Joël Lightbound : The Biggest Move of His Career

February 8, 2022

“Liberal MP Joël Lightbound says his party’s COVID policy ‘stigmatizes and divides people’

Joel Lightbound. (Photograph by Chris Roussakis)

‘The tone and the policies of my government have changed drastically,’ Quebec MP says.

Liberal Quebec MP Joël Lightbound says he’s uncomfortable with the federal government’s handling of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, saying its pandemic response has become “politicized” and “divisive.”

Pointing to more than a dozen developed countries that have started to do away with restrictions already, Lightbound said Tuesday it’s reasonable to rethink Canada’s COVID-19 approach as it becomes increasingly clear that the world will be dealing with this virus for years to come.

Lightbound said people who question existing policies should not be “demonized” by their prime minister.

“I can’t help but notice with regret that both the tone and the policies of my government have changed drastically since the last election campaign. It went from a more positive approach to one that stigmatizes and divides people,” Lightbound said.

Lightbound said the Liberal government’s decision to put vaccines at the centre of the political debate risks undermining public trust in the country’s public health institutions.

“It’s becoming harder and harder to know when public health stops and where politics begins,” he said. “It’s time to stop dividing Canadians and pitting one part of the population against another.”

Although he’s criticizing the government’s approach, Lightbound said he has no desire to leave the Liberal caucus.

Liberal MP Steven MacKinnon, the government whip, said Lightbound resigned his position as the Quebec caucus chair over these “disagreements with government policy.” MacKinnon said Lightbound would remain a Liberal MP.

Lightbound — a former parliamentary secretary to the minister of finance — said he hopes his comments will push Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet to “adapt to the changing reality of the pandemic and of the world.”

Speaking briefly to reporters before Tuesday’s question period, Trudeau said he understands there’s a lot of frustration with the current suite of policies.

[…]

Lightbound said the country’s leaders can’t lose sight of just how damaging restrictions like lockdowns have been for many aspects of daily life.

“A population’s health, it’s kind of like a pie and Omicron is but a slice of that pie. Economic health, social health and mental health must also be accounted for,” he said.

The Quebec MP said the government’s hard line on the vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers is not based on science. Lightbound said the government has produced no research to suggest this sort of mandate — which could sideline 12,000 to 16,000 commercial drivers — will have a meaningful impact on the pandemic’s trajectory.

Lightbound said the vaccine mandate has become a “wedge” issue designed to score political points off the government’s opponents.” – CBC

“The Joël Lightbound crisis in the Liberal Party

Paul Wells: The MP’s astonishing criticism of Liberal policy on COVID restrictions is the most serious threat to Trudeau’s leadership since Jane Philpott quit the federal cabinet.

[…]

You’re forgiven for not knowing Lightbound. He’s the Liberal MP for the Quebec City riding of Louis-Hébert, and his astonishing Tuesday-morning news conference was a detailed prosecution, not only of Liberal policy on COVID-related restrictions, but of the Liberal manner of governing over at least the last several months. “I think it’s time we stop dividing the population,” he said.

And, “Not everyone can earn a living on a MacBook at a cottage.” I mean, he’s criticizing the government’s timetable on health-care transfers. Whatever a backbench MP’s knitting is supposed to be these days, Lightbound is spectacularly not sticking to it.” – Paul Wells

Joël was just a quiet force this whole time, waiting to unleash the storm wind at the most appropriate time.

And he couldn’t have done better.

Big move. Brave move. Bold move.

If he run for prime minister at the next elections, he will have a whole new bunch of supporters to back him up; the ones who have been fighting for freedom since the beginning of this pandemic; the ones who have joined the movement later; and the ones who are just beginning to understand the game which have been played by the poli-ticks and the bureauc-rats for so long.

#JoelForPrimeMinister

Laurence BL
Chief Editor

3L – ART MAG is a citizen’s initiative fighting for liberty of the press, humanity and the (he)artist involved in its ascension.

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