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

Wreaths will already be laid around the cenotaph before people arrive at the ceremony. Photo: Chelsea Novak
Scaled-down Remembrance Day event to take place in Rossland

The public is encouraged not to attend ceremony this year due to the COVID-19 crisis

A view from Vernon Street of proposed seniors housing. Nelson has no requirement that such buildings have a heritage design. Illustration: City of Nelson
Nelson seniors housing project to start construction in the spring

Private development on Vernon Street will provide assisted living services as well as housing

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health records third COVID-19 death

A new community outbreak was reported at Okanagan Men’s Centre in Lake Country

NAV CANDA is considering closing its station at the West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Nav Canada considering closing station at West Kootenay Regional Airport

The organization is conducting a service review at Castlegar’s airport

The Kootenay Boundary Physician Association is sponsoring a pumpkin carving contest at KBRH. Photo: Submitted
‘Carve your hearts out’ at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

Pumpkin carvings by KBRH staff will be on display Thursday and Friday in the hospital lobby

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as fake Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort will be looking to crack the Top 10 Ski Resorts list by USA Today for the second straight year. (Claire Palmer photo)
Kicking Horse nominated as one of North America’s favourite ski resorts

The resort finished in tenth in the same poll last year

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

City workers installing the Trail Picasso. Photo: City of Trail
Reclaiming the Silver City Picasso

A replica of The Chicago Picasso was fabricated in Cominco (Teck Trail) workshops back in the 70s

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Most Read