NDP leader John Horgan made a stop in the North Vancouver-Seymour riding, Tuesday – the first time the NDP campaign has landed in the riding.
Horgan and local NDP candidate Susie Chant pounded in some election signs on Premier Street before attending a roundtable with local nurses.
The riding is home to the Lynn Valley Care Centre, where one of the worst outbreaks of COVID-19 happened in B.C.
Horgan said his party will fund 7,000 new long-term care and assisted living positions, a $44-million committment. The Liberals have promised $200 million per year over five years plus fast-tracked construction to replace and upgrade long-term care facilities so seniors living in them will no longer have to double bunk. They’ve also pledged a $7,000 tax credit to recover costs seniors spend on home support services.
“Long-term care facilities were poorly equiped because of choices by previous governments, largely around staffing,” Horgan said “All’s well and good to have a conversion on the road to Damascus, but they had the opportunity. They didn't do it. And now they're following us.”
The Green Party of BC is pledging to phase out for-profit care homes for seniors.
Chant, who is a registered nurse and has worked as a home care co-ordinator for 20 years, said she does not see care as strictly a numbers game.
“Each person's care needs are pretty much unique so we need to have the capacity, which we will if we've got some more people on the ground,” she said. “I've been working around seniors and adults with chronic health conditions for many, many years.”
North Vancouver-Seymour is usually considered a safe Liberal seat. Only once in the last 30 years has the NDP claimed more than one-third of the popular vote in the riding. Horgan said he is expecting there will be a lot of voters who have previously never voted NDP, to come around and put new ridings in play.
“We're going to places where the Liberals have historically been elected to remind people that the values they have are the values that we've been promoting for a long, long time,” he said. “You don't own seats. You earn them.”