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Results: 1 - 15 of 191
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
2022-09-29 14:04 [p.7937]
Mr. Speaker, October 1 is the International Day of Older Persons.
It is an opportunity to recognize their diversity, but also to collectively reflect on their place in our society. In this inflation crisis, let us recognize that those on a fixed income are directly affected and need to see an increase in their old age security pension starting at 65.
Let us not leave them in a precarious financial position. We should also allow those who want to remain in the workplace to do so and give them some tax breaks. The Liberals prefer to impoverish seniors 65 to 75 so they will be forced to stay in the workforce.
In the Bloc Québécois, we are saying that seniors need to be treated as the driving forces behind their community. We owe them respect. They shaped Quebec. The benefits of intergenerational ties and active aging are being proven every day.
Let us take a day to reflect on everything that seniors bring to the table. We have a duty to treat them with the utmost consideration and ensure that their social safety net allows them to age with dignity.
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
2022-09-27 15:27 [p.7816]
Mr. Speaker, in his speech, my colleague addressed the issue of dental care. What amazes me is that they are trying to see this as a solution for contributing to finances, including seniors. Does my colleague not agree that before getting their teeth taken care of, people need to eat?
The government is still refusing to give seniors what they need, in other words, help seniors who receive old age security at 65. There should not be two classes of seniors. The $110-a-month increase for seniors aged 75 and up is discriminatory and unfair. It is ageist.
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
2022-09-27 15:55 [p.7820]
Mr. Speaker, I sit with my colleague from Peterborough—Kawartha on the Standing Committee on the Status of Women and I thank her for the question. Although I am thanking her, I clearly cannot agree with her today.
Among other things, she spoke about clean oil, a term associated with greenwashing. My partner gives presentations about this and he explains that the terms “oil” and “green” do not go together. No, that does not work.
Last Friday, I participated in a march organized by Ami.e.s des boisés de Granby, who told me that the climate emergency and the need to take immediate action are real.
MC Gilles made the analogy that if you want to lose weight, you can eat at McDonald's for a few months or a few years to save money. Then you can take that money and buy salads or go to the gym. That just puts off the problem, whereas we must take action now. The climate emergency is real.
What the Conservatives are proposing, as they usually do in this matter, is a false solution to a real and much more complex problem.
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
2022-09-27 16:42 [p.7827]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
I am a little tired of hearing the same old story from the Conservatives. It is agonizing, like listening to a family member play an album with one terrible song over and over ad nauseam. Can we move on to something else?
One thing I know for sure is that the tax does not apply in Quebec, as the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands said. People do not come up to me on the street to talk about the carbon tax. What they want is concrete measures to fight inflation.
I am a little discouraged by the Liberals, who are letting things unfold without really doing anything; by the Conservatives, who are challenging the Bank of Canada's independence while calling for more restrictive monetary policy; and by the New Democrats, who want to implement measures that would only make inflation worse.
In short, I am pretty proud to represent a political party that is the grown-up in the room, a party that has put forward concrete solutions to inflation, such as dealing with the labour shortage. That is what people want to talk about, and that is what can help fight inflation.
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
2022-09-26 16:23 [p.7697]
Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her speech in which she mentioned food banks. I recently spoke with representatives of SOS Dépannage, which is located in Granby but serves the wider region.
What I am hearing about is the increase in demand. From August 2021 to August 2022, the demand for food assistance more than doubled. It is not just families who need it but also seniors, who are struggling because they are on a fixed income. One-time assistance is not the solution. Support and an increase in old age security is what is needed for all seniors, not just those aged 75 and over.
I would like my colleague to comment on that.
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
2022-09-26 17:08 [p.7703]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Victoria for her speech. However, I have a few concerns. First, when it comes to Bill C‑31, there is nothing about taking care of seniors' oral health. We are nowhere near that point.
In Quebec, children under the age of 10 are already covered by a plan. In fact, there is an election campaign under way in Quebec right now. Unions and community groups have shared their demands in the context of this election campaign that will determine the next government in the National Assembly. The elephant in the room for them is the lack of health transfers, which would allow Quebec and the provinces to implement and improve their dental care plans. We are not talking about national dental insurance, but about health transfers of up to 35%.
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
2022-09-26 17:51 [p.7709]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Kings—Hants for his speech, in which he touched on housing, which is an important issue. There is no denying that, with the ongoing inflationary crisis, this is one budget category that has grown even more than most.
Still, I am fascinated by the Liberal government's lack of long-term vision and its propensity for sending out cheques as a form of one-time support.
As the Bloc Québécois critic for seniors, I have seniors getting in touch with me to say they cannot afford enough to eat. They see inflation driving grocery prices higher and higher. Does my colleague from Kings—Hants really think that a one-time cheque for $500 will help seniors? Would it not be better to consider a long-term solution such as increasing old age security significantly and permanently? I would like my colleague to comment on that, because I honestly do not think that $500 will do much for seniors.
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
2022-09-21 15:15 [p.7484]
Mr. Speaker, first I would like to acknowledge the hon. member for Willowdale, who wanted to introduce a similar motion.
There have been discussions among the parties, and I think that you will find unanimous consent for the following motion:
That the House offer its condolences to the relatives of Mahsa Amini, from her Kurdish name Jina, a 22-year-old woman who died after being arrested in Tehran for "wearing inappropriate clothing" by the Iranian morality police, and offer its solidarity to the women of Iran who are fighting for their rights and freedoms.
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
2022-09-21 17:44 [p.7506]
Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill S-206, an act to amend the Criminal Code regarding disclosure of information by jurors, because it interests me. Last June, I listened carefully to my colleague from Rivière-du-Nord's speech on the subject, followed the debate and asked a question.
I am the vice-chair of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, and I have substituted on the Subcommittee on International Human Rights, the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security and even the Standing Committee on National Defence when they were dealing with very sensitive issues, such as rape and other types of sexual violence, so I understand the effect that this type of speech can have.
That being said, Bill S‑206 amends the Criminal Code “to provide that the prohibition against the disclosure of information relating to jury proceedings does not apply, in certain circumstances, in respect of disclosure by jurors to health care professionals”. The bill would enable jurors to disclose information that they heard during a trial or jury proceedings when consulting with a health care professional, whether it be a psychiatrist, doctor or psychologist.
The Bloc Québécois's position could not be clearer. We fully support this bill. Jurors take on a very big responsibility, and that responsibility itself can affect people who have a hard time being forced to make decisions that could change several people's lives. The juror may then be exposed to horrific testimony or evidence, compounding the trauma.
Today I want to speak from a legal perspective. I will be talking about the help that jurors need to cope with what they hear and about the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder in some cases.
I remind members that these people do not choose to become jurors. They are selected and have a legal obligation to fulfill that duty. They are not always prepared to live with what they hear. The legislator must help make this duty as painless as possible. Some jurors have their lives upended and are left to deal with their trauma alone. The government has a responsibility to these people.
Furthermore, if the juror feels the need to consult a professional who can help them overcome the trauma they have experienced, that professional is also bound by professional confidentiality requirements. Currently, section 649 of the Criminal Code makes it a criminal offence for jurors to disclose non-public information about the trial they are sitting on. The section states:
Every member of a jury, and every person providing technical, personal, interpretative or other support services to a juror with a physical disability, who, except for the purposes of
(a) an investigation of an alleged offence under subsection 139(2) in relation to a juror, or
(b) giving evidence in criminal proceedings in relation to such an offence,
discloses any information relating to the proceedings of the jury when it was absent from the courtroom that was not subsequently disclosed in open court is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
The jury secrecy rule, also known as “Lord Mansfield's rule”, is a cornerstone of common law and the British criminal justice system, which I heard about while studying law. The rule not only protects members of the jury, it also protects the integrity of the deliberation process and the validity of the decision.
Jurors' contribution to a trial is an important one. It strengthens public trust in the justice system because decisions are not made in an insular fashion by a single individual mechanically interpreting the law. The jury's importance has been noted and commented on in many different rulings, but one of the most eloquent was written by Justice L'Heureux‑Dubé, who neatly summed it up as follows:
The jury, through its collective decision making, is an excellent fact finder; due to its representative character, it acts as the conscience of the community; the jury can act as the final bulwark against oppressive laws or their enforcement; it provides a means whereby the public increases its knowledge of the criminal justice system and it increases, through the involvement of the public, societal trust in the system as a whole.
Lord Mansfield's rule is guided by three principles. There are three main rationales for the jury secrecy rule.
The first rationale is that “confidentiality promotes candour and the kind of full and frank debate that is essential to this type of collegial decision making. While searching for unanimity, jurors should be free to explore out loud all avenues of reasoning without fear of exposure to public ridicule, contempt or hatred”.
The second rationale is “the need to ensure finality of the verdict. Describing the verdict as the product of a dynamic process, the court emphasized the need to protect the solemnity of the verdict, as the product of the unanimous consensus which, when formally announced, carries the finality and authority of a legal pronouncement”.
Similarly, the rule also seeks to ensure that the “deliberations remain untainted by contact with information or individuals from outside the jury”.
The third rationale is “the need to protect jurors from harassment, censure and reprisals...This in turn is dependent, at the very minimum, on a system that ensures the safety of jurors, their sense of security, as well as their privacy”.
Allowing a juror to consult a mental or physical health professional is not likely to violate any of these principles. This was also the view expressed by Vanessa MacDonnell of the Canadian Criminal Lawyers' Association while testifying before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in 2018. We have been discussing this for four years. She specifically said: “For many of the concerns that animate the juror secrecy rule, such as the desire for decisions to be final, the desire to preserve the integrity of the deliberation process, and preventing jurors from being subsequently harassed, none of those concerns are really at play if you create a narrow exception”. That argument is even stronger should the therapy take place after the trial has ended.
Bearing in mind the importance of helping jurors, the strongest argument in favour of relaxing the jury secrecy rule is the fact that physical and mental health care professionals are members of professional associations and are bound by the professional confidentiality obligations set out in their association's codes of conduct.
Quebec's Professional Code, chapter C‑26, sets out strict guidelines for professionals who are likely to come in contact with personal and confidential information. Division III of this legislation reserves the titles of certain professions for registered members of the relevant professional order who have a valid permit. This is the case for social workers, psychologists, human resource advisers and psychoeducators.
Section 60.4 of that legislation states that every professional must preserve the secrecy of all confidential information except in certain circumstances. If a professional is being sued by their client, they can sometimes disclose information that is required for their defence, even if such information is confidential. Furthermore, a professional can disclose confidential information “with the authorization of his client or where so ordered or expressly authorized by law...in order to prevent an act of violence, including a suicide, where he has reasonable cause to believe that there is a serious risk of death or serious bodily injury threatening a person or an identifiable group of persons and where the nature of the threat generates a sense of urgency”.
In all of these scenarios, the professional can disclose only information that is relevant to the situation at hand.
It would be surprising if highly specific details of witness testimony or court proceedings had to be shared in the case of any of these exceptions. The legislation specifically states that the “professional must furnish and at all times maintain security to cover any liability he may incur because of any fault committed in the practice of his profession”.
Additional privacy protections are also included, namely the fact that the “professional must respect the right of his client to cause to be corrected any information that is inaccurate, incomplete or ambiguous with regard to the purpose for which it was collected, contained in a document concerning him in any record established in his respect. He must also respect the right of his client to cause to be deleted any information that is outdated or not justified by the object of the record, or to prepare written comments and file them in the record”.
There are similar codes of conduct in the other Canadian provinces, including Ontario, Manitoba and New Brunswick. There is also a Canadian code of ethics that takes into account the provinces' legislation and regulations.
Let us talk about post-traumatic stress disorder. There have been countless media reports about jurors developing PTSD after sitting through gruesome trials. The case of young Victoria Stafford is one example.
In conclusion, I am well aware that the trauma jurors go through can lead to PTSD. Jurors themselves have said the horrific cases they heard left them scarred. There is also the case of Mark Farrant, who was a juror on a murder trial involving a young woman who had been severely burned.
As a student at the CEGEP de Jonquière in 2011, I researched PTSD in the armed forces. The consequences can take a toll on family members, in the form of alcoholism, violence or mental health problems. We need to realize that and take action as a society.
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
2022-09-20 15:23 [p.7432]
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Winnipeg-North for his speech. I am going to need some clarification. I was speaking just this morning with Marie‑Christine Hon of the Dynamique des handicapés de Granby et région.
She has been working with people with disabilities for a long time. She knows her stuff. She explained to me that she has looked at the bill. As much as she has read it over and over again, some questions still remain in her mind. Far too many things are left undefined in the bill. As my colleague from Thérèse-De Blainville so aptly said this morning, the devil is in the details, and they are not there in the bill. I would therefore appreciate it if my colleague could enlighten me on that.
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
2022-09-20 16:07 [p.7439]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from King—Vaughan for her speech and for sharing her own experiences.
I myself had an uncle who was in a motorcycle accident when he was 19, and it had long-lasting effects. He lived with disabilities for the rest of his life. These experiences leave a mark.
Getting back to Bill C‑22, I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on an important topic that she touched on briefly. Quebec has a significant social safety net in place, so this bill must complement the programs that exist already and must not override them. The measures in the bill must also respect the jurisdictions of the federal government, Quebec and the provinces.
I would like to hear her thoughts on these two big and very important points that remain to be clarified in Bill C‑22.
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
2022-09-20 16:57 [p.7446]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Peace River—Westlock for his speech.
I want to tell him that, as a Quebecker, I value the right to die with dignity, and I support the non-partisan work that was done in Quebec in that regard. The intellectual shortcut he took from Bill C-22 to the issue of euthanasia is extremely dangerous.
That said, I have a question for the hon. member. The study of Bill C‑22's predecessor, Bill C-35, ended a year ago when the election was called. Incidentally, today also marks the first anniversary of my re-election as the member for Shefford. I want to once again thank the voters in my riding for placing their trust in me.
At present, Bill C‑22 provides for three years of consultations. That is a long time for persons with a disability who need help immediately and who are being affected by inflation right now.
I also want to remind my colleague that I am very involved with disability organizations. My partner and I have done a lot of volunteer work, and a member of my family had a disability and passed away.
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
2022-09-20 17:48 [p.7454]
Madam Speaker, I have many concerns as I rise to speak to Bill C-22 to provide financial support to Canadians with disabilities, as proposed by the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion in June 2022.
My uncle Denis became disabled at the age of 19 following a serious motorcycle accident. He passed away last year, in September 2021, and I am thinking of him. I am very sensitive to the situation of persons with disabilities and their caregivers because my family took care of my uncle.
Furthermore, my partner works for a community organization, the Association des personnes handicapées physiques de Brome‑Missisquoi, which advocates for universal accessibility. To quote the slogan created by University of Montreal students for persons with disabilities, “that's not asking for much”.
This was confirmed by the director of Dynamique des handicapés de Granby et région, Marie‑Christine Hon, whom I salute. According to her, far too many persons with disabilities are still very vulnerable and live in poverty, and they need more than just words. My speech has three components: a summary of Bill C‑22, a few interesting statistics, and some elements that need clarification.
On September 23, 2020, the government made a commitment in the throne speech to establish Canada's first-ever disability inclusion action plan, which includes a new Canada disability benefit for people with disabilities, modelled on the guaranteed income supplement for seniors; a robust employment strategy for Canadians with disabilities, with a focus on training, employment supports, barrier removal and the business case for disability inclusion; and a new, inclusive process to determine eligibility for federal government disability programs and benefits, one that reflects a modern understanding of disability. It looks good on paper, but there is no concrete plan in place.
The objective of Bill C‑22 is to improve the financial situation of working-age Canadians with disabilities and to fix some holes in Canada's social safety net, which includes old age security, the guaranteed income supplement—which I talk about a lot as the critic for seniors—and the Canada child benefit.
Bill C‑22 also helps Canada meet its international obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and helps position Canada as a leader in the area of protecting people with disabilities. with disabilities. Again, it looks good on paper, but there is still a lot of work to do to get there.
Let us not forget that in June 2021, in the 43rd Parliament, the Liberals introduced Bill C‑35. Bill C‑22 is the reintroduction of Bill C‑35, which was scrapped when the election was called by the Liberals themselves, one year ago.
Bill C‑35 did not make it past first reading. Nevertheless, for the purposes of bringing in a benefit for persons with disabilities, meeting the objectives of Bill C‑35 and setting out the terms of this benefit, the government unblocked a $11.9-million budget to lay the foundation to reform an eligibility process for federal benefits and programs for persons with disabilities. Round tables were organized among various organizations and representatives of disability communities and an online poll was created to poll the interested public. Still, organizations back home said that they had not been informed of the existence of this bill.
Canada already has a benefit to help minor persons with disabilities, in other words the family benefit. As others have said, there are also measures to help seniors. Bill C‑22 seeks to fill the gap persons with disabilities find themselves in when they reach the age of majority. They fall into this gap when they enter the workforce until the day they retire.
Some measures have already been put in place to ease the financial burden of people with disabilities, but those measures are often woefully inadequate to give them a decent standard of living. There are still far too many grey areas that need clarifying, including the much-talked-about issue of working-age persons with disabilities. Ms. Hon talked to me about it again this morning on the phone.
The disability tax credit is a non-refundable tax credit that enables the recipient to reduce their income taxes. The problem is that, in Quebec, so many people do not see themselves as having a disability and therefore do not claim the assistance available to them. There are many reasons for this reality that we see at our office. As my assistant can attest, people who have gone their whole lives without having health problems and who end up sick all of a sudden do not know where to go to get help or do not want help. Some do not know that their state of health is recognized as a disability. Some think that the process is much too complicated because the tax credits are non-refundable, and others are not even entitled to the tax credits because they do not earn enough to claim them.
Ms. Hon condemned these situations when she spoke with me. I remind members that just one automatic $600 payment was made in 2020 during the pandemic, even though people with disabilities were disproportionately affected by the health crisis. There are programs, but they are not well known, especially in Quebec.
Allow me to share some figures. Twenty-two per cent of Canadians live with a disability. In Quebec, 37% of people with disabilities have an annual income of less than $15,000, which does not go very far. One in four Canadians with disabilities live below the poverty line and 41% of Canadians living in poverty are people with disabilities.
Eighty-nine per cent of Canadians and 91% of Quebeckers say they are in favour of a disability benefit. Fifty-nine per cent of Canadians believe that people with disabilities do not have access to sufficient resources to afford them a good quality of life.
Just 59% of Canadians with disabilities between the ages of 25 to 64 are employed, compared to 80% of Canadians without a disability. Canadians with disabilities aged 25 to 64 earn less than Canadians without a disability. Canadians with mild disabilities earn 12% less and Canadians with more serious disabilities earn 51% less. These figures speak for themselves.
I also appreciate the Association Granby pour la déficience intellectuelle et l'autisme, which works very hard to help people with intellectual disabilities and autism perform tasks, keep busy, and do meaningful work that gives them a sense of accomplishment every day. I applaud the whole team.
As the status of women critic, I am well aware that living with a disability adds another challenging layer to the lives of women, indigenous individuals and members of cultural and minority communities. Figuring out how to ensure their financial security is urgent, especially in light of the fact that the rising cost of living, inflation and the housing shortage are making the day-to-day lives of people with disabilities even harder.
As my colleague mentioned, Guillaume Parent, director of the Centre d'expertise finances et handicap Finautonome, is pleased with the announcement of Bill C‑22, but he does have some concerns about it, including the cultural and linguistic differences between Quebec and Canada. That leads to confusion in the application of the bill. My colleague from Thérèse-De Blainville did a good job of explaining that this morning.
A number of other details still need to be worked out regarding how the benefit will be applied. Quebeckers claim half as much of the federal disability tax credit as other provinces. All of this means that Canadians have mixed feelings about the promise of a new disability benefit.
Although we are excited about and support this initiative, we are wondering when it will actually see the light of day. There is talk of another three years of consultations. Three years is a long time, especially when the previous bill was delayed because the government sabotaged it by calling an election. On top of that, the House of Commons shut down for the summer.
There are concerns that these measures are being introduced too late, especially for those in financial difficulty who are still caught up in the aftermath of the pandemic. Some unions in Canada and several disability rights groups are also skeptical about the effectiveness of the benefit because of the lack of detail in the bill and how long it is going to take to implement it.
In conclusion, we could say that we will vote for the principle of Bill C‑22. However, we must be aware of the fact that the bill is still very problematic. We want to support people with disabilities, but the lack of information about the details of the benefit is very problematic. In a recent survey, 89% of Canadians responded that introducing a Canadian benefit for persons with disabilities is a good thing, and that the country should take action to drastically reduce poverty among the disabled. I would go further. Personally, that is my political commitment. I am a big believer in equality of opportunity.
I would like to say one last little thing. Let us help persons with disabilities keep their head above water. We must absolutely avoid piecemeal measures. Let us work to ensure that persons with disabilities have a decent income that lets them live with dignity and fully take their place in our society.
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
2022-09-20 17:59 [p.7455]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
I will remind him once again, as did my colleague from Thérèse-De Blainville, that it is important that the bill respect provincial jurisdictions. It must complement and not take away from provincial programs. Quite frankly, it is about time that the federal government respect the fact that many of these aspects fall under Quebec's jurisdiction and that this province is a model in terms of equal opportunity and social safety net.
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
2022-06-23 14:15 [p.7236]
Mr. Speaker, I am awfully proud that one of our wonderful homegrown organizations has gained recognition outside Quebec. At the annual Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada awards, La Brunante won the small co-operative of the year award, which recognizes the unique impact of a co-operative on a community.
Established in 2003, La Brunante is a fantastic model of a solidarity housing co-operative for seniors in the village of Racine in the Eastern Townships. The model has gained momentum. Over the years, La Brunante has forged an international reputation, even giving three presentations on seniors and aging to the World Health Organization.
I had a chance to visit the co-operative, where I witnessed how well the “aging in place together” model works. Seniors there have opportunities to share their knowledge and know-how. By helping one another, seniors continue to feel useful.
I have to hand it to two of La Brunante's founders, Gaston Michaud and his partner, Mariette Bombardier. They have enabled so many seniors to grow old with dignity. I heartily congratulate them on this well-deserved award.
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