British Columbia’s fiscal fate clouded with uncertainty but summer HST referendum promises to heat up the debate

“We are also looking forward to the opening of the onsite seniors’ resource centre which will provide one stop access to resources and information for seniors living in the community as well as for the tenants at 8th and Vine. We believe that this project is an invaluable contribution to this community, providing opportunities for seniors to age within their community close to the friends, and services they have been accessing for decades.” said Catherine Leach, executive director, Kits Neighbourhood House.

CARP has called on provincial and federal governments to build not only affordable but also accessible senior’s housing and this seems like a great example of the kind of housing that should be created.

The following elements of her policy platform “Agenda for Change Putting Families First” may be of interest to CARP members if they amount to more than lip service.
• Boost the Caregiver Tax Credit once the budget is balanced to ease the burden on family members caring for loved ones at home;
• Boost the BC focus on growing challenges of dementia and other similar illnesses that attack the brain;
• Fight elder abuse: lobby the Federal Government to amend the Criminal Code to make it an aggravating factor in any offence if a victim is particularly vulnerable due to age – something the Conservative government already promised in the federal election campaign;
• Ensure access to health care services is looked at through a rural lens;
? Hold a special summit with non-profits, charities and government to construct a new made-in-BC model for non-profit and public partnerships;
? Strengthen the role of non-profit organizations using the principle of “transparent selection” so organizations will clearly know how funding will be allocated and the criteria for selection.

CARP will be following events closely to see if the new guard is prepared to capitalize on the opportunities that exist in the healthcare sector. The wallflower budget of 2011 may yet blossom. As is so often the case in BC: interesting times ahead!

Keywords: budget, healthcare, costs, seniors, housing