Je me souviens: L�histoire du M�tro de Montr�al racont�e by HC1209130958

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									  Femmes en ville : l'accessibilité
  des transports pour être libre




Une présentation de Laurence Parent
Handicaps au féminin: 25 ans d’actions
25 novembre 2011
Hôtel Reine Élizabeth, Montréal
            Le métro de Montréal:
       not exactly wheelchair-accessible

   On September 2009, the Montréal was one of the
    last underground transit system in the world to
    be 100% inaccessible to persons whose mobility
    needs cannot be accommodated by stairs. Today,
    only four Metro stations on Montréal Island have
    elevators.
L’importance du métro de Montréal / The
importance of the Montréal Metro
   L’historien Jean-Claude Germain écrit que
    “le métro est à Montréal ce que les boulevards
    sont à Paris et les canaux à Venise”.

   The Metro is the heart of Montréal. The Québec
    historian Jean-Claude Germain writes that “The
    Metro is to Montréal what boulevards are to
    Paris and canals to Venisa”.
L’importance du métro de Montréal / The
importance of the Montréal Metro
   Inauguré au coeur de la Révolution tranquille,
    période historique marquant la naissance de l’État
    moderne québécois, le métro de Montréal est l’un des
    symboles édifiant Montréal à titre de métropole
    internationale. Le métro de Montréal a toujours été
    raconté comme étant un lieu public au cœur de
    l’action urbaine; le métro de Montréal a été raconté
    comme le système nerveux de la métropole
    québécoise.
   Inaugurated during the Quiet Revolution, the
    Montréal Metro symbolizes the modernization of
    Québec society. Not only is the Metro central in the
    organization of the public transit system in Montréal,
    but also it is one major component of Montréal
    identity and Québec history.
Une histoire qui n’a jamais été racontée / A
history that has never been told
   L’histoire du métro de Montréal écrite jusqu’à a omis de
    rendre compte de la face cachée du métro de Montréal:
    l’exclusion qu’il produit. Depuis sa construction en 1966, le
    réseau de métro a exclu une partie non négligeable de la
    population montréalaise; les personnes dont les besoins de
    mobilité ne peuvent pas être comblés par des escaliers. Ces
    personnes ont été forcées à utiliser un système parallèle de
    transport adapté puisqu’elles ont été identifiées comme étant
    différentes de la norme. Jusqu’ici les escaliers dans le métro de
    Montréal ont été perçus et racontés comme un fait
    architectural neutre et sans grand intérêt.
   Up to now, the history of the Montréal Metro has only been
    written from an able-bodied perspective. This able-bodied
    perspective does not consider the ways in which stairs are
    architecture that accommodates those with normal legs. The
    history of people who have been excluded from the Metro due
    to the hegemony of stairs remains unwritten. Stairs in the
    Montréal Metro have been - and are still - largely understood
    as a neutral architectural structure which was and is not
    problematic.
TROUVER LES MOTS / FINDING WORDS
   Handicapisme ambulant: Wolbring (2008) définit
    l’handicapisme comme un système qui favorise
    certaines habiletés par rapport à d’autres. La
    discrimination vécue par les personnes dont les
    besoins de mobilité ne peuvent pas être comblés par
    des escaliers doit être comprise comme le résultat de
    pratiques délibérées valorisant l’habileté d’utiliser des
    escaliers dans un contexte historique particulier.
   Walking-ableism: Wolbring (2008) explains ableism
    as a system that favours certain abilities over others.
    The discrimination lived by people whose mobility
    needs cannot be accommodated by stairs needs to be
    understood as the result of deliberate practices which
    cherished certain abilities such as walking and the
    ability to use stairs as prerequisite for enjoying full
    citizenship within a specific historical context.
A Too Quiet Revolution: The Making of a
Walking-Ableist Public Space



   Great Darkness: Throughout the Great Darkness
    disabled people have been subjected to the most
    horrible treatments and kept in institutions
    (religious or philanthropic). They were rarely
    seen in public places.
Une Révolution trop tranquille:
La création d’un espace public
handicapant
   Lors de l’inauguration du réseau initial comptant 26
    stations, une page de l’histoire du Québec s’est écrite.
    Évènement marquant de la Révolution tranquille,
    l’ouverture du métro de Montréal le 14 octobre 1966
    symbolise l’une des premières réalisations
    ambitieuses accomplies par un gouvernement visant à
    combler les besoins en mobilité de ses citoyens.
   The day of the inauguration of the initial Montréal
    Metro network, which counted twenty-six stations,
    was a significant moment of Québec modern history.
    In the context of the Quiet Revolution, the opening of
    the Montréal Metro on October 14, 1966 symbolized
    one of the first realisations accomplished by an
    elected government which served the mobility needs
    of its citizens.
Une Révolution trop tranquille:
La création d’un espace public
handicapant
   Lors de l’inauguration le maire Drapeau déclara:
    “Cinquante ans de patience, de projets, d’études.
    Cinquante ans d’espoir. Voilà qu’enfin c’est chose
    faite. Il est donc tout naturel qu’en cet instant ma
    pensée se porte d’abord vers nous tous, résidents de
    cette grande ville, afin que nous nous félicitions
    mutuellement de posséder un tel réseau de transport
    souterrain. Nous l’avons bien mérité” (Guimont, 2007,
    p. 1).
   During the inauguration ceremony, Drapeau
    declared: “Fifty years of patience, projects and studies.
    Fifty years of hope. Now it’s done. My first thought
    goes to us, residents of this big city. We need to
    mutually congratulate each other to own such an
    underground transport system. We deserve it. [...]
    With its new subway, Montréal gains one more title
    among the greatest world capitals” (Guimont, 2007, p.
    1).
   At the first glance, this ‘us’ seems to describe all
    human beings living on the Montréal island.
    However, this ‘us’ as it has been formulated
    during the inauguration of the Montréal Metro,
    contributes to the construction and
    marginalization of the disabled body – the body
    that cannot use stairs. A total erasure of this
    body was needed in order to assert that the new
    subway could be ridden by everyone- by ‘us’. The
    inauguration of the Metro – understood as being
    a public space- had to tie the notion of being a
    Montrealer to the ability of riding the subway.
    The status of citizen was granted upon the
    performance of a specific ability judged by people
    in power as being a “normal” ability.
   L’État-Providence québécois répondut alors aux
    besoins de mobilité d’une partie de sa population:
    celle pouvant se mouvoir dans un espace conçu
    pour répondre aux besoins de l’homme moyen
    voyagant seul, sans limitation et en parfaite
    santé.

   The Québec welfare state addressed the mobility
    needs of a specific and never-named category of
    the population: the able-bodied population.
LA GRANDE SORTIE / THE GREAT EXIT
 It is fundamental to note that disabled people
  who have been deinstitutionalized during the 70s
  discovered that Québec society was not expecting
  them. A city and a nation was being constructed
  without them.
 Access to transport quickly became one of the
  first struggles of disabled people (Boucher,
  Fougeyrollas & Gaucher, 2003, p.140).
Fondation d’un premier service de transport
adapté / Creation of a first paratransit service
   It is in this context that two brothers using
    wheelchairs who lived in Montréal funded the
    first para-transit service in Québec. Jacques and
    Jean-Marc Forest had to find the funding
    necessary to create the service by themselves,
    since the Québec state did not assume any
    responsibility regarding the transport of disabled
    people. In 1973, the two brothers got a small
    grant for their project and invested their own
    personal savings to create Minibus Forest.
dans le système de transport en commun
/ The Institutionalisation of Transit
Segregation
   During the Great Exit, obstacles that disabled
    people who tried to participate in their
    communities faced were numerous and complex,
    and it quickly became clear that the Québec state
    needed to legislate. In 1976, Claude Forget, the
    Minister of the Social Affairs, submitted Bill 55
    on the “protection of the handicapped person”
    (Boucher, Fougeyrollas & Gaucher, 2003, p. 144).
    The presentation of the bill was followed by an
    unprecedented wave of protests led by newly-
    born disability rights groups. The Québec
    Disability Rights Movemen (QDRM) was born.
A NEW LAW


   On June 23 1978, one day before the very
    symbolic Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, the Loi
    assurant l’exercice des droits des personnes
    handicapées (LEDPH) (Law ensuring the rights
    of disabled people) was unanimously adopted by
    the Assemblée Nationale du Québec (Québec
    National Assembly).
IMPACTS DE LA LOI / IMPACTS OF THE LAW
   The Article 72 of the LAEDPH stipulated that a
    “handicapped person” could not claim
    discrimination under Article 10 of the Charter if
    public transit was inaccessible to her. The law
    that was supposed to promote the rights and
    freedoms of disabled people in Québec society
    essentially granted an amnesty to a nation for
    acts of exclusion that were still continuing.
IMPACTS DE LA LOI / IMPACTS OF THE LAW
   Article 67 of the LAEDPH defined the obligation
    of public transit organisations as an obligation to
    elaborate on a development plan aiming to
    provide public transit for disabled people. In
    1980, the Montréal public transit commission
    presented its plan which proposed the creation a
    public paratransit system. The Ministry of
    Transportation approved it (Comité sur
    l’Accessibilité du Métro de Montréal, 2002, p. 13).
DISAPPOINTEMENT FOR THE ACTIVISTS
   The decision to not adapt the regular public
    transit in order to make it accessible to all
    citizens went against the vision of disabled
    activists at the time. Larivière explains:
    “Obviously, we advocated for the accessibility of
    the regular transit. This has never been
    considered by decision-makers” (personal
    communication, December 17, 2009).
IMPACT OF THE CREATION OF THE
PARATRANSIT
 People whose mobility needs cannot be
  accommodated by stairs were not only
  marginalized among the general population, they
  were also stigmatized amongst disabled people
  themselves. Disabled people who cannot use
  stairs were labelled as being too handicapped for
  using the regular public transit. The adaptations
  that would need to be made in order to make the
  public transit accessible to them were judged as
  being too costly. Rather than questioning the
  hegemony of stairs in the Montréal Metro, the
  implementation of paratransit shaped the
  mobility needs of these people as being too
  different to fit into the regular system.
Les manifestations de 1988 / 1988’s protests
    In October 1988, Montréal hosted the annual
     convention of the American Public Transit
     Association (APTA). APTA delegates were not the
     only ones who made the trip to Montréal for the
     conference. In fact dozens of members of the
     Americans Disabled for Accessible Public Transit
     (ADAPT) came to Montréal to stage protests
     against the inaccessibility of public transit. In
     three consecutive days, more than sixty
     demonstrators were arrested in Montréal and on
     the South Shore.
State-controlled Sub-politics: A
Missed Revolution


   The QDRM adopted the logic of collaboration
    with the state and failed to lift the veil on
    walking-ableism, which has shaped the Montréal
    Metro as a segregationist space. Furthermore,
    the QDRM went through a process of
    mainstreaming which put aside some activists
    who attempted to challenge walking-ableism.
REFUS DE SE JOINDRE AUX MANIFESTATIONS /
REFUSAL TO JOIN THE PROTESTS
   Even though the RUTA morally supported
    ADAPT’s demands (Semenak, 1988), the
    organisation refused to join the protestors. This
    organisation, founded after the implementation
    of paratransit in Montréal in 1980, had the
    principal goal of bringing together the situations
    lived by paratransit users and the (walking-
    ableist) preoccupations of decision-makers and
    public transit administrators. Even though, the
    RUTA focused on transit, the accessibility of
    public transit has not been identified as an
    objective. Contrary to ADAPT, RUTA learned
    political language and did not interpreted public
    transit inaccessibility as a form of segregation.
CRITICAL VOICES MARGINALIZED

   Only one Montreal disability rights organisation
    accepted ADAPT’s invitation to protest against
    the inaccessibility of the public transit. Maria
    Barile was an active member of this grassroots
    organisation called the Mouvement des
    consommateurs handicapés du Québec. While her
    participation in the protests have been really
    enriching, Barile suffered painful consequences.
    She describes how the mainstream Québec
    Disability Rights Movement (QDRM)
    marginalized their actions. She says: “Here in
    Québec, we were told by various groups that we
    were traitors, that we were embarrassing the
    city, the community of people with disabilities.
    People with disabilities themselves were
L’impact majeur des manifestations /
Impact of protests
   The protests forced the Montréal public transit
    commission to justify to the general public, the
    inaccessibility of its services for the first time in
    its history. Louise Roy, the managing director of
    the transit organisation declared to the Gazette
    that her organisation “has no intention of
    adapting buses or Metro stations to accommodate
    the handicapped” (Semenak, 1988).
/ Neoliberal Stairs: Between Resignation
and Criticisms

   In fall 1989, the STM created the Comité sur
    l’Amélioration de l’Accessibilité du Réseau
    Régulier. This Committee was mandated to
    identify the needs of the elderly and people with
    reduced mobility and the measures that could be
    implemented to meet them.
   During the 1990s, several correspondences have
    been conducted with the Ministère des
    Transports by different disability rights
    organizations (RUTA, Ex-Aequo). Larivière
    represented paratransit users first and then the
    OPHQ on the Committee of the Montréal
    paratransit for over ten years. She explains that
    transit decision-makers came up with all possible
    excuses for not making the Montréal Metro
    accessible (personal communication, December
    17, 2009).
L’hégémonie des escaliers dans le métro
menacée / The Transit Fortress
Threatened
   At the start of the new millennium, this
    inaccessible and untouchable fortress was
    seriously threatened for the first time in its
    history. However, the threat did not come
    directly from Québec disability rights movement.
    In fact, the hegemony of stairs became dangerous
    for the Montréal Metro’s self-image and for its
    financial sustainability.
L’image de Montréal / Montréal’s self-image
    The Montréal public transit commission studied
     the accessibility of other subway systems in
     North America, Europe and Japan. The
     conclusion of this study was unambiguous: the
     Montréal subway was one the last in queue in
     terms of accessibility with Glasgow, Marseille
     and Bucharest. The Committee stated: “We have
     to keep in mind that this project (construction of
     elevators in Montréal Metro stations) would
     contribute to preventing the Montréal Metro to
     be the last 100% inaccessible subway system in
     the world”.
Un avantage économique / an economic
advantage
   In 2001, a project for the construction of three
    new Metro stations in Laval was underway.
    Quickly, architects noticed that $3.3 million
    would be saved if elevators were built
    immediately instead of installing escalators
    everywhere (p.2). Curiously, the installation of
    elevators, which are considered an unreasonable
    economic burden, became an economic
    advantage.
2085: THIS IS NOT SCIENCE-FICTION



 In October 2009, the top candidate in the
  Montréal civic election committed to build
  elevators in one subway station every year
  (Équipe Tremblay, 2009). This means that the
  Montréal Metro would be a step-free space....in
  2071!
 Four stations are supposed to be made accessible
  by 2016 which is less than 1 station per year. At
  this pace, the Montréal métro will be fully
  accessible by 2085
Les barrières empêchant l’émergence
d’un discours anti-ségrégation
aujourd’hui/ Walking-Ableism Today:
The Barriers Preventing Transit
Exclusion from Coming-Out
    Le Mouvement de la défense des droits a choisi de
     collaborer avec la STM. Cela fait donc en sorte que les
     activistes qui choississent la collaboration (étant ainsi
     forcés à tempérer leurs demandes) jouissent de
     davantage de crédibilité auprès des institutions
     publiques.
    The strategy of colllaboration adopted by the QDRM
     produces disability rights activists whose credibility is
     strengthened if their positions do not challenge too
     dangerously STM’s orientations. The current transit
     inclusion model proposed by the STM and supported
     by the QDRM ignores the power relations imbedded
     within the Montréal Metro.
   The acceptable discourse tends to portray
    paratransit users as individuals who are
    gradually included into the regular transit
    instead of individuals who have been historically
    excluded from it. By looking at inclusion instead
    of exclusion, lived experiences of exclusion are
    depoliticized and marginalized within the QDRM
    itself. People whose mobility needs cannot be
    accommodated by stairs are disembodied and
    their history of exclusion is removed from their
    identities which force them to overcome their
    disability.
    CONCLUSIONS
 A greater understanding of our shared history is
  necessary to better locate ourselves. The time has
  come to reclaim and write our history.
 The Quiet Revolution has been too quiet.

								
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