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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

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation Act September 18th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.

The Standing Committee on International Trade held consultations across Canada. From what I understand, public notices were issued and there was not much time to announce the consultations. It took some time, and not everyone was able to attend in person. The committee received about 8,000 briefs. They had not been translated, so we did not necessarily get to read every single brief that was submitted to the committee.

With regard to culture, many experts expressed concerns about the trans-Pacific partnership because the cultural exemption it contained was the weakest such provision to have been negotiated in a free trade agreement. It was not something Canada could be proud of. It was not worth bragging about, because it was not a step forward.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation Act September 18th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be back in the House, to see my colleagues again, and particularly to participate in the debate on Bill C-79. I would like to inform you that I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Vancouver Kingsway.

Yesterday, we began the debate about the ratification of the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Yesterday, we spent five and a half hours debating this important bill. This morning, a time allocation motion was moved. The Liberal Party, the government, worked with the Conservative Party, the official opposition, to fast-track Bill C-79.

It is disappointing not to have time to rise to express the concerns of the people we represent concerning an important bill like the ratification of this agreement. It is frustrating and disappointing. I am pleased to have the opportunity to rise to express Canadians' fears and concerns about this bill.

I would first like to set the stage by providing a bit of context. The Prime Minister made a statement during the election campaign. On October 5, 2015, he said:

The government has an obligation to be open and honest about the negotiation process, and immediately share all the details of any agreement. Canadians deserve to know what impacts this agreement will have on different industries across our country. The federal government must keep its word and defend Canadian interests during the TPP’s ratification process—which includes defending supply management, our auto sector, and Canadian manufacturers across the country.

That was in 2015. It is now 2018, and it is clear that the Prime Minister has kept neither his word, nor his promise.

The Standing Committee on International Trade held consultations, and I want to thank our critic who worked very hard in committee. We are proud of what she has been able to accomplish. These consultations were not very accessible to members of the public wanting to participate. The public did not get much warning that consultations on the TPP were being held. People did not have much time to prepare, get to, and participate in the consultations. Members of the public had one hour to make submissions and give testimony. In Montreal, 19 members of the public opposed the agreement. Three individuals in Quebec City opposed the agreement. The committee received more than 8,000 submissions from Canadians.

We had a very hard time getting them translated and reviewing all of the submissions properly. There was no comprehensive consultation like the one the Prime Minister promised in 2015. The committee is supposed to be independent, but its consultations were strongly influenced by the government.

I remind members that the Standing Committee on International Trade held dozens of meetings, heard from more than 400 witnesses, and received written comments from more than 60,000 Canadians, 95% of whom opposed the bill and the ratification of the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership.

I rise today to speak on behalf of the people of Berthier—Maskinongé, whom I am proud to represent. I had the honour of sitting on the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food since 2012. In January I took on new responsibilities, but I follow the committee's work closely.

All of the agreements that the government has signed since I entered politics in 2011 have chipped away at our supply management system. Every agreement signed gives greater access to our dairy, poultry, turkey or egg markets.

Every agreement we sign opens up more of our market. The Conservative government said it would support and defend our supply management system, but what it actually did was negotiate agreements that allowed greater access to our market. The Liberal Party, with its majority, is doing the same thing. Despite the Liberals' insistence that they support our supply management system, they are continuing to poke holes in it.

Canadians are entitled to a government that respects the will of the people and does not negotiate agreements behind closed doors. Experts tell us that ratifying the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership will cost between 60,000 and 80,000 jobs in Canada because of concessions affecting the auto sector. How disturbing that the government is so willing to jeopardize those jobs.

Concessions in the CPTPP are keeping dairy, egg and poultry producers up at night and could cost 26,000 jobs in Quebec alone. Dairy producers say that giving up 3.25% of the Canadian market will likely cost them about $250 million in annual income. Should our supply management system disappear entirely, the poultry sector would lose 60,000 to 80,000 jobs. That does not even take into account concessions in the Canada-EU agreement.

All the agreements Canada has signed recently represent a 15% increase in access to our supply-managed markets. The government kept saying that it would protect our supply management system, but it has never said that it will fully protect it, so naturally, farmers have some fears and concerns.

We also have to think about timing. Right now we are debating ratifying the trans-Pacific partnership, and yet Canada is still negotiating with the United States. Several experts and groups have urged us to be cautious.

By going ahead with this and supporting the trans-Pacific partnership, we will be giving other countries greater access to our supply-managed market. This could send Mr. Trump and our American friends a clear message: we are prepared to grant them even more access to our market.

These market losses will cause Canada's GDP to drop by between $4.6 billion and $6.3 billion. The study also found that dismantling our supply management system would provide no real benefit to Canadian consumers.

According to the Éleveurs de volailles du Québec, across the poultry industry the implementation of the trans-Pacific partnership will result in the loss of more than 2,200 jobs and cut $150 billion from Canada's GDP.

It is true that our supply management system was created by the Liberals, but here it is being greatly weakened once more. We are witnessing its death by a thousand cuts. We are weakening our system to the point that it will no longer be worthwhile to keep it in place.

The government is telling us that there is nothing to worry about and that there will be a compensation plan for producers, but producers are not interested. They do not want to hear about compensation. Canadian producers want the federal government to do its job. Promises need to be kept. We hope the government will hold its own in the NAFTA renegotiation. That said, up to now, it has not been able to stand up for producers.

We could talk about other problems with the trans-Pacific partnership. For example, there is the auto sector. Many people work in the auto and parts sector.

These people and a number of unions are strongly opposed to the CPTPP because it will not do much to help them. It is still causing a lot of uncertainty. Less stringent rules of origin expose Canada to competition with Japanese vehicles that have a lot more components from countries that are not members of the TPP, such as China, Thailand, and Indonesia. However, Canada is maintaining its commitment to gradually eliminate its tariffs in the auto sector over a short period of five years.

There are a number of reasons why we do not support the TPP. It jeopardizes jobs. The government is telling us that it is protecting jobs and will create jobs for the middle class, but it is putting these jobs and these workers in jeopardy.

International Trade June 14th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, after the Prime Minister said he was flexible, it is now the Minister of Agriculture who is leaving the door wide open to the possibility of sacrificing our supply management system in NAFTA renegotiations.

The Liberals keep telling us in the House that they are defending supply management and that they are the party that brought it in. They need to walk the talk.

My question is simple: will the government fully defend supply management in NAFTA renegotiations, yes or no? The key word here is “fully”.

Natural Resources June 13th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, giving away billions of dollars to a company that has zero respect for Canada's environmental regulations is the antithesis of leading the fight against climate change.

Using public money to buy a pipeline is not visionary. Exposing Canadians to the environmental and financial risks associated with the pipeline is totally unfair.

Instead of throwing money at energy sources of the past, the government must invest in energy sources of the future.

Why does the Prime Minister just not get it?

Berthier—Maskinongé June 12th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, on June 2, I had the opportunity to take part in the RCM of Maskinongé's citizen forum, which was organized by the CFDC at the Le Baluchon resort in Saint-Paulin.

The forum and its historic En route vers la carboneutralité initiative, which focuses on achieving carbon neutrality, bring together the region's various stakeholders to reflect on climate change and engage in a sustainable development movement together. Four committees—citizen, business, agriculture, and municipal—have been set up to take action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

We all have to work together to protect our environment by reducing plastics in our waterways, reducing food waste, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, and more.

I am proud to be collaborating with the RCM and municipalities in my riding, Berthier—Maskinongé, to reduce our wonderful region's ecological footprint.

In closing, I would like to thank the teams at the CFDC and the RCM of Maskinongé for taking the lead on this excellent initiative.

Natural Resources June 11th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that response. Canadians need to know that we all are united in our response.

There is another issue of national importance. As we know, the Trans Mountain pipeline spilled 4,800 litres of oil just two days before the government announced its intention of buying out the pipeline. The spill risks are very real, and there is no way to deal with a spill at this time.

It was also just reported that two indigenous nations in British Columbia are actually opposed to the pipeline project but felt they had no choice but to sign letters of support.

Will the government admit to the House today that it failed in its duty to consult first nations?

International Trade June 11th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, New Democrats stand in solidarity with the government and the Prime Minister against the provocative statements made by the Trump administration.

The current tariffs are illegal and the additional threats will hurt Canadian and American workers. While Canadians stand together, President Trump stands alone. American lawmakers and U.S. allies strongly oppose Trump's erratic behaviour against their biggest and closest friend.

Will the government work with all parties in the House to present a unified response to Trump?

International Trade June 7th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, in Canada, the Liberals love to claim to be defending supply management, but in the United States, the Prime Minister said there could be some flexibility in the area.

A true leader is someone who stands up for Canadian dairy farmers, someone who keeps his promises, someone who is ready to tell the G7 that he will fully defend our supply management system, without any concessions.

Is there anyone here in the House today, besides the NDP, who is ready to fully defend our supply management system without making any concessions?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1 June 5th, 2018

Madam Speaker, my colleague had the chance to remind everyone that he was elected 14 years ago and served his constituents for that period of time.

We have to remember that there is a lot of inequality here in Canada, and it seems to be increasing. A promise the Liberals made during the election campaign was to table legislation to deal with pay equity. We know that the latest census data show us that indigenous women in Ontario face a 43% gender pay gap. Racialized women face a 38% pay gap. Immigrant women face a 34% pay gap. Why did the Liberals not include anything to deal with this in the budget?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1 June 5th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his speech to the House on Bill C-74.

This is a gargantuan bill. I think this is the biggest omnibus bill ever seen in the House of Commons. It is about 556 pages long, but it makes virtually no mention of agriculture and agrifood. The federal government needs to make it a priority to invest more in the agriculture sector. We on this side of the House were extremely disappointed to see virtually no mention of agricultural businesses and no support for them.

Could my colleague tell us about the importance of investing in agriculture and agrifood, especially with measures that support young farmers?