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

First responders at a crash scene near Rossland on Thursday, Oct. 22. Photo: Trail RCMP
First snow in West Kootenay causes vehicle collisions

The Trail and Greater District RCMP’s weekly brief contains details on collisions

The Regional District of Central Kootenay is no fan of the provincial STEP Code. File photo
RDCK board encouraged to ‘STEP’ forward with building code

RDCK directors have twice delayed adopting STEP Code standards

L-R, Kootenay mountain biking pioneer Mark Holt, Touchstones executive director Astrid Heyerdahl, and Deb MacKillop of the Nelson Cycling Club at the 2018 Touchstones exhibit. Photo: Louis Bockner
Touchstones Museum wins award for 2018 mountain bike exhibit

Exhibit responded to an unexplored yet vital part of Nelson’s identity

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers, staff by parents must stop: Chilliwack soccer club

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

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

FILE – The Queen of Alberni ferry leaves the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta bound for Vancouver Island, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam) CANADA
Mechanical failure leaves nearly 200 passengers stranded on BC Ferries ship for hours

A tug arrived after dark to safely nudge the vessel into a berth so travellers could finally disembark

Ridge Meadows RCMP (Black Press)
Maple Ridge X-ray tech convicted of sexual assault dating back 30 years

Allen James Brooks is expected to be sentenced in January 2021

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson leaves the stage after announcing he is stepping down as party leader, during a news conference in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Too rural, not enough diversity, soul searching needed, say BC Liberals

Elections BC says there are about 600,000 mail-in and absentee ballots across the province still to count

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way to provide an update on the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Canada has reached a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing 10,000 novel coronavirus deaths. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta COVID deaths pushes Canada past milestone of 10,000 deaths

Canada crossed the threshold of 5,000 deaths on May 12, a little over two months after the first was reported

Most Read