Dear Madame Mayor,
RECAA, a non-profit organization founded by elders from the cultural communities of Montreal, enthusiastically received your administration’s re-energized commitment to making Montreal a truly “Age Friendly City: MADA une municipalité: amies des aînés”.
We absolutely support public consultations but those which have been organized are so limited in scope that we fear your administration will not hear from the majority of Montreal’s elders in its full diversity.
In particular, we have the following questions;
- Why are they scheduled in winter when so many of us are challenged by the weather?
- Why are public consultations not held near metros or accessible bus stations for those of us who depend on public transportation? Or in Park Extension, Little Burgundy and Côtes des Neiges?
- Why are the consultations not publicized in public spaces, in busses and in metro stations?
- Why are elders not invited to speak on radio and television about an Action Plan for the city?
- Why can’t the city advertise in languages other than French or English? (Even an English consultation has been designated as a “preparatory consultation”.)
- Why is an internet survey considered as a realistic alternative when there are so many of us who do not have computers or are not internet savvy?
RECAA’s mandate is to work towards a culture of respect for all elders and to work against the disrespect and mistreatment of elders in all our communities.
Madame Mayor, we ask that your administration hear from as many elders as possible, respecting their diversity, strengths, frailties and languages.
Let’s begin by extending the public consultations into early spring and into locations where you will hear many more elder voices who sincerely want to contribute to creating “An Age Friendly City”.
Let us participate not as “them” or “other” but as Montrealers. Indeed, we must all campaign together with a committed political leadership in the Mayor’s office if we are to truly realize a strong and integrated Plan d’action for 2018-2020!