Senior care critic Conroy to speak in Qualicum Beach

Public meetings are in response to ombudsperson’s report on senior care.

Local NDP candidate Barry Avis is hosting two public meetings on seniors’ care with provincial opposition critic for seniors’ care Katrine Conroy and a screening of the short documentary The Remaining Light.

Avis said the meetings are in response to the recent second part of ombudsperson Kim Carter’s report on senior care and he wants to involve his constituency in the issue.

“We want to keep everything as public and democratic as possible,” he said.

“We are pleased to have Katrine visit our constituency for a public policy conversation…” he added in a news release. “Katrine is the sponsor of a bill in the Legislature to establish  a seniors representative for B.C.,” Avis said, explaining that is a response to the 176 recommendations in the report.

He said the 1-800 number announced by the Liberals is far from enough and they see a need for a position similar to that of the representative for children and youth — currently held by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond.

“The ombudsperson’s report largely confirms what we have been hearing directly from seniors, their families and care providers for the last eleven years,” Conroy said in the release. “The government has failed to provide adequate assistance and support to navigate the complex home and community care system or to effectively address concerns and complaints.”

“There is much we can do to help our vulnerable seniors — the people who helped build this province. We can do better and we must do better,” she added.

Avis said he has invited MLA Ron Cantelon, the parliamentary secretary to the minister responsible for seniors.

The first two hour meeting is in Nanaimo is at 7 p.m., Thurs., March 29 at McGirr Elementary School, 6199 McGirr Road. The Qualicum Beach meeting is at 1:30 p.m. March 30 at the Community Hall, 644 Memorial Avenue. There will be a screening of the 30 minute documentary on seniors’ care in B.C.