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HomeBusinessFact check: Was holidaying Horgan briefed daily on crises back home?

Fact check: Was holidaying Horgan briefed daily on crises back home?


Bob Mackin

Coronavirus pandemic. Overdose crisis. Heat dome. Wildfires state of emergency.

(SeaBus memes/Instagram)

British Columbia was Canada’s death and destruction capital in summer 2021.

No wonder Premier John Horgan’s vacation drew the ire of many.

Just four years earlier, when he led the NDP to power, Horgan was fond of saying “help is on the way.”

In August 2021, social media was abuzz when it was learned that he’d gotten away — to the Maritimes.

Staff in the Office of the Premier claimed Horgan was still takin’ care of business when they issued a prepared statement on Aug. 16.

“While spending time with his family away from the office, Premier Horgan has been briefed daily – sometimes several times a day – on the important issues and crises facing British Columbians. He will be back [Aug. 19].” the statement read.

“During this time, the Premier has been providing direction to his ministers and the public service in order to keep people safe. Today, he was briefed by Ministers Farnworth and Conroy on the increased wildfire activity over the weekend.”

To that end, filed a freedom of information request for “all proof that he was briefed on a daily basis about issues in B.C., including, but not limited to, the pandemic and wildfires.”

Text of FOI request to the Premier’s office.

The Office of the Premier delivered just three pages, Government Communications one.

Horgan was directly involved in two briefings, on two separate days:

  • Aug. 10: scheduled 60-minute call from Horgan to Deputy Chief of Staff Amber Hockin at 9 a.m.
  • Aug. 11: Health briefing on vaccinations for healthcare workers
  • Aug. 13: scheduled 30-minute call from Horgan to Hockin
  • Aug. 16: 30-minute briefing on wildfires for top officials.
Claim: Premier John Horgan was “briefed daily, sometimes several times a day” during his summer vacation.
Fact Check Status: False

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Fact-checking Horgan’s Summer Holiday by Bob Mackin on Scribd