EDMONTON, AB (October 28, 2013): Bill 208, the Seniors’ Advocate Act, hits the floor for second reading at the Legislature today and, if passed, will protect the rights of all seniors, investigate complaints of improper care and give seniors a voice free from political interference, Wildrose Seniors Critic Kerry Towle said today.
Bill 208 would create the Seniors’ Advocate as an independent office of the Legislature that would be granted similar powers as the Children’s Advocate office. The Advocate would report directly to the Legislature, be given the power to investigate complaints launched by seniors and the ability to perform system wide audits to explore better ways to deliver care. “The seniors who built our province deserve better from their government,” Towle said. “As the Wildrose Seniors Critic, I have been listening to the concerns of seniors from every corner of the province. Seniors want real action and have made it clear that they want an independent voice at the table.” There have been alarming trends developing in seniors care over the past several years including the closure of long-term care beds, the controversial divorce by nursing home policy and lower standards of care in facilities across the province in the delivery of food and bathing. Towle said the new Advocate would be able to address these existing problems and hold the current government of the day accountable. “This legislation will tell seniors and families that we care about their priorities and not about the political interests of the government in power,” Towle said. “I encourage all MLAs in the house as we head into debate to put seniors first and support Bill 208.”