House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was rights.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Independent MP for Montcalm (Québec)

Won her last election, in 2011, with 53% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canada Post February 3rd, 2014

Therefore, to deprive these people of something as fundamental as home mail delivery will only limit accessibility and marginalize them, as well as place an additional burden on these individuals by making them more dependent on others for something as basic as getting their own mail.

Where does this leave us? The minister is telling the public that the Conservatives have a plan to meet the needs of seniors and people with disabilities, but when we check, there is no evidence of any such plan.

In the minister's response to my question, she said that I could verify this five-point plan, and that is what I did. What I learned is that the government has no plan to provide adequate service to seniors and people with disabilities.

I therefore wish to repeat my question: will the Conservatives guarantee funding to accommodate people with reduced mobility, to help them access their mail?

Canada Post February 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, when people are speaking in the House, I remain silent because I know I must show them respect. I would like to be shown some respect today.

Canada Post February 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the opportunity to ask the minister responsible for the Canada Post cuts whether there were any ways to continue providing service to Canadians with functional limitations. The minister said:

“ will accommodate the situations it may be facing with respect to people with disabilities, or seniors. It does that already....”

She thought the service was already being provided.

Today, I can tell the minister that I checked with Canada Post and they told me that they do not do that.

We contacted Canada Post's customer service to ask whether measures were being taken to deliver the mail to seniors and persons with disabilities. They said no. Instead, Christine, the person who took my call, referred me to a 26-page document on the changes to Canada Post. There is no special mention in that document on how the changes to Canada Post will respect the different needs of persons with disabilities.

The changes proposed to Canada Post's services include the termination of home delivery, which will create more problems for all the Canadians who have reduced mobility or are visually impaired. Those changes will turn the simple fact of receiving mail into a difficult or costly task, making communications complicated and increasing dependency and social exclusion.

Currently, people with reduced mobility or a visual impairment might think that having to go to a community mailbox is impossible because of the distances involved.

The larger the geographic area, the less likely it will be that the mailbox will be within a reasonable distance for people with a disability. This means that more people will have to depend on others and will probably have to pay out of pocket to get their own mail.

This concerns people living in poverty as well, not only because some of them do not have access to the Internet, but also because of the cost of gas or taxis, or even the need to pay someone to get their mail.

As we all know, Canadians with reduced mobility or a visual impairment must use para transit to get around in their community. Will they have to use it just to go to their mailbox? This will overburden these services, which are already unable to meet the needs of their clientele in a number of communities.

The most vulnerable Canadians still rely on the mail. Taking that service away from them will make them more isolated and even more vulnerable. Taking something as basic as home delivery away from them will only limit accessibility and marginalize them. In addition, it will shift the burden onto them—

Petitions January 29th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the people of Montcalm believe that there is no room for a Senate made up of unelected officials, and that the $92.5 million it costs to run this institution could be better spent. They also believe that appointed senators, in particular those who abuse their privileges, do not truly represent the interests of Canadians. I am therefore pleased to present this petition on behalf of the people of Montcalm.

Canada Post January 29th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the measures that Canada Post decision-makers are proposing, with the support of the Conservatives, will make life even harder for people in wheelchairs and with disabilities. Many will have to wait for paratransit so they can go get their mail.

Will the minister make money available to improve access to paratransit, or will she drive these people to their mailboxes herself?

Persons with Disabilities December 9th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the NDP made a firm commitment to do whatever it takes to ensure that persons with disabilities have full access to all of the rights that they share with all Canadians.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is one sure way to make that happen. We will continue to pressure the current government to take the necessary action to maximize the impact of the convention on the day-to-day lives of persons with disabilities.

On December 3, I asked the government why no status report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has been released. My Conservative colleague listed all kinds of programs, but as I said, I am very familiar with those programs.

That being said, I still do not understand why the Conservatives are not taking this issue seriously or why they have not taken the necessary measures to implement the convention to build an increasingly inclusive Canada. This would be a first step toward recognizing the day-to-day efforts of persons with disabilities and their contribution to society.

My question is simple, and I would like a simple answer.

Persons with Disabilities December 9th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, on December 3, I tried to get an answer about the delayed follow-up report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Canada ratified the convention in 2010 and had two years to produce its report; therefore we should have received this report in April 2012. It is now December 9, 2013, and we still have no news of this report.

However, this obligation is clearly outlined in article 35 of the convention. To refresh the Conservatives' memory, the following is an excerpt from this article:

1. Each State Party shall submit to the Committee...a comprehensive report on measures taken to give effect to its obligations under the present Convention and on the progress made in that regard, within two years after the entry into force of the present Convention...

We have to understand that the purpose of this convention is to promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons with disabilities and to ensure respect for the dignity of each and every one of them.

My Conservative colleague simply ignored the question. Instead of answering me, he thanked me for my attendance at the International Day of Disabled Persons. That has nothing to do with my question. I must admit that I did not expect to get an answer to my question, much less a reason for the delay, but I would have greatly appreciated being given a possible date for the release of this report.

I am very well aware that there are various programs for people with disabilities, but that is not the issue.

I want to know whether there have been any advances or setbacks in terms of providing support for people with disabilities.

At the risk of repeating myself, people with disabilities, as a group, still require more attention and increased support from all stakeholders in our society, because they often live in poverty and still face too many significant obstacles to their integration in society.

All the necessary measures to provide these people with better support must be based on the understanding that the situations that challenge them result from their interactions in a physical or social environment that does not take into account their functional characteristics or specific needs.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a powerful international legislative tool that must guide all countries that have ratified it to ensure that persons with disabilities can exercise their rights on an equal basis especially by providing the appropriate supports to do so.

Although Canada was closely involved in developing the convention's content and the process leading to its adoption, the Conservative government has not shown leadership with respect to its implementation in our country. Instead, it has been quite indifferent and has shown little interest in having Canadians with disabilities exercise their rights.

In my opinion, in order to show the leadership required to ensure the implementation of the convention, the Canadian government must do the following: first, sign the optional protocol to the convention in order to clearly demonstrate to the international community that it is engaged in a process that will guarantee that all Canadians with disabilities can exercise their rights; second, establish a Canadian plan to implement the convention and to give the Canadian Human Rights Commission the mandate to put in place an oversight mechanism together with the provinces and the territories; third, respect the spirit of the convention by ensuring that organizations that represent persons with disabilities are involved in the process to oversee its application.

I will repeat my question: when do the Conservatives plan on presenting the follow-up report and implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to create a more accessible and inclusive Canada?

Employment Insurance December 6th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, rather than insulting the unemployed and accusing them of being lazy and abusing the system, the member for Beauce should apologize.

Not too long ago, the member for Beauce was involved in raising money for the food banks in his riding.

Is he aware that some people who use food banks have lost their jobs and are not eligible for EI benefits?

Persons with Disabilities December 3rd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, Canadians with disabilities are more susceptible to poverty and discrimination. Canada is over a year behind on reporting to the UN on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Why have the Conservatives not done this report? Why do they not take this seriously? When will they implement the convention, to create a more accessible and inclusive Canada?

International Day of Disabled Persons December 3rd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, today is the International Day of Disabled Persons. The NDP wishes to highlight the important, positive contributions made by people with disabilities to their communities.

The objective of this day is to encourage people with disabilities to participate in the social life and development of their communities. It is also a day to raise awareness about the plight of these people. The government has a role to play in ensuring that Canadians with disabilities are not the victims of poverty and are not hindered by any obstacles to their inclusion and education, to the job market, to recreational activities or to social participation.

People with disabilities deserve a physical and social environment that takes their functional characteristics and specific needs into account so that they can reach their full potential.

We are calling on the government to fulfill its obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as quickly as possible. This is how people with disabilities will be able to lead a more autonomous life and play a more significant role in society.