A Liberal MP is speaking out against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and provincial governments’ pandemic policies, and politicians’ handling of the ongoing trucker convoy protests.
Joel Lightbound, the Louis-Hébert, Que. MP, held a press conference on Parliament Hill on Tuesday morning saying that he thinks those concerned about COVID-19 policies have “legitimate concerns” that should be addressed.
Citing the impact on Canadians’ mental health, families becoming divided, and folks losing their jobs over decisions to not to get vaccinated, Lightbound said he thinks political leaders are “unwilling to adapt” and have failed at explaining to Canadians their rationale for continued public health measures.
He is calling for a clear roadmap from governments on how and when restrictions will be lifted.
“It is time that we stop dividing people, that we stop pitting people against each other,” he said.
Lightbound held his press conference while the federal cabinet met on Parliament Hill, and as the trucker convoy protests entered their 12th day in the nation’s capital.
The Liberal MP condemned some of the behaviour that has been on display during the protests and said that he too has faced threats over the years from “far right groups” that have sought to align themselves with the demonstrations.
He said he agrees with the federal government’s position that it’s time for the trucker convoy to move along, but disagrees with what he feels is the prime minister’s generalizing about what those who are taking part in the protests concerns are.
“Some seem to forget that isolation is felt differently. Not everyone can still earn money using their MacBook while at the cottage. Some are suffering in silence and feel like they’re not heard,” Lightbound said.
Demonstrators have said they are in Ottawa to call for the end of all COVID-19 mandates that they feel curb their freedoms, and to express their dissatisfaction with federal pandemic leadership. Though, on Monday night key organizers appeared in a video indicating their desire to unseat the current government through some form of coalition and a “sit down” with the Governor General.
Lightbound has been a Liberal MP since 2015, held parliamentary secretary roles in the last two parliaments, and is currently the chair of the House of Commons Industry and Technology Committee.
The Liberal Party has said that all of its MPs are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
More to come….