After almost two decades serving in the B.C. Legislature, John Horgan announced he would be stepping down as MLA in March.
In 2005 John Horgan was first elected to the Legislature as an NDP MLA, by 2014, he had risen through the ranks to become the leader of the BC NDP.
After the 2017 election, Horgan struck an agreement with the Green party to form government, paving the way for an NDP leadership at the helm of the province.
“I’ve just spoken with the Lieutenant Governor, and she’s asked me if I have the confidence of the legislature to form government. I’ve told her that I do,” Horgan said to a crowd of supporters outside the parliament building nearly six years ago.
He served in the role for a number of years, but suffered from cancer not once, but twice.
The second cancer diagnosis was revealed in November 2021.
He successfully beat the diagnosis, and although he was cancer free he stepped down as premier this past summer. This decision marked the beginning of his choice to start winding down his political career.
Thursday, in front of his friends and foes, with his wife Ellie and others in attendance he officially said goodbye.
“We came to the conclusion that I’m not able to make another six-year commitment to this job,” he said during the speech in the legislature.
While Horgan didn’t give a specific time for his departure, he suggested outside the legislature that St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 might be a good day to go.
When he announced last June he was stepping down as premier, Horgan said he would continue to serve as the MLA for his riding of Langford-Juan de Fuca until the next B.C. election, set for the fall of 2024.
That’s now changed.
“I spent a lot of time doing this and I believe there are other things in the world for me to do,” he said after delivering his speech in the legislature. “I think I’ve got other skills and abilities and I’m going to exercise them.”
Horgan did not rule out accepting a political appointment in the future, especially one from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“The prime minister has been very kind to me,” he said. “If there is something that he needs me to do, I’d certainly consider that, but I’m not ruling out anything.”
Horgan said his support for society’s underdogs was a lifelong passion that came from his own upbringing by his mother, Alice, who raised four children on her own, at times accepting food hampers to get by.
His father, Patrick, died from a brain aneurysm when Horgan was 18 months old.
He often credited a high school basketball coach for turning his life around as a teen, telling him to report to the gym and stop hanging around street corners and the local pool hall.
Horgan said he spent his political career trying to represent his community, riding and province.
“I have no regrets because I have every day tried my best to make a positive impact and to have the opportunity over 30 years in this place is like, it’s nuts,” he said. “I started opening the mail and I got to be the premier.”