BC Prime Minister John Horgan expected to announce his retirement

The NDP’s first prime minister will remain as party leader until a new leader is elected.

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BC Prime Minister John Horgan will announce this afternoon that he is stepping down as NDP leader, sparking a leadership race two years ahead of the 2024 provincial elections.

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Horgan, 62, will remain party leader until a new leader is elected.

Horgan will announce his retirement at 1:30 p.m. at a press conference at the Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront in Vancouver after a two-day cabinet retreat yesterday and today.

The strategy allows Horgan to step out of politics while still ranking highly in opinion polls — ranked as the third most popular Prime Minister in Canada — and gives a new leader plenty of time to build political capital before facing the United States in October. Liberal leader Kevin Falcon of BC state. 2024 elections.

The news comes two weeks before Horgan was due to welcome the country’s provincial and territorial leaders to Victoria at the Council of the Federation’s annual meeting. Horgan has been president of the federation since September and is pushing for more federal money to support the crumbling health system.

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Horgan has fueled speculation that he will not seek a third term after taking full responsibility for the now-cancelled plan to replace the Royal BC Museum for $789 million last week.

“I made the wrong decision,” he told reporters on June 22, 40 days after the controversial announcement sparked criticism that the New Democrats were out of touch promoting the plan at a time when British Colombians are struggling with rising cost of living and a health care crisis that leaves a million people without a primary care physician.

Last week, on their program The Team, Horgan told sports journalists Donnie and Dhali that he is officially cancer-free. Horgan was diagnosed with throat cancer in November and stepped back from some of his duties as he completed 35 radiation sessions.

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Horgan told CTV News in May that his energy was still low after his battle with COVID-19 the month before and that he “jumped in the pool a little earlier than I should have.”

He continued to participate in cabinet meetings virtually throughout his treatment. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth assumed the role of Deputy Prime Minister, attending personal events on behalf of the Prime Minister.

Horgan underwent surgery and treatment to fight bladder cancer in 2008, when he was in his 40s.

With a 70 percent approval rating in the summer of 2020, Horgan called snap elections for October 2020, a gamble that angered some but ultimately paid off with a 57-seat majority, the biggest NDP win in BC history. . Horgan is the first NDP leader to serve two terms as prime minister.

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