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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 February 6th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, poverty is rising among seniors, and all too often they have to choose between buying food or medication. No one should ever have to make that choice. One of my constituents, Mr. Desmarais, is on a certain type of medication. It is absolutely vital that he take it every day, but the cost is exorbitant. How is he supposed to pay for that? Millions of seniors across the country are in the same boat.

What are the Liberals waiting for? When will they implement a pharmacare—

Poverty February 5th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, 1.4 million children are living in poverty in Canada, and more than a third of them rely on food banks to eat. These statistics are alarming and unacceptable.

I am fed up with the Liberals' talking points, as they keep saying they have lifted hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty. That is smoke and mirrors, considering that over one million kids are still suffering. The Liberals are not doing enough to lift children out of poverty, and I am not the one saying so; Food Banks Canada is.

When will the Liberals do more?

Business of Supply February 4th, 2019

Madam Speaker, I meet regularly with the people of Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, who share with me their concerns about the significant debt accumulated by the Liberal government over the past three years.

Earlier today, we commended the Parliamentary Budget Officer, who recommended establishing a deadline for balancing the budget.

Why is the parliamentary secretary not responding to this request that there be a deadline for returning to a balanced budget which, I have to say, was also made by my Conservative colleagues? This is worrisome for many Canadians.

Infrastructure February 4th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, after three years of deficits, the Liberals are now in infrastructure mode. It is about time they started taking care of our infrastructure. They should have invested right away. Our big cities and small towns can no longer wait. The Liberals chose to create an infrastructure bank to make their friends rich, but now comes their pre-election tour.

Do the Liberals realize that Canadians are the ones who will pay for their broken infrastructure promises?

Employment Insurance January 31st, 2019

Mr. Speaker, in 2016, the Prime Minister promised on a live newscast that he would enhance employment insurance sickness benefits. The Liberals have not brought up the subject since.

Mélanie Pelletier is a constituent of mine who lost her life savings after being sick for 15 weeks. She, like hundreds of thousands of other sick people in the same boat, is stressed and exhausted. How is she supposed to get better?

Fifteen weeks of sickness benefits is not enough, and the Liberals know it.

Will they keep at least that one promise and enhance employment insurance sickness benefits?

Dairy Industry January 30th, 2019

Madam Speaker, in their defence, the Liberals are saying that they defended and preserved supply management. Should we be happy that it is all but dead? For crying out loud.

They are proposing to compensate producers for their losses by providing compensation on a lottery or draw basis. Of course producers participated in the working groups, but they had already gone ahead and innovated and made investments. That is already done.

I see this as just more lip service. The reality is that producers are seeing the impact on their farms. Two weeks ago, I attended the agricultural fair. Thousands of farmers converged on Saint-Hyacinthe. I was able to talk to many of them over three days. They are still angry. I believe it is important to realize the extent to which every agreement further undermines our family farms.

Will the government recognize the economic significance of the agri-food sector and provide more compensation?

Dairy Industry January 30th, 2019

Madam Speaker, 60% of Quebec's agricultural production operates under supply management. Supply management is absolutely crucial to 6,900 dairy, egg and poultry producers who could not work or make a living without it. My riding, Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, is home to many of these farmers.

From an economic standpoint, I have to wonder how the government can unscrupulously turn its back on our local farmers in favour of American megafarms or European or Asian farmers.

The deal with the U.S., the one with the European Union and the Trans-Pacific Partnership combined cede close to 10% of Canada's agricultural market, especially in the dairy sector.

The Prime Minister was in my riding on January 18 and he himself told concerned farmers that he is going to compensate them 100%. I must say, I am very skeptical.

I would remind the House that when it comes to market access, the concessions from those agreements represent losses in milk sales worth $450 million, or about $41,000 per farm.

Faced with all this uncertainty, many farmers have put off investments they wanted to make to update their equipment. Young farmers, especially, are telling me that they would rather produce than be compensated for not producing.

With what we gave up to the European Union, we are letting 17,000 tonnes of fine cheese onto the Canadian market. That is 25% of our market. While the government allows European producers to fatten their wallets, our farmers are taking to the streets in frustration. Our farmers are still seething.

Since they do not feel like their voices are being heard, I will relay their comments. Jacinthe Guilbert, a farmer from my neck of the woods who was recently named female farmer of the year, told me that these bad deals will cost her more than a month's wages every year. She said that on top of the losses caused by the Liberals' NAFTA 2.0, the bills keep coming in, and it is tough going. She told me that 6,000 farms in Canada could disappear. They will surely include farms in my riding, Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot. We are hearing this message all over the country.

From a public health perspective, I have to wonder how the government can turn its back on Canadians by letting quality standards fall so far. By failing to demand reciprocity of standards, it is letting in products that do not meet our domestic standards.

For example, the Union des producteurs agricoles identified issues related to growth hormones allowed in the United States, hormones that may lead to serious illness in cows. Given that not all states, let alone all farms, use the same products, how can the government ensure that milk with hormones will not reach the Canadian market? Simply put, it cannot. That is just one example of animal health and welfare standards, and I have not even talked about the environment.

From a social and regional development perspective, I would like to know how the government can fail rural regions so badly. As everyone knows, supply management supports greater land use. It is vital to our regions. Opening up our market means that only a few Quebec farms will be resilient enough to survive. Will the government act to prevent socioeconomic decline in some of our regions?

When the member for Laurentides—Labelle says that there is always a chance we could lose agricultural land and farmers, I do not get the impression the government intends to act. So that's it? We resign ourselves to giving up part of our market to the Americans? I look forward to hearing what the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food has to say.

Divorce Act January 30th, 2019

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

I was happy to vote in favour of most of the amendments she proposed, if only as a symbolic gesture.

I would like to read out a short quote from a woman who appeared before our committee. She was speaking on behalf of the association she represents, but she was also speaking for a large coalition of women's groups. She said:

In addition, we also recommend that a definition of violence against women be added, which acknowledges that it is a form of gender-based discrimination that's experienced by women in multiple ways and shaped by other forms of discrimination and disadvantage. This intersects with race, indigenous identity, ethnicity, religion, gender identity or gender expression, sexual orientation, citizenship, immigration or refugee status, geographic location, social condition, age and disability.

I would like to know what my colleague thinks about the fact that this amendment, which sought to add a clearer definition of violence against women, was rejected. Does she think that including it could broaden the scope of this legislation?

Divorce Act January 30th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, we talked about integrating the Convention on the Rights of the Child. UNICEF Canada made it very clear that integrating the convention would ensure better recognition of the rights of indigenous children. The justice system would recognize their culture and their environment and it would mean they could be addressed in their language. Several witnesses raised that concern.

We know that is the federal government's responsibility. We cannot download that onto the provinces, as we often do. We have a duty to ensure that the best interests of indigenous children are taken into consideration in Bill C-78.

Divorce Act January 30th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question.

One of the purposes of the bill is to make the best interests of the child central to the process. However, many witnesses who have attended divorce proceedings with couples for decades said that the proceedings are adversarial. During divorce proceedings, the children are often ignored. The parents do not mean to do that, but it is a two-party process and the children represent a third party.

It is therefore important for the federal government to have a mechanism and the necessary resources to ensure that children are well represented. In that way, the federal government would be helping the provinces.

Children often hear their parents talking about the divorce proceedings. There needs to be a third party who understands the legal system participating in the discussions. Their only mandate would be to ensure that the child's interests are represented throughout the process. The designated person would know when to intervene to express the will and interests of the child. The child's point of view would be represented at all times.

Some lawyers came to testify to tell us that, unfortunately, some judges are not well-suited to adequately speak to children. This is an intimidating experience for the children. Everything has to unfold in a climate of trust.

Children are often stuck in the middle between two parents and they do not want to say anything to upset either parent. Children should be able to confide, in a neutral way, in a professional who can then attest to their needs when a divorce happens. Children's best interests can then truly be the number one concern. Many witnesses gave us very concrete examples demonstrating why that is the best way forward.