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Independence is key

Seniors advocate needs to be at arm's length, at least

On June 11, 2012, I attended the Parksville consultation about a seniors advocate. It was clear the seniors’ advocate must be truly independent of political parties because this is a matter of the health, medical safety and basic human rights of seniors.

It is essential that the seniors’ advocate is entirely independent of the Minister of Health and other ministers. That’s because the advocate must have the authority to protect the health, medical safety, and basic human rights of seniors.

Democratic duties of accountability to the public necessitate that the seniors’ advocate is selected by the full legislature, reports to the full legislature and reports to the public. The Ombudsperson has made it clear the government’s health legislation must be amended to protect the public.

Jill Owen-Flood