The leaders of both the Liberals and New Democrats have made seniors’ care announcements in British Columbia’s provincial election campaign.

Both party announcements focus on keeping seniors in their home longer, while the Liberals also added a plan to improve long-term care homes to its election platform.

While campaigning in North Vancouver, Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson announced a $7,000 annual tax credit for seniors’ at-home services and a $1-billion plan to replace and upgrade care homes.

The Liberal plan is similar to the $1.4-billion, 10-year capital plan the NDP announced Wednesday, although Wilkinson says his approach would see all seniors in private long-term care rooms over five years, not 10.

Many long-term care homes in B.C. have been devastated by COVID-19 and Wilkinson says the tragedy can never happen again.

NDP Leader John Horgan, who’s campaigning in Comox, B.C., announced expanded health-care education spaces and funding for seniors’ home care, saying the former Liberal government rationed services and cut back on staff.

“COVID-19 has exposed the true cost of B.C. Liberal neglect to seniors’ care,” Horgan said in a statement.  “There are thousands in long-term care facilities right now who could be living safely at home with the proper support. We’ll ensure they can do just that.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 4, 2020.

The Canadian Press