Following a question from BC Liberal MLA Trevor Halford about the family doctor shortage, Horgan was heckled relentlessly by the opposition.
“They don’t want an answer, Honourable Speaker, because they are part of the problem. That’s why,” Horgan responded, trying to speak over the shouting.
“Do you want to hear it? Do you want to hear it, or do you just want to hear your voice? Why don’t you go in the bathroom and talk to yourself in there? You don’t want to hear answers in this place. Seriously.”
He shifted back to talking about federal health transfer payments, but was cut off again by jeers.
He then asked his political opponents: “‘You want a headline, or do you want action?”
When the taunting continued, he threw up his hands, said “Ah, f—” and sat down. The comment ended Question Period.
Speaker Raj Chouhan expressed his frustration with both sides of the legislature.
“I’m so disappointed in all of you. During the Question Period, I have repeatedly said: ‘Please listen to the question and listen to the answer.’ Once that’s over, don’t make it personal. Let’s behave like adults, please.”
The premier took to social media shortly following the exchange, tweeting “If my mom was still around, she’d be on her way to the Legislature with a bar of Irish Spring.”
Three hours later, he withdrew the comment from the record.
“My passion for health care got the better of me and I made some intemperate comments that may well offended members of this house and others. I apologize for that and withdraw my remarks unreservedly,” he said in a statement.
Heckling is commonplace during Question Period, and the tension between the BC Liberals and the BC NDP has increased over the past few months.
The heckling was loudest during Horgan’s answers because of his perceived frustration with the official Opposition around access to health care.
As many as 900,000 people in British Columbia do not have a family doctor.
Data was also released last week showing walk-in clinic patients in B.C. wait for almost an hour on average to see a physician — the longest wait in the country.