British Columbia This Week

What to Expect

The province will be discussing the ramifications of the Premier’s resignation. See more on that in the week that was.

Premier Horgan will chair his last Council of the Federation Meeting next week, passing the gavel to Manitoba Premier Stefanson. Horgan has been a vocal advocate for the provinces, especially regarding health transfers from Ottawa – expect transfers to be the focus of this meeting, too.

The Week That Was

Premier Horgan announced on June 28 that he will be stepping down as Premier. Horgan’s decision to step down comes seven months after he announced his throat cancer diagnosis. Following the completion of his treatments in February, Horgan had indicated he expected to stay on as Premier. In a press conference, however, he announced that while cancer-free he has not gotten his energy back and expressed a desire for the party to move forward to the next chapter.

While the NDP won a strong majority in the 2020 provincial election, Horgan’s departure could create electoral challenges for the party. His personal popularity with British Columbia voters typically outpolls the party’s popularity, particularly in rural and suburban ridings.

The timing of the announcement reflects the party’s need to get a new leader elected and introduced to British Columbians well in advance of the next campaign in 2024. The B.C. NDP currently holds 57 seats out of the 87 in the legislature, with the B.C. Liberal Party holding 26, and the Green Party with two. Two seats are also currently vacant.

Horgan stated today that he has asked the B.C. NDP leadership to plan for a leadership election this fall. He will remain as Premier until a new leader is chosen.

The ensuing leadership race is likely to include current Cabinet ministers, so a shake-up of portfolios will follow, as well as changes at the senior political staff level as many take leave to work on leadership campaigns.

Eligible Ukrainian Citizens who arrive in B.C. via the federal Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel can apply for financial support from the B.C. government.

Construction has begun on the $250 million Nigel Valley housing redevelopment located in Saanich. The initiative is through B.C. Housing in collaboration with the federal government, Broadmead Care, Garth Homer Society, Garth Homer Foundation, Greater Victoria Housing Society, and Island Community Mental Health Association. The funding will create the following:

  • approximately 440 affordable rental homes;
  • approximately 255 units of market housing;
  • 41 long-term care beds;
  • 37 supportive homes for seniors and veterans; and
  • 25 supportive homes for people with mental health challenges.

 

The new British Columbia Institute of Technology Health Sciences Centre is scheduled to open in September, in time for this upcoming academic year and will support 32 healthcare programs and 6,000 health science students.

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