CAPE meets with the Leader of the Official Opposition


Photo - Hon. Erin O'Toole - Click to open the Member of Parliament profile

(Photo of Hon. Erin O’Toole / courtesy of Parliament of Canada website)


February 9, 2021 - OTTAWA – On Tuesday, February 9th, a delegation from the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE) led by its President, Greg Phillips, met with Hon. Erin O’Toole - member of Parliament from Durham, Ontario - in his capacity as the Leader of the Official Opposition.  

“The meeting with Hon. O’Toole which comes six months into his role as leader of the official opposition was very important in order to raise some matters critical to our members in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath” said Mr. Phillips.  “It also upholds our association’s long-standing tradition of working with all political parties represented in Canada’s Parliament as we continue to hold the government to account for the benefit of our members.”

Topics discussed:

Canada’s economic recovery:  

CAPE raised the valuable contribution our members can play in our country’s economic recovery, emphasized the great ideas they have on how to get the economy back on track and highlighted that they stand ready to share those thoughts.  Hon. O’Toole emphasized his public pronouncement on making Canada’s post economic recovery his number one priority. He talked of a cautious and equitable approach to public finances and was looking at a decade to get the fiscal house in order.

Official languages:

CAPE raised the importance of Canada’s linguistic duality especially during teleworking. Hon. O’Toole expressed his interest in the subject including the modernization of the Official Languages Act in two areas; a complaint review process for the Commissioner/ tribunal to make that process much clearer and more transparent given the years of backlog of complaints as well as the examination by the Commissioner of services for minority language communities across the country.

Challenges interpreters are facing:

CAPE raised the ongoing challenges our interpreters have been facing since the beginning of virtual parliamentary sittings and committee hearings. Hon. O’Toole praised the interpreters for their hard work and perseverance and recognised the challenges they face in a virtual hybrid parliament. He raised the need to have the appropriate tools in parliament to help interpreters carry out their duties properly and decried the decline of French services in telework due to lack of capacity in some of the translation.

CAPE has our members’ best interest at heart. In the immediate future, our main priority is to protect their health and safety in the workplace by ensuring that all appropriate measures are in place and protocols are respected as they continue to deliver the same high-quality services to Canadians despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In attendance

From the Conservative Party of Canada:  

Hon. Erin O’Toole           Leader of the Official Opposition (MP for Durham, Ontario)
Mark Strahl                     Shadow Minister for Labour (MP for Chilliwack-Hope, BC)
Hendrik Brakel                Chief Economic Advisor
Holly Duggan                   Stakeholder Relations Advisor
Rob Pearsall                    MP Strahl’s staff

Participants from CAPE

Greg Phillips                    National President
Jennifer George              Senior Advisor to the President
Dina Epale                       Senior Advocacy and Public Affairs Advisor