British Columbia’s Premier John Horgan has announced he will not be running in the 2024 provincial election, and will be making way for a new leader of the B.C. NDP Party.
The move comes months after Horgan underwent treatment for throat cancer. He was subsequently infected with COVID-19. Horgan told reporters during a news conference Tuesday (June 28) that while he is cancer-free and physically healthy, his energy is low and he will not be able to make another six-year commitment to the job.
Even prior to his cancer diagnosis, there was speculation that Horgan would not seek re-election.
“I will give everything I have until I have a replacement” Horgan says.
— Cole Schisler (@SchislerCole) June 28, 2022
In the near term, Horgan will be focused on addressing affordability issues and pressing the federal government to increase the Canada health transfer in his role as chair of the Council of the Federation.
“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,” he said.
A leadership convention will be held at an unspecified date in the fall. Horgan said the new leader will be determined by the party, not by him. Horgan will stay on as an MLA until the next election.
Horgan said he came to the decision after taking some time away and walking along Otter Point near Sooke with his wife Ellie. As the two watched a pair of otters playing in the water, Horgan came to the realization that “more play and less work” was a good idea.
Horgan has been the MLA for his hometown riding of Langford-Juan de Fuca since 2005 (then, just known as Juan de Fuca). He became leader of the B.C. NDP in 2014 and was sworn in as premier in 2017.
He was sworn in as premier on July 18, 2017, following a confidence vote in the B.C. legislature that ousted former BC Liberal premier Christy Clark. He was re-elected during a snap election in 2021.
“I’m looking forward to just being me again. Talking to people, not as the Premier of British Columbian, but just John.”