House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was colleague.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for LaSalle—Émard (Québec)

Lost her last election, in 2015, with 29% of the vote.

Statements in the House

International Women's Day February 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, in recognition of International Women's Day, which falls on March 8, I would like to salute the women of LaSalle—Émard.

They are vibrant and engaged in our community organizations. They encourage young people, help families in need and provide activities for seniors and people who are isolated. Through their work at Centre du Vieux Moulin de LaSalle, Corporation L'Espoir, Table de développement social de LaSalle, Cercle de fermières du Québec or Groupe des Aidants du Sud-Ouest they show they are always attuned to the community's needs.

I want to salute the women of LaSalle—Émard who volunteer for numerous causes, at the H.O.P.E. Food Bank, the Legion, the Action Centre, and in other cultural associations. They bring comfort to people in need and help build a better community.

The women of LaSalle—Émard are resilient and optimistic and bring together the people of their community. They are compassionate and creative. I salute them and thank them for their ongoing efforts to build our community, a community where no one is left behind.

Victims Bill of Rights Act February 20th, 2015

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

Can he tell me what the Conservative government is doing to prevent crime? Can he name any programs to prevent violence against women and to prevent street gangs?

Victims Bill of Rights Act February 20th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Winnipeg North for his speech. I especially appreciated his pointing out that the Conservative government does not give any consideration to the work done in committee, especially since getting its majority.

The work done by committees, which are part of our parliamentary and democratic institutions, is being rather perverted by the government. As the member clearly explained, based on his extensive experience, committees help improve bills by amending them.

As my colleague, the justice critic, mentioned, the NDP moved several amendments to this bill in order to add real value.

I would like to hear more from the member about committee work. Whether with this bill or the many others that have amended the Criminal Code, not recognizing the work of committees will have negative consequences for Canada's future.

Victims Bill of Rights Act February 20th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, the NDP's justice critic, for her professionalism and diligence in debating the bills introduced by the Conservatives.

I also thank her for pointing out the Conservatives' misleading statements. They claim to stand up for victims, but in reality this bill is nothing but an empty shell. They will not compensate victims. They have no plan for compensating victims. They are off-loading that burden onto the provinces.

Could my colleague speak more to the fact that the Conservatives are washing their hands of this and off-loading the burden onto the provinces?

Veterans February 6th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, Master Corporal Paul Franklin lost both of his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan.

Every year, he is required to produce a medical certificate to prove to the department that he has lost his legs. Twice, his wheelchair has been taken away. That is surreal. Master Corporal Franklin is still fighting, not in Afghanistan, but here, for proper treatment of his case and those of other veterans.

When will the minister finally intervene?

Business of Supply February 5th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague.

It is important to remember that small and medium-sized businesses in Canada create local jobs. The owners of these businesses want to keep jobs here in Canada. They do not want to send them elsewhere. They are concerned about that.

The same thing goes for co-operatives. They want us to keep our jobs and our SMEs, and not sell them to the Americans or other countries.

Business of Supply February 5th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank my colleague for his monologue. Personally, I wish to defend the interests of the people in my constituency. They are middle-class people, and they know that I am here to fight for them.

Small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada, like the middle class, often have difficulty making ends meet. I would therefore like the government to acknowledge that there are inequalities between very large companies, which it seems to favour, and very small companies, which the NDP wishes to favour. I admit that large, wealthy companies create jobs. However, we must also support the backbone of our economy, small and medium-sized enterprises, so that we have a rich and diversified economy.

Business of Supply February 5th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to indicate that I will be sharing my time with the member for Surrey North.

I am pleased to rise in the House today to support the NDP motion to support small businesses in creating jobs, stimulating innovation and diversifying our economy. The motion calls on the government to extend the accelerated capital cost allowance by two years, reduce the small business tax rate immediately and introduce an innovation tax credit to increase productivity.

I am going to focus on the benefits of the second and third actions proposed in the motion for my constituency of LaSalle—Émard. I would like to describe the entrepreneurs in my constituency. After the halcyon years of the manufacturing sector, it experienced a significant decline, leaving room for small enterprises and businesses in various economic sectors. According to Statistics Canada’s Business Register, the economic profile of the borough of Lasalle shows that 71% of the small businesses in Lasalle employ fewer than 10 workers, and 20% of them are in the retail trade sector, followed by transportation and warehousing with 11%.

I would like to say that I have had an opportunity to visit many businesses and retailers in my constituency, whether along Dollard Avenue in Lasalle or on Monk Boulevard in the southwest. The entrepreneurs and retailers in my constituency demonstrate resilience, hard work and creativity, in spite of a difficult economy and fierce competition. Despite all their goodwill, however, and like the middle class, they are having trouble making ends meet. This is why tax relief for small businesses, as proposed in our motion, would mean they could focus on creating jobs in the community.

Ours has traditionally been a manufacturing economy. Canada, and in particular the Montreal region, was recognized for the strength and innovative capacity of its businesses. Unfortunately, in recent years, under the Liberal and Conservative governments, more than 400,000 jobs have been lost in the manufacturing sector. Those jobs were well paid and secure. They have given way to much more precarious jobs in economic sectors that are much more vulnerable to upheavals in our economy.

The small and medium-sized businesses that have managed to survive in the manufacturing sector represent nearly 40% of our GDP and employ some eight million people. In my constituency, the majority of which is middle class, 49% of business establishments are small, and I would even say very small. They operate in the manufacturing, retail trade and services sectors.

In 2013, 21.5% of the residents of Lasalle worked in the manufacturing industry. However, that figure indicates a decline from 2001 when 37% of the labour force in my constituency worked in the manufacturing sector.

In an urban constituency like the one I represent, with an unemployment rate of 8.2% that is rising to 15% among young people, where the middle class is having trouble making ends meet and where the next generation of entrepreneurs is a priority, we need concrete measures like the ones proposed by the NDP to support the middle class, to make our economy work for people and to encourage the creation of good jobs.

Furthermore, according to a recent study published by the OECD, Canadian federal investments in funding innovation as a percentage of GDP devoted to research and development are among the lowest of the OECD countries. While the average is 2.4% of the GDP, Canada is only investing 0.69%. This situation has a negative impact on our industrial competitiveness, our innovation capacity, job creation, and is damaging our economy.

As the Council of Canadian Academies mentioned in a study named, “Innovation Impacts: Measurement and Assessment”:

Today, economic and social well-being is perhaps even more intimately tied to innovation....To ensure continued prosperity, governments must commit to innovation as a cornerstone of long-term public policies.

It is for that reason, and many other good reasons, as noted by the Council of Canadian Academies and the recent report by the OECD, that we are also suggesting the introduction of an innovation tax credit for the manufacturing sector to assist companies that invest in machinery, equipment and property to further research and development.

Through such a credit, we seek to stimulate innovation and improve the productivity of Canadian manufacturers who make crucial investments in research and development by enabling them to save some $40 million a year. These are key, specific proposals to stimulate innovation and job creation and help diversify our economy.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to some key partners: entrepreneurs and merchants in my riding with whom I work actively, including the Chambre de commerce et d'industrie du Sud-Ouest de Montréal, the Regroupement économique et social du Sud-Ouest, Développement économique LaSalle and other organizations that assist our entrepreneurs, encourage creativity and support our businesses.

In co-operation with the chamber of commerce and the Coopérative de développement régional Montréal-Laval, I organized a working lunch on the theme of co-operatives for business creation and for succession, a model for today and for the future.

As the critic for co-operatives, I would remind the House of the importance of co-operatives in business creation and succession. Entrepreneurs often do not think of this business model for entrepreneurial succession, and I would like to bring it once more to the attention of the House.

As an NDP MP, this is the work I am doing to support SMEs, merchants and industries in LaSalle—Émard.

The NDP motion designed to stimulate our economy and create jobs is part of the NDP plan to put Canada on the right track. It is part of our plan to build a sustainable economy for the benefit of all.

I call upon all members of the House to support the NDP motion and show their support for small and medium-sized enterprises, which create the vast majority of the jobs in Canada, and for our manufacturing sector.

Victims Bill of Rights Act February 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his speech and for having always defended victims.

I would like to talk about how the debate on the bill currently before the House is once again being shut down. The official opposition is prepared to debate this bill and to talk about the importance of giving victims a voice. However, we are once again dealing with closure.

I would like my colleague to comment on this measure that the Conservatives keep using, namely imposing closure on bills that they themselves introduce in the House.

Petitions February 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, as the member for LaSalle—Émard and as an agronomist, I am very pleased to present a petition signed by dozens of members of my community. They are asking the Government of Canada to respect the right of small-scale family farmers to preserve, exchange, and use seeds.

The government has a very important role to support small family farmers, especially women, in international aid policy. They call on the government to ensure that policies and programs are developed in consultation with small family farmers and that they protect the rights of small family farmers in the south to preserve, freely use, and exchange seeds.