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Bill Kelly: A tale of two approaches to pandemic relief

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentuck.,.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentuck.,. Brendan Smialowski/Pool via AP

A survey published in The Hill Times, the Parliament Hill newspaper, says that MPs and politicos agree that much more gets done in a pandemic when politicians set aside hyper-partisan politics and work together.

Well, thank you for that, Captain Obvious!

The fact is, for the most part, that’s exactly how our Parliament handled the first wave of the horrific COVID-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: (Aug. 8, 2019) People with strong partisan views get more facts wrong on a current events test, survey says

There was no shortage of partisan sniping at the way government programs were designed and rolled out, and a lot of that criticism was warranted. But, when push came to shove, the opposition parties voted to fund the necessary programs to offer assistance to Canadians who were suffering from the pandemic.

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Contrast that will the stalemate south of the border.

The U.S. has more COVID-19 cases and more deaths per capita than any other country, massive unemployment and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, yet the partisan politics that dominates the U.S. these days denies suffering Americans the help they so desperately need.

Senate leader Mitch McConnell is in no rush to introduce a relief bill to the Senate because it’s a bill designed by Democrats and he is a bull-headed Republican.

It’s shameful really, but it does remind us on this side of the border that while we certainly have our faults, in our time of crisis, our MPs were able to put the good of the country ahead of partisan politics.

For that, we should be thankful.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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