CAPE meets NDP leadership to address interpreters’ health and safety risks


June 14, 2022 - OTTAWA – The working conditions of federal interpreters was the focus of a recent meeting between the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE) and the leadership of the New Democratic Party (NDP).

On Friday, June 3, CAPE President Greg Phillips met with two members of the NDP leadership – whip Rachel Blaney and House Leader Peter Julian - to talk about interpreters’ health and safety concerns and review CAPE’s proposed solutions.

The meeting came at the request of the NDP at the same time as a slew of media reports on the ongoing challenges interpreters are facing thereby marking a turning point in the two-and-a-half years saga.

Federal interpreters’ auditory safety has been jeopardized since the parliament moved all its meetings online, without the proper equipment and protocol to protect its employees. CAPE had sounded the alarm as soon as May 2020

Mr Phillips shared its frustration at the slow response and inadequate corrective measures applied since CAPE’s first appeal in 2020. The lack of meaningful solutions is having a direct impact on the work of parliamentarians and affecting the proper functioning of Canada’s democratic institution, as foreseen. It has led to the cancellation of numerous House of Commons Standing Committees just as the House nears the end of the parliamentary session before the summer break

Mr. Phillips reiterated the recommendations CAPE made in its April 13th brief to the Board of  Internal Economy (BOIE) as part of its study on the topic. The BOIE started investigating this issue on February 17th, meeting with the Translation Bureau to better assess the problem and respond adequately.

Both MPs committed to working collaboratively with CAPE to see a resolution to this issue.

CAPE continues to work with the Government and opposition parties towards building more political support to see that the recent recommendations made to the BOIE are adopted and enforced.


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In attendance

From the New Democratic Party (NDP)

Peter Julian                                              Member of Parliament and House leader

Rachel Blaney                                         Member of Parliament, Whip

Christian Brideau                                   Whip’s Special Assistant


Participants from CAPE

Greg Phillips                                           President

Jennifer George                                      Senior Advisor to the President

Katia Theriault                                       Director of Communications and Public Affairs