The BC provincial election will be held on May 14, 2013. Your Okanagan Valley Board strongly encourages all members and voters to get informed on the platforms and policies proposed by all parties on the issues that matter the most to our aging population.
The questions below focus on several of the key issues your Okanagan Valley Chapter Board feels should be posed to and addressed by candidates. We encourage you to use these questions and/or create your own to ask at forums and events in your local ridings.
GET TO KNOW YOUR CANDIDATES/ PARTIES – QUESTIONS
1) What would your party do to further enable BC municipalities to promote the World Health Organization’s “age-friendly” community initiatives?
2) The Government of BC recently passed the Seniors Advocate Act without amendment. On March 13, 2013, the NDP member for Kootenay West tabled Bill M 203, the Representative for Seniors Act, with a key distinction that the Representative would be independent and arms-length for government. However, the sitting session came to a close with no changes. What model and rationale for a seniors’ advocate for BC does your party support? How would you(r) party work to modify and/or implement this Act?
3) What measures (e.g. tax cuts, directly funded programs etc.) would you party support to encourage healthy aging and ensure that BC has the healthiest possible older population? How would these measures be implemented and over what time frame?
4) Aids for mobility and independence such as hearing aids are often not covered in BC, of particular concern for vulnerable and low-income older adults. What- if anything- would you(r) party do to address this issue?
5) What measures do you suggest to further inform the public that seniors earning less than $30,000/year as a household are not required to pay MSP premiums?
6) Over time, cuts to BC’s home care and home support have been among the deepest in the country. Given the deficit situation and the on-going battle for allocation of healthcare dollars, in addition to the recent Better at Home funding, what is your party proposing to increase the levels of home care and support which are needed, proven, and cost-effective?
7) Very few of the approximately 170 recommendations issued by the Ombudsperson of BC, Kim Carter, in the Best of Care: Getting it Right for BC’s Seniors report have been implemented, despite the argument that at least some of these recommendations can be acted on at low cost. If elected, what priority action items from those recommendations would your party move to implement, and when?
8) The 3 major causes of premature death for older adults in BC are smoking, obesity, and falls. What would you(r) party do to address these?
9) What measures do you see being taken to work on prevention rather than just treatment for aging population health concerns?