Hansard
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 15 of 15
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-02-21 11:13 [p.1378]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Sonia Poirier, an extraordinary constituent of mine who embodies the courage, resilience and strength of the people of the North Shore. In 2018, Ms. Poirier saved the lives of her daughter and her daughter's best friend when their boat capsized and her husband and brother-in-law disappeared into the lake's icy waters. She had to swim for hours and make it through a cold night to save the lives of the two girls as they waited and hoped for rescue.
Ms. Poirier is an active member of her community and a worthy member of the great Rotary family, as was her late husband, Bruno. She has written an account of this pivotal moment in her life to show that, no matter what tragedies we may encounter, we can and must choose to live. In my meetings with Ms. Poirier, she proved to be a loving, brilliant, courageous and radiant woman who is focused on chasing her dreams as she cherishes the precious memories of the loved ones she lost.
Sonia, your heroism has inspired me, the people of the North Shore and everyone all across Quebec.
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-02-21 11:22 [p.1380]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister must take real action to resolve the rail crisis today. No one wants to see another photo of him sitting in a chair and chatting with his colleagues. We want to see him on the ground, outdoors, talking to indigenous chiefs. We want him to confirm that there are no longer any RCMP officers on the Wet'suwet'en territory and that the pipeline project at the heart of the controversy will be put on hold while discussions take place.
Will the government finally take action?
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-02-18 15:10 [p.1164]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform you that I wish to share my time with the hon. member for Laurentides—Labelle.
The Bloc Québécois is once again calling on the government to take action on employment insurance. This is not the first time that we have made this request. We have always been working for a thorough reform of the program. Whether it is for a separate fund, for improved access to regular benefits—
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-02-18 15:11 [p.1164]
Mr. Speaker, I was saying that the Bloc Québécois is again calling on the government to take action on employment insurance. This is not the first time we have made this call.
We have always been committed to a thorough reform of the program, whether by establishing an independent fund, improving access to current benefits, ending the classification of the unemployed based on their claims, or, of course, improving benefits, all benefits.
For almost 30 years now, we have been demanding that the EI program be designed for our world—not for the needs of the government, but for the needs of our people, those who have given us the privilege of representing them in the House.
Right now, we have a program that is a direct attack on those who are already in precarious situations, that hurts seasonal workers in our regions and that leaves out those who are ill, seriously ill. The reason is very simple, and that is a lack of political will. The EI program cannot adequately and properly support those truly in need.
This is precisely why the Bloc Québécois moved the motion we are debating today, which calls on the government to increase the special employment insurance sickness benefits from 15 weeks to 50 weeks in the upcoming budget in order to support people with serious illnesses, such as cancer.
The main motivation for this demand, if one is necessary, is that the period of special employment insurance sickness benefits was based on the use of barely one-quarter of recipients. When the special benefit program was created, the government knew that the number of weeks was insufficient for over three-quarters of recipients. According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the Department of Employment and Social Development chose the number of weeks based on survey data that indicated that just 23% of recipients returned to work after the 15 weeks of benefits.
In other words, the government at the time and successive governments since then have known that the EI benefits provided do not adequately meet demand. It is completely unfair that every government elected since has knowingly accepted this situation.
The EI sickness benefit is inequitable because of the number of hours required to qualify. No matter where they live, be it Vancouver or Blanc‑Sablon, claimants need to accumulate 600 insured hours of work to be eligible for benefits. It is also more difficult to qualify for sickness benefits than for regular benefits if the regional unemployment rate is greater than 8.1%, which, according to various economic indicators, is the case for one in four economic regions, despite strong overall job numbers. I shudder to think what things would be like if the economy were doing poorly.
In my riding, people in Minganie and the lower north shore have to work 180 more hours to qualify for sickness benefits than for regular benefits. The same goes for people in the Gaspé and the Îles‑de‑la‑Madeleine.
It seems that no government has wanted to admit that the purpose of employment insurance is not to have a petty cash fund alongside the budget, so that it can dip into it to cover up its deficits or make money off the sick. The purpose of employment insurance is to make life easier for people who are forced out of the labour market for reasons beyond their control. It is insurance, a social safety net to which workers contribute in return for the guarantee and assurance that they will be compensated following an unfortunate event, such as the loss of a job or a serious illness.
The worst part of it all is that no one chooses to get sick. There is no such thing as someone getting up in the morning and saying to themselves, “I think I am ready for a little serious illness. I am ready for a tragedy. I am ready for some misery”. Getting sick is a tragedy. It turns people's lives upside down. It is a daily struggle. It is stressful and demanding for people. We should be there to support them.
It is not right for a person to worry and fret about their financial health before their personal health. Situations like that of Marie‑Hélène Dubé should not exist. Because she did not work 600 hours, she had to mortgage her house several times while she was fighting cancer.
In such a wealthy society, no one should ever be unable to pay their rent and end up on the street when they are in remission. It is not right for people to be left with nothing when they are going through one of the most difficult ordeals of their lives. It is not right, because we have the power to change things and to enable our people to have some measure of dignity during those trying times.
Also, the government might want to remember the last time it was in opposition when it responds to our motion. In 2012, the Liberal Party overwhelmingly supported a bill that would have extended EI benefits from 15 to 50 weeks and eliminated the wait times.
Today, we are reaching out to the Liberals. We are inviting them to follow our lead and to do what should have been done a long time ago, namely make life easier for people who are forced to take time off work because of illness.
During the vote on the motion, I would like each member of this House to remember that every second person living in Canada will get cancer during their lifetime. If we set aside every other serious or chronic disease that could affect our lives and think only of cancer, half of us will have to rely on EI benefits. We could have to cope with the disease and all the added expenses that go with it with only 15 weeks of benefits.
I think that it is time we did what we should have done a long time ago, namely help people who cannot work and give them time to heal. Providing 50 weeks of benefits is the only way of giving the sick time to heal with dignity.
In closing, I would like to point out that I am thinking about all the people in my riding, about all Canadians, and about one person in particular, who has long fought for the unemployed and who is now fighting an illness. I would like this person to have peace of mind, and I know that the only thing that will do that is to abolish all inequities for all EI claimants, in particular those who are sick.
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-02-18 15:19 [p.1165]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague opposite for his question.
I am a bit disappointed to see that his passion has subsided over the years. I remember that, in 2012, the Liberal Party, which was then the official opposition, wanted to extend benefits to 50 weeks. Now here we are, eight years later, and we can do that, but we are being told that 26 weeks is enough.
When a person is really passionate, there are no limits, especially when the means are there. I therefore expect to see benefits extended to 50 weeks.
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-02-18 15:21 [p.1166]
Mr. Speaker, if I understand correctly, my hon. colleague’s question is about what all members of Parliament should do.
In my opinion, we have talked at length about figures and actuaries, but we are beyond figures now, and we have the opportunity to act. People do not get sick for predetermined periods of 26, 15 or 32 weeks, so the program needs to be flexible.
In a spirit of fairness, given that people who lose their jobs receive 50 weeks of benefits, we believe that people who are sick should also receive 50 weeks of benefits. Obviously, I am also appealing to my colleagues’ sense of compassion: I am certain that they will see that 50 weeks is the right solution.
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-02-18 15:23 [p.1166]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for her question, and I would be pleased to answer it.
In my opinion, it is absurd. We can do it. Everyone wants to co-operate. Everyone agrees. We do not want half measures, we want full-fledged measures. The government has no valid reason to refuse.
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-01-31 11:04 [p.757]
Madam Speaker, I am deeply moved to pay tribute today to Arlette Girard, a woman who played a hugely influential role in the political life of Manicouagan.
Ms. Girard passed away in November following a courageous battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
She was the first female mayor of Chute-aux-Outardes and Manicouagan's first female reeve. She was a forward-thinking feminist, a dynamo when it came to bettering the lives of women, children and seniors.
As a professional, a volunteer, an activist and a politician, she championed many causes and brought many projects to fruition in her community and all along the North Shore.
I would like to take this opportunity to say the following words to her:
“Arlette, you are among the truly inspiring, dedicated, strong, generous and brilliant women who have paved the way for other women in politics. I am deeply grateful to you. I want you to know that your legacy lives on and will continue to live on through me and through the women who follow in our footsteps.”
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-01-31 13:41 [p.784]
Madam Speaker, this is the first time that I rise to speak in this Parliament.
I would like to sincerely thank the constituents of Manicouagan for putting their trust in me and electing me for another term. I would also like to thank the team that supported me over the past months: my family, my spouse, my three children—Loïc, Charlotte and Ulysse—my friends, the people who work with me and those who wish to serve the North Shore with dignity, integrity and energy to advance the development of our region and Quebec. I will tackle all the challenges entrusted to me by the people of the North Shore and Quebeckers with humility and respect, as well as with conviction and determination.
Today we are debating a bill that could significantly affect the Quebec economy for the next decade or more. Bill C-4 will have major repercussions for Quebec, especially because of the large volume of Quebec exports to the United States.
We have been doing business with the Americans for over three centuries and, more often than not, our trade relationship has been beneficial to Quebec's economic development. In fact, almost 70% of our exports go to our neighbours to the south. New York state alone receives about 10% of all our world exports, as does the small state of Kentucky, which has a population of 4 million.
Given how important a free trade agreement is to Quebec's economic future, each member of the House has a duty to take the time to carefully examine all the details of the agreement and to ensure that all its victims have a forum to tell us about the harmful consequences that passing Bill C-4 will have on their industry.
It is only natural to want a “full, frank, and vigorous debate”, as the Deputy Prime Minister said. To think that we do not need serious, legitimate and therefore necessary discussions about the negative impacts of Bill C-4 on Quebec and its regions, on the stability of international trade, on unfair import practices and on the environment shows a lack of respect for Quebec voters and for workers in the dairy and aluminum industries.
I will focus on aluminum workers in particular, not just because there are two smelters in my riding, including the biggest smelter in America, but also because I can foresee the impact that the agreement will have on my constituents.
We are talking about aluminum because this economic sector is crucial for Quebec. The North Shore, Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean and Quebec need good jobs in order to prosper. However, in its current form, the agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico places no less than 60,000 aluminum sector jobs in jeopardy.
We will all agree that the government can hardly claim to be looking after Quebec's economic development if it accepts, without any serious negotiation, a free trade agreement that may seriously jeopardize six major projects in Quebec's aluminum sector representing $6.2 billion in investments, according to an impact study carried out by Groupe Performance Stratégique. The study estimates that these private investments could generate more than $16 billion in economic spinoffs from 2020 to 2029. That is $16 billion that Quebec would have to go without for the next 10 years.
It is important to understand that the only reason these investments in Quebec are in jeopardy is that the government failed to take Quebeckers' interests into consideration when it signed this agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico.
Perhaps the government does not fully appreciate the importance of regional development and land use. Although the Prime Minister claims he secured guarantees that 70% of the aluminum parts used in automobile production in North America must be from North America, the fact remains that he did not bother to also ensure, as he did for steel, that the aluminum content in those parts would also come from North America. Worse still, he is playing games with the figures, which is just misleading.
The Prime Minister's carelessness and lack of faith in the intelligence of voters is leaving the door wide open for Mexican auto parts plants to import aluminum from China, even though Canadian and U.S. courts have determined that Chinese aluminum was being dumped.
As written, CUSMA makes it possible for Chinese aluminum to flood the North American market, even though Canada and the United States have anti-dumping duties in place. Chinese aluminum needs only to be processed in Mexico in order to circumvent the protections we have collectively put in place. In other words, we could wind up with car parts that are supposedly North American but in fact contain “made in China” aluminum.
For free trade to be truly free and profitable for everyone, we must make unfair trade practices such as dumping impossible.
Allowing car parts made with Chinese aluminum to be considered North American in origin is an insult to Quebec's expertise in the aluminum sector, especially since our aluminum is the greenest in the world. The Liberals seem to think that Chinese aluminum is Quebec aluminum. Just ask Quebeckers if they agree. It is absurd.
Primary aluminum produced in Quebec releases 67% less greenhouse gas than aluminum produced in the Middle East and 76% less than Chinese aluminum. Why would a government taking steps to close coal-fired power plants in Canada be so supportive of Chinese aluminum when 90% of the electricity used to produce it comes from coal? That makes no sense.
Providing aluminum the same protection as steel is not just an economic decision. It is a political one.
If the government had given any consideration at all to Quebec's interests, its economy, its regions and its workers, it would never have signed an agreement whose every concession is detrimental to Quebec. If the Prime Minister's team is really working for Quebeckers, it should fight for Quebec as vigorously as it fought for Ontario steel.
It is unacceptable to the Bloc Québécois that every single concession in the free trade agreement should be made at the expense of key sectors of Quebec's economy, and as such, even though it supports free trade, the Bloc Québécois cannot support Bill C-4. The Bloc encourages hon. members to not blindly accept a bill that is deeply unfair to Quebeckers.
If Quebec had negotiated the agreement, it would have negotiated it in its own interest and never would have compromised the growth of key sectors of its economy.
We are talking about my riding and my constituents. Hon. members will agree that we cannot allow the government to sacrifice aluminum workers back home just to satisfy Ontario's economic interests. The Bloc Québécois is the only party that is truly standing up for the interests of Quebeckers, and I am one.
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-01-31 13:49 [p.786]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague opposite for his question.
I do believe that, if a government decides to commit to meeting the Paris targets, it must take them into account when negotiating economic deals like CUSMA. It must recognize that any agreement it enters into must also work towards achieving those targets.
Of course I completely agree with my colleague. These sorts of provisions could have been included, and aluminum could have been one solution to help reach those targets.
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-01-31 13:51 [p.786]
Madam Speaker, the Bloc Québécois is a thorough party. For example, one topic we just spoke about was the Paris agreement.
I would like the governing party to share our enthusiasm for meeting the Paris targets by the deadline.
The government seems to be in a hurry with the treaty, yet the same cannot be said for the Paris agreement. I do not understand the double standard here.
As for the reference to Mr. Legault and the comments he made, I think we need to consider the context, since we are a thorough party and I consider myself a thorough person. He said that he is not happy. He is not happy that the government is unwilling to deal with aluminum.
The Premier of Quebec sees that one of Quebec's industries is struggling, and I think he would very much like to find ways to protect aluminum and our workers.
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-01-31 13:53 [p.786]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
This gives me an opportunity to say that I would love to highlight the work that the official opposition is doing with us on the aluminum file. Note my use of the word “would”. The Conservatives voted in favour of the motion, while the Bloc Québécois voted against it. Naturally, there needs to be some consistency between words and actions. That is the first thing.
The second thing is that we have the best aluminum in the world. I urge the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord to join us. We keep inviting him to join us every time we speak out, but sadly he declines.
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-01-28 14:36 [p.582]
Mr. Speaker, aluminum is crucial to our regions and to Quebec. I am talking about Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, Deschambault in Quebec's national capital region, Bécancour in central Quebec, and the North Shore, home to Alcoa and Alouette, the largest aluminum smelter not just in Canada but in North America. The aluminum sector is hugely important, but it is in jeopardy because of an agreement the Bloc Québécois is being asked to endorse without comment.
Considering what this means for the aluminum sector and the damage it will do to supply management, does the government understand the price it is making Quebec regions pay?
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2019-12-13 10:28 [p.387]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the people of Manicouagan for returning me to the House with a solid vote of confidence. I can assure them that I will serve them well and with integrity.
I have a question for my hon. colleague from Scarborough—Guildwood about an issue that affects the people of my riding. We have heard a lot about equality, about how to help people escape poverty, about development and about all the positive impacts of certain measures.
Employment insurance is a very important issue for the Bloc Québécois, but it did not come up in the throne speech. This week, we talked about sickness benefits, which are very important, vital even, no pun intended and no disrespect to people with serious illnesses. The same goes for people in seasonal jobs, such as in fisheries, tourism and forestry. Where I am from, entire communities are in jeopardy. Population drain is a real threat, and my riding is in danger.
What exactly is the government going to do?
As my colleague opposite said, our economy is going well in theory. Contributions are high. Why reduce contributions?
Why are we not investing in the EI program instead, to ensure that people currently grappling with the spring gap can have some peace of mind and celebrate Christmas like everyone else who can do so because they have good jobs that allow them to get the services they need?
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2019-12-12 14:39 [p.347]
Mr. Speaker, let me clarify the reality for the Deputy Prime Minister. The reality is that the new NAFTA is a betrayal of Quebec's aluminum workers. We are talking about Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, but also the 900 workers at Alouette in Sept-Îles. We are also talking about the 700 workers at Alcoa in Baie-Comeau, as well as families in Bécancour and Deschambault.
All those people are just as important as steel workers. All those people and their jobs deserve to be given their due. Can the government explain why steel workers' jobs are worth more than those of our aluminum workers back home?
Results: 1 - 15 of 15

Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data