CAPE advocates for its members at CLC Lobby Day

CLC lobby day

February 21, 2023 - OTTAWA – For the first time since becoming a Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) affiliate in 2021, the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE) sent a delegation to the CLC Lobby Day. As part of this annual advocacy event held this year on Tuesday, February 7, CAPE delegates met with a Senator, various cabinet ministers and other members of Parliament to raise issues affecting its membership. This was the CLC’s first Lobby Day since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   

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The CAPE delegation of six, including four members selected by the National Executive Committee out of 28 applicants, lobbied on issues such as return to the office, the Phoenix pay system, RCMP deeming and interpreters’ health and safety during a series of meetings held throughout the day on Parliament Hill. (See names of participants below.)

This year’s CLC Lobby Day was its largest since its first in 2016. The event brought together over 400 activists from 36 different unions including several from the federal public sector.

CAPE lobby priorities

Federal employees: CAPE called on parliamentarians to support remote and flexible work which has multiple benefits for all Canadians. CAPE believes federal public sector employees, whose type of work can allow it, should have the right to remote and flexible work, which will not only deliver multiple benefits for both the employer and its employees, but for all Canadians as well.

Phoenix HR & Pay system: CAPE called on parliamentarians to accelerate the replacement of the problematic Phoenix pay system – the costliest failed project in the history of the Canadian federal public sector. CAPE acknowledges that enduring and costly Phoenix-related issues continue to impact federal employees and asks that attention be maintained on accelerating its replacement as some employees continue to be overpaid, underpaid, or not paid at all.

RCMP civilians: CAPE believes RCMP civilian members should get more clarity regarding deeming and acknowledges that some divisions cultivate workplace cultures that are adversely affecting female employees. Deeming is the conversion of RCMP civilian members to federal public sector employees.

Federal interpreters: CAPE called on parliamentarians to stand up for their health and safety. CAPE has been fighting for interpreters’ health and safety, following a record number of incidents and injuries since March 2020. Everyone in government must step up to ensure a better AV system is installed and remote simultaneous guidelines are upheld to provide interpreters with a safe and healthy workplace. The government needs interpreters to meet its obligation to conduct meetings in both of Canada’s official languages. There is also the need for constant reminders even in areas where advancements have been made such as the wearing of House-approved headsets during parliamentary sessions and committee meetings.

In attendance:           

Participants from CAPE

Camille Awada                         CAPE EC and LoP National Vice-President

Annie Yeo                                   EC – Employment and Social Development Canada

Sandy Harquail                        TR – Translation Bureau

Andre Arnet-Zargarian          EC – Public Safety Canada

Tristan Bohémier                    EC – Statistics Canada

Dina Epale                                 CAPE Senior Advocacy and Public Affairs Advisor


List of Parliamentarians CAPE met with

Senator Diane Bellemare         Progressive Senate Group - Québec (Alma)

Hon. Mona Fortier                      President of the Treasury Board Secretariat

Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor   Minister of Official Languages

Hon. Anthony Rota                     Speaker of the House of Commons

Hon. Greg Fergus                        Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the

       President of the Treasury Board

Francis Drouin                             Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Bloc Québécois caucus

* Chris Rogers                           *Director of Policy (Democratic Institutions) for Hon.          

    Dominic LeBlanc (Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs,    

    Infrastructure and Communities)


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