House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was languages.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for LaSalle—Émard (Québec)

Lost her last election, in 2011, with 27% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Firearms Registry September 22nd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, if the Prime Minister really cared about women's well-being, he would not have ousted the RCMP Chief Superintendent, Marty Cheliak, and he would not ignore the opinion of police officers, nurses, women's groups and his own victims' ombudsman.

Last spring, the Prime Minister engaged in divisive politics at African women's expense. Today, he is doing the same thing at Canadian women's expense. Why?

Firearms Registry September 22nd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister went to New York to talk about maternal health, then he returned to Ottawa to vote against keeping moms safe. That is hypocrisy. He knows perfectly well that 70% of the victims of long gun shootings are women.

If the Prime Minister really cares about women's health and safety, will he work with us to improve and save the registry, which is what women's groups in Canada want?

Aboriginal Affairs September 21st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party of Canada firmly believes that one of the best ways to improve the quality of life of the first nations is to educate aboriginal young people. Therefore, we must work with the governments of the first nations, the Métis, the Inuit and the provinces and territories to achieve this objective.

Unfortunately, the Conservative government has not shown any leadership on this important issue. It cut funding for the First Nations University, got rid of the historic Kelowna accord, and refused to endorse the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. All Canadians, not just aboriginal peoples, will be affected.

We intend to invest in people in order to build the best educated and most skilled workforce in the world. Thus, every Canadian, including aboriginal peoples, must have every opportunity to succeed through education and training.

International Co-operation June 17th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives claim they are helping women and children, yet they are ignoring the advice of experts.

Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, said that the Conservatives' refusal to fund safe abortions was “disappointing and far from accountable”.

The Conservatives finally relented and added the environment to the G8 and G20 agendas.

Will they listen to the international community and the majority of Canadians, and reconsider their regressive plan for maternal health?

June 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, in his response, the parliamentary secretary left no doubt about the irony of the Conservative government's position. The government says all the right things and claims that it wants to save the lives of thousands of women and children in developing countries. But unfortunately, the Conservative government is not ready to take the necessary steps to achieve that.

The Conservatives' new policy on maternal health condemns African women to back alley abortions and continues to chip away at and marginalize Canada's influence on the world stage. How are we supposed to trust that this Prime Minister and his government will respect women's right to choose when their actions take that right away from African women in defiance of the international community's position on the matter?

The Conservative government's interference in the medical decisions of African women is strictly ideological and intended to please its religious right voting base. All we have to do is look at the scientific data on maternal health. One in seven mothers dies because of an unsafe abortion. Even the threat of bearing the responsibility for such an awful situation is not enough to persuade the government to reconsider.

June 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, on several occasions just a few weeks ago, I asked the Conservative government and the Prime Minister about their position on maternal health. To be specific, on May 27, 2010, I asked this government about its decision to impose its own approach at the G8 and G20 summits, an approach that completely ignores global priorities and isolates Canada on the international scene. Medical authorities and scientific communities in all the G8 countries are calling for the inclusion of adequate measures to reduce the number of unsafe abortions and to improve family planning services.

The Minister for the Status of Women tries to reassure us with arguments that ignore the reality, a reality that makes our skin crawl. The statistics on maternal health are astonishing: there are 20 million unsafe abortions each year and over 70,000 women die every year, that is, 186 women a day, because of these unsafe abortions. Some 13% of maternal deaths are the result of unsafe abortions. Experts in the area of maternal health have also reported that a disproportionate number of the women who die are between the ages of 15 and 19. When these young mothers die, their children become orphans, and as one might expect, this leads to development problems. Also, these orphans are 10 times more likely to die prematurely.

Ignoring the advice of Canadian and international specialists including CIDA, UNICEF and World Vision, this government excluded abortion funding from its G8 maternal and child health initiative. The Conservative government has only one goal in mind: pleasing its religious right electoral base.

We need to make it very clear that the Conservative government is isolating Canada from other developed countries and breaking with a 25-year-old Canadian tradition by imposing its anti-abortion ideology on developing countries. Last April, while visiting Canada, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her disdain for the Conservative policy, as did the British foreign affairs minister and other G8 partners, who feel the same way.

This change in Conservative policy also led to the elimination of funding for Canadian NGOs that provide a range of essential, life-saving services to women and children in poor countries and promote appropriate family planning.

Furthermore, this change in policy has brought about a new child and youth strategy in the Canadian International Development Agency that does not include the sexual health of adolescents in developing countries even though sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and the risk of pregnancy figure prominently in their day-to-day lives.

By failing to include sexual health in the strategy, this government is ignoring the reality that the sexual health of adolescents in all developing countries is a key component of their health.

The Conservative government's about-face on the longstanding Canadian tradition of support to aid groups that provide—

G8 and G20 Summits June 14th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the world is laughing at the Conservatives' incompetence and the world is criticizing the Prime Minister's biased and partisan agenda.

The UN, Nobel laureates and prime ministers visiting Canada are all calling on the Prime Minister to include climate change on the agenda. Everyone is asking him to reverse his decision to condemn African women to resorting to illegal abortions.

Why is the Prime Minister using these summits to promote his party instead of his country?

G8 and G20 Summits June 14th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's fake lake and the Conservative's billion dollar boondoggle have made Canada a laughingstock on the world stage, but Canadians are not laughing. They are outraged at the Conservatives' incompetence and they do not understand why they have to pay for the Prime Minister's whims.

Does the Prime Minister still believe that his $2 million fake lake will restore Canada's international reputation?

G8 and G20 Summits June 10th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has made Canada the outcast of the international community and now, with his $2 million fake lake, we have become a laughingstock. We have gone from international outcast to international laughingstock.

Even CNN and the LA Times are talking about the $2 million fake lake. Even finance minister Bernard Kouchner said he was surprised by this $1 billion boondoggle.

Does the Prime Minister still believe that a fake lake inside a convention centre is going to help restore our international reputation?

G8 and G20 Summits June 10th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives will end up drowning in their fake lake because of the real waste of money. We learned today that they paid $1.1 million for backdrops, $1.1 million for cardboard displays. The security fence in Toronto is going to cost $5.5 million compared to $800,000 in Montebello.

Considering that they have a $54 billion deficit, will they admit that they are totally, completely, and absolutely incapable of managing a budget?