On March 19, 2014, the Government of British Columbia announced the appointment of Isobel Mackenzie as Canada’s first Seniors Advocate.
As the voice of seniors in B.C., Ms. Mackenzie will have a broad mandate to monitor and review system-wide issues affecting the well-being of seniors and raise awareness about resources available to them. The Advocate will also make recommendations to government and those who deliver seniors’ services related to health care, personal care, housing, transportation and income support.
Ms. Mackenzie’s appointment begins on March 31, 2014. Her office will be located in Victoria and should be operational by late spring 2014.
Read more about the appointment and Ms. Mackenzie’s biography:
The appointment of the Seniors Advocate fulfills a commitment in the Seniors Action Plan, released in February 2012.
You can reach the Office by mail:
Office of the Seniors Advocate
1-2, 1515 Blanshard Street
Victoria, BC V8W 3C8
Or by email:
British Columbia has a robust network of organizations, regulatory bodies, appeal boards and tribunals that provide avenues for seniors, their families and caregivers to address individual concerns and complaints about seniors’ care and consumer services.
To learn more about these organizations and how to reach them, please refer to:
The Office of the Seniors Advocate is a key component of this system of oversight and support, playing its part to address the broad, system-wide issues that affect a large number of seniors.
Once the Office is operational, there will be more information posted here about how to bring forward system-wide issues and concerns to the Seniors Advocate.
The Ministry of Health held public consultations across the province from May 2012 to July 2012 on the role and function of the Seniors Advocate.
In February 2013, the B.C. government introduced legislation that outlines the duties and authorities of the Seniors Advocate. The Seniors Advocate Act – passed on March 14, 2013 – marked an important milestone in establishing the Office.
In November 2013, government launched an open, national competition to recruit the Seniors Advocate. The competition closed in December 2013, and the successful candidate was appointed in March 2014.
Between May and July 2012, public consultations were held in nine communities around the province. Summaries of public meetings are posted here:
The Ministry of Health prepared two discussion papers with background information about advocacy, and an outline of potential principles, purpose and key functions of the Seniors Advocate. The papers were intended to stimulate discussion for the public consultation, outlining concepts and options for consideration.