Horgan announces retirement, sources say

The Prime Minister of British Columbia is expected to announce his resignation on Tuesday afternoon, multiple sources have told CTV News.

John Horgan is scheduled to speak at a 1:30 p.m. press conference in Vancouver, where he spent the past two days on a cabinet retreat. CTV News will be streaming the event live.

Rumors have been circulating about the prime minister’s possible retirement since last week, when he appeared on a CBC radio program and gave an open response about his political future.

Less than two months earlier, Horgan told CTV News reporter Robert Buffam that he had not ruled out running for a third term.

“I never expected to be where I am today – no one is more surprised than me and my 8th grade teacher at Reynolds High School. But here I am. As long as I can keep making a valuable difference, I’m going to keep doing it Horgan said on May 5.

The prime minister’s reasons for retiring and the timing of his resignation are unclear, although his recent battle with cancer – which was Horgan’s second – may have influenced his decision.

The treatment for his throat cancer involved 35 rounds of radiation. Earlier this year, Horgan suggested he may have gone to work earlier than optimal, saying he was tired.

While BC’s NDP government faces major challenges in terms of affordability and the shortage of GPs in the province, political observers said there is little indication that the prime minister would be pushed out.

A recent poll by the Angus Reid Institute found Horgan to be one of the most popular Prime Ministers in Canada, even with his approval rating at the lowest level in years.

Last week, Horgan took full responsibility for the controversy surrounding the replacement of the Royal BC Museum, which drew much criticism over its estimated $789 million price tag, and announced the government was suspending the project.

Experts speculated that the prime minister’s decision could prevent the next NDP leader from being tainted with the project.

The announcement was “indicative of a leader with a lot of political capital to burn,” David Black, an associate professor of communications and culture at Royal Roads University, told CTV News on Monday.

Featuring files from CTV News Vancouver’s Bhinder Sajan and Mike Le Couteur, senior political correspondent for CTV News Channel

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