On the finish of 2020, John Horgan would not remorse calling an election or any choices made when COVID-19 circumstances had been surging in British Columbia — and he would not assume he is modified since turning into premier.
“I am the identical individual I used to be earlier than the election, I will be the identical individual after I go away this place,” he mentioned in his conventional year-end interview with CBC Information, which occurred a day earlier than he publicly backtracked on his own Christmas plans.
In a 12 months when Horgan turned the first NDP premier in B.C. history to win a second term and was constantly rated as one of many nation’s hottest premiers, it is no shock he voiced few regrets.
And after three years of governing on a tightrope with a minority authorities within the legislature, the challenges he faces with a big majority will in some methods be simpler to deal with, understanding there isn’t any risk of an imminent election.
However some choices can be harder than others.
Web site C: to be or to not be?
Take the large hydroelectric dam in northeast B.C. that has been beneath building for greater than 5 years, with the end date and construction very much in question.
Horgan says he’ll decide on whether or not to proceed with the Web site C undertaking as soon as he receives an impartial evaluation by particular adviser Peter Milburn, a former deputy finance minister.
That report may come as early as this week — however the premier is not drawing a crimson line on what would make him wish to scrap the undertaking.
“We now have some challenges on that entrance, however we’ve not acquired all the small print in but,” he mentioned, when requested how a lot would merely be an excessive amount of when it comes to the rising prices.
“I cannot give a quantity that is a drop-dead quantity. I feel we have to take a look at the entire undertaking and what the results can be stopping or going forward.”
And on the province’s opioid crisis, which can see the very best variety of folks die from drug overdoses in a single 12 months in 2020, Horgan expresses optimism.
“An entire vary of points have conspired to make the opioid disaster graver now than it has ever been, however I am assured that we’ve a plan in place that entails remedy, that entails secure provide, that entails working with the federal authorities,” he mentioned.
“It’s completely tragic to see the variety of brothers and sisters and nephews and nieces which have misplaced their lives because of poisonous drug provide.”
One factor that can be completely different in 2021 is that when confronted with political warmth, Horgan will not have the ability to level to the constraints of a minority authorities and can have fewer excuses to level to residual results of 16 years of B.C. Liberal energy.
A big majority authorities provides ample alternative for change, but in addition makes it simpler to be dismissive of the opposition — an accusation made by each Inexperienced Celebration Chief Sonia Furstenau and Liberal interim Chief Shirley Bond of their year-end interviews with CBC Information.
However Horgan bristles on the implication of conceitedness.
“If my opponents within the legislature are sad with their lot in life, I counsel they take that up with a counsellor,” he mentioned.
“I am right here to give attention to folks. That is my job, and that is what I will preserve doing.”
A lower than charitable response to criticism, maybe. On the identical time, Horgan seems to be towards 2021 with optimism each in himself, and the folks he serves.
“Fairly frankly we have so much to chew on as society, however the place I discover consolation in 2020 as we are saying goodbye to this 12 months, is that though there’s been examples which have dissatisfied me … within the broader neighborhood, the acts of kindness of generosity far exceed these acts of stupidity,” he mentioned.
“I am grateful to British Columbians for banding collectively to assist one another.”
With recordsdata from Tanya Fletcher