B.C. NDP leader John Horgan visits an urgent care clinic in Sooke, June 2020. (B.C. government)

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

$1.4 billion construction on top of staff raises, single-site work

A B.C. NDP government will carry on its overhaul of B.C. senior care with a 10-year project to create private rooms for all residents of public senior care homes, leader John Horgan says.

In a second campaign visit to Surrey in the early days of the campaign for the Oct. 24 B.C. election, Horgan recounted his government’s efforts to control COVID-19 outbreaks in senior care homes. He promised to carry on with increased wages and single-site employment for senior care workers, a move recommended early in the pandemic by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. The staffing measure was estimated in spring to cost an additional $10 million a month, and Horgan has since promised to hire another 7,000 care aides to meet provincial standards for care hours per day.

Horgan estimated the construction work would cost $1.4 billion over 10 years. He said the conversion to private rooms is for publicly owned senior homes, and new standards for privately run facilities will be coming out soon in the NDP election platform.

Horgan took aim at the previous B.C. Liberal government record, which included care home operators changing hands to cancel union contracts, which he said forced workers into multiple part-time jobs that ended up spreading infection. The NDP government passed legislation to protect union contracts in late 2018.

RELATED: B.C. completing single-site employment, retroactive raises

RELATED: B.C. union celebrates end of senior care ‘contract flipping’

Outbreaks at B.C. care facilities that account for most of the COVID-19 deaths in B.C. “were a direct result of B.C. Liberal choices,” Horgan said Sept. 30.

The B.C. Liberals were quick to point out that converting to single rooms would not provide additional senior care spaces with the senior population growing every year.

At a campaign stop in Port Moody, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson compared Horgan’s promise to other 10-year plans, for $10-a-day daycare and construction of 114,000 new housing units across the province. Three years into the housing plan, it has produced fewer than 3,000 new units, mostly temporary modular structures for people living in urban camps, Wilkinson said.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

The Dupras family has been regulars at the Babine River and have seen plentiful grizzlies over the years. (Jay Dupras photo/Lakes District News)
A family’s close encounter with a grizzly on Babine River bridge

Photo-enthusiasts let the bear access the bridge for photos putting others at risk

Stikine provincial election candidates (clockwise from top left): Nathan Cullen, NDP; Darcy Repen, Rural BC Party; Rod Taylor, Christian Heritage; and Gordon Sebastian, BC Liberals.
‘Where is Annita McPhee?’: Cullen under fire from opening salvo of all-candidates forum

Four Stikine candidates spar during online debate from Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge in Smithers

(Wet'suwet'en Access Point on Gidimt'en Territory Facebook screenshot)
Ceremony a right at proposed CGL pipeline drill site: BC Union of Indian Chiefs

Indigenous land defenders cannot be criminalized and targeted, argues UBCIC

(File graphic)
Man dies in Gitlaxt’aamiks (New Aiyansh) after being taken into police custody

IIO and BC Corners Service conducting independent investigations

Dan Stuart (Christian Heritage Party - BC photo)
Strong values underpin Christian Heritage Party candidate

He’s also suspicious of the COVID-19 pandemic

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

École de L’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
B.C. records first COVID-19 outbreak at school, six weeks after students return to class

Three cases of the virus have been identified at École de L’Anse-au-sable

Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau is seen as she leaves media event during a campaign stop in West Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green leader hopes voters see value in minority government

The Greens received nearly 17 per cent of the popular vote in 2017 yet received just three seats

Local candidates Pam Alexis, Abbotsford-Mission, and Preet Rai, Abbotsford-West, look on as NDP Leader John Horgan main streets in Abbotsford, B.C., Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. NDP takes snap election risk during pandemic in quest for majority government

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said the election was unnecessary and irresponsible during the pandemic

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

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, B.C., on October 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. Liberal Leader maintains confidence as campaign tests party identity

Liberal campaign has been disrupted by controversy

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Most Read