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

Peggy Ardnt (left) and Ed Ardnt (right) present the symbolic first poppy to Harrison Hot Springs Mayor Leo Facio. This presentation is traditional across Canada to share awareness of the poppy campaign leading up to Remembrance Day on Nov. 11. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Agassiz Legion presents first symbolic poppies

Local dignitaries accepted the poppies, continuing a long-standing tradition

Left to right: Sardis Kiwanis Club President Bruce Oakley with nominator Peter Somers, Sovereign’s Medal recipient Brian Cleaver, nominator Derek Fryer and nominator Peter Brown. (Submitted photo)
Chilliwack’s Brian Cleaver wins Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

Cleaver is a long-time member of the Sardis Kiwanis Club and a strong advocate for Special Olympics

Former Chilliwack-Kent BC Liberal MLA Barry Penner, pictured here in 2016 when he was the outgoing chair of the ICBC board of directors, said the BC Liberals have a lot of work to recover from the Oct. 24, 2020 election defeat. (Black Press File)
BC VOTES 2020: Former Chilliwack-Kent MLA Barry Penner opines on BC Liberal future

‘There isn’t enough room on the political spectrum … for two free-enterprise parties’

New Chilliwack restaurant moving into supposedly haunted Nowell Street location

Many restaurants have come and gone, Twisted Thistle the most recent, at Nowell and Princess Ave

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

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)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

Stock photo
Pair’s lawsuit dismissed against Fraser Valley soccer association and churches

Judge in Abbotsford calls claims against 14 defendants ‘an abuse of the court’s process’

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

Most Read