on its law enforcement priorities because of a lack of information and resources.

As a result, it is possible that goods that do not comply with Canada's export laws may have left the country. One in five high-risk shipments identified by the agency itself was not examined at the port of exit. The agency missed opportunities to prevent non-compliant shipments from leaving the country. Those targeted shipments were not examined because they had already been loaded on ships or had left Canada by the time the information was received. I repeat, the agency failed to inspect about one in five high-risk shipments. Is that not troubling?

We could have prevented more stolen vehicles from being removed from the country and illegal drugs from being exported from Canada. In short, we have some serious concerns about how the agency is being managed.

The inefficiencies are also the result of the agency being understaffed. In his report, the Auditor General pointed out how important it was for the Canada Border Services Agency to hire more staff, to ensure that high-risk shipments leaving the country are properly examined.

The Auditor General stated that staffing levels also explain the fact that some shipments targeted by the agency are not examined. For example, examinations decrease when employees are on vacation or sick leave.

Here is another example of the problems. At one port, no export control examinations were conducted when the assigned border services officer was on vacation. This is hard to believe, but it is the truth. There was no one to conduct inspections at this port because one officer was on vacation. We expect better, and now the agency needs to do better.

With the summer holidays approaching, this must not happen again. The agency needs proper resources so that it can improve its methods and fix its mistakes.

The Canada Border Services Agency is Canada's last line of defence against the export of goods that are in violation of Canada's export laws.

We do not want to become a sieve for illegal goods. I am calling on the government to take meaningful action to ensure that the agency does not violate its international commitments. We have international commitments and we must honour them.

The Conservatives gutted the Canada Border Services Agency, and now we are seeing the consequences of those cuts.

How much will the government invest in the Canada Border Services Agency, and when, to ensure that the agency can fulfill its mandate properly?

Criminal Code May 17th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech. It is clear that he has a lot of expertise on this complex and sensitive issue.

When the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights was examining this bill, a Liberal government representative said that the clause on natural death was deliberately vague so that more members would vote to pass this bill. However, the argument has often been raised that there is a legal void.

Does the member think that it is better to have a vague law or no law at all? I would also like him to talk about what the Collège des médecins du Québec had to say about this clause.

Criminal Code May 17th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I completely agree with my colleague about the importance of palliative care. Having spent much of my life working in social services and on behalf of people in difficulty, everything affecting vulnerable people is really important to me.

However, and my colleague knows this because we sat on the same committee, a number of witnesses told us that we should not consider all ill or disabled people as being vulnerable. I believe that by doing so we are treating them like children. Many of them can give free and informed consent.

I would like my colleague to explain his views to me because listening to him, I sometimes have the impression that all sick or disabled people are vulnerable.

Indigenous Affairs May 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, 27 years ago, the House voted unanimously in favour of Ed Broadbent's motion, thereby promising to eliminate child poverty. Governments since then, both Conservative and Liberal, have made absolutely no progress.

A report published today describes an alarming situation in this country, particularly with respect to first nations children, a federal government responsibility. Six out of ten children on reserves live in poverty. For shame.

What will the government do to help first nations children?

Air Canada Public Participation Act May 16th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, many of the members who spoke today mentioned that they were lawyers. I am not a lawyer. However, I am very uncomfortable with the idea of voting in favour of a bill that legalizes job losses that are illegal today.

Our colleague talked about his experience in the aerospace sector, and his remarks speak to that.

I would like to know if the member is as uncomfortable as I am about voting in favour of a bill that legalizes job losses that are currently illegal.

Air Canada Public Participation Act May 16th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, our colleague from Saint-Maurice—Champlain talked about the importance of the jobs in the aerospace sector, including in Quebec, and rightly so. Speaking of facts, when Industry Canada shows the tremendous growth in outsourcing aerospace jobs to Asia, I worry about the fact that the only concrete commitment that we have is the maintenance of new aircraft that have not yet been sold. I do not feel reassured because there is no clear guarantee that the aerospace jobs will stay here. The hon. member has not convinced me. I would like him to elaborate.

Air Canada Public Participation Act May 16th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.

As my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie already said, we are pleased to hear him speak in favour of workers.

When he was going over the sequence of events, it would have been good for him to point out that the previous Conservative government could have worked to keep the jobs at Aveos. If we are going to talk about workers' rights, I would like to know what he thinks about the government bringing in voluntary measures to protect workers in Canada's aerospace industry.

How does he think this will make it possible to protect jobs and working conditions for workers in Canada's aerospace industry?

Air Canada Public Participation Act May 16th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, our colleague is telling us not to worry about jobs in the future. However, I would like to know what the government will do to maintain good working conditions for workers in the aerospace industry, when SMEs in Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba will be competing for contracts?

Business of Supply May 12th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech. He spoke about the importance of supporting the manufacturing sector.

I represent Quebec's agri-food capital and, therefore, I am concerned about the impact of the TPP on the agriculture sector. I am also worried about the 60,000 jobs that could be lost with the ratification of the TPP.

I wonder what my colleague thinks about the fact that the government does not seem to be making any definite commitment to provide compensation to sectors, such as the agricultural sector, that could be directly affected by the ratification of the TPP.

Business of Supply May 12th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.

I would like him to explain how he reconciles his support for the TPP with statements made by experts like Joseph Stiglitz, who called the TPP “the worst trade deal ever”, or Jim Balsillie, who said that there will never be another large Canadian tech company under the TPP.