Anglo groups say Montreal must do more for senior consultations
Anglophone groups say the city of Montreal still has much to do to create a sensible consultation process for senior citizens.
The city launched an online survey several weeks ago and originally planned to hold four sessions in February, but after criticism that the entire process was being handled solely in French, added a fifth session in English. It also added an English version of the website.
"If the city of Montreal cannot design an age-friendly city consultation process then how can we trust them to build an age-friendly city?" said Kim Sawchuck of the ACT team (Ageing + Communication + Technologies) at Concordia University.
She was one of several people who pointed out that Toronto and Ottawa have recently held seniors' consultations and provided information in multiple languages -- not just Canada's two official languages.
Sawchuck said the idea of holding consultations in mid-winter, when many seniors are leery of heading outside because of poor health and mobility, was short-sighted.
"Genuine inclusive consultation is the precursor to good public policy, not an afterthought just so you can say 'we've consulted, it's done, tick, box is checked off, bye bye, go away,'" said Sawchuck.
She and others said the consultations should extend for several months, and said in addition to the online and in-person meetings, that paper copies of the consultations should be distributed to seniors' residences and other city locales.
The English-language meeting is scheduled to take place on Monday Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. at the Cummings Centre in CDN-NDG.