B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson says his party would expand a program that pairs police officers with mental health workers if the party wins the provincial election.
During a campaign event in Vancouver today, Wilkinson said a Liberal government would provide $58 million to hire 100 psychiatric social workers and registered nurses to staff joint teams with police to answer mental health calls.
He says the Liberals would also hire 200 more police officers to fill vacancies across British Columbia and 40 new Crown prosecutors.
As Wilkinson sought to boost the party's law-and-order brand, NDP Leader John Horgan unveiled further details of the party's 10-year cancer care plan.
The plan is part of the NDP platform released Tuesday and Horgan says it will mean bringing cancer care centres to Kamloops and Nanaimo, as well as renovations and upgrades for existing facilities.
In the first five years, the plan says patients will have one point of contact during their treatment.
Entire families will also be offered genome testing and new clinicians will be hired to meet demand.
Adrian Dix, who served as health minister in the NDP government, says there will be twice as many people living with cancer in 2038 as there are now, so the province needs to prepare.
“That's because we have an aging population and because our outcomes are getting better,” Dix says.
“This is an extraordinary thing of course, a positive thing, but also one that presents challenges that we have to prepare for, not 20 years from now, but now.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2020.