Improving the services you count on
Christy Clark and the BC Liberals’ choices have damaged the services you rely on. They wasted millions in the courts fighting teachers and hurting our kids’ education. They caused long wait times for urgent healthcare and have left seniors in care going a week at a time without a bath.
Regardless of what Christy Clark and her party are promising this election, their record speaks for itself. On the services that matter, she’s never worked for you.
John Horgan and the BC NDP will work hard to improve the services you count on. We’ll deliver quality health care where you need it, when you need it. And we’ll fix our education system, investing in student success from kindergarten to graduate school.
John Horgan's commitments to BC
what they're saying
"I’m excited that the BC NDP will do more to reduce poverty. I have a family member who relies on disability benefits and I want my government to do more."
"I own a mobile salon – doing hair and makeup – specializing in seniors. They mean a lot to me and I’ve cared for them for 10 years. The BC NDP will give families and seniors more support — providing hope."
"As a former registered psychologist working with people with mental health issues in a hospital setting, I've been horrified to see many of my former patients not being properly cared for. John Horgan and the BC NDP will provide faster access to mental health services when and where people need it."
"I’ve seen first-hand the impacts of underfunding and shortages in our healthcare system. John Horgan and the BC NDP will make sure that you get the care you need when you need it."
all the pieces
Healthcare that works for you
Under Christy Clark, too many British Columbians are not getting the healthcare they need — despite paying more and more in MSP premiums every year.
John Horgan and the BC NDP will take action to make our healthcare system work for you. We will make improving your access to family doctors and other medical professionals the top priority for our Ministry of Health. We’ll develop a new urgent care model that gets emergency room visitors the healthcare support they need faster, and we’ll help rural British Columbians with an improved medical travel allowance.
At the same time, we will:
- Reduce the cost of prescription drugs.
- Invest in new hospitals and care facilities in communities across BC, plus home care and quality long-term care for BC seniors.
- Establish Urgent Family Care Centres across BC (open evenings and weekends), to help you get the one-on-one healthcare you need with the support of a full medical team.
- Invest in more paramedics, so that no one is left waiting for an ambulance in their time of critical need.
- Implement province-wide coordination to manage and actively monitor waitlists and speed up service delivery.
- Stop the decline in rural health services.
- Fund UBC’s Therapeutics Initiative properly to keep drug costs down and patients safe.
- Work with the federal government to create a national pharmacare program and bulk purchasing of medication to keep costs low.
- Remove the age restriction on the insulin pump program for British Columbians living with diabetes.
Respect and quality care for seniors
When nine in ten seniors’ care homes don’t meet minimum government standards, it’s clear Christy Clark isn’t working for BC’s elderly population.
John Horgan and the BC NDP will make seniors a priority. We will help them stay in their own homes longer, improve the consistency of care in care homes and create a legislative committee focused on improving the care and lives of seniors.
Giving support to seniors to stay at home as long as possible is the right thing to do. We will increase the length of home support visits and expand the scope of services provided – helping seniors stay in their homes longer, reducing stress on family friends and other unpaid caregivers.
Seniors who move into residential care can expect increased support and more accountability from providers and their staff, so they receive the high-quality, dignified relationship-based care they deserve. We will conduct a review to establish and maintain safe staffing levels that aren’t disrupted by contracting out or contract flipping.
We’ll develop an all-party Select Standing Committee on Seniors. This committee will be tasked with refreshing the Council on Aging and Seniors’ 2006 Report, making recommendations to the Legislature and monitoring and reporting on the implementation of those recommendations.
Mental health and addiction services
Mental health is as important as physical health. Whether someone is 8 or 98, they need to know they only have to ask for help once to get help fast.
After years of BC Liberal neglect, John Horgan and the BC NDP will transform our mental health system by improving access, investing in early prevention and providing opportunities for intervention before problems get worse.
To make mental health treatment and addictions support a priority, we will create a Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions. This new ministry will work with the Ministry of Children and Families, the Ministry of Health, local governments, First Nations and the education and justice systems so patients get treatment early and effectively.
For people in crisis needing immediate help, a BC NDP government will take an “Ask Once, Get Help Fast” approach to mental health and addictions. We will ensure children and adolescents can access specially trained adolescent mental health professionals within the school system, where early identification and support can lead to healthier lives and prevent a lifetime of illness.
Since nearly 60% of people struggling with addiction also experience other mental health challenges, a BC NDP government will bring those services together to help those most in need. We’ll provide access to a wide range of evidence-based and regulated treatment, including licensing our current recovery house system, enhancing supports post-detox, and improving access to harm reduction options that save lives.
For people whose health will only improve with intensive, residential-based treatment, we will reopen facilities on the Riverview lands to provide residential care.
Tackling the overdose crisis
A year after the BC Liberal health minister declared the rising number of overdoses in our province an emergency, there is little evidence Christy Clark and the BC Liberal government have any intention of treating it like one.
John Horgan and the BC NDP will take bold action to tackle the opioid crisis and get families and people with addictions the fast support they need. This will include:
- Establishing a province-wide strategy to ensure the widest possible availability of life-saving naloxone kits with people trained to use them.
- Enabling police efforts to disrupt the supply chain, break up major drug rings and send the perpetrators to trial.
- Advocating for increased penalties for drug dealers who knowingly distribute death-dealing drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil.
- Creating a special initiative with First Nations leaders and their communities to provide additional assistance where the impact of the crisis is greatest.
- Increasing support for first responders, including counselling for PTSD and work-related stress.
Investing in knowledge and training
John Horgan’s BC NDP knows that every sector of our economy is increasingly driven by the education and skill level of British Columbians. Being a leader in the world economy requires being a world leader in education at every level. Here’s how we’ll do it:
- Capping tuition fee increases at colleges and universities.
- Ensuring low and middle income students have access to the assistance they need to get the education they want.
- Making student loans interest free – current and future.
- Providing a $1,000 Opportunity Award for higher education graduates to help pay down debt.
- Supporting the UPass program.
- Making Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English as a Second Language (ESL) free again.
- Updating regulations to allow colleges and universities to build affordable on and near-campus rental housing, and ensure student renters receive the renter’s tax rebate of $400 per year.
- Creating a competitive, merit-based graduate scholarship program designed to attract and retain the best graduate students, based on hard work and talent.
- Investing $50M over two years for a new graduate scholarship fund.
- Investing $100 million to expand technology-related post-secondary programs and investing in information and communications, digital media and entertainment, life sciences and health, clean-tech, IT and engineering and more.
- Partnering with universities throughout BC to build technology and innovation centres in key areas of BC’s economy.
We’ll expand skills training and apprenticeships to train the workforce of tomorrow and ensure British Columbians can work on major BC construction projects, including:
- Mandating effective apprenticeship ratios on government funded projects.
- Providing incentives for public sector employers to hire and train apprentices, and to increase the number of women in apprenticeships.
- Partnering with First Nations to increase the number of skilled First Nations and mandate local hiring on government projects.
Investing in BC kids and classrooms
John Horgan and the BC NDP know the best way to build a strong economy for today and tomorrow is to invest in the success of our kids. This includes providing stability in the classroom, ensuring all kids have the time and attention they need to do their absolute best and putting an end to parents fundraising for the essentials, so they can focus on their kid’s success instead.
Our commitments include:
- Contributing $30 million per year to our school system to ensure kids have the school supplies they need to succeed.
- Creating an ongoing capital fund for school playgrounds.
- Working with school districts to successfully implement BC’s new school curriculum and providing new technology, lab equipment, learning material and professional development support for teachers.
- Acknowledging that a per-pupil funding model doesn’t work for our diverse education system in BC and undertaking a comprehensive review.
- Replacing Surrey portables with real classrooms, building new schools in BC’s fastest growing region.
- Working with local governments, First Nations and communities in every region of British Columbia to build new schools and upgrade existing ones.
- Accelerating the seismic upgrade program for BC, making schools safer for our kids should an earthquake happen during school hours.
- Upgrading schools with energy efficient lighting to reduce power consumption costs.
- Building new schools — wherever possible — with made-in-BC manufactured wood products to spur growth and create jobs in our forestry communities.
- Improving First Nations student graduation rates by developing curriculums that accurately and fairly reflect the rich history and culture.
- Providing support for, and working towards, full course offerings in Aboriginal languages.
- Implementing First Nations-focused K-12 education recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report.
- Making mental health counselors available where schools identify a need so children can get the help they need when they need it.
- Partnering with innovative BC not-for-profits and technology companies to offer students the opportunity to learn to code in the classroom.
- Supporting the expansion of digital arts, technology and trades education, and making tools, machinery and equipment available to students.
Ending poverty in BC
Addressing the urgent needs of people living in poverty is essential — and a moral responsibility. John Horgan’s BC NDP will help by immediately:
- Reducing the depth of poverty in BC by immediately raising all income assistance and disability rates by $100 per month.
- Supporting assistance recipients as they re-enter the workforce by allowing them to keep an additional $200 per month in earnings exemptions.
- Ending Christy Clark’s disability bus pass clawback, fully restoring the BC Bus Pass program for people with disabilities.
Under Christy Clark and the BC Liberals, one in five children lives in poverty and food bank use has broken records two years in a row. More than 3,000 children have been added to food bank rolls since Christy Clark became premier. John Horgan and the BC NDP will create a provincial poverty reduction plan with legislated targets and timelines to get kids and families out of poverty and on the path to success.
On homelessness, John Horgan and the BC NDP will partner with the federal government, local municipalities, agencies and community groups to create an immediate homelessness action plan that addresses and includes mental health support, social assistance, justice, safety, health and more.
We will also conduct a provide-wide homeless count, committing to reduce the homeless population through permanent housing and services.
Putting the care into care
We believe every child has the right to care, safety, permanency and connection with their culture. The BC NDP is committed to improving our system of care by:
- Providing an additional $10 million for Agreements with Young Adults, so all youth aging out of government care who need support can receive it.
- Ensuring our K-12 system has the resources to help youth in care graduate with their peers.
- Working with universities and colleges to expand the tuition fee waiver program and provide enhanced supports for former youth in care who pursue post-secondary education.
- Empowering the Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth to review the recommendations of the Independent Representative for Children and Youth and address them.
Connecting and staying with their families and communities is important for all children — especially First Nations children. John Horgan and the BC NDP will meet their specific needs by:
- Implementing the recommendations from Grand Chief Ed John’s report and provide better supports to keep Aboriginal children at home and out of care.
- Ensuring that basic care standards are met for children in care and that there is a plan to connect them with their culture and community.
- Supporting delegated Aboriginal agencies so they can offer services at the same level offered to non-Aboriginal children.
A justice system that works
John Horgan and the BC NDP will ensure access to justice is fair, timely and affordable by:
- Hiring new court sheriffs immediately to bring the number back to a historical norm of 525 so fewer accused criminals walk away free without trial.
- Implementing the Surrey Accord and bringing together all levels of government to create a safer, healthier community and address crime, mental health, addiction and homelessness.
- Providing $500,000 a year in stable, secure funding for Surrey’s Wraparound (WRAP) program to connect teens at risk of joining gangs with outreach workers, teachers and police.
- Taking pressure off the courts by reducing the number of people forced to represent themselves because of a lack of resources.
- Improving access to justice by hiring more staff for the Court Services Branch, increasing access to dispute resolutions services for families, expanding poverty law services and supporting First Nations legal services.
- Working with First Nations to set targets and take action to reduce the number of Aboriginal people facing our justice system and to reduce incarceration rates.
- Recognizing culture for its role in rehabilitation and recovery and providing culturally diverse and appropriate programming in prisons, particularly for Aboriginal people.
- Providing $8 million per year in funding to support women experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes.
Welcoming and protecting newcomers
Newcomers to British Columbia, whether they’re immigrants, refugees or temporary foreign workers, are a part of our province and should receive the same consideration and opportunities as everyone else.
John Horgan and the BC NDP will protect temporary foreign workers by bringing in a Temporary Foreign Worker registry to give government the information it needs to protect workers. While the majority of employers are responsible, the few who are not hurt workers, damage Canada’s reputation, and compete unfairly against other honest BC businesses. We’ll also end the collection of illegal recruitment fees by requiring recruiters and employers to register Temporary Foreign Workers.
We’ll break down barriers to success preventing immigrants from using their professional experience to find meaningful work. This includes the creation of a Centre for Newcomers to help coordinate and educate skilled newcomers in their fields and reversing the BC Liberal cuts to funding for Adult Basic Education and English language courses for immigrants.
At the same time, we’ll improve support for refugees to ensure they can build happy and successful new lives here while working with the federal government to increase BC’s quota under the Provincial Nominee Program and increase BC’s control over the terms of qualification.
Improving BC’s transportation systems
British Columbia is a growing province. It’s time for a transportation system that grows with us. We’ll build projects we need and create reliable long-term funding models.
In Metro Vancouver, John Horgan’s BC NDP support the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Transportation Vision. We have committed to funding 40 per cent of the capital costs of every phase of the plan, in partnership with all levels of government. This plan will create thousands of jobs and fuel economic growth while growing the region and breaking traffic gridlock.
Important projects include building the Broadway Skytrain, rapid transit in Surrey, replacing the Patullo Bridge, improving road networks and adding essential bus service. We will also eliminate tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges to ease congestion.
Across British Columbia, John Horgan’s BC NDP will help people get moving by:
- Working with the Metro Vancouver Mayor's Council, Translink and BC Transit to find long and lasting solutions to improve service and ensure that seniors and people with disabilities get the rides they need.
- Making much-needed investments in capital projects and buses to support transit in the Capital Regional District and working with local governments to explore the possibility of creating a regional transportation authority.
- Leading and promoting efforts to fix the E&N railway tracks so that commuter rail can become an option to eliminate gridlock in the capital region.
- Restoring the seniors’ discount on BC Ferries, making it free for seniors to travel from Monday to Thursday, except on holidays; reducing fares by 15 per cent on secondary routes; and freezing fares on major routes while conducting a review of BC Ferries cost structures.
- Allowing BC shipyards to bid competitively on every new ferry built.
A fair approach to ridesharing
The BC Liberals haven’t been shy about their love of ridesharing services like UBER. But, even though they say they’re creating a “level-playing field,” they never included the taxi industry in their secret negotiations with UBER.
John Horgan’s BC NDP will work with both parties to create a truly fair approach to ridesharing in British Columbia that doesn’t unfairly benefit – or punish – one group over the other. This includes:
- Working with stakeholders across BC to level up standards across the province and ensure British Columbians can count on low-cost predictable fares, accessible services, safe cars and drivers subject to appropriate criminal record checks.
- Creating a level playing field for all providers and respecting the people currently in the people-moving industry without giving one group of drivers an unfair advantage over the other.
- Developing a plan that protects passengers from price gouging, particularly after sporting events, concerts and on special occasions and holidays when demand is highest.
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