House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was quebec.

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

Lost her last election, in 2015, with 23% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply April 20th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, did the member who spoke before me actually read the Bloc Québécois motion, which does not at all attack greater representation for the three Canadian provinces where population has increased significantly? It simply asks that Quebec's representation, granted at the very beginning, in 1867, under the British North America Act, be respected. Has he read the motion?

Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act April 19th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I agree completely with his analysis and I do not understand this flip-flop. Is it because the Liberals want to befriend the big Canadian mining companies? That is possible. I just do not understand: the party that defended human rights has done a complete about-face today and does not care in the least. I would ask the Liberal members to question their leader about this.

Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act April 19th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal member has posed a very good question.

I do not agree with him when he says that all members have expressed concerns about human rights. I have been listening to the debate for a very long time. If he takes a look at this morning's debates in particular, he will realize that members of his own party have nothing but praise for this free trade agreement, which truly surprises me.

I do agree with him when he states that other countries have a very poor human rights record, but not as poor as that of Colombia. It is Colombia's underground wealth that is coveted by mining companies. Colombia is one of Canada's very minor trading partners. There is very little, except for some grains.

This morning, members opposite said that it would help exports. However, that is just not true. Our exports to Colombia are practically nil. He ought to do some deeper thinking.

At second reading, it is possible that it is effective. I hope that, if this bill is adopted at second reading, members of the Liberal Party will ask questions and try to understand the crux of the matter—

Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act April 19th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, before question period, I was telling the House that we have received an extremely important email from a Colombian-Canadian who lives in Montreal. This man opposes the ratification of the free trade agreement between Canada and Colombia because of the many human rights violations in that country.

He sent us some extremely important information. He said that a 166-page document at the heart of a current scandal in Colombia had been taken from the administrative security department, which is the secret service agency of the government of the incumbent president, Alvaro Uribe. This scandal is shaking democracy in that country to the core and completely destroying all trust in Uribe's outgoing government.

This document reveals a macabre espionage plan including strategies such as disinformation, casting discredit, scams, falsifying ties with guerrillas, falsifying documents, sabotage, threats, blackmail and acts of terrorism.

The email in question includes examples. In one document, entitled the social and political front, it recommends creating ties with the national terrorist organization. In another document, it is clear they knowingly intend to discredit the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, misinform the public on what is going on in the government, neutralize the destabilizing actions of NGOs, establish ties with drug trafficking organizations and foster an Internet operation to create controversy around the NGOs.

This Colombian-Canadian told us that the Government of Canada absolutely must withdraw from the Canada-Colombia agreement, which, as we have said so many times, does not provide any guarantees concerning human rights violations.

Colombia has one of the worst human rights records in Latin America. People there are poor and workers' rights are violated. Anyone looking closely at the situation in that country realizes it is one of the worst places in the world when it comes to respecting workers' rights, something that has been denounced by the International Labour Organization and by all unions.

The Bloc Québécois does not understand why a free trade agreement was negotiated with Colombia when we know that union leaders are often the victims of violence.

We also need to think about displaced people. It is usually small-scale farmers and miners who are forced to leave their lands to make room for large agri-food and mining companies. In most cases, the people displaced do not receive any form of compensation.

Colombia is not a country we should boast about being friends with. On the contrary, we must force that country to adopt legislation and practices that comply with UN requirements.

I am very surprised to learn that the Liberal Party supports this free trade agreement. I began my political career on the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, which, at the time, was chaired by a Liberal member. The Liberals were always very careful—and it was to their advantage—not only to defend democracy, but also to set the record straight in terms of international affairs and human rights.

I simply cannot fathom the fact that the Conservative government is going to ratify an agreement that most Canadians, union members, the UN, Amnesty International and various human rights organizations are all criticizing. I cannot believe that the Liberal Party would be an accomplice to signing that agreement. I am surprised and disappointed. Some members in the House say it does not matter, because Canada will be doing business. That is not true; it will be the mining companies that do business. It will not be Canada doing business.

I still hope that my colleagues on both sides of the House will side with the Bloc Québécois and the NDP to prevent the signing of this free trade agreement. It is a bad agreement and one that takes no account of the human beings affected.

Ethics April 19th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, whether we are talking about Afghan prisoners, the Jaffer affair, Rights & Democracy, the secrecy with Kevin Page, or the political interference in the access to information process, the government always has the same dismissive attitude towards transparency and accountability.

Does the Prime Minister realize that under his watch, democracy and transparency are suffering?

Ethics April 19th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer has said that he is not able to do his job properly. The figures in the latest budget are incomplete and the Treasury Board refuses to give him the information he needs to assess the cost-cutting efforts a number of departments are being asked to make. In fact, the government is hiding its data from Kevin Page to avoid being held accountable.

Does the government's secrecy and back-room games in an attempt to keep Kevin Page from doing his job not prove that budgetary transparency was never in the government's plans?

Canada-Columbia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act April 19th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I am speaking to the House for the umpteenth time about the implementation of the Canada-Colombia free trade agreement, the infamous Bill C-2, which the government insists that we pass without discussing any of the human and social considerations about which the public has sent us so many emails.

Clearly, the Bloc Québécois will say for the umpteenth time that it is against this free trade agreement.

Earlier I heard my colleagues from other political parties praising this agreement and its resulting business and export opportunities. I do not know where they are getting this from because there is not a great deal we can export to Colombia. It is an extremely poor country, which imports very little. It exports a bit of grain, but that is about it.

They are not mentioning the real reason they absolutely want to conclude a free trade agreement with Colombia. Below its soil there are desirable minerals. The motives for this agreement are the minerals found underground in Colombia. No one has said so directly here in the House, except of course the opposition parties who have nothing to hide.

This agreement contains a chapter on investment protection, which will make life easier for Canadian investors who invest in Colombia, particularly in the mining sector.

Over the years, the Conservative government has signed a number of agreements with different countries, and the primary concern of all these agreements has been the return on investments.

We believe that this provision has always put investors' profits ahead of human and social rights. It is very dangerous in a country such as Colombia, a country where labour or environmental protection laws are haphazard. When a law is enacted to protect the Canadian investor, it is at the expense of a people or a country.

Colombia has one of the worst human rights records in the world, and certainly in Latin America. Human rights are not important to Colombia.

During the many weeks that we have been discussing this agreement, the government has constantly repeated that the agreement it will sign with Colombia also has two side agreements—one on labour and another on the environment. We know very well that side agreements are ineffective. They are not part of the free trade agreement, which means that investors can—with impunity—destroy Colombia's rich environment, displace people in favour of mine development, and continue to murder trade unionists or NGO workers who defend human rights.

Today, we received an email from a Colombian-Canadian living in Montreal. He told us that human rights violations are rampant in Colombia. He also said that one of the most serious accusations against the Uribe government involves the biggest spy scandal in Colombian history perpetrated by the administrative security department.

It involves the secret police of President Alvaro Uribe's government. This citizen forwarded a copy of a 166-page document that was discovered. It indicates that Mr. Uribe's government wanted to create controversy around NGOs and link them to drug trafficking organizations. It is clear: that is what it says in the Uribe government document. When we are told in this House that the Colombian government—

Access to Information April 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer maintains that Parliament does not have the necessary information to properly monitor the government's spending as set out in the recent budget. Kevin Page complains that the government is refusing to provide him with a fiscal framework and risk analyses.

Why this blatant lack of transparency and why is this government refusing to give Kevin Page the information he has requested?

Access to Information April 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Information Commissioner is criticizing the Conservative government's lack of transparency. Half a dozen or so departments have received a failing grade and the Department of Foreign Affairs, which is hiding the truth behind the Afghan detainee situation, has been placed on red alert. The Commissioner finds that the Prime Minister's control over the entire machinery of government is causing many delays that are inconsistent with the law.

When will this government obey the law and when will it agree to be accountable?

La Revue March 30th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, on February 20, La Revue, an independent newspaper, won the 2009 business of the year award at the Mascouche chamber of commerce's 2010 gala of excellence.

The weekly paper, headquartered in Terrebonne, won the award because it has been committed to and involved in the development of the RCM of Les Moulins for 50 years. In his acceptance speech, Gilles Bordonado, president and CEO of La Revue, emphasized the symbiotic relationship between his paper and the RCM of Les Moulins, each helping and promoting the other.

Mr. Bordonado dedicated the award to the paper's founder, Aimé Despatis, who passed away last year. The whole team at La Revue is passionately committed to the pursuit of excellence that enabled Mr. Despatis to make his paper a success.

I would like to congratulate the whole team at La Revue on this well-deserved award. Long live this independent newspaper.