“PREMIER DAD” BIDS ADIEU
WE’RE LIVING IN AN ERA where the political centre seems to be rapidly shrinking. The federal Liberals, who have joined forces with the NDP, have shifted to the left while the thinking goes that the Conservative Party of Canada, under new leader Pierre Poilievre, will likely veer sharply to the right. That’s why many were saddened when B.C. Premier John Horgan announced that he would be stepping aside from politics. After battling throat cancer earlier this year, the 63-year-old NDP leader, nicknamed “Premier Dad” for his folksy, centrist approach, found he lacked the energy required to endure the rigours of his demanding job. Announcing his retirement, he said he’d rather spend more time taking walks on the beach with Ellie, his wife. A 31-year survivor of the province’s fierce political wars, Horgan will be remembered politically for his work on climate change, forging bonds with Indigenous groups and steering the province through the pandemic, wildfire and flooding disasters – prompting Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart to tweet a fond farewell to “the best premier British Columbia has ever had.” But it was Horgan’s common touch and ready supply of terrible jokes (“Why don’t lobsters give to charity? Because they’re shellfish”) that ensured his popularity ratings never cratered. Because even if you disagreed with his politics or didn’t share his lame humour, you couldn’t really hate Premier Dad. In these polarlizing political times, the country could do with a few more leaders like him.