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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was conservatives.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Alfred-Pellan (Québec)

Lost her last election, in 2015, with 24% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canada Post May 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are obviously not listening to municipal elected officials or individuals. Ending home mail delivery has a direct impact on municipalities, but the government did not find it necessary to consult them. The City of Laval will now have to go to court to say its piece.

Will the government finally show some respect for municipal elected officials and sit down with them to talk about this?

Public Safety May 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-51 is so flawed that even the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe found it necessary to publish a legal study demonstrating that this bill violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Moreover, we learned yesterday that Canadian telecommunications service providers have already been sharing vast quantities of personal information with the authorities with no oversight. That is simply unacceptable.

Will the Conservatives finally listen to reason and scrap their dangerous bill?

Public Safety May 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness should know that Canadians are opposed to Bill C-51, mainly because of the lack of oversight. Yesterday, the head of the committee complained about being hamstrung when it came to overseeing the sharing of information between agencies. In the case of the Afghan detainees, it was the Department of National Defence, and not the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, that had the information. It is therefore simply impossible to investigate.

Does the minister think it is acceptable to limit the oversight of our intelligence agencies?

Public Safety May 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the problem has to do with more than just resources. The head of the Security Intelligence Review Committee himself says that the committee's mandate is too limited. Bill C-51 will allow our intelligence service to share information with 17 other agencies, but it will not allow the Security Intelligence Review Committee to know what these 17 other agencies are going to do with that information.

Why did the government not expand the committee's mandate as called for by the NDP?

Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act May 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Winnipeg North for his question.

The official opposition has often asked that bills be split up so that we can pass the parts that the entire House of Commons agrees on and then discuss the thornier issues in a subsequent bill. Unfortunately, that proposal is rejected every time, as we have seen in the past four years, since the Conservatives have had a majority in the House. Frankly, it is pathetic.

They keep saying that we voted against proposals that we in fact agreed with. At the end of the day, it is quite simply because they impose omnibus bills that, like this one, affect different regulations. This bill affects the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code. It has a number of provisions. The Conservatives often take great delight in forcing us to vote on many pieces of legislation in a single vote, in addition to often imposing time allocation motions to restrict the debate and our opportunity to speak on behalf of the people we represent in the House.

That is a flagrant lack of leadership. Unfortunately, I do not think there is any chance the Conservatives are going to split this bill.

Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act May 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I think it is quite a stretch for my colleague opposite to claim that if police officers had something to say about the bill, all they had to do was appear before the committee. Frankly, it is appalling. I would remind my colleague that, first of all, we were under a time allocation motion when Bill C-42 was being examined, and second, the details regarding when the committee would hear from witnesses and how many would appear were completely and entirely imposed on us.

As my hon. colleague knows, the Conservatives have a majority, which means that it is the Conservatives who dominate the debate in committee and who decide how many witnesses the committee can have on each side. Why did the police forces that were invited to appear before the committee not show up? There was not enough advance notice and they could not get here in time. They sent documentation instead. I invite the member across the aisle to read the documentation that was sent to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. It proves beyond all doubt that Bill C-42 is an affront to Canada's public safety and that those police services do not support it. I invite the member to read what the police services sent to the committee.

Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act May 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is truly an honour to rise today in the House on behalf of the people of Alfred-Pellan to speak to this Conservative bill, Bill C-42, An Act to amend the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code and to make a related amendment and a consequential amendment to other Acts.

I have been serving the people of Alfred-Pellan for four years now. I am fortunate to be a member of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security and to be the NDP deputy critic for public safety. Therefore, I have been following the debate closely. I wish I could say that it has been a substantive debate, but unfortunately, that is not the case. I attended the debate in committee and took part in the discussions with the various witnesses who came to share their views on Bill C-42. Many interesting points came out of that.

As most of my colleagues know, when it comes to firearms issues, I really like to remind everyone that I myself am a hunter. I have a hunting licence. I have taken the Canadian firearms safety course and the introduction to hunting course. I have the good fortune of coming from a long line of proud hunters and fishers. My female cousins and I are part of the first generation of young women who are taking part in hunting and fishing activities in various regions of Quebec. We are very proud of that. Being forced into a category or into a little box by a Conservative government that says it will protect my rights and my sense of liberty as a hunter—I simply do not believe in that. If you dig a little deeper into Bill C-42 and really look at the various provisions, you see that, basically, the issue of firearms in Canada is being politicized to some degree.

What is coming out of this debate and the positions the Conservatives are taking on the issue is really the politics of dividing Canadians in the various regions of Canada. It is pretty sad to hear the Conservatives brag about being the great defenders of public safety. They should have rallied people around the debate on the firearms legislation and held proper consultations. That is what is missing.

Since my time is quite limited, I will quickly focus on the key points of Bill C-42.

I consulted various groups of experts. I also consulted various police associations to get their take on Bill C-42. The first thing that came up was the lack of consultation on the issue. In fact, most police forces were informed after the fact about what the Conservative government wanted to include in its firearms legislation. I think that is terrible, given that the government is talking about public safety and wants the support of the polices forces that have to enforce these laws.

I consulted various police departments, in Quebec in particular. They told me about their concerns regarding Bill C-42. One of the main concerns has to do with the transportation of firearms. At present, anyone who wants to transport prohibited or restricted firearms to or from a club, shooting range, police station, gun shop, gun show, or port of exit from Canada must have a prescribed route when authorized to transport prohibited or restricted firearms. Unfortunately, these provisions will be eliminated by Bill C-42. The authorizations will be automatically given with the firearms licence, which greatly complicates the work of police officers across the country. The Conservative government would know this had it consulted our police forces.

The second major concern is the classification of firearms. I feel that there is a serious flaw. Quite frankly I am disappointed with the federal government. At present, non-restricted, restricted and prohibited firearms and ammunition are classified under the RCMP's Canadian Firearms Program.

Bill C-42 will give cabinet a new power, namely, the power to circumvent the definitions of the classifications of firearms set out in section 84 of the Criminal Code through a regulation that provides for exceptions.

If that is not politicizing the debate, then I do not know what is. Determining which firearms will be restricted, prohibited or non-restricted is extremely important and it should be done with the help of experts. The people who are appointed to cabinet, regardless of which party is in power, are often highly qualified, but not necessarily in this area. I am really concerned about the government politicizing this debate, because no matter who is in power, they will have the authority to decide how weapons should be classified.

Right now the classification system is working, although it could still be improved. The RCMP manages the system, but the Minister of Public Safety still has to approve any classifications.

I therefore do not know exactly where the Conservatives are going with this or what the Prime Minister has decided to do and what he is telling his colleagues. However, this government is clearly playing divisive politics with this issue. I know that I use the word “deplorable” a lot, but I find this particular situation completely deplorable.

I attended the various hearings that were held with regard to Bill C-42. Many things were said about the bill, but what stood out the most was the lack of consultation. I always talk about Quebec because that is where I am from. My riding of Alfred-Pellan is very close to Montreal. About 80% of the land is agricultural even though it is located on the the island of Laval. We are very close to a very urban area. We have some small, very urbanized areas, but the riding is also quite rural. I am proud to represent such a region. What I am not proud of right now is how the Conservative government is using bills like the one before us today to try to divide Canadians by pitting people living in urban areas against those living in rural areas.

What bothers me the most is that once again, Bill C-42 ignores what Quebec wants. The government did not even consult the Government of Quebec on this. It simply informed the province after the fact. The minister responsible for Canadian intergovernmental affairs said:

This flies in the face of the notion of public safety, the safety of citizens. I think there is a huge disconnect when I hear the federal government say that it is doing this in the name of public safety...

It is rare that I agree with the Liberals, but I have to say that I completely agree with what Mr. Fournier said. I would have liked to see the federal government take its leadership seriously and consult the provinces and territories on a bill as important as this one. The government tried to make it seem as though it was not important and it was just removing some things that should have been gone a long time ago. However, when we look carefully at Bill C-42, we can see that, on the contrary, this bill should have received very broad consultation, so that there was no divisiveness on this particular bill.

I would like to emphasize another point about granting licences. Various police forces I consulted also made this point. This licence can be renewed every five years. The Conservative government wants to permanently create a six-month grace period. Once again, this further complicates the problem that police forces in Quebec and the rest of Canada are dealing with.

I see that my time is almost up. I will endeavour to answer questions from colleagues on both sides of the House as well as I can, but I have to say that I cannot vote in favour of Bill C-42. The policies in it are far too divisive. Once again, the Conservatives are going it alone. They are trying to politicize the debate, an attitude that I utterly deplore.

Public Safety May 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the dismantling of Project Condor is not the only example of the Conservative government's incompetence. We have learned that an individual charged with sexual assault was able to cross our border even though there was a warrant for his arrest. That is unacceptable. Canadians expect this government to manage our borders effectively and securely.

Will the minister take immediate action to address this major flaw that puts Canadians at risk?

Public Safety May 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, apparently the Minister of National Defence believes that it would be counterproductive to allocate federal resources to combat radicalization. Now, in the name of combatting terrorism, the RCMP has to cut Project Condor, which allowed us to track down dangerous fugitives unlawfully at large.

Why is the Conservative government putting an end to Project Condor, which was one of the RCMP's most effective programs?

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 May 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert for her inspiring speech on the Conservatives' budget implementation bill.

Yesterday evening, I took the time to call some of my constituents. One thing that kept coming up when they talked about their concerns and priorities, particularly with regard to the proposed budget, was health. It is no secret. Health is an issue that comes up a lot. An 80-year-old woman that I spoke to told me that one of her friends was beginning to show symptoms of Alzheimer's. She told me about how health care is becoming less and less accessible.

Since my colleague worked in the health care system for a long time, I would like to hear what she has to say about the impact of the Conservatives' cuts to health transfers. How will that affect our communities?