Our History

Seniors First BC is a community-based, non-profit organization incorporated as a society in 1994 as the BC Coalition to Eliminate Abuse of Seniors. Following an extensive needs assessment to establish the first Elder Law Clinic in BC, we changed our name in 2008 to the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support.

In 1986, Seniors First BC began as a grassroots advisory committee comprised of North Shore Community Services (NSCS), the Justice Institute of BC and the Social Planning and Research Committee (SPARC). Members worked to support the Project to Review the Adult Guardianship Act. The SPARC Committee in partnership with the BC Old Age Pensioners Organization developed abuse prevention materials. North Shore Community Services documented cases of abuse and explored legal issues. In 1992 SPARC and NSCS joined to form the BC Coalition on the Prevention of Elder Abuse and Neglect. NSCS, with federal funding, carried out community development in eight communities.

Since 2000, the Law Foundation of BC has supported the Legal Advocacy Program, which provides legal information and advocacy to older adults. Scotiabank, the BC Securities Commission, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, and the TD Financial Literacy Grant, among others, have also funded financial abuse prevention projects such as Money Matters, ABCs of Fraud, Protect Yourself! Financial Literacy, and securities workshops.

In 2008 Seniors First BC expanded its legal services when it received funding from the Law Foundation to open the Elder Law Clinic, the first legal aid clinic for older adults in Western Canada.

Seniors First BC is actively involved in efforts to combat elder abuse in British Columbia. It managed the VANGUARD (Vulnerable Adults and Capability Issues) project, which involved a team of professionals from government, non profit organizations and universities. Research was focused on issues of vulnerability and abuse on the continuum from incapacity to capacity.

Download the final report:
VANGUARD Project Final Report (PDF)