House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was victims.

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

Lost her last election, in 2015, with 27% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Digital Privacy Act May 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I find it interesting that the Minister of Industry is talking about a Parliament that will have 338 members. It is difficult enough to speak with 308 members in the House. I am not looking forward to what will happen when there are 338 members. My colleague should not be proud in the least about a 97th time allocation motion, a gag order to prevent members from speaking, in this case at all stages. This 97th time allocation motion is really one of a kind.

We are hearing that the committee's work was short-circuited and that no proposals were accepted. The exercise of democracy is at stake on the eve of an election campaign that is going to be pretty tough for the government, according to what we are hearing on the ground.

Is he not concerned about how the government is curbing democracy in our country and not just because Bill S-4, as important as it may be, is a Senate rather than a government bill?

Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act May 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, that was absolutely fascinating.

I will not even attempt to explain the Liberal leader ever in the House. It is something way too complicated for me and for any Canadian, I think.

We have been clear. There is one sentence he said that is true. As justice critic and as the person who was kind of in the lead on the long gun registry position in our party, it is absolutely not our intention to bring back the long gun registry. Our leader was clear.

The fact that we help police around the country does not mean we will be back to the way when the Liberals installed the registry in the 1990s, which created many problems and was so costly. Therefore, there will be no recreation of the registry. For the rest, let us read what the leader of the third party said a bit more.

Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act May 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the House that I will be sharing my time.

I have listened to just about the whole debate, in my office as well as here in the House.

I would like to speak on behalf of the people of Gatineau and the different groups with which I have had good discussions and have spoken at length about all the Conservative government's bills. They agree with the NDP's position on firearms, in the broad sense, and they agree that Bill C-42 provides a good example of the difficulty this government has of striking the right balance between security and rights.

This is also apparent with Bill C-51. The Conservatives have difficulty striking a balance between security and human rights. Furthermore, they always try to divide and conquer. That is probably what is frustrating in the long run. Bill C-42 is a fine example of this dysfunctional Parliament.

This week is our fourth-last week in the House. When I look at everything that we accomplished in four years, it is nothing but an endless list of bills. Members on the government benches simply tried to always take a stand against us, although all 308 of us here in the House are supposed to be here to improve the well-being of our constituents and of Canadians across the country.

All afternoon, after question period, members on the Conservative benches kept trying to imply that our questions on Bill C-42 meant that we were against hunters and against law-abiding firearm owners. I think that is absolutely simplistic and insulting.

We have all kinds of people in our ridings and in our caucus who are proud hunters, who follow the law and do things the right away, and who respect firearms. Our colleagues opposite are making it sound as though our questioning of the merits of a bill and what it truly aims to do means that they support hunters and we are against them.

If you look closely, you can see that more than half of the 16 pages of this bill have absolutely nothing to do with cutting red tape.

I am looking at the titles, and I know that others before me have mentioned this, but I still do not understand why the short titles in English and French do not say the same thing. In French, it is Loi visant la délivrance simple et sécuritaire des permis d'armes à feu. The word “sécuritaire” is in the bill.

However, in English it says, “This Act may be cited as the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act”.

As the justice critic, I have often said that the devil is in the details with the Conservative government. That is the kind of careful approach we have to take to the work the people have sent us here to do.

Nearly 70% of the population did not vote for this government. Those people have the right to be heard in the House and to tell the government to be careful. Saying that does not automatically mean that we are against all aspects of this bill.

When I gave my speech at second reading, there was time allocation. That is the other trend that shows how dysfunctional this Parliament is because nearly all of the bills have been subject to time allocation.

The government dragged its heels on Bill C-42 for a long time.

That was the bill we were supposed to debate the day after the events of October 22. If that bill was so good, so simple and so extraordinary, why did the government take it off the agenda only to reintroduce it five or six months later under a time allocation motion? The government dragged its feet and tried to sweep this under the rug so as not to get people too worked up, because, as one member said, there was reason to believe that some serious problems could arise in urban centres.

While my colleagues from rural areas are asking us to understand the needs of hunters, sport shooters and gun collectors, my colleagues from urban areas are making a heartfelt appeal to all those law-abiding gun owners, telling them that there is a serious problem in urban centres. Can we not just sit down together and try to find solutions that meet everyone's needs? That is not naive or sentimental; it is simply to say that, with goodwill and by working together, we can do good things.

It is possible to eliminate the irritants that are hurting law-abiding gun owners who might have made a small mistake with their registration, for they certainly do not deserve to be left with a criminal record. I completely agree, but can we also do something to make sure that we are not making things easier for gun and weapon smugglers and that we are not making the classification of weapons so simplistic and easy that it leads to serious problems? That is our most fundamental duty.

The Conservatives like to personally attack us because of some of the positions we take. Some Conservatives go so far as to try to hurt us in press releases and in front of certain groups. I am relatively active with Les Membres Sportifs de Gatineau, a hunting and fishing club. I get together with the members often. I like chatting with them. They organize activities, and one day I will very likely go with them because I am a girl who likes to commit wholeheartedly, not just with words but also with actions, unlike the Conservative government.

When the long gun registry was created, those people told me that it made them feel like criminals, but they absolutely were not. The Conservatives capitalized on that. Instead of getting rid of the sticking points related to the registry, they used it as a blunt instrument to divide Canadians. The vast majority of Canadians, if not all of them, know full well that hunting and biathlon are not being eliminated. I have no intention of doing so.

Some young cadets in my riding recently won awards in biathlon competitions. It is extraordinary to see them. Nonetheless, they learn at an early age how to handle a weapon properly and they know full well that it is like a car. They know they have to be careful when they use it and they cannot proceed any old way. There are rules.

This bill has some extremely disturbing aspects. Again, it is not about reducing red tape. It includes a number of criminal provisions and gives cabinet the regulatory power to make classification changes, which is worrisome.

My colleagues who are members of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security worked hard on getting rid of these sticking points through amendments, which would have allowed us to support the bill.

As usual, the Conservative members of the committee are unfortunately always told to say no to the opposition's requests, even the reasonable ones.

I will proudly vote against this bill. Once again, I wish continued success to all Canadian hunters. I am not against them.

CBC/Radio-Canada May 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives clearly have a hard time listening to the people. A recent EKOS poll shows that the vast majority of Canadians, even their own supporters, think that the memorial to victims of Communism is a very bad idea, particularly once they see the design plans for the monument.

When will the government finally listen to the people and the City of Ottawa and change its ill-advised plans?

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 May 14th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, first of all, to this day I am always blown away by the quality of the work done by our public service. With resources that began to be cut back in the 1990s and continued dwindling in the 2000s and now in the 2010s, it performs miracles with very little.

When we speak to public servants, we see how burned out they are. While they might need some leave to recover from this profound exhaustion, the government is attacking something that is very important to them, and we have ended up where we are now.

I am not surprised that the Conservative government did what it did. Just listen to how the President of the Treasury Board talks about the public service, the people who work in the service of Canadians. The language he uses is so disrespectful that one would think he sees them all as people who abuse the system.

Anyone who sits down with public servants will see that they are professional people who care about the services they are mandated to deliver to the public. There is a general lack of respect, and that needs to change.

I would simply point out to the member for Winnipeg North that the strikes that took place in the 1990s and earlier did not happen under a Conservative government, but rather under the Liberals—

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 May 14th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am very glad that my colleague asked me that question because it proves my point.

Without necessarily getting into the wording of the title of the bill, which, again, is “An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget and other measures”, this is a typical example of something that falls under “other measures”.

Whether we are talking about security here or the issues I mentioned in the divisions I deemed important, such as abolishing the long gun registry and the amnesty given to actions that can be perceived as crime or obstruction, these aspects should be part of a separate bill so that the right committee can study all the pertinent repercussions.

As far as the issue of copyright and registration is concerned, my colleague and Canadian Heritage critic often talks to me rather passionately about how all these rights can be reconciled. It is not easy. If we make the companies happy, then the creators are not necessarily happy.

Did this not merit a respectful amount of time for consideration, either at the Standing Committee on Finance or at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, where this issue will likely end up and where we will not even have the right to make amendments? That is the problem with Bill C-59.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 May 14th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, first, and it really is a first, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier. This is not the first time I have shared my time, but it is the first time I have remembered to mention it. I therefore have the honour of sharing my time with this excellent member.

I quite liked the speech by the hon. member who spoke before me. He is also the chair of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. I felt like telling him that it is not that we always want to spend more money. We want to spend Canadians' money on Canadians, whereas the Conservatives do not mind if that money is spent on a corporation.

It is all a question of nuance, and that is the big problem with Bill C-59, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 21, 2015 and other measures.

In the House, we are facing a time allocation motion—the 96th—which prevents members from across the country from speaking to such an important issue as the budget implementation bill. This bill is over 180 pages long and affects many laws. I especially want to talk in the House about other measures contained in controversial Bill C-59.

Since I do not believe that we will have the time to debate the bill at length, I will talk about three divisions that are of particular interest to me. I am referring to division 10, which concerns the parliamentary protective service, division 18 on the abolition of the long gun registry, and division 20, which deals with sick leave and disability programs. I will start with the last one I mentioned, namely, the division on sick leave and disability programs.

Since this bill was introduced, and even before that—the budget gave us a taste of what was to come—we have had the clear and distinct impression that the Government of Canada was set on what it was going to do, even though, over the years, it had made a commitment to its employees across the country who serve Canadians. I am a labour lawyer. We know how negotiations work. You give and you take. That is what negotiating is. In the end, you come to an agreement. Each party compromises in order to reach an agreement or a collective agreement. That is what happened in negotiations in previous years.

Now, with the stroke of a pen, the Conservatives have decided to take back what they had given to people, who for their part had also given up something in return. Thus, the government won concessions on some things over the years by giving these much talked-about sick benefits and a certain disability plan, that it is now taking back. That is not very democratic.

In my humble opinion, this could definitely be challenged in court and it is certainly not a way to treat those who are working here among the lawmakers in Parliament and delivering services to all Canadians. Make no mistake: this is a blatant lack of respect. When I hear the minister and the President of the Treasury Board saying that over 200 negotiation meetings have already been held, I think to myself that the Conservatives are very good at throwing all sorts of figures around, whenever and however they want, because they lump in pretty much anything and everything. They certainly did not hold intelligent and productive negotiations in good faith on this issue.

What is worse, this is like me saying to someone that I am going to negotiate with him, but then I just go ahead and do whatever I want, even if he does not in any way support my decision. That basically means that there will be no negotiation. That is what this provision of division 20 of Bill C-59 boils down to.

I can say that the NDP is strongly opposed to that way of doing things. If the Conservative government believes that the government negotiators were not able to negotiate the right things over the years, then it needs to do something about that. That is the government's decision. However, it should not take away from people the things that belong to them, and it should not be spreading false information. For example, it should not be saying that all federal government employees abuse the system and their sick leave. I think that is insulting to dedicated employees who work tirelessly to serve the public.

If the government wants to defend an argument, there are many ways of doing so other than spouting such nonsense. The employees who work for us should at least have our respect. This is certainly not a very respectful way of doing things. To all those who have written me to ask what our position is, I can tell them that the NDP's position is clear: the NDP does not support the government's position on this at all. We are going to vote against this measure and we are certainly going to clean up the mess. Heaven knows that there will be plenty of cleanup to do after the October 19 election.

I will now move on to the issue with division 18, which I find most worrisome. When we were debating the time allocation motion, the Minister of Finance answered a question regarding the division on ending the long gun registry. His response concerned me. Let us not kid ourselves. All of the members will hear about the letter from the Privacy Commissioner, Ms. Legault, who wrote to the Speaker of the House. She informed him of some facts that I find extremely worrisome. In short, she said that illegal acts were allegedly committed and documents were apparently destroyed, even though they should not have been destroyed and their destruction was not legal in any way. She even informed the Attorney General of Canada that the RCMP had committed this offence. Our RCMP. I get worried when these allegations come from an officer of Parliament as important as the Privacy Commissioner. Once again, we see a pattern. Just a few sentences in a budget implementation bill and the RCMP is absolved of everything it did illegally without legal authorization. That is absolutely despicable. This government claims to be a law and order government, but only when it sees fit. That is extremely worrisome.

The Minister of Finance gave a big, beautiful, super-intelligent response, saying that this was a promise the government had made in the 2011 election campaign. I listened carefully, because even though I do not necessarily share the government's views on the long gun registry, I can still admit that the Conservatives did promise to put an end to the long gun registry. I congratulate them for following through on their promise. I do not agree, but they did make that promise. However, in their election campaign they never talked about destroying data, nor did they talk about absolving those who may have been involved in the obstruction of justice or committed other offences. They certainly never talked about that.

I invite my colleagues, who have to deal with this issue with very little time, to pay particular attention to that. That is the problem with the government's approach, when it goes ahead with an omnibus bill that changes everything under the sun, even things that do not necessarily have anything to do with its main objective. I do not have high hopes in that regard.

As a final point, I would like to say a few words about division 10, which has to do with the parliamentary protective service. I encourage my colleagues to read that section. It reiterates the importance of our role as parliamentarians and outlines how that protection will be carried out. The RCMP is going to take over this task, under the authority of the Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House. The bill reiterates the principle that the work of parliamentarians must never be obstructed. Once again, I feel as though I am reading one thing, but living another.

My colleague from Toronto—Danforth argued this point in the question of privilege he raised, which was recognized by the Chair but reversed by the government. I heard my colleague from Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques say that it was perhaps the last time we would have a chance to speak in the House on a budget bill. The Conservatives managed to balance the budget on the backs of just about everyone. This government has been the most undemocratic government I have seen in my life, throughout all the years that I spent following politics, as both a politician and a regular citizen.

I hope I got everyone's attention so that they will go read these three divisions. Public servants need not worry. The NDP understands them, appreciates their work, and will be there to repair the damage.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 May 14th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I think the Minister of Finance is missing the point. The problem is that if there were a loophole with the long gun registry, it should not be corrected through an omnibus budget implementation bill. There should be a stand-alone bill. Procedurally, this is wrong because the public safety committee will not be able to propose and adopt amendments. It might make recommendations that will go back to finance. It has nothing to do with it.

Is the minister not a bit ashamed to be part of a government that will have imposed time allocation 96 times to force bills down the throats of Canadians? Whatever the government's policies and promises are is fine, but it should do it properly.

Canada Post May 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the City of Gatineau recently passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on the installation of community mailboxes. My constituents are outraged by the lack of public consultation and by the fact that Canada Post is acting unilaterally without taking into account municipal realities. Over 500 cities have now condemned Canada Post's attitude.

Will the government finally listen to what cities, including Gatineau, are asking for, or will it keep forcing people to use community mailboxes?

Committees of the House May 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, indeed, in response to the 19th report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, the official opposition is presenting a supplementary report regarding consideration of Bill C-583, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder).

I quickly want to thank all my committee colleagues, especially the hon. members for Nanaimo—Cowichan and for La Pointe-de-l'Île, who were responsible for this bill on behalf of the team.

Although we, along with the government, support the report, our main regret is that the bill introduced by the hon. member for Yukon was too watered down. We think it is a shame that the government persuaded that member to withdraw his bill, which would have represented a step forward and would really have been more effective than a report with extremely soft recommendations.

I would ask the government to pay particular attention to the recommendations submitted by the official opposition. These recommendations would move things forward much more quickly than the very simplistic recommendations made by the Conservative government members in the committee.