B.C. Has Canada’s 1st Seniors Care Advocate

Posted on April 23, 2014

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VICTORIA – British Columbia has appointed Canada’s first seniors’ advocate, but the Opposition New Democrats maintain the government missed the opportunity to have a truly independent champion for seniors.Isobel Mackenzie was appointed Wednesday by Health Minister Terry Lake to head the Office of the Seniors Advocate, fulfilling a government promise to ensure a strong voice for the province’s 700,000 elderly residents.Lake said Mackenzie, a Victoria care administrator with 20 years’ experience working with and serving the elderly, can help create and deliver policies and services that meet the complex and numerous needs of seniors.”I will not shrink from the responsibility I have to advocate for the seniors in this province,” she told a news conference in Vancouver.Mackenzie, who is also a former Victoria school trustee, said the Seniors Advocate Act ensures she must advise the government in an independent manner. She said the law states she must meet with the health minister at least once a year and that her report to the minister must be made public.New Democrat health critic Katrine Conroy said she supports the creation of the seniors’ advocate position, but the post requires more teeth to allow the advocate to work more independently of government.

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