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'Not the John Horgan you seek': U.S. professor receives series of tweets meant for B.C. premier

Last Updated Feb 17, 2021 at 6:21 pm PDT


Twitter users have learned @Drjohnhorgan isn't the B.C. premier's Twitter handle after case of online mistaken identity

British Columbians had taken to Twitter to press John Horgan about UBC SkyTrain -- but they tagged the wrong Horgan

'I appreciate your frustration and know there are implications for the whole province not just UBC': U.S. professor

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – His name is the same, but Twitter users have been apparently confusing a psychology professor at Georgia State University for B.C. Premier John Horgan.

The professor has been getting an unwanted crash course in B.C. politics, after some people mistakenly began tweeting at him about concerns around the UBC Skytrain extension.

“Canadian friends, those of you writing to me to complain about delays to the proposed SkyTrain project deal – I appreciate your frustration and know there are implications for the whole province not just UBC, but I am not the John Horgan you seek,” writes the U.S. Horgan, whose Twitter handle is @Drjohnhorgan.

His bio says he’s working on a book entitled Terrorist Minds, and he insists he’s not the guy to be complaining to.

While he had hoped to clear up the confusion, the university professor’s tweet didn’t stop people from having a bit of fun.

Dr. Horgan says the messages have been happening for a few years, since B.C. has had a premier of the same name.

“I will get tagged on Twitter, and it will be about a pipeline issue. Or there was something about vinyards. I just sort of ended up being caught up with it on Twitter,” he told NEWS 1130.

Subsequent responses have included “you let me down @drjohnhorgan. I’m gonna vote for @jjhorgan next time,” referring to the actual premier’s Twitter account.

“Not BC’s John Horgan, meet not Alberta’s @jasonkenney. On behalf of Canadians, I’d just like to say, ‘Sorry ’bout that, eh,'” one post reads, referring to a separate, similar instance where people thought a U.S. man was the premier of Alberta, with whom he shares the same name.

Another Twitter user simply gave this tongue-in-cheek response: “enough excuses john (sic) just build the train.”

“I like to have fun with it,” Dr. Horgan said. “But I also applaud … B.C. residents for just being so civically minded and proactive about reaching out to their elected officials. Good for them.”

Meanwhile, the online confusion didn’t go unnoticed by the premier, who took to Twitter jokingly saying, “I knew something was up when I was mailed all these Georgia State psychology papers to mark.”

In true Canadian fashion, the premier apologized for the mix-up and even extended an invitation to the Georgia State University Horgan to visit “beautiful BC” when it’s safe to do so.

“I’ve been to British Columbia several times,” Dr. Horgan said. “I love it there and I will certainly come back. I look forward to coming back and I just can’t wait to see what kind of reaction we get at the border. We’ll see.”

In August of last year, people mistook @ErinOtoole1 — a U.S. woman — for then-new Conservative leader Erin O’Toole’s Twitter account.

The U.S. O’Toole took to the platform amid the flurry of tweets, saying “I see a couple of new friends from Canada this morning… Just so you know, I may not be the Erin O’Toole you’re looking for.”