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Opinion: Premier parrots ‘freedom convoy’ cult talking points by telling us not to be ‘afraid’

Anti-vaccine mandate protests have focused on not being "afraid" of COVID-19.
B.C. Premier John Horgan.

I often wonder if Premier John Horgan’s handlers wake up with dread each morning wondering if their boss is going to do an interview or hold a press conference.

Horgan seems to have a big heart but it’s not as big as his mouth when it comes to saying things that come across as heartless and privileged.

We all remember back in 2021 and all those heat dome deaths when Horgan blundered into the tragedy to utter that “fatalities are a part of life.”

Earlier this week, Horgan said something else that, while not as bad as the heat dome comment, still managed to upset a lot of people as he discussed COVID-19, which he has been recovering from.

“Having gone through cancer treatments, my desire to fully engage is heightened, not diminished. For those who are worried, be cautious but don’t be afraid. Get out back in the world and do the best you can,” Horgan said in an interview with CHEK News’ Rob Shaw on Wednesday.

These words were immediately condemned by people who are immunocompromised because there are a lot of people who can’t “get out back in the world” because the mask mandate was lifting, putting them more at risk from the fast-spreading COVID-19. Oh, and people are trying to be "cautious" by wearing masks, but so many others aren't because lifting the mask mandate told people not to wear them.

“Oh I love it when privileged white men with access to the best of everything tell vulnerable people not to be afraid because, hey! He’s alright,” @Margaret82 tweeted.

One thing that really stung for me is the use of the word “afraid.” In the past two years, members of the “freedom convoy” cult have messaged me hundreds of times complaining every time I write in support of masks and precautions.

“Why don’t you just live in fear in your basement and let the rest of us be free,” wrote one person.

That’s a big “freedom convoy” cult talking point – COVID-19 is overblown and any measures are just “fear-mongering.”

Now we have B.C.’s premier parroting the same talking point about “being afraid” and how we shouldn’t be.

I’m sure he didn’t mean to parrot anti-vaxxers, but after two years of getting yelled at by them, it sure sounded similar.

Mr. Premier, please, for the love of everything, choose your bloody words more carefully. You sounded like you were lecturing people who are vulnerable for wanting B.C. to have more protections.

Be better.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.