House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was farmers.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as NDP MP for Berthier—Maskinongé (Québec)

Lost her last election, in 2021, with 33% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Status of Women March 8th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, that funding is just a band-aid solution. It is not enough. Women deserve a government that stands up for them, not a government that cancels child care agreements and introduces a bill that attacks pay equity. We will not sit back and watch. We will not abandon the fight for gender equality.

How much longer will we have to wait for the Conservatives to do something?

High-Speed Internet February 3rd, 2012

Madam Speaker, from coast to coast to coast, many regions still do not have access to competitive high-speed Internet service. In Quebec, the people of Berthier—Maskinongé are no exception. Following a meeting between elected officials and the people of my riding, I decided it was time to take action. Although we know that the Internet is an essential tool for communication in 2012, the infrastructure to provide such service in rural areas remains inadequate.

Marjolaine Cloutier, from Saint-Justin, pays $140 a month for high-speed service, but gets mediocre-speed service instead, despite the broadband Canada program. For well-established telecommunications companies, connecting the remote regions is not always profitable. The status quo keeps their basic service profitable. It is time for high-speed Internet to be accessible and affordable to all Canadian families.

Local Newspapers December 9th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the new aid to publishers program has completely missed the mark. Rather than helping local newspapers, it is pushing them into bankruptcy. There are no daily newspapers in a number of regions across the country. Weekly newspapers are an important source of information for the residents of these communities. We know that 75% of Canadians read their local papers every week.

Will the government promise to restore assistance to 2009 levels to protect regional newspapers?

Business of Supply December 5th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for her questions.

Indeed, young people are really involved. They know that climate change is a big problem and they are getting involved in the issue at their schools. When I make my son's lunch every morning, I put it in small recyclable boxes because we do not want to generate any waste. We have to think about the future. Schools are talking a lot about respect for the environment and the importance of adopting a leadership role on this. Children, the citizens of the future, are really involved. That is why we are here and that is why it is truly important to take a leadership role.

Business of Supply December 5th, 2011

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

I find that the three fossil awards Canada has received are proof that we are not at the forefront and that the government's plan is inadequate. We are being ridiculed around the world and in the media. We have to take the lead. We have to assume a leadership role. We have to work together. I hope the Green Party is listening to us.

Business of Supply December 5th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, we are in favour of a carbon tax, but I personally think we must also work with other countries. We must be at the table and discuss the problems. We must not abandon the Kyoto protocol. We must work together. We are talking about the future of our children and our children's children. It is important to me and to our party to be at the forefront and to take a leadership role. That is what we are doing.

Business of Supply December 5th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, climate change represents a very serious global threat to our environment, our economy and our lives. While employment and the environment are important priorities for Canadian families, the Conservative government continues to ignore the wishes of the people and is showing, once again, that it is completely out of touch with reality.

Climate change is having an impact on Canada. A September 2011 report released by the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy estimates that climate change could cost Canada up to $5 billion a year by 2020 and between $21 billion and $43 billion a year by 2050. In addition, the average temperature in Canada has gone up 1.3oC since 1948. A sea level rise of one metre could cause over 15,000 hectares of industrial and residential land to flood, along with over 4,600 hectares of farm land and the Vancouver International Airport.

Insurance payouts in Quebec for claims related to sudden storms and flooded basements in 2005 and 2006 represented a 25% increase in water-related payouts in Quebec compared to 2001 and 2002. All of these facts cannot be ignored. We must take action on the environment. Every action counts and can make a difference. We must work together.

The NDP's vision is a Canada that invests in future generations and in clean jobs, and that assumes international leadership in the fight against climate change and the establishment of a new energy economy.

We must think of future generations—I am thinking of my young son—and it starts today. Our children have the right to hope for an incredible future and quality of life and this will depend on the choices we make on a daily basis about the environment.

A number of environmental disasters clearly show that the climate is warming and that we must take action now. Instead, the government is trying to sabotage the Kyoto protocol. Climate change has consequences for the health and safety of people, animals, forests, farms and water supplies. That is why it is important to take concrete action to stop it.

As is the case in other parts of the world, Quebec has entered the era of climate change. Every Quebec region is facing extreme weather events. For example, in spring 2011, there was flooding along the Richelieu River caused by record snowfall in the Lake Champlain basin, and the wet spring in Montérégie was responsible for historic floods in spring 2011. This natural catastrophe affected more than 3,000 households in Montérégie and people are still feeling its effects. For two consecutive years, during the winters of 2010 and 2011, the ice failed to form in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This affected a number of economic and tourism activities.

These are two examples of the effects of climate change on our immediate environment. But we all know that disasters are occurring at an astounding rate throughout the world. It is now December and it is raining. It is wrong to believe that we cannot make a difference regarding the environment and global warming, and it is even worse to ignore the alarm bells.

My colleagues and I want to be leaders in the international fight against climate change and in ensuring that Canadian jobs will not disappear.

The NDP's main priorities for the next international climate change agreement are: a fair, ambitious and binding agreement; adequate financial resources for the green fund as of 2013; the reduction of the “gigatonne gap” between the promised emission reductions and the measures actually taken; and the elimination of the gap between the legally binding commitments.

The government's lack of action with regard to climate change is tarnishing Canada's international reputation.

The NDP supports demands for a new, fair, ambitious and binding agreement on climate change to succeed the Kyoto protocol.

Developed countries must do their fair share by reducing their emissions in a way that reflects their existing and historic responsibilities with regard to global emissions.

The current targets that countries have adopted under the Copenhagen accord will not reduce emissions enough to limit the increase in average global temperature to 2°C above the pre-industrial level. Reducing this gap and preventing dangerous climate change will require all countries, including Canada, to implement ambitious measures.

Canada must make a second round of commitments in the Kyoto protocol's second commitment period or as part of an alternative agreement, should countries decide to abandon the Kyoto protocol.

A healthy planet is the most valuable gift in the world. It is a gift that we can give future generations.

I think about my little boy. When I was young, there was a lot of snow everywhere. Now, that does not happen very often, and it worries me a lot. Animals are disappearing. Climate change is damaging the planet. We must work together. We are young. We have new ideas. We must share our ideas and find solutions.

I am asking the members opposite—who are not listening to me—to work with us. We have solutions.

Poverty November 21st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I find the continued existence of and the increase in poverty in Canada extremely worrisome.

According to the Hunger Count 2011 Report, released on November 16 by Banques alimentaires Québec, the use of food banks has increased by 22% in Quebec since 2008. What is more, 15.6% of people used a food bank for the first time. Nearly three times as many seniors are using food banks and nearly half of the households asking for help are families with children. This situation is very troubling.

In my riding, unemployment is high and the population is aging. These factors obviously affect the need for food aid. The Louiseville organization called Le Noël du pauvre has noticed an increase in requests for help.

I feel it is our duty, as elected members, to work to implement measures that will fight poverty in Canada. I am committed to doing just that, as are my NDP colleagues, and I urge the government to do the same.

Food and Drugs Act October 31st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to thank my colleague from Sarnia—Lambton for introducing this bill. I think it is very important.

We must protect Canadians' ocular health. This very simple measure will help reduce the number of eye injuries. Cosmetic contact lenses must be subject to the same regulations as corrective lenses because they present the same health risks. Bill C-313 will help fix a problem that health care professionals have been calling on the government to fix for years.

One of the primary responsibilities of the government should be to protect Canadians from potentially dangerous products. The bill would ensure that corrective contact lenses and cosmetic contact lenses are subject to the same government regulations, since their use presents the same health risks.

Over the past 10 years, health care professionals have warned Canadians about the risks and dangers associated with using unregulated cosmetic lenses. In 2000, Health Canada issued a warning about cosmetic contact lenses and recommended that they be used only under the supervision of an eye care professional. In 2003, Health Canada recommended that the federal government regulate the use of cosmetic contact lenses.

The risks associated with using cosmetic contact lenses without professional oversight have been extensively documented. Problems occur when the contacts are not fitted to the eye—like shoe size, eye size varies greatly from one person to another—when the contacts are of questionable quality, or when they come from a truly unknown supplier.

Problems often occur when consumers are not given the appropriate and necessary information and instructions on how to use the contacts safely, for example, how to put them in, how to take them out and how to clean them.

Cosmetic contact lenses can be quite funky and there are many different types—there are some that look like soccer balls, some that make the iris appear larger, and other sometimes very funny things. Many young people share these contacts but they definitely should not in order to avoid infection.

Cosmetic contact lenses are becoming increasingly popular and, since today is Halloween, they are being sold absolutely everywhere: in convenience stores, beauty salons, and so on.

According to a report published by Health Canada in 2003, the rate of serious injury among people using corrective contact lenses every day is approximately 1% and the overall rate of complication is about 10%. It is estimated that the rate of injury and complication—for example, infection, inflammation or ulceration—is much higher among cosmetic contact lens users.

In 2007, vision loss accounted for the Canadian health care system's highest direct cost, as compared to any other illness. Doctors also say that wearing these contacts prevents people from seeing contrasts properly. Contact lenses reduce the eyes' sensitivity. It is sometimes very difficult to see when wearing cosmetic contacts because there is something in the eye. This results in improper vision. Someone who is wearing them while driving could even cause an accident.

There are many viruses and bacteria that attack the eyes, and we never know which may attack our eyes. This can happen if we share lenses with a friend who has an infection. So we have to be very cautious when we share contact lenses with other people. The best thing is simply not to do it at all.

Wearing cosmetic contact lenses can lead to a lot of other problems.

These contact lenses are meant to be worn up to a certain date. There is an expiry date, as for milk. Often, people who wear them forget to take them out and throw them in the garbage. That leads to various complications, such as corneal ulcers. Corneal ulcers are genuinely dangerous and can cause scarring of the eyes. That is truly dangerous. If they are not treated, the ulcers can even lead to permanent loss of sight.

Even though cosmetic contact lenses seem harmless, they can cause eye injuries in a person who wears them: an allergic reaction, a bacterial infection, swelling or inflammation of the cornea, and ulceration or scratching of the cornea. These sight problems can become permanent.

Some of these injuries occur in less than 24 hours. They can be very difficult to treat and in some cases can become permanent. The potential risks associated with this type of contact lens are a known fact. As well, there are numerous studies and there is considerable evidence showing the potential dangers associated with misuse of cosmetic contact lenses without supervision by a specialist.

But passing this bill is merely the first step. What the federal government has to do is work with the provinces and territories to establish an effective regulatory scheme for cosmetic contact lenses.

We are talking a lot about Halloween. As mothers, we look for clothing to use for costumes. My little boy, who is 10 years old, has asked for contact lenses for his costume. I therefore think that regulation is very appropriate, and I congratulate my colleague opposite on her bill.

I join my colleagues in the NDP in supporting this bill.

Louiseville Buckwheat Pancake Festival October 6th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw attention to an important event in my riding.

The Louiseville Buckwheat Pancake Festival began on September 30 and will run until October 9. This festival has become a community fixture over its 33-year history, and I would like to highlight the work of its numerous volunteers. Louiseville has been officially recognized as buckwheat country, which goes to show how important this festival is. The people of Berthier—Maskinongé are proud of their history and traditions. The area knows how to showcase its culture and local products.

Along with the festival's organizers and the people of Berthier—Maskinongé, I would like to invite the public to come celebrate with us and take part in the cultural, social and gastronomic activities that are taking place in Louiseville.