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

Elections BC has sent out almost 700,000 mail voting packages as of Oct. 14 with just under 3.5 million registered voters. (Black Press Media File)
Abbotsford South and West ridings see more than 16,000 votes cast ahead of election

More than a third of all votes have likely been cast already

Students at Brookswood Secondary participated in Student Vote 2020. (Katie Glover/Special to Langley Advance Times)
PHOTOS: Students cast a ballot for Langley candidates

Brookswood Secondary participated in Student Vote 2020

Voting locations in Langley for the 2020 BC provincial election. (Google)
MAP: Voting locations in Langley

Sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

Aldergrove legion Branch 265 president Doug Hadley presents a poppy to Langley Township mayor Jack Froese. (Madeline Roach/Special to the Aldergrove Star)
Poppy sales begin at Aldergrove legion branch #265

Branch president Doug Hadley shared the poem Who is a Veteran to begin the time of remembrance

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

The family of Anika Janz, who died after collapsing at school, has launched a GoFundMe to assist with funeral proceedings. (GoFundMe photo)
Family of student who died launches GoFundMe

Rick Hansen Secondary School student Anika Janz, 14, died after collapsing in PE class

Most Read