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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was veterans.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Saint-Jean (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 48% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Military Contribution Against ISIL March 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the member mentioned the special forces helping Iraqi security forces. He mentioned the term “advise and assist”. When I received my basic military training in the French army in 1992, it was clearly explained to me what the role of the special forces was. The role of special forces is to carry out special operations.

I wonder if the member opposite really believed the Prime Minister when he said that they would only advise and assist. Did he believe that the Canadian Forces would only advise and assist Iraqi security forces, which, by the way, are not even aware sometimes that they are being trained?

Military Contribution Against ISIL March 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I attended the funeral of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent. He was the victim of a despicable act, but I do not understand how the parliamentary secretary can pretend that this despicable act had a direct connection to the group Daesh, which specifically targeted Canada. The reason Martin Couture-Rouleau committed that despicable act was that he was not able to make any connection with the Daesh group. The reason he was not able to make any connection, although he tried for several months, was that he did not understand or speak Arabic. He was so frustrated that he committed this crazy act and randomly took an innocent member of our proud Canadian Forces. How can the member explain this contradiction?

Military Contribution Against ISIL March 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the speech given by the Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. I am very surprised every time a member uses the argument that Daesh represents a clear and direct threat to Canada. Let us look at the example of Martin Couture-Rouleau, who was responsible for the attack in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. The reason why he was unable to go to Iraq or establish connections with Daesh is that he did not speak Arabic. He tried for several months to make contact with Daesh but did not succeed. He was so frustrated that he could not go and fight that he committed a desperate act with a car and a knife. That is certainly not the equipment typically used by a terrorist group.

My colleague spoke about a clear and direct attack on Canada. I would like her to explain this contradiction.

Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act March 12th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, there is indeed a great deal of ignorance and misunderstanding in my colleague's remarks, including what he said about the Canadian army's actions in Iraq. Unfortunately, he failed to mention the situation and the chaos created in Iraq by American intervention. Nor did he mention the fact that intervention in Libya, for instance, destabilized that country even further, and as a result, the situation in Libya is now completely out of control. Iraq is also a country out of control.

Before explaining that a simple intervention can restore peace and order in a country, he should look at the history and the background that led to the situation. This speaks to his lack of understanding of the problems of the Middle East. I, on the other hand, being an immigrant myself, know a little more about what he is talking about.

I would like him to explain how further criminalizing the aspects that we want to limit will achieve this objective in practical terms. In fact, as we have seen, the opposite always happens.

Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act March 12th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague's speech. He focused mainly on underage marriages and the forced marriage of people who are too young.

He pointed out that the only place where provincial legislation sets out an age of consent for marriage is Quebec. None of the other provinces have anything like that because they use the common law system.

Given that common law is part of the British tradition, can my colleague explain why the short title of this bill is the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act to end barbaric practices?

Is he telling us that the British common law tradition is a barbaric practice? It sure looks that way to us. What is the intent behind the use of the words “barbaric practices” for a legislative measure in the British common law tradition?

Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act March 12th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the speech given by my colleague from Halifax.

She mentioned the specific case of Denmark, and I thank her for that. Criminal provisions that are too broad generally have the opposite effect to what was intended and, as a result, it is no longer possible to enforce a decision or a law.

Under the Conservatives, we have become accustomed to this sort of thing, whether it was with Bill C-10, which criminalizes the possession of more than six marijuana plants, or with Bill C-36, which criminalizes the purchase of sexual services. The consequence is that the tougher the criminal sentences we impose through these laws, the less viable it becomes to implement them, and therefore the police are much less likely to enforce them.

Can my colleague elaborate on the fact that further criminalizing something we condemn, in this case forced marriage, will only serve to ensure that women will not try to escape that situation because the consequences would be too severe?

Parliamentary Precinct Security February 6th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is truly astounding to hear that the member for Yukon does not really understand the questions we are asking him. We are not telling him that this is a debate among security experts.

The question is not about who should manage the operational security of the House of Commons and the Senate. The question is why a responsibility that currently belongs to the Speaker of the House, and more generally speaking to all of the parliamentarians who elected the Speaker, should be transferred to the Government of Canada or the executive branch. He did not answer that question and the fact that he did not proves that he is very uncomfortable and that the 10-minute speech that he gave, and that I listened to, is not consistent with the reality that the government wants to control the House of Commons security.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act January 30th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague's speech.

Since the Conservatives keep referring to the murder in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu committed on October 20, 2014, can my colleague explain how, to her knowledge, a change in the way CSIS operates would have prevented the act committed by a person who was being tracked and assessed by the RCMP, which found that this person was no longer a threat to the public?

Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act January 30th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Alfred-Pellan. I especially want to thank her for explaining what happened in committee because we are not necessarily privy to what happens at every meeting. She spoke of the abysmal process in committee.

That reminds me, for example, of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, where the deposition of the minister who appears before the committee is considered to be that of an actual witness, whereas in reality it is just the minister's statement.

I am pleased that she explained this flaw in the system and the Conservatives' use of this absolutely dishonest method.

I also thank her for reminding us that Bill C-44 was drafted before the incidents that took place in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and elsewhere.

That incident directly concerns my riding and so I would like the member to remind us that Martin Couture-Rouleau, who was dealing with mental health issues, was already being monitored by the RCMP. He was assessed just a few months before he committed this crime. In the assessment, the RCMP concluded that he was no longer a threat.

Can my colleague explain how amending a law that governs CSIS would not have prevented this tragedy or changed it in any way? In fact, this person was already being monitored, he had been assessed and the assessment had concluded that he was no longer a threat.

French Academy January 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, on January 25, 1635, or 380 years ago today, the Académie française was officially created in Paris, at the behest of the Cardinal de Richelieu, who lent his name not only to the mighty river that runs through my beautiful riding, but also to the town of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

His goal was that the immortal wise people of that august institution would defend and perfect the French language, so that we, francophones from all backgrounds, could all speak a polished French. The Académie française does not belong only to the Parisians; it belongs to all francophones around the world, from Port-au-Prince to Brussels, from Algiers to Quebec City, and in all francophone communities across Canada.

It was a great honour for Quebec and for Haiti when, in 2013, Dany Laferrière received the highest honour in the French language to become the first Quebecker and the first Haitian to be elected to the Académie française. Long live the Académie française.