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Seniors’ advocate position weakened without independence

Coalition questions government's stewardship of seniors' care, points to little progress made on B.C. Ombudsperson's recommendations, no focus on seniors' care in 2013 budget

Vancouver — The BC Health Coalition is expressing frustration that the seniors' advocate legislation tabled yesterday will not create an advocate that is independent of government.

"Last year the Ministry of Health consulted seniors and other stakeholders on their priorities for an advocate position, and independence was a clear top priority," says BC Health Coalition co-chair Rick Turner.

"An independent seniors' advocate would allow for arms-length assessment of seniors' issues, similar to the role of the representative for children and youth and the BC Ombudsperson," says Tuner.

By contrast, a seniors' advocate that is a part of government – as tabled in yesterday's Bill 10, the Seniors Advocate Act –will be limited to serving at the discretion of government and will therefore be unable to play the watchdog role that seniors need it to.

For full news release, click HERE.

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