LETTER – Foreign investors can challenge our standards of seniors care

Prime Minister Trudeau with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. (PMO photo)
Prime Minister Trudeau with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. (PMO photo)

The provincial and federal governments’ approval of senior care being sold to foreign investors appears to be the opportunity that our government needed to avoid improvements to the quality of care in B.C. facilities.

Most people are unaware that a foreign investment in Canada, if large enough, gives that company the right to contest any new regulations imposed upon obedient Canadian citizens to protect our health and safety. For instance, if the B.C. government were to improve the quality of senior care by legislating staff increases or imposing fines and penalties for operator non-compliance, companies like Anbang, which is about to take over 10 per cent of senior care beds in B.C., can refuse to comply until FIPA (Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement) decides whether their claim would unjustly “undermine the value of the company’s investment.”

Will FIPA favor the Chinese investors that our government is so fond of, or the seniors already suffering from a poor quality of care?

If one were to consider these facts along with the proven reluctance of the B.C. government to protect our seniors, one may be led to believe that the unspoken message is that this government has absolutely no intentions of ever improving senior care.

JUDY GALLEY

Sorrento

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