CAPE and Bloc Québécois MPs meet to improve interpreters’ auditory health and safety in the workplace

CAPE President Greg Phillips and Quebecois MPs

December 20, 2022 - OTTAWA – Interpreters’ health and safety was once again the focus of a recent meeting between the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE) and three Bloc Québécois members of Parliament. 

On Tuesday, December 13, CAPE President Greg Phillips met with Claude DeBellefeuille, Julie Vignola, and Louise Chabot to raise concerns over interpreters’ health and safety and review CAPE’s proposed solutions following a workplace injury which led to a freelance interpreter being transported by ambulance to the hospital. 

CAPE once again raised our ongoing concerns with federal interpreters’ auditory safety which has been jeopardized since parliamentary meetings moved online, without the proper equipment and protocol to protect its employees. CAPE sounded the alarm as early as May 2020

Mr. Phillips shared interpreters’ experiences and impacts of the hybrid mode on their health and safety as shared during CAPE’s October 6th appearance before the Standing Committee on Procedures and House Affairs as part of its “Hybrid Proceedings” study. CAPE made several recommendations including the fact that in-person meetings should be encouraged as much as possible since these are less detrimental to interpreters’ health and safety because the sound is better. 

However, as committee meetings and hybrid sessions are likely to continue, it is imperative that health impacts on our professional member employees be limited while ensuring that they can continue to work in their field. 

The MPs encouraged interpreters not to hesitate to inform any of their caucus colleagues when they feel anything may be putting their auditory health and safety on the line. All three MPs committed to continue working collaboratively with CAPE to see a resolution to their concerns. 

CAPE continues to work with the Government and opposition parties towards building more political support. 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. 

The meeting came at the request of Julie Vignola who was copied (together with the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, and all opposition critics) in a letter CAPE sent to the Acting CEO of the Translation Bureau following the freelancer workplace injury.

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In attendance

From the Bloc Québécois (BQ)


Claude DeBellefeuille

Party Whip and member of the Board of Internal Economy

Julie Vignola  

Critic for Public Services, Procurement and Government Operations and Vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates

Louise Chabot  

Human Resources, Skills Development critic

Charles Gascon

Parliamentary Assistant to MP Claude DeBellefeuille

Mathieu Paradis

Parliamentary Assistant to MP Julie Vignola

Simon Farago

Parliamentary Assistant to MP Louise Chabot

Participants from CAPE


Greg Phillips


Dina Epale  

Senior Advocacy and Public Affairs Advisor