BC premier drops F-bomb in heated health care exchange

Prime Minister John Horgan apologized for the profanity: “If my mum was still here she’d be on her way to the Legislative Assembly with an Irish Spring bar.”

Speaker Raj Chouhan had harsh words for members of the British Columbia legislature on Tuesday, following a day of heckling and an F-bomb curse from the premier during Question Period the day before.

“You all know that I love you all and have a lot of respect for each and every one of you, so please don’t force me to send you to your rooms,” Chouhan joked after the grim rebuke. .

The heated debate over the doctor shortage and questions posed to Health Minister Adrian Dix boiled over on Monday when the Prime Minister defended Dix and tried to explain the need for stable federal funding for the Canada Health Transfer. .

When the Official Opposition heckling reached its climax, the Prime Minister said, “Does it matter to you? Do you really care or do you want to get along? Do you want a headline or do you want action? He then uttered the expletive.

He officially apologized in the house later that day.

Chouhan said the House entrusts the Speaker with enforcing the rules of debate and maintaining order and decorum so that this House can conduct its business in an orderly manner.

The traditions and rules in place underpin the system of governance in a parliamentary democracy and must be respected to enable the chamber and its members to perform their constitutional duties, he said.

“The confidence of British Columbians in this legislature depends on our behavior and our respect for each other, and for the dignity of this institution,” Chouhan said. “Please always be aware of this.”

British Columbia doctor shortage sparks heated debate in Legislative Assembly

Concern over doctor shortages – nearly a million people in the province without a family doctor, or one in five – became particularly acute this month when four clinics in the capital region alone announced a closure or have been closed.

BC’s interim Liberal leader and health critic Shirley Bond cited the closures and a report last week that the average wait for an appointment “in the backyard of the first minister” is two hours and 41 minutes and “at 8:20 a.m. this morning, every ER and primary care center in Victoria was already at full capacity and not taking patients.

“British Columbians want a relationship with a family doctor,” Bond said. “It’s shocking to think that one in five British Columbians in British Columbia – a number that’s actually gotten significantly worse since 2017 – doesn’t have a family doctor, so the minister is telling them to go to a walk-in clinic.

Meanwhile, all hospital-bound ambulance patients were diverted from Port Hardy and Port McNeill emergency departments to Campbell River Hospital over the weekend due to a shortage of doctors .

The Prime Minister intervenes to defend the Minister of Health

During Question Period, a series of politicians, including Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau, quizzed Health Minister Adrian Dix on wait times and doctor shortages. Prime Minister John Horgan intervened.

Horgan defended the health minister as working around the clock to improve health care, then tried to talk about federal health transfer payments. He heads the Council of the Federation and leads the charge among prime ministers who are calling for stable funding from the federal government. The federal government has said significant funding is coming, but may have conditions on how it is spent.

Horgan could not be heard above the ruckus.

“Do you want to hear it man, do you want to hear it or do you just want to hear your voice?” Horgan yelled.

“Why don’t you go to the bathroom and talk to each other because you don’t want to hear answers here, seriously,” Horgan said.

Horgan again tried to steer the discussion toward the Canada Health Transfer, which he said has been fundamental to health care in British Columbia and has been for generations.

“Do you care? Do you really care or do you want to get along?” Horgan said. “Do you want a headline or do you want action? Oh damn.

Bond replied, “Shame on you.”

The president expressed dismay after shouting

The bell then rang, ending Question Period and the Speaker called it back, but Members on both sides continued to shout at each other. Chouhan called on MPs, quoting the Leader of the Official Opposition, to come to order, then asked for a 10-minute recess and expressed dismay.

“I’m so disappointed in all of you,” Chouhan said. “During Question Period, I said repeatedly, please listen to the question and listen to the answer. Once it’s over, don’t make it personal. Let’s behave like adults, s ‘please.

After Question Period, Bond asked the Prime Minister to apologize for the profanity.

At 3:54 p.m., the Prime Minister posted on Twitter: “If my mum was still here she’d be on her way to the Legislative Assembly with an Irish Spring bar.”

The Prime Minister continued with a formal apology when he rose in the House: “Earlier today, at the end of Question Period, my passion for health care got the better of me and I made intemperate comments which may well have offended members of this House or others.

“I apologize and withdraw these remarks without reservation,” Horgan said.

The Cook and Quadra Medical Clinic in Saanich announced its closure on June 10. The Cook Street Village Medical Clinic in Victoria closed on April 1, and the Eagle Creek Walk-in Medical Clinic in View Royal and the Colwood Medical Treatment Center in Colwood closed on April 15. .

Medimap, which displays wait times for hundreds of walk-in clinics across Canada, reported last week that waits in Greater Victoria averaged 161 minutes in 2021, while region No. 2, Kelowna, was 91 minutes.

Medimap’s Walk-in Clinic Wait Times Index for 2021 shows that British Columbians waited more than twice as long – 58 minutes – to see a doctor at a walk-in clinic as the national average of 25 minutes.

A BC Health Care Matters for Change rally, organized by patients who don’t have a family doctor, is scheduled for May 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Legislature.

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