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

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

crowe shop
Shop class receives wonderful response from West Kootenay residents

“Each item came with its own little story which was really neat to hear.” - Dale Smyth

(File photo)
Rossland council surveys residents for input on new city plan

Rosslands Official Community Plan has run its course, and the city is nudging residents for input

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
61 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care

View of the city from West Trail. Photo: Ryden Wahl
What you see …

If you have a recent photo to share email it large or actual-size to editor@trailtimes.ca

Summer does provide some shelter for homeless. In winter, it’s a different story. Photo: Jim Bailey
Trail RCMP offer healing approach to mental health and addictions

People living with a mental illness and substance use disorders need assistance not incarceration

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
One in five tests in Fernie area coming back positive: doctor

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
From the “You can’t make this stuff up” file – stories from the BC CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

(Black Press Media files)
Woman steals bottles of wine after brandishing stun baton in New Westminster

Police say the female suspect was wearing a beige trench coat with fur lining

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Vancouver Island paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Most Read