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Roy Green: Canadian politicians need to stop squabbling and work together on COVID-19

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Canada’s top doctor warns country could see up to 10,000 cases daily by December' Coronavirus: Canada’s top doctor warns country could see up to 10,000 cases daily by December
WATCH: Canada's chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam gave a stark warning on Friday, saying if people continue on the current pace and do not take urgent action, the country could see an estimated 10,000 new cases daily by early December – Nov 13, 2020

When opportunity — real or perceived — beckons, opportunists will engage.

And to this writer at least, the coronavirus appears not only to beckon, but the miserable microbe is also engaged in crooking its metaphoric finger in a come hither slither.

Is that a bit dramatic, a tad over the top? Perhaps. You decide.

I have been noticing that some politicians, usually those occupying parliamentary or provincial gulag seating (that is, the opposition benches), have sniffed out an opportunity to smear the other side.

And I find it’s happening particularly often on social media and through (thankfully) easily deleted electronic mass emails.

Read more: Opposition accuses Saskatchewan premier of delaying COVID-19 response

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There’s also social media, like Twitter. In fact, I engaged that very digital platform on this topic this week.

“Let’s be polite, shall we?” I tweeted on Thursday. “It’s unseemly for politicians to attempt to cash in on Covid by slamming their opponents’ approach. Talk about setting the bar low. And they wonder why there’s tune out of their messaging. Good grief.”

Among the replies, one person wrote: “100% right Roy. Rachel Notley has Covid on blast daily.”

Another wrote: “You’re right Roy. All I’m hearing from the opposition leader in Manitoba is “blah, blah, blah! The Premier is failing at Covid.”

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Read more: ‘We must do better’ — Notley criticizes Alberta government’s COVID-19 response

And then there was this from @thepinkneonbird: “I don’t envy any premier right now. It’s a fine line they are walking between the economy and the virus. Why aren’t the opponents offering solutions or ideas to help?”

A tweet from @CalgaryGeorge tightened the circle: “It’s a lot easier to call for lockdowns and closures when your income is unaffected and your ability to buy groceries and pay bills is untouched. The economy is also part of the healthcare system.”

Bingo! Double bingo!

Click to play video 'Pandemic driving Canada to brink of mental health crisis' Pandemic driving Canada to brink of mental health crisis
Pandemic driving Canada to brink of mental health crisis – Oct 29, 2020

 

Perhaps you have gathered this post is non-partisan and pro-Canadian.

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Canadians are wearying of exposure to the same old, same old.

Read more: NDP to introduce motion looking into all government coronavirus pandemic spending

As reported in May by my Global News Radio Vancouver colleague Mike Smyth, as well as Global News, two-thirds of Canadians wanted members of Parliament to share the national pain and take a pay cut. This was a month after the national economy had shed nearly 2 million jobs.

Hah!

Instead, MPs received an April pay top-up of 2.1 per cent, an increase that Justin Trudeau offered to charity, yet his annual salary remained sacrosanct.

Commentary: It’s time Canada’s members of Parliament shared the financial pain, Roy Green says

Politicians of all stripes are party animals. Predatory behaviour toward their opponents becomes part of the career DNA.

This is a difficult time for millions of Canadians. Just weeks ago, we heard some 1.3 million of our fellow citizens had reached the critical reality of six months without a job.

Read more: When did you last work? 1.3M jobless Canadians have passed critical 6-month mark

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If leaders of political parties truly believe the “we’re all in this together” rhetoric, they need to start behaving like it.

Roy Green is the host of the Roy Green Show on the Global News Radio network.

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