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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

Health May 11th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers have been paying ancillary fees for insured services for years, which is contrary to the Canada Health Act, and the federal government has done nothing about it.

Quebec's auditor general released a report yesterday stating that ancillary fees are now out of control. The poorest Quebeckers are paying the price for this two-tier health system. The minister keeps saying that she is talking to her Quebec counterpart and that she believes in the Canada Health Act.

When will she actually enforce it?

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1. May 10th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I commend my colleague for his environmental concerns.

When he speaks about pride, I find it difficult to understand how the Liberals can be proud of introducing an omnibus bill and imposing closure on parliamentarians. He said that MPs are the conduits for the people in our ridings. I do not see how I can be a conduit when I am prevented from speaking in the House.

I certainly agree that it is important to have an Internet connection. However, it is completely unacceptable for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to talk only about high-speed Internet when we ask him what is in this budget for agriculture.

It is not enough to say that they care about agriculture when the budget does not provide any compensation for agricultural producers who are affected by different international treaties. I do not see how they can say that they support farmers. I would like my colleague to explain that.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1. May 10th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech.

He referred to the throne speech, but the change announced in that speech was in relation to the previous Conservative government, which kept introducing omnibus bills and imposing gag orders on parliamentarians. I know that my colleague was not a part of that government. As he said, we are democratic. I know how much respect he has for the workings of Parliament and this institution.

Does he not find it strange that the Liberals are perpetuating the Conservative practice of imposing omnibus bills and gag orders?

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1. May 10th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, our colleague spoke with pride about his last election campaign, but I am certain that the voters in his riding who voted for him voted for change and the promise of greater openness and transparency.

We agree that a budget is important. Now, the Liberals have introduced a 179-page omnibus bill. Parliamentarians are being gagged. Given that they were promised change, Canadians were not expecting such an undemocratic move.

The Liberals campaigned in Atlantic Canada and promised real employment insurance reform. However, the Atlantic regions are not among the 12 regions entitled to supplementary unemployment benefits. Can my colleague tell me whether that is what the people of Atlantic Canada were expecting in the way of employment insurance reforms?

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1. May 10th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech.

I am glad that he mentioned that it was a privilege for him to rise in the House to speak to this issue. In my opinion, Quebeckers who thought they were voting for change by voting Liberal must be disappointed.

This government claims that it wants to be open and transparent, but the fact that it introduced an omnibus bill followed by a gag order clearly shows that nothing has changed. We are in the same boat we were in for the past 10 years while the Conservatives were in office.

I am also glad that my colleague spoke about the problem of tax havens because, by forgoing that revenue, the government is not playing its role as a distributor of wealth. We know that the gap between the rich and poor is widening. The 100 richest Canadians now hold as much wealth as the bottom 10 million combined.

Is the government failing to do as much as it could because it is forgoing this revenue?

Yes, the government is helping seniors, but it could have done a lot more. The government introduced measures to help lift seniors out of poverty, but it could have done a lot more in terms of employment insurance and support for regional economic development, particularly support for SMEs and innovation.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1 May 6th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I share my colleague's indignation at the fact that Bill C-12 was put into an omnibus bill. However, I would like to remind him that the Conservatives also introduced undemocratic bills like this one that evince disrespect for Parliament.

Also under the Conservatives, wounded veterans were forced to prove, year after year, that the legs they lost in the line of duty had not magically reappeared. That is utterly unacceptable, and it literally adds insult to injury. Unfortunately, that practice will not change under the new government.

Is the member concerned about the fact that this bill fails to ensure that practice will end?

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1. May 5th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, when the Liberals were in opposition, they called the Conservatives’ omnibus bills undemocratic and disrespectful of our Parliament. Today our colleague declares himself very proud of a voluminous bill. I do not understand how anyone can be proud of a 179-page bill that amends 30 separate laws, affects nine different departments and has an impact on many others, contains a bill already on the Order Paper, would retroactively repeal an entire statute, and also contains other retroactive legislative changes.

My colleague says he is very proud of the banks, but does he not think that a complex section on bank recapitalization is deserving of much more thorough study than what it will receive as part of an omnibus bill?

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1. May 5th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech.

As the proud representative of Quebec's agri-food capital, I was especially interested in measures affecting agriculture. I, too, was disappointed to hear the Minister of Agriculture say that the only thing in the budget that could be of interest to agricultural producers was access to the Internet in rural areas. That is of very little concern to them.

I would like my colleague to tell us what he would have liked this budget to do for agriculture.

Status of Women May 4th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, we cannot eliminate violence against women without government help. I am impressed with the government's plan to create 3,000 shelter spaces over the next two years.

However, the fact is that the need is much greater. Three thousand spaces across Canada in over 600 shelters is not enough. If the government decides that something must be done, it should do it right.

Many organizations and volunteer groups are working hard to stop violence against women. One of these is La Clé, a shelter in my riding that has housed over 4,000 women and as many children and received thousands more requests for help.

I would like to acknowledge the amazing work done by all of the volunteer workers who provide emotional, practical, and social support to women and children. I myself have had the honour of working there.

However, because the government has done nothing, hundreds of women are turned away from shelters every day. That is sad but true. Canadian women are paying the price. It is high time we took meaningful action. Women want real action, not empty promises. The time for consultation is past. People need the government to show leadership on this. They are still waiting for a national action plan to end violence against women.

Status of Women May 4th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, on March 8, I rose in the House to ask the government when it would come up with an action plan to address violence against women.

During the election campaign, the Liberals promised to develop a strategy and an action plan. Six months later, nothing tangible has been done. In the meantime, thousands of women are paying the price. Every night, 4,600 women and 3,600 children have to sleep in emergency shelters. In fact, I would appreciate it if my colleague would clarify the notion of shelter.

In Quebec, a shelter is a place where a person can spend the night. It is not a place to live. There are also community housing organizations for women in need and, of course, homes for abused women. When we say shelter, we mean all these types of facilities.

Seventy per cent of community housing organizations for women say that their biggest problem is the lack of government support. Every day, shelters turn away 379 women and 215 children because there is no room. In 2016, this should not be an issue.

Women are 11 times more likely than men to be a target of sexual violence and three times more likely to experience criminal harassment. What is more, 1,200 indigenous women have been murdered or gone missing since 1980. Indigenous women are three times more likely than other Canadian women to experience violence. In 2016, it is unimaginable that any woman should have to endure sexual harassment in the workplace or domestic violence.

Canada made a commitment to the United Nations to put an end to violence against women and girls. However, community organizations that provide shelter services clearly do not have the resources they need. It is time for the government to meet its obligations.

New Democrats have always made ending violence against women a priority. The NDP launched an initiative to create a national action plan to address violence against all women. The NDP's plan seeks to ensure that abused women and children have access to shelters and safe houses.

In the last Parliament, my colleague from Churchill—Keewatinook Aski moved Motion No. 444, which sought to establish a national action plan to address violence against women. Unfortunately, the motion was defeated. The Conservative government showed that it did not consider women's safety to be a priority and that it was not prepared to defend women's rights.

Over the past few decades, Liberal and Conservative governments have introduced policies that have put vulnerable women at greater risk. For example, in 1993 and 1996, the Liberals cut off federal investment in new social housing projects. The housing shortage directly resulted in the increased vulnerability of women who must leave situations of domestic violence. Indeed, a lack of affordable housing is the number one reason why women cannot functionally escape the violence they face.

How long will these women have to wait? How many other victims will have to wait before the government actually does something?