B.C. Finance Minister Carole James presents her third budget, Feb. 18, 2020. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Diagnosed with Parkinson’s, B.C. finance minister to keep working

Carole James says she’ll serve in cabinet as long as she can

She’s not running in the next B.C. election, but Finance Minister Carole James says she won’t let a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease keep her from her demanding job.

James said Thursday she received a diagnosis in January, after reporting hand tremors to her doctor and being referred to a neurologist.

She told reporters at the B.C. legislature she will be back on the job next week, resuming her speaking tour to promote the budget she presented on Feb. 18.

James said she first noticed a hand tremor last summer, and trouble with her balance that she first thought was fatigue.

Once diagnosed, she informed Premier John Horgan, who quickly offered his support.

“Parkinson’s is a tough disease,” Horgan said Thursday. “Without diminishing the seriousness of the illness, Carole James is tougher. She has spent her entire public life fighting as hard as she can to make life better for people, and I know she will bring that spirit to this next challenge.”

James said her condition is manageable now, and doesn’t need medication for it yet, although the symptoms are visible.

“I’m sharing this news now because I believe it’s important to be open about what I’m facing,” she said. “Between 10,000 and 13,000 people in B.C. live with Parkinson’s. Many of those people worry about stigma and what will happen if they reach out for support. If sharing my story can help others, that’s a good thing.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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