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‘Quite receptive’: Kelley grades Legault government’s coronavirus response

Liberal MNA Greg Kelley spoke to 'Global News Morning' about the provincial government's response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Liberal MNA Greg Kelley spoke to 'Global News Morning' about the provincial government's response to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Quebec National Assembly

The Opposition Liberals (PLQ) in Quebec have been relatively quiet as Premier Fran├žois Legault‘s government works to respond to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

While PLQ MNAs have rarely been shy about their concerns over the Legault government’s handling of everything from education reform to immigration, most have had few bad things to say about the province’s coronavirus response so far.

Gregory Kelley, MNA for the West Island riding of Jacques-Cartier, told Global News Morning that’s because MNAs of every political stripe have been doing a lot of work behind the scenes.

READ MORE: Montreal parks will close if public doesn’t respect coronavirus rules, mayor warns

“It’s been extremely busy,” he told Global’s Laura Casella. “Every day, the government has announced new directions that have required clarification, so we’ve been handling a lot of emails and a lot of phone calls.

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“It’s been one of the busiest periods of my young political career,” the MNA, first elected 18 months ago, said.

Kelley said he’s been working closely not just with the provincial government but also with Liberal MP Francis Scarpaleggia, who represents roughly the same area in federal Parliament, as well as local mayors.

“It really is across the board,” he said.

READ MORE: Quebec focuses on protecting seniors, limits regional travel as coronavirus deaths top 33

As for the Legault government’s response to the unprecedented public health crisis, which has so far seen well over 4,000 in the province test positive for the novel coronavirus, Kelley has given it generally high marks.

“I’m obviously quite pleased that the premier has been very upfront and communicated well with people,” he said.

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Kelley said he was glad to see partisanship take a backseat in the fight against COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

“I’m happy that here in Quebec, and mostly in Canada, we see very little politics being played at this point in time because it’s really not the moment to do it,” he said. That has been aided by what he described as the government’s willingness to listen to the Opposition as it handles the crisis.

“The Legault government has been quite receptive when we make propositions as an Opposition party.”

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Kelley also described some of the PLQ’s propositions.

“We’ve been communicating quite a bit with the government,” he explained. “A lot of my colleagues were very insistent that the premier use more English in his press conferences to better communicate with all Quebecers.”

Above all, though, Kelley said the overwhelming focus from everyone across party lines has been beating back the virus.

“The important thing right now is people’s health.”