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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was conservatives.

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

Won her last election, in 2015, with 31% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Freedom of Religion January 29th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, on the night of January 29, 2017, 17 children were orphaned because their fathers were targeted for their beliefs. Hatred struck, and these 17 children were orphaned. Since that freezing winter evening, six families and an entire community have lived each day with the repercussions of this act of terror.

Our thoughts are also with the first responders affected by what they saw and experienced. All too often, these unsung heroes suffer in the shadows.

Today is a painful day for the Muslim community in Canada. Two years ago, a gunman opened fire during evening prayers at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec. Today, we stand in solidarity with the survivors who are still struggling with the repercussions of this act of terror.

Today, let us help the survivors look to the future.

Federal Sustainable Development Act January 28th, 2019

Madam Speaker, let us come back to amendment 2 made by the Senate, which the government rejects and the NDP supports.

Imagine that I am the Government of Canada and that I want to award contracts for major projects. It seems to me that I would have the upper hand. It would be pretty easy to award the contract to the lowest bidder, but I could also decide to award it to the bidder who offers the best chances of achieving our greenhouse gas emissions targets.

Why does the government not make the most of this advantageous position to promote environmental protection in order to eventually reach the targets we hope to achieve?

Privilege December 13th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I said this yesterday at 6 p.m., but there were not many people in the House then.

I would once again like to thank all those who work with us and who make us look so good in the House: security guards, the people who make good food for us every day, the people at the table, and, of course, you, Mr. Speaker, and everyone who works with you, as well as the pages. I would also like to thank my colleagues of all stripes for their work. I do not mean to forget anyone, but I am sure I have.

Happy holidays to all. Take care and get some rest.

Elections Modernization Act December 13th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I also want to wish everyone a merry Christmas. The NDP agrees to apply the vote and will vote yes.

Canada Revenue Agency Act December 12th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to debate Bill C-316, an act to amend the Canada Revenue Agency Act with regard to organ donors, introduced by my colleague from Calgary Confederation.

My colleague's bill would authorize the Canada Revenue Agency to enter into an agreement with a province or a territory regarding the collection and disclosure of information required for establishing or maintaining an organ and tissue donor registry in the province or territory. With authorization from the taxpayer in their last tax return, the CRA could disclose to the province or territory the individual resides in the information collected under the agreement.

The NDP supports this bill. We firmly believe that we must take all necessary steps to ensure that every Canadian gets the organ or tissue transplant they need. This is not new to us. Since 2002, two NDP MPs on five occasions have introduced a bill to create a Canada-wide organ donor registry and to coordinate and promote organ donation across Canada.

This bill is essentially a weaker version of what we have been calling for for some time in order to allow anyone who needs a transplant to have access to the organs or tissues needed.

In this Parliament, the Conservative member for Edmonton Manning, whose son has received three liver transplants, had once again introduced a bill to establish a Canadian organ donor registry. Bill C-223 was debated in the House in 2016, but was defeated when the Liberal caucus voted against it. The health minister at the time, who is currently Minister of Indigenous Services, defended that Liberal Party decision by saying, “This is a matter that is under provincial jurisdiction, and it is for that reason that the bill was unsupportable.”

It is interesting that the Liberals claim to be the great champions of the provinces when it suits them, but then impose their decisions in other situations. That is another story.

That being said, we truly hope that this time the Liberals will support this new bill that essentially seeks to have the federal government collaborate with the provinces and territories to help them implement their own organ and tissue donor registry. What everyone in the House needs to realize is that Canadians registered on a waiting list to get an organ or tissue transplant are dying, in part because of our low donation rate.

Currently only 20% of Canadians are registered organ and tissue donors in their province or territory. Some provinces and territories are already taking steps to increase the number of registered donors, but, unfortunately, despite these initiatives, far too few people consent to have their organs or tissue removed and transplanted to people in need.

According to a recent study by the Standing Committee on Health, in 2016 alone, 260 out of 4,492 people registered on a transplant list died before getting the organ or tissue they needed to survive. These are our fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and children. This has to stop. Losing one person is one too many.

The NDP believes that, by passing the bill, the federal government could help without interfering in provincial jurisdiction. I will say it again: if it is passed, the bill we are debating today will make it possible for the federal government to co-operate with the provinces and territories and make it easier for people to sign up to be organ donors.

Of course, special measures would have to be implemented to ensure that taxpayers consent to giving personal information to their province or territory of residence so they can be added to an organ donor registry, as it would otherwise not be possible to forward this type of information to other levels of government.

One donor can save up to eight lives and help more than 75 people by consenting to the harvesting of organs or tissue. Unfortunately, as I mentioned earlier, Canada is lagging behind when it comes to organ donation. In fact, Canada's donation rate of 18 donors per million people puts us in the bottom third of developed countries.

The objective of this bill is to increase the number of donors by making it possible for Canadian taxpayers to register with their province's or territory's organ and tissue donation registry by providing their consent on their income tax return.

This legislative change will improve the consent rate and promote a culture of organ and tissue donation in Canada. Many health professionals and organizations support this bill and additional incentives for people to consent to organ and tissue donation. All it takes is a little political will.

I would also like to take this opportunity to speak directly to everyone tuning in and strongly encourage them to sign up for organ donation using whatever procedure their home province or territory has in place and, most importantly, to discuss their wishes with their family members.

I really want to emphasize that last point because, unfortunately, even if a person has made the choice to be an organ donor, family members have the final say. According to a 2016 Ontario study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, families vetoed the donor's wishes in one in five cases, which is huge.

I would also like Canadians to keep in mind what I said earlier, and that is that one donor can save up to eight lives and improve the quality of life of 75 people through tissue donation. What is more, age does not prevent people from becoming donors. In fact, the oldest organ donor in Canada was over 90 years old, and the oldest tissue donor was over 100. Medical history also does not prevent people from registering as donors. People with serious illnesses can sometimes donate their organs or tissue. Each potential donor is assessed individually.

If this bill is passed, Canadians will have a new way to consent to donating their organs and tissue. They will be able to do so via their income tax return and by consenting to allow their personal information to be shared with their province or territory of residence. If the bill does pass, I strongly encourage people to use this method. It will save lives.

I want to take advantage of this opportunity I have to address the House today to thank all those who work behind the scenes and who make us look good every day and to wish everyone an excellent Christmas break. With the subject of Bill C-316 in mind, I ask everyone to be very careful over the holidays, especially on the roads.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to wish you and all of my colleagues a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Elections Modernization Act December 12th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I was about to say the same thing.

I totally agree. One cannot have one's cake and eat it too, but that is what the government is trying to do today. I do not think that is fair. It should not have moved on to government orders if it wanted to table that kind of thing.

Health December 11th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I guess it is all about him.

The opioid crisis is claiming more and more victims every day. The situation is getting worse in Montreal, as it is elsewhere. The Liberals claim to be doing everything in their power to address the crisis, but that is not true. They could be doing much more.

Will the Liberals finally declare that this is a national public health emergency, as the NDP has been calling for for two years, and invest additional resources to truly address this issue?

Opioid Crisis in Canada December 10th, 2018

Mr. Chair, I completely agree that we need more addiction services.

I would like to share a statistic with my colleague. In the year following the opening of the supervised consumption site Insite, overdose deaths decreased by 35% within a 500-metre radius of the site, compared to a 9% reduction in the rest of Vancouver. The hon. member would like to see services improved and increased.

Based on that statistic, would he like to see more Insite sites or does he deny the results of that service?

Opioid Crisis in Canada December 10th, 2018

Madam Chair, rehabilitation and treatment are one thing, but getting the person to that point is another.

In the meantime, something needs to be done, because people are still dying. Two young women died in my riding last week. We could be doing something to stop these things from happening.

Declaring a state of emergency would give us plenty of tools we could use to prevent deaths. Last summer, naloxone kits, which help slow the effects of an overdose, were not available in my riding, and there were seven overdoses. The organization Dopamine ended up having to call a pharmacy to order them. Steps should be taken to make naloxone kits available. Sometimes, the drug is so powerful that a single kit may not even be enough.

In light of all this, does the member not think there are some very practical steps we could be taking to save lives?

Criminal Code December 6th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, my question also has to do with funding for people who do not have a lot of money. My colleague started explaining this, but I would like her to elaborate.

What are the potential consequences for young people, women and others who do not have the means to pay for a lawyer if they get only four hours of legal representation?