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'Truly a great British Columbian': Former B.C. premier John Horgan has cancer again

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Former B.C. premier and current Canadian ambassador to Germany John Horgan has been diagnosed with cancer for a third time.

In a statement, Horgan said he had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer following a routine medical appointment in Berlin.

He is now on leave from his current position while receiving immunotherapy treatment.

Horgan said his latest diagnosis is separate from the throat cancer he survived during his time as premier, and "has proven to be complicated."

"It is the third instance of cancer I have had, but I remain confident that I will again live long and prosper," he said.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix spoke about Horgan's latest diagnosis at an unrelated news conference Tuesday, taking the opportunity to share his thoughts and prayers for the man he has considered a close friend since 1987.

"John is, of course, a good friend of ours and truly a great British Columbian who has served this province so well," Dix said. "We know the battles he has gone through with cancer, and we know that he is going to do that again."

Horgan received 35 sessions of radiation treatment for throat cancer in 2021, while he was premier. That was his second bout with cancer after surviving bladder cancer when he was in his 40s.

Tuesday's news was followed by an outpouring of support from across the political spectrum in B.C., with Opposition leader Kevin Falcon wishing Horgan "a speedy and complete recovery" and the BC Conservative Party sending similar wishes on social media. 

Current B.C. Premier David Eby also posted a message of support, describing his predecessor as "a fighter."

"All British Columbians are pulling for him to make a speedy recovery," Eby wrote

Horgan led the BC NDP to government for the first time in 16 years when he became premier after the 2017 election with the support of the BC Greens.

He followed that up by leading the party to a majority government in a snap election called in October 2020.

Horgan returned to work after his cancer treatment, but soon stepped down in 2022, saying his energy was flagging.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed him as Canada's ambassador to Germany last November. 

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