Further to our public letter on February 7, 2018, we are writing to you again to express our continued concerns regarding the consultation process for the Plan d’action municipal pour les personnes aînées 2018-2020.
We remain concerned that the city has not extended the consultations into the spring when we could ensure more meaningful involvement from a wider, more representative group of seniors. We respectfully ask for an explanation of why the June deadline for the MADA report can not be extended to allow for consultations to take place in April, 2018? Based on feedback we have had from numerous seniors and seniors’ organizations, including numerous signatories on this letter, we ask that these consultations be extended into the spring and be located in representative boroughs and near metro stations that are fully accessible to persons using mobility aids.
Secondly, we want to reiterate our offer to work collaboratively with you and the city to ensure that marginalized seniors are well-represented. This includes reaching 50% of adults age 70+ (StatsCan, 2017) who are not able to access the internet to find the information about the consultations or the phone number to call to complete the survey. We would like to hear the city’s plans for this advertising and promotion so that we work together to facilitate this process and make more older people in Quebec aware of the existing consultation sessions and survey. Additionally, we also ask that the realisonsmtl.ca/aines website also be fully translated into English (at a minimum) so that those seniors at greatest risk of exclusion and isolation (older, Anglophone, immigrant seniors – see QCGN report ) can access information about the consultation process. Furthermore, we are concerned at how the involvement of seniors’ community groups, particularly Seniors Action Quebec (SAQ), has been represented in this process. We would like to hear specifically what community groups representing seniors in Montreal have been involved to date in the MADA process. SAQ issued a press release on February 10, stating that they had not, in fact, been consulted.
It is of utmost importance that the city take as much action as possible to hear from the most marginalized of seniors when consulting for a policy that directly affects them. We look forward to collaborating with you to engage in a process that addresses physical accessibility, digital (in)access and language. We would be pleased to continue conversations with Montreal’s MADA team to discuss ways that we can work together to make the consultation process more age-friendly.
The South Asian Women’s Community Centre (SAWCC), Council of Muslim Women of Canada (Montreal), NDG Senior Citizen Council, Council of Muslim Women of Canada, Catholic Action Montreal, Respecting Elders: Communities against Abuse (RECAA), Contactivity/Centre Contactivité, Le Groupe Harmonie, Alliance des communautés culturelles pour l’égalité dans la santé et les services sociaux (ACCÉSSS), Radical Resthomes, Communicaid for Hearing Impaired Persons (CHIP), YWCA Montreal, Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR), Collective Community Service, Creative Social Centre