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Jeudi 13 mars 2008 Numéro 392
Aujourd'hui en veille
La neige et les personnes à mobilité réduite
Bilan de la tempête à la STM
Problème de stationnement réservés au Centre hospitalier de Trois-Rivières
Portrait de Denise Pronovost directrice de l'Asso TCC Mauricie Centre-du-Québec
Le Lucentis disponible en Ontario
Recours collectif en lien avec des agressions dans écoles pour sourd au Canada


La neige et les personnes à mobilité réduite
»» retour en haut

Paru le jeudi 13 mars 2008 sur The Gazette

Tough on seniors, disabled
Many stuck at home because of unplowed
streets, sidewalks
MAX HARROLD THE GAZETTE

Getting around is usually hard enough for seniors and the disabled, but snow-clogged streets this week have meant many are stranded at home, unable to get services and, in some cases, food.

“Hospitals, schools and seniors’ homes should be the first priority in this (snow-clearing) war,” Lily Blander, 73, said yesterday after treading along stilluncleared streets and sidewalks to the Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors in Côte des Neiges.

Herb Finkelberg, the centre’s executive director, said the condition of Westbury Ave. in front of the Cummings building since last weekend’s storm – which dumped about 30 centimetres of snow on the city – has been horrendous.

“People are taking their lives in their hands,” he said. Most have just stayed home. Attendance at the centre, where people take courses and get hot meals, dropped to less than 100 a day this week from 500 to 600 on a regular day.

“Even people who live across the street (in a home for low-income seniors), who have walkers or canes, haven’t been crossing the street to eat,” Finkelberg said.

Yesterday, orange no-parking signs went up on Westbury, in preparation for snow clearing expected last night. A borough official said crews will also try to clear the sidewalks.

“We need to look at Westbury,” said Hugo Tremblay, chief of staff to Côte des Neiges/Notre Dame de Grâce borough mayor Michael Applebaum. “Everyone is important.”

“We are doing our best,” Tremblay said, noting the borough has 68 schools, seven hospitals and 11 métro stations – all priorities for snow clearing.

The borough hopes to have half its 250 kilometres of roads cleared by the end of today, he said.

Attendance at the Teapot, a seniors centre on St. Joseph Blvd. in Lachine, dropped to about 50 from about 200 a week, said Tamara Peel, the centre’s director of home support.

“When they get here, they have to walk farther to get around a three-foot snowbank in front of the building.”

Shuttle buses to and from the Almage Centre, on Hochelaga St. in the city’s east end, and the Good Shepherd Community Centre in Little Burgundy – part of Catholic Community Services, like the Teapot – were cancelled this week and last because of clogged-up streets, Peel said.

But snow-clearing crews are doing “the best they can. It’s a massive amount of snow.”

At the Montreal Association for the Blind in N.D.G., attendance at work-training courses has plunged by about 25 per cent this week.

Many association clients depend on the Montreal Transit Corp.’s adapted transit service.
That service, which usually carries between 2,000 and 6,000 disabled people daily, has been cut drastically this week.

“It’s a question of safety,” MTC spokesperson Marianne Rouette said. “We just can’t get through on many of the secondary roads.”

The service hopes to resume full operation by tomorrow, Rouette said. That might be too optimistic. André Lazure, a spokesperson for the city of Montreal, said 32 per cent of the city’s streets had been cleared by yesterday morning. He would not predict when crews will finish the job.

Many stuck at home because of unplowed
streets, sidewalks


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