Translation Bureau: Standing Committee on Official Languages—February 16, 2021

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Translation Bureau overview

Created in 1934, the Translation Bureau is the federal government’s centre of excellence in linguistic services (translation, interpretation, terminology):

Government of Canada demand

Operational highlights for 2019 to 2020

Official languages responsibilities

Under the Official Languages Act, responsibilities are well defined and shared among several federal government organizations:

The 2018 to 2023 Action Plan for Official Languages recognizes the importance of the Translation Bureau as support for Canada's linguistic duality by safeguarding the quality of language in the public service. Public Services and Procurement Canada and the Translation Bureau are not mentioned in the Official Languages Act (under review).

Minister responsibilities

The Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada shall:

Authority provided in paragraph 6(i) of the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act.

Linguistic services: 100% optional

Under the Common Services Policy, all Translation Bureau services are optional.

Translation

Translation, post-editing and revision:

Interpretation

Interpretation, including sign language interpretation, closed captioning, speech reading and the interpretation accreditation process:

Terminology and language portal

Terminology: made available to clients through a web tool called Termium:

The Language Portal of Canada is available online to all Canadians and public servants:

Linguistic services during the pandemic

Modernized vision

“The translation service industry is undergoing more than a digital transformation; it is being effectively revolutionized by the combined forces of technology, geolinguistics, and market pressure on time, cost and quality”—The Language Data Network (TAUS)

GClingua

A new model to deliver quality

The Translation Bureau is implementing a new, quality based business model that has 2 key components:

One of the major projects of the new business model is the replacement of the Translation Bureau’s aging technology platform.

The following list elucidates the steps in how GClingua functions from beginning to end:

Phased implementation

A gradual and careful implementation by running the 2 systems in parallel:

Partners for interpretation services

Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE):

International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC):

Professional associations:

Interpretation capacity for Parliament

Table 1: Official language staff interpreters
Status Employees
Available to interpret full-time 48
Available to interpret part-time/part-time modified duties (due to sound) 5
Full-time modified duties (due to sound) 1
Leave unrelated to sound (such as maternity leave) 5  
Modified duties unrelated to sound 2
Sick leave due to sound 2
Total official language staff interpreters 63
Note

In total, the Translation Bureau has 74 staff interpreters:

Table 2: Official language freelance interpreters: Parliament
Status Interpreters
Number of official language freelancers with open contract for Parliament 76

Hearing Protection Program for Translation Bureau interpreters

Background

Since the introduction of remote interpretation, interpreters have been increasingly reporting acoustic incidents in the course of their work. In September 2019, the Translation Bureau (TB) decided to develop a Hearing Protection Program for staff interpreters.

The situation worsened with the COVID-19 pandemic, and since March, interpreters have been reporting acoustic injuries on a regular basis. Interpreters are often faced with poor sound quality that affects their ability to understand what the speaker is saying. This forces them to turn up the volume and expose themselves to potentially dangerous sound levels.

Program objective

The objectives of the Hearing Protection Program are to:

The program

The Hearing Protection Program includes a set of initiatives to protect the hearing health of interpreters and create safe working conditions.

These initiatives fall into 2 categories:

Current research projects
Measures taken by the Translation Bureau
Expected results

The results of the research/studies conducted as part of the hearing protection program will help establish clear parameters for the work of interpreters in a virtual context on a national scale. It will also make it possible to implement concrete initiatives aimed at ensuring safe working conditions for TB staff interpreters and ultimately for all those who work as interpreters across the country.

Research projects
Measures

Occupational health and safety reports

Context

Staff interpreters are required to report hazardous incidents. The shift to virtual and hybrid events in March 2020 resulted in changes to interpreters’ working conditions, in particular sound quality. This has translated in an increase in hazardous occurrence investigation reports filed by Translation Bureau (TB) interpreters to Public Services and Procurement Canada’s (PSPC) Occupational Health and Safety Directorate.

Since January 2020, 46 staff interpreters filed a total of 141 reports related to sound quality and 15 filed a total of 30 reports involving an injury that required time off work.

Table 3: Types of injuries reported relating to sound quality
Type of injuries Total
Disabling injuries (requiring time off work of any duration or modified duties) 30
Minor injuries not requiring time off work (requiring medical treatment outside of first aid) 1
Near miss or reported injury that was not disabling or minor 110
Total 141
Table 4: Summary of most common injury reported (Note that a report may include multiple injuries)
Type of incident/ injury Total
Undue fatigue 66
Tinnitus 42
Headache 65
Earache 24
Hypersensitivity 9

Procurement process for interpretation

Context

The Translation Bureau (TB) relies on the freelancer community to ensure it has the capacity to deliver interpretation services.

Current contract with freelance interpreters

TB has seen a significant increase in remote interpretation since the beginning of the pandemic. As a result, in December 2020, a contract amendment to the current open contract was issued to include remote interpretation working conditions retroactive to May 2020.

Next iteration of open contract

A new open contract for interpretation is being developed in consultation with the interpreter community and will come into effect on July 1, 2021. Public Services and Procurement Canada’s Procurement Branch is leading a request for information (RFI) process posted on buy and sell on February 5, 2021.

Between September 2020 and January 2021, TB has held multiple meetings for the procurement working group, which includes representatives of the freelance community. In addition, on January 15 2021, TB hosted an information session for all official language freelance interpreters to hear their views, share information and answer questions related to the amendment to the current contract, and the development of the open contract that will come into effect on July 1, 2021.

Translation Bureau virtual interpretation capacity

Context

The Translation Bureau (TB) continues to work with the House administration and all partners to support Parliament’s virtual sittings while ensuring the health and safety of its interpreters.

Suggested response

If pressed on freelance contracts:

If pressed on interpreter health and safety:

If pressed on interpretation capacity:

If pressed on contracting tools:

Background

Since the beginning of the pandemic, TB has worked closely with the House administration in the implementation of virtual committee sittings.

TB’s operations have been altered to respond to parliamentary needs. Conditions have improved over time and the collaboration continues in order to find a sustainable solution to reduce the risk of interpretation service interruptions due to the technology used by remote participants.

Certain criteria must be met in order for remote interpretation to work. These include:

These criteria are needed to establish optimal conditions so that interpreters can provide high-quality service in a safe environment. Abiding by these criteria will not completely eliminate the risk of interpretation service interruptions due to the technology used by remote participants, but it will greatly reduce this risk and help ensure the best possible interpretation.

Contracts with freelance interpreters

TB has seen a significant increase in remote interpretation since the beginning of the pandemic. As a result, in December 2020 a contract amendment was issued to include remote interpretation working conditions retroactive to May 2020.

A new open contract for interpretation is being developed in consultation with the interpreter community and will come into effect on July 1, 2021. PSPC Procurement Branch is leading a request for information (RFI) process posted on buy and sell on February 5, 2021.

Over the months prior to the posting of the RFI, TB hosted a number of consultation meetings with freelance interpreters to hear their views, share information and answer questions related to the amendment to the current contract, and the development of the open contract that will come into effect on July 1, 2021.

These procurement processes are important for TB’s capacity to deliver services due to its reliance on the freelancer community.

Translation Bureau health and safety

With the increased use of videoconferences, there has been an increase in incident reports from interpreters, including headaches, earaches and fatigue due to poor sound quality.

On September 28, 2020, the Hill Times reported that a new international study places Canada among the countries with the highest rate of acoustic shock incidents suffered by language interpreters.

TB has provided its interpreters with headsets with sound limiters to protect against acoustic shock and implemented a series of hygiene and physical distancing measures. In addition, TB requires its clients to take technical measures that promote not only the health of its interpreters but also high-quality interpretation. These include having a qualified audiovisual technician present at all times, remote participants’ use of good quality headsets with built-in microphones, using a stable broadband internet connection, and providing documents to interpreters before or at the start of meetings.

TB’s approach is aligned with international best practices, including the International Association of Conference Interpreters principles, guidance for institutions and best practices. TB is seen as a leader in the field.

Research studies

TB currently has 3 studies underway to look at technology, sound quality and interpreters’ auditory health. These include:

Translation Bureau quality measures

Context

The Translation Bureau (TB) remains focused on ensuring the quality of its translation and interpretation services.

Suggested response

If pressed on the quality of translations:

If pressed on recommendations from the commissioner of Official Languages (COL):

Background

Public Services and Procurement Canada’s (PSPC) TB has made significant strides towards ensuring linguistic quality. A Quality Evaluation Framework was developed for both translation and interpretation, and a stringent quality assurance process is in place.

TB has continued to provide its usual level of service to the Parliament of Canada, departments and the judiciary throughout the pandemic. All translation, interpretation and terminology services in official, foreign and Indigenous languages, as well as sign language interpretation and captioning services, remain available according to the usual procedures.

On October 29, 2020, the COL published his report entitled A Matter of Respect and Safety: The Impact of Emergency Situations on Official Languages, which contains his findings on official languages issues in times of crisis. The first recommendation is that TB and federation institutions “develop and implement an action plan to ensure that tools and structures are in place to facilitate drafting and simultaneous delivery of emergency communications in both official languages.” As an optional service, TB is continuing to work with client departments to ensure that linguistic needs are met. Further, the implementation of its new business model will further respond to the COL recommendation by:

Appearance before the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs: How the Translation Bureau supports a virtual Parliament

April 28, 2020

Ottawa, Ontario

Opening statement by Nathalie Laliberté

Vice-President, Service to Parliament and Interpretation, Translation Bureau, Public Services and Procurement Canada

(Check against delivery)

Introduction

Good morning/Good afternoon, Madam Chair and members of the committee.

My name is Nathalie Laliberté and I am Vice-President, Service to Parliament and Interpretation, at the Translation Bureau (TB), Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC). With me today is my colleague, Matthew Ball, Director of Interpretation and Chief Interpreter.

I would like to thank you for this invitation to participate in your work concerning virtual sittings of Parliament. TB is mandated to provide linguistic services for these sittings and we are happy to share our views with the committee. I would like to specify, however, that our services do not cover technical support during the sittings.

Mandate and vision

As you know, under the Translation Bureau Act, we are responsible for providing services to both Houses of Parliament and to federal departments and agencies in all matters related to the making and revising of translations from one language into another of documents, and to terminology and interpretation. We provide high-quality linguistic services in the 2 official languages, Indigenous and foreign languages, and sign languages.

TB plays a vital role in implementing the Official Languages Act. This role makes TB a key player in communications with the public, the language of work in the public service, and the advancement of English and French in Canadian society.

We have developed a clear vision to guide our future as a centre of excellence in linguistic services for the Government of Canada and, since 2017, we have been following through on our plan. For example:

Response to COVID

We are applying the same forward-looking approach as we adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since mid-March, as you have seen, we have continued to focus on carrying out our mandate and helping Parliament meet its responsibility concerning the interpretation of proceedings and the translation of documents.

That being said, we have the same issue with reduced capacity as the rest of government. Luckily for us, translation lends itself particularly well to telework, and we have been able to maintain our services while having our translators work from home.

As for interpretation—which is the focus of our discussions today—TB has been providing this service since 1959 and throughout the years we have been successfully maintaining our services through the dedication of our outstanding employees and freelancers. In this period of pandemic, given the technical requirements of interpretation, interpreters must continue to work on site in Parliament. However, I can assure you that their health is a top priority and we have carefully applied expert advice to protect them:

Why did we not just let the interpreters work from home, you ask? We started to explore this possibility, but remote interpretation poses major challenges.

Criteria for remote interpretation

We use the term “remote interpretation” when 1 or more participants are not in the same location as the interpreters. In recent years, the increasing popularity and accessibility of videoconferencing has led to an ever-growing demand for remote interpretation.

In response to this demand, TB began conducting its own tests and studying international best practices. However, the sudden onset of the pandemic forced us to step up our efforts, and for the last few weeks we have been actively working on this matter in collaboration with the House administration.

We have determined that certain criteria must be met in order for remote interpretation to work. These include the following:

These criteria are needed to establish the optimal conditions so that interpreters can provide high-quality service in a safe environment. Abiding by these criteria will not completely eliminate the risk of interpretation service interruptions due to the technology used by remote participants, but it will greatly reduce this risk and help ensure the best possible interpretation.

The criteria on sound quality are particularly important, since sound is the cornerstone of interpretation. For example, if the sound quality is poor, an interpreter may mix up the words “symptomatic” and “asymptomatic,” which completely changes the message. Furthermore, poor sound quality puts interpreters at risk. In the last 2 years, around 20 health and safety incidents have been reported involving sound issues during teleconferences.

As regards the human resources required to provide interpretation at virtual sittings, TB will have to augment its teams of interpreters: variations in sound quality mean interpreters have to concentrate harder, which means they have to work shorter shifts, which means we need to assign more interpreters per sitting. However, we will make every effort to meet this need.

Conclusion

Madam Chair, members of the committee, our mission is clear: we are here to serve Parliament, and we are doing our best to respond to the call. We are committed to pursuing our collaboration with the House administration and all our partners to help ensure that a virtual Parliament runs smoothly.

TB is proud to be able to help Parliament continue its essential work during this crisis. And we are proud to help the Government of Canada share the information Canadians need to stay healthy and up to date on what is happening in English, French American Sign Language and Quebec Sign Language.

I would like to specifically commend our official language and sign language interpreters for the incredible work they are doing every day at the press conferences held by the Prime Minister and the Public Health Agency. This crisis has shone a spotlight on their excellent work, and we are grateful for their dedication.

To close, I would like to thank the interpreters at this meeting. In addition, thank you to all the employees who work behind the scenes to make important meetings like this one possible, despite the difficult circumstances we find ourselves in. And a special thank you to our invaluable partners at the House Multimedia Service and at the Committees Directorate: I am sure you appreciate their efforts and expertise as much as I do.

Lastly, thank you, Madam Chair, members of the committee, for your attention and your interest in our services. Matthew and I would be happy to answer your questions.

Speaking notes for the Senate Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration

June 25, 2020

Hello. My name is Lucie Séguin. I am the Chief Executive Officer of Public Services and Procurement Canada’s Translation Bureau (TB). It is a pleasure for me and my colleague, Nathalie Laliberté, Vice-President of Services to Parliament and Interpretation, to join Ms. Piccinin here today and give you an update on translation services.

The committee’s advisory working group recommended that such an update be given once a year, and we are happy to fulfill that recommendation. Indeed, TB last appeared before the committee in May 2019.

TB’s vision is to be a centre of excellence in linguistic services. Our pursuit of excellence is built on close collaboration with our clients in order to fully understand and meet their needs.

With that goal in mind, Nathalie and I have met with several honourable senators, including some members of the committee, to get their feedback and identify opportunities for improvement.

I would like to highlight the excellent work TB and the Senate have done over the past few years in addressing the honourable senators’ concerns and ensuring they receive the highest standard of service. This work is summarized in the report “Quality in Translation and Interpretation,” which we have submitted to the committee.

The pandemic has in no way weakened our resolve to provide the Senate with good service. We have implemented strict sanitary measures to safeguard our employees against contamination while continuing to provide our services.

In addition, given the growing popularity of virtual sittings, we have compiled a list of criteria that must be met in order to ensure the quality of interpretation during sittings and protect the health of interpreters. These criteria include:

Following these recommendations will not completely eliminate the risk of service interruption but will reduce it considerably.

I would like to thank the Committee, all the honourable senators, and particularly Ms. Piccinin and the Senate staff for their cooperation in our ongoing effort to provide the Senate with linguistic services of the highest quality.

Response to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs: April 2020

Question taken on notice:

Increase in injury or fatigue incident reports among interpreters since the beginning of virtual meetings.

The Translation Bureau (TB) works closely with the administration of the House of Commons and the Senate, as well as with its other partners—notably its private sector suppliers—to provide interpretation for parliamentary sittings, including those done virtually. TB is not responsible for providing technological support for these sessions.

From January 1, 2019 to March 15, 2020, there was one report of a disabling injury and one report of a minor injury. Both employees are now recovered and have returned to work. Both incidents were a result of traditional (in person) interpretation. During the same time period, there were 28 other hazardous occurrences reported related to poor sound quality (for example: feedback, high-pitched noises, interference) and that resulted in fatigue, headaches, and hearing sensitivity. Two of these hazardous occurrences were related to remote interpretation (teleconferences), while the remainder were related to traditional interpretation.

With increased use of videoconferences over the last 2 months, there has been an increase in incident reports from interpreters, including headaches, earaches and fatigue due to poor sound quality. No acoustic shock or other injury requiring hospitalization has been reported.

From March 16, 2020 to April 29, 2020, there were no reported disabling or minor injuries. There were 39 other hazardous occurrences reported that related to poor sound quality that resulted, most commonly, in headaches, hearing sensitivities, and fatigue. Fourteen of those hazardous occurrences were related to teleconferences; 25 were related to videoconferences.

The health and safety of employees is a priority for TB, and it has taken measures to protect its employee interpreters who are working during the pandemic.

For instance, TB has provided its interpreters with headsets with sound limiters to protect against acoustic shock and implemented a series of hygiene and physical distancing measures. In addition, TB requires its clients to take technical measures that promote not only the health of its interpreters but also high-quality interpretation. These include having a qualified audiovisual technician present at all times, remote participants’ use of good quality headsets with built-in microphones and good quality internet connections, and the provision documents to interpreters in advance of meetings.

TB’s approach aligns very closely to international best practices, including the International Association of Conference Interpreters principles, guidance for institutions and best practices.

Committee profile

Emmanuel Dubourg, Liberal Party of Canada, Chair

Emmanuel Dubourg

Constituency:

Bourassa (Quebec)

Profession/Occupation:

Chartered professional accountant, teacher

First elected as Member of Parliament in 2013.

Biography (from the political party’s website)

Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant with an Executive Master of Business Administration, Emmanuel Dubourg was a manager in the federal public service for 20 years.

An international tax and audit consultant, as well as a guest speaker, he taught at several institutions before making the jump first to Quebec politics and then to federal politics. In 2017, he celebrated his 10th year of political life.

Roles as parliamentarian of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Private member’s business of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Question period of interest to Canadian Heritage
Written questions of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Main interests

The Standing Committee on Official Languages will be the first committee in which Emmanuel Dubourg will take part. Being a professor by profession he could direct his questions on education.

Terry Duguid, Liberal Party of Canada

Terry Duguid

Constituency:

Winnipeg South (Manitoba)

Profession/Occupation:

Environmental consultant, executive, community activist

First elected as Member of Parliament in 2015.

Biography (from the political party’s website)

Terry Duguid was first elected as a Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South in 2015.

With a diverse background in civic government, business, and environmental leadership, Mr. Duguid has shown a strong commitment to public service throughout his career. In 1997, he founded Sustainable Developments International, a firm specializing in environmental management, sustainable development, transportation, and international affairs consulting. In 2000, he was named Chairman of the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission, and, in 2004, he became President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the International Centre for Infectious Diseases, a non-profit research organization he helped to create.

In addition to his professional career, Mr. Duguid has devoted considerable time and effort to his community. He served as Executive Director of the Manitoba Climate Change Task Force in 2001, as Chair of the Nature Task Force in 2003, and as a member of the Manitoba Emissions Trading Task Force in 2004.

Mr. Duguid has a lifelong interest in science and its role in the betterment of society. He earned first-class honours while obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree in biology, and holds a Master of Environmental Design degree focused on tackling the crucial issues of water quality, ozone depletion, and acid rain.

He and his wife Linda have 2 daughters.

Roles as parliamentarian of interest to Canadian Heritage
Parliamentary Secretary

2019-12-12 to present: Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Western Economic Diversification Canada) and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (Canada Water Agency).

2017-01-28 to 2018-12-12: Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women.

Private member’s business of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Question period of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Written questions of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Main interests

Having been Parliamentary Secretary for the Status of Women in the past, he could focus his questions on gender equality and Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+).

Marie-France Lalonde, Liberal Party of Canada

Marie-France Lalonde

Constituency:

Orleans (Ontario)

Profession/Occupation:

Social worker, entrepreneur, politician

First elected as Member of Parliament in 2019.

Biography (from the political party’s website)

Marie-France Lalonde represented the riding of Orléans as member of Provincial Parliament from 2014 to 2019 for the Liberal Party of Ontario. She served as Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, and as Minister of Francophone Affairs. She was previously Minister of Government and Consumer Services. Prior to that, she was Chief Government Whip, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, focusing on economic development, and to the minister responsible for Francophone Affairs.

With a degree in social work from the University of Québec in Hull, she put her leadership and skills to work in a career that began at the Children’s Aid Society, followed by the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the Ottawa Hospital.

Throughout the last decade, Lalonde continued her career in caring for people and became the co-owner and executive director of the Portobello Manor retirement residence in Orléans. Lalonde opened Portobello Manor in 2008 to not only effect change in the community but to address a growing need for long-term and senior care. During her career at the Portobello Manor, Lalonde’s work and passion in senior care led to her receiving the 2010 New Business of the Year Award from the Orléans Chamber of Commerce.

Along with her career in social work, Lalonde has served on the Community Advisory Committee for the Champlain Community Access Centre and was part of the working group on affordable housing for seniors with the United Way. Lalonde also served as Vice-President of CARP Ottawa, where she continued her advocacy for seniors and senior care.

Marie-France Lalonde, a proud Franco-Ontarian, is a community leader who has lived in Orléans for 20 years now with her husband Alvaro and daughter Monica.

Roles as parliamentarian of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Private member’s business of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Question period of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Written questions of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Main interests

A new member of Parliament (MP), Marie-France Lalonde is proud to be a Franco-Ontarian, her questions may relate to Francophone communities. Before being elected MP in her riding of Orleans, she was also a member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) and in 2017, was appointed Minister of Francophone Affairs under the government of Kathleen Wynne.

Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Liberal Party of Canada

Soraya Martinez Ferrada

Constituency:

Hochelaga (Quebec)

Profession/Occupation:

Involved in municipal politics for more than 10 years. Served as Chief of Staff and senior advisor to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (PCH).

First elected as Member of Parliament in 2019.

Biography (from the political party’s website)

Soraya Martinez Ferrada was first elected as the member of Parliament for Hochelaga in 2019.

A resident of the east end of Montréal since she came to Canada in 1980, Ms. Martinez Ferrada has deep roots in the community.

For over 20 years, she has gained experience in communications and project development through her involvement in community, cultural, and political action. She created the very first cultural and socio-professional integration program at TOHU, a unique example of sustainable development in Montréal.

Ms. Martinez Ferrada was involved in municipal politics for more than 10 years. In 2005, she was elected as a City Councilor for Saint-Michel and was appointed to the Executive Committee as the Associate Advisor for Culture. From 2015 to 2018, she served as Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the Minister of PCH.

Roles as parliamentarian

House of Commons committees
Member

43rd Parliament, second session (2020-10-14 to present): Parliament Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

43rd Parliament, second session (2020-10-06 to present): Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

Private member’s business of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Question period
Written questions

None

Main interests

Soraya Martinez Ferrada is a member of the Standing Committee on Official Languages for a first time, replacing Emmanuella Lambropoulos. She is also a member and counsellor of the Canadian Section of ParlAmericas (CPAM). She has also been involved in community, cultural and political circles. In particular, she set up the first cultural and socio-professional integration program at TOHU, a complex benchmark in terms of sustainable development in Montreal.

Patricia Lattanzio, Liberal Party of Canada

Patricia Lattanzio

Constituency:

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel (Quebec)

Profession/Occupation:

Lawyer, city councillor

First elected as Member of Parliament in 2019.

Biography (from the political party’s website)

Patricia R. Lattanzio is the mother of 3 young adults and a community leader in the riding of Saint-Léonard, where she has lived since early childhood.

Patricia has served as a municipal councillor for the district of Saint-Léonard-Est, and she is very familiar with the challenges and priorities of her borough.

Patricia holds a Bachelor of Laws from the Université du Québec à Montréal, a certificate in law from the Université de Montréal and an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from McGill University. She is a lawyer and a member of the Quebec Bar Association. She has practised in the field of civil law for 29 years.

She was first elected in a by-election in November 2015 and was re-elected for a second term in the November 2017 municipal elections. Upon taking office, Patricia was given responsibilities in the municipal administration. In the borough of Saint-Léonard, Patricia is currently Chair of the Standing Committee on Public Works, Infrastructure, Parks and Urban Forestry, and Chair of the Standing Committee on Planning, Environment, Environmental Quality and Economic Development. She is also the elected official responsible for policies to assist children.

At Montreal City Hall, she has served as Vice-President of the Commission on the Inspector General and also as Official Opposition Critic for Road and Water Infrastructure, Electrical Services, and Legal Affairs.

In addition to being a councillor, Ms. Lattanzio has also served her community as a trustee of the English Montreal School Board since 2007 and as Chair of the Comité de gestion de la taxe scolaire de l'île de Montréal since 2014.

Roles as parliamentarian of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

House of Commons committee
Member

43rd Parliament, second session (2020-10-06 to present): Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

Private member’s business of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Question period of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Written questions of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Main interests

Patricia Lattanzio is a new member of Parliament. She is an English speaker from Montreal who cares about education. Her questions are likely to focus on education in the minority language.

René Arseneault, Liberal Party of Canada

René Arseneault

Constituency:

Madawaska—Restigouche (New Brunswick)

Profession/Occupation:

Lawyer

First elected as Member of Parliament in 2015.

Biography (from the political party’s website)

René Arseneault is the member of Parliament for Madawaska—Restigouche, New Brunswick. He is a member of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, and also sat on the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying.

A lifelong resident of the riding of Madawaska—Restigouche, René has a deep-understanding of local issues and the interests of his fellow residents. Fully bilingual, he now wants to be the voice that defends his community in the House of Commons.

A lawyer specializing in corporate law and civil litigation for more than 20 years, René established his own practice in 1996 with his spouse, Michèle Pelletier. He is also a singer-songwriter who in 1989 won the Prix du public [people’s choice award] at the Gala de la chanson de Caraquet.

René has been involved in his community for over 25 years. In addition to providing pro bono legal services, René sat on the board of directors for numerous non-profit organizations, and is quick to share his artistic talents at fundraisers for community organizations. He co-founded the Balmoral Economic Development Association, Fondation École Régionale BDES inc. and Coopérative Radio Restigouche ltée–—which he currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors. René has also been involved in youth sports development, specifically as a soccer and volleyball coach and assistant coach, and as a volunteer at the Jeux de l’Acadie.

René holds a Bachelor of Social Science—with a major in Economics and a minor in Political Science—and an bachelor of laws from Université de Moncton

Roles as parliamentarian of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

House of Commons committees
Member

42nd Parliament, first session (2016-10-29 to 2016-09-19): Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.

Private member’s business of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Question period of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Written questions of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Main interests

René Arsenault is currently the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Official Languages). He was a member of the Standing Committee on Official Languages during the last Parliament and his questions focused mainly on the immigration roadmap, CBC/Radio-Canada's official languages obligations, the Court Challenges Program as well as bilingualism of judges of the Supreme Court. Interestingly, in the last Parliament, former New Democrat Party (NDP) member, François Choquette, introduced Bill C-203, An Act to amend the Supreme Court Act (understanding the official languages), René Arsenault was one of the only Liberal MPs to vote in favor of the bill.

Honourable Steven Blaney, Conservative Party of Canada

Honourable Steven Blaney

Constituency:

Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis (Québec)

Profession/Occupation:

Environmental consultant, engineer

First elected as Member of Parliament in 2006.

Biography (from the political party’s website)

Steven Blaney was born in Sherbrooke and he grew up in Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce. Steven lives in Lévis, and he’s married to Marie Bouchard, they have 2 children, William-Antoine and Alexandra. He graduated from Sherbrooke University and became a civil engineer in 1988 and he completed a Master’s degree in Business Administration in Lévis in 2012.

After completing his studies, he has worked as a consultant, an entrepreneur developing urban infrastructure and environmental technology. Steven has been an active member of the most important group of environment professionals in Canada, «Réseau Environnement», and he presided over the chapter of Québec-Chaudière-Appalaches from 2003 to 2006.

Elected for the first time to the House of Commons in 2006, he was re-elected in 2008 and in 2011 as MP for Bellechasse–Les Etchemins–Lévis. Steven Blaney wants to contribute to the sustainable development of his riding. He’s proud to represent such a dynamic and diversified community, and he dedicates himself with passion to the service of his constituents.

Following his first election, Steven Blaney was appointed Vice-President of the Quebec Conservative Caucus. In October 2008, he became the President. He was a member of several House commitees including: Indian Affairs, Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. Given how important the Afghanistan Mission was, Steven joined the Defence Committee and participated on a trip to Kandahar in January 2006. On May 31, 2007, Steven Blaney was given the responsibility to preside over the Standing Committee on Official Languages aimed at promoting linguistic duality everywhere in the country. Steven was also a member of the Canada-France Interparliamentary Association.

Following the 2011 elections, Steven Blaney was appointed Veterans Affairs Minister. In February 2013, he received the additional responsibility of ‘’La Francophonie’’. In July 2013, Steven Blaney becomes Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister.

Roles as parliamentarian of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Private member’s business of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Question period of interest to Canadian Heritage
Written questions of interest to Canadian Heritage
Main interests

Steven Blaney is a vice-chair on the Standing Committee on Official Languages. He is also an executive member for the Canadian Branch of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, of the Canada-France Inter-Parliamentary Association, of the Canada-Ireland Interparliamentary Group, of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association, of the Canadian Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and of the Canadian Section of ParlAmericas.

John Williamson, Conservative Party of Canada

John Williamson

Constituency:

New Brunswick Southwest (New-Brunswick)

Profession/Occupation:

Taxpayer advocate, communications director, newspaper columnist, editorial writer

First elected as Member of Parliament in 2011.

Biography (from the political party’s website)

John Williamson has over 20 years of experience in public policy research. He was the member of Parliament for New Brunswick Southwest until 2015. Prior to his election to the House of Commons in 2011, Mr. Williamson worked as the Director of Communications in the Office of the Prime Minister.

In 2016, Williamson launched Canadians for Affordable Energy to promote the benefits of energy affordability. He was National Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) from January 2004 to September 2008, and CTF Ontario Director from September 2002 to December 2003. He has also worked for the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, is a past Fellow with the Manning Centre for Building Democracy and Senior Fellow with the Fraser Institute.

Williamson is a former National Post editorial writer and founding member of the newspaper’s editorial board. He graduated from McGill University with a bachelor’s degree and earned a master’s degree in economic history from the London School of Economics.

John is married to Commander Kelly Williamson, Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), and splits his time between their home in Saint Andrews and wherever Kelly is serving (except the dangerous deployments).

Roles as parliamentarian of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

House of Commons Committees

None

Member

43rd Parliament, second session (2020-10-06 to present): Special Committee on Canada-China Relations.

Private member’s business of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Question period of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Written questions of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Main interests

John Williamson used to be an editorial writer for the National Post, the head of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, and a communications director in Stephen Harper’s Prime Minister’s Office. In 2011 he was elected as MP in the riding of New Brunswick Southwest. He lost his seat in the 2015 election, and then regained it in 2019.

Bernard Généreux Conservative Party of Canada

Bernard Généreux

Constituency:

Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup (Quebec)

Profession/Occupation:

Businessman, contractor

First elected as member of Parliament in 2009.

Biography (from the political party’s website)

Bernard Généreux was mayor of the city of La Pocatière from 2005 to 2009. In 2009, he began his career in federal politics as MP for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup. While waiting to be able to represent himself, Bernard remained very involved in the conservative association of his constituency.

Since 1993, Bernard is the CEO of Impressions Soleil. He was also a member of the board and executive committee from 2011 to 2014 of the Port of Québec. Also, since 2012, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Grosse- & ICIRC Corporation and the Irish Memorial.

Bernard Généreux holds a certificate in governance from Laval University.

As a former MP for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, Bernard is the best candidate to represent the electorate. Since his experience in 2009, Bernard has had the opportunity to step back and realize how challenging the work of a member of Parliament is. Bernard would be very proud to represent the constituents of Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup a second time.

Bernard and his wife Tracey have 2 children, Tristan and Kaïla, and are also grandparents of beautiful little children.

Roles as parliamentarian of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Private member’s business of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Question period of interest to Canadian Heritage
Written questions of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Main interests

Since Bernard Généreux became a MP, he has always had a marked interest in official languages. During the last Parliament he was also a member of the Standing Committee on Official Languages and his questions focused mainly on Air Canada, education, accountability and the modernization of the Official Languages Act (OLA).

Marc Dalton, Conservative Party of Canada

Marc Dalton

Constituency:

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge (British Columbia)

Profession/Occupation:

Teacher

First elected as Member of Parliament in 2019.

Biography (from the political party’s website)

Marc is a high school teacher who has served 2 terms as a member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) advocating for his constituents. Marc was raised in a Royal Canadian Air Force family. He also served in the Canadian Armed Forces and is a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 88. Marc is Indigenous (Métis) and was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Relations in one of his portfolios. He has a Bachelor’s degree in French and History and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, both from Simon Fraser University.

On his mother’s side, Marc is French-Canadian and speaks the language. He was designated President of the non-partisan Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie and was the legislative representative for British Columbia’s Francophones at both provincial and national events. Since his youth, Marc has volunteered for non-profit organizations such as with our local food bank and the Salvation Army as an outflow of his desire to support people. He is active in his local community church and is a former pastor.

Marc is proud of his public record standing up for residents and getting things accomplished locally and provincially: a new school in Albion, 4-laning of Highway 7 between Maple Ridge and Mission, funding for many local organizations, housing for low-income seniors, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine for Ridge Meadows Hospital, more ambulances, a fitness tax break for families with children, restoration of school-busing and the list goes on. Marc is known for his tenacity and genuine concern for people. Marc gets things done and his years of experience as an MLA will help him to more effectively serve the residents of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows as a Conservative Member of Parliament.

Marc has been married to his wife Marlene for 34 years. They have 3 adult children.

Roles as a parliamentarian of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Private member’s business of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Question period of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Written questions of interest to Canadian Heritage
Main interests

Marc Dalton is a member of the Standing Committee on Official Languages and he is also the vice-chair of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group. In addition, he is a member of the Canada-Germany Interparliamentary Group, the Canada-France Inter-Parliamentary Association, the Canada-Ireland Interparliamentary Group, the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group, the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association, the Canadian Branch of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, the Canadian Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group, the Canadian Section of ParlAmericas and the Canada-United Kingdom Inter-Parliamentary Association.

Mario Beaulieu, Bloc Québécois

Mario Beaulieu

Constituency:

La Pointe-de-l'Île (Québec)

Profession/Occupation:

Educator

First elected as member of Parliament in 2015.

Biography (from the political party’s website)

Elected leader of the party in 2014, Mr. Beaulieu again occupied the leadership of the Bloc Québécois as interim leader during the fall 2018 session, then as parliamentary leader designated by Yves-François Blanchet upon his arrival at the head of the left. He is the Bloc Québécois critic for official languages ​​and immigration. During his tenure, Mr. Beaulieu introduced Bill C-421 to make sufficient knowledge of French a condition for obtaining citizenship in Quebec, which had stirred controversy among federalist parties. He carried various other issues related to the protection and promotion of the French language. He also worked hard for people without Haitian origin who were threatened with deportation to a Port-au-Prince in crisis. Mr. Beaulieu also worked to forge ties with cultural communities, particularly the Palestinian and Kabyle communities, in addition to establishing a local citizenship ceremony to welcome the new arrivals. Mario Beaulieu has been campaigning in the independence movement for 30 years.

Roles as parliamentarian of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Private member’s business of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

42nd Parliament, first session: C-421, an act to amend the Citizenship Act (adequate knowledge of French in Quebec)

Question period of interest to Canadian Heritage
Written questions of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Main interests

Mario Beaulieu has been the opposition critic for Official Languages since 2015. It is the first time that he’s a member of the Standing Committee on Official Languages. During the last Parliament, he was very vocal about his interests in official languages. Sufficient knowledge of French for immigrants is a very important subject for him, he also tabled the bill C-421, an act to amend the Citizenship Act (adequate knowledge of French in Quebec) in the last Parliament. Institutional bilingualism is also very important to him.

Alexandre Boulerice, National Democratic Party

Alexandre Boulerice

Constituency:

Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie (Quebec)

Profession/Occupation:

Journalist

First elected as Member of Parliament in 2011.

Biography (from the political party’s website)

Alexandre Boulerice was born and raised in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, on the South Shore of Montreal.

After his college education, he moved to Montreal to do a bachelor's degree in sociology at the University of Montreal. He then pursued studies in political science at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and began a Master's degree at McGill University.

After graduation, he worked as a journalist-editor for the LCN news channel. Shortly after, he moved to the TVA newsroom, where he began to get involved in his union. Developing a taste for social engagement, he left journalism to work in a community group, the Union des Ouvriers Accidentés de Montréal (UTTAM). For almost a year, he helped people fighting to have their rights respected. He then worked as a communications advisor for Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the union that represents TVA employees for 9 years.

His activism with the NDP dates back to the late 1990s. In 2008, he ran for the first time as a candidate for Jack Layton's team in Rosemont—La-Petite-Patrie.

In 2011, the NDP won a historic victory in Quebec. Alexandre is elected with more than 50% of the votes. He officially becomes "Monsieur le député," a nickname that makes him smile, because he still considers himself the same man, with the same sense of social commitment and the same desire to help his fellow citizens.

Thanks to his background as a communicator, Alexandre quickly established himself as a formidable speaker in the House of Commons and a respected parliamentarian. He was given important responsibilities, as the official opposition critic for labour and for Canada Post, and also as deputy critic for ethics.

The latter role has kept him particularly busy during the many scandals that marked Stephen Harper's reign, such as the Senate scandal, the robotic phone call scandal, the Conservative election spending scandal and the embezzlement of G20 money.

In 2015, he was re-elected with 49.2% of the votes. He was quickly appointed lieutenant of the NDP in Quebec. Then in January 2018, he took on the role of spokesperson for the environment and climate change.

In March 2019, he was appointed deputy party leader by Jagmeet Singh. His new role leads him to put important issues for Quebec at the center of the NDP's concerns.

Every day, he stresses the importance of giving back financial means to the middle class, of building a greener and more prosperous world. As a representative of Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, his first concern is to fight against cynicism and encourage citizens to get involved in their community.

Once his day as an MP is over, he returns to his role as a father: with 4 children at home, there's no shortage of action!

Roles as parliamentarian of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Private member’s business of interest to Canadian Heritage

None

Question period of interest to Canadian Heritage
Written questions of interest to Canadian Heritage

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