After announcing he won't seek re-election in 2024 and will step down as premier, John Horgan received thanks from his federal counterpart, Burnaby South MP Jagmeet Singh.
At a news conference today (June 28), Horgan announced he won't be on the ballot in the next provincial election and will remain as premier until a new NDP leader is chosen in the fall.
Shortly after, Singh released a statement thanking Horgan for his service, while highlighting the agenda items close to the premier.
"Premier John Horgan has always worked for everyday British Columbians, putting their needs first. I have been honoured to work with him; hear and share advice and to call him my friend," the federa NDP leader said.
"As Premier, John Horgan has shown us his compassion and strength. He has helped British Columbians navigate the difficult years of the [COVID-19] pandemic.
"John has shown the difference an NDP government can make for people. Affordable childcare and paid sick leave; making it easier to join a Union and leading the fight for better funding for our health care — these are all evidence of Premier Horgan's accomplishments. [...] Being an elected official comes with many challenges, but John has always met these hurdles with integrity and courage."
After a two-day cabinet retreat in Vancouver, Horgan said it's traditional to reflect on the future at the halfway point of a term and after two bouts of cancer — throat cancer in 2021 and bladder cancer in 2008 — he is tired.
"This has been the thrill of my life to be the premier of British Columbia," said Horgan, noting there has been "endless speculation" about his future as a result of his recent battle with cancer.
"I want to put the speculation to rest so we can get back to what really matters and that’s the issues before British Columbia, and this has never been about me."
The 62-year-old led the NDP to a minority government in 2017, followed by a majority in 2020.
He is the first B.C. premier in 36 years to step away from office without facing an internal revolt or deal-breaking scandal or facing defeat.
- with files from Cindy E. Harnett, Times Colonist