THE Government of British Columbia is launching an open competition to recruit B.C.’s first seniors’ advocate, Health Minister Terry Lake announced on Tuesday.

“We want to find the best person for the job, someone who will give seniors a strong voice in British Columbia,” said Lake. “The Public Service Agency will lead a national executive search to find the right person to develop this important role.”

As with most executive competitions, candidates will be screened and interviewed for suitability, with the successful candidate being appointed through Order-in-Council. The competition will close on Dec. 13, 2013.

“This role is important to British Columbians, especially our nearly 700,000 seniors and the people who care for them,” said Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Seniors, Linda Larson. “We need to get it right, and that is why we have initiated a Canada-wide search to find the very best person to advocate for B.C. seniors.”

The seniors’ advocate will work collaboratively with seniors, families, policy makers, service providers and others to identify solutions to systemic issues and make recommendations to government to improve the welfare of seniors.

Establishing a seniors’ advocate was a commitment made in government’s Seniors Action Plan released on Feb. 14, 2012. Following public consultations across the province, government introduced Bill 10, the Seniors Advocate Act, to allow the creation of the Office of a Seniors’ Advocate, which passed on March 14, 2013.