British Columbia Premier Horgan to step down this year

·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: Canada's PM Trudeau visits Vancouver area

(Reuters) -John Horgan, premier of the Canadian province of British Columbia and a two-time cancer survivor, said on Tuesday he was stepping down after five years in the post and called for his left-leaning New Democratic Party to pick a new leader.

Horgan was diagnosed with throat cancer in November, in his second bout with the disease. He was also operated on for bladder cancer in 2008.

The premier said he was now cancer free and would continue in the post until the NDP picks his successor at a leadership convention later this year.

"My health is good, but my energy flags as the days go by," 62-year-old Horgan told reporters in Vancouver.

Horgan said he spent a week with his wife reflecting on the future and decided he could not make a long-term commitment to the job.

"I loved the work, but the cancer diagnosis and the subsequent surgery and treatment was rigorous," Horgan said.

Horgan became premier of the western Canadian province in 2017, leading a minority NDP government for more than three years before winning a majority in September 2020.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thanked Horgan on Twitter and wished him well.

"From our taking ambitious climate action, to making child care more affordable, to the leadership you provided keeping people safe through COVID-19, I always appreciated working with you," Trudeau wrote.

(Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Ottawa; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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