House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was justice.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine (Québec)

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

Statements in the House

Civil Air Navigation Services Commercialization Act March 25th, 2011

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-647, An Act to amend the Civil Air Navigation Services Commercialization Act (environmental impacts).

I am proud today to rise to introduce Bill C-647, An Act to amend the Civil Air Navigation Services Commercialization Act (environmental impacts).

I am delighted that my colleague from Newton—North Delta is seconding this bill. He was worked tirelessly with me to see this bill come to fruition.

It is clear that night flights can present a health hazard. The effects of repeated exposure to the deafening noise of the huge aircraft that fly at night have been clearly documented.

On January 20, I organized a non-partisan round table that united some 40 to 50 elected officials from the three levels of government in the metropolitan region of Montreal in order to discuss this issue of airplane noise.

This bill represents one of the recommendations in my final report, which was released on March 7, 2011, to help resolve this problem.

I look forward as well to tabling a second bill entitled “the Canada airports act” in the near future.

The citizens of my riding and citizens from across Canada have been asking for their health to be protected from the risks associated with airport noise. The federal government has a responsibility. I urge the government to act on it.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Government Accountability March 25th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, it is that party that has members under criminal investigations. It is that party that faces charges of electoral fraud and face jail time.

Mike Duffy, a colleague of Mr. Finley and Mr. Gerstein, has said that senators who face charges should have their senate salary docked. However, now that his Conservative friends face jail time, he is singing a different tune.

Why do the Conservatives think that they are better than every other Canadian? Why do the Conservatives think they are above the law?

Government Accountability March 25th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, two Conservative senators, Irving Gerstein and Doug Finley, are the very definition of Conservative insiders. Now they are facing jail time for election fraud.

As close advisors to the Prime Minister, they were in charge of every last dollar spent in the 2006 election. Clearly the Prime Minister keeps these fraudsters in his caucus because they had his full blessing for their election fraud.

How can Canadians trust a Prime Minister who holds our democratic elections in such contempt?

Criminal Code March 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Ahuntsic for introducing this bill, for having put so much effort into creating it and for introducing it here in the House. I am very proud to have the opportunity to speak to this bill during the first hour of debate at second reading.

On behalf of my party, I would like to say right away that I intend to recommend to my caucus that we support this bill when the time comes to vote to send it to committee, with the hope that there is one some day. If this bill dies on the order paper, I hope it will be introduced again in a future Parliament, so that it may be revived and find its way before a standing committee of the House.

I will not repeat the bill's objective. I believe the hon. member for Ahuntsic described it very well, as did the parliamentary secretary, although he concluded his speech with an absurd remark. Until then, I found his speech rather interesting. I thought the points he raised in such a thoughtful, serious manner were interesting and worthy of our attention. It is unfortunate that he chose to resort to petty politics and to attack the Bloc Québécois. The Bloc has a role to play, just like the Liberal Party of Canada or the NDP, in ensuring democracy in the House of Commons, in the Parliament of Canada. Our Parliament is the pillar of democracy in Canada.

We have watched this government, this Conservative government, attack our institutions one by one, finally arriving at the last bastion, Parliament. The Conservatives arrived at its doors and attacked with contempt of Parliament. I do not wish to stray too far from my speech, but I believe this is pertinent.

It is regrettable that we have a Conservative government that has not developed a national strategy on human trafficking in Canada. It is regrettable that they have left it up to private members to try to amend the Criminal Code, address its shortcomings with respect to human trafficking in Canada and trafficking committed elsewhere by Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and ensure that perpetrators are charged, brought before the courts, prosecuted and held accountable.

It is regrettable that this Conservative government has not taken this issue seriously and that it has left it up to private members to try to address the shortcomings of our system.

I congratulate the Bloc member for Ahuntsic. I would also like to say well done to the Conservative member for Kildonan—St. Paul.

The member made an attempt as well to try to close the gaps in Canada's legislation dealing with human trafficking. It is simply unacceptable that a government, like the Conservative regime, does not take this issue seriously. It does not see it as a priority to be dealt with in order to ensure that our legislative framework, our laws, deal with this issue with the gravity, the seriousness, and the severity with which it should be dealt with. The government has left it to simple MPs to attempt, through the laborious process of private members' bills, to fix the problem.

I find it shameful that the government has done nothing on this. I find it shameful that its own member had to come up with her own national strategy on human trafficking because her own government did not act and still has yet to act on the issue. It is shameful.

There are a number of issues which are of concern, such as the issue of the reversal of the presumption of innocence. I understand provisions already exist in the Criminal Code for other criminal offences on reversal. We look forward to examining this in committee should it get to committee, which is quite doubtful.

We also have a concern that by stipulating the sentences would be served consecutively to any other sentence removes judicial discretion. We prefer to see judicial discretion and, if necessary, if we find judges are not exercising their discretion in a manner that achieves the objective intended by the law, then we amend and put in criteria that the judge has to take into account in exercising his or her discretion.

Therefore, we would afford the opportunity to look at that. We are looking forward to hearing from expert witnesses, including the Quebec Bar Association.

I would like to give a bit of history on the Liberal position.

In 2009, in Volume III of the Pink Book, the Liberal women's caucus recommended that a national strategy be developed in partnership with the provinces and territories to prevent the trafficking of girls and women. As recommended by the Liberal women's caucus, this strategy would incorporate measures related to prevention, protection and justice, and increased funding to support victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation.

The House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women studied the issue of human trafficking in 2007. It released a report entitled, Turning Outrage into Action to Address Trafficking for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation, which could also form the basis for a comprehensive national action plan.

It is simply unacceptable that, under the Conservative government, Canada is one of the few countries that does not have a national strategy to prevent human trafficking.

The Liberal Party has been calling on the Conservative government to act for the past three years. The Standing Committee on the Status of Women has been asking for that as have the other opposition parties. I know the Conservative member for Kildonan—St. Paul has also been calling for that.

Should this Parliament continue, which I doubt, and a vote happens at second reading, I call on each and every member of the House to support sending the bill to committee.

The Budget March 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member from the Bloc for his speech on the government's budget and for the amendment to the amendment he just proposed. He raises a very important point: there is nothing in the budget with regard to harmonizing the GST with the QST, the Quebec sales tax, even though this government has already signed agreements with other provinces and transferred money in compensation to them.

I would like to know whether the hon. member and his party agree with this. In Quebec, we have a very high percentage of seniors and in the Conservative Party budget, we do not see enough help for our seniors. In fact, the government spent more money on one day at the G20 than it has allocated in its budget for the most vulnerable seniors.

What does the hon. member think about that? What does the Bloc think about a Conservative government that wants to spend more on one day of meetings than it wants to spend on helping our vulnerable seniors?

The Budget March 22nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I am sure that the Minister of Finance will want to retract the statements he just made.

He probably does not know, but I am now officially visually impaired. I am offering him the opportunity, because I know that he is not a man who would make that kind of comment. I am sure he did not know this last piece of information.

The Budget March 22nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, who could look at Canadians in the eyes and say without shame that he or she agrees to spend more on a one-day G8 meeting than for vulnerable seniors in one full year? Who would dare say without shame that he or she agrees to spend a thousand times more on fighter jets than on our future prosperity by supporting the youth who pursue post-secondary education? Who would dare say without shame to the Canadians that he or she will spend more on military equipment and prisons than in health transfer to provinces? Who—

Business of Supply March 10th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. You just pointed out that the motion being debated today must be the core of members' statements in the House. The parliamentary secretary has just said that he wanted to talk about the motivation of the Bloc bringing it forward. That is a side issue and his entire speech has been on that and not on the actual substance of the motion.

I would ask you to remind the member again that the majority of his comments are to be the substance of the motion, not his psychobabble about what may or may not be the motivation in bringing forward the motion.

International Co-operation March 8th, 2011

How impressive, Mr. Speaker. The Minister of International Cooperation does not even have the right to defend herself on International Women's Day, yet the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism can stand up and try, in vain, to defend his conflicts of interest.

How can it be that on International Women's Day, the Minister of International Cooperation is not allowed to stand up and tell us why she doctored a document and why she cut funding to KAIROS without any justification? She is not allowed to defend herself, but the male minister—

Citizenship and Immigration March 4th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative funding plan for new Canadians reeks of contempt. They are categorizing entire ridings as being very ethnic. What does “very ethnic” mean? They are categorizing Canadians and are targeting Asian, Jewish and Ukrainian people.

Do the Conservatives think that some Canadians are more Canadian than others? Are they unable to understand that all Canadians are real Canadians?