Did Horgan’s Billion Dollar “Mea Culpa” Signal His Coming Retirement?

John Horgan has had a very successful and laudable public service life. But at 62, having already faced a serious round of cancer and 35 radiation treatments, I believe his recent pronouncements reveal he’s going to very soon announce his retirement.

Maybe even this week when the NDP has a closed door Cabinet retreat. (You can read more about that here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-premier-john-horgan-speculation-future-1.6501386.

And what really makes me believe Horgan is about to retire was his open, public “mea culpa” for his NDP government’s billion dollar Royal BC Museum bungle.

That whole Museum fiasco showed British Colombians how out of touch and isolated from ordinary working British Columbians Horgan and the NDP have become in Victoria… surrounded by partisan elected and appointed public officials, defended by blindly loyal NDP supporters, pressured by powerful far left lobbyists, exploited by First Nations activist groups …  and, until the Museum debacle blew up, leading a government handled with kid gloves by a mostly  sycophantic media.

But out in the REAL world, the “people” are angry, fed up and stressed out … some can’t afford to buy gas for their vehicles any more, let alone pay rents or mortgages, groceries or even buy their children clothes.

Horgan  and his government have been almost nowhere in helping them survive … shelling out a piddly $110 to ICBC policy holders, after two years of raking in billions in ICBC revenues … while refusing to,, providing a temporary lifting of the excessive  provincial gas taxes, as other provincial governments have done.

Or provide any other relief … especially to struggling families or seniors.

How cold and cruel is that!!

Yet Horgan’s government had $1 billion for a new museum! And also pour taxpayers’ money into a $268 million FIFA party!!

Postponing … not fully cancelling … some version of that Museum white elephant won’t be forgotten or forgiven by the suffering electorate. And neither will people forget or forgive the costs of holding FIFA games in Vancouver … especially once they start experiencing all the disruptions, noise (riots?) FIFA will bring.

No doubt the NDP will face a greater challenge from the BC Liberals in the next BC election than they did in the last!

So Horgan fell on his sword, taking full and complete responsibility for the museum fiasco.

A laudable principled personal move? Or a politically astute scheme for a retiring leader to accept full responsibility for a clear political disaster … and hopefully get the party and other NDP Ministers/MLAs off the hook … and emerge politically unscathed?

I don’t believe any politician who intends to run for office again would declare himself to blame for such a huge political blunder of announcing a Billion Dollar Museum during such hard times.

Usually, the Leader finds instead some other reasons/excuses or government patsy or patsies to blame … to deflect blame from himself and the party. Unless that Leader knows he’s going to step down.

Then there’s FIFA.

The estimated cost of that festive football party will be $268 million. Which probably means $300 million.)

 And remember, the crowds that event draws to any host city are not the same as those who attend a world exhibition or winter sporting  games.

I wonder if the $268 million really includes the full cost of adequate policing …. and riot control?

Horgan and the NDP can’t possibly believe that this kind of boondoggle spending will go over well with the majority of suffering taxpaying voters?

Especially those in Vancouver’s core, Yaletown and the West End who will have to endure several days and several very late LOUD nights of  drinking, partying and rowdiness that go with the FIFA games and visiting hooligans.

The next BC provincial election is scheduled for 2024 … before the 2026 games.

However, I have no doubt the BC Liberals will be raising, many times before and during the next election campaign, that Billion Dollar Museum blunder, FIFA’s cost, all the problems other FIFA host cities have had with noise, rowdiness, riots and the huge disruptions that anyone living near any of the FIFA games, drinking, gatherings and/or parting sites will have to endure.

And for that privilege… BC taxpayers will shell out $268 million? Or more.

Horgan knows all this.

So why would he want to face and endure all the pressures, angers and disruptions the ongoing Museum saga and escalating costs and emerging concerns/problems the FIFA games will bring? On top of the economic hardships so many families are now facing …and gas at $2.17 a litre … possibly even higher by the next election?

Better to retire with a largely successful public service and political record … while he is still well thought of by most British Columbians.

That would be Horgan’s gift to himself for his 63rd Birthday … on August 7.

(And on a personal level, Mr. Premier: Come on in, John! We have known each other, during your public service career, a VERY long time and as someone who retired at 61, I can tell you the water’s fine. Even terrific! Much less stress: good for your health; time for family and friends; opportunities to travel, enjoy, pursue other interests; and, enjoy leisurely lunches with friends and cronies. And you can still make points, be involved, keep others on their toes; and have fun … by writing a Blog!! 🙂

Harv Oberfeld

(Follow @harveyoberfeld.ca on Twitter for FREE First Alerts of all new postings on this BC-based Blog. No Spam … just free alerts to new topics up for discussion.)

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22 Responses to Did Horgan’s Billion Dollar “Mea Culpa” Signal His Coming Retirement?

  1. e.a.f. says:

    I do expect Horgan to retire before the next election, He certainly doesn’t look as robust as he used to. Cancer has taken its toll. He has done his duty as a citizen and politician, He took over governing when the province was mired in scandal and money laundering was going great guns.

    People will not always have long memories but ads during an election caimpaign will remind people of the B.C. Lieberals record. Why else are they thinking of changing their name.

    The B.C, Liebeals also gave us Railgate and wasn’t that fun.

    Many of the things you list as issues are out of control of the provincial government. Its out of the control of the federal government. Inflation is going to happen. We have had it before and we will have it again. It happens.

    It would be better if the government had a higher min,. income for people on welfare, disability, pensions, etc. and lower housing costs. But lets not forget we had that when the B.C. Lieberals were in office, As I recall Christy was clawing back nickel for nickel the child support non custodial parents paid to a child if the other parent was on disability. Yes, Christy said the government needed the money. they clawed back about $14M a year. Hell their advertising budget was much bigger than that and so were their travel budgets. Who can forget her $750 breakfast bill while in asia and the current leader of the B.C. Lieberals was there for all of it.

    People don’t want their taxes raised so how do you propose the government now gives more money to those who need it, without raising taxes. The government has to pay for the fires we had, Lytton, the floods this past Nov. the list goes on and billions have to be paid out. The reality is, most people don’t care about those who don’t have enough to pay rent or eat and won’t pay more taxes,

    When B.C. had the highest rate of child poverty in Canada for most of the years the B.C. Lieberals were in office, it didn’t seem to bother a lot of people nor that thousands of kids were in portables.

    As to FIFA, people will enjoy it just as they did Expo 86 and the Os and the cost be dammed. Lots of those in the tourist industry will make money and so will people who rent out their apartments and houses to fans who come to watch the soccer games. As to the noise, well we have had it before and they all survived. No one was voted out of office over the hockey riots, etc. that I recall. People were outraged and then got on with life. The Os went on for some time and there were lots of people in the downtown core. Its part of living in a city. Yes, there will be soccer holligans but we’ve had hockey holligans also. The police know we have FIFA coming up. I’m sure they will have a game plan in place. If not, then its time to get another chief and this time The Bay might consider putting plywood over their windows. The City couuld also make it very clear to every one getting off a plane, what the fines and jail times will be for rioters.

    For all the things you list about the NDP, I’d still prefer them to the b.C. Lieberals having seen them in action in their current incarnation and their former as B.C. Socreds.

    (Response: One of the benefits of a party getting a new Leader is that it can then claim it is on a “new” path, looking forward instead of dwelling on the past. They all do it: the BC Liberals have tried to do that; the federal Tories have done it; and soon, the BC NDP … with Horgan gone ..will be able to do it too. Horgan, NDP strategists know very well that, with the state of the economy, gas prices and taxes, higher grocery costs, transit costs, etc. etc. … and signs that the war in Ukraine will go on for years, and so will reflected higher living costs … they WILL be vulnerable, even if they wait till 2024. Horgan retiring, and a new Leader, could give them a boost …depending, of course, on who they choose to replace him. h.o.)

    • John Lefebvre says:

      Com’on, eaf, the following is patently false: “Many of the things you list as issues are out of control of the provincial government. Its out of the control of the federal government. Inflation is going to happen. We have had it before and we will have it again. It happens.”

      Price inflation is first and foremost a monetary phenomenon created by the issuance of an excess of currency by those with the power to do so, namely the banks and governments.

      The fact that those same banks collaborated with the Lib.Can.gov started creating $400Billion in extra currency from March 2020 is a matter of public record and it can not be denied.

      It didn’t just happen by accident–it was a policy decision taken by Can.Lib.gov (primarily Mark Carney acting in the Privy Office) and facilitated by the creation of said currency out of thin air by the Bank of Can (under the ostensible leadership of tiff Macklem).

      Precisely as intended, once that enormous amount of currency was distributed and sent chasing after goods, the result was a bidding up of prices–ie., inflation.

      Now, as for why they did what they did, namely unleashing this kind of runaway inflation, well, that’s another more complex discussion and one you would do well to look into for yourself.

      (Response: Yes, it is true that many of the things affecting our inflationary problems are out of the control of the provincial and federal governments. However, there ARE many things those governments CAN do …and some actually have done .. to ease the impact and the pain. Starting with North America’s HIGHEST taxes on gasoline. The BC NDP government and the Liberal federal government have done almost NOTHING to help the middle class and seniors. In fact, as prices rise, they are actually PROFITTING from peoples’ suffering because their revenues from PST, GST taxes also RISE as prices do. And that is a DISGRACE … and they are just fortunate the compliant, complacent lobotomized media haven’t made a HUGE deal about that. If I was still working, I’d be doing story after story on that aspect EVERY day … showing families, seniors, businesses HURTING terribly as a result of this … and interviewing different economists and experts EVERY DAY pointing out exactly how and where these governments could be doing more SOMETHING to help out in each case!! Bet they’d do something after a few weeks of that!! h.o)

      • e.a.f. says:

        your comment regarding the federal and provincial governmenst having done almost nothing, well what is it that you want them to do? if its lower taxes, you can expect gas companies to increase prices or there will have to be price controls. How to provide people with money for food and housing–yes how do some of you want that to happen. Mostly it involves taxes, Are you willing to pay more taxes to ensure kids and seniors get enough food to eat or decent places to live? What have some of you personally done to help the situation?

        inflation does come and go and we all survive, but some do suffer and through all of it, there isn’t much help for those who suffer. I’ve talked to enough teachers over the past 40 years who out of their own pockets bought food for the kids in their classes. No government has done much about it. Why do you think we have food banks. I remember when the first one in Canada was established on vancouver island because the forest industry had crashed. That was back in the 1970s as I recall. We still have food banks. No government has raised rates for welfare, etc. so they aren’t needed.

        Every body wants a solution, but no one wants to pay for the fix.

        (Response: That’s an old, unproven BC NDP spin … that if the government lowers gas taxes, the oil companies will just increase the gas prices to increase their profits. That did NOT happen in Alberta: when the Kenney government lowered its gas tax, only a couple of stations tried the ruse … 99.9% did not …and almost immediately, the offenders backed off and lowered the price too … giving a BREAK to Albertan consumers, that is being denied BC families by the NDP. h.o)

  2. D. M. Johnston says:

    Horgan has lost the plot completely and now the NDP that the 2024 election will not be so easy to win, especially with a $800 million museum albatross around their necks.

    I do give Horgan some leeway, mind, he is a sick fellow and the onerous job of being premier is not probably a headache too much.

    I am a transit guy and I c an maybe give you the transit angle.

    I believe the museum make over was a politcal gift to first nations to further their efforts to quantize history of the province and it failed badly as the locals saw through this ruse completely.

    On the island, the E&N railway quietly rots away, just begging for investment to modernize it to provide a useful passenger service. it can be done, it must be done, lest they blast through a multi lane highway through the Malahat.

    With global Warming and climate change, abandoned or next to abandoned railways are being rehabbed and modernized to provide a user friendly and affordable passenger service at a far cheaper cost than new highway construction.

    The NDP have turned their nose up at this and I am thinking that monies earmarked for the E&N were diverted to the museum.

    On the mainland, the 5.8 km $2.8 billion Broadway subway (the province is paying 40%) will soon be over budget because the cost of cement and specialty steel is rising at 2 to 3 times the current rate of inflation. Succinctly put, the cost of cement and specialty steel will be increasing 14% to 21% per year and they have not started tunneling yet.

    It is now estimated that the cost of the Broadway subway will be around $3.5 billion and will do little in mitigating congestion and gridlock.

    Then there is the Expo Line extension to Langley. Four years ago, the daft Mayor of Surrey Doug McCallum demanded a flip flop from LRT to SkyTrain light metro and because he was an “expert” the rest of the mayors supported him, as did the provincial NDP.

    Horgan was equally daft is making it a politcal promise for the next election to guarantee construction.

    Well, the now estimated cost for the Expo Line extension is now around $4.9 billion and the projects remains $2 billion short of funding and construction, if there is construction, is years away.

    And just to think, if Horgan and the NDP, had stuck to their guns, instead of politcal pandering in Surrey, they would be cutting ribbons on the newly opened LRT connection to Langley in 2024!

    If Horgan rides off to the sunset, so do his promises!

    In a letter from the Ministry of Education, replying to my letter about about the shoddy treatment of 2020 high school grads by the government, they spelled it out loud and clear, that if the children were not First nation, Metis or from a visible minority, they did not give a damn.

    But just look at his cabinet, band of lackluster cabinet ministers, all politically correct, but growing more and more incompetent, Horgan should walk and let the chips fall where they lay.

    The Party needs new blood and fast and the longer Horgan lingers, that much needed transfusion will not happen.

    In short, I think Horgan is going for a short walk in the sun and bow out of provincial politics and let a new cadre of premier wannabees drop the ball.

    (Response: Horgan’s personal popularity has also taken a big hit: an Angus Reid poll a couple of weeks ago showed his popularity has dropped to 48 % …from a whopping 71% at the beginning of the Covid pandemic. Global BC had the details: https://globalnews.ca/news/8920390/premier-john-horgans-popularity-sags-liberals-ndp-attack-ads/.

  3. Gilbert says:

    John Horgan became premier with the support of the Greens. I thought he’d be more moderate than John Dix, but his government is really very left-wing.

    John Horgan probably knows that it will be hard for him to win re-election. Many people are struggling, and he’s too close to the worst prime minister in Canadian history.

    The BC Liberals have a very good reason for changing their name. They don’t want to be confused with the federal party. That one is very unpopular in BC, especially outside of the lower mainland.

    (Response: If the BC Liberals change their name, it will not just be to separate themselves from any perception of links to the federal Liberals, but also to break away from previous BC Liberal administrations/leaders. h.o)

  4. Not Sure says:

    Several topics going on at once.

    1. Did Horgan’s billion dollar mea culpa signal his coming retirement?

    No. The CBC interview was what fueled speculation. Had Horgan not been sick we would not be having this conversation. That’s not to say, he wouldn’t have retired at this point had he not had cancer, but it would have been far less likely. In fact Vaughn Palmer had an article on why Horgan might stay.

    Anyway, it is up to Horgan and his family. Let him make his decision. And if he does retire, I wish him well.

    2. Will the museum proposal/cancellation and Vancouver hosting FIFA be election issues?

    I doubt it. Horgan proposed a new museum. He heard the concerns. He changed his mind. Good call. As for FIFA, most people support Vancouver being a host city. It won’t happen until 2026 well after the next election anyway. And it won’t have any riots.

    3. Is Horgan leaving so he can exit a winner before the ultimate loss in 2024?

    Probably not. The NDP have not been the disaster that people predicted. Given all that has occurred under their watch (fires, floods, pandemic) they have done quite well. If an election were held today, there is no reason to think they would lose. Horgan’s approval rating has dropped but that was because people were super supportive of him during the pandemic. Without the pandemic some of the flaws are more obvious. But 48% approval is still the third best in the country and Doug Ford won a majority with a lower approval rating. What is Falcon’s approval rating? My guess is the how they handle the health crisis will determine their fate but also how Falcon comes across.

    4. Can government’s do anything about inflation?

    I am no economist but inflation is fueled by high demand and little supply. I read an article that during the pandemic, people were squirreling away plenty of cash because there was nothing to do. No movies, no nightclubs, no vacations, fewer trips out so gas saved etc. Now there is money to spend but because of labour shortages, war, etc etc the supplies we want aren’t there.

    Can governments give relief. Sure but giving money out in rebates might just be a fuel for further inflation as we will have more money circulating but the supply is still not there. An American article I read said that the US giving out those $1400 cheques are a big cause of inflation but letting people suffer during the pandemic was not an option.
    My guess, and remember I am not an economist, is that this bout of inflation is solvable and won.t last nearly as long as the one in the 70s and 80s.

    But who knows. Look what has surprised us in the past two years. Anything can happen by the BC election in 2024.

    (Response: Well, we’ll see. Political Leaders RARELY take personal responsibility for a major blunder …like announcing a Billion Dollar Museum when the “people” are hurting/struggling/angry. As I wrote in the Blog, maybe that was a brilliant political move ,,, showing frankness and vulnerability; but I believe it DID signal that Horgan had already decided to retire soon … and by taking the heat, felt it ease the pressure on the government, the NDP and its incumbent MLAs. h.o)

  5. Stu de Baker says:

    I didn’t realize I had been irritation free for three weeks until an hour after I woke this morning to saw, not one, but two Horrible Horgan blogs. How many unpleasant things on your vacation in distant boroughs were his fault as well?

    I was disturbed by the original announcement of the museum redo and believed it would bring the wrath it did. Very, very, out of touch, without thought or vision.

    Even as a flip flop, the Neo-Liberals can make it the chorus to the oldie but goodie, fast ferries song.

    Even before this huge stumble, putting JH on his duff, I believed there would be no new mandate for the NDP, under a new leader.

    Being confident JH would pack it in, I look at what is being touted as his replacement and just go cold.

    Purported front runners David Eby, the NDP version of tired old Kevin Falcon, and Ravi Kahlon are just not sellable to the electorate, both for obvious but different reasons.

    Selena Robinson, solid for a while but shaky of late, so no, I don’t think so.

    Then there is Nathan Cullen. Nathan who? Nope the big block of voters in the lower mainland, who are fighting really hard to be as self centred as Torontonians, aren’t going to accept a northern Premier, good CV or not.

    So, who does that leave? Well, here’s a thought; the flavour of the decade is Vancouver Island and more specifically Tofino/Ucluelet.

    Josie Osborne is a proven leader, listener, and another down-home talker. Very likeable.

    With a really shallow electorate, which is where the world is now, she could create traction.

    So, from there to journalism.

    I wondered why you brought riots to the museum. Then I realized, the Vancouver media kept our minds on hockey riots, for months before they happened. I couldn’t understand why they were so obsessed with it.

    Then the light went on, speak it often enough and it will happen. When it does, BIG headlines.

    Is that your instinctive, journalistic incitement at play here, so early? Will we be conditioned to wait by the TV for it to surprisingly appear wall to wall on/in the news?

    Just before hitting the “Post Comment” button, I caught Not Sure’s numerical list. It was like an EpiPen.

    (Response: Hope my response to Not Sure doesn’t upset you too much! Just trying to keep it real and respond to the NDP spin. As for YOUR Comment, perhaps you missed it, but probably a million or more British Columbians felt exactly the way I wrote about the Billion Dollar NDP Museum blunder! And not even your cheap shots at the messenger (the public’s most trustworthy humble blog servant) will change the TRUTH: under Horgan, the current NDP government (a Billion Dollar Museum, $300 Million FIFA Games, BC’s decline in Health Care/Doctors/Nurses service levels) has repeatedly shown how out of touch, insensitive and incompetent it has been in responding to how much BC’s working families, singles, seniors, renters, motorists, small businesses and health care patients are all SUFFERING! Right NOW!!! Yet, I’m not so sure that, despite these HUGE gaffes, Horgan still couldn’t have defeated Kevin Falcon, who has his own weaknesses/baggage. But given these shambles, on top of his age, health issues, it’s time for Horgan to go. See, I didn’t even have to mention fast ferries! h.o)

  6. Stu de Baker says:

    Lol, I missed it? ‘Fraid not. You skipped my agreement with all those millions: “I was disturbed by the original announcement of the museum redo and believed it would bring the wrath it did. Very, very, out of touch, without thought or vision.”

    Can lead a scribe to prose but you can’t make him read it.

    (Response: I caught that … you and a million other British Columbians agree with me on that point. But I’m not so sure Horgan was already firmly planning to go before that debacle (and FIFA’s $300 million party) erupted. h.o.)

  7. D. M. Johnston says:

    I see the NDP damage control teams are out in full swing.

    Horgan was looking good, provincially, until he called the 2020 election in a full pandemic. he didn’t have to, the Liberals were no threat, but he did and ever since, his star has been on the wane.

    The museum was going to be Horgan gift to the First Nations, with exhibits focusing on the first nations and all the baggage the “colonials” brought with them.

    Didn’t fly with the taxpayer, nor the first nations strangely enough and especially in a time of high inflation and sagging popularity, Horgan decided to do the Hari-kari act, killing the museum project, which is a good indication he is calling it quits.

    I think the NDP’s prospects in 2024 will depend on how Kennedy Stewart does in Vancouver in October. This stalwart former NDP federal MP, has dragged the likes of Eby and others with this daft Broadway densification plan based on providing affordable housing.


    For most, it is a land rush and if Kennedy Stewart is deposed, I think Eby’s chances for reelection will be nil and in fact most of the NDP Metro Vancouver candidates are at risk.

    Horgan knows this and now the NDP is looking more and more like a “rump” government, afraid to deal with issues and lavishing hundreds of millions of dollars with photo-op events like Fifa.

    Me thinks Horgan’s time has come and gone and the NDP’s fortunes must rest with a new leader and if they are smart, they will choose new blood, but then the NDP are seldom smart.

    (Response: Partisan NDP supporters like to postulate (and may even believe) that, by the time the next election rolls around, issues like the Billion Dollar Museum (BC “History” rewritten from the NDP/First Nations’ point of view) and the $300 Million FIFA games will be forgotten (or forgiven). They could be right … IF BC is back on its feet by 2024, IF gas prices are back down, IF everyone has a family doctor; IF those in terrible pain don’t have to MONTHS for surgery, IF there are enough ambulances to save people’s lives, and, IF housing becomes affordable again … for renters and homebuyers. However …if REAL life and hardships continue the way things are NOW under the NDP, those two debacles, along with all those other failings, could have a very long shelf life. h.o)

  8. Not Sure says:

    I am so confused. What is this blog post even about.

    Your response to me was “We’ll see.” See what?
    Your response to Stu (with a reference to me) was “I was just trying to keep it real and respond to the NDP spin. What spin?

    DMJ says “I see the NDP damage control team is out in full swing”. Where?
    Your response to DMJ “Partisan NDP supporters like to postulate … blah blah blah.

    Let’s see. I said that the only reason Horgan has for leaving at this time is his health. If you want to POSTULATE that his retirement (which I believe will happen) has anything to do with some kind of taking it for the team by nixing the museum and taking responsibility for it then great. Good for him. But we will likely never know. The guy has been sick. He is coming on 63. He has served in the legislature for 16 years, five as premier. And like you say he has done a pretty decent job. There is no shame in leaving now especially with his health concerns.

    By 2024, the museum will be a non issue. What are the Liberals going to say. “John Horgan said they were going to build an expensive museum but didn’t. Instead he listened to the public and changed his mind.”

    I am a total non soccer fan. Don’t even know one name on Canada’s team. (Still hope they do well mind you). But I don’t get your fixation on how badly Vancouver will suffer for this event. Will the same be true for Toronto.? Dallas.? LA? The other 9 US cities?
    The 3 in Mexico? What should we expect in Qatar?

    I just don’t see these being issues in 2024. But hell two years ago who expected a trucker protest in Ottawa or a war in Ukraine or an invasion of the US congress to overturn an election. Who thought Roe v Wade would be gone. Who has the perfect crystal ball?

    The rest of your response to DMJ I agree with. Winning a third term will be challenge enough, but if the NDP (especially without Horgan) do not look like they are making progress on health and other issues but especially health and if Kevin Falcon looks like someone who can make progress on those issues, then for sure the NDP is in trouble. But that would be true of any government. No big surprise there.

    (Response: I’m not surprised you are confused: reality often seems difficult to grasp. You don’t see the Billion Dollar NDP Propaganda Museum or $300 Million FIFA 2026 Party as issues in 2024? Read my response to DM Johnston …it explains exactly why/how they could be. However I not surprised you do not see it that way: John Horgan could shoot an unarmed blind paraplegic heckling him in Bastion Square … and I just somehow doubt you’d see his action could be an election “issue” two years later. Fortunately, I don’t think the voters are as generous to Horgan/NDP as you are: I believe many, many see their generosity, pandering, catering to “homeless” from anywhere in Canada, druggies, thieves, violent criminals, First Nations lobbyists as being excessive, while their RECORD and TREATMENT of WORKING people, renters, aspiring home buyers, motorists, truckers ($2.16 a litre today in Vancouver … a HUGE portion of it TAXES!!!) small business operators, hospitals, ambulance services, doctors, nurses, teachers and even struggling seniors as being shameful. BUT they had a BILLION DOLLARS for an NDP/First Nations rewrite of BC history and $300 Million for a FIFA gambit??? And those won’t be issues? h.o)

  9. Not Sure says:

    “I am not surprised you are confused. Reality often seems difficult to grasp.” LOL

    “However I am not surprised you do not see it that way: John Horgan could shoot an unarmed blind paraplegic heckling him in Bastion Square … and I just somehow doubt you’d see his action could be an election “issue” two years later.” Double LOL

    Then you tell me to read your response to DMJ even after I said “The rest of your response to DMJ I agree with.” Slight guffaw.

    Why the insults?

    Look if you want to say that Horgan had already decided that he was going to retire and that made the decision to cancel the museum easier, not a problem. But no matter how you want to spin this, the museum has been cancelled. He admitted that it was the wrong time. I am saying end of story. You are saying it could still be a story IF the NDP do not make progress on a whole bunch of issues. And I am saying there will be no need to bring up a (rightly) cancelled project IF all of those unresolved issues that you list are happening. The opposition will be too busy delighting in nailing them on those issues.

    Perhaps FIFA could be an issue, IF all those other factors are in play. But somehow I doubt it. The NDP would not support the proposal back in 2018 because they didn’t want to give FIFA a blank cheque. They changed their mind earlier this year because they had a better understanding of the expense and they see it as an opportunity to bring tourists back to BC and getting an expensive publicly owned stadium some action after two years off being empty due to covid. The $250 million is considered an investment which is different from the museum which looked more like a vanity project.

    And again we are just speculating. I am not defending the decision to host FIFA. I am just saying that right now, I don’t see it as an election issue. (The opposition was quick to slam the museum project. I haven’t been able to find anything from the Liberals or the Greens on FIFA.)

    Speculation is fun but it is just speculation. Now if you want to bet on how important the museum and FIFA will be in the 2024 election, I am game. And no hedging with IFs. I say minimal to nothing. You?

    (Response: Well, he’s now done it! Horgan announced his retirement this afternoon. I think, regardless of one’s personal political beliefs or opinion of any politician’s performance, we should all express appreciation for contributions/service in the public interest. However, Horgan’s announcement makes me believe more than ever his “mea culpa” for the Museum debacle was a pre-planned, shallow attempt to cover ass … ie falling on his sword in a futile attempt to defer, deflect and distance the NDP party, Horgan’s NDP Cabinet Ministers and NDP MLAs from RESPONSIBILITY for the over-the-top insensitivity to public opinion …and suffering. h.o)

  10. D. M. Johnston says:

    Well, I see Horgan pulled the plug. I believe him that he does not have the energy because after a near death experience myself, I can say it takes years to fully recouver.

    Despite the the cries of shock and disbelief from the die hard supporters, H.O. read the tea leaves correctly and Horgan is now going into retirement and taking the museum with him.

    What fun now to see either the NDP carry on with the same old gang or truly wants to modernize and embraces a younger party leader.

    (Response: Well, the party, NDP MLAs and the new Leader may all TRY to put the Billion Dollar NDP Museum to rewrite BC history behind them, saying Horgan took responsibility and it’s now time to move on. But I somehow suspect the Liberals will not let them forget … especially once the “new” revamped plan is unveiled … for a few hundred million at least! Unless they try to stall it until after the next election. h.o)

  11. Stu de Baker says:

    Congratulations Harvey, I’m ok going along with your belief, you single-handedly ousted John Horgan. No CM again though.

    I could write your first NDP leadership blog plus a dozen election ones, complete with 8 out of 10 responses. In fact I’m putting one in a sealed envelope right now.

    The only way the Liberals could criticize FIFA is after the fact if it is a disaster. A success they will take credit for.

    The Liberals are masters of corrupt events, organizations and projects. One laundry lid is welded shut and another one opens. FIFA cash is probably already flowing to PO Box 28131 West Pender St PO.

  12. Gilbert says:

    I’m not surprised John Horgan has resigned. It’s good that he recognized the expensive museum project was very unpopular with the public. This will help whoever becomes the next leader of the NDP.

    When BC had a severe heatwave and many died, it became clear that ambulance services were inadequate. The insensitive premier said that fatalities were a part of life and that people had to take steps to protect themselves. The comments were so inappropriate and offensive that he later apologized. The problem was that people were getting tired of a leader who makes senseless comments and then apologizes for them. It reminds them too much of the actor in Ottawa.

    (Response: Horgan has a history of insensitive remarks, errors and missteps, but politics and government are both very tough jobs … with cameras and microphones capturing almost every word. However in my personal opinion, his gaffe chastising people to take better care of themselves, amidst hundreds of deaths as ill people awaited too long for ambulances during BC’s extreme heat wave was among the worst. Suggesting people ask a neighbour for a ride if gas is too expensive pales by comparison …but both strengthened my contention that any politician, ensconced in Victoria, could lose touch with ordinary citizens living and struggling out in the real world. h.o)

  13. Gary Wilkes says:

    Good call, Harv.

    You have been proven totally right about the resignation coming down the pike.

    We’ll never know what brought it on exactly; but the timing fell does support your contentions about him taking responsibility for some extremely bad policy decisions.

    I mean, the BC Museum proposal was an epic fail, the likes of which we haven’t seen around these parts for quite some time.

    Also have to Horgan credit for owning that mistake and putting an end to it.

    (Response: To be fair, there was speculation in the media for some time, after Horgan’s cancer diagnosis/treatment that he could soon step down. But what too many missed … or were too compliant, compromised to speculate publicly what they believed privately (not me!) was that Horgan taking the blame/responsibility for the Billion Dollar NDP Museum fiasco could have been a deliberate, staged political attempt to cover other NDP cabinet ministers’ and MLAs’ asses for the bungle, since Horgan knew he would be resigning very soon. To their credit, CTV News at Six did examine that Monday night. In politics, like comedy, timing is everything! So it’s always important … and fun … to look at not just WHAT they say, but WHEN and WHY! h.o)

  14. RIsaak says:

    Wow, team DeePee is already out in full force doing damage control. Surely stirring the Stu.

    The hinterlands, which feed & house the many shoe box dwellers, will be rejoicing at Horgan’s exit. North Island MLA in hot water due to a land deal involving the stench filled remnants of Tides Canada (yes, Gregor & Megg’s mostly foreign funded anti oil faux charity). Farnworth is a pariah in the interior, Dix is a bygone relic, Eby may be the best of the bunch, or maybe the real leader, Geoff Meggs can finally win a nomination?

    Popcorn ready, always fun to watch the posturing of serial liars as they cue up to advance on the list of narcissistic hall monitors. I think the future holds many fiscal issues, some of which will cause much pain for most citizens, not seeing any political option of any stripes who can set the future up for success given the absurd choices made in the past decade.

    (Response: Watch Brad West. The Port Coquitlam Mayor has been raising his profile over the past few months: invited on and/or phoning in CKNW talk shows to pontificate about various issues that seem to me to have NOTHING to do with Port Coquitlam or even municipal topics. I thought he came across fairly well … although I did wonder, since the topics were NOT about PoCo, whether CKNW was pushing him to the front for some reason. Maybe we’ll soon find out. h.o)

  15. Stu de Baker says:

    Brad West is a great example of the long forgotten Peter Principle.
    He’s a good local politician who keeps his face in the media and talks about hot button issues, without fear of needing to advance them.

    A leader at a higher level he is not, which cabinet colleagues, and voters would discover very quickly, but too late. Smart enough but is he wise enough to recognize he isn’t a fit for the provincial trenches?

    He will whip up his locals, eager to have their community remembered for something more than the Pickton farm, but in the end, he’d just be a flash in the pan. A Christy Clark with sideburns.

    (Response: Thanks for this: As I mentioned, I really had not even heard of him until he started emerging on CKNW talk shows, being interviewed on topics that seemed to have nothing to do with Port Coquitlam or even municipal topics. Will be fascinating to watch him over the coming months … and if CKNW gives him more air time than other contenders. 🙂 h.o)

  16. e.a.f. says:

    Things certainly change quickly, from will Horgan retire to, Oh, he is retiring. In his announcement he says he doesn’t have the energy to do the job any more and given he has had cancer twice and COVID once and past 60, YES I’d be tired also. He and his wife have made the right choice, enjoy the years he has left.

    Horgan may have kicked cancer this time, but if you see him most days, in real life you can see how much his appearance has changed. Even on t.v. you can see a deterioration in his health.

    He has served the province well. for those who don’t think so, go back and check the history of the B.C. Lieberals and Socreds. Horgan was the most fun Premier since Dave Barrett, yes, I’m that old.

  17. Not Sure says:

    I was thinking about this last night and e.a.f. has now verbalized it. I agree with her that John Horgan has been a pretty good Premier. Since 1986, 36 years, we have had nine premiers but let’s ignore Ujjal Dosanjh, Dan Miller and Rita Johnson. So six people who had at least one term as premier.

    I know I am leaving out Barrett and the two Bennetts but there is a certain mythology surrounding them and you have to be at least 71 years old (me) to have voted in a WAC election so let’s go with the last six.

    I know I am biased but I am going to try this out. I would put Horgan at the top of the NDP list. Glenn Clark left the party in tatters so no matter how we want to revisit his legacy it is pretty hard to give him high marks even though he wasn’t as bad as NDP haters want to paint him. Harcourt shouldn’t have resigned over Bingogate so it is hard to know what he might have done had he stuck around. He may not have won a second term anyway as Glenn Clark’s 1996 win was a fluke when he won a majority but lost the popular vote by over 2%.

    Now again I am biased so I am not going to critique the Liberals/Socred, but it is pretty hard to argue that Horgan has been worse than Christy Clark or Bill VanderZalm. That leaves Gordon Campbell who had the longest run and did some good things but a whole bunch of bad as well. Yeh I know. That’s from a biased point of view but I wouldn’t be surprised if Liberal supporters ranked Campbell first and NDP supporters ranked him last.

    I would be curious to know how political scientists/historians would rank these six premiers but my guess is that Horgan would do quite well.

    Do you want to give this a try Harvey?

    (Response: Not really. Journalists (the old fashioned kind) see all political leaders through a different lens than partisan supporters or, for that matter, opponents. The vast majority of them, if in office long enough, do achieve some very formidable accomplishments (at least from their and their own supporters’ ideological point of view); but also fail at some other things, including broken promises, wasted millions, pandering to favored interest groups, make lousy partisan appointments, award questionable contracts and/or even mislead or even outright lie during their terms in office. So I’d leave it historians … not reporters or pundits … to judge/rate them … preferably years after they leave office. However, elected public service is a laudable pursuit, regardless of party, and we owe a debt of gratitude to anyone who does it … unless they’re crooks. h.o.)

  18. Gilbert says:

    It’s good that John Horgan has resigned. He can focus on his health and let someone else lead the province. I wish other politicians were like him and didn’t stay in power as long as possible.

    Many of the readers here are clearly supporters of the NDP and think he did a good job. Maybe I should remind them that he inherited a strong economy from the BC Liberals and he had a balanced budget. As much as some readers here love to attack the BC Liberals, they didn’t lose to John Horgan by so much.

    I have to give credit where it is due and agree that it was good to eliminate the tolls on bridges. It was also good to get rid of MSPs, but the employee’s health tax might just be a sort of replacement. Anyway, I understand that governments are always thinking of ways to raise revenue.

    For me the BC NDP is no longer truly the party of the middle-class. It seems to be the party of climate change hysteria, the party against pipelines and natural resources, the party that favours indigenous Canadian over other groups, and the party that gives more priority to drug addicts and the homeless than it does to ordinary hard-working Canadians.

    It completely overreacted to the pandemic and enforced ridiculous mandates. Stefan Oerlich, an executive with Bayer, has said that the injection is not a vaccine but cellular gene therapy, and has also said that if the pharmaceutical industry had said it was cellular gene therapy, it would have probably gotten a 95% refusal rate. The fact is that the BC NDP decided to follow the goals of the great reset, the New World Order and the Bilderberg Group. To be fair, though, the BC Liberals probably would have done the same.

    It will be interesting to see if Canadians who usually support the NDP do so in the next election. Now that gas is so expensive and many are struggling, they might just decide to support a party that they believe is better for the economy. Time will tell.

    (Response: I believe your third paragraph sums up very well the feelings of many, many “simmering” British Columbians, who have been ignored by the far-too-politically correct NDP and their BC media mouthpieces. Here it is again:
    “For me the BC NDP is no longer truly the party of the middle-class. It seems to be the party of climate change hysteria, the party against pipelines and natural resources, the party that favours indigenous Canadian over other groups, and the party that gives more priority to drug addicts and the homeless than it does to ordinary hard-working Canadians.”
    Yes…I also get that impression from people I have heard from who live outside the NDP strongholds in Vancouver and Victoria (Vancouver Island). A friend visiting from Prince George this week told me there is a lot of growing resentment up that way against Horgan/NDP’s (and Trudeau/Liberals too) almost total “subservience” to First Nations, starting with bowing and scraping at the beginning of every news conference/speech and ending up with shelling out millions and millions of dollars these days almost on demand. I have not seen any of this growing resentment/pushback covered by our (intimidated or co-opted?) media … but my contact up north predicts the Liberals will do much better there and in the interior than we down here imagine. And your summation makes it very clear why. h.o)

    • D. M. Johnston says:

      Memo to H.O.

      Quote: “A friend visiting from Prince George this week told me there is a lot of growing resentment up that way against Horgan/NDP’s (and Trudeau/Liberals too) almost total “subservience” to First Nations, starting with bowing and scraping at the beginning of every news conference/speech and ending up with shelling out millions and millions of dollars these days almost on demand.”


      Now if this was said in the Tyee, it would have been censored and the comment removed.

      We do not have a media presence in BC anymore, rather we have “we know what is best for you” news. Real news does not exist, except for the shocking shootout in Victoria.

      Braking news isn’t breaking, rather sanitized old news that is somewhat stale dated and it is why this old analog type a guy keeps reading your blog because of the real insight of real news, the mainstream media would like us to no know.

      (Response: There was good reason I named this blog Keeping it Real. Hopefully regular readers will pass a link along to family and friends so more and more who think no one is paying attention or reflecting how they feel and stop feeling ignored. h.o)

  19. Gilbert says:

    Google is nice, but it has its limitations. We have to consider the source of our data. A professor once asked me to record some sentences for her as part of her research on intonation. However, before the recording, she coached me. When she didn’t like my sentences, she asked me to exaggerate my rising intonation to make it conform with what she wanted. I don’t really consider that honest research.

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