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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 4th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, this is Mental Health Week. Mental illness affects one in five Canadians. During the election campaign, the Liberals made the following promise: “We will make high-quality mental health services more available to Canadians who need them, including our veterans and first responders.”

There was not one penny for mental health in the budget though. This being mental health week, what has to happen for the government to keep its promise?

Health May 3rd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the charging of ancillary fees for health care services is a problem that has been going on in Quebec for years, and the government has done nothing to stop it.

Now, a huge coalition of groups, including the FADOQ, the Québec Medical Association, and the FIQ, are taking the Government of Canada to court to make it enforce the Canada Health Act.

Will the minister do her duty, enforce the law, and put an end to ancillary fees?

Criminal Code May 2nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the issue of access to medical assistance in dying is indeed crucial. Since it is a right, of course it must be accessible. That is why it is important to extend this capacity to other health care professionals.

When it comes to assessing eligibility for medical assistance in dying, physicians take care of that. The riding I represent is 50 kilometres from the nearest urban centre, and some of my constituents do not have access to a doctor. It is therefore important to allow other health care professionals to help people exercise their right.

Criminal Code May 2nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the clause on natural death that is reasonably foreseeable is the most contentious clause in this bill.

Yesterday, Quebec's health minister, Gaétan Barrette, said that the courts would quickly strike down this clause. He even called on doctors to rely on Quebec's law rather than the federal law as drafted. We have a duty to ensure that the law is clear.

In recent weeks, some Quebeckers have starved themselves to death while trying to become eligible for medical assistance in dying. That has to stop. People have to be able to decide to die with dignity. Our law must allow it.

Criminal Code May 2nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, we must go much further. The federal government must provide leadership on palliative care. It is all very well to promise $3 billion and to promise to talk about it, but there was no money in the last budget to initiate discussions with the provinces and carry out the necessary studies.

I held consultations in my riding, which has one of the largest long-term care facilities in Quebec. For hundreds of seniors, there are only 12 palliative care beds in that institution. That is clearly inadequate. It is not enough to promise $3 billion. There has to be money in the budget, and the government has to get to work on this right now.

Criminal Code May 2nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, first of all I would like to say that I will be sharing my time with my colleague from Kootenay—Columbia.

Medical assistance in dying is definitely one of the most important social issues our country and our Parliament will face and have faced in a long time. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the most delicate issue that our Parliament will have to deal with.

I would like to say that I will be supporting this bill at second reading stage even though I feel that we need to amend it.

We have known from the beginning that the NDP will have a free vote on this personal and delicate issue. Therefore, we are not seeking a consensus, but rather we want to continue consulting our constituents and the many experts studying this issue in order to determine what would be the best bill to reflect Canadians' rights.

It is important that we clarify the bill we are studying because it leaves room for interpretation and, above all, it contradicts the Supreme Court's ruling in the Carter case.

We will debate the necessary amendments in a non-partisan manner, but it is important for everyone here in the House to remember why we are voting on this issue. The issue at hand is not whether we are for or against medical assistance in dying. The Supreme Court of Canada was very clear that medical assistance in dying is a charter right. We are here to debate the bill and ensure that it reflects the Carter decision and does not leave anything open to interpretation.

As I just said, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that competent Canadian adults who are suffering intolerably as a result of a grievous and irremediable medical condition have the right, under the charter, to medical assistance in dying.

The Supreme Court mandated our Parliament, and also the provincial legislatures, to pass legislation that is compatible with the Supreme Court's decision. This decision sent a strong message to update our laws, which are meant to protect vulnerable people and also the health care professionals who help them.

It is important not to politicize this issue or deal with it in a partisan manner. It is also important not to reduce this major issue to a pro-life and pro-choice debate since we know that debates like that can be never-ending.

I am very proud to have been a member of the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying. I worked on that committee with my colleague from Victoria, and I would like to sincerely thank him for his expertise, experience, and wealth of knowledge on this issue. This was my first experience with committee work. I would therefore like to thank him again, along with all of the committee members and the staff who assisted us. It was a privilege for me to be part of that committee because it gave me the opportunity to carefully study the Supreme Court's decision in this regard, and the provincial court decision that preceded it. We also carefully considered the laws in Quebec. I am very proud of the role that Quebec has played in leading the way on this sensitive issue. We also considered legislation from countries around the world.

Our committee reviewed two major studies, which together heard from over 13,000 people and more than 100 organizations. We held 11 hearings.

Sixty-one expert witnesses shared their work with us. Since February 6, 2015, the day of the Supreme Court ruling, every medical organization in the country and every organization that represents people with illnesses or health care professionals has given this sensitive issue very careful consideration. Those speaking on behalf of doctors told us how they were trained up until February 6, 2015. Their careers were based on the duty to heal. Since February 6, 2015, they have become aware that their role is now also to help people avail themselves of their right to seek medical assistance in dying.

During the committee's work, I made a point of meeting with all of the organizations in Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot with an interest in this issue. I met with representatives of organizations for people with disabilities, user committees, institutions, medical institution representatives, and an organization that works with bereaved families and supports people at the end of their lives. I shared the committee's thoughts with them. I also had a meeting with all of these stakeholders to discuss our committee's report. Everyone who is directly involved in this issue and deals with it on a daily basis was very comfortable with our recommendations.

The role of the committee was to take advantage of this unique opportunity to reflect on all of the aspects of physician-assisted dying. Of course, we know that the government will not take all of our 21 recommendations into account in its bill. As the parliamentary secretary was saying, we do not have a lot of time. However, we should be considering all aspects of this issue. We made one recommendation that generated a lot of questions, our recommendation on mature minors.

Some witnesses told us that, for years, they have been helping young people around 16 or 17 years of age who have lived with incurable diseases for a long time and that those young people achieved a degree of maturity that very few adults achieve over the course of their lives.

Of course, after hearing this sort of testimony, we cannot close the door on that aspect of the issue. We cannot move forward with it now, because studies need to be done. One of our recommendations was that the necessary studies be conducted according to a certain timeline. We should not wait for these young people to end up before the Supreme Court.

As I said, the legislation leaves too much room for interpretation. I believe that, as parliamentarians, we have the duty to ensure that people who are sick do not have to continue to go before the courts to defend their right to physician-assisted dying.

Lawyers told us that we could consider the Carter ruling as a floor. That is what we, as MPs, chose to do. The Conservatives are saying that the Carter ruling should be considered a ceiling. The Liberals decided to go below the Carter ruling and down into the basement with their provision on reasonably foreseeable natural death, and that needs to change.

The Liberals keep telling us that $3 billion has been promised for palliative care. That is only a promise. There was nothing about it in the budget. However, all of the witnesses spoke about palliative care. Everyone in my riding has talked to me about it too. The important thing is to work for the best interests of all Canadians and to allow them to die with dignity.

Indigenous Affairs May 2nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, when the minister found out that the Church did not fulfill its obligation to contribute $25 million to fund programs for victims of residential schools, she said she was powerless and there was nothing she could do. However, that sum is in the court-approved settlement. What is more, it was her department that authorized the agreement that let the Church off the hook.

When will the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs compel the Church to fulfill its obligations to the victims of residential schools?

Canadian Heritage April 22nd, 2016

Madam Speaker, Avis de recherche is a public interest television channel. No channel gives a higher priority to such issues as missing children and other missing persons, action on violence against women, and crime prevention than Avis de recherche. However, if nothing is done, the channel will have to shut down next week because of a CRTC decision.

The minister can intervene under the law. What is she waiting for to do so?

Business of Supply April 21st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech. She has shown that she listened to the farmers in her region and has demonstrated her knowledge of supply management.

She has said that the government will do everything it can and that it believes in supply management. I think that by supporting today’s motion, she could turn those words into action.

In doing so, she would tangibly demonstrate that she supports her region’s farmers and supply management. In 2015, losses incurred by dairy farmers totalled $220 million.

How many hundreds of millions of dollars need to be lost before they take action?

Business of Supply April 21st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, we understand that there is no political will to fix this problem.

The Quebec National Assembly understands this complex issue, since Quebec's agriculture department is very familiar with the reality facing agricultural producers and food processors. Its representatives understood this is a complex issue and understood that it was very simple to resolve it: two unanimous motions called on the federal government to enforce a regulation. It is very simple. It is important not only to the region I represent, but also to agricultural and dairy producers across Canada.

My colleague who just asked a question comes from a region that is also affected. Earlier, I met with young producers who surely trained at the Institut de technologie agroalimentaire in Saint-Hyacinthe. They are ready to take over, but they cannot do their jobs when the government does not enforce the regulations.

When the new generation of producers experiences economic losses, it means that they will not earn an income that year. Young agricultural producers who are passionate about their career choose to work for nothing so that we can have milk on our tables. It must be said, and the government must address this situation.