House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was federal.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Bloc MP for Québec (Québec)

Lost her last election, in 2019, with 33% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Shipbuilding Industry March 25th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, while Davie is simply asking for the opportunity to bid, the Conservatives changed the time frame, forcing bidders to prove their solvency 50 days before submitting their proposal. However, during negotiations, the government was talking about 30 days.

Why did the Conservatives tighten the requirements in the middle of the process, knowing very well that this would penalize the Lévis shipyard?

Shipbuilding Industry March 25th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, instead of doing his job as an elected official and defending the interests of the Davie workers, the Conservative member for Lévis—Bellechasse has lambasted the shipyard, urging its administrators to find a serious investor. This is unbelievable.

While it is his government that is hurting Davie's recovery, he has the nerve to blame the shipyard's management.

How can the Conservative member for Lévis—Bellechasse and his government abandon the Davie workers like this? Have they written off the shipyard, just as they have written off Quebec?

Shipbuilding Industry March 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, it is completely normal for government suppliers to be solvent. However, by requiring that bidders meet this condition 50 days prior to the submission deadline, a condition that was not set out in the preliminary documents, the Conservatives gave the Davie shipyard fewer weeks to restructure. The member for Lévis—Bellechasse should follow the example of his counterpart in the Quebec National Assembly and insist that the federal government give the Davie shipyard a fair chance to submit a bid.

Will they stop trying to sabotage the Davie shipyard's recovery?

The Budget March 24th, 2011

Madam Speaker, this is a very important issue that the Bloc Québécois takes quite seriously. It is our hope that the Conservative Party will really put its heart into this rather than simply continuing to put a spin on the situation, as is its wont. Any action that the Conservatives have taken to help the underprivileged amounts to peanuts. All they are offering is crumbs. I hope that the public will understand the issues at stake in the election campaign, including the democratic deficit. The Conservatives are also trying to gain the favour of the most fragile groups in society, which is dangerous.

The Budget March 24th, 2011

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his question. It says a lot about what the Conservative members think of democracy. Members have to be elected to Parliament, they have to be in government. The Conservatives have not understood that the opposition is there to monitor the government’s actions. They would prefer it if there were 308 Conservative members in the House who got to make decisions without ever being criticized.

They have not understood what a true democracy is. It always makes me smile when I see the Prime Minister go to another country and say that he is going to help it. I will not single out any particular country. The government wants to bring democracy to other countries, but perhaps it should start by taking a look at Canada. That is what we are asking for. The situation is quite shocking. Things often get heated because the Conservatives have no respect for the work done by opposition members, whether they be Liberals, New Democrats or members of the Bloc Québécois.

Rather than saying that a particular member is whining, the Conservatives should consider that the member is analyzing an issue, consulting different segments of the population that they do not consult, and relaying those perspectives back to them. A democracy means allowing people to speak. Yesterday, we were told that we were not capable of reading a budget. That attitude is truly contemptuous of how seriously all members here take their work.

The Budget March 24th, 2011

Madam Speaker, he said that he may be the good Généreux, but I know the difference between good and bad. I wish him luck, because this could be his last or second-last day here in the House. We have a good Bloc Québécois candidate who will be able to rise to the challenges that he has not been able to meet for the Quebec City region. We will have people who will be able to speak. Speaking also brings power. During the election campaign we will speak about the good things and, especially, the bad things the Conservatives have done.

The Budget March 24th, 2011

Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. Bloc Québécois colleagues for supporting me in my speech on the budget.

I am pleased to speak here today, because the budget is of particular interest to me. As the member for Québec and caucus chair for the Quebec City region, I cannot help but note that the Quebec City region has been forgotten in this budget. The budget reads more like an election speech, since the measures within the budget are simply a smattering of goodies for vulnerable groups.

The Conservatives will say that, during the election campaign, seniors will not get their $50 a month. They said we did not read the budget, but with our experience here in the House of Commons, we have a good research service and members who have a thorough grasp of their files. From a careful look at the budget, we could see right away how little it has to offer Quebec.

We made some very targeted requests in precise figures. In fact, the Conservative Minister of Finance even said that the Bloc had done a good job. So why are we not voting in favour of this budget at the outset? We had asked for $2.2 billion in compensation for harmonizing the GST and the QST. Six provinces have been compensated, including British Columbia, Ontario and the maritime provinces. Yet Quebec is being ignored. Several billion dollars were given to those provinces in compensation: $1.6 billion to British Columbia, $4.3 billion to Ontario and $1 billion to the Maritimes, for a total of about $7 billion. Quebec paid $1.75 billion of that amount to compensate them. We are asking for $2.2 billion.

It is also shocking to see how quickly the Conservatives agreed to that: after 244 days for Ontario and 131 days for British Columbia. How long has Quebec been waiting for an agreement to be signed? How many days? It has been 6,841 days. It is truly shocking to watch the Conservatives drag their feet on this issue.

Earlier, the Conservative member for Beauport—Limoilou said that we are always whining. We read the papers just like everyone else, just like the citizens of the Quebec City region. We know very well that Minister Bachand has been working hard while trying not to upset the Conservatives too much because they react easily and he does not want them to slam the door and say that they will not compensate Quebec. Nevertheless, Quebec has been waiting for this money. If Quebec had $2.2 billion dollars in its coffers, the Government of Quebec would be able to pay off 60% of its deficit, which would give it more flexibility to meet the needs of the people.

Conservative MPs from the Quebec City area should have demonstrated more leadership with regard to this budget, which could be called an election announcement. The epicentre for the MPs that were elected here in the House is the Quebec City region, which has six representatives. If there is an election—we are, of course, still waiting to see if there will be one—we will hound the Quebec City region's MPs. They will have to answer questions. During debates or when they are interviewed by our local and regional newspapers, they will have to answer, in an intelligent way, certain questions that we want to ask them.

For example, they put on Nordiques jerseys to support the team coming back to Quebec City. We do not know why they put those sweaters on but, in the end, they did not bring in any funding for the Quebec City arena. They said that private funding was needed. Private funding was obtained and then they wanted something else. The real reason was put in writing. There was a directive from the Prime Minister's office stating that funding would not be given for arenas anywhere in Canada. The Conservatives also wanted to make it seem as though this arena would be used exclusively for sports. That is untrue. This is a multi-purpose arena that would house cultural and sporting events, as well as some Olympic events. Clearly, the people of Quebec City have been misled.

Furthermore, a number of issues have been put on the back burner, for example, the Quebec Bridge.

My hon. colleague from Louis-Hébert has worked hard on defending that issue in the Quebec City area. He also moved a motion in the House calling on the government to repurchase the bridge and enter into discussion with the owners, CN, to find a solution. Again, we saw the Conservatives' bad faith with this file. They acted just like the Liberals and let the matter drag on, saying it was up to the courts to decide. In the meantime, as in Montreal, the bridge is rusting and it could end up costing more than we think. This was an important issue for the Quebec City area.

The Shannon issue is one that I have followed closely and on which I have dogged the government. The groundwater in Shannon is contaminated. We will not get into details about the levels of contamination, but the shocking thing is that the government failed to include any money in this budget for decontamination.

It would cost roughly $20 million a year for a technique that might be better than the last one. This technique would allow us to move forward and clean up the groundwater so that people in the municipality of Shannon can be safe. I know that this case is currently before the courts, but enough with the excuses.

Before the last election, many things were promised. For example, they promised to resolve the mail sorting centre issue and to do something for the zoo. Once the election was over, we did not hear another word about these plans and they moved on to other things. Many things need to be addressed and there will be many more challenges to face for the development of the Quebec City area.

The Prime Minister said in his speech, the day after bringing down this electoral budget, that he was focused on job creation. If there is one issue in the Quebec City area that all members from Quebec City should focus on it is the Davie shipyard issue.

The rules for the request for proposals were changed causing the shipyard to lose weeks, and thereby preventing it from being able to restructure and become solvent. Regardless of what we want to do in this case, they have stymied our ability to be proactive.

In Le Soleil or the Journal de Québec, a daily newspaper in our region, the counterpart of the hon. member for Lévis—Bellechasse has said he thinks the federal government should be much broader in its request for proposals and give this company the opportunity to prove its solvency.

What is shocking is hearing the leader of the members from the Quebec City region, the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent, say that the Quebec City region should not expect the Davie shipyard to be a priority. We can see what little weight she carries in cabinet when it comes to talking about the Davie shipyard. She herself said that there should be no expectations, even if the Davie shipyard were solvent. She should stand up for her region and be proactive. She should do everything she can to ensure that the Davie shipyard receives its fair share. The total for all of the contracts is said to be $35 billion. Could the Quebec City region not receive its fair share? We are talking about 2,700 jobs and economic spinoffs to the tune of $2.1 billion, but the Conservatives are nowhere to be seen.

Earlier, I mentioned the Quebec Bridge. Money was taken from the fund for the continental gateway strategy to restore the Champlain Bridge. This fund is meant for modifications or economic inputs in connection with the St. Lawrence River and for the continental gateway. The money being taken from that fund is not new money, and that is what I find despicable about how this government works. We are seeing a smattering of goodies to please voters. I think that vulnerable groups are being held hostage. We know what the Conservatives are capable of doing. During the previous election, we saw how they could dangle the idea of another $50, but we also know that there was a price.

So it is not for everyone. People need to take a close look at this measure.

It is too bad; I would have liked to speak longer. the Quebec City region and a number of leaders were disappointed by the Conservatives' motives in the region—

Shipbuilding Industry March 23rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, concerned about the fact that the Conservative government is trying to exclude the Davie shipyard from a major request for proposals, the National Assembly of Quebec unanimously adopted a motion calling on the federal government to be fair. The Conservatives and the hon. member for Lévis—Bellechasse have to stop sabotaging Davie's recovery.

Why did the government change the request for proposals midstream, thereby giving the Davie shipyard less time to restructure?

Shipbuilding Industry March 22nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, when it came time to rescue GM from bankruptcy, the Conservative government did not hesitate to free up billions of dollars to acquire shares in the company in order to save jobs in Ontario. In contrast, when it comes to rescuing the shipyard in Lévis, the Conservative government is doing everything it can to sabotage that shipyard by imposing solvency conditions and by changing the request for proposals in order to exclude the Davie shipyard from the contract.

Why does the Conservative government not value jobs in Quebec as much as jobs in Ontario?

Shipbuilding Industry March 22nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services told us that the Davie shipyard had until July to prove its solvency. That is not true. The request for proposals was changed along the way. Davie has to be solvent in May. The Conservatives are taking away precious weeks for Davie to restructure itself.

How can the hon. member for Lévis—Bellechasse be complicit with a government that changes the rules midstream in order to disqualify the shipyard in Lévis?