Federal Budget 2017: BCCPA Praises New Investments in Skills Training and Infrastructure
(Burnaby, B.C.) March 22, 2017: BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) applauds new investments in skills training and infrastructure outlined today in the 2017 federal government budget that will ultimately benefit B.C. seniors and their loved ones.
“Today, B.C. seniors and their family members received good news coming forward from Minister of Finance Bill Morneau’s 2017 budget,” says BCCPA CEO Daniel Fontaine. “Putting a major focus on training the workforce of the future is not only something our association has advocated for — we believe Canada’s rapidly aging population makes it a matter of national priority.”
In Budget 2017, it was announced $2.7 billion would be invested to modernize training and other employment initiatives. This follows a renewed Canada/B.C. health agreement announced on February 17th, which directs $785.7 million to home and community care in B.C. over 10 years.
Then on March 9th, B.C. Minister of Health Terry Lake, accompanied Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors Darryl Plecas and Daniel Fontaine of BC Care Providers Association, released the “Plecas Plan”, which sets a goal of hiring 1,500 new staff to work in the continuing care sector.
“The BCCPA aims to work more closely with the federal and provincial governments to eliminate barriers for those individuals who want to start a career in seniors care,” adds Fontaine. “This should include better access to loan forgiveness and tuition relief programs for identified groups, including those residing in rural and First Nations communities.”
Today’s federal commitment for training aligns with the recommendations of the Plecas Plan which focus on the need for employee retention and recruitment. A recent industry survey indicated labour shortages currently exist for home care and residential care aides across B.C.
“Aging infrastructure is also a critical issue facing our sector,” says Fontaine. “That’s why care providers want to partner with government to identify existing opportunities to rebuild and renew older residential care housing stock.” Today’s budget announced $11.2 billion will be directed over ten years toward building and renewing affordable housing.
The BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) was established in 1977 and today represents the majority of non-government providers of community care for seniors in the province. This includes over 300 residential care, assisted living, home support and commercial members.
Mike Klassen, VP Communications & Stakeholder Relations