‘Consultative committee is for all seniors,’ says Agape director who is one of six members
Apart from the work Kevin McLeod does as executive-director of the Youth and Parents Agape Association, he also serves as a member of the City of Laval’s Seniors Advisory Committee (Comité consultatif des personnes aînées).
The committee, which is one of more than a dozen committees formed under the auspices of Laval city council, is mandated to study questions related to issues and concerns of senior citizens who live all over Laval.
It is made up of six persons from Laval with a stake in the well-being of senior citizens. The members are Évelyne Garceau who serves as president, and Monique Hétu, Bernard Millette, Viola Monfiston, Danae Savides and McLeod, all of whom are committee members.
According to a description of the committee’s mandate on the City of Laval’s website, the Seniors Advisory Committee is empowered to maintain a dynamic watch over the needs of senior citizens throughout the Laval region, to develop a knowledge of the municipal issues affecting the seniors’ population, and to raise awareness, inform and propose potential solutions to the city administration.
A liaison to El-Helou
Among other things, the committee also interfaces with Laval city councillor for Souvenir-Labelle Sandra El-Helou, who is also an associate member of the executive-committee with responsibilities for the oversight of senior citizens’ issues.
As far as McLeod is concerned, his role on the committee has not only allowed Agape to contribute to the city’s efforts for improving the quality of life for senior citizens, but also to raise awareness of English-speaking seniors’ needs, while focusing on the overall improvement of the well-being of all seniors.
Tax break for seniors
“This consultative committee is for all seniors,” said McLeod, noting that the city set out to establish a balanced representation of persons from a cross-section of communities as committee members. He said one of the committee’s most recent efforts involved providing input to city officials for a special property tax benefit to assist Laval’s senior citizens.
“I think the City of Laval is responding slowly but surely, especially with regards to senior citizens,” he added. “I think it’s an amazing step in the right direction that we’re now translating documents into English so that seniors can have information in their own language. It was a long time we were asking for this. Definitely a step in the right direction.”
Support from the city
In terms of financial support, he said Agape receives occasional discretionary donations from city councillors like Aglaia Revelakis (Chomedey) and Aline Dib (Saint-Martin), although there are no significant contributions from the city administration itself.
‘I think the City of Laval is responding slowly but surely, especially with regards to senior citizens,’ says McLeod
“We’re still waiting for that,” McLeod said. “It’s something we’d like to see. We’ve spoken with Sandra El-Helou to see if we can have a conversation with [Mayor] Stéphane Boyer and sit down to see how they can better support our English-speaking seniors. But it’s a work in progress. There’s nothing concrete at this point, although they seem to be very receptive.”