The BC Liberals are demanding an apology from Premier John Horgan after he dropped an F-bomb in the legislature Monday during a heated exchange over the shortage of family doctors in the province.
Shaken by heckling from opposition MLAs during question period, Horgan waved his hand dismissively and said, “Aw f—.”
Liberal health critic Shirley Bond retorts: “Shame on you.” Speaker Raj Chouhan called a 10 minute recess to cool temperatures.
Horgan did not apologize but expressed contrition on Twitter Monday afternoon saying: “If my mom was still around, she’d be on her way to the Legislature with a bar of Irish Spring.”
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. “I hope the premier has it in him to apologize for the way he behaved in the legislature today.”
During question period, Liberal MLAs including Bond and Trevor Halford slammed Health Minister Adrian Dix and Horgan for failing to address the doctor shortage which 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 came to the defense of 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, honorable 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, Chouhan told MLAs: “I’m so disappointed in all of you.” He stressed 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 pressure to address the health care crisis which has been seen family doctors close their clinics leaving scores of people scrambling.
Patients who rely on walk-in medical clinics wait for almost an hour on average to see a doctor, four times longer than waits in at least five other provinces, according to a new study released last week by Medimap, a BC-based app that helps patients choose a walk-in clinic with the shortest wait times.
Horgan has repeated that the federal government must increase health transfers to allow provinces to increase their health care capacity.
More news, fewer ads: Our in-depth journalism is possible thanks to the support of our subscribers. For just $3.50 per week, you can get unlimited, ad-lite access to The Vancouver Sun, The Province, National Post and 13 other Canadian news sites. Support us by subscribing today: The Vancouver Sun | The Province.