House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was quebec.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Bloc MP for Vaudreuil—Soulanges (Québec)

Lost her last election, in 2011, with 26% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions November 17th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to table a petition started by an Amnesty International group representing high schools in my riding. They have single-handedly collected over 2,500 signatures.

Congratulations to Chêne-Bleu and Cité-des-Jeunes high schools on this great campaign.

This petition calls upon the Government of Canada to urge the Tunisian government to comply with the commitments it made in 2003 in Geneva with regard to the World Summit on the Information Society.

Petitions November 17th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table the first part of a petition concerning the World Summit on the Information Society and the right to freedom of expression in Tunisia.

This petition was started by a large coalition consisting of three Quebec labour unions—the FTQ, the CSN and the CSQ—Rights and Democracy, the French section of Amnesty International Canada and the Quebec Human Rights League.

The petitioners urge the Prime Minister of Canada to demand that all independent Tunisian NGOs and human rights defenders in Tunisia have access to WSIS activities in Tunis, and that they be able to speak freely. They are also requesting that the Tunisian government release the young Zarzis and Ariana Web users from prison, as well as all other prisoners of conscience.

I want to congratulate the 20 Amnesty International school groups from across Quebec on this great campaign.

There are 10,000 signatories to the first part of this petition.

Immigration November 16th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, four years ago, the government explained that the creation of an appeal division was a matter of fairness and justice for those seeking asylum.

Are we to understand the minister's remarks to mean that, four years later, he no longer considers fairness and justice important?

Immigration November 16th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, when the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act was passed, four years ago, the government had provided for an appeal division to guarantee that the reduction in the number of commissioners would not deny refugee claimants fair and equitable treatment. In committee, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration confirmed that he no longer intended to establish the appeal division, as his government had promised, thereby embarrassing even a number of his Liberal colleagues.

Can the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration explain the reasons for his about-face?

Citizenship and Immigration October 20th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, last week the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration suggested that he would yet again postpone the creation of a special refugee appeal section, thereby going against legislation passed in this House four years ago now. The United Nations Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees have been calling for its implementation for a long time.

If the minister does not intend to create the refugee appeal section, then he should just say so instead of leaving refugees in uncertainty, as he has been doing for far too long with all his postponements.

François-J. Lessard October 5th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, François-J. Lessard, dubbed “the stubborn old tiger of Saint-Jacques Street” by the staff of Le Devoir back in 1994, passed away on September 25.

A man of commitment, he worked for 45 years in the heart of Montreal's financial sector. More than once he engaged in spectacular battles against a group of stockbrokers who fomented fear among Quebec's francophones in order to deny them access to the financial community.

He was the initiator and principal founder of the first cooperative mutual fund company in Quebec: Placements collectifs inc., and also founded his own securities brokerage firm, Lessard et Associés.

There was really only one battle he was engaged in throughout his entire life: the battle for Quebec independence. The Bloc Québécois honours his sense of duty and his successes. Our condolences to his family and friends.

François, we thank you for the wonderful legacy you have left us.

Income Tax Act September 28th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I want to add my voice to that of my colleague from Alfred-Pellan, whose riding is not unlike mine.

It gives me great pleasure to speak today on Bill C-306, which was introduced by my colleague, the member for Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher. I salute her determination and perseverance with regard to this file.

In 2001, a similar bill, Bill C-209, reached first reading and was well received by numerous stakeholders, including the Canadian Urban Transit Association, CUTA. Unfortunately, the then Liberal government did not support this opposition bill. So now, four years later, we are experiencing serious problems related to infrastructure, pollution and, now, the spiralling costs of fuel.

My constituents in Vaudreuil-Soulanges have expressed their dissatisfaction to me, and they expect the federal government to take concrete action. My colleague told the House about innovative initiatives in his riding. The Festival des couleurs will be held in my riding on October 8 and 9. I invite the people of Montreal to use public transportation and the commuter train service. This solution put forward by the Bloc Québécois is simple, practical and effective. I am certain that everyone agrees.

Recently, the Société de transport de Montréal, or STM, indicated a great interest in this issue. For the past 10 years, the STM and a broad coalition of organizations have been unsuccessfully requesting that governments provide tax deductions for public transit users.

A tax credit compensating those who choose transportation habits more beneficial to the community and more responsible is but one option to encourage private vehicle users facing increasingly long traffic jams and urban problems such as parking shortages to jump on the band wagon.

In reaction to soaring gas prices, the Bloc Québécois recently proposed a series of measures, which included the tax credit for low income families and the tax credit for public transit users. By easing the burden of these families, we are also helping to prevent an economic downturn.

Monday night's emergency debate on the spike in gasoline prices was an opportunity for many of us to propose detailed solutions, such as a tax credit for public transit users.

Bill C-306 essentially provides Quebec and Canadian taxpayers with a tax deduction for the purchase of a pass in order to encourage them to make more use of the various modes of public transportation. The public must be encouraged to use modes of transportation that are far more economical and better for the environment, as well as contributing to reducing the traffic on our roads.

Such an initiative is long overdue. A number of countries are far ahead of Canada in their support of public transportation.

There have been a number of studies proving that it is very much in a community's interest to focus on the efficiency of its public transportation system for the sake of its competitiveness and prosperity. In order to gain full benefit from public transportation, moreover, the system must attract maximum ridership.

If people are encouraged to use public transportation, there is less pressure on urban infrastructure. The result is less investment in construction and repair, and improved traffic flow. This is good for both the economy and the environment.

The initiative proposed by Bill C-306 will attract new users. If the change can be made successfully, it will also help Canada achieve the Kyoto protocol objectives.

Earlier I was talking about the strategy to reduce pressure on transportation infrastructure. Allow me to give the example of the Université de Sherbrooke. Their innovative initiatives focus on the community choosing to make a firm commitment to use public transit. This fall, at the beginning of the new school year at the Université de Sherbrooke, roughly 5,000 students were given free passes to use the Société de transport de Sherbrooke, or STS, public transit. Instead of building more parking lots, the university recognized the long-term benefits of adopting a policy to encourage the use of public transit. In addition to stabilizing Sherbrooke's transportation network by increasing the student clientele from 16% to 20%, there is less congestion and more possibility for developing the university's property in the future.

A study by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal also found that congestion costs nearly $1 billion a year in the Montreal area alone and that public transit contributes directly to reducing losses incurred through congestion.

So, a 2% increase in the modal share of public transit means 19 million fewer car trips in the Montreal region. The economic benefits total more than $150 million annually. That is why it is important to promote the increased use of public transit. These are just a few, albeit very significant, examples.

However, there is one principle that we must keep in mind: the federal government must respect Quebec's jurisdictions.

There are many solutions to help public transit and reward users. The Bloc Québécois is proposing this tax measure, namely a tax credit that remains within federal jurisdiction.

I invite all members of this House to support Bill C-306. It has to with people's quality of life, environmental protection and economic vitality. Today's decisions will impact on the future.

Citizenship and Immigration June 28th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the lawyer representing the Mexican family facing removal as early as tomorrow morning stated that an appeal mechanism would represent a solution for this family.

Does the minister not realize that the government's inability to comply with its own legislation is severely penalizing individuals, who are thus denied rights and are victims of its mismanagement? What is he waiting for to act?

Citizenship and Immigration June 28th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, concerning the refugee appeal division provided for by law, the minister is making excuses not to establish this mechanism requested by many organizations, including the UN committee against torture.

How can the minister explain with a straight face that, three years after the legislation was passed in Parliament, this mechanism has yet to be established, despite requests from international organizations and despite the fact that people are suffering and are being penalized because this appeal mechanism does not exist, even though the minister has repeatedly promised to deal with the situation?

Citizenship and Immigration June 27th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the UN committee against torture says the exact opposite to what the minister has just said. According to this committee, there is no recourse to appeal a negative decision on its merits.

So, I again ask the minister why is he still refusing to comply with the legislation passed by this Parliament at the request of his government? Why?