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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was quebec.

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

Won her last election, in 2011, with 32% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Ahuntsic Youth Hockey June 10th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am wearing a Braves d'Ahuntsic jersey, not a Boston Bruins one, with the number 9 and Maurice Richard's name. This is because I want to salute an association that, for 60 years, has been dedicated to youth and our national sport, hockey.

Beginning in 1957, Maurice “Rocket” Richard was one of the Braves' dedicated volunteers who watched his sons from the sidelines at outdoor rinks, transported players to practices and refereed games. He also generously contributed his services and leveraged his fame for this amateur hockey association.

Let us hope that someday, the wishes of the Richard family and the Braves d'Ahuntsic will come true and the Ahuntsic arena will bear the name of an exceptional man and sportsman who left his mark on the history of Quebec, Canada and our part of the country.

Public Safety June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, this government's major problem is that it does not understand that when we talk about fighting radicalization or violent extremism, call it what you will, we are talking about having budgets, resources, and money. We are not talking about passing legislation. We have laws; the Criminal Code is full of them.

If the government wants to make more laws, it can do so. However, it should provide the money that goes along with them because we cannot just start arresting people if nothing is done about prevention. There is no prevention program. We know so little about this here in Canada. We need research. That is how to really fight this type of criminal phenomenon. That is how we can ensure real national security.

The member said that Daesh has declared war on us. She is right, but what I am afraid of is that they may perhaps win this war. The government must take action.

Public Safety June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to further debate the question that I asked regarding the funding allocated to the fight against terrorism in this government's budget.

As I mentioned before, when it comes to public safety, the government unfortunately has not made any investments in prevention. However, let us talk about where it has made investments. A total of $292.6 million has been allocated to the RCMP, the Canada Border Services Agency and CSIS.

When we break down that amount, we see that $18 million has been allocated for 2015-16 and $92 million—a large part of the budget—has been allocated for 2019-20. However, we know full well that our law enforcement agencies, whether it be the RCMP or CSIS, are actively fighting against terrorism and violent extremism. We have even learned that the resources allocated to the fight against organized crime have been transferred to national security. There have been a couple of additions in that regard, but otherwise there is nothing in the budget.

CSIS confirmed before the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence that there would be a 50% increase in the number of young Canadians who will join terrorist groups such as Daesh in Iraq and Syria, and approximately 145 such cases had already been identified as of October 2014. This is therefore a growing phenomenon.

As I said earlier, unfortunately there is nothing in this budget for prevention, whether we are talking about prevention targeting families and young people or research. We even found out that the Kanishka project will not be renewed, which is too bad because it helped accomplish wonderful things.

We also see that families do not know where to turn when their children are arrested. For example, some young people were intercepted at the Montreal airport as they were getting ready to leave the country. What do we do with those young people once they have been identified, when they have not committed a crime? These families are totally without resources, and there is nothing in place to help them. That is what these families are calling for, and a number of them have called me, in fact.

No prevention programs are currently being funded, except for those that the police forces take great pains to implement themselves. No budget is allocated to research or fighting online radicalization and recruitment. Nothing is being done to counter the messages on the Internet and in virtual places where these young people are being recruited. There is no “deradicalization” program. I am anxious to hear—

MAIN ESTIMATES 2015-16 June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the response that my colleague, the hon. member for Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, gave to my NDP colleague's question. He is right to say that the Constitution has to be changed and only if there is unanimity. He is right. Where I do not see eye to eye with him is on his defeatism. He thinks it is a lost cause and accepts that we would not get a majority in every province of Canada.

I choose to believe that our Constitution is not a fixed law, it is not a sealed object for which we have thrown away the key. I choose to believe that this Constitution can be changed by future generations and that we can drive that change.

Public Safety June 5th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, former Alpine Canada ski coach Bertrand Charest is facing sexual assault charges involving 11 minors he once supervised. We recently learned that there are other victims. We know that Alpine Canada was informed of the situation and that it allegedly contacted the RCMP. However, there seems to have been no investigation for at least 15 years.

Will the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness appoint an independent investigator to shed light on this entire matter?

Canada Revenue Agency June 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, in 2004 the Canada Revenue Agency launched an investigation of COOP Plus and COOP Harmonie Plus. In 2008, more than 300 members of these co-operatives received notices of assessment. Approximately 270 of them were assessed after years of harassment, while another 30 or so went to the Tax Court of Canada. On December 12, 2014, they all won their cases.

In the interest of fairness, will the Minister of National Revenue ask the Canada Revenue Agency to review the files of those assessed?

Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act May 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. Marking is indeed a very important tool. Not only does it allow police to trace a gun, but more importantly, it makes that gun less appealing to criminals. A marked gun can be traced, and therefore criminals will not want it because they too can then be traced.

As for other methods, we did have another tool, but it no longer exists. That was the gun registry. Unfortunately, our colleagues across the aisle did everything in their power beginning in 2006 to destroy that registry, which contained very specific information, besides marking, of course. The information included the number of weapons in a residence, the owner of a weapon and the owner's address. With a few keystrokes, police officers would know how many guns were located at a given address. That was important for intervention. It was another way to prevent crime, because criminals were not interested in stealing guns from their owners' residences, because the guns were in a registry. That tool is gone. The registry died and its carcass is still smoldering. I heard my colleagues speaking on Monday, and I do not think the NDP has the power to bring it back yet.

Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act May 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, that is a good question and a very complex one. My understanding of the process is that if Canada were to issue an order for firearms marking, for example, and if manufacturers complied, the manufacturer's name, the serial number, the date of manufacture and the importing country would be engraved on the firearm. All of that information comes from the manufacturer.

Suppose a crime is committed and the weapon is found at the scene of the crime. The RCMP told me that if the weapon is marked by the manufacturer, it is easier for officers to trace that weapon because they use international databases. They can contact Interpol and a number of other international agencies to find out where the firearm was made and trace it from the manufacturer to the buyer. That is why it is important to issue that order. That would enable Canadian authorities to know who manufactured a firearm, when and where, regardless of the country it was intended for or who made it. That would apply to all firearms, not just those from the United States. For example, we would know if it was sent from Russia to the United States and ended up in Canada. We would be able to trace it. That makes police investigations much easier, and that is what police officers want.

Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act May 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, perhaps my colleague and I do not have the same information. The information that I have clearly indicates that the United States has ratified the agreements and that the weapons that are arriving from the United States are marked by the manufacturers. We therefore have all of the information we need when a weapon crosses the border between the United States and Canada. That is the information I have. If my colleague has something different, then I would be pleased to exchange information with her.

Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act May 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, today I am pleased to speak to Bill C-42, which would amend the Firearms Act, the Criminal Code and the Customs Act, thereby changing the legislation governing firearms licences and the transport and classification of firearms and limiting the powers of provincial and territorial chief firearms officers.

I do not have enough time to discuss all of the provisions in this bill, so I will focus on two specific elements.

First, what baffles me about this bill is that it gives the Minister of Public Safety the power to decide how to classify firearms.

Basically, if memory serves, in 2014, after conducting an analysis that got a lot of press, the RCMP decided to reclassify Swiss Arms Classic Green and CZ858 firearms. These firearms were originally classified as restricted, but the RCMP reclassified them as prohibited. Why? Because the RCMP determined that these firearms could easily be converted into automatic weapons.

What did we find out a few weeks later? We found out that the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness was not very happy about that decision and granted an amnesty for individuals who already owned those guns. Then, to ensure that such a situation does not happen again, since the minister did not have the power to reverse the decision, he introduced Bill C-42 to grant himself those powers.

At this time, all ammunition and firearms, regardless of the type of gun, whether prohibited or not, are classified by the RCMP, then approved by the minister. When the RCMP makes a decision, the minister cannot reverse that decision.

Furthermore, standards governing the classification of new products—in other words, new guns—the modification of firearms or ammunition, and even the review of information on classification are set out in the Criminal Code. Bill C-42 grants the minister another new power whereby, by regulation of course, and through exceptions, the minister can determine on his own, in his infinite wisdom, how firearms will be classified, obviously bypassing the RCMP and the Criminal Code.

What does this mean, in concrete terms? This means that the minister could decide, by regulation, to classify guns that would normally fit the definition of a prohibited or restricted weapon as non-restricted firearms. He could even decide that weapons that are normally prohibited could be restricted or non-restricted. He could therefore decide that even automatic weapons could be classified as restricted or non-restricted. Basically, this bill puts the power to decide whether a weapon should be prohibited in Canada into the hands of a politician, the public safety minister.

If the RCMP no longer has a say in firearms classification, then who is going to advise the minister? The RCMP is the appropriate body to do so and has the experience with firearms, having seen a few. Is the firearms lobby going to advise the minister as to whether or not a firearm is prohibited? Will Gary Mauser, their big expert they keep talking about here in the House, step in? He wrote a very good book that I invite my colleagues to read, entitled “Manipulating Public Opinion”. I do not know whether there is a link between public opinion and guns, but there could be because we have been watching the Conservatives since 2006 and they are pretty good at manipulating public opinion. In that sense, I have to hand it to them that Mr. Mauser is a good advisor.

That brings me to the next point. Currently, the provincial and territorial chief firearms officers are responsible for implementing the Firearms Act and setting standards for licences and authorizations to carry and transport, transfers of firearms, and record keeping.

This bill would limit by regulation the authority of the chief firearms officer. The premier of Quebec and also Mr. Fournier are completely opposed to the bill. Thus, Quebec is opposed to the bill, but it is not the first time that this government has not listened to the provinces.

If this government is really concerned about public safety and wants to do something intelligent about it, it should instead quickly implement the firearms marking regulations, which it has delayed since 2006. I have been closely following this file since 2006. Firearms marking would make it possible for us to know where firearms in Canada are coming from. Information such as the place or date of manufacture, the manufacturer and the series number is described in detail in the regulations.

It is ridiculous that we currently have marked firearms in Canada because of the United States. It is not a Canadian government initiative, but a U.S. initiative that has led to the mandatory marking of firearms by the manufacturer. The U.S. honours the contracts and agreements it signs with other countries. We have still not implemented that decree, and we do not always honour the agreements that we have signed. We have delayed this one every year.

We have the U.S. government to thank for the fact that some of the firearms that come into Canada are marked, since they come across that border. However, some firearms that come in through channels other than the U.S. border and from some European countries are not marked. Unmarked firearms are extremely difficult to track, so they are the most tempting to the criminal world.

I listened to the debate on Monday, and I have been listening to the Conservatives talk about firearms since 2006. They always talk about the illegal trafficking of firearms. We all agree that we need to combat the illegal trafficking of firearms, but if firearms are unmarked, how can we start to combat illegal trafficking?

Here is a little lesson in criminology: marking is a theft prevention mechanism. A marked firearm is easier to track and is therefore less attractive to criminals. Furthermore, marking is also used to protect firearm owners. Marking is certainly necessary in the fight against gun trafficking, but border controls are also important.

Let us have a little criminology 101.1 lesson: 80% of illegal weapons in Canada come through the United States. The Internet gives people access to all sorts of ways of buying weapons and bringing them to Canada. Nevertheless, since 2006, this government has done nothing but cut the CBSA's budget and shut down a number of border crossings in the regions. The CBSA's budget for 2014-15 will be cut by $143 million. That means that 1,351 jobs will be cut, including those of 325 border officers and about a hundred intelligence officers.

If we want to crack down on the smuggling of firearms, we simply need to allow our agencies to trace these weapons and stop the traffickers. If there is no one at our border crossings and cuts are being made, we are not going to be able to solve this problem.

In closing, I would like to show how ridiculous this situation is. The Conservatives are passing laws that will put more prohibited weapons in circulation. They still have not done anything regarding firearms marking, and they are cutting the CBSA's budget. Then they are wondering why there are illegal firearms in Canada.