Trudeau Ally Accuses Him of Politicizing Pandemic and Dividing Nation

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference on the Covid-19 situation, January 12, 2022, in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Dave Chan / AFP) (Photo by DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images)
February 11, 2022

A liberal member of Canada's Parliament is accusing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of dividing the nation and stigmatizing its citizens with unpopular COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

"Both the tone and the policies of my government changed drastically on the eve and during the last election campaign," Joël Lightbound said during a press conference on Tuesday. "A decision was made to wedge, to divide and to stigmatize. I fear that this politicization of the pandemic risks undermining the public's trust in our public health institutions."

A "Freedom Convoy" of truckers in the Great White North descended on the capital city of Ottawa at the end of January to protest coronavirus restrictions. Protesters have blocked roads, blared their horns, and called for the resignation of the prime minister. The convoy began as a response to Trudeau's COVID-19 mandate, which requires truckers who cross the U.S.-Canada border to be vaccinated. It has since turned into one of the largest demonstrations of public frustration over coronavirus restrictions in the world.

Lightbound insisted he was not the only member of the Liberal Party to oppose the public health mandates. He is pushing for further "dissent" in the party to turn the tide on COVID policies.

Ottawa officials have moved to break up the trucker protest, requesting more than a thousand additional law enforcement officers. In a letter sent to Trudeau's office, Mayor Jim Watson asked for 1,800 police officers to "quell the insurrection that the Ottawa Police Service is not able to contain."