In the last weeks, a number of my communities have lost highly respected elders whose lives were celebrated in memorial services that outlined years of service to community and a commitment to future generations.
It is a tremendous reminder of the important contribution that seniors make to our society. And I believe that we must honour that contribution by enhancing our democracy, protecting the things we hold in common, and ensuring opportunity for our children.
And we must be sure that we make choices that show seniors just how deeply we value what they have given and what they continue to give to our communities. But I am concerned that too frequently the way our seniors are treated shows very little respect.
Programs like DriveABLE, which caused tremendous and unnecessary strain on seniors, showed a real lack of care for seniors. Although the BC Liberals will claim that they’ve “fixed” the program, the very fact that they would force this program, which was so poorly thought out, onto seniors shows that seniors are not a BC Liberal priority.
Other actions of government have caused real difficulties for seniors such as the increases to residential care fees, the limiting of health care services and closure of rural health facilities such as the Kimberley Hospital which was closed shortly after the BC Liberals took power.
We need to make life better for seniors. We need to invest in ensuring that seniors are comfortable and cared for.
This is what I hear from the people I represent. People in this area are very clear that they want the best for the elders in our society. And I agree. Who we are as a province is measured by the way we treat our seniors. And, in British Columbia, we simply have to do better.