B.C. Premier John Horgan announced that he will undergo a biopsy Friday after discovering growth in his throat.
Horgan, 62, revealed the news at a snap press conference in his office, admitting that with his surgery scheduled for Friday it was likely he would be recognized in hospital and news of his health challenge would become public.
“It is a small town,” Horgan said. “I’ll be staying overnight as a result of this surgery and that type of information just doesn’t stay quiet.”
He said the biopsy will determine his next steps and that Solicitor-General Mike Farnworth will serve as interim premier in the meantime.
Horgan said he felt a lump in his neck a few months ago, and underwent tests with his doctor over the past few weeks.
“These tests have revealed a growth in my throat that will require surgery,” he said.
Doctors will conduct a biopsy on the growth. “Any further treatment will be a result of that pathology,” said Horgan. “It’s certainly treatable, as I’ve been told.”
Solicitor General Mike Farnworth has been appointed deputy premier, a role that has remained vacant since Carole James retired in 2020.
Horgan said the move was made “out of an abundance of caution” and in case he needs assistance.
He recommended all British Columbians to not wait if they have concerns about their health.
“If you are concerned about something, don’t put it off. Go see a doctor, go to an urgent and primary care centre to get it checked out as soon as you can.”
The Opposition BC Liberals issued a statement wishing Horgan a quick recovery.
“I have known John Horgan for nearly two decades. We have both served British Columbians here in the Legislature for a very long time. Today’s news comes as a shock to all of us,” said Interim Leader Shirley Bond.
“These are the times to set aside politics and focus on the personal. This is about people who care about one another, because nothing is more important than health and family.
Horgan has been the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca since 2005 and premier since 2017.
Politics is a cut and thrust business, but when an MLA has a serious health challenge like @jjhorgan announced, the #BCLeg just kind of stops and everyone, across party lines, reaches out to wish that person well.
An outpouring of support for @jjhorgan amongst MLAs right now.
— Rob Shaw (@RobShaw_BC) October 28, 2021