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Results: 1 - 30 of 564
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I call to order the sixth meeting of the Board of Internal Economy of the 44th Parliament.
We'll start off with the minutes of the previous meeting.
Is everything okay, or do we have any comments on the minutes?
Everything seems okay, so I will continue.
Next is business arising from previous meetings.
Are there any questions?
Go ahead, Mr. Holland.
View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2022-03-03 11:01
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, I've had a lot of conversations with the member for Ottawa Centre, who has been very strong on this point. Obviously, we also have a lot of concerns with the area immediately outside of this building on Wellington Street, and have had conversations about its future. I understand, or at least it's my understanding now, that Ottawa police will have Wellington blocked off until November.
I'm wondering if it would be appropriate for a report with respect to the future of the parliamentary precinct and Wellington and any other areas. Would that be coming to PROC? Would that be coming to BOIE? I just want to make sure there is a report forthcoming and to understand where that report will be coming.
In my view, it's absolutely essential that the area of Wellington Street in front of Parliament not be open to vehicular traffic that is not related to Parliament.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I'll let Monsieur Patrice answer that question.
Michel Patrice
View Michel Patrice Profile
Michel Patrice
2022-03-03 11:02
Yes, as you pointed out, there are many discussions, and in the public domain also, in terms of the future of Wellington. It's something on which I hope we would come to this committee to give a report and have a discussion, potentially in camera.
View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2022-03-03 11:03
Thank you very much.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Very good.
I now give the floor to Mrs. DeBellefeuille.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, the minutes refer to a lot of discussions on the issue of interpreters. As Chair, you have received letters from a union and documentation. This is under the business arising from the previous meeting.
Would you prefer that we deal with all of this under the third item, the one related to the Translation Bureau, or can we ask questions while we are dealing with business arising from the previous meeting?
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I had intended for this to be discussed under the item related to the Translation Bureau.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
However, if you wish to talk about it now, you may do so.
I feel it would be easier to keep all the subjects together that—
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
I agree that it would be easier to ask our questions when we talk about the Translation Bureau.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Perfect. Thank you.
We now move to the third item, “Translation Bureau – Resources Utilisation for Simultaneous Interpretation”.
Right now I'll hand it over to Lucie Séguin.
After that, Matthew Ball will have the floor.
I don't know if any others would like to present or if they are just going to answer questions.
At the last meeting, members had a lot of questions. So I'm wondering, would it be possible to limit question time to five or six minutes. I don't want to limit questions, but I want to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to ask questions.
Please be as concise as possible when you're asking your questions. Try to keep to five or six minutes. Then we'll let the next person go, loop around again, and start over, if that's okay. Again, I'll let everyone be their own police officer and control their timing.
We begin with Mrs. DeBellefeuille.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, because I'm attending the meeting virtually, I cannot see my colleagues. Therefore, I don't know if other colleagues raised their hand before I did.
Can you please let me know if any of them would like to have the floor?
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
For now, you are the only one who wants to speak.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
All right.
I was asking because I want to give my speaking time to Mr. Julian. He didn't get to ask his questions at the last meeting, so I gave him the opportunity.
Basically, my questions are pretty simple.
Ms. Séguin, when you made your presentation, which was fascinating, we learned a lot about how the Translation Bureau works, what your responsibilities are, and what the responsibilities of the House Administration are. We had to end our meeting abruptly, and that's why you came back to testify today.
You stated that 14 incidents were identified in the House of Commons, but I believe you did not finish the breakdown into incident categories.
Can you tell us how many incidents were identified by interpreters working in committee rooms?
Lucie Séguin
View Lucie Séguin Profile
Lucie Séguin
2022-03-03 11:06
Thank you very much.
First, I would like to inform the members of the Board of Internal Economy that my colleague Matthew Ball, vice-president of interpretation services, is joining us from Winnipeg. I would also like to take a quick moment to thank our interpreters in the booth today: Cecilia, Carol and Bryce.
I thank the member for her question. Things ended a little abruptly last time. We cited the number of incident reports that were filed with the Translation Bureau. I'd like to give you the breakdown by year.
In 2019, 23 incident reports were filed. In 2020, 125 were filed, and in 2021, there were 99. The number 14 was mentioned, so we checked the information concerning Parliament. By the way, I wish to remind the members of the Board of Internal Economy that the Translation Bureau provides services not only to the House and its committees, but also the Senate, the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery and the Cabinet, among others.
Of the 99 incidents reported in 2021, 73 involved Parliament, including the Parliamentary Precinct. Next, of the 125 incidents reported in 2020, 110 were related to the clients I just mentioned, including the Senate, the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery and the Privy Council Office. In 2019, of 23 reports, 21 were related to Parliament.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
As you know, Ms. Séguin, our discussions are public and the interpreters' union is listening carefully to your comments. The Board of Internal Economy has no mandate to manage labour relations, far from it. However, we want to validate the figures we've received from the two unions representing the interpreters, be they Translation Bureau interpreters or other interpreters working within the House Administration, including freelancers, because we don't have the same breakdown. How can you explain that?
The tables that were sent to the chair and that we have all been copied on indicate that there have been 107 incidents in committee rooms. I imagine that includes both Senate and House of Commons committees. We know that there are fewer incidents in the House of Commons than in committee rooms.
Why don't you arrive at the number in the tables that were sent to the chair?
Lucie Séguin
View Lucie Séguin Profile
Lucie Séguin
2022-03-03 11:09
Thank you very much for your question.
I'd like to say that since the pandemic began, we've been meeting regularly with our union partners at the Canadian Association of Professional Employees, or CAPE, the union that represents all translators, interpreters and terminologists at the Translation Bureau. We sit with them on a health and safety committee, so we all have access to the same incident reports. The data that I gave you are the raw data. I don't have access to the methodology used by our CAPE colleagues, who may have done a more in‑depth analysis than we have.
As you know, today there are three interpreters in the booth here. We have about 50 interpreters on Parliament Hill, and with the pandemic, there are committee rooms all over the place. So I can't comment on the methodology that our colleagues at CAPE have used, but the raw data that I've provided you on the total number of incident reports should be consistent with those of our union partners because we actually share the same source of information.
View Claude DeBellefeuille Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Chair, since I don't have an overview, are there other members who have raised their hands to speak?
I imagine my five minutes is up. Do you want me to stop? If not, I'll ask more questions.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
With your permission, we'll go to Mr. Julian, and then to Mr. Brassard. You'll be able to continue afterwards.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Julian, you have the floor.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Ms. Séguin, thank you for your presentation.
My first question has to do with workplace injuries. How many cases of auditory injury have been reported by the interpreters?
Lucie Séguin
View Lucie Séguin Profile
Lucie Séguin
2022-03-03 11:11
Thank you very much for your question.
I'll turn to my colleague Matthew Ball, but first I can tell you that incident reports are filed by the employees and that the most common symptoms reported include headache, fatigue and tinnitus. The numbers I gave you are the number of incident reports.
There are currently no Translation Bureau interpreters on sick leave due to a sound‑related incident. However, about 10 of our interpreters are interpreting part time and are assigned to other related duties because of medical recommendations that they should be given rest.
I can take pause and turn it over to my colleague Mr. Ball, if he has anything to add.
Matthew Ball
View Matthew Ball Profile
Matthew Ball
2022-03-03 11:12
Thank you, Ms. Séguin.
Our reports indicate three types of injuries. Disabling injuries refer to cases where the interpreter consults a doctor and obtains a medical certificate for one day or more of leave. There are also minor injuries.
Near misses is the third type. A near miss is when no medical care has been given and there has been no time off work. For example, if an interpreter goes home, has a headache and hears a ringing in the ears, it is called a near miss because there was no medical consultation.
Last year, in 2021, out of 99 injuries, 36 injuries were disabling and 63 were near misses. There were no minor injuries. Does that answer your question?
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
Yes, thank you. It answers the question, but the numbers are different from the ones the union provided.
The union indicated that 68 injuries resulted in time off work. I would like to touch on that for a moment, because it's extremely important and I know you take it seriously as well.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
Before I became an MP, I worked with deaf and hard‑of‑hearing people. During the recent occupation in Ottawa, an entire downtown population were exposed to a noise level that must have caused permanent injury.
It's the same thing here when we talk about injuries requiring interpreters to take sick leave to recuperate. Often, these injuries can cause permanent hearing loss. For that reason, I'd like to know whether the number of interpreters who have suffered permanent hearing loss is recorded.
In addition, do they undergo periodic hearing tests, as is usually done in workplaces with variable or high noise levels? Has that process already been put in place on Parliament Hill?
Lucie Séguin
View Lucie Séguin Profile
Lucie Séguin
2022-03-03 11:15
Your question is very important. I'd first like to reiterate that the entire Translation Bureau management team is very concerned and aware of this issue. We are doing everything we can to protect the health and safety of interpreters.
A few studies have been undertaken by the bureau to help us understand the long‑term effects of exposure to less than optimal noise. In the first, the National Research Council of Canada, or NRC, helped us conduct an analysis in collaboration with our colleagues in the House of Commons. This analysis concluded that interpreters are protected in terms of sound quantity, such as acoustic shock, but that there are still some noise quality issues that need to be addressed.
Just to add to that, because there is no evidence‑based studies in Canada or internationally on long‑term effects on hearing, we have invested in two other studies. I'll turn it over to Matthew to talk about what we're doing with the University of Geneva and the University of Ottawa to get more evidence on this.
Matthew Ball
View Matthew Ball Profile
Matthew Ball
2022-03-03 11:16
Thank you, Ms. Séguin.
As the committee has just heard, we lack data and information on the effects of sound quality on interpreters' hearing. At the bureau's request, the NRC has already analyzed the sound quality that suitable for the interpreters' ears in the booth. The analysis revealed that the sound quantity was safe, but that the sound quality still needed to be improved.
The Translation Bureau is therefore finalizing a contract for audiologists from the University of Ottawa to conduct a longitudinal study of reference levels for interpreters' hearing, to follow up on time and to provide care in case of hearing damage. We are currently negotiating the terms of the contract and hope that the study can begin this spring.
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