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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

Employment February 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we recently found out that LaSalle will lose 300 jobs because the Target store is closing. This is the latest in a long line of business and industry closures in the Montreal area.

The retail sector is booming in Canada, but most of the jobs being created are precarious and poorly paid. We are losing jobs, and the Conservatives are placing the blame elsewhere.

It is time to elect a New Democratic government that will step up to its responsibilities, fight for the middle class by protecting jobs here at home and ensure that people get adequate support if they lose their jobs. The NDP wants to create long-term jobs in growth sectors by supporting Canadian businesses that will not turn their backs on employees.

We have put forward concrete measures to get Canada on the right track and protect Canadian jobs and investment.

Red Tape Reduction Act January 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague.

The NDP is the only party that has denounced the abusive transaction fees small and medium-sized businesses are charged, particularly for credit card transactions. We also want the hiring tax credit to be restored.

The NDP is also the only party that defends co-ops, businesses that are 100% Canadian and create a sustainable, fair economy.

The government claims it wants to help small and medium-sized businesses, but it is completely neglecting a sector of our economy that creates jobs in Canada and contributes to our multi-faceted economy.

Red Tape Reduction Act January 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I sincerely thank the Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board for his question. He has given me an opportunity to discuss an issue I did not have time to address because I did not have much speaking time.

We have to wonder whether the one-for-one approach is the smartest and most effective way to reduce the administrative burden. My colleague's government increased the administrative burden for small and medium-sized businesses by passing the anti-spam legislation and complicating Revenue Canada.

I believe that the Conservatives are going overboard and actually increasing the administrative burden for small and medium-sized businesses.

Red Tape Reduction Act January 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by saying that I will be sharing my time with the fine member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, whose constituency is next to mine.

First, I would like to wish all of the members of the House, as well as the support staff and pages, a happy 2015. I would also like to wish all of my constituents of LaSalle—Émard good health, happiness and solidarity. I will also take this opportunity to wish the owners and employees of small and medium-sized businesses in the riding of LaSalle—Émard a happy and prosperous 2015. Happy new year as well to all of the members of the co-operatives, which are also businesses that are striving for a sustainable and 100% local economy.

At the beginning of this new year, I am pleased to have the opportunity to debate Bill C-21, An Act to control the administrative burden that regulations impose on businesses.

This is a very important bill, particularly when you come from a riding such as mine, namely LaSalle—Émard. LaSalle has close to 1,680 registered businesses and 71% of them employ fewer than 10 workers. There are therefore many small and medium-sized businesses in LaSalle, many of which are retail stores.

We recently learned of the imminent closure of Target stores and the loss of hundreds of jobs in my riding. Small business is very important to the Sud-Ouest borough. There are 2,047 small businesses in the borough, and 69% of them have fewer than 10 employees. This is the case across Canada. Canada's economic landscape is shaped by a large number of small and medium-sized businesses which, as many of my colleagues have mentioned, are the driving force of our economy. More than 75% of jobs are created by small and medium-sized businesses. One would think that Bill C-21 would focus on the owners and the people who work in these businesses. This is also a bill that, to some degree, could be of interest to co-operatives. We often forget that co-operatives are also businesses involved in a multitude of areas. Naturally, we always want to help the owners of small and medium-sized businesses, but we could also consider co-operatives.

We must be careful. Once again, the Conservatives are talking about a bill to help small and medium-sized businesses and to reduce red tape. However, we should also realize that regulations have a very important role to play in Canada, whether it is protecting the environment or ensuring the health and safety of Canadians. Regulations stem from the bills introduced in the House of Commons, bills that are introduced by all members in order to improve the lives of Canadians, not to increase red tape.

The Conservatives are using this bill to eliminate some regulations, but these regulations are important to protect the safety and health of Canadians and to protect the environment.

Government regulations are intended to protect the safety and health of Canadians and protect the environment. That should be a priority. Regulations that are in the public interest should be maintained. It is not just a question of managing the number of regulations on the books, as is the case with Bill C-21, but of determining which regulations are working for Canadians and which are not.

Let us look at how the bill defines an administrative burden:

“administrative burden” means anything that is necessary to demonstrate compliance with a regulation, including the collecting, processing, reporting and retaining of information and the completing of forms.

It may not, in fact, be an administrative burden, but rather a tool to ensure accountability or to answer questionnaires, as is often the case.

Businesses must prove that they comply with the regulations and look at the whole economic picture. However, not every small and medium-sized business has the resources to comply with these administrative rules. That is why legislators, and not just bureaucracy or the public service, must be innovative. We also need to give small and medium-sized businesses the means to comply with administrative demands.

Earlier, Conservative members spoke about online forms and faster ways to comply with administrative regulations. What are they doing to ensure that all Canadians have access to high-speed Internet? Speaking of high speed, this is also a matter of how easy it is to fill out and submit these forms. The government must also ensure that high-speed Internet is affordable for all Canadians and for small and medium-sized businesses. The Conservatives have completely missed the boat there.

As legislators, we are also responsible for introducing bills that will not increase the administrative burden on small and medium-sized businesses. However, a bill introduced not long ago by the Conservatives, Canada's anti-spam legislation, places a huge added administrative burden on small and medium-sized businesses. In addition, this bill, Bill C-21, is inconsistent by virtue of its own administrative burden, because it requires a calculation of the cost of the administrative burden and compliance deadlines.

The truth is that Bill C-21 will not reduce the administrative burden for small and medium-sized businesses. On the contrary, the Conservatives will actually be increasing their burden without really helping them by instituting a hiring tax credit, which the NDP has proposed, or reducing the credit card fees they have to pay.

Red Tape Reduction Act January 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, since the mid-1990s, and even since the Liberals were in power, there has been an increase in the deregulation of rail and air transportation. The Conservatives have also undermined environmental protections. Bill C-21 seems to be just another exercise in deregulation, which was initiated by previous federal governments.

I would like my colleague from Winnipeg North to talk about the dangers of eliminating regulations that protect Canadians' health and safety and the environment. The Conservatives claim that Bill C-21 will help reduce the administrative burden of SMEs. However, does this not appear to be just another step in the process of deregulation initiated by the Liberals?

Red Tape Reduction Act January 26th, 2015

Happy new year, Mr. Speaker. I would like to thank my colleague, the Treasury Board critic, for his speech. He shed a lot of light on Bill C-21 and on the way the Conservatives are always claiming that they take care of small and medium-sized businesses when, in actual fact, those businesses have been completely misled by the Conservatives when it comes to measures that will allow them to grow and create jobs.

I would like my colleague to elaborate on the policies the Conservative government has implemented over the past few years. They are hindering Canada's economic growth and creating obstacles for small and medium-sized businesses. They are preventing these businesses and the middle class from making ends meet.

Petitions December 12th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition regarding the reduction of Canada Post services.

The elimination of home mail delivery and the increase in the price of stamps will have a major impact on my riding of LaSalle—Émard, which is densely populated. The petitioners, hundreds of my constituents from LaSalle—Émard, are calling on Canada Post to explore other options and especially to keep home mail delivery services.

Canada Post December 12th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, a year ago, the Conservatives decided to put an end to home mail delivery and raise the price of stamps just before Christmas.

They turned their backs on seniors and people with reduced mobility and told them to fend for themselves since there are private businesses that can provide that service for $30 a month. What a mess.

One year after the rollout of this irrational reform began, have the Conservatives heard the public outcry? Will they restore home mail delivery services?

Rouge National Urban Park Act December 12th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to come back to the answer that the Conservative member gave my colleague from Saint-Lambert regarding the paltry $391 million budget.

In fact, that amount is remedial and is merely a drop in the bucket. Parks Canada has been underfunded for years; its infrastructure is aging, and the government is giving a small cash infusion, trying to fix something that is perhaps in a critical state.

According to The Globe and Mail, Parks Canada is in trouble because it would need $2.8 billion to do all the deferred maintenance work. This chronic underfunding is threatening Parks Canada's ability to fulfill its mandate.

I would like the member to comment on the fact that Parks Canada needs a lot more than $391 million to fulfill its broad mandate, which includes not only infrastructure but also scientific research, conservation, preservation and education.

Rouge National Urban Park Act December 12th, 2014

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

Bill C-40, An Act respecting the Rouge National Urban Park, is truly innovative because this is the first time an urban park has been proposed in Canada. I would like my colleague to reassure me because some parts of the bill seem to give the minister some fairly discretionary power with respect to preserving the integrity of the park. I would like him to talk about that. The official opposition is wondering whether decisions about the integrity and conservation of the Rouge national urban park would be made by the minister. The member also talked about agriculture. Would that really help to preserve the integrity of this national park? Is the minister perhaps being given too much discretionary power over the Rouge national urban park?