Newsletter – April 2013
April 2013 Newsletter for Seniors on Vancouver Island
This article was written by Adrian Dix leader of the BC NDP party and submitted to Seniors 101. As seniors we must evaluate the proposals and positions offered by the 4 parties and decide what we need not just for ourselves but also for our children, our grandchildren and the future of BC.
Please click here to read the preamble to lasts month’s newsletter which is revelent to this article.
Change for the Better,
One Practical Step at a Time
By Adrian Dix, leader of the BC NDP
While all British Columbians have a stake in the result of the upcoming provincial election on May 14, seniors have even more reasons to be concerned about the outcome because it will affect the future of BC health care.
The BC Liberal government’s neglect of our health care system over the past twelve years has hit seniors especially hard. Services have been reduced, and seniors are paying more to access those services.
During our time in opposition, BC New Democrats have focused on getting results for British Columbians rather than trying to score political points.
New Democrat MLAs such as Carole James, who is running again in Victoria-Beacon Hill, have worked hard to bring to light deficiencies in government programs for seniors.
Our advocacy in the legislature helped lead to a scathing 400-page report on seniors’ services last year by BC Ombudsperson Kim Carter that shone a harsh light on the realities of seniors care in this province. Since then, the BC Liberals have responded with more reviews and consultations.
In the face of government inaction, New Democrat MLAs have kept working to make a difference for seniors. Several times, we introduced legislation to bring in an advocate for seniors who would stand up for BC seniors and ensure that they would be properly served by government agencies.
After years of shooting down this idea, the BC Liberals finally agreed with us, and this year the BC Legislature passed a law creating a Seniors Advocate.
This exemplifies our approach: Change for the better, one practical step at a time. We New Democrats want to take this approach to government, where we can do far more for seniors.
We want British Columbians to have a new government with better priorities, such as growing a sustainable economy and creating jobs. A government that will invest in education and skills training, reduce inequality, and improve health care.
New Democrats know that BC seniors expect and deserve better than what they have received in the past twelve years from the BC Liberals.
New Democrats have promised that we will invest in home support services and other community-based health services. These changes will take pressure off of existing seniors services and hospitals, and provide more options to seniors who want to continue living in their own homes.
We will also scrap BC Liberal policies that have caused constant staff turnovers in care homes, which adversely affected the standard of care. Instead we will place a greater emphasis on the needs of seniors and their families.
The BC NDP also wants to reform drug programs because BC Liberal policies have reduced the availability of needed medications.
One out of six British Columbians today have problems affording their drugs, compared to one in ten people across Canada, according to a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. British Columbians spend 22 per cent more than other Canadians on out-of-pocket expenses such as medications, health care services, eye tests and medical exams.
A New Democrat government will work to make medications more affordable for British Columbians.
As the campaign for the May 14 election goes on, we New Democrats will bring forward more practical and affordable ideas to make life better for British Columbians.
We want to focus this campaign on ideas and policies, not on personal attacks. And that’s the new tone we want to take into the legislature.
I am proud of the candidates that have agreed to run under the New Democrat banner in this election. Once the campaign is over, we will be prepared to work with MLAs from all parties to bring effective and efficient government to this province.