MCW Women in the News
Read about some of our members who have been in the news.
Elspeth Angus, MCW Honorary Councillor
Interview on CBC Daybreak, on March 26, 2013 "Don't turn the Royal Victoria Hospital into condos, heir warns"
Cheryl Braganza, Artist, Painter, Pianist, Poet, Writer and MCW Convener for Arts, Culture & Heritage
Interview on Global TV for the Women's Art Society of Montreal
Article in The Montreal Gazette, September 4, 2012 - Click on "Seeking Inspiration" painting by Cheryl Braganza; article "Will this Help?" by Sue Montgomery of The Montreal Gazette.
The Honorable Lucie Pépin, C.Q., B.A., Honorary President of MCW
On September 7, 2011, The Honorable Lucie Pépin, Senator, one of Canada's most illustrious women leaders, retired from Parliament Hill. Appointed to the Senate in 1997 by the Rt. Honorable Jean Chrétien, Senator Lucie Pépin represented the province of Quebec and the Senatorial Division of Shawinigan. Lucie Pépin has led the charge on many issues concerning women which resulted in important advancements in several areas. She took on Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau under the auspices of the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women to obtain the entrenchment of women's rights in the Constitution. In order to achieve this, she gathered support from women's groups across Canada which went to the premiers of each province and these efforts resulted in unanimity among the premiers. She has fought for legislation against domestic violence and was elected as a Liberal MP for the riding of Outremont from 1984 to 1988. Among the many issues she has fought for are women's health, reproductive rights, family-planning clinics, allowing condom machines on university campuses, etc. The Rt. Honorable Brian Mulroney appointed Lucie Pépin to two Royal Commissions (Electoral Reform and Party Financing (1989-92)) and to the Appeals Division of the National Parole Board (1993-1997. Lucie Pépin is busy with volunteer work three days a week and plans to continue her work in activism in her retirement. She holds a Diploma in Nursing Sciences (1959) and a Post-graduate diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (1960) from the University of Montreal. Senator Pépin is the recipient of several awards of distinction for her efforts, including the Chevalier de l’Ordre du Québec (1999), and an LL.D. (honoris causa) from McMaster University (1994). We are proud that The Honorable Lucie Pépin serves as Honorary President of the Montreal Council of Women. (Excerpts taken from articles below.)
Read an article on the Liberal Senate Forum: The Hon. Lucie Pépin, C.Q., B.A. - Senator Lucie Pépin retired on September 7, 2011
Read an article by Dale Smith, Freelance Journalist,
published in Xtra "Lucie
Pépin retires from the Senate, Parliament Hill/Led fight for women's rights and
Cheryl Braganza - Artist, Painter, Pianist, Poet, Writer and MCW Convener for Arts, Culture and Heritage
View a film produced by English Language Arts Network of Quebec: click on Cheryl Braganza - Visual Arts A delightful film on Cheryl's life as artist, painter, pianist, poet and writer in Montreal.
Elspeth Angus - MCW Honorary Councillor
"Heirs want say on Royal Victoria site" - Superhospital project means the venerable institution might end up being sold to private developers, by David Johnston, The Gazette, December 17, 2010. Click here to view the article in the Gazette.
Noblesse Oblige Elspeth Angus, 81, studies a topographic map from 1879.
Her family donated the land where the Royal Victoria Hospital stands, and
stipulated it could be used only for the hospital itself. The institution is to
move to the superhospital and David Johnston reports that Angus and the
rest of her clan are determined that the Mount Royal site not be consigned
to private development.
Photograph by: PIERRE OBENDRAUF, THE GAZETTE
SHOULD WE CURTSEY WHEN SHE ENTERS THE ROOM - Or would a polite bow be sufficient?
There was our very own «blue-blooded» Elspeth Angus on page 1 of the Gazette and star of an accompanying video, where she was smiling seductively at her interviewer. Seeing and reading her were both very uplifting.
Probably quite a few of us had known for some time that she had been working very hard indeed on sorting out the family papers ; we also knew how very concerned she was about the future of the Royal Vic and had been wondering how and when she would proceed on that issue. Finally she spoke out…And made quite a lot of noise for someone who speaks so softly.
The Scottish grandmother of a friend of mine used to say, almost in a whisper, when her family, children and grandchildren, were behaving badly or rudely at the dinner table: «Must I raise my voice?» and a deathly silence would ensue. «What terrible thing would happen if Grandmother ever raised her voice?» I have always thought of Elspeth being raised in a similar context; perhaps she is related to the other Scottish grandmother…
Naturally, she presented her case very well. Respect for the conditions of the original donation as well as respect for current needs combined with consideration of the peculiarly suitable environment on Mount Royal, all concerted to convince many of us of the reasonableness of the Mount Stephen family’s wishes.
And while we wait for the wishes to be fulfilled, les us congratulate Elspeth on her intervention and on her brilliantly simple solution to an ongoing problem. AND TELL EVERYBODY THAT SHE IS A LONGTIME MEMBER OF THE MCW WHERE SHE IS STILL CURRENTLY WORKING ON OUR ARCHIVES TOO AND HELPING US ORGANIZE OUR WOTY LUNCHES AT THE MOUNT STEPHEN CLUB.
THANK YOU, ELSPETH. WE, IN THE MCW, ARE SO PROUD OF YOU. YOU MAY LIVE MODESTLY, AS YOU SAY, BUT YOU ALSO LIVE WITH MUCH PANACHE !!!
Mair Verthuy, Secretary, MCW
Link to the video: Elspeth Angus and the Royal Victoria Hospital
Heirs want a Say on Royal Vic: Héritage Montréal and Les amis de la montagne co-sign a letter in The Gazette
Editorial in Gazette: Mountain worth saving
Sheri McLeod - NDG Senior Citizens Council and MCW Vice President, Program
Below is an article written by Mr. Martin C. Barry for The Senior Times (www.theseniortimes.com) published in the December 2009 edition: http://theseniortimes.com/article/2009/11/sheri-mcleod-senior-in-training.html . The Senior Times and Mr. Barry have kindly authorized us to reprint this article and we are very pleased and proud to include it in this month’s Bulletin for our members to enjoy. Sheri McLeod is the Executive Director for the NDG Senior Citizens Council and an MCW Board member.
SHERI MCLEOD: SENIOR IN TRAINING
By Martin C. Barry for The Senior Times
After nearly 20 years with the NDG Senior Citizens Council, Sheri McLeod has come to the conclusion that retirees today increasingly are viewed through a “wider lens,” instead of on the basis of an “illness” model that dwells mostly on vulnerability.
“There’s a greater appreciation of later life as an extension of one’s entire life experience, and that’s slowly seeping into people’s consciousness,” says McLeod, who has been the council’s executive director for the past decade. “Older people in general are being provided with more options in everything from accommodations to vacation packages, lifestyle magazines and leisure opportunities that I think 20 or 25 years ago people would not have thought about.
“Also what we’re seeing is the beginning of awareness of adapting the workplace to the needs of the older employee,” McLeod adds. “Something that’s been shown in a number of studies is that some people would quite willingly return to part-time work if they had the opportunity, because people’s vitality exists for a much longer period of time now; I think that’s starting to change things. It’s no longer about being 65 years old, so here’s the gold watch, it’s over. It’s more where do you see yourself in your life?”
Sheri McLeod - Photograph by: Martin C. Barry
Community lunches and social interaction facilitated by the council also help seniors make friends and maintain a social network.
McLeod, 45, describes herself as a “pre-senior” or a “senior in training.” She joined the NDG Senior Citizens Council 19 years ago as a volunteer coordinator, before graduating from McGill University’s School of Social Work and taking on a heavy load of the council’s case work. The council operates on a budget of about $330,000 per year, which comes from grants from various sources. The council’s offices were until recent years located on Terrebonne in NDG. They are now in the Montreal West United Church.
Since two-thirds of the NDG Senior Citizens Council’s funding comes from Centraide as well as from the government, there are some strings attached, such as an increasing pressure to work more closely with other groups, with whom the council is sometimes encouraged to sign agreements. “It’s a big machine and we’re not,” says McLeod, adding that her group tries to remain independent. “We try to have a certain amount of autonomy, while still respecting that a lot can be gained for the general population through certain types of involvement.”
While there is a tendency among people to view advancing age with a degree of dread, McLeod says, “I think everybody who works here is ironically a lot less afraid of being old than other people. You would think it would be the opposite, but because we have all seen so many times how incredibly resilient and strong people are, our perspective changes. “Often people fear what they see as unknown, and for us it’s not really. Collectively it’s a journey everyone is on and so we’ve seen thousands of examples of people who’ve overcome so much. And regardless of what you get handed as you move through your own aging, there are a lot of things you can do and put in place to optimize your own experience.”
Lyna Boushel - Fighting for Seniors' Rights - Article from The Gazette
Elderly tenants unnerved when bailiffs call. Two Residences; Gaz Metro tries to recoup cash owed to it by Toronto firm.
By KATHERINE WILTON, The Gazette August 12, 2010 7:24
Lyna Boushel - Photograph by: John Mahoney, The Gazette
MONTREAL - Some seniors living in two West Island residences are upset with Gaz Metro for sending bailiffs to their doors to try and recoup money owed to it by a Toronto firm that manages the residences. Last month, bailiffs showed up at the Chateau Dollard and Chateau Royal and handed the elderly residents a Superior Court judgment telling them to pay 25 per cent of their monthly rent to the utility. Lyna Boushel, whose 85-year-old mother-in-law lives at the Chateau Royal, called Gaz Metro's actions "a sledgehammer solution." "They should have known that this was a seniors residence and in some of these residences there are people with Alzheimer's who can't handle this type of thing," she said. "They get agitated and worried. They should have made arrangements to send this to the caregivers who look after their (financial) affairs.
For many of the residents, it was the second time this year that they had received a visit by an agency looking to collect money that should have been paid by Liberty Assisted Living, the Toronto firm that runs the residences. In January, an employee from Revenu Quebec showed up trying to collect GST taxes. Gaz Metro yesterday defended its decision to send bailiffs to seniors residences, saying it was just following a Quebec law that spells out how the utility can collect unpaid bills. Audrey Giguere, a media relations officer with Gaz Metro, said the law is in place to protect tenants from having their service interrupted in the event that a landlord doesn't pay the bills. In these cases, the law says the residents must pay between 15 to 25 per cent of their monthly rent to the utility. A judge set the amount at 25 per cent in these cases. Gaz Metro said it took the legal steps to obtain its money after the firm that owns the residences failed to pay its bill for several months, despite having been sent reminders. "The bailiff visited the residences with an employee and we think it went well," Giguere said. "We haven't had any complaints." However, the visits by bailiffs worried some residents who are concerned that the company's financial issues may mean they will have to move. "There was anxiety because they didn't know whether they would have to move," Boushel said. "New places are at a minimum in their price range." Boushel said the judgment her mother-in-law received asked her to send 25 per cent of her rent, which is about $650, to Gaz Metro. But she feels the amount is too high considering the Chateau Royal in Dollard des Ormeaux owes the utility about $5,000. A second judgment said the Chateau Dollard owes Gaz Metro $8,086. A man whose mother lives at the Chateau Dollard said Liberty Assisted Living only deducted 75 per cent of the rent for the month of August. He sent a cheque to Gaz Metro for the remaining amount. "We were told we had to do this until further notice," said the man, who spoke only on the condition that his name not be published. Although his elderly mother wasn't bothered by the bailiff's visit, the man said he felt the move was "a low blow to seniors who are apprehensive after getting a bailiff's notice." Staff who answered the telephone at both residences said they had no comment. Officials at Liberty Assisted Living didn't return calls from The Gazette. Company officials met with seniors and their families this week to reassure them they are trying to iron out their finances, Boushel said. "They said they are finalizing bridge financing and will report back to us in September."
© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette
Read Lyna's letter: Chateau Royal - Letter to the Editor
Montreal Council of Women - Le Conseil des femmes de Montréal
Meetings - Les Jardins du canal, 2700 Rufus Rockhead (opposite Atwater Market; Metro Lionel-Groulx & bus 108), Montreal, QC H3J 2Z7
Mailing address - 1195 Sherbrooke ouest, Montreal, QC H3A 1H9
Email address - firstname.lastname@example.org