This has been another unusual week here in Ottawa.
The protest of the truckers in the “Freedom Convoy” remains a topic of serious concern here in Ottawa and is one I continue to hear about from local citizens at home as well.
On Tuesday an unusual event occurred when a Liberal MP, Joël Lightbound, a Quebec MP from the riding of Louis-Hébert staged a press conference.
While it not uncommon for MPs to host media events, this one was highly unusual in that MP Lightbound raised some serious concerns of his against PM Trudeau.
Specifically MP Lightbound, as reported by media stated:
“A decision was made to wedge, to divide and to stigmatize" Canadians over the topic of vaccination and vaccine mandates by PM Trudeau and the Liberal Party.
The Liberal MP stated it was time to “stop these divisive measures” and “it is time we stopped dividing people, pitting people against each other”.
As CBC reported “people who question existing policies should not be "demonized" by their prime minister.” And "It's becoming harder and harder to know when public health stops and where politics begins,"
Ultimately by his own admission, MP Lightbound is concerned that the Prime Minister continued politicizing of vaccines and vaccine mandates risks undermining public trust in our country's public health institutions.
It is rare for a Liberal MP to publicly call out the actions of the Prime Minister and I would like to commend MP Joel Lightbound for sharing his concerns with Canadians at considerable risk to his own standing within the Liberal caucus.
From my own perspective I think we should all be mindful of the words of Prime Minister Trudeau from two years ago this February, when he said:
“There is always a place for Canadians to protest and express their frustrations, but we need to ensure that we also listen to each other. The reality of populism, and its siren song in our democracies these days, is a desire to listen only to ourselves and to people who agree with us and not to people of another perspective.”
My question this week: do you think it is time for the Prime Minister to follow his own advice or is he right to continue to ignore the concerns of those who oppose policies such as the vaccine mandates?
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.