Premier John Horgan apologized for dropping the F-bomb in the B.C. Legislature during a heat discussion about B.C.’s family doctor shortage.
Shaken by heckling from opposition MLAs during question period, Horgan waved his hand dismissively and said, “Aw f—“. He then marched out of the chamber.
Liberal health critic Shirley Bond called out: “Shame on you.” in an attempt to calm tempers Speaker Raj Chouhan called a 10-minute recess.
Monday around 4 p.m, Horgan joked about the situation on social media saying: “If my mom was still around, she’d be on her way to the Legislature with a bar of Irish Spring.” When he rose in the chamber, he issued an official apology.
“Earlier today at the end of question period, my passion for health care got the better of me and I made some intemperate comments that may well have offended members of this house or others. I apologize for that and I withdraw those remarks unreservedly,” Horgan said.
After question period, Bond called on Horgan to apologize for his profanity.
“I can honestly say that rarely ever have I seen a premier behave like that,” she said, adding “it’s the job of the opposition to ask hard questions.”
It all got heated during question period when Liberal MLAs including Bond and Trevor Halford slammed Health Minister Adrian Dix and Horgan for failing to address the doctor shortage and has left one in five British Columbians without a family doctor.
Halford said Dix can “dismiss” people who are desperate for a family doctor “but at the end of the day, a million British Columbians are without a family doctor, and that is unacceptable.”
Horgan defended Dix, saying he has worked 24 hours a day to improve health care for British Columbians.
When Liberal MLAs drowned him out with heckles, Horgan shouted: “They don’t want an answer, honourable Speaker, because they are part of the problem. Do you want to hear it, man? Or do you just want to hear your voice? Why don’t you go in the bathroom and talk to yourself in there?”
“Do you want a headline, or do you want action?”
After the recess: “I’m so disappointed in all of you.” Chouhan told MLAs, stressing the point that members should listen to the question and answer. “Don’t make it personal. Let’s behave like adults, please.”
The government has been under a lot of pressure to fix the health care crisis that has been going on for years but made more visible during the pandemic. Now we are seeing family doctors close their clinics leaving scores of people scrambling.
According to a new study released last week by Medimap, a B.C.-based app that helps patients choose a walk-in clinic with the shortest wait times, patients who rely on walk-in medical clinics wait nearly an hour on average to see a doctor, four times longer than patients in at least five other provinces.
Horgan has stated time and time again that the federal government must raise health transfers to enable provinces to expand their health-care capacities.