In this two panel photograph; NDP Leader John Horgan, left, and Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson wear face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19, during campaign stops. A provincial election will be held in British Columbia on October 24. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. election announcements on seniors support from both Liberals and NDP

Both party announcements pledge to keep seniors in their homes for longer

The leaders of both the Liberals and New Democrats focused their attention on seniors while campaigning in British Columbia’s provincial election on Sunday.

Both party announcements pledge to keep seniors in their homes for longer, while the Liberals also added a plan to improve long-term care homes to its election platform.

While campaigning in North Vancouver, Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson announced a $7,000 annual tax credit for seniors’ at-home services and a $1-billion plan to replace and upgrade care homes.

“Some people may say this can be a bit expensive, but compare with the cost of institutional care, which is much, much higher,” Wilkinson said. ”Seniors deserve the option of aging in place. Seniors deserve the option of the comfort and security of their own home as they age.”

The Liberal plan to upgrade and build care homes is similar to the $1.4-billion, 10-year capital plan the NDP announced Wednesday, though Wilkinson said his approach would see all seniors in private long-term care rooms over five years, not 10.

Wilkinson said a Liberal government would commit $200 million in each of five years to fast track construction to ensure that every senior who wants a single room in long-term care can have one.

COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care homes in B.C. have been devastating and the majority of the 238 people who have died in the provincial have been seniors.

Wilkinson said it’s a tragedy that can never happen again.

NDP Leader John Horgan, who campaigned in Comox, announced expanded health-care education spaces and funding for seniors’ home care, saying the former Liberal government rationed services and cut back on staff.

“COVID-19 has exposed the true cost of B.C. Liberal neglect to seniors’ care,” Horgan said in a statement.

Horgan said the NDP plan would involve training programs for health-care workers and would ensure health authorities have the resources they need to deliver the services.

“We need to make sure though that the care providers have the time in their day to do the work that we’re asking them to do,” he said.

Other details of the plan would be unveiled in the NDP election platform, Horgan said.

He said the key to the plan would be to allow seniors to stay at home, where they want to be.

“That’s far more cost effective than building more bricks and mortar and putting people into buildings.”

Later on Sunday, Wilkinson promised in a news release that a Liberal government would stop the city of Surrey from abandoning the RCMP in favour of a local police force.

Wilkinson said his government would hold a referendum would, giving Surrey residents the final choice.

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum was elected on the promise to bring the city its own police force, the provincial government approved the transition in 2019 and a search has been launched for a new police chief.

A statement from New Democrat Mike Farnworth, the public safety minister who gave the government’s approval, said Wilkinson’s promise is a desperate act and a major violation of the relationship with a local government.

“This flip-flop by Andrew Wilkinson and the B.C. Liberals is one more desperate act. This blatant disrespect is offensive to the city and citizens of Surrey who are quite capable of managing the affairs of their city, in accordance with their legal authority.”

A statement from McCallum said the Surrey Police Service is “a done deal.”

“For the B.C. Liberals to interfere in the unanimous decision of an elected city council should be a concern to all municipal governments in our province,” McCallum said.

The New Democrats announced on Sunday that if re-elected, their government would pay back drivers any profits generated by the Insurance Corporation of B.C. during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Accidents dropped dramatically during the pandemic and the government said earlier this year ICBC had saved millions.

David Eby, the attorney general who is also responsible for the public auto insurer, said the rebate would be paid at the same time as an expected 20 per cent rate reduction in insurance next May.

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said the announcement is another cynical example of the kinds of politics going on in B.C. for too long.

“This is again such a standard approach in elections to say ‘look, vote for us and we’ll give you this one-time cash in your pocket deal,’” she said. ”We are focused on actually looking at where we want to get to.”

Furstenau campaigned in Duncan Sunday and announced a plan to support renters, saying the Green party would earmark $500 million to supplement those who are paying more than 30 per cent of their income towards rent.

Terri Theodore, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

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

Just Posted

Saanich police are warning residents that rutting season has begun and deer may get their antlers tangled in items left in yards. (Saanich Police Department/Twitter)
Deer with items tangled in antlers spotted in Saanich as rutting season begins

Police, B.C. Conservation Service warn of possibly aggressive bucks through fall

Police will be diverting traffic between Island View Road and Amity Drive from 12 to 1 p.m. Oct. 23. (Google Maps)
Section of Pat Bay Highway closes for Mi’kmaq fishing rights demonstration

Police will be diverting traffic Oct. 23 from noon to 1 p.m between Island View Road and Amity Drive

Oulette the Great Horned owl was spotted alive just days after her mate, Ollie, was found dead from suspected rat poisoning on Oct. 17. (Photo by Cheryl Redhead)
Great Horned owl mate found alive in Cuthbert Holmes Park

Oulette spotted in tree above where male Ollie died of suspected poisoning

Saanich firefighters were called out to Hartland Road on Oct. 21 to help transport a mountain biker with neck and back injuries out of the woods. (Black Press Media file photo)
Patient with neck, back injuries rescued from Saanich bike trails

Saanich firefighters called in to help paramedics with transportation off Mount Work

Saanich South Liberal candidate Rishi Sharma commits to addressing issues at the five-way intersection of Interurban and Wilkinson roads in partnership with the municipality if elected. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich South Liberal candidate commits to improving Interurban/Wilkinson intersection

‘Confusing five-way intersection,’ needs attention, Rishi Sharma says

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
Our Home on 8th, the Port Alberni Shelter that opened in March 2019, has 27 extra ‘extreme weather’ spaces for people who need a place to get out of the cold. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BC VOTES 2020: Mid-Island candidate plans occupation of shelter to protest homelessness

Graham Hughes says homeless situation a ‘crisis’ in Port Alberni

Parksville’s Jared Huggan won $75,000 playing BC/49. (BCLC/Photo submitted)
Vancouver Island man $75K richer after purchasing winning lottery ticket at Nanaimo Walmart

Parksville’s Huggan plans to purchase electric bike for partner

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for parts of Vancouver Island for Thursday and Friday.(File photo)
Snowfall expected in parts of Vancouver Island this week

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for north, east and inland Vancouver Island

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

Jordan Jay Ward is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for two counts of manslaughter. Photo supplied
Wanted man from Calgary may be on Vancouver Island

Jordan Jay Ward is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for two counts of manslaughter

FILE – A voting package for the 2018 electoral reform referendum. Vote-by-mail packages for the 2020 provincial election will look similar, according to information provided by Elections BC. (Katya Slepian - Black Press Media)
POLL: Have you voted yet?

As election day quickly approaches, hundreds of thousands of British Columbians have… Continue reading

Most Read