February 27, 2018 12:27 am
Updated: February 27, 2018 12:29 am

First of two English consultations on seniors takes place in Côte-des-Neiges-NDG

After a public outcry, English speaking seniors in the borough of Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce had their say Monday in making Montreal a more age-friendly city. Gloria Henriquez has more.


English-speaking seniors in the borough of Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce had their say on Monday in the city’s action plan to address their concerns.

Montreal is gathering input for a new three-year plan on improving services for seniors.

About 200 Montrealers attended the first of two English consultations.

“It’s very important, particularly in English and it’s easier to get to, I use adapted transport,” said Nancy Ship, a member of Westmount’s Contactivity Seniors Citizen Centre.

READ MORE: English-speaking seniors may be left out of forums, say Concordia researchers

Seniors outlined their priorities by filling out a survey.

The survey focused on four major issues: accessibility to services, inclusivity, senior’s abuse and senior’s participation.

Seniors also took part in a roundtable discussion to zero in on specific concerns such as accessibility to the new super hospital, dangerous intersections, among other topics.

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READ MORE: City councillor lobbies for easier access to MUHC

This meeting wasn’t always meant to happen though.

But the city gave in to pressure from seniors and cultural groups, adding two English sessions to the original four sessions offered in French only.

Montreal also extended the deadline until mid-March and translated its French-only website into English.

READ MORE: English forum added to Montreal’s seniors action plan

Seniors groups acknowledge a lot of their concerns about the consultation process have been addressed but more needs to be done.

“We talked about the creation of a permanent consultative committee about seniors, including some seniors haven’t heard anything about that,” said the president of Seniors Action Quebec, Michael Udy.

“They’ve scratched the surface but they need to do a lot more, they really need to,” Ville-Saint-Laurent resident Marlene Szporer said.

“They’re trying but I’m not impressed with the mayor at this moment.”

READ MORE: Montreal asked to be more inclusive in consultation process on seniors

Côte-des-Neiges — NDG city Coun. Peter McQueen says his party wants to hear from all citizens.

McQueen told Global News he’s looking into adding a consultation at Concordia University’s Loyola Campus in Montreal West later this spring.

“There’s a university community there, a lot of seniors around there,” McQueen said.

“Point taken, the middle of winter is not the best time to be consulting seniors.”

The next chance for anglophones to have their say will be March 7 in Pierrefonds at the Centre Culturel de Pierrefonds.

Meanwhile, seniors groups say they will keep pushing for more inclusion for anglophones.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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