Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau speaks during a campaign stop in Squamish, B.C., on Tuesday, September 29, 2020. A provincial election will be held in British Columbia on October 24. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

BC Greens focus on long-term care reform in first platform promise

Greens have promised to move away from the for-profit care home model

The BC Greens have released details on their first platform pledge in the 2020 snap election, focusing on the most vulnerable in the ongoing pandemic: seniors in long-term care.

“Too often we speak about beds in care homes, instead of the people who live there,” Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said in a news conference Thursday (Oct. 1), giving thanks to workers on the front lines taking care of the elderly through COVID-19.

The Greens have promised to move away from a for-profit care home model, instead focusing on community-based facilities that “integrate seniors more deeply into our communities.”

Furstenau noted that the B.C. NDP government was quick to back provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry when she issued the single site order for facility staff earlier this year, but argued that issues within long-term care “at their core” have yet to be fixed.

ALSO READ: Greens’ Furstenau fires at NDP, Liberals on pandemic recovery, sales tax promise

“We see time and time again that the other major parties tinker around the edges of problems,” she said. Furstenau also pointed to the four Retirement Concept facilities that were taken over by the province leading up to the pandemic.

“Our seniors are not commodities that should be earning some investor a profit,” Furstenau said. “They are our parents, our grandparents, our aunts and uncles. They are the leaders in our communities. They should be respected as such.”

In addition, the party leader said she wants to see the role of B.C.’s Senior’s Advocate change to operating as an independent officer of the B.C. Legislature – similar to the Representative for Children and Youth – instead of reporting directly to the health ministry.

When asked how much the Greens would budget on this reform, Furstenau said seniors care is an expensive piece of any health-care budget but fell short of being able to confirm a cost, citing the party’s inability to prep for a snap election in similar fashion to the NDP.

The Greens’ announcement comes just one day after NDP Leader John Horgan promised to spend $1.4 billion to improve the long-term care system as part of a 10-year plan that would see improvements to facilities and their administration.

ALSO READ: Horgan vows to replace B.C.’s shared senior care rooms in 10 years

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson has said long-term care workers need proper compensation, but added he’s skeptical of NDP promises because they turn out to be more dream than reality. The Liberals have not yet released any details on handling seniors care.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A map of the proposed location for the temporary workforce camp in Johnson Heights that is subject to a Temporary Use Permit from the city. (City of Revelstoke)
City council approves permit for worker camp in Johnson Heights

The permit was issued for two years in a close vote

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

Revelstoke Tim Hortons staff give a $3,139 cheque to Hannah Whitney and Jake Sloots (left side of cheque) from Community Connections. (Submitted)
Revelstoke Tim Hortons raises $3K for local food bank

The funds were do to the Smile Cookie campaign from Sept. 14 to 20

Revelstoke Mountain Resort has released additional details about upcoming winter operations. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Resort releases more details on upcoming operations

Opening day is scheduled for Nov. 27 in Revelstoke

The new traffic circle in Revelstoke will open Oct. 29. (Submitted/City of Revelstoke)
Roundabout to open Oct. 29

Ribbon cutting details to be released

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

(Brennan Phillips - Western News)
UPDATE: Flames doused for second time at fatal Penticton apartment fire

The Elm Ave. building first caught fire around 4 a.m., killing two people and displacing dozens

Two have been taken to hospital following a vehicle crash north of Vernon on Highway 97 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Crash north of Vernon causes Highway 97 traffic delays

Emergency crews respond to two-vehicle incident near Swan Lake; occupants taken to hospital

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Submitted)
Penticton apartment fire claims two lives

An apartment on Elm Avenue went up in flames Tuesday morning

A Summerland woman has set up an online fundraiser to provide backpacks to those being released from correctional facilities.(ca.gofundme.com)
Summerland woman raising money for backpack program

Backpacks will be distributed to those being released from correctional facilities

École de l’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
15 cases of COVID-19 tied to Kelowna Francophone school outbreak

Three other schools in Kelowna are also dealing with potential exposure events

Most Read