Politics Blog: A pandemic is no time for political games

Ottawa – March 24, 2021 – Canadians grow more cynical about politics when they see parties more intent on political gamesmanship than helping those most in need.

As the vaccine roll out accelerates a light can be seen at the end of the tunnel but there is still much to be done to help those disproportionately affected by the pandemic’s economic fallout especially women, Indigenous communities, BIPOC Canadians and the elderly.

Recently the conservative house leader has called on the liberal house leader to work across party lines to avoid an election while simultaneously blocking the legislative agenda no matter what bill is proposed. Conservative Party of Canada leader Erin O’Toole continues to use procedural maneuvers to slow the advance of legislation involving emergency measures on pandemic aid and on measures to ensure safe elections should Canadians head to the polls.

O’Toole’s claim to not want an election while obstructing the work of parliament gives Prime Minister Justin Trudeau the perfect excuse to dissolve the house and seek another majority government.

The political gaming does not stop here as Trudeau’s Liberals deliberately hold back important legislation including Bill C-5 which would implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), propping it up as an election issue even though it has enough support to be passed now. Meanwhile, the Liberals also voted against an NDP motion to begin implementing a national pharmacare program, something they themselves have promised in every election since 1997—no doubt to be rehashed in their next campaign.

Canadians are tired of the political games and would rather see government working to address the many serious issues that the pandemic has revealed. The need for pharmacare, addressing growing inequality, universal childcare, workers’ rights and housing are at the top of the list. Trudeau’s government should be making this minority parliament work by reaching across political lines to address these and many more important issues. Throughout the pandemic Jagmeet Singh and the NDP have demonstrated how a minority parliament can work by reaching across party lines to improve key pieces of legislation.

The Conservatives and Liberals may prefer political gamesmanship predicated on election roulette, but ordinary Canadians need real action to address pressing societal issues. Jagmeet Singh and the NDP are ready and willing to make this minority government work for Canadians who would rather pass on a costly and unnecessary election in the middle of a pandemic.