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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was conservatives.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Joliette (Québec)

Won her last election, in 2011, with 47% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 June 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Beauport—Limoilou for his speech. He talked about people's concern about dangerous goods transported on our railways. It is the same in my riding. People are worried and they talk to me about it when I go door to door.

With respect to tax measures, what are his thoughts on the fact that the government did not renew the job creation tax credit for small businesses, considering that small businesses create so many jobs?

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) June 3rd, 2014

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

I too wondered why this bill was introduced today at the end of the session. It could easily have waited until next fall or some other time. We know that 2015 is an election year. I am sure the Conservatives can give us an answer.

We think that there are more important bills we should be studying at the end of the session, especially since we are sitting until midnight every night. We have time to study them.

It seems like the people talking in the House today are mostly from the NDP, not the other parties.

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) June 3rd, 2014

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

I think that this bill needs to go further. It protects dogs that work with the police, but we also need to protect all of our pets, and the government has not really talked about that.

Some of our colleagues included these animals in their bills, but those bills did not go anywhere because the other parties voted against them. It is important for all animals to be protected. If a person does not want to take care of a pet, then they should not adopt a dog, a cat or even a bird.

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) June 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to speak to Bill C-35, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (law enforcement animals, military animals and service animals).

Since two of my colleagues have introduced bills on this subject and the government opposed them, I do not understand why we are being presented with this bill today. We are going to support it at second reading, but only so that it can be studied in greater depth in committee and so that it can be amended. There are two clauses that we have particular problems with: the introduction of minimum sentences and consecutive sentences.

In concrete terms, this bill amends section 445 of the Criminal Code by providing for a new offence when a service animal or a law enforcement or military animal is killed or injured in the line of duty. These animals protect their masters. The bill provides for a minimum sentence of six months if a law enforcement animal is killed in the commission of an offence. It will make the sentences imposed on a person consecutive to another sentence imposed for another offence arising out of the same event or series of events.

The government is once again demonstrating its propensity for taking away the courts’ discretion. Why is it doing this?

It is important to hear from the experts about the impact of imposing minimum sentences and consecutive sentences. If more and more people are receiving minimum sentences, and consecutive sentences are imposed, we may have to expand the prisons. That is why we recommend that the bill be examined in committee. It is very important that that the government listen to the arguments made by the opposition and the public.

Two of my colleagues introduced bills C-232 and C-592, but the government opposed them. It is important to protect our animals, but I reiterate that this bill must be referred to committee to be studied in depth. The NDP rejects any form of cruelty to animals. We have long advocated bills for the protection of our animals.

I am going to speak from personal experience. Unlike my colleague from Beauport—Limoilou, I do not know any dog handlers in the police. However, I have a family, and one of my daughters has four daughters. Each of her children had a cat. Some may say that this has nothing to do with law enforcement animals, but those animals were treated very well. Each child had her pet, to talk to and comfort her.

When the cats reached the end of their lives, the parents did not abandon them to die. They took them to the veterinarian to put an end to their suffering. I also have a granddaughter who did a training placement with the Inuit and came back from northern Canada with a dog that the whole family looks after today. These animals are part of their lives. They are very important to them.

Because I was a farmer, I also had animals. When an animal was taken to slaughter, it was important that it be treated properly before its life was ended.

We often see news reports about puppy mills and about how our slaughter animals, hogs, cattle or any kind of animal, are taken to the slaughterhouse. We want those animals to be well treated along the way. When we leave Abitibi with a shipment of hogs for slaughter in Lanaudière, that is a trip of some 700 km. Those animals must be protected and their health cared for.

When I go door to door in my riding, I see that people are attached to their animals. They take care of them. I have been going to a stationary campground for 18 years. Yes, a member of Parliament at a campground. People go there with cats and dogs and pay them a great deal of attention. They spoil them and take care of them. That is why I think it is very important to watch out for animals whose purpose is to protect police officers or RCMP officers and the public. This bill provides that a person who injures an animal whose purpose is to protect its master and perhaps society should be punished and go to prison. However, are consecutive sentences necessary? I doubt it.

The NDP will vote for this bill at second reading. However, we really would like that our amendments be heard by other committee members studying this bill, that there be no time allocation and that, once the bill has reached third reading, it is a bill that will actually protect animals and people.

If I have a dog to protect me and it is killed in the course of an invasion of my home, what do I do? Will the person who has killed my dog be punished? Will he be sent to prison? Will he receive a consecutive sentence? I do not know. Perhaps that should be added to the bill, as in Bill C-592 introduced by my colleague.

I would really like to see this bill being studied in committee. Someone will be telling me shortly that I am repeating myself and talking about animals we have in our families. Those animals must be protected as well. We have no right to mistreat them. When I was on the farm, we raised two pigs because one pig all alone would be bored. You do not raise one piglet on its own; you raise two. One of my daughters did not eat pork because she had played and had fun with those two pigs, in addition to feeding them. That has somewhat changed today.

I thank all my NDP colleagues who are rising today to speak to this bill. We know that many New Democrats are speaking, but there is also room for members from the other parties.

Social Development May 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that the minister is ducking his responsibilities. It is not true that money was being spent on paperwork.

Literacy groups have developed essential pedagogical tools for adults. They are well established in their communities and have built a strong network.

Why is the minister scorning their expertise?

Fair Elections Act May 13th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her speech and all of the work she does in the House and in her riding.

We have often said that there are some key elements missing from the infamous Bill C-23. No one supports the bill. Even in my riding, Joliette, people have often spoken out against this method of reforming the Canada Elections Act.

The Commissioner of Canada Elections requested the power to compel witnesses to appear. However, that is not in the bill and the Commissioner, who will now work for the Director of Public Prosecutions, was not granted that power. I would like to hear what my colleague has to say about that.

Fair Elections Act May 13th, 2014

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

By the way, I have been voting for decades and I have never received two voter cards in the mail. The bill would prohibit the Chief Electoral Officer from implementing public information programs. That bothers me because when we inform the public about bills and government measures, then the public is in a position to criticize the way the public good is managed.

What does my colleague think of the fact that the Chief Electoral Officer can no longer inform the public? I think this is dangerous because people will no longer get all the information they need to vote.

Safeguarding Canada's Seas and Skies Act May 8th, 2014

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

He spoke a lot about dangerous cars and rail safety. He also spoke a lot about the Auditor General's report.

As a result of an agreement with the Province of British Columbia that dates back 40 years, oil tanker traffic is basically prohibited off the coast of British Columbia. However, this agreement was never put in writing and now risks being abandoned by the Conservatives.

Do the Liberals support the NDP's request to impose a written moratorium on oil tanker traffic on the west coast in order protect the coastline?

National Volunteer Week April 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to draw attention to National Volunteer Week. In my riding, Joliette, dozens of people are getting involved in organizations such as the Centre communautaire bénévole Matawinie and the Centre d'action bénévole Émilie-Gamelin.

Having worked as a volunteer for many community organizations myself, I understand the importance of volunteers and the remarkable work that they do. They give so much to their community, but they get something back too.

I encourage everyone to try volunteering. For young people, it is a good way to gain experience. For seniors, it is an excellent way to stay active in the community.

Of course, volunteering does not put food on the table, and it is important to work toward full employment or at least a decent employment insurance system. However, the fact remains that volunteer work makes our communities more active, strong and charitable.

Thank you to all the volunteers in Joliette.

Petitions April 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I wish to present a petition to put a stop to violence against bus drivers. The petitioners want to draw the attention of the House of Commons to the high number of assaults every year against bus drivers who serve the public.