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  • Details of Federal Canadian Dental Plan Released
    The Government of Canada has announced some details of the new Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) which is designed to help ease financial barriers to accessing oral health care. Eligibility To qualify for the CDCP, the following criteria must be met: Application Process and Rollout The program will be rolled out in a phased approach …
  • Seniors Advocate Tours Rural B.C.
    The Seniors Advocate will be visiting rural areas of B.C. throughout the month of February to engage with seniors, their loved ones and health care providers to discuss seniors’ issues in their communities and share the findings of her upcoming report on challenges specific to seniors living in rural areas. Town hall locations include: Learn …
  • February 2024 OSA Update
    The February issue of our monthly newsletter is available now! The OSA Update includes news and issues that matter to B.C. seniors: Read our newsletter Subscribe to our email list now to receive our newsletter in your inbox.
  • Province names new seniors advocate
    The Province has appointed Dan Levitt as the new seniors advocate for British Columbia as government continues to support oversight and advocacy toward seniors care and the programs and services seniors need. Find out more
  • Cold Weather Safety for Older Adults
    As temperatures are expected to drop across B.C. this week, seniors are encouraged  to prepare for extreme cold and winter storms. Seniors have a much higher chance of being affected by cold weather. Changes that come with ageing can make it harder for older people to recognize their body is becoming too cold, which can …
  • January 2024 OSA Update
    The January issue of our monthly newsletter is available now! The OSA Update includes news and issues that matter to B.C. seniors: Read our newsletter Subscribe to our email list now to receive our newsletter in your inbox.
  • 2023 Long-Term Care and Assisted Living Directory Released
    The Office of the Seniors Advocate has released its updated Long-Term Care and Assisted Living Directory for 2022/23. The 2022/23 Long-Term Care and Assisted Living Directory notes improvement in long-term care staffing but raises concerns with medication use and food costs
  • Beware Holiday Scams
    Scams are particularly common over the holiday season as fraudsters take advantage of increased activity, stress, distraction and generosity. Many of these attempts are targeted specifically at seniors. Canadians lost more than $527 million through various scams over the first six months of 2023, according to figures reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. Take extra …
  • Seniors Advocate Statement on Health Care Assistant Day
    BC Seniors Advocate statement on Health Care Assistant Day – October 18, 2023 VICTORIA – “Today is Health Care Assistant Day in B.C and an opportunity to acknowledge the increasingly important role of these professionals in the well-being of seniors not only in our province but across the country. “Health care assistant is a broad …
  • Wildfire Safety
    Wildfires are spreading in B.C. and some communities are under evacuation, evacuation alert or travel restrictions. Seniors can be more vulnerable to effects of wildfires and should take extra precautions at this time. Please monitor appropriate channels for the latest updates on wildfire activity and safety. Emergency Info BCFor the most current wildfire information including …
  • Heat Wave Preparedness and Response
    Heat wave warnings are in effect across the province and rising temperatures may put vulnerable seniors at risk. With higher temperatures expected, it is recommended that seniors take some additional precautions and family, friends and neighbours are encouraged to check in on older people to ensure they are keeping cool and well hydrated. The dual …
  • New Report – It’s Time to Act: A Review of Assisted Living in B.C.
    Following a comprehensive review of the province’s assisted living services, the BC Seniors Advocate is calling on government to address the current confusing legislative landscape to protect seniors from significant rent and service fee increases, improve oversight and reporting, and address affordability challenges. Read the news releaseRead the full reportView the live stream presentationView the …
  • Celebrate B.C. Seniors’ Week! June 4-9
    BC Senior Advocate Isobel Mackenzie and Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin launched B.C. Seniors’ Week with a garden party at Government House to honour local senior volunteers on Monday. “Every day, seniors in this province give of their time and immense talents to make our communities better places to live. Whether it is delivering meals, raising …
  • Struggling Senior Homeowners Encouraged to Consider Property Tax Deferral
    BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie is urging senior homeowners struggling with the rising costs of living and aging to consider deferring their 2023 property taxes. The BC Property Tax Deferral Program allows homeowners 55+ to defer all or some of their annual property taxes. The Province pays the tax to the local government on behalf …
  • Seniors Week 2023 Town Halls
    BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie will be connecting in person with seniors, loved ones, organizations and local government staff, mayors and councillors throughout B.C. during Seniors Week 2023. Learn more about public town halls being held in several communities June 5-11.
  • Statement from BC Seniors Advocate Regarding Retirement in 2024
    BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie has advised government that she will retire on March 31, 2024, and to begin the process of finding her successor. “While I could happily continue this richly rewarding work forever, I am aware that I cannot and should not go on indefinitely. With this in mind, I advised the Minister …
  • Seniors Advocate Visits North West B.C.
    BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie will be visiting communities in northern B.C. from May 1 to 5, 2023. Join her to discuss seniors’ issues at town halls in Vanderhoof, Burns Lake, Smithers, Terrace, Kitimat and Prince Rupert. Seniors, their loved ones and others who live in north-western B.C. are invited to share what is working …
  • Share Your Ideas: Engagement Opportunities for Seniors
    There are several upcoming public engagement opportunities for seniors to provide input and feedback about important issues in British Columbia. Join the OSA Council of Advisors The Office of the Seniors Advocate is seeking new members of its Council of Advisors. Council members represent their regions and provide important feedback to the Seniors Advocate about …
  • March is Fraud Prevention Month
    March is Fraud Prevention Month, and with reported cases of fraud on the rise, all British Columbians are encouraged to increase their awareness of current scams and learn how they can protect themselves and their loved ones. Every year, people of all ages fall victim to fraud. In fact, 57,055 Canadians reported being targeted by …
  • Income Tax Tips 2023
    The deadline to file taxes is quickly approaching. This year’s tax-filing deadline for most individuals is April 30, 2022. However, if you are self-employed or have a spouse or a common-law partner who is self-employed, the deadline is June 15, 2022. Why should I file my taxes? It is vital to file your taxes on …
  • New Report – Home Support Services for B.C. Seniors
    In this new report entitled “We Must Do Better: Home Support Services for B.C. Seniors”, the BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie provides a comprehensive review of the province’s home support services and finds they are in need of fundamental restructuring. This second review demonstrates that the program is not keeping pace with the needs of …
  • Seniors Advocate Visits the Sunshine Coast
    Isobel Mackenzie will visit the Sunshine Coast in February to meet with seniors, seniors organizations, advocates, local government representatives, residential care facilities and others to discuss issues affecting older British Columbians. She will be holding town halls in Sechelt on February 6th and Powell River on February 7th to hear from seniors, their loved ones …
  • Calling all Volunteers! Give a voice to residents of long-term care
    We’re surveying every long-term care resident in B.C. and we need your help. Join our team of volunteer surveyors to interview seniors about their quality of life in long-term care. No experience necessary. Apply now online.
  • New Report Release – 2022 Monitoring Seniors Services
    The 2022 Monitoring Seniors Services report is now available! This year’s report reinforces the need to scale up B.C. seniors’ services to meet the growing demands of the aging population. Read the report to find out how seniors’ services and supports have performed over the last year and find out where seniors’ needs are being …
  • Updated Long-Term Care Directory Now Includes Assisted Living
    The Office of the Seniors Advocate has released its updated long-term care home directory for 2021/22 which also now also includes information on all publicly-funded assisted living facilities in British Columbia. The 2021/22 Long-Term Care and Assisted Living Directory includes basic information such as room configuration, languages spoken by staff, food preparation and also offers …
  • 2022/23 Flu Vaccine Information
    The Ministry of Health has provided information about how seniors in the community and in residential care in B.C. can access the flu vaccine.
  • New Report – BC Seniors: Falling Further Behind
    Yesterday the BC Seniors Advocate released “BC Seniors: Falling Further Behind”, a new OSA report outlining the income and affordability challenges seniors in our province are facing. The report highlights the impact of rising costs on B.C. seniors who depend on government pensions and ranks B.C. as the lowest in its financial support for seniors …
  • B.C. Seniors Advocate invites British Columbians to participate in landmark survey of people in residential care
    The Office of the Seniors Advocate is launching the second province-wide survey of the experiences of residents living in all 294 publicly-subsidized long-term care homes in B.C. and is calling on all interested British Columbians to join the survey team. Members of the survey team will include British Columbians from a wide variety of backgrounds …
  • Property Tax Deferment Program
    Did you know you may be eligible to defer your property taxes? Property tax deferment is a provincial low-interest loan program that helps qualified homeowners pay their annual property taxes on their principal residence. Taxes can be deferred for any year the homeowner lives in the home and continues to qualify for the program. Who …
  • T5007 Tax Slips for Recipients of the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters
    This year, the CRA has issued T5007 tax slips to SAFER recipients who received more than $500 from the program within the last year. Find out about how this will impact your income tax.
  • One-Time GIS Payment for Seniors Affected by CERB
    The federal government will provide an automatic, one-time repayment to alleviate the financial hardship of seniors who saw a loss of GIS or Allowance.
  • B.C. Speculation Tax and Vacancy Tax
    The speculation and vacancy tax is an annual tax based on how owners use residential properties in major urban areas in B.C. Over 99% of British Columbians are exempt from the speculation and vacancy tax. Generally, a British Columbian owner is exempt from the tax if the home is their principal residence.
  • Income and Affordability Survey
    The Office of the Seniors Advocate is undertaking a survey of B.C. seniors living on low incomes to identify challenges and determine if the financial supports available to them meet their needs. The survey will be mailed out to randomly-selected recipients of the B.C. Senior’s Supplement. The survey deadline is April 8, 2022.
  • Home Support Survey 2021/22
    Home Support Survey Deadline Extended: March 4, 2022
    The Office of the Seniors Advocate has launched the second province-wide survey of Home Support recipients and their families/caregivers. All home support clients and their family/caregivers are invited to participate in this survey.
  • Income Support Impacted by CERB
    The Canadian Economic Recovery Benefit (CERB) in 2020 may have impacted your federal Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) payments.
  • Wildfires in B.C.
    More than 1500 properties in B.C. remain under evacuation order due to wildfires raging nearby.
  • Heatwave 2021
    A heatwave can be challenging for many British Columbians, especially the elderly.
  • Tax Preparation
    The deadline to file taxes is April 30, 2021. Here are some tips.