British Columbia

B.C. to create Canada's first seniors' advocate

The B.C. government has introduced legislation to create Canada's first-ever provincial seniors' advocate.

The B.C. government has introduced legislation to create Canada's first-ever provincial seniors' advocate.

The position was called for after a scathing report last year into the state of seniors' care in the province.

Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid says the new position will focus on addressing issues impacting quality of life for B.C.'s growing elderly population, including healthcare, housing and transportation.

"It's to allow seniors to have that voice, so this advocate will make recommendations, will be working collaboratively with government and other agencies and will be reporting annually to the minister," she said.

The advocate will not look at individual cases, like over government watchdogs. MacDiarmid says this just isn't workable in a province with more than one million seniors.

"To have an advocate that would be taking cases one by one is really not realistic."

It is not yet known when the position will take effect or who will be appointed to the role.

An estimated 70 per cent of people over the age of 65 will need some form of long-term care in their lives.

with files from the CBC's Stephen Smart