British Columbia

B.C. Premier John Horgan optimistic about throat cancer prognosis

In a recorded address to B.C. NDP convention delegates, B.C. Premier John Horgan said he has a 90 per cent chance of recovery from throat cancer. Horgan, 62, was diagnosed in early November after discovering a lump in the summer.

In recorded address to B.C. NDP convention delegates, Horgan said he has a 90 per cent chance of recovery

A screen grab from a video address by Premier John Horgan to B.C. NDP delegates at a party convention on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021. (B.C. NDP)

In a recorded address to B.C. NDP convention delegates, B.C. Premier John Horgan said he has a 90 per cent chance of recovery from throat cancer.

Horgan, 62, was diagnosed in early November after discovering a lump in the summer.

Following his diagnosis, he said he would begin radiation treatment, which would last until the end of this month.

On Saturday, a video recording, made ahead of the B.C. NDP's first convention since the party won a majority government in October 2020, was broadcast to attendees.

"The prognosis is very good, a 90 per cent recovery based on the treatment plan that we have in place so I'm very optimistic for the future," said Horgan in the nearly 23-minute address.

He began by welcoming delegates and then gave the update about his current health. Horgan was treated for bladder cancer in 2008.

He asked delegates to reflect on the importance of universal health care in the province during the convention and said he was thankful for his treatment, considering the strain the system is under from those requiring care for COVID-19.

"I can not say enough about how our health care system was there for me," said Horgan. "It's strained by the pandemic, strained beyond belief but I continue to be in awe by the professionalism and compassion shown by health-care workers every step of the way."

Horgan used the rest of his address to mark the party's 60-year anniversary, and goals the province has achieved under the governance of the party such as the elimination of bridge tolls, MSP fees and an overhaul of the Insurance Corporation of B.C.

He also spoke about the response to the pandemic, anti-poverty initiatives, climate change and protecting old growth forests while maintaining forestry sector jobs.

In November, Horgan said he still plans to participate in cabinet meetings and fulfil his other duties virtually over the course of his treatment.

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, whom Horgan appointed deputy premier, has attended in-person events in his place. 

Most of the business for the party convention was to take place on Nov. 19, but was pushed back due to catastrophic flooding in the province.

'Rests enough'

On Saturday, former MLA and provincial finance minister Carole James, who herself faced cancer in 2006 and is now coping with Parkinson's disease, introduced the Horgan video.

"We're sending him all the best," she said. "I think the biggest challenge for John and for those around him will be making sure that he rests enough before he gets back into the job and back out working for people once again."

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