British Columbia Premier John Horgan apologized for being sworn in on the floor of the Legislative Assembly Monday, at the end of a heated question period focused on health care.
Horgan was responding to a question from Trevor Halford, MPP for Surrey-White Rock, regarding the family doctor crisiswhich has left almost a million British Columbians without their own doctor.
Horgan, who had previously been accused by Halford of blaming the federal government for the province’s health problems, then stood up to defend himself and said he never sought to blame the federal government.
But after being teased a few times, Horgan started yelling directly at the opposing bench.
WATCH | Horgan says “fk” on the floor of the BC Legislative Assembly:
“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 to the bathroom and talk to yourself?” asks Morgan.
“You don’t want to hear answers here. Seriously… Do you really care, or do you want to get along? Do you want a title, or do you want action? Ah, damn it.”
Question Period ended soon after, with Speaker Raj Chouhan calling on MPs to refrain from making debates personal and saying, “Let’s behave like adults, please.”
Horgan first posted a statement on his Twitter account, saying “If my mum was still around she’d be on her way to Parliament with an Irish Spring bar [soap].”
If my mother was still here, she’d be on her way to the Legislative Assembly with an Irish Spring bar. pic.twitter.com/T27OxScmH8
But the prime minister later returned to the legislature to issue a full apology.
“Earlier today, at the end of Question Period, my passion for health care got the better of me and I made intemperate comments that may well have offended members of this House or others,” Horgan said.
“I apologize and withdraw these remarks without reservation.”
The government seen as vulnerable
Gerald Baier, a political science professor at the University of British Columbia, said the family doctor crisis is one of the issues facing the NDP government in British Columbia right now, and it’s is why Horgan was probably keen to fend off opposition parties.
“It wasn’t just out of the blue,” Baier told CBC News. “It was a back and forth on family doctors and some issues where the Liberals hope to show the NDP is vulnerable.”
Baier said the Horgan swear word goes back to the days of a picture more “fight” for the premier of British Columbia, who once went by the nickname “Hulk Horgan”.
“That’s one of the perceptions he had to overcome before the 2017 election,” Baier said. “He was able to contain that kind of fighting spirit a bit more. But, you know, this was one of those times when he couldn’t do that.”
Halford, whose question ultimately provoked profanity from Horgan, said the premier’s misstep was the result of ‘frustration’ that he had no answer for BC Liberals over the province . family doctor problem.
“The thing is, we actually have children in the [legislature] gallery today,” Halford told CBC News.
“I think these kids deserve a lot better than to see the premier of the province use profanity while we were talking about a million British Columbians being without a doctor.”
Halford questioned Horgan’s commitment to resolving the crisis, saying the prime minister was focused on political attacks rather than solutions.
“I hear people say it’s a desperate problem and the Prime Minister has no answer.”