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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was quebec.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Conservative MP for Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d’Orléans—Charlevoix (Québec)

Lost her last election, in 2019, with 30% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply November 2nd, 2006

Mr. Speaker, we have always been committed to working with veterans. The parliamentary secretary works very hard on this issue. We support veterans and we will continue to support them.

The system we now have is a very good one, because it has a number of characteristics and includes generous provisions. Obviously, we are working very hard on this issue. We will have answers in due course, but we are working to ensure that our veterans retain their dignity at all times.

Business of Supply November 2nd, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank all the members taking part in this debate.

Each of us here should feel a sense of honour when we realize how privileged we are to be able to assume public office, to live in a country where freedom and democracy are fundamental values, and the supremacy of law is valued and respected. It is a way of life which I enjoy—which all Canadians and Quebeckers enjoy—thanks to veterans.

I have the privilege of being able to talk about a great country free of tyranny and oppression. A country devoted to values dear to all Canadians: freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

Freedom is not free of cost, however. It never has been. We acquired freedom at the expense of huge sacrifice on the part of our veterans, their families and their companions.

Surveys conducted in recent years have revealed that Canadians of all ages, especially young ones, are not very familiar with our military history and heritage. Many of them do not know that over 116,000 Canadians made the ultimate sacrifice in the past century to protect our values and way of life.

What can we do to raise the young Canadians’ awareness of the importance of the times that have marked the history of our country? How can we help them better grasp the great courage of these volunteers, who risked their all for their compatriots? How do we explain to them the acts of extraordinary courage performed in terrible circumstances? The challenge is a big one.

All commemorative activities of Veterans Affairs Canada are designed chiefly to encourage young people to discover the military history of their country. The young representatives who have taken part in overseas activities have told their stories in some particularly touching accounts and reports they have written.

After her experience attending the ceremonies that marked the 60th anniversary of D Day, Catherine MacNeil, from Cape Breton, wrote: “I always try to make the best of the travel times by sitting with the veterans and I am amazed how quickly I have made friends with them. During these short rides, some of them have told their stories to me, piece by piece.” She concluded as follows: “I understand the importance of these stories, and I realize that the veterans themselves will not always be around to tell their stories themselves. That is why it is important for the youth, like myself, to pay careful attention to these stories, to learn as much as we can and then to pass it on to others we know to keep their memories alive”.

Canadians have also gathered veterans' stories, stories of young Canadians from previous generations who left their loved ones, stories of their courage under enemy fire, of their determination in the face of insurmountable obstacles, and of their fallen friends. These stories bear witness to their extraordinary valour and perseverance.

On the front lines of two great wars, in Korea and in troublespots around the world, our soldiers have prevailed—shoulder to shoulder—against such threats.

The Canadian way of life has prevailed because these men and women refused to be defeated by such evil. They remained committed to our ideals, and a better vision of the world.

Still today, liberty does not come without its price. I am referring to the loss of our young soldiers, those heroic Canadians, who are making a tremendous sacrifice and risking their lives to protect our way of life.

The Prime Minister talked about that vision recently when he spoke to the nation about the need to confront the menace of terror. As he said, “the horrors of the world will not go away if we turn a blind eye to them, no matter how far off they may be”.

Of course, we can also take comfort from knowing we are prepared to meet these challenges. We have the best-trained soldiers in the world, the most professional and disciplined soldiers in the world, and they commit themselves to their missions 100%.

What is new is simply this: we now have a government that is equally committed to supporting them in return.

We make sure that our soldiers, men and women, also have the equipment and resources they need. As well, our government is prepared to support them and their families when tragedy strikes. That is the least we can do for them. We owe our veterans our profound gratitude for their sacrifices and their deeds. We owe them our unflagging support.

That is why I am proud to be part of a government that not only acknowledges this debt, but also is committed to honouring its obligations to veterans. For example, I know that health care is a matter of particular importance to veterans. The government is committed to ensuring that they will never have to worry about access to the health care that they need and they deserve. We want to be sure that the new veterans’ charter continues to measure up to its commitment to providing the essential support and services for the courageous young Canadian men and women who are serving their country today.

As well, there will be a fair resolution of the issue of agent orange at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in New Brunswick. We will also be preparing a bill of veterans rights and we will appoint a veterans ombudsman, two measures that will ensure that no veteran will be denied the respectful and dignified treatment he or she deserves.

I want to be sure that no Canadian ever forgets the actions taken by our veterans to deserve that respect and dignity. I want to thank them for the legacy of freedom that they have bequeathed to us.

Business of Supply November 1st, 2006

I have another question for the Minister of Labour. I would like him to explain in more detail the disadvantages of applying possible rules regarding replacement workers at the federal level.

Business of Supply November 1st, 2006

Mr. Chair, I would like to ask the Minister of Labour to tell us about the practical measures our government plans to take to apply existing pay equity regulations to employers.

Government Programs October 27th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, we know about the concerns expressed by the official language minority communities. Since this is a matter before the courts, it is inappropriate for us to comment further on this case.

However, let us never forget that this government continues to give unwavering support to La Francophonie and to this country's official languages.

Official Languages October 23rd, 2006

Mr. Speaker, since becoming the Parliamentary Secretary for la Francophonie and Official Languages, I have seen how vital official language minority communities are.

I am very proud to have taken part in the opening of the 16th annual congress of the Fédération nationale des conseils scolaires francophones du Canada, which was held last week.

I wish to thank all the superintendents of school boards, managers, representatives from national and community organizations and all federation members, who are playing an important role in education.

For the government of which I am a member, the education system is the beating heart of official language minority communities. In fact, the Minister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages has signed with each province and territory enhanced education agreements for a total of $1 billion over four years.

We sincerely believe that these achievements speak volumes about this new government's commitment—

Canada Labour Code October 18th, 2006

The study does not offer any evidence that prohibiting the use of replacement workers is an advantage for employees and employers in those regions. Also, in spite of such legislation, every year Quebec and British Columbia process a large number of complaints pertaining to the use of replacement workers. In other words legislation has not eliminated the problem.

It is also interesting to note that in Ontario, which once prohibited the use of replacement workers, later removed the prohibition. And as my colleagues have already pointed out, the statistics do not show that preventing the use of replacement workers shortens the duration of work stoppages or presents advantages for workers.

We can debate this issue for a long time yet, but I know that everyone here feels that it is our duty to be good stewards of the Canadian economy, as long as workers’ rights and employers’ rights are respected in complete impartiality. Impartiality is the very foundation of the Labour Code.

This is a complex issue. The current provisions of the Labour Code deal with this complexity by establishing a fair balance between the interests of employers and employees.

Moreover the Labour Code prohibits an employer from punishing employees who refuse to replace workers who are locked out or on strike or from penalizing them. It guarantees employees’ right to strike and to regain their job.

At the same time employers may pursue their activities and provide useful goods and services during work stoppages. By allowing conciliation and mediation, part I of the Canada Labour Code can also help the parties concerned to resolve their disputes in an atmosphere of respect. So part I of the Canada Labour Code serves the interests of employers and employees equitably, in the difficult context of a labour dispute.

Passing the amendment proposed in Bill C-257 would upset the precious balance established and this would be completely ridiculous. The House should not support this bill.

Canada Labour Code October 18th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, today we are discussing Bill C-257. For me, the response is self-evident. The Canada Labour Code seeks to balance and to reconcile opposing interests in any labour dispute and not to promote the interests of a single group to the detriment of the other.

I shall explain. We are being asked to amend the Canada Labour Code concerning the use of replacement workers.

Anyone who has studied questions of labour policy closely knows that employing replacement workers is far from unanimously accepted, especially here in this House, to judge from the number of times the question has been debated.

There are those, like the opposition member, who have introduced a bill calling for the prohibition of the use of replacement workers during a legal work stoppage. I am sure that to the member it is almost a profession of faith to maintain that position.

On the other hand, there are those who just as fervently proclaim that an organization must have an absolute right to use replacement workers.

Usually, unions and employee groups are in favour of prohibition while employers normally support the use of replacement workers. Both parties are concerned about their survival.

As it often happens in this kind of debate, both sides offer solid arguments in favour of their positions. It is almost impossible to get either side to accept the point of view of the other. There is nothing surprising about that because we are dealing with a very sensitive issue.

In any event, what concerns me is that Bill C-257 appears to defend the interests of only one party. However, it is clear that as lawmakers our role is not to line up on one side or the other but rather to determine where to find common ground.

I believe that we must ask ourselves whether it is appropriate to arbitrarily amend the Canada Labour Code. Should we not ensure that the Code serves the interests of all the parties involved in labour relations? To me, the answer is clear.

The Canada Labour Code seeks to balance and reconcile the opposing interests in any labour dispute and not to promote the interests of one group to the detriment of the other. The question of replacement workers is a good example of that.

When part I of the Labour Code was amended a few years ago, this House opted for a happy medium between a total ban on the use of replacement workers and the right to use replacement workers.

The code does manage to provide a middle ground by allowing employers to hire replacement workers on a temporary basis and only if their purpose is not to undermine the union's efforts to defend the interests of its members. If an employer's intentions prove less than honourable, the union may appeal to the Canada Industrial Relations Board.

At present, the Labour Code has the merit of not favouring one party at the expense of the other. It leaves it up to the parties to conclude a fair collective agreement without infringing upon the right of the other party to preserve its livelihood. By being impartial, the code offers an approach which strikes a balance between competing interests.

This approach has been in use for some time now and, in most instances, the parties to negotiations under the Canada Labour Code have been reasonably happy with it.

The amendment proposed in Bill C-257 would jeopardize this precious balance. This makes it counterproductive, and therefore I cannot support it.

One also has to measure the impact of the use of replacement workers on the duration of work stoppages.

Some contend that prohibiting the use of replacement workers helps settle labour disputes faster. In their opinion, preventing employers from hiring replacement workers makes the bargaining process more effective. The member opposite shares that opinion.

Still, there are arguments on the other side. In fact, some independent expert studies indicate that in the provinces where the use of replacement workers is forbidden by provincial legislation, that is, in British Columbia and Quebec, strikes last longer, on average 32 days longer. Furthermore the probability of a strike in these provinces increases by 12%.

Community Organizations October 17th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge and thank three organizations from my riding which work with the most disadvantaged in society.

These organizations feed the heart as well as the body, and they put a balm on the sorrows of life. The Maison Agapè in Beauport, La Bouchée généreuse in Stadacona and the Salvation Army in Limoilou all work at giving every person in need their dignity back.

My thanks to the leaders and volunteers in these three organizations which, together, can provide assistance to more than 500 persons a week. I also wish to thank all the other organizations dedicated to helping the less fortunate get some dignity back.

October 16th, 2006

The answer to my friend from Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine is that, in a crisis, we did what no other previous government was able to do. We are stimulating the economy with programs that work.

The tool provided at this time combines both, which is much better for those in the fisheries sector who need more money as their projects take shape. More money is always needed in difficult times. Previously, they paid interest; this is no longer the case. By juxtaposing these initiatives we are providing better tools for our fisheries.