Seniors Care Plan

Michael has built his leadership campaign around five key values. Compassion, integrity, accountability, community, and inclusivity. Collectively, they form the lens that he sees the world through. They guide his decision-making process, help order his priorities and shape the vision he has for British Columbia.
Compassion comes naturally to Michael - he was raised by a health care family - as the child of a nurse and a pharmacist. As an MLA, he restarted the South Vancouver Seniors’ Network, which he currently co-chairs. He has worked with organizations like SUCCESS that tirelessly strive to support seniors, and championed culturally-appropriate care at seniors’ residences in the Lower Mainland. Seniors are a vital part of the strong communities Michael has been working to build. Together, we need to do a better job of taking care of everyone, and enabling seniors to live longer and healthier lives at home in our communities.

Unlike the NDP, which views government as the one-size-fits-all solution to every problem, Michael understands that partnerships result in a more inclusive set of policy solutions. To maximize the options available to our seniors, we need to ensure everyone is at the table. That means working with public, private, and non-profit providers to increase the options available throughout the province - to ensure culturally appropriate care is accessible, to enable aging-in-place, to facilitate community-based solutions. As premier, Michael will embrace innovations like the dementia village in Langley and the one being built in Comox.
Michael will work with all levels of government, including First Nations, to ensure real inclusivity in seniors care. We need to improve and expand home care options to provide better care and help with daily living so that people can stay in their own homes for as long as is safely possible, receiving care from a stable group of home support workers.  We also need to develop comprehensive standards for long-term care and assisted living design guidelines, which encompass recipients of care and their families as partners with health care providers.
Two recent reports by Isobel Mackenzie, BC’s Seniors Advocate, highlight where we have been coming up short in BC. The first makes clear that the crisis in care for our elders is sadly not news. For years now, elder abuse has been under-reported and obscured by red tape and inefficient processes. The second shows how the onslaught of COVID exacerbated those existing issues and created its own set of challenges. Seniors in long-term care (LTC) were held in complete isolation, faced shockingly high infection and death rates and, in some cases, received care well below any acceptable standard.
Taken together, the reports make clear there is a lack of accountability in seniors care in BC. That needs to change. We need better data to ground our decision-making. We need more resources to ensure healthcare workers aren’t primary vectors for disease through no fault of their own. We need to review our care process to ensure that a truly patient-centered approach is at the core. We need to use our ingenuity, embrace improved technologies, and find efficiencies through partnership. We need to find ways to incorporate comprehensive mental health care, including help for anxiety, loneliness, and depression as part of caring for seniors, just as it should be for the rest of us. Together, we need to ensure our seniors are a top priority.
A good first step suggested by Ms. Mackenzie - one that Michael will champion - is to ensure the Adult Guardianship Act undergoes a comprehensive review in light of these two reports and all we have learned through the myriad tragedies of the pandemic and BC’s recent environmental emergencies. Those reports won’t sit gathering dust on the government’s shelves. Michael will hold the NDP government to account and highlight how our team would improve long-term care for our seniors. As premier, Michael Lee will follow through. That is what accountability and integrity in leadership demand.


About Michael

Michael Lee is a BC Liberal Party leadership candidate and the MLA for Vancouver-Langara. Before entering politics, Michael was a prominent business lawyer in Vancouver, where he worked for 20 years with forestry, mining, energy, and technology companies across BC. He also has a strong record of community service for over 30 years, including with social service, educational, and children and youth organizations. A son of immigrants, Michael was born and raised in Vancouver. He and his wife Christina have three young adult children.


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