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Reaction from Sooke leaders steeped in praise for retiring premier

Plaudits for John Horgan roll in
Ravi Parmar, chair of the Sooke School District board, will miss Premier John Horgan on many levels. (Contributed - Sooke School District)

John Horgan’s decision to step down as premier has garnered praise from Sooke politicians and community leaders.

Horgan announced on June 28 that he would relinquish his position as premier of B.C. following a provincial NDP leadership convention in the fall because of concerns for his health, a drop in his energy level and a desire to spend more time with his family.

Horgan, who recently completed 35 radiation treatments for throat cancer during the winter and is now cancer-free - will continue to serve as MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca until the next provincial election on Oct. 19, 2024.

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait said Horgan would be sorely missed.

“He’s been totally committed to Sooke and the whole riding since he was elected as MLA,” Tait said. “Even after becoming premier, John always made time to discuss how the community was doing, finding out what we were advocating for and why and how he could provide support.”

Tait also appreciates that despite his busy schedule, Horgan always managed to attend important events in the community, citing the recent Tale of the Whale event at Edward Milne Community School as just one example of many.

“We still have work to do, so I’m pleased we’ll have his support for two more years,” Tait noted. “I’m also grateful that he’s cancer-free and doing well.”

Juan de Fuca Electoral Area Director Mike Hicks said he was sad to see Horgan leave, regarding his service as an MLA, premier and representative for the electoral area.

“He has been the greatest representative for us in provincial government ever,” Hicks said. “I’m sorry to lose him in that capacity, but I’m happy for him and that he’s taking care of himself and Ellie. I really appreciated having the premier of B.C. as our representative and liaison. It’s been so beneficial for my constituents.”

Ravi Parmar, chair of the Sooke School District board, said Horgan made a lasting impression on him the first time he met him years ago when Horgan visited Parmar’s Grade 5 class.

“First of all, I want to take the opportunity to recognize and thank Premier Horgan for his tremendous service to our province,” Parmar said. “Considering COVID, the wildfires, flooding and other issues during the past few years, it’s been incredibly challenging. I’m going to be very grateful for his leadership during those extremely difficult times.”

“On a personal basis, it’s really sad to hear he’s stepping down because he’s been my premier, my MLA, my mentor and my friend,” Parmar said. “I’m glad we’ll get a chance to spend more time with him in the riding. Health challenges may have factored into his decision, but I’m happy for him and his spouse, Ellie.”

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