I am extremely pleased to see that if elected, that the BC NDP will reorganize the provincial coffers to ensure that seniors have access to the resources they need to safely live in their own homes for as long as possible.
Research shows that not only is this what seniors want, but that it also has the potential to decrease the financial burden on taxpayers.
With too many people calling expensive hospital wards their home, and with health-care costs currently running at approximately 45 per cent of the provincial budget, we simply cannot afford to just keep heading in the same direction that the Liberals are taking us in.
We need change now.
Over the past two years, NDP Leader Adrian Dix and our local candidate Kassandra Dycke have sought out several opportunities to talk with local seniors, health-care professionals and other community stakeholders, to see how seniors can be better supported.
I have attended some of those meetings, and I see the things we communicated to them reflected in the BC NDP platform. Wow — they not only heard us, but they listened!
They say that if elected, the current provincial budget will be reworked to free $70 million over the next three years to improve home support services.
As a health-care professional who works with vulnerable seniors on a daily basis, who has parents and in-laws who are seniors living in B.C., and who is a baby-boomer-and-soon-to-be-senior myself, this change is absolutely necessary if we are to promote the health and well-being of not only our parents and grandparents but their caregivers.
Just ask anyone who is the caregiver for an aging partner, parent or friend. By investing in better home support services for seniors, the BCNDP is not only supporting a better quality of life for seniors, but they are also taking measures to bring acute care health costs under control and creating sustainable jobs throughout the province.
None of which is contained in the Liberal platform who will, instead, conduct more studies and provide a little additional support to bolster volunteerism.
Since we simply cannot wait and hope for another party to make seniors a priority, the BC NDP will get my vote.