House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was workers.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as NDP MP for Jonquière (Québec)

Lost her last election, in 2019, with 25% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Air Canada Public Participation Act June 1st, 2016

Madam Speaker, I must admit that I agree with some of what my colleague said in his speech. I thank him for his comments and for calling out the government on a few things.

However, Aveos went bankrupt when his party was in power. There is some confusion there because when the Conservatives formed the government, they did nothing.

I would like to know what my colleague thinks about their interpretation of heavy vehicle maintenance versus light maintenance in Canada.

Forestry Industry May 31st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the report on the next softwood lumber agreement that the government promised to give us in 19 days might well be written on the back of a napkin.

Canadian negotiators met with the Americans last week. However, we are being told that we have nothing, that no progress has been made and no other date has been set. With the American election fast approaching, analysts are not optimistic about an agreement being reached in the next few days.

Why is the government dragging its feet? Why is it jeopardizing the livelihoods of 60,000 workers in Quebec, 5,000 of whom live in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean?

Canada Post May 30th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, instead of keeping their promise to restore home mail delivery, the Liberals chose to create a committee to examine this issue. The problem is that we know nothing about the procedure or what this committee will do.

We learned that the deadline to make submissions is around June 23 for groups and sometime in July for individuals. As of Friday, there was nothing anywhere. When the NDP called out the government, a date appeared on the website, as if by magic.

Is this the kind of transparency the Liberals promised us?

Life Means Life Act May 19th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise here today. It is always a pleasure to represent my constituents, the people of Jonquière. I am always proud to speak in the House of Commons.

Issues that affect my region's economy are especially important to me. We talked about this a lot earlier. Unfortunately, the government is dragging its feet on many files, and this includes protecting jobs in the forestry sector. Our farmers are still fighting against diafiltered milk. We have yet to see any measures to improve access to employment insurance, for example in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, since we have a two-tier system.

Today in the House we are debating Bill C-229, which amends the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act.

Let me be very clear: the NDP will be opposing this bill at second reading. It reminds us once again of the many reasons why Canadians sent the previous government packing. This is a bill that seems to have been written on the back of a napkin. It in no way reflects reality.

Instead of spreading misinformation and vote-seeking propaganda, the Conservatives should tell Canadians the truth. Under the current system, the most dangerous offenders who pose a risk to public safety never get out of prison.

We believe in evidence-based policy. Any reforms made to the sentencing regime should focus on improving public safety, not on political games.

The Conservatives have been talking about this bill since 2013, but waited until just a few months before the election was called to announce its introduction at a flashy election-style event. That same day, a Conservative member sent out an email to raise funds and add to the list of Conservative Party members. The subject line of the email was “Murderers in your neighbourhood?” This is another example of the troubling use of the politics of fear by the party that was in power at the time.

The ironic thing about the Conservatives is that they are always the first to want to talk about safety in our communities, but in the last three years, the Conservatives cut RCMP expenditures by millions of dollars. Not so long ago, the commissioner of the RCMP said that they had exhausted their budget and needed more money. That is where investment is needed: in the RCMP and public safety.

I believe that Canadians expect better from politicians. Major issues demand our attention, such as setting a decent minimum wage of $15 an hour and providing better access to employment insurance by making it accessible to everyone in every region.

There is work to do on pay equity and restoring home mail delivery. More resources need to be given to public safety, including the RCMP. Bill C-51 needs to be revisited and the order in council for Bill C-452 on exploitation and trafficking in persons needs to be signed.

Instead, the Conservatives would rather continue to introduce biased bills. Public policy must first and foremost be based on facts, and the objective of such policies must be to keep the public safe, not to win political points. We need to give our public security agencies more resources. We need to take action. We need to invest in prevention in order to prevent crime and help offenders reintegrate into society.

A brilliant lawyer named Michael Spratt said, and I quote:

Throwing away the key is an admission of failure. It amounts to admitting that our prisons are warehouses, that rehabilitation is a lie, that the law that holds us together as a society is still the law of the jungle — an eye for an eye. It’s the politics of despair.

I cannot give a speech about crime without thinking of the victims. Today, my thoughts are with all the victims, particularly the victims of crime. Some of them may be watching right now. Too often we forget the impact of crime on their lives and on the lives of their families, particularly when someone is killed. The NDP has always cared about victims and that is why we think it is so important to implement truly effective policies to keep the public safe.

The Conservatives should do a bit more research before introducing bills. In the current system, the most dangerous criminals who pose a threat to public safety never get out of prison. That is why any reforms made to the sentencing regime should focus on improving public safety and increasing financial resources, rather than on unconstitutional bills.

My opposition colleagues should know that it is up to the Attorney General to ensure that the laws that are introduced by the government are constitutional. However, once again, the Conservatives are introducing a bill that will more than likely end up being challenged in the courts. Many of their bills, some of which were mentioned today in the House, have already been deemed unconstitutional by the court.

I wonder whether my Conservative colleagues respect the principle of constitutionality and the separation of powers. We live in a democracy, but I all too often have the impression that they do not really believe it.

I will come right out with the question and it is up to them to answer it. Do they believe that it is important for parliamentarians to introduce bills that are constitutional? I will give them a chance to answer this question, which I believe is a very simple but important one.

In my view, it is essential that we put forward public policies that are based on facts and comply with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and our Constitution.

Life Means Life Act May 19th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech even though I do not share the values or the opinion he expressed.

I will ask him a question. Considering that the Supreme Court declared several of the Conservative laws he referred to in his speech unconstitutional, why is he introducing such a bill?

Why is he bent on taking that approach when it is clearly not working?

Public Services and Procurement May 19th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, if I told you that a company has not paid its employees in months, you would think that is unacceptable, right?

Well, that is what has been happening to federal government employees since the new pay system was implemented. Many employees have not received a paycheque in several months. There is a Service Canada employee on maternity leave who has not received anything in three months. Three months without pay.

What will the government do to ensure that the people who are affected can feed their families?

Temporary Foreign Workers May 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, we are worried about the foreign workers in Fort McMurray, but many other foreign workers in Canada are also dealing with horrible situations. Most recently, we learned of four people from Guatemala who came to work on a farm in Quebec. Because they were afraid that they would be sent back to their own country, they were forced to work up to 22 hours a day and were sometimes paid only $2 an hour.

What does the government intend to do to ensure that temporary foreign workers are not exploited?

Air Canada Public Participation Act May 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, we have had a big disappointment today. There have been many over the past few weeks as well.

I went into politics to be the voice of all the people in my riding of Jonquière, of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, and also of all Canadians. Now the government is preventing us from debating a bill that will get rid of the jobs of more than 2,600 families across Canada. We have no guarantees for these jobs, these workers, these families. Earlier we were talking about the future, jobs, and the need to modernize. Modernizing does not mean getting rid of jobs. We do not even know where many of these workers will go.

Will they be able to find new jobs if the maintenance is done in Mexico or, as my colleague said so well earlier, all over the world? It is unacceptable that we no longer have the right to speak, that we cannot be the voice of these families who will no longer have jobs.

What does the minister have to say to these families who will no longer have jobs tomorrow morning?

Why did the Liberals not wait until after July 15?

As my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie said, the Supreme Court was going to get back to work. Why did they not wait?

The Government of Quebec continues to ask the House and implore the federal government to take its time.

What does the minister have to say to these families?

Softwood Lumber May 9th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, a statement is not enough.

We are now midway through the 100 days that the Liberals gave themselves to reach a new softwood lumber agreement, and negotiations are stalled. We are hearing that the United States wants quotas, but Canada has fought for years in the courts to reject this agreement.

The forestry industry directly employs over 60,000 people in Quebec, including more than 6,000 in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean.

Will the Liberals defend Quebec's forestry industry and confirm that all these jobs will be protected in the negotiations?

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1 May 5th, 2016

Thank you Mr. Speaker. That is what I wanted to point out in my remarks. When members on either side of the House rise to speak, they should always be thinking about workers. I have been listening to the speeches that have been given since this morning and I am thinking about the workers who get up every day, pack their lunches, and go to work. They need employment insurance when jobs are cut.

Given the reform that my colleague's government implemented and that is still in effect, I would like him to tell us what he thinks about the penalty being imposed on workers in certain regions, the workers who are not eligible for the five additional weeks.