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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

Firearms Registry October 28th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the National Assembly of Quebec voted unanimously to demand that the long gun registry records be kept. Quebec families paid for that registry, and they are asking that it now be given to them. I myself am a hunter, and maintaining this information does not limit my activities in any way. The Conservatives are saying that the data must be destroyed simply because it must be destroyed. When we ask them why, we encounter a black hole, much like their political agenda.

Will this government finally be open with Quebec and grant its request to transfer the data?

Saint François Archipelago October 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, north of my riding, on the Mille Îles river, is the Saint François archipelago, which is made up of the Saint-Joseph, Vaches and Saint-Pierre islands.

These islands are a prime location for a fauna and flora conservation area and they have great potential for ecotourism and recreation. Two conservation organizations, Éco-Nature and “Sauvons nos trois grandes îles”, have collaborated on research proving that the archipelago absolutely must be protected for its extraordinary nature and its ecosystem.

More than 40,000 people have already signed a petition calling on the appropriate authorities to acquire these 200 hectares of land and conserve this environment. By protecting this space, all those who depend on it will be sure to enjoy better physical and mental health.

I want to thank the members of “Sauvons nos trois grandes îles” for their hard work and I sincerely hope they achieve what they have set out to do.

Citizenship and Immigration October 21st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, this government clearly lacks vision when it comes to immigration. Parents and grandparents have been waiting for years to join their families in Canada. Instead of examining all options to reunite family members living apart, the government has decided to limit the number of applications. That is unacceptable.

Why is this government insisting on imposing a limit on the number of claimants rather than searching for real solutions for family reunification?

Pension October 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, global economic instability is threatening the retirement savings of millions of Canadians. Yet the Conservatives are doubling down on the stock market by moving ahead with their ill-advised pooled registered pension plans. This government must take action to protect the qualify of life of retired Canadians.

When will the Conservatives stop gambling with Canadians' pensions and start strengthening the Canada pension plan?

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act October 6th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member opposite for his speech and ask him a question about the budget.

The members talk a lot about investments and the economy but I find it very sad that they do not talk about the people in this country who are using food banks. Over 850,000 people used food banks last year, which is an increase of 70,000 people in one year.

What do the members opposite think they can do in the new budget to help these people who desperately need food and assistance?

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 25th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his question, which is very relevant might I add.

Yes, we have a problem. When it is convenient in other circumstances, the discussion will be different. But here, our problem really has to do with the rights and freedoms of workers across the country.

We are prepared to work together to make the bill a fairer piece of legislation. I want to ask the hon. members across the way whether their hearts tell them to come together at the table to figure out what can be done.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 25th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for that charming question.

Gains were made in the past by people who currently work for Canada Post. What the government is doing is imposing another condition on the new generation of workers entering the job market. So we have two classes of people who are totally equal but who will have different rights and wages. That is the thing that makes no sense. Here, we are going to have equal workers who will make different wages and have to work more for the exact same thing. That is what we have a problem with.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 25th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about logic because unfortunately I think some of my colleagues on the other side of the House really need that today.

First of all, let me clarify something. Everyone wants mail delivery to resume immediately. That is wonderful; all the parties in the House agree on this point. Canada Post employees are not asking for anything more than to start delivering the mail again. Small businesses that make frequent use of Canada Post services to deliver their bills and merchandise, and all Canadians who are waiting for cheques, letters and probably postcards from their cousins who are travelling abroad also want mail delivery to resume. The mail is an essential service that all citizens rely upon.

How did we get to this point? This is where the logic really starts to unravel. To the delight of my colleagues, I will review the events in the month of June that led to the lockout.

On June 2, at 11:59 p.m., Canada Post employees began rotating strikes. On June 8, Canada Post cancelled delivery services throughout the country on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On June 10, the union proposed suspending the strike to continue negotiations and reverting to the previous collective agreement. That same day, Canada Post refused and rejected the union's offer. Four days later, Canada Post declared a national lockout. It is management that has been keeping people from getting their mail since June 14. It is management's fault that the postal service has shut down completely.

I would like to remind the members on the other side of the House and the new CPAC junkies who are currently watching the debate that Canada Post is a crown corporation. The government has the authority to act and it must do so. The government is calling for an immediate return to work with this bill that will impose a labour contract on the workers. This seems a bit inconsistent for a party that favours non-interference.

The Conservative Party need only do one thing if it wants the employees to return to work. It simply needs to do its job and request that the doors be unlocked immediately so that the employees can return to work. It is as simple as that.

It is a fundamental right for employees to be able to negotiate their collective agreement with their employer. The government wants to pass a labour contract that, as my colleague for Gatineau said earlier, the Supreme Court of Canada has deemed illegal. Imposing a labour contract and denying employees the right to negotiate their own collective agreement is completely unjust, especially after these same employees were locked out. Canadians fought too long for a just and fair workplace.

Let us talk about this bill, particularly its lack of logic. Canada Post was proposing a salary increase of 1.9% for the first three years and an increase of 2% for the fourth year. However, this government is proposing an increase of 1.75% for the first year and 1.5% for the second year. That is less than what the employer was offering in its most recent offer. This proposal is totally unacceptable for new employees and we will not accept it. This represents a loss of $875.50 over four years for young families.

Where is the logic in all this? The government wants to lower the salaries of a generation that is already having trouble making ends meet. The government wants to worsen the living conditions of thousands of people simply for partisan purposes and to keep a few friends happy. It is unacceptable to diminish the quality of life of people who are just entering the labour market. It is unacceptable to cause so much disappointment for young people.

In addition, clause 15 of the bill, which imposes these salaries on employees, has already been deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, the highest legal authority in Canada.

On top of all that, this same generation will have to work five years longer before they can retire. Employees will have to contribute much more than their predecessors, up to 10% more, to be able to live with dignity. This is completely illogical. They will be doing exactly the same work as the employees who were hired before them but they will have much more precarious working conditions. They will be doing the same work, but will not have the same rights. Equal conditions for equal work.

On May 2, the Prime Minister promised to work for all Canadians. That includes workers. It is the duty of all members of Parliament to defend their rights and to not attempt to impose an unfair contract.

This government has not used common sense in handling this dispute, and it is directly attacking my generation, the generation that is just entering the job market, by violating its fundamental rights.

I find it most disturbing that this government, with its irresponsible policies, is increasingly distancing itself from the people just a few weeks after being elected. Young people, like other citizens, have never been a priority for this government. To this entire generation, or should I say to my generation, which is disappointed in this attempt to reduce its rights, I say that I will always stand up for our shared principles. I will tirelessly defend the gains we have made and that to which we are entitled, namely freedom and justice.

I realize that, with this government, we must travel a road that will be long and hard. We have no choice and history will judge us. In closing, I will quote a poet whom I really like, Quebecker Valérie Forgues:

Caught in the trap, your life and your dreams taken hostage, your hands tied. When you have heard what is left of that voice, some white stones, a few minutes, the silence, this blue ray up above.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Madam Speaker, there is currently a real lack of respect for the workers, first with the lockout and now with this back-to-work legislation. It is absolutely unacceptable. There are other ways to handle this.

We truly advocate teamwork. We are prepared to negotiate with the government in order to come up with a better way to settle the current dispute at Canada Post.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her very relevant question.

It is easy for me to imagine what it would be like for someone who went to work at Canada Post after the labour dispute and was subject to this two tier system. There are two people who do the exact same job, but do not have the same salary or benefits. Someone who was hired one month before me could retire five years earlier and would have more money in his pockets to support his family. That is completely unacceptable. We are doing exactly the same job. Equal pay for equal working conditions. That is all I have to say.