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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

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

First of all, the NDP, like the workers, would be happy to see a return to work. It would be very simple to get workers back to work immediately, because all we have to do is unlock the doors. It is as simple as that.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

First of all, as a Quebecker, let me begin by wishing all Quebeckers a wonderful Fête nationale.

Unfortunately we cannot join in the celebrations today. This is distressing for me. It is very important to me to be a Quebecker and a Canadian. So the Fête nationale is extremely important to me. To all my fellow citizens of Alfred-Pellan, to all my family and friends, and to all of Quebec, happy Saint-Jean!

A whole generation of new workers entering the labour market will be affected by the bill the Conservative government has introduced. Why? First of all because young people are the next ones who will enter the labour market and who will become the next postal workers at Canada Post.

Allow me to point out just a few features of the bill we are debating. First of all, wages will be lower for the next workers hired. They will make $875.50 less over four years than what was planned.

As for their pensions, the new employees will have to wait five years longer than others to be eligible for their pension.

That is not to mention the dangerous working conditions that Canada Post workers could face.

Because this bill affects the next generation of workers, I thought it very useful for all members of the House of Commons to hear what young people had to say on this subject. So I asked them, through various social media, what they thought about this subject, the lockout at Canada Post and the bill the government is bringing to the table.

Today, I want to give them a voice. I will let you hear what they had to say about this subject.

To start with, the first person, Daniel Carette, a young father, 26 years old, says that bargaining should proceed in the usual way, there should be no government intervention, and in addition, important government cheques are sent by mail in any event. So he suggests that the employees be allowed to bargain their agreement in peace. He adds that he is not very keen on unions, but he is on side with what was won in the old agreement, and it should not be eliminated from the new agreements, particularly when the employer is not having problems.

Philippe Long writes that he thinks the lockout is pointless, and that for the managers who are criticizing the employees because of their rotating strike to impose a general lockout and paralyze the country is no better.

A master’s student at Laval University in Quebec City, Caroline Roy-Blais, wrote that Canada Post employees had decided not to take the public hostage, by organizing rotating strikes and continuing to deliver government cheques and other papers. She adds that the employers decided to impose a lockout so the government would get involved in the bargaining and compel the employees to “agree to” dangerous working conditions and lower wages for people hired in future.

She also says that she is against government intervention. First, she writes that although the government says it is a fan of the free market and is not interventionist, it is unabashedly intervening in the dispute. Second, she asks why two classes of employees are being created. Equal pay for equal work, she writes. Third, she says that employees’ right of free association in a union is important, and employees should not be prevented from organizing to get better working conditions, based on the entrepreneurial right to make money.

She also adds that we must not forget that the “orphan clause” is intended to give higher wages to postal workers who are already employed, but freezes wages for future employees. She suggests that this means that if someone is hired after the agreement is signed, they would not be entitled to the same wage for the same work! She concludes by saying that this is not fair at all.

Jean-François Paradis, a young father in the Montreal region, said that Canada Post was trying to impose a new distribution method that has tripled occupational injuries, which is not acceptable. This is a lockout. It is not a strike. There is no mail distribution because of Canada Post. If it goes on any longer, it is the fault of Canada Post, which was waiting for special legislation instead of negotiating.

I also received a short comment from Patrick Allard. He thinks this is a real shame.

This morning, another citizen, Eric Jacques, wrote to me. He said that Canada Post has been earning a profit every year for 16 years, yet managers say that they need to cut costs. Where is the logic there? Letter carriers were carrying out a rotating strike to maintain service, and the government said that it would not intervene as long as mail was being delivered. So Canada Post imposed a lockout, so that the government would take action and the corporation would not have to negotiate in good faith. If we truly want to improve the health of the economy, we need a plan with good wages, like those of mail carriers.

Those are just a few of the comments I received. That is what the next generation has to say about this labour dispute. These are engaged people who understand the problem. They do not understand what the Conservative government is trying to do.

I sincerely hope that the comments from these few Canadian citizens will be taken into consideration by members on the other side of the House, so that we can reach a better consensus for the sake of the workers.

World Choral Festival June 21st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, on this first occasion I have had to rise in the House, I want to thank the voters in the riding of Alfred-Pellan for placing their trust in me. Thank you to all the volunteers, citizens, friends and family members who put their shoulders to the wheel during the election campaign.

Quebeckers spoke and they chose the NDP to represent them in Parliament. I will work tirelessly to represent their interests and the interests of all Canadians.

Since June 17, all of Laval Island has been moving to the beat of the music of the World Choral Festival. Created by Gregory Charles, this internationally known festival is now in its seventh season.

The vocal ensemble À ContreVoix can be heard next Saturday in the chapel of the Soeurs missionnaires de l'Immaculée-conception in Vimont, and it will be quite a show.

Best of luck to the 2011 edition of the World Choral Festival!