February 14, 2022 - OTTAWA – On Monday, February 14, Greg Phillips, National President of the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE), met with Gord Johns, Canada’s New Democratic Party Critic for Mental Health and Addictions; Public Services and Procurement, seeking his support to champion the implementation of measures to protect federal interpreters’ health and safety at work.
This meeting took place as federal interpreters conclude a second year of virtual work in conditions that have continued to deteriorate. Poor sound quality causing injuries and burn out have plagued the group since March 2020, with no significant improvement despite CAPE’s countless interventions.
This culminated in a complaint issued against the Translation Bureau on February 2, 2022.
CAPE continues to work towards building more political support to see that the measures it recommended to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs in May 2020 are adopted and enforced. Also, more advocates are needed on the floor at the House of Commons since parliamentarians are daily users of interpretation services.
MP Gord Johns shared our concerns, recognized the gravity of the situation and committed to raising the issue with other parliamentarians and committees.
CAPE will continue to work with the Government and opposition parties to seek lasting solutions to address interpreters’ health and safety concerns.
From the office of the MP from Courtenay-Alberni, British Columbia
Gord Johns NDP critic for Mental Health and Addictions; Public Services and Procurement
Corinne Webber Parliamentary Assistant to Gord Johns
Participants from CAPE
Greg Phillips National President
Dina Epale Senior Advocacy and Public Affairs Advisor