Search Results | Clear Search | Previous (in doc) | Next (in doc) | Prev Doc | Next Doc
This archived statute consolidation is current to April 5, 2017 and includes changes enacted and in force by that date. For the most current information, click here.

Seniors Advocate Act

[SBC 2013] CHAPTER 15

Assented to March 14, 2013

Contents
Part 1 — Interpretation
1Definitions
Part 2 — Appointment and Responsibilities of Seniors Advocate
2Appointment of Seniors Advocate
3Responsibilities of Seniors Advocate
4Duty to advise on seniors' issues
5Power to hire staff and retain experts
6Power to establish advisory council
7Power to gather information
8Power to request and duty to provide information
Part 3 — Administrative Matters
9Protection for persons
10Offence Act does not apply
11Regulations
12Commencement

Part 1 — Interpretation

Definitions

1  In this Act:

"senior" means a resident of British Columbia aged

(a) 65 years or older, or

(b) less than 65 years who receives seniors' services;

"Seniors Advocate" means the Seniors Advocate appointed under section 2 [appointment of Seniors Advocate];

"seniors' services" means prescribed programs, services or systems of support in relation to health care, personal care, housing, transportation or income support that are used by or associated with seniors;

"service provider" means a prescribed public or private person or body who funds or delivers, in whole or in part, seniors' services.

Part 2 — Appointment and Responsibilities of Seniors Advocate

Appointment of Seniors Advocate

2  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council must appoint a Seniors Advocate to fulfill the responsibilities of the Seniors Advocate under this Act.

(2) An appointment under subsection (1) must be made under section 15 (1) (b) of the Public Service Act.

Responsibilities of Seniors Advocate

3  (1) The Seniors Advocate is responsible for

(a) monitoring the provision of seniors' services,

(b) analyzing issues that the Seniors Advocate believes to be important to the welfare of seniors generally, and

(c) advocating in the interests of seniors.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Seniors Advocate may do one or more of the following:

(a) identify and analyze systemic challenges faced by seniors;

(b) collaborate with persons who deliver seniors' services for the purpose of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery;

(c) promote awareness, by seniors, their caregivers and their families, of systemic challenges faced by seniors, and of the resources available to seniors;

(d) make recommendations to government and to persons who deliver seniors' services respecting changes to improve the welfare of seniors.

(3) If the Seniors Advocate becomes aware of a matter that, in the opinion of the Seniors Advocate, should be the subject of an individual complaint rather than part of a systemic analysis, the Seniors Advocate may, with the consent of the individual concerned, refer the matter directly to an appropriate person or body having jurisdiction over the matter.

Duty to advise on seniors' issues

4  (1) The Seniors Advocate must advise, in an independent manner, the minister, public officials and persons who deliver seniors' services

(a) on systemic challenges faced by seniors,

(b) on policies and practices respecting those challenges, and

(c) on any matter arising from the fulfillment of the responsibilities of the Seniors Advocate under this Act.

(2) The Seniors Advocate may report to the public, in any manner, on any matter arising from the fulfillment of the responsibilities of the Seniors Advocate under this Act.

(3) The minister may by order require the Seniors Advocate to report to the minister respecting matters relevant to the matters described in subsection (1).

(4) The Seniors Advocate must report to the minister at least once each year on the activities of the Seniors Advocate, and may include recommendations relevant to preventing and mitigating the systemic challenges faced by seniors.

(5) The minister must ensure that each report received under subsection (4) is made public as soon as reasonably practical.

Power to hire staff and retain experts

5  (1) The Seniors Advocate may appoint, in accordance with the Public Service Act, employees necessary for the fulfillment of the responsibilities of the Seniors Advocate.

(2) For purposes of the application of the Public Service Act to subsection (1), the Seniors Advocate is a deputy minister.

(3) The Seniors Advocate may retain other persons that the Seniors Advocate considers necessary for the fulfillment of the responsibilities of the Seniors Advocate, and may set their remuneration and other terms and conditions of their retainers.

(4) The Public Service Act does not apply in respect of persons retained under subsection (3).

Power to establish advisory council

6  The Seniors Advocate may establish an advisory council for the purpose of providing advice to the Seniors Advocate respecting the priorities and the fulfillment of the responsibilities of the Seniors Advocate under this Act.

Power to gather information

7  Subject to this Act, the Seniors Advocate may engage in any activity necessary to effectively and efficiently fulfill the responsibilities of the Seniors Advocate under this Act, including

(a) conducting research, including conducting interviews and surveys, and

(b) consulting with persons who deliver seniors' services and with the public.

Power to request and duty to provide information

8  (1) For the purpose of fulfilling the responsibilities of the Seniors Advocate, the Seniors Advocate may request information, other than personal information within the meaning of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, from a service provider.

(2) A request for information under subsection (1)

(a) may be made only if the Seniors Advocate has engaged in a process described in section 7 [power to gather information] and a service provider has

(i) failed or refused to provide information requested by the Seniors Advocate within the time limit specified by the Seniors Advocate, or

(ii) provided information that, in the opinion of the Seniors Advocate, is incomplete, false or misleading, and

(b) must be made in writing.

(3) A service provider who receives a request for information under subsection (1) must, if the service provider has custody or control of the information, provide the information within the time limit specified by the Seniors Advocate.

Part 3 — Administrative Matters

Protection for persons

9  A person must not discharge, suspend, expel, intimidate, coerce, evict or impose a financial or other penalty on or otherwise discriminate against another person because the other person gives information to the Seniors Advocate or otherwise assists the Seniors Advocate in the fulfillment of the responsibilities of the Seniors Advocate under this Act.

Offence Act does not apply

10  Section 5 of the Offence Act does not apply to this Act.

Regulations

11  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the Interpretation Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:

(a) prescribing seniors' services, including

(i) by program name,

(ii) by a description of the program, service or system of support, or a class of any of them,

(iii) by the name of a person who delivers a program, service or system of support, or

(iv) by a description of a class of persons who deliver programs, services or systems of support;

(b) prescribing service providers, including

(i) by name or by class, or

(ii) by a description of the seniors' service delivered by the service providers.

Commencement

12  This Act comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.