News on the Policy for Family and Seniors

The Department of Recreation, Community Life and Culture would like to provide you with an update on the progress of the revision of the Policy for Family and Seniors, which is almost complete: the policy and action plan are in the final drafting process and will be presented soon!

A retrospective of the process

Last January, a steering committee for the policy was set up. Seven meetings were organized and facilitated in collaboration with the organization Espace Muni. These meetings made it possible to highlight the issues identified by community stakeholders in relation to the nine fields of action identified to promote the inclusion of families and seniors (see diagram below). Local experts even agreed to come and discuss action strategies for specific challenges. In particular, Mélanie Thibault, then director of the MRC’s transportation service, Marc-Antoine Fortier, assistant director of public safety for the Town of Sutton, and Stéphanie Lemay, local community policing coordinator for the Sûreté du Québec, participated in the discussions on safety.

This past spring, public consultations were held.  On March 31, a bilingual survey was launched online for 20 days and distributed in print form and in person to residents of the OMH and Villa des Monts. This  survey collected responses from 248 people.

Based on the results of the survey, the Recreation and Community Life team, supported by Espace Muni and the Steering Committee, prepared to facilitate several focus groups with people ages 65 and older. In May, four groups were held, two in English and two in French. These meetings helped to identify the issues and strengths that position our municipality as an inclusive environment for seniors. Twenty-six residents joined these discussions.

An evening meeting was also held  in order to hear more specifically from Sutton families about their challenges and the possibilities for action to promote their integration. Six participants took part in these discussions.

In an effort to reach out to even more families, the Recreation, Community Life and Culture team visited places that are conducive to discussion. On May 13, our two agents, Charlotte and Marie-Claude, participated in the Family Day to discuss a with families present about their challenges. Service Director Elizabeth, accompanied by Marie-Claude, also  met with teenagers at Goyette-Hill Park on a weekday evening to gauge their opinions and needs. Nine teenagers responded.

Drafting the policy

Since August, a sub-committee has been created to work on drafting the policy and its action plan. A first draft will soon be submitted to the administration and the steering committee, which will then have a few weeks to thoroughly review the document and provide any final comments. The steering committee will then present a final version of the policy and action plan to Town Council for adoption at the end of this  year or early next year.

The Recreation, Community Life and Culture Department is confident that this lengthy and thorough update will result in a policy and action plan that will reflect both the issues and the solutions proposed by our families and seniors to ensure that Sutton remains an inclusive and vibrant community.