IN THE LEDGE – ‘Why don’t you go to the bathroom and talk to yourself in there?’
Following is an excerpt from debate in the B.C. Legislature on Monday afternoon, April 25, 2022 in which Premier John Horgan employed the ‘F’ word. The exact point at which the word was used is not recorded in Hansard, and it appears to have been bleeped from the video feed, but it appears to have come after the word “action.” At that point, Question Period was quickly terminated. Watch for it. Horgan later returned to the Legislature to apologize. We pick up the exchange as Surrey-White Rock Liberal MLA Trevor Halford is grilling the government on the shortage of family doctors.
T. Halford: The minister’s words are not met by action from this government, from this Premier, and we see that day after day. Every member of this House is getting the letters, the emails, the phone calls, the visits, saying: “We need help. We do not have a family doctor. We need support.”
Every riding is getting those calls. The minister can dismiss them. The minister can rattle off numbers. At the end of the day, a million British Columbians are without a family doctor, and that is unacceptable.
Dr. Ali says: “Our cries are not being heard. Family medicine is hemorrhaging. We are an endangered species, and without us, the primary care system is going to fall apart” — a system that the minister spent most of this question period talking about. This doctor is saying it’s at critical mass, and this minister continues to dismiss these issues.
In Surrey, 13 walk-in clinics are full by 10 a.m. Thirteen walk-in clinics are full. If you want to take your child to get support because you don’t have a family doctor, you can’t visit that walk-in clinic if you’re not there by 10 a.m. This minister thinks that this is acceptable, this day in this province — a million people without a family doctor.
When will this Premier step up in this House and give British Columbians the assurance that they need that they will be supported by a family doctor?
Hon. J. Horgan: I just want to correct some misstatements by those on the other side.
First and foremost, there is one person that’s working 24 hours a day to improve health care for people in British Columbia, and it’s the Minister of Health. Everybody knows that.
Secondly, at no time have I blamed the federal government.
Hon. J. Horgan: They don’t want an answer, hon. Speaker, because they are part of the problem. That’s why.
The opposition characterizes cooperative federalism, making our country work by ensuring that there’s adequate….
Hon. J. Horgan: Do you want to hear it? Do you want to hear it, or do you just want to hear your voice? Why don’t you go in the bathroom and talk to yourself in there? You don’t want to hear answers in this place. Seriously.
The Canada health transfer is fundamental to health care in British Columbia. It’s fundamental, and it has been for generations.
Hon. J. Horgan: Do you really care, or do you want to hear yourself? Do you want a headline, or do you want action?
[End of question period.]
Mr. Speaker: The bell ends the question period.
Mr. Speaker: Members, seriously.
Mr. Speaker: The Leader of the Official Opposition will come to order.
The House will be in recess for ten minutes.
The House recessed from 2:33 p.m. to 2:34 p.m.
[Mr. Speaker in the chair.]
Mr. Speaker: Calling the House back to order.
Mr. Speaker: Members. Members, I think the question period is over.
I’m so disappointed in all of you. During the question period, I have repeatedly said: “Please listen to the question and listen to the answer.” Once that’s over, don’t make it personal. Let’s behave like adults, please.
Mr. Speaker: Member for Nechako Lakes. What was your point, Member? You are just challenging the Chair?
J. Rustad: My apologies, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: Members, I have the honour to….
T. Stone: Mr. Speaker?
Mr. Speaker: Member.
Question of Privilege
(Reservation of Right)
T. Stone:Thank you. I reserve my right on a point of personal privilege.
(Later in the day)
Hon. J. Horgan: 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.
Source: B.C. Hansard.
The Liberals are a fine party to talk about health care. Where I am from we had a beautiful hospital until Gordon Campbell came in. They shut down wards, shut down the kitchen, shut down hours in the o.r. They took away benefits from seniors such as eye exams. They tore up contracts from the HEU. Home support used to do a lot for people so they could stay in their homes. The Liberals fixed that as well. Privatized facilities to where many can not afford the care. I cannot believe that they would criticize anyone when they, in my opinion, ruined what used to be good care.
Whether you voted NDP or even like John Horgan, it is my feeling that his health was a large contributing factor in the outburst of anger and frustration.
The man recently completed radiation therapy to deal with throat cancer. Then, he tested positive for Covid. He does not look well.
Yet, Mr. Stone used the situation to conduct an interview to say what a terrible reaction John had to being badgered about the present state of health care in BC, especially the number of people who don’t have a family doctor.
Doctors don’t grow on trees. Neither do nurses …… I am married to one and she is as much a human being as anyone else.
Mr. Stone should take a couple of deep breaths and reconsider the bigger picture. He could easily be sitting in his doctor’s office and receive the bad news of a cancer diagnosis. Or, it could be his wife or a family member close to him.
My twin brother was diagnosed with cancer when it was already at a point where his life expectancy was rather short. He died in October 2020 and my oldest brother died of a different type of cancer 6 weeks later. Part of me died when my twin brother Don died. A bit more died when David died. Sometimes I feel that the wrong twin died first. I am pretty typical of how the surviving twin feels.
Quite frankly, it takes a real man to go through cancer treatment and still want to serve as Premier. It is the mark of a real man to make it through Covid so soon after having chemotherapy and STILL want to serve as Premier. It takes that same kind of man to be badgered by healthy politicians who should know better. An “F-bomb” is what a lot of people do every day.
Try and see the big picture, Mr. Stone. If you read this, it might mean you are a good man if you write an apology to Mr. Horgan and have Mel publish it.