We live in an age of extremes. Political hypberole and misinformation rules the day, seperating everyone across idelogical lines of red and blue. It’s hard to remember now but it wasn’t so long ago that people could sit and have a civil conversation from opposing sides and it not devolve into baseless name-calling and stereotyping.
Long lost is the idea of praising the opposing side when they do good things. For example, you couldn’t find any praise for President Donald Trump on CNN when he negotiated with North Korea to release hostages back in 2018. Or how about when MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow cried on-air when the Russia conspiracy theory turned out to be just that? She literally wanted her President to be in colussion and still says he is to this day.
And, of course, on the other side of things you’ll never see Fox praise Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez when she takes aim at big pharma – one of the only politicans on the hill to actually fight against money. And you don’t even have to check out some of YouTube’s conservative commentators like Steven Crowder or Paul Joseph Watson to know exactly where they fall on every issue.
Honestly, it’s all very boring at this point. Life is not black and white, and politics shouldn’t be either. You can be a pro-choice conservative who belives in gay marriage, or a pro-life liberal who owns a gun. And that mindset is what brings me here today: no matter which side you’re on, it’s time to heap some praise on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his expert handling of the Coronavirus pandemic that saw most other nations fumble the ball.
As with everything, the story around Coronavirus will be rewritten, twisted, and altered to fit agenda’s. We saw this lately with Bill Maher blaming Trump for not shutting down the U.S in February, when even Italy wasn’t closed at that point. However the simple facts are the virus swept through China in late 2019 and early 2020. The first reported cases in Italy were in January, but it wasn’t until March 8th that the country went into lockdown.
Around that time we saw other nations begin to react, but the United Kingdom and the United States were slow to do so. In fact, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was making jokes and still shaking hands with everyone. Thankfully, Trudeau saw the writing on the wall and promptly put Canada into lockdown on March 18th.
Perhaps it was because of the 771 confirmed cases in Canada at the time – which wasn’t many, relatively speaking – or maybe it was that his own wife has contracted it. Whatever the reason, Trudeau wisely sent the country into lockdown early and saved countless lives.
Each province was given the power and funds to decide what happens with rent, business relief, and financial assistance to individuals. And that is a move that can’t be understated. While qualifying Americans received a single stimulus of $1,200, and UK residents had to sign-up for a paltry £400 a month ($683) through Universal Credit, qualifying Ontario residents have been receiveing $2000 a month retroactive to March 15. That relief fund has helped so many people during this time, and puts the other countries to shame.
And now here we are in mid-May 2020, and Canada is already beginning to re-open. Many businesses and restaurants were able to remain open for curbside pick-up and delivery, which was crucial to their survival, but now they have a light at the end of the tunnel. And the same can be said for schools, doctors, sports, and more.
We’re re-emerging at a time when many countries are still floundering, and that’s because Trudeau took precautions at the right time and supplemented the nation when it needed it most. Meanwhile the U.S has been (predictably) divided on how to move forward, and the U.K announces baffling plans to re-open that seems to disregard the needs of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland in favour of England.
So, as an immigrant and someone who has never been Trudeau’s biggest fan, particulalry knowing how easy he was let-off by the media for his mishaps, I have to give credit where credit is due. The man couldn’t have handled this pandemic any better, taking swift action and putting the people and small businesses first. He’s certainly earned some respect and a vote of confidence in a time when most of his peers looked like fools.