NDP Leader Tom Mulcair announces $1.8 billion health care plan for seniors

Mulcair says funding is designed to expand home care for 41,000 seniors

VANCOUVER — Tom Mulcair launched another week of his campaign in a key election battleground, where he announced the NDP would spend $1.8 billion over four years to help provinces bolster health care for seniors.

At a Sunday event in Vancouver, Mulcair said the funding is designed to expand home care for 41,000 seniors, create 5,000 more nursing beds and improve palliative care services.

Related reading: A Maclean’s primer on pensions.

The NDP says it would work closely with the provinces to roll out the plan to respect their role in health-care delivery and target resources to areas identified at the provincial level.

Mulcair has taken aim at Stephen Harper’s Conservatives on this file, suggesting the federal government has abandoned a leadership role on health.

The NDP leader says he plans to release more details on his overall health-care plan ahead of Thursday’s debate in Calgary.

Mulcair’s announcement on senior care has been praised by the Canadian Nurses Association and the Canadian Association of Retired Persons.

Mulcair will spend Sunday evening in Vancouver as he continues to try to shore up support in B.C.

In 2011, the NDP claimed 12 seats in the province, up three from 2008, and it is now hoping to win as many as 24 this time around.