Thursday Nov 4, 2021 – VICTORIA, BC
News insights by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
Just one week after his announcement on October 28 about going into hospital for a biopsy and resultant treatment regarding a growth that was found in his throat, Premier John Horgan has announced today Thursday November 4 that all has gone well.
In a statement released from his office at 11:14 am this morning, the news is about cancer, but the prognosis is good:
“The surgery and biopsy that were done last week were successful and I am grateful to the amazing health-care team for all the support I’ve received. The pathology confirmed that the growth in my throat was cancerous.
“My prognosis is good and I expect to make a full recovery. In the next couple of weeks I will need to start radiation treatment, which will conclude toward the end of December.
“During that time, I will continue to participate virtually in briefings, cabinet meetings, and other important meetings like the Council of the Federation. For in-person events, Minister Mike Farnworth and other cabinet ministers may attend in my place.
“I would, again, like to thank everyone who sent their well wishes. Your support gives me strength and humbles me. I look forward to being back in the legislature and travelling in the new year.”
Praising health care:
Horgan praised the BC health care system, calling it “a jewel”, in that it is available to people when they need it. He encouraged people to not wait if they feel that a health provider’s attention is required.
There has been some terse public response in the past week reminding the Premier that health care is not as easily accessible to everyone, due to a shortage of doctors and other challenges.
About the deputy premier:
Last week on October 28, Premier Horgan announced that “out of an abundance of caution” that he has appointed Mike Farnworth as Deputy Premier. Farnworth is Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General and “the most experienced member of the legislature”.
Farnworth is already House Leader and well respected by MLAs across party lines, as noted recently in the legislature. Farnworth was first elected in 1991.
The local angle:
The local MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca (which includes Langford, Highlands, Sooke and areas west of Sooke out to Port Renfrew, a footprint that also includes the SD62 school district), Horgan says news like this doesn’t stay unknown for long in “a small town”. So he’s made it outfront public on his own terms.
Horgan, 62, has been MLA for his geographically large and economically diverse riding since 2005. He was elected leader of the party in 2013 and brought his NDP party to lead a coalition progressive government in 2017 with support of the Greens. His many years in Opposition (pre-2013) he often refers to as hard, especially as he had an eye on leading government.
Horgan has been welcomed by the First Nations of the region, forging in particular a bond with the spiritual elder of the T’Sou-ke Nation, Shirley Alphonse, who keeps an eye open for the well-being of the region, and T’Sou-ke Nation Chief Gordon Planes who has taken part in the growing economic development of the Sooke region.
Taking care of business:
As leader of the Council of the Confederation (i.e. premiers of all the Canadian provinces and territories), Premier John Horgan was about to embark on an uphill battle with the federal government to restore the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) funding for health care to 35%.
Health care funding has been heavily impacted in all provinces and territories during the long COVID-19 pandemic (which was officially declared in BC on March 17, 2020).