VICTORIA – The Government of British Columbia has appointed Isobel Mackenzie as Canada’s first seniors advocate, announced Health Minister Terry Lake last week.
“Isobel Mackenzie brings with her 18 years of experience working on behalf of seniors at a local, provincial and national level,” said Lake. “I am confident that we have found a strong voice for British Columbia’s nearly 700,000 seniors and I welcome Isobel as our first seniors advocate.”
The Office of the Seniors Advocate will monitor seniors’ services, promote awareness and work collaboratively with seniors, families, policymakers, service providers and others to identify solutions to systemic issues and make recommendations to government on ways to improve care for our aging population.
“I have spent nearly two decades working directly with seniors, their families and their care providers and learning about the individual issues that affect seniors as they age and receive care,” said seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie. “I am honoured to accept this important position and look forward to applying my experience as I set priorities and establish my mandate in the coming weeks and months.”
After an executive search led by the Public Service Agency, Ms. Mackenzie accepted the position of seniors advocate with an official start date of March 31, 2014.
“It will take a collaborative effort to continue to address the complex needs of our seniors in B.C.,” said Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Seniors, Linda Larson. “The Office of the Seniors Advocate will complement our robust system of supports already in place and is sure to be a vital source of information as we continue to shape policy and provide supports for seniors.”
Following public consultations across the province, government introduced Bill 10, the Seniors Advocate Act, making B.C. the first province in Canada to pass legislation to create an Office of the Seniors Advocate. The appointment of a seniors advocate fulfils a commitment made in government’s Seniors Action Plan.
For more information, please visit the Office of the Seniors Advocate page located on the SeniorsBC website: www.gov.bc.ca/seniorsadvocate