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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

October 16th, 2006

In fact, the government announced that it would provide six new tools to strengthen the economies of the Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine region and of Quebec.

One of these tools, called the Community Economic Diversification Initiative–Vitality (CEDI-VITALITY), will be particularly useful. Unlike the initiative mentioned by the hon. member, Fishing CEDI, which helped only the fishing industry, the new measure is aimed at a broader public and comes with a larger envelope. In other words, with CEDI-VITALITY, Economic Development Canada has improved on its previous initiative. In fact, in order to be more efficient, the government has merged Fishing CEDI and CEDI–Coulombe Report, combining them into a single, more effective and better-funded program.

In its new format, this measure covers more communities—a total of 795 municipalities—and groups together all of those previous covered by Fishing CEDI and CEDI–Coulombe Report.

The new funding, $85 million, is available for the next four years in order to complete projects in the seven regions of Quebec: Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Côte-Nord, Gaspésie, Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Mauricie, northern Québec and Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean. Added to those regions are 21 regional county municipalities, which are also covered by this initiative.

The CEDI-VITALITY targets 21% of Quebec's population and gives the government much greater flexibility in terms of financial assistance.

The previous initiative provided for repayable or non-repayable contributions. With this new initiative, we can now make a non-repayable contribution, up to a maximum of $100,000, and pair it with a repayable, but interest-free contribution. I repeat: what is new is that we can make a non-repayable contribution, up to a maximum of $100,000, and pair it with a repayable but interest-free contribution.

This new measure therefore lets us contribute more to a project and yet remain able to provide funding in the form of non-repayable contributions.

The CEDI-VITALITY will support activities aimed at diversifying the economy and assisting SMEs, such as consultants' studies, projects involving the development of strategies and action plans, business startups and much more.

As the government and as a stakeholder in economic development, we have a duty to provide our SMEs and our communities with tools and resources to strengthen, renew and stimulate their economies.

Regarding assistance—

October 16th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, in the absence of Jean-Pierre Blackburn, my teammate in the House of Commons, I would like to provide a more detailed answer to my friend from the Bloc Québécois.

The hon. member wrongly believes that the Government of Canada no longer cares about the fishing industry. He said, among other things, that the budget envelope of $34 million over five years allocated to the fishing communities economic development initiative for the Gaspésie, Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Côte-Nord regions had disappeared.

That is incorrect and totally inconsistent with reality, as evidenced by the new regional economic development measures recently announced by Minister Blackburn.

Abdou Diouf October 3rd, 2006

Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure that I congratulate, on behalf of the Government of Canada, His Excellency Abdou Diouf upon his re-election as Secretary General of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. He was re-elected handily last week during the 11th summit of la Francophonie.

Mr. Diouf is the former President of Senegal and has provided expert leadership to the international Francophonie these past few years.

We are convinced that he will continue to do so over the next four years of his mandate.

Once again, congratulations Mr. Diouf.

Cultural Diversity September 25th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages, I can say that we are working hard to ensure that our country's linguistic duality is recognized around the world.

Canada Labour Code September 22nd, 2006

Mr. Speaker, does the member know that only two provinces in Canada have enacted anti-scab legislation, and after 30 years there are still only two?

Is this because it works so well? Ontario enacted such legislation in 1993, then had to repeal it in 1995.

Petitions June 21st, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition, signed by 200 of my constituents, concerning Falun Gong.

Business of Supply June 8th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, first of all, we have put effective measures in place. I think that $500 to help every post-secondary student buy textbooks helps a bit. Making the first $3,000 of bursary and scholarship income tax exempt is also important. What we want to do is help these children go further in life. We will keep doing it, and we are proud of it.

Business of Supply June 8th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, my colleague asks what we will do for future generations. We want to educate them. We want to create structures so that young people can build a strong Canada and find solutions.

In the past four months, we have found several solutions. We have just got here. We have done many things in four months and we will continue to do so. We want to go ahead, not stop, and find solutions so that our young people are proud of our Canada and so that they can find ways of succeeding in this world with the best possible tools that we can give them through education.

Business of Supply June 8th, 2006

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

We are all aware that immigrants are highly qualified. We want to create an agency to help them. We know perfectly well that this is a matter of provincial jurisdiction, but we just want to put in place a structure to help them.

I also mentioned that we wanted to put in place a consultation process with all the provinces, including Quebec, in order to recognize the qualifications of these immigrants. They can help us build a very strong Canada and a very strong Quebec, because they are highly qualified. They are there to help us prosper as Canadians.

Business of Supply June 8th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak in the debate on this motion today. I will be splitting my time with my colleague from Souris—Moose Mountain.

I would like to tell the member for Halifax West that I share his desire to ensure that our children, our students, our families and our country have the best possible prospects for the future. That is why I am pleased to be part of a government whose goal is to build a stronger and more united Canada.

It is often said that a government’s first 100 days are crucial. I think we can say, in all humility, that we have successfully completed that important stage, and this augurs very well for the future. The people in my riding and elsewhere in Quebec tell us that it is very pleasant to see a government that keeps its promises at work. As a Quebecker, I also find it very interesting to hear the Prime Minister of Canada talking about open federalism as he does. Last month, for example, he said, and I quote:

That’s what open federalism is all about—a stronger Quebec in a better Canada—and that is what this new national government intends to deliver. Open federalism does not seek to play favourites or stir up jealousies. Open federalism represents an opportunity to free Quebec from the trap of polarization.

That says a lot about the Prime Minister’s intentions. It is not just his words that strike a chord in Quebec, the actions of the government he leads do as well.

In a short time, we have made an agreement with the Government of Quebec that will enable Quebec to play an historic role in UNESCO. Next, we also put an end to the softwood lumber dispute that had for too long paralyzed our producers and damaged our economy. That agreement will allow us to bring $4 billion back into Canada, and will have positive effects in regions like the Gaspé, Abitibi-Témiscamingue or Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, where the forestry industry plays a major economic role. In fact, everyone who sits in this House and who believes in the future of Canada cannot help but applaud results like these.

Speaking of the future, I would like to come back to the motion tabled by my hon. colleague. Today, he is asking what the government is doing so that the Canadian economy will thrive in the 21st century. If I understand his lengthy motion correctly, he is also asking what we are doing to promote greater access to post-secondary education and to help the work readiness of people like immigrants and older workers, who must overcome very specific barriers. The simplest answer I can give him is that we are acting, and we are acting responsibly and effectively and targeting our actions.

The budget tabled recently by the Minister of Finance is eloquent evidence of this. First, the budget proposes targeted measures so that the largest possible number of Canadians will be able to get a post-secondary education. Starting in August 2007, eligibility for the Canada Student Loan Program will be expanded by reducing the deemed parental contribution. This measure will enable about 30,000 more young people to get a post-secondary education at a college or university in Canada. As well, a new $500 tax credit for buying textbooks will apply to all post-secondary students. And we will be eliminating the current $3,000 cap on the amount of bursaries and scholarships a post-secondary student may receive without having to pay federal income tax. These tax measures will make life easier for hundreds of thousands of students in Canada.

However, we realize that education is a provincial jurisdiction. That is why, instead of establishing a new program that would create overlap, we prefer providing up to $1 billion directly to the provinces and territories, to allow them to meet pressing needs in terms of post-secondary education infrastructure.

This way, students across the country can benefit from more modern classrooms, libraries, laboratories and research equipment.

This billion is in addition to the $9 billion the government invests annually in post-secondary education and the $1.7 billion it provides to support research carried out in post-secondary institutions.

Despite huge investments, the government is well aware that the provinces and territories are trying to find out how much money is available to them. That is why we plan to provide long term assistance for post-secondary education and training.

This year, we are already giving Quebec an extra $850 million in equalization payments. Part of that amount is specifically earmarked for post-secondary education.

By helping our young people get an education, we are preparing the future of our country. But to really ensure the prosperity of Canada, every effort has to be made to curb the shortage of skilled workers.

In Quebec for example, the manufacturing sector has already started experiencing such a shortage.

More than ever, our economic growth depends on our ability to face this challenge. One way to do so is by making sure that our young people turn toward skilled trades.

In this regard, a number of tax measures announced in the 2006 budget will help us move forward. I could mention in particular a new $1,000 grant for first- and second-year apprentices; a new $500 tax deduction for tradespeople to help them purchase tools; an increase in the $200 limit on the cost of tools eligible for the 100% capital cost allowance, which will rise to $500; and a new tax credit of up to $2,000 for employers who hire apprentices.

These measures were welcomed by manufacturers. Richard Fahey, the Quebec vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said after the budget was tabled that these measures would make it easier to hire staff in the current situation of labour shortages.

We know very well, though, that this is not enough.

Over the next five years, 640,000 workers will have to be replaced in Quebec. Over the next decade, more people will leave their jobs than will enter the workforce. The resulting demographic pressures will magnify the problems that manufacturers are having with the recruitment of skilled labour.

We will therefore have to roll up our sleeves to ensure that the workforce continues to grow. One of the ways of doing this is through immigration.

Here too, though, things are not easy. It is unbelievable that in 2006, skilled immigrants still have to wait many a long year before being able to work in Canada at occupations for which they are more than well qualified and trained.

In order to fix this, we are going to create a Canadian agency for the assessment and recognition of foreign credentials.

Since most regulated occupations come under provincial and territorial jurisdictions, we are going to have a major consultation process on the mandate, structure and management of this new agency.

In its budget, the government also announced an additional $307 million to help immigrants get established and find work in their communities.

In conclusion, those are the measures, in short, that we have put forward since the new government was elected, barely four months ago. They will do a lot to change the lives of Canadians and ensure a vibrant Canadian economy.

This government was elected on a promise of real change and that is what we are working toward with vim and vigour.