A long and impressive list of promises was rolled out by Health Minister Mike de Jong after B.C.
Ombudsperson Kim Carter filed a report effectively condemning the government for its failure to provide for the province's senior citizens.
De Jong's promises, one would have assumed considering his position at helm of one of the province's most important government ministries, must have had the endorsement of his first minister, Premier Christy Clark.
But either Clark didn't get the message, or she didn't pass it along to Finance Minister Kevin Falcon.
Because seniors didn't see anything they were looking for in last Tuesday's budget.
Carter provided Clark's government with 176 recommendations, nested in a 448-page report, The Best of Care: Getting it Right for Seniors in British Columbia, which resulted from a three-year investigation into the care of seniors in B.C.
The report includes heart-rending stories of married senior couples having to be housed in separate facilities, seniors billed beyond their means, and seniors who are simply not getting the care they need in nursing homes. Some of the cases are due to a lack of funding and resources, while others are due to a bureaucratic maze of conflicting regulations and authorities.
While de Jong's promises look good, seniors are left wondering how he'll deliver on them, after seeing a budget that does little to afford the concrete action that must replace the lip service that seniors have been getting.
For instance, the Council of Senior Citizens Organizations of B.C. points out that the $15 million allotted in the budget for non-medical home support is completely off the mark. It's not enough, and it doesn't include the standards and guidelines the ombudsperson recommended.
That's skimping on a service, that if administered properly, could save the province millions by reducing higher-care costs.
It's long past time for government to do more than just promise to do the right thing.
And it's long past time to do it right.