House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was conservatives.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel (Québec)

Lost her last election, in 2015, with 30% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Red Tape Reduction Act February 3rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, I did not have a lot of time to consider that, but I believe that it is simply because we do not trust the Conservatives when it comes to Canadians' health and safety.

Why would we trust them to abolish regulations? We have to give SMEs more power to create jobs, but we have to do that by investing in them, as I clearly outlined in my speech. That is what SMEs really want.

I always find it interesting to hear the Liberals talk about employment insurance. We must remember that they raided the employment insurance fund. Honestly, in a riding like mine, many seasonal workers must now live with the consequences. They are told that there is no more money in the fund or that they will not have access to it, or they are treated as though they have not been looking for work. It is very insulting.

Red Tape Reduction Act February 3rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, before I begin, I would like to let you know that I will be sharing my time with the member for Chambly—Borduas.

I am pleased to rise to speak to Bill C-21 because this gives me an opportunity to talk about how important small businesses are to me and my riding and about why we should support them.

Specialized industries and big businesses should not be the only beneficiaries of our desire to support our economy. We need to recognize that small businesses are central to our economy. I will explain why. Small businesses are one of our biggest drivers of economic growth. We have to help them thrive. Small businesses already account for nearly half of Canada's GDP, and they are responsible for close to 60% of all jobs in Canada as well as 75% of net new jobs. When the economy is in a downturn and fewer jobs are being created as we lose big companies, small businesses are the ones making a difference and creating jobs, especially in rural and remote areas. As a result, they are very important and create 75% of net new jobs.

We in the NDP believe that SMEs should be a priority for any federal government, because they directly support job creation. That is why we proposed reducing the small-business tax rate from 11% to 9% during the last federal election. That measure directly targeted SMEs. We also proposed other simple, concrete measures to help SMEs. For instance, we proposed expanding the hiring tax credit for small businesses. The Conservatives cancelled it in 2014, which was really sad to see, because it meant taking away a tax credit that created jobs and helped people enter the workforce. There are 1.3 million unemployed Canadians. Eliminating this kind of hiring credit that created jobs was a move in the wrong direction. At the same time, in the most recent budget, the Conservatives spent $500 million to implement measures that, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, will create only about 800 jobs. Clearly, that is not a good investment.

Furthermore, youth unemployment is very high. It is actually double the national average. We need to take a closer look at that in order to reverse that trend. Everyone knows that our youth are Canada's future. As parliamentarians, we have to invest in their future. That is why we proposed a tax credit worth up to $2,000 for hiring young people, in order to help businesses train young people aged 18 to 25 and provide them with good jobs.

In addition to all of that, as part of our campaign to make life more affordable, we proposed ways to reduce operating costs for our retailers and merchants, by directly tackling the anti-competitive credit card fees imposed by credit card companies. The Conservatives introduced a voluntary code of conduct recently, but that is not enough to reduce credit card transaction fees. We in the NDP are concerned about the excessive fees that businesses have to pay, since they can amount to 1, 2 or 3% of sales.

The exorbitant fees charged by credit card companies do not help our communities. That is money that comes directly out of our communities and will not be reinvested. A ceiling needs to be imposed to make these fees more equitable for the companies, but especially for our merchants. That would be fairer to the families who are trying to make ends meet.

These proposals truly support the entrepreneurs in my region whether they have just started their company or have been in business for decades. I travel around my riding and talk about these proposals, which are very well received by the Vallée de la Petite-Nation chamber of commerce and the chamber of commerce and industry of Deux-Montagnes, Saint-Eustache, Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Mirabel and Argenteuil. These proposals will directly affect business owners in my riding.

In a riding like mine, a big part of the economy is based on agriculture and agri-food, and most of the business owners work in that field as well. These farmers are at the heart of our rural areas and a job creation strategy in the rural areas and small communities. I wanted to point that out because we have to think beyond taxes and red tape. We also have to think about what we can do to encourage and support our farmers.

The bill before us, Bill C-21, An Act to control the administrative burden that regulations impose on businesses, is meant to reduce red tape for businesses. The Conservatives are proposing to do that by giving more power to the Treasury Board. That is where they start to take away the SMEs' power to create jobs.

We still want to find ways to reduce the administrative burden on SMEs and allow them to focus on what they do best, namely growing their business and creating jobs. However, the NDP wants to prevent the government from eliminating rules regarding health, food safety, transportation safety, management systems and the environment. It is not unreasonable to ask the government to protect the environment, workers and our food.

We are concerned that the measures introduced to concentrate power in the Treasury Board are not steps in the right direction. We do not trust that the Conservatives will do a good job. In closing, I will provide two examples.

First, in the October 2013 budget implementation bill, Bill C-4, the Conservatives made changes to the Canada Labour Code in order to gut the powers of health and safety officers in federal workplaces. They are directly compromising Canadians' health and safety.

Second, they do not necessarily want to reduce red tape because they increased the paper burden with the building Canada fund. We do not know how they can be trusted. When they have the opportunity to take occupational health and safety seriously, they do not do so, and when they say that they want to reduce red tape, they make more for our municipalities, which also create jobs.

For all those reasons, I cannot support this bill.

Farmland February 2nd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, at a time when the number of job losses across the country keeps going up, the government is hurting the farmers in my region.

In 2004, the Conservatives promised the Sainte-Scholastique-Mirabel UPA that they would return the farmland that was expropriated by the Trudeau government.

Will the Minister of Transport keep the promise made by her Prime Minister a decade ago and ensure that the farmland that was taken away from the farmers is returned to the farmers?

The Economy January 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, in the days and months ahead, many important issues will be brought before this House. Canadians are concerned about the falling price of oil and what that means for our economy. They are troubled by climate change and the environment, falling income and rising debt. They are worried about health care and their pension, the loss of manufacturing jobs and that there is no federal minimum wage.

At the same time, let us not forget that we must include women in all our policies.

As the official opposition status of women critic for the NDP, I am committed to working hard for equality for all Canadian women.

We must end poverty among women. We need a plan for affordable, universal child care and we need a national action plan to end violence against women.

The NDP knows that when women are overlooked, all of Canada—its people and its economy—suffers.

Canadians can count on the NDP to stand up for women, now and when—

Questions on the Order Paper January 26th, 2015

With respect to the implementation of Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (trafficking in contraband tobacco): (a) what is the full itemized cost of implementing the bill; (b) what are the steps identified to implement the bill; (c) what is the timeline to implement the bill; (d) on the Mohawk territory of Kanehsatà:ke, whom does the government anticipate will enforce the law once implemented and, more specifically, does the government anticipate that it will be enforced by (i) the Sureté du Québec, (ii) the RCMP; (e) on the Mohawk territory of Kanehsatà:ke, what does the government project it will cost to enforce the law, once implemented; (f) how many residents of Kanehsatà:ke does the government project will potentially be affected; (g) how much contraband tobacco does the government expect to seize fromKanehsatà:ke; (h) how much revenue in Kanehsatà: ke will be affected; and (i) how does the government anticipate that residents of Kanehsatà:ke will be tried under the law, once implemented?

Maurice Dumas January 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to a former member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, Maurice Dumas, who passed away on January 17, 2014, at age 87 and eight months.

He served the people of my riding with integrity for seven years, from 1993 to 2000, just as he served all Quebeckers with integrity throughout his entire life.

He was a passionate man and a proud nationalist who loved the French language and Quebec culture. Mr. Dumas was a man of action who dedicated his life to moving our society forward. He will be remembered as a caring man with strong roots in the community he worked so hard for.

I invite all members of the House to join me in extending our sincere condolences to Mr. Dumas's family and friends and in remembering one of our colleagues, whose commitment should serve as an example to us all.

The Environment December 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is sad not to get an answer.

Yesterday, we were shocked to hear the Prime Minister say that it would be crazy to impose greenhouse gas emission regulations on the oil and gas sector.

To do nothing is the most irresponsible approach. Climate change is already costing Canadians billions of dollars. We are going to miss the boat on the green economy while the United States and China are already on board.

Is there something we should know about the Prime Minister's refusal to establish a strategy to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas sector?

Aboriginal Affairs December 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, today Rinelle Harper courageously added her voice to those of the thousands of people calling for a national public inquiry into what happened to 1,200 missing and murdered aboriginal women. She stands with the victims' families, the provinces and civil society, which all understand that in order to move forward, we have to understand the underlying causes of this violence.

Will the government honour and listen to Rinelle Harper and thousands of others and launch a national inquiry?

Aboriginal Affairs December 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, quite frankly, everyone knows that the policies in place do nothing to improve the situation. Doing the same thing over and over again in the hope of achieving different results is futile.

Aboriginal women and girls are seven times more likely to be murdered than non-aboriginal women and girls.

Why is the government refusing to launch a national inquiry to shed light on this tragedy and to prevent violence against women?

Aboriginal Affairs December 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the situation of aboriginal women is alarming. In the past 30 years, more than 1,200 aboriginal women have disappeared or been murdered. Every year, 36 women and girls never return home.

Aboriginal communities, the international community and the United Nations are all calling for a national inquiry. When will the government finally join this movement?