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B.C. cabinet minister says she's 'not going anywhere' despite return of cancer

Selina Robinson, the nine-year NDP MLA for Coquitlam-Maillardville, said it was hardest to tell her family but she is confident she will be fine and plans to carry on in her duties.
Selina Robinson, minister of post-secondary education and future skills, revealed Tuesday that her cancer has returned. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

B.C.’s post-secondary education minister says she is undergoing chemotherapy for a recurrence of a cancer she first had diagnosed in 2006.

Selina Robinson, who was finance minister when John ­Horgan was premier, told MLAs she received the news Jan. 27 that a scan had detected the return of the rare gastrointestinal stromal tumour, also known as GIST.

Despite the diagnosis, ­Robinson said she is confident she will be fine and plans to carry on in her duties. “I am not going anywhere,” she said.

Robinson, an NDP MLA for Coquitlam-Maillardville for nine years, said a year and a half ago, her oncologist told her she could go off her medication after 15 years.

On Jan. 27, however, she learned the cancer had returned.

Now, she said, “I’m back on my chemotherapy and ­disappointed.

“Hard to tell my dad and my children that their mother has cancer again.”

Robinson used part of her time allotted to address the throne speech to talk about the benefits of the health-care system.

She talked about going to Royal Columbian Hospital ­thinking she was fine only to learn six days later she was back in the “system.”

“I have every confidence that that system will be there for me, as it will be there for every ­British Columbian who gets a cancer diagnosis,” she said.

Robinson said she’s on what’s called a first-line treatment and there are five other treatments available. “I will be fine, but we need to do more research,” she said, asking fellow MLAs to contribute to the B.C. Cancer Foundation’s Tour de Cure, a two-day bike tour from Surrey to Hope, in which she has participated for over a decade.

This year’s event is set for Aug. 26 and 27.

“I am here because the research that the B.C. Cancer Foundation does and the research the B.C. Cancer Agency does is to discover more treatments.”

• To contribute to ­Robinson’s Tour de Cure ride go to ­

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