Tuesday June 28, 2022 | LANGFORD, BC [Latest update: 6:30 am June 30, 2022]
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
Premier John Horgan today officially announced that he is not going to seek re-election in two years time.
He’s been MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca since 2005, and became premier in 2017 to lead his NDP government.
The next BC provincial election is scheduled for the fall of 2024.
Horgan says it’s time for a leader who can be “focussed on the next two years and beyond”.
Horgan to the party faithful:
In an email today, Premier Horgan wrote to constituents in Langford-Juan de Fuca: “I will stay on as Premier until my successor is chosen,” Horgan said in his statement today. A leadership convention has been called for Fall 2022. We will have a quick, and stable transition when the time comes. I will also finish my term in the Legislature representing my friends and neighbours in Langford-Juan de Fuca. I’m still the Premier today, tomorrow, and the day after that.”
Still pushing the health-care agenda:
In a news release today — issued at 1:44 pm Pacific Time — John Horgan says he looks forward to pushing the federal health-care funding agenda (he’s chairing the upcoming Council of the Federation meetings with all of Canada’s premiers in Victoria July 11 and 12).
Getting back to basics:
Horgan also said today that he looks forward to now reconnecting with his Langford-Juan de Fuca neighbours. He lives in Langford but has a strong political base in Sooke as well, where he likes to kick back and enjoy the slower lifestyle. In fact, this past week he and his wife Ellie spent time at Otter Point west of Sooke, taking in the natural serenity there.
This past weekend Horgan also enjoyed a leisurely attendance at the official opening of the new Community Sport Box in Sooke, handily working a lacrosse stick on the new outdoor floor located in the Sunriver area.
Affordability and people first:
Horgan’s legacy above all else will be his steadfast attention to dealing with issues of affordability and putting the needs of all British Columbians first.
He led the province through the COVID-19 pandemic for two years, handling the non-stop concerns across many ministries. Many new programs were developed and an economic recovery stance was taken.
Climate change agenda:
Under John Horgan’s leadership the BC government has led the way with climate action, and the CleanBC Plan has taken root as a significant program to make strides amidst the climate crisis.
Comments rolling in:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Twitter during the day: “Thank you, @JJHorgan, for your many years of public service. From our taking ambitious climate action, to making child care more affordable, to the leadership you provided keeping people safe through COVID-19, I always appreciated working with you. Wishing you all the best, John.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later in the evening, via Spain (Trudeau is meeting with NATO leaders there): “On behalf of the Government of Canada, I thank Premier Horgan for his service to British Columbians. Premier Horgan has improved the lives of British Columbians. From taking ambitious climate action, to delivering more affordable child care for families in British Columbia starting this year, and helping people through COVID‑19, his strong leadership has made life better for people in the province.”
“I have worked closely with Premier Horgan over the past five years to advance the issues that matter to British Columbians and all Canadians, including creating clean growth and good middle-class jobs. He has been a strong advocate for affordable housing, reliable public transit, and quality health care and services for families. Working together, we signed a historic early learning and child care agreement that will deliver results now, and $10-a-day child care in the coming years. I thank Premier Horgan for his over 17 years of dedicated public service. He will be missed at the First Ministers’ table. I wish him and his family the very best in the future.”
Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said today that Premier John Horgan “has always worked for everyday British Columbians, putting their needs first”. Singh says it has been “an honour to work with him, hear and share advice, and to call him my friend”.
Federal NDP House Leader Peter Julian. MP (New Westminster-Burnaby): “A huge thank you to Premier @jjhorgan for his dedication to the province & the (movement). Sending him the best wishes for good health. He is leaving BC in better shape than when he started-with investments in affordable housing, education & health care. All the best!“
Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland posted on Twitter today: “John Horgan, thank you for your tireless work and advocacy in support of workers, affordable child care for families, reconciliation, action on climate change, and so much more. You’ve been a leader in your province but also for our entire country.”
NDP MP Randall Garrison (Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke) posted online: “A councillor and an MLA walked into a tent… nearly 12 years ago. No punch line, just 12 years of working together for a better and stronger community. And now wishing you all the best John in whatever comes next!”
NDP MP Laurel Collins (Victoria) posted online: “Thank you Premier @jjhorgan for your years of dedicated service to British Columbians. John’s been a true leader through this unprecedented time & has shown us you can accomplish incredible things when you put people first. Wishing him good health & the best in this next chapter!”
Attorney General David Eby: “Thank you @jjhorgan for being a great coach and captain of the team, always leading with your heart.”
BC Health Minister Adrian Dix posted online today: “Premier @jjhorgan is a great leader and Premier and an even better friend, husband, Dad and person. Thank you John and as you told us today, more work to do.”
BC Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation Ravi Kahlon said on Twitter: “I want to thank Premier @jjhorgan for his service to the people of BC. The last 5 yrs have been challenging with the pandemic, floods and fires – We are lucky to have had him at the helm.”
BC Agriculture and Food Minister Lana Popham posted online today: “All the best to an amazing Premier! You gave me the chance to do what I love as Agriculture Minister, but you also gave me the gift of friendship. This is a difficult moment but you made the right decision.”
Mitzi Dean, MLA (Esquimalt-Metchosin) & Minister of Children and Family Development, on Twitter this evening: “John you were my colleague thru my professional life in BC – as well as my MLA for a time! – so I’ve seen first hand your dedication to serving community and making life better for people. Thank you @JJHorgan for everything, wishing you and Ellie all the best!”
Laird Cronk, President BC Federation of Labour: “Thank you Premier @jjhorgan it has been an honour to work with you over the years. Thank you for your commitment to the people of our province and to always having an open door to discuss #bclab issues #bcpoli“
BCGEU President Stephanie Smith said to the Premier in a Tweet: “Thank you for all you’ve done for our province. You’ll leave very big shoes to fill!”
Juan de Fuca Electoral Area Director Mike Hicks posted on Facebook: “Premier Horgan has been the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area’s best representative ever! Sorry to lose him as our Premier but so happy that he is taking care of himself and wife Ellie.”
City of Colwood Mayor Rob Martin posted on Twitter: “I very much appreciated our Premier’s leadership @jjhorgan and wish him happiness and health as he moves to the next chapter of his life. The Province is a better place because John chose to serve.”
Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart posted in social media today: “Simply put, John Horgan is the best premier British Columbia has ever had.”
Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West said online: “Thank you for your service to our people & province, Premier Horgan. And a special thank you to your wife, sons and family who shared you with British Columbia.”
Former BC Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver posted at 8:30 pm this evening: “I spent the day reflecting on the upcoming retirement of our Premier. It was an enormous honor 4 me 2 work with him for 3 1/2 years while @bcgreens held balance of responsibility. IMHO BC has been incredibly fortunately to be led by someone with such integrity. Thank u @jjhorgan”
And here is a statement from former BC Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver, Professor, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria, as provided to Island Social Trends: “I believe John will be remembered as perhaps the most influential, effective and people-focussed premier that ever governed British Columbia. His honesty, empathy, authenticity and leadership is much loved by those across the political spectrum. We have been so fortunate to be governed under his leadership through some profoundly difficult times. On a personal note, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone in my life who I have more respect for. I am so fortunate to be able to call him a friend.”
David Schreck (Retired economist and politician) posted on Twitter: “In the 70s I worked under Dave Barrett managing social services in Vancouver. I’ve known and worked with every #bcndp Premier. I conclude @jjhorgan is the best premier in my 50 yrs of activism in #bcpoli Hope John enjoys his days ahead.”
Former Langford-Juan de Fuca staffer Maureen Mitchell-Starkey (whose parents were leaders of the NDP movement in BC), posted on Twitter: “Thank you BC Premier John Horgan – @jjhorgan for your leadership & dedication to our province! You are an excellent Premier! Your shoes will be tough to fill! Equally, I must say, I agree 100%, our health is important & yours really has taken a beating! Live Long & Prosperous.”
District of Sooke Mayor Maja Tait was instrumental in holding down the local vote for Horgan in the Sooke end of his riding; she ended up as Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) president a few years ago.
Tait said today that it has been “an absolute honour” to work with Premier Horgan. “As the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca he has been steadfast in his commitment to serving his constituents and as Premier in supporting municipalities in British Columbia, including Sooke. His willingness to meet, listen and provide advice is something I will always be grateful for.”
Sooke’s Mayor continued about Horgan’s participation at a Sooke event on June 26: “This weekend he joined us to celebrate the opening of the sport box at Ravens Ridge Park, one of many events that he has supported in Sooke with others including the Slo Food Cycle, the Sooke Fine Arts Show, Apple Fest and so many more.”
“His willingness to show his support with such presence and passion is a testament to his character and an example of his notable commitment to the community.”
Mayor Tait of course wishes him well “as he gets set to begin a new chapter in life and enjoy more time with his family”.
Local school board:
SD62 School District Chair Ravi Parmar — who has had Horgan’s backing from day one in politics, posted on Twitter: “Today, I am thinking of my Premier, MLA, friend and mentor @jjhorgan and his tremendous service to the people of BC. Thank you, John.”
- BC Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon posted online today: “On behalf of the entire @BCLiberalCaucus I want to wish both you and Ellie our best, as together you focus on family, health, and future endeavours. Thank you for your service to our province.”
- BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau thanks Premier Horgan for his work over the last five years as premier of the province. “He has led the government during a series of overlapping crises,” she said, adding that “we have not always agreed on policy”. Furstenau says the “legacy of our confidence and supply agreement lives on a model for the current agreement between the NDP and the Liberal Party of Canada”.
Here is Premier John Horgan’s full statement (June 28, 2022):
“Over the last couple of days, our cabinet has met to seek solutions to the challenges people face in British Columbia.
“These include the high cost of living and the stresses on primary care. Working to make life better for people is why we are here and that continues to be my focus.
“As we reach the mid-point of our second term, it is clear the tasks ahead of us are enormous and will require a leader focused on the next two years and beyond. A second bout with cancer and dozens of radiation treatments has led me to take stock.
“I am proud to say I’m cancer free. While I have a lot of energy, I must acknowledge this may not be the case two years from now.
“Therefore, I have decided not to run again in the next election.
“Once again, I want to thank the health-care professionals who helped me through this journey. They do incredible work under difficult circumstances.
“I also want to thank the many British Columbians – from every walk of life and from all political persuasions – who offered their best wishes.
“I will stay on as Premier until my successor is chosen. I will continue to do my level best to make politics work for people. This includes pushing the federal government to fund their fair share of health-care costs so we can make our public health-care system work better for everyone.
“I am looking forward to reconnecting with my neighbours as the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca.
“Being Premier is not a job I ever expected to have, yet it’s been the honour of my life.
“In the last five years, we’ve accomplished a lot by working together and caring for each other. The work continues.”
Premier Horgan attends Sooke Community Sport Box grand opening (June 27, 2022)
Premier Horgan to grads: You are ready to build a better world (June 27, 2022)
Premier Horgan still pitching for Canada Health Transfer increase (April 21, 2022)
===== ABOUT THE WRITER:
Mary P Brooke has followed the politics of John Horgan MLA right here in his Langford-Juan de Fuca riding since 2007. Publishing first as MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), the news went into weekly print as Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), then print/PDF and online as West Shore Voice News (2014-2020). Island Social Trends was launched fully online in March 2020.
- Looking back at Horgan on the west shore (Island Social Trends photo album – June 28, 2022)
- Who might replace Premier John Horgan as party leader (June 28, 2022)
- Premier Horgan to grads: You are ready to build a better world (June 27, 2022)
- Premier Horgan attends Sooke Community Sport Box grand opening (June 27, 2022)