Ethnic Media Election Coverage 13-20 October

This week about 170 election-related articles were analysed.

Major issues covered:

Campaign: The large increase in advance voting was widely covered. The likely impact in Ontario over the Ford government’s unpopularity continued to be subject of analysis. There were a number of articles on candidate signs being defaced. Planned Conservative spending cuts were noted along with criticism of their impact by the Liberal and NDP leaders. There were a number of articles on non-citizens receiving voting cards and related voter fraud. The overall emphasis by the Liberals and Conservatives on negative messaging was noted.

Immigration: The discussion of immigration-related issues in the Leader’s debate was widely covered along with party platform commitments. Issues receiving the most coverage were asylum seekers, the Safe Third Country Agreement and immigration levels. Commentary included these critiques of the Liberal government:

“Now, the Liberals will open a new door for immigration fraud by welcoming 5,000 people every year under an immigration project. If the Liberals come into power, they will empower local communities across Canada to directly sponsor new immigrants for Canadian permanent residence. This program will allow local communities, chambers of commerce and local labour councils to directly sponsor permanent immigrants. Trudeau’s Liberals also plan to make the successful Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) permanent, with both the AIP and the new Municipal Nominee Program to be allocated a minimum of 5,000 spaces per year. A new door will be opened for immigration fraud with the opening of this program. Travel agents and human smugglers will violate this program and corruption will rise at the city level.” (Punjabi, Khabarnama Punjabi Weekly)

“Hussen has turned his back on the approximately one million (500,000 in Ontario alone) completely integrated workers unable to obtain legal immigration status in Canada, allowing them to be deported. His pilot programs have been a failure. Strangely, Hussen came to Canada without papers. Italian-, Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking voters in Hussen’s riding should ask him why he does not offer their brothers and sisters the same acceptance he received some years ago. (Italian, former immigration minister Joe Volpe in Corriere Canadese, Note: numbers unsubstantiated))

Ethnic vote: Coverage was dominated by commentary and discussion regarding differences in political attitude between Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese and the partially related issue of lower voting rates between Chinese origin Canadians and other minorities. Punjabi media focussed on efforts by Punjabis living in India to influence Canadian Punjabis to vote Liberal. The Canadian-Muslim Vote (TCMV) initiative received widespread coverage. There were also stories regarding efforts to encourage Tamil Canadians to vote, the relative low level of voting and political participation by Latino Canadians and the comparative under-representation of visible minorities in cabinet:

“A local commentator pointed out that Chinese people whose mother tongue is Cantonese is higher than Mandarin-speaking Chinese people, second generation immigrants are more enthusiastic about voting than first-generation immigrants, and also immigrants from Hong Kong and Taiwan are more into the federal elections. Vancouver current affairs commentator Yu Minghui said that after each federal election, Elections Canada conducts an analysis, and Chinese voter turnout is usually 10% lower than the average of all ethnic groups. According to government figures, among Chinese voters, native Cantonese speakers have higher voter turnout. He thinks this is mainly because Cantonese-speaking immigrants came to Canada for relatively longer period of time, and most of them have naturalized, whereas native Mandarin speakers are in Canada for relatively shorter period of time, and a considerable number of them have not yet naturalized. Also, according to his observations, some Mandarin speakers might be thinking they will return to live in China, and have not considered Canada to be a place to live in the long term, therefore they have no will to vote.” (Chinese, dushi.ca)

“But the case is reversed this year. Now people in India are calling their relatives in Canada and are urging them to vote for Trudeau in the federal elections. Many Punjabi people have obtained a Canadian visa in recent years and they want Trudeau to win again so that the Canadian doors always remains open for them. On the other hand, some people from Punjab are urging their friends and relatives in Canada to take the historic opportunity and vote for NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. Meanwhile, it has been found that Punjabis in Canada are listening to the voting recommendations, but in the end they prefer to cast their votes of their own accord.” (Punjabi, Khabarnama Punjabi Weekly).

“But whoever forms government will owe a whole lot to the ethnic communities in this country. You will have noticed that in many of the ethnic enclaves, such as Scarborough and Brampton in the GTA, most of the parties turned to ethnic minority candidates to woo voters. This is not unexpected. But it is strange, given that some of these parties are running on platforms that seem anti-immigrant. Worse, historically the same minority candidates who bring in the votes to put particular parties into power are rarely reflected in the corridors of power when it comes to cabinet appointments. (Indeed, up to now only Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have ensured that Canada’s diversity has been properly reflected in Cabinet.) This is an issue we think voters should address with the party leaders vying for our votes in the last days of this election. If they understand the value of ethnic candidates to win votes, shouldn’t those same people be allowed to bring their unique perspectives to Cabinet when the time comes?” (Caribbean, EqualityNews)

Candidates:

Regional all candidates’ meetings took place in Brampton and Vancouver.

An article noted that there were three Romanian Canadian candidates, Lizabel Nitoi for the Bloc Quebecois (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin), Corneliu Chisu (former CPC MP, Pickering Uxbridge) and Eugen Vizitiu (Mississauga Lakeshore) for the PPC.

  • Brampton Centre: Jordan Boswell, NDP candidate, was interviewed, with the focus being on the need for a new area hospital.
  • Brampton East: Ramona Singh, CPC candidate, was interviewed. Fringe candidate, Partap Dua, leader of the Fourth Front, received coverage.
  • Brampton North: Ruby Sahota, Liberal incumbent and candidate, was interviewed with her citing the Liberal economic and immigration record as reasons for re-electing her.
  • Brampton South: Ramandeep Brar, CPC candidate, was interviewed, with him noting the Conservatives were not anti-immigrant but were concerned about asylum seekers:

“Brar said that it’s a chain that goes from gun and gang violence to the border, and from Roxham Road to immigration.” (Hindi, CMR FM 101.3 Voice Radio Hindi)

Mandeep Kaur, NDP candidate, was interviewed.

  • Brampton West: Murarilal Thapliyal, CPC candidate, was interviewed with the focus being on the need for a new hospital and university campus.
  • Burnaby North-Seymour: The removal of Heather Leong as a Conservative candidate after the nomination deadline continued to receive coverage.
  • Burnaby South: Jay Shin, CPC candidate, was interviewed, stating that:

“Not only Koreans, but also Chinese-Canadians from mainland China are supporting him, based on the Conservative platform to decrease income tax for low income earners, he said. Shin is optimistic to unseat NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.” (Korean, Vancouver Chosun Ilbo)

  • Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa: Kate Storey, Green candidate, apologized for calling Canada’s temporary foreign worker program ‘modern-day slavery’ during a debate.
  • Edmonton Mill Woods: The issue of whether a candidate needed to be resident in his or her riding was discussed, with the example of CPC candidate (and former MP) Tim Uppal’s plans to live in Ottawa regardless of the election outcome (Uppal was defeated in 2015 by Liberal minister Amarjeet Sohi by only 92 votes).
  • Etobicoke North: Renata Ford, PPC candidate, and wife of former mayor Rob Ford was mentioned alongside the PPC’s restrictive approach to immigration.
  • Markham-Thornhill: Alex Yuan, CPC candidate, participated in a media conference that stated the “Liberals are really the party that is lying to Canadians on hard drugs legalization.” (Cantonese, Fairchild TV British Columbia)
  • Port Moody Coquitlam: Nelly Shin, CPC candidate, was interviewed.

Social media: Coverage was dominated by the Chinese messaging service WeChat not complying with the legal requirement to set up an ad registry along with circulation of Conservative attack ads on WeChat and Facebook falsely claiming that a re-elected Liberal government would legalize “hard drugs”. Coverage of other social media disinformation was largely related to immigration and refugees:

“According to the Conservatives, if Justin Trudeau is re-elected, he will likely legalize hard drugs. In early October, the Conservatives published a bilingual Facebook post that reads: ‘Do you want Justin Trudeau to legalize hard drugs in your community?’ The poster calls on the Chinese community to stop Trudeau’s plan and to ensure children’s safety by voting for the Conservatives. On October 10, the Conservatives continued with their advertisements, publishing Mandarin and Cantonese versions of campaign commercials. The content is once again focused on Trudeau legalizing hard drugs. Chinese users have presented mixed reactions to these posts. Some were angered by Trudeau’s plan, and some criticized the Conservatives for circulating rumours. In reality, there is no evidence that the Liberals are actually going to legalize hard drugs. Liberal spokesperson Guy Gallant clarified that legalizing all drugs is not a plan of the party. The Conservatives denied their attempt to use decriminalization and legalization interchangeably to confuse voters.” (Chinese, Van People)

China: Chinese language coverage focussed on Conservative leader Scheer’s critique of the Liberal government’s handling of Canada-China relaxations along with the other party leader positions on how they would improve relations with China. Finance minister Morneau’s comments on Canada-China relations were also covered.

Foreign interference: The publication by Canadian Friends of Hong Kong of an online guide to assist voters assess whether candidates are too close to China was covered, along with Canada-Hong Kong Link‘s call for Parliament to adopt stronger legislation to reduce foreign interference.

Healthcare: Brampton-area candidates continued to raise the need for an additional hospital in Brampton with Finance Minister Morneau stating that healthcare was a provincial responsibility.

Citizenship: Coverage included the number of Syrian refugees who were eligible for citizenship (13,790 applications, 606 new citizens and voters). The deadlines for Canadian expatriates in Hong Kong to register to vote was also covered.

Indigenous: The large number of Indigenous candidates running was noted along with the relative lack of attention being paid to Indigenous issues.

Other: There was further commentary on the Leaders’ debates along with mention of Treasury Board President Murray’s use of WeChat in the campaign while her official advice to MPs and the public service not to use WeChat given that its lack of encryption makes it vulnerable to interception and unauthorized dissemination.

Andrew Griffith, ethnic media provided by MIREMS

From National Post: After accusing Tories of fear-mongering in Chinese-language ads, Liberals face same question

The Liberals said the Conservatives were stealing from the ‘American right-wing playbook’ by ‘spreading false information to scare and mislead voters’

After accusing Conservatives of fearmongering in Chinese-language election ads, the Liberals are now facing questions about whether they’re guilty of doing the same thing.

A Liberal party ad posted on Facebook this week features a prominent picture of a rifle and a tagline that says “The Conservative Party wants looser gun regulation.” An accompanying caption says: “Once the Conservative Party takes power, these assault rifles will spread through the streets. The Liberal Party will strengthen gun control, and crack down on gun crime.”

Asked Thursday by a Global News reporter if the Liberals were engaged in the spread of disinformation just like they had accused the Conservatives of doing, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said: “We have made the commitment to ban military-style assault weapons across this country. (Conservative Leader) Andrew Scheer has clearly said he will not. Indeed, he wants to reverse some of the changes we made to render it easier for people to access weapons.”

Liberal party spokesman Joe Pickerill later added by email: “We will always make sure our position is clear and available to everyone and contrast that to what the Conservatives are proposing so Canadians have access to the facts.”

But Conservative party spokesman Simon Jefferies said the ad was “nothing but more lies.” He went on to outline Scheer’s plans to tackle violent crime and gun crime, including ending automatic bail for gang members, ensuring prison time for possessing a smuggled firearm and creating stronger background checks for gun licences. He did not, however, say anything about the party’s plans to change access to guns themselves.

Just last week, it was the Liberals who accused the Conservatives of using scare tactics in various Chinese-language ads.

A Liberal Facebook ad in Chinese attacks Andrew Scheer’s gun policy. Liberal Party of Canada/Facebook

 

One ad on Facebook featured an image of someone using a razor blade to cut white powder. “Previously, Trudeau legalized marijuana, and now he plans to legalize hard drugs!” the caption read. A similar ad also reportedly appeared on the popular Chinese-language messaging platform WeChat.

A related Facebook video stated that the Liberals “intend to legalize hard drugs, just like they legalized marijuana. Only Scheer’s Conservatives can stop Trudeau’s hard drug legalization plan and protect the safety of our children.”

 

The Liberals said at the time that the Conservatives were stealing from the “American right-wing playbook” by “spreading false information to scare and mislead voters.” Trudeau has previously stated he has no plans to pursue further decriminalization of drugs.

But Jefferies cited video clips in which Trudeau states he is not considering legalizing hard drugs “right now” or “at this time.”

“If Justin Trudeau tells us precisely when he is going to legalize dangerous drugs we will amend our advertisements to reflect this new information,” he said.

Asked by the Post if both parties were guilty of fearmongering, representatives did not respond. They also would not say why certain ads were being put out in Chinese language only.

Niraj Sinha, founder and CEO of Maple Diversity Communications, said both parties are clearly attempting to influence the growing numbers of Chinese voters, particularly in Ontario and B.C.

This Conservative Chinese-language ad alleges that the Liberals are going to legalize hard drugs. Conservative Party of Canada/Facebook

Traditional Eastern cultures, she said, tend to view drugs and guns differently than the West. Research has shown that Chinese immigrants tend to cite well-being and opportunities for their children as the primary reason for their immigration to Canada.

“Drugs and guns can be something directly relatable to their younger generations. That’s why this Chinese segment (even South Asians) will view it more sensitively,” she said.

Andres Machalski, president of MIREMS International, an ethnic-media monitoring company, said the ads appeared to be a “desperate expression of the lack of real distinction between the party platforms in many issues that concern immigrants.”

“What for me is astounding is the fact that Canadian politicians have so little respect for the intelligence of our ethnic communities that they think they can dupe them with fake claims about their opponents’ platforms. And that is a crime against democracy in my view.”

Douglas Quan
Douglas Quan

Translation provided by Niko Bell

Original article posted in National Post: https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/election-2019/after-accusing-tories-of-fear-mongering-in-chinese-language-ads-liberals-face-same-question

 

Ethnic Media Election Coverage 7-12 October

This week about 160 election-related articles were analysed.

Major issues covered:

Immigration: Immigration coverage was dominated by CPC leader Scheer’s proposals to address asylum seekers crossing at Roxham Road and the Safe Third Country Agreement with the USA. There were a number of articles contrasting party positions, particularly with respect to immigration levels and refugees. The campaign announcement by the Liberals of a “Municipal Nominee Program” was covered. South Asian media had a number of reports on immigration fraud with respect to international students who came as students but whose real purpose was to work and eventually become permanent residents:

“Andrew Scheer was at the Quebec border today, where he met with refugees putting in claims to enter Canada. Now Trudeau needs to give a substantial statement about what he will do about controlling immigration, or at least refugees who put in bogus claims to enter the country. This will give reassurance to Canada’s voters that something will be done about the situation. Students in India are also watching these elections very closely, because if the Liberals win again, they will have a chance at getting in. If the Conservatives win, the situation will be a lot more difficult.” (Punjabi, CMJR 1320 Apna Punjab)

Candidates:

An article highlighted that there were 15 Chinese Canadian candidates running in British Columbia, the majority being either CPC or PPC.

CPC leader Sheer’s rally for Mississauga-area candidates was covered.

  • Beaches-East York: Mae J. Nam, NDP candidate, was interviewed in Korean media.
  • Brampton Centre: Baljit Bawa, PPC candidate, continued to receive coverage:

“He said that Brampton has been neglected by all governments.  He said that neither the previous Conservative government nor the current Liberal government that has five MPs from Brampton have done anything for the City.” (Punjabi, Chin FM 91.9 Ramz Punjabi)

  • Brampton East: Saranjit Singh, NDP candidate’s promises that the NDP would provide funding for a hospital and university was covered. Commentary noted the race was particularly tight given that Liberal incumbent Raj Grewal is not running as he is addressing his gambling addiction.
  • Brampton North: Arpan Khanna, CPC candidate, received coverage for his critique of limited transit funding (23 buses) compared to other regions.
  • Brampton South: Sonia Sidhu, Liberal incumbent, received coverage for her listing of Liberal achievements.
  • Brampton West: The arguments in favour of a new Brampton hospital by Navjit Kaur, NDP candidate, were covered:

“There is only one hospital in Brampton for 600,000 people. If you compare Mississauga and Brampton, Mississauga that has less population than Brampton has three hospitals.”(Punjabi, Chin FM 91.9 Ramz Punjabi)

Roger Sampson, PPC candidate, was interviewed on immigration:

“… we need to see how we can better integrate immigrants and refugees into the Canadian society. The reduction in immigration will help review and reform our immigration policy. Sampson said that the PPC wants to limit the number of immigrants to 100,000 – 150,000 for now to integrate them better and move forward.” (Punjabi, WTOR 770 AM Radio South Asian Pulse Prime Time)

Harinderpal Hundal, Communist Party candidate, was interviewed.

  • Burnaby North-Seymour: The removal of Heather Leong as a Conservative candidate after the nomination deadline was covered, noting that she nevertheless would remain on the ballot as Conservative given that the ballots have been printed.
  • Calgary Shepard: The complaint by Conservative candidate Tomasz Kmiec against his Liberal rival Del Arnold spreading false information that Kmiec lived in Quebec and not in the riding was covered:

“Political parties should avoid using dirty tactics like attacking someone’s reputation or spreading false information about candidates.” (Polish, Wiadomosci)

  • Mississauga Malton: It was noted that the Conservatives had nominated a weak candidate, Tom Varughese, against Liberal incumbent and minister Navdeep Bains:

“… this is worse than a friendly match — a term that is used when a political party fields a weaker candidate with the purpose of not giving a respected leader of the opposing party a strong fight.” (Punjabi, Canadian Punjabi Post)

  • Nunavut: PM Trudeau’s visit to Nunavut to support candidate Megan Pizzo-Lyall was covered.
  • Richmond Centre: An all candidates meeting was covered.
  • Scarborough Centre: Salma Zahid, Liberal incumbent for Scarborough Centre, was interviewed.

“Pakistan has been included on the Student Direct Stream List. The SDS will make it much easier for Pakistani students to come to Canada.” (Urdu, Saaz-O-Awaz)

  • Vimy: There was more coverage of Liberal MP Eva Nassif allegations of being forced out of the nomination race (Annie Koutrakis is the Liberal candidate).
  • West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country: The riding and candidates were profiled with the following prediction:

“The riding was established in 1996, populated by mostly Caucasian residents. With the immigration strategy becoming more flexible in the 1990s, an influx of Chinese and Iranian immigrants began to settle in the area as well. Conservative candidate Gabrielle Loren is at an advantage in this riding, because the upper class are more in favour of Conservative policies. If Loren focuses on promoting an economic focus in her campaign, she may be able to gain support from right-wing voters.” (Chinese, Van People)

Campaign: There continued to be reporting on voting procedures and initiatives to increase participation, where the leaders were concentrating their activities, the general contrast between the Liberals and Conservatives and a lament that substantive issues were not being addressed. The contrast between Alberta Premier Kenney’s active support and Ontario Premier Doug Ford being forced to sit out the campaign was noted:

“It has become a political discussion that Tory Leader Scheer is expecting that Jason Kenney will succeed in bringing immigrant voters to the Tories which he (Scheer) himself couldn’t do in a region dominated by immigrant voters. He cannot connect with Ontarians broadly. Jason Kenney’s participation in the federal Conservative campaign is an interesting twist, but what is surprising is the party’s stopping a premier like Doug Ford from contacting voters. By calling Kenney from the other end of the country for his campaign, Andrew Scheer is giving the impression to the voters that his camp badly needs an impressive leader. The author of the editorial says that victory or defeat in any war depends on which party instills a sense of fear, and the same principle applies to the elections. The Tories may have to pay a big price for ignoring this fact.” (Punjabi, Canadian Punjabi Post)

Leaders’ debate: Coverage of the debate included some interesting commentary:

“The paper talks specifically about Bill 21. It says Canadians were expecting their leaders to strongly oppose that Quebec bill. The Sikh community was expecting Jagmeet Singh in particular to strongly oppose it, but that did not happen. The minority communities are unhappy to see that. Only Trudeau said he opposes this bill and if Liberals come to power again, he would intervene in this matter. This clear stand of Trudeau brings him closer to the minorities. That was reflected in an improvement in the Liberal standing after the debate.” (Punjabi, Hamdard Daily)

“All these debates could achieve one thing — making Trudeau the prime minister of Canada once again — not due to Trudeau’s ability, but due to the others’ inability.” (Tamil, Yarl Inayam)

“During the debate, Maxime Bernier said that only 6% of Canadians want to increase immigration. The rest of Canadians are either in favour of reducing immigration or having it remain at the current levels. François Legault of the Coalition Avenir Québec promised to reduce immigration levels in his immigration campaign and he was elected to form the government. It clearly indicates that a discussion should be initiated on the number of immigrants. Do we need 100,000 immigrants or 400,000 immigrants each year? Co-host Shaili Saini agreed with Jaswal and said that she agrees with Bernier’s emphasis on the integration of immigrants to contribute better to the Canadian economy. Jaswal called for an independent portfolio for integration.” (Punjabi, WTOR 770 AM Radio South Asian Pulse Prime Time)

Citizenship: The campaign promise by the Liberals to eliminate citizenship fees continued to receive coverage. Andrew Scheer’s dual Canadian-American citizenship drew some commentary:

“Silvia Mendez cited Andrew Scheer saying that he didn’t say anything because no one asked him, and radio host Fabian Merlo burst out laughing. Fabian Merlo said it’s like the scene in ‘Lord of the Rings’ where the character Gollum is asked why he didn’t answer, and Gollum replies, ‘Because Master never asked me’. … Silvia Mendez said that Scheer having dual citizenship has nothing to do with being prime minister, but the problem is that Scheer previously criticized the governor general for having dual citizenship. He had asked how she can be Canada’s governor general if she has dual citizenship. Fabian Merlo said the issue is that Scheer wasn’t honest, not the fact that he has dual citizenship. Silvia Mendez wonders who Scheer voted for in the last US election. The question about how Scheer’s interests and policies line up is causing a stir.” (Spanish, CHIN 91.9 FM Spanish)

Poll: The latest Angus Reid poll was covered with the focus being on which immigration levels and which leaders the public had more confidence to manage immigration:

“More Canadians trust Scheer than Trudeau to manage immigration.” (Farsi, Daily7, Mandarin, Talent Vision Canada News)

“Immigration: Over half of Canadians agree with Trudeau.” (Portuguese, Correio da Manha)

“Immigration and migration: Canadians disagree with Trudeau.” (Russian, Russian Express)

“More Canadians trust Scheer on immigration.” (Greek, CKDG FM 105.1 Greek)

Foreign interference: Ongoing coverage of the Rapid Response Team’s finding with respect to the Alberta election continued. Commentary on possible Chinese and Indian interference included:

“Twitter identified some 200,000 accounts, many of which were deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground. According to Twitter’s research, most of the accounts and their subversive activity has been state-backed. Canadian pro-democracy supporters have been targeted with threats published on the Beijing-controlled WeChat platform, and it’s been alleged that many of the Hong Kong counter-protests in Canadian cities have been organized by Chinese consulates.” (Chinese, Epoch Times)

“A caller said that Akhand Paths (continuous recitation of sacred religious texts in Sikhism) are being organized in Punjab, India for the victory of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party in federal elections. Some people even say that anyone who votes for the NDP or any other party will be considered traitors. Host Sandip Bhatti said that he also heard about Akhand Paths to vote for and support Trudeau. At the time of the election in India, the Indian community in Canada calls people in India to vote for a specific party or candidates of our choice. We even visit India to help them in their elections. When we interfere to influence voters in India, the people in India can also try to interfere in Canadian elections.” (Punjabi, CHTO AM 1690 Hulchul Radio)

Multiculturalism: Stories included the limited impact of Liberal leader Trudeau’s blackface and the harassment of an older woman at a protest against PPC leader Bernier and the subsequent closure of Soufi’s given the attack on their son (one of the demonstrators) and social media threats.

China: Coverage noted that relations with China, like other foreign policy issues, has not been that prominent an issue, more commentary by former Ontario minister Chan arguing that the West has always distrusted China and CPC leader Scheer expressing concerns regarding the situation in Hong Kong.

Climate Change: A number of stories contrasted party positions.

Other: The lead-up to a potential strike by Ontario public school support workers along with the potential political impact was covered.

Andrew Griffith, ethnic media provided by MIREMS

Douglas Todd: How the election is playing out in local Chinese-language media

Opinion: More than 300,000 people in Hong Kong hold Canadian passports — and October 21 marks the first Canadian election in which they can cast a ballot.

The conflict between Hong Kong and China. The pros and cons of immigration and refugees. Beliefs on abortion and same-sex issues. The tension between paying taxes and benefiting from social services.

Specialists who monitor Canada’s roughly 290 Chinese-language newspapers, websites, radio stations and TV channels say the political coverage not only echoes the mainstream media, it also reveals the distinct concerns of people with origins in East Asia.

Immigration and refugee issues garner more attention in the Chinese-language media than they do among the general Canadian public, say professional observers.

And even though Chinese-Canadians with roots in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China show a complex range of political opinions, Andrew Griffith, a former senior director in Ottawa’s immigration department, has concluded: “There is more of a conservative trend among Chinese-Canadians than, for example, South Asians.”

Like other Canadians, the 1.3 million people of Chinese origin switch party allegiances according to broader political patterns, said Griffith, who works with Diversityvotes.ca, a website highlighting political coverage in the country’s ethnic media. But their votes could make a crucial difference in dozens of urban swing ridings with large immigrant and visible-minority populations.

Roughly three out of four Chinese-Canadians live in either Greater Toronto, where they make up 11 per cent of voters, or Metro Vancouver, where they account for 20 per cent of voters. In the Vancouver suburb of Richmond, which has two federal ridings, 54 per cent of the population is ethnic Chinese.

Andres Malchaski, president of MIREMS International, which monitors the ethnic-language media and helped create Diversityvotes.ca, says that, while a large portion of Canadians tell pollsters the environment is their top election issue, that issue is far outweighed in the Chinese-language media by debates over immigration and refugees.

Chinese-Canadian media outlets, including their discussion forums, contain frequent criticism of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau for bringing in more than 60,000 Syrian refugees since 2015, said Machalski, who has analyzed Canada’s ethnic media for three decades.

Media outlets that target Canadians from China are often wary of refugees from Muslim countries, Machalski said, an attitude that reflects the way China’s authoritarian leaders have restricted the religious freedom of millions of Uighur Muslims.

“The feelings expressed by some of the calls and comments on phone-in shows and in newspaper columns (in Canada) certainly support the idea there will be segments of Chinese voters that might even go so far as to support the People’s Party of Canada,” which is calling for reducing immigration and refugee levels, Machalski said.

Still, Machalski emphasized that the views expressed in the Chinese-language outlets in Canada offer a “kaleidoscope” of perspectives, which often reflect whether their respective audiences are connected to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Hanoi or Beijing.

That is especially so in regards to the recent anti-Beijing protests in the financial centre of Hong Kong.

More than 300,000 people living in Hong Kong hold Canadian passports — and Oct. 21 marks the first Canadian election in which they can cast a ballot, says a Diversityvotes.ca article by Blythe Irwin.

The Chinese media is picking up on everything Canadian politicians are saying about the special administrative region of China. Ethnic-Chinese media commentators, she says, are both approving and sceptical of the way Trudeau says he is “extremely concerned” about Hong Kong, while Conservative leader Andrew Scheer went further by declaring in a tweet: “We are all Hong Kongers.”

Fenella Sung, a former Chinese-language radio show host, said that Chinese-media perspectives about the conflict largely reflect whether the Canadian-based outlets are aimed at audiences rooted in Hong Kong or China.

It’s not surprising that readers of media directed at the large mainland-Chinese population in Canada “would think the Hong Kong issue is China’s internal affair and that it would not be appropriate for Canadian politicians to comment,” said Sung, who is a member of Canadian Friends of Hong Kong.

Long-time immigrants from Hong Kong, Taiwan and other parts of East Asia, Sung said, tend to have political concerns that are in line with Canadians at large, such as jobs, housing and protecting the environment.

“But newer and younger immigrants, mostly from mainland China, are very consistent and focussed on economic growth, expansion of trade, less government bureaucracy, and lower taxation. They don’t like social spending.”

Prior to the B.C. election in 2016, some opinion polls suggested that, even while the province’s more than 500,000 ethnic Chinese voters held diverse views, they generally leaned to the centre-right B.C. Liberals, and had almost no interest in the Greens.

In an article on politics and Canada’s ethnic media published Wednesday in Policy Options magazine, Griffith said Liberal and Conservative party approaches to same-sex marriage and abortion have been widely commented upon, suggesting so-called “family values” are important to many recent immigrants and people of colour.

“While the Liberals and Conservatives get widespread coverage of their electoral promises and commitments, the NDP and Green Party are under-covered,” Griffith added, after reviewing 1,200 recent articles in the ethnic media.

“In contrast, the People’s Party of Canada, given its focus on restricting immigration and its initial exclusion from the leaders’ debate, received more than twice as much substantive coverage as the NDP and Greens combined.”

Chinese-language and other ethnic media outlets in Canada don’t necessarily reinforce cultural silos, Griffith says. But it’s clear they also offer a special window into political discussions of particular concern to certain ethnic groups.

Douglas Todd

See original article: https://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/douglas-todd-how-the-election-is-playing-out-in-local-chinese-language-media

 

 

How does ethnic media campaign coverage differ?

Reprinted with permission of Policy Options

Photo: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh chats with young supporters during a campaign stop at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg on Sept. 24, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Canadians who rely on ethnic media as their main information source receive coverage of issues comparable to that of mainstream media.

A major focus of this 2019 election for the various campaigns will be courting voters from immigrant and visible minority communities, who are a majority of the population in 41 ridings, and 20 percent or more in an additional 93 ridings. All parties will attempt to reach those voters through candidate selection, conventional and online advertising, and both “mainstream” and ethnic media outlets.

While ethnic media coverage is unlikely to be decisive in influencing voter intentions, given its coverage of many of the same issues as “mainstream” counterparts, it may very well be influential in swing ridings with significant numbers of visible minority community members and immigrants, where some rely on ethnic media organizations as their main news source. MIREMS (Multilingual International Research and Ethnic Media Services) and I recently set up the www.diversityvotes.ca website to shed more light on what issues ethnic media outlets are covering, and how riding demographics might influence electoral strategies.

Ethnic media organizations tend to reflect the population and dominant language groups of their audiences. Out of the close to 800 outlets operating across Canada, 60 percent are based in Ontario, 16 percent in British Columbia and 12 percent each in Alberta and Quebec. Over one-third of ethnic media outlets operate in Punjabi, South Asian English or Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese); another third use European languages such as Spanish, Italian and Russian.

All major national issues are covered by ethnic media organizations, whether controversies over China (particularly former ambassador John McCallum’s comments about Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou), the new Canada Food Guide or the challenge to the election date by some Orthodox Jews. The ethnic media overall focuses its content on news coverage. Analysis, opinion and commentary form between 10 and 20 percent for most language groups, based on the data we have collected.

These outlets will also focus more on ridings where there are candidates from their particular ethnic and/or language group. Greater space will be given to issues that are of particular relevance to the group.

So how do ethnic media outlets influence party campaigns and their strategies? What have we learned from the more than 1,200 media articles analyzed during the pre-writ period (July 20 to September 7)?

The ethnic media largely mirrors the mainstream media in its coverage of election issues and trends. National issues such as ethics, Canada-China relations and climate change are widely covered, as well as party electoral strategies, promises and tactics. This reflects the fact that most articles are taken and translated from the mainstream media. The Liberal values positioning on same-sex marriage and abortion and the delayed and confused Conservative response were widely covered and commented upon.

However, some issues are less well covered, reflecting internal community sensitivities or possible foreign interference. For example, there has been relatively less coverage of some of the divisions between Hong Kong and mainland Chinese-Canadians and of the Chinese government’s efforts to strengthen the pro-China narrative.

Given resource and time constraints, ethnic media outlets have relatively less in-depth issue coverage and emphasize “horse race” aspects of the campaign. However, major reports and studies are covered to provide depth.

Coverage of party nominations, candidates and individual ridings reflects riding demographics (for example, there is extensive Punjabi-media coverage of ridings in Brampton, Ontario). Moreover, this focus is amplified by the relative strength of various language groups, explaining the predominance of Chinese and Punjabi media outlets. Candidate profiles often provide more information on candidates’ views, such as the emphasis by some Conservative candidates on family values. Nomination battles and disputes, particularly when these involve conflict between communities, attract commentary, as seen in the ongoing attention in the Italian-language media to the riding of Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel, where the former Liberal candidate, Hassan Guillet, was not of Italian origin.

While the Liberals and Conservatives get widespread coverage of their electoral promises and commitments, the NDP and Green Party are under-covered. In contrast, the People’s Party of Canada, given its focus on restricting immigration and its initial exclusion from the leaders’ debate, received more than twice as much substantive coverage as the NDP and Greens combined.

Commentary and opinion in most sources capture a range of views, with some criticism of the tone and substance of both major parties and their campaigns and of some of the more transparent attempts to play identity politics (for instance, the Liberal promise for an apology to Italian Canadians for internment during the Second World War).  Other diaspora or “homeland” issues also attract commentary, such as the expression of concern by Liberal MP Ramesh Sangha on the excessive influence of Canadian Sikhs on India policy.

Overall, while coverage may vary by language group, those who rely on the ethnic media as their main information source would have an understanding of the major election issues reasonably comparable to that of people who rely on the mainstream media, with the exception of diaspora-related issues that receive more coverage.

In other words, rather than the ethnic media providing a parallel and separate space and reinforcing cultural silos, these outlets for the most part serve an important role in political integration through their coverage of the main political issues common to all Canadians.

This article is part of The media and Canadian elections special feature.

Andrew Griffith

Ethnic Media Election Coverage 29 September 2019 to 5 October

This week about 200 election-related articles were analysed.

Major issues covered:

Climate Change: The massive demonstration in Montreal along with other demonstrations across Canada were covered with CPC leader Scheer’s and PPC leader Bernier’s absence noted or criticized. There was also some coverage of Liberal habitat protection campaign provinces.

Immigration: A number of articles contrasted party positions on immigration levels, asylum seekers and the Safe Third Country Agreement with the USA, international students being a “backdoor” immigration pathway and family reunification concerns:

“This is also why Justin Trudeau appointed a Somali refugee to the important role of immigration minister. In Canada’s political climate, Chinese people cannot say they are better than refugees. Some of us criticize the federal government’s refugee policy, but the voices of the Chinese community on Canada’s political stage is very washed out.  Refugees who have made it to Canada are very eager to integrate into this country. Securing Canadian identity can protect all their interests, so there is a high rate of refugees applying for citizenship. After obtaining their citizenship, their participation in voting is also very high and united. This makes refugees one of the targeted voter blocs by the political parties. Aside from the Liberal Party, the Conservatives and the NDP are both interested in this voting bloc. This is obvious from the way political parties promote refugee-friendly strategies; they want their votes. Political parties also believe that refugees will make greater contributions to the economy than immigration investors. For those Chinese immigrants who have lived practically and paid their taxes honestly in Canada, their economic contribution should not be less than that of refugees. If Chinese voters do not vote, then whatever happens will have nothing to do with them. If people end up looking down on and isolating you, what can you do about it?” (Chinese, Van People)

Campaign: Along with general overviews of party positions and positioning and the ongoing tactics of the Liberals in invoking Premier Ford as their foil, other areas covered included: the release of the Liberal platform, information on voting procedures and Thornhill MP Peter Kent’s complaint regarding the Liberals holding an event at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square.

Multiculturalism: Coverage and commentary continued over the Trudeau brown face/blackface photos. The phone call between NDP leader Singh and PM Trudeau was noted:

“Stolarczyk says that if someone ever told him, that at his advanced age and after 40 years of journalistic work, he would have to deal with the pretend games he played when he was young he would never believe that running around the summer camp in Serpelice back in the day, with his face painted red and with feathers in his hair, that after so many years, he could be called a racist.  Stolarczyk says that he would have never thought that playing native warriors so many years ago as a boy, could somehow come to haunt him now.  But our Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has to deal with a ‘great scandal’ from the past. Trudeau dressed up as Aladdin, with his face and hands painted brown for an Arabian-themed school party many years ago. A picture from this party has now surfaced in the midst of the election campaign and Justin Trudeau is being called a racist. Trudeau, being an experienced politician and diplomat, apologized for his actions to all. Stolarczyk doesn’t feel that Trudeau needs to apologize for dressing up as a legendary, kind-hearted Aladdin who wanted to change his fate. Today, the opposition is trying to change the fate of Trudeau, but Stolarczyk hopes, that with such cheap propaganda, the opposition won’t succeed.” (Polish, Fakty Czas)

NDP leader Singh’s gracious response to a Montreal man wishing that he would remove his turban was noted, along with Singh’s noting President Trump’s influence in encouraging racism  and Singh’s wish that Trump be impeached.

Candidates:

There were a number of overview articles on candidates and their background:

  • Liberal Chinese Canadian candidates in the GTA (Mary Ng, Markham-Thornhill; Han Dong, Don Valley North; Jean Yip, Scarborough-Agincourt: and Shaun Chen, Scarborough North.
  • The large number of Canadian Sikh candidates was highlighted: 20 Liberal, 16 Conservative, 12 NDP and five PPC.
  • Ridings with all women candidates: Ottawa Centre and Kanata Carleton.

All candidate meetings in Brampton ridings were covered in Punjabi media.

  • Brampton East: Saranjit Singh, NDP candidate, was profiled.
  • Brampton Centre: Jordan Boswell, NDP candidate, was profiled.
  • Brampton West: Navjit Kaur, NDP candidate, was profiled. Incumbent Liberal MP and candidate Kamal Khera accepting a gift to travel to Tanzania while a parliamentary secretary and thus against government policy, was noted.
  • Laval-Les Iles: The opening of the campaign office of Tom Pentefountas, CPC candidate, was covered.
  • Markham-Thornhill: Mary Ng, incumbent MP and Minister, received further coverage, including regarding relations with China:

“She also criticized the Conservative Party for wanting to ‘cut ties’ with China, and she said that the Liberal Party would never do something like this.” (Chinese, 51.ca)

  • Ottawa West–Nepean: Abdul Abdi, CPC candidate, was profiled:

“He said one of the main factors that led him to join OPS, was the frequent social clashes he noticed between the Somali community and the police. He mentions how at first the Somali community was not too enthusiastic about his presence in OPS but that has since changed as Somalis have become more aware of the necessity of such Somali presence in OPS. On the topic of gun violence, Abdi vows to project the voices of Somalis and their appeals. Abdi went on to cite his track record and previous social engagement with the Somali community as evidence of his passion and interest in representing the Somali community of Ottawa.” (Somali, CKCU FM 93.1 Voice of Somalia)

  • Richmond Centre: The riding profile focussed on the changing demographics of Chinese Canadians:

“This riding is one of the few ridings that has many Chinese Canadians. This is due to the immigration trend in the last century where most Chinese immigrants came from Hong Kong. These residents speak primarily Cantonese, and have good English language proficiency. However, there has been an influx of mainland Chinese immigrants more recently. The riding has become more populated with mainland Chinese immigrants ever since. In the 2016 census results, it was the first time in history that the number of Mandarin speaking residents surpassed Cantonese speaking residents. This was an indicator that the Chinese community is slowly changing. Ever since 1988, the Conservative Party has been the preferred party in the riding. The Conservative Party has won the Richmond Centre riding for 19 years.” (Chinese, Van People)

  • Scarborough North: The opening of the campaign office of Yan Chen, NDP candidate, was covered.
  • South Surrey-White Rock: Kerry-Lynn Findlay, Conservative candidate, remarks on immigration were covered:

“…its priority in terms of immigration policy is to restore fairness and order in immigration and to embrace immigration with an open mind. However, illegal immigrants aren’t welcome. The Conservative Party is very concerned about family reunification. Due to current immigration loopholes, the normal wait times for immigration applications are longer. The Conservative Party will strongly support family reunification and ensure the reunion of parents and children, husbands and wives as soon as possible. Also, language training for new immigrants will be strengthened to ensure that new immigrants integrate into the local community as soon as possible.” (Chinese, BCbay.com)

Citizenship: The campaign promise by the Liberals to eliminate citizenship fees was widely covered. Other issues covered included increased numbers of birth tourism and the increased number of expatriate Canadians registering to vote given the scrapping of the previous limit of five years abroad.

Ethnic vote: Italian media continued its analysis of ridings with significant numbers of Italian Canadians. Efforts to encourage Latino Canadians to vote were highlighted, noting the presence of Canadian Heritage Minister Rodriguez at the Latin Fall Fiesta and Parade in Toronto. Chinese media commentary noted relative silence by political leaders on a Richmond hate crime compared to anti-Muslim hate crimes.

Cost of living: Coverage focussed on the various party commitments to address housing costs. Liberal platform spending plans and continuing to run a deficit were noted, with one commentary on all parties focussing their campaign on spending plans, not the deficit:

“It appears that all the leaders are going after each other for promising to spend too much” (Tamil, East FM 102.7)

Firearms: Liberal leader Trudeau’s meeting with healthcare professionals and mayors to discuss gun violence were covered, along with campaign commitments to ban assault rifles and provide municipalities with greater powers to restrict handguns.

Ethics: Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s commitment to launch an inquiry into the SNC-Lavalin affair and give the RCMP greater access to information protected by cabinet confidence should his party win the election was covered.

Other: Other issues receiving coverage (that is more than one article) included deficits, foreign interference, cannabis, China, conservation, drug prices/pharmacare, and healthcare.

Andrew Griffith, ethnic media provided by MIREMS

Is Immigration a Major Issue for Ethnic Media as Election Looms?

On the other side of the country, Vancouver-based Chinese weekly Dawa News pointed out that Bernier has used the term “mass immigration” as code words for Chinese immigrants from the very beginning. Photo by Filip Mishevski on Unsplash.

Immigration figures prominently in the five issues that will be themes for the federal leaders’ debates Oct. 7 and 10, but is it a topic of coverage in ethnic media outlets in the lead up to the Oct. 21 election? Some of Canada’s ethnic media think the issue has not received enough attention, even though one federal party’s platform rests heavily on a ‘Say No to Mass Immigration’ premise.

The following immigration stories reviewed in September were picked from 600 print, radio and TV outlets in Canada which write or speak in languages other than English or French, giving us a glimpse of the voices of those journalists, and in some cases, of their audiences.

In Journal Comercio Latino, a weekly Montreal Spanish newspaper, Eva Rojas noted that unlike the U.S., where many companies consider immigration to be a threat, Canadian companies widely support Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s proposal to increase the number of immigrants and refugees allowed into the country each year to approximately one per cent of the population, because “the country needs workers”.

However, according to Peter Ferreira in Toronto Portuguese weekly Milenio Stadium, the issue of immigration has not been debated so far in the federal election campaign. In fact, he asks why has such an important subject received so little attention:

“A poster with the portrait of the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) leader Maxime Bernier and the message ‘Say NO to Mass Immigration’ in Toronto on August 26, 2019 made me wonder: What is happening when a ‘national’ political party is so shameless?”

The now infamous billboards, though, led to a series of commentaries on immigration as a policy issue.

In El Centro, a Spanish weekly near Toronto, Alexander Terrazas wrote that the message on the billboards is an affront to the founding principles of Canada, which has always prided itself on being an open and welcoming country to immigrants from around the world. “Although the billboards are being taken down, the message has created a profound malaise among all immigrants, especially among Hispanics,” wrote Terrazas.

Chinese Media

Photo by Katie Moum on Unsplash

Writing for 51.ca, a popular Toronto daily Chinese website, an opinion piece by Shi Wei Long said that the words “Say No to Mass immigration” sent shivers down the spine. Shi Wei Long is not afraid of working hard and paying taxes, but still fears not being accepted as Canadian.

On the other side of the country, Vancouver-based Chinese weekly Dawa News pointed out that Bernier has used the term “mass immigration” as code words for Chinese immigrants from the very beginning. Despite this, there are some reports in the Chinese media indicating that there is support for the People’s Party of Canada among Chinese Canadians.

As is the case in Van People, another popular Chinese website in Vancouver, which noted that as the election approaches Chinese residents are becoming more vocal about their opposition to immigration and progressive values. Some Chinese Canadians, the website said, seem to be ignoring the anti-immigration stance of the People’s Party.

Punjabi Media

There are contrasting opinions among the Punjabi media regarding the Liberal government’s immigration policy. During a Toronto Punjabi talk show, CIAO 530 AM’s “Morning Awaz with Aman Deep,” host Amandeep Benipal noted that Canada’s immigration policy appears consistent in that both the current Liberal government and the previous Conservative government led by Stephen Harper have been generally supportive.

On the other hand, in the Vancouver Punjabi Indo-Canadian Times, satirical columnist Shonky Englandia wrote about Canada’s “destructive immigration policy” under the Trudeau government, calling the policy “blind” and citing immigration fraud as a big issue.

Ignoring Newcomers

Canada’s ethnic communities want to be included in the discussion, as is evident in a commentary by Joe Volpe, publisher of Toronto’s Italian newspaper Corriere Canadese, which noted that 7.8 million Canadians (22 per cent of the population) who have a mother tongue other than English or French have been deemed irrelevant by debate strategists for the upcoming federal election.

“Government heavyweights with ethnic-sounding names like Nav Bains, Ahmed Hussen, and Pablo Rodríguez must have told the central campaign it is OK to ignore such a large part of the Canadian demographic,” said Joe Volpe, a former immigration minister himself.

“In the upcoming election, we must remember that Canada is seen as a leader on immigration and refugees and recognizes the importance and contributions of newcomers. By this logic, we must vote for the party that promotes these values,” concludes well-known senior immigration consultant and professor Vilma Filici in El Centro.

Audience reaction

On an Oakville, Ontario multicultural radio station, CJMR 1320 AM, the host of the Punjabi show “Desi Rang Morning,” Kamandeep Singh Gill, said immigration is a major issue for their community, adding that Canada needs a large number of immigrants and skilled workers for the development of the country.

In contrast, a Punjabi caller who phoned in to the CIAO 530 AM Sajri Sawer radio program in Toronto criticized the Liberals’ immigration plan to bring up to 350,000 immigrants each year to the country and their policy about international students. The caller also said that a change is necessary and it will not be good if the Liberals are elected again.

Commenting on a 51.ca article about the differences in immigration policy between the major federal parties, one Chinese reader thinks Canada’s immigration policy should lean strongly towards international students, rather than squandering money to play with refugee ballots.

By Blythe Irwin – Sources Director and Senior Media Analyst at www.mirems.com; with files from www.diversityvotes.ca

See original article at New Canadian Media: 

https://newcanadianmedia.ca/is-immigration-a-major-issue-for-ethnic-media-as-election-looms/

CEMA Reports – Interview with Commissioner David Johnston

Canadian Ethnic Media’s Madeline Ziniak sits down with David Johnston, Commissioner of the Leaders’ Debates Commission and discusses the importance of the Federal Election Leadership Debates that relates to ethnic communities.

Introducing “THE CEMA REPORT”

September 24, 2019

The  Canadian Ethnic Media Association’s platform for issues that matter to Ethnic Media and  its’ audiences. Guests’, Dominic Campione, President of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council and Pauline Tong , CEMA board member and past President of the Yee Hong Wellness  Foundation weigh in on topics such as the Leadership Debates Commission and it’s  unprecedented initiative to  bring the debates in multilingual and indigenous languages, impact of ethnic voters, role of ethnic media during an election campaign, inter-generational consumption of stories regarding the Federal  election and role of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council for the upcoming elections.

 

 

Listen to episode 001 below (3:43 Minutes)

 

 

 

Ethnic Media Election Coverage 22-28 September 2019

This week about 150 election-related articles were analysed.

Major issues covered:

Immigration: Coverage focussed on party differences regarding overall immigration levels, including the PPC’s call for sharp reductions, the Safe Third Country Agreement with the USA and irregular arrivals (crossing between official border crossings, and the application process for family reunification (parents and grandparents, spouses). The Angus Reid survey showing public concerns regarding immigration and refugees was covered:

“… when international students apply for spousal sponsorship, they are immediately granted a visa without being required to provide so much evidence.  Ads for ‘IELTS marriage’ and ‘contract marriage’ are placed in the Punjabi media in Canada and overseas, however, Canada’s immigration department is paying no heed to it. When Canadian citizens and PRs complete applications to sponsor their parents, the quota is reached in five minutes. However, when international students apply for their parents, they are granted 10-year multiple entry visas without any evidence.” (Punjabi, Khabarnama Punjabi Weekly)

Candidates:

All candidate meetings in Brampton ridings were covered in Punjabi media.

  • Brampton Centre: Analysis regarding the relative prospects between the Liberals and Conservatives, with the prediction that Liberal MP Ramesh Sangha will win (Sangha has stated that his party is “pandering” to Sikh separatists.)
  • Brampton North: Conservative candidate Arpan Khanna responded to criticism that the Conservative party was against immigration (CPC leader Scheer visited the riding):

“… the immigration target was 260,000 annually during the previous Conservative government. Today, the target is 280,000 which is not a major difference. We have a balanced approach when we bring immigrants here without any back door entry. During the Trudeau government, 80,000 illegal refugees crossed the border into Canada. Khanna highlighted the burden on the Canadian immigration system and taxpayers with refugees. He said that the Liberals are not focusing on Hindu and Sikh refugees whose lives are under threat in Afghanistan. He also criticized the Liberals’ visa policy, including the parental sponsorship application intake system. He said that Conservatives emphasize an immigration system that is fair, orderly and compassionate.” (Punjabi, CJMR Parvasi)

  • Brantford–Brant: LPC Candidate Danielle Takacs’ posting an image on Facebook that showing a farm with the message “Scheer-Ford ain’t no difference!” carved into the field was covered.
  • Davenport: Sanjay Bhatia, CPC candidate, was profiled with his commitment that “a conservative government will bring justice, order and compassion to the immigration system.” (Portuguese, Correio da Manha)
  • Don Valley North: Bang Gu Jiang’s concession speech after losing the Liberal nomination to former MPP Han Dong, Liberal candidate, along with the opening of Han Dong’s campaign office, were covered.
  • Kitchener Centre: Stephen Woodworth, CPC candidate and former MP came under criticism for using previous signs that say ‘re-elect’. Elections Canada clarified that it is not against the law given he was an MP 2008-15.
  • Markham Unionville: Elvin Kao, Green Party candidate, was profiled. The visit of PM Trudeau to the Mid-Autumn Festival in support of Liberal candidate Alan Ho was also covered.
  • Ottawa West–Nepean: Anita Vandenbeld, Liberal MP and candidate, was profiled in Somali media.
  • Vancouver East: The launch of Jenny Kwan’s campaign office, NDP MP and candidate, was profiled.
  • Vimy: Liberal MP Eva Nassif’s complaints regarding bullying from other area Liberal MPs and her nomination being rejected for her not praising PM Trudeau as being a feminist was covered.

Campaign: Apart from general overviews of party positions and positioning, the respective tactics of the Liberals in invoking Premier Ford and the Conservatives in invoking former Premier Wynne to draw (or amplify) the contrast between their respective philosophies and approaches dominated coverage. Fake news regarding Liberal plans to increase the capital gains tax and PM Trudeau’s personal relationship with far-right commentator was covered. There were also a number of articles on the importance and procedures of voting.

“The scene was repeated at Scheer’s next campaign stop in Brampton, where Ford turned the tide for the PCs during the 2018 provincial election. Ford is already messing with Scheer’s chances in a big way in Ontario. The chaos of cuts he’s unleashed on the province has seen to that. With the possibility of Ford’s fight with teachers unions ending up in a strike in Ontario smack dab in the middle of the election to remind voters of the disaster Ford has been, Scheer’s electoral prospects are looking even more dicey.” (Farsi, Iran Javan)

Foreign interference:

Coverage continued on the warnings by Canadian intelligence agencies regarding possible foreign interference through the diaspora communities, citing China and India in particular but also mentioning Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela (along with Eelam Tamil). The comments by Elections Canada Commissioner regarding the difficulties of investigating foreign interference were noted again. The call by former ambassador to China, David Mulroney, for a foreign lobbyist registry was noted.

Multiculturalism: Coverage continued over the Trudeau brown face/blackface photos:

“Instead of discussing the economy, taxes, how to improve this country, how to ensure it doesn’t fall into a recession, our election debate instead concentrates on the fact, that our Prime Minister who is always so politically correct, now got caught in his own trap. Kumor says that although painting your face brown or black is not appropriate he doesn’t think that in this case Trudeau’s intention was to make fun of people of colour. Kumor asks, why if the pictures and videos were taken 18 years ago, they surfaced just now? Kumor believes it’s part of the opponents election strategy.  Looking into opponents’ past to see what they did in Kindergarten is probably the main task at the campaign headquarters, Kumor says.  There are real problems in this country, like the economy, and for that we need a good government that will take things seriously.” (Polish, Goniec)

“Trudeau apologized several times, but the Black Coalition of Quebec said that Trudeau should not take these comments to heart nor did he have to apologize. The president of the coalition, Dan Philip, said Trudeau’s blackface makeup was mainly for performance, which does not make him a racist. Philip said Trudeau took measures to help ethnic minority communities after he was elected prime minister. Trudeau also appointed a cabinet with people from all backgrounds. Philip said some politicians who criticize Trudeau are mostly hypocrites, and they do not have an interest in supporting the Black community. The reason why this photo surfaced was a political tactic to stir up controversy and gain from the chaos. Quebec Haitian author Danish Laferriere said Trudeau’s 2001 Aladdin costume was not completely blackface. Laferriere said this is a tactic used by white politicians to attack each other, and it has no connection with the black community whatsoever. ” (Chinese, Van People)

Cost of living: Coverage included the various party proposals on taxes, parental benefits, housing, and seniors (CPP and OAS increased benefits).

Ethnic vote: Commentary focussed on the need for Chinese Canadians to vote given their lower voting rate than other groups in order to influence policy debates and discussions. Italian media analyzed Ontario ridings with significant numbers of Italian Canadians, noting that this is largely between the Conservatives and Liberals. An article in Russian media focussed on the importance of the Canadian Sikh in Brampton.

“… the writer says that one finds that if anything happens to the Chinese, few politicians speak for us. Why is this the case? According to the writer, the reasoning is simple — it’s because for a long time, Chinese people haven’t been voting and haven’t formed a proxy relationship with political figures. Therefore there aren’t any political figures who would speak for the interests of Chinese people like us. For a long time, the voter turnout rate of Chinese people has been very low. So politicians don’t know what the basic demands of Chinese people are and don’t introduce policies and laws that are in the interest of Chinese people.” (Chinese, 51.ca)

Climate Change: Campaign promises by Liberals and Conservatives to provide financial support to make homes more efficient were covered, along with comparisons of party climate change commitments. The NDP’s clever riposte to Liberal plans, “You. Bought. A. Pipeline.” was covered.

China: The Bloomberg story stating that the diplomatic crisis created by the Meng Wanzhou case will affect the Canadian election drew the following comments:

“Canadians have recognized the reality now is that the Trudeau government is unable to well maintain the strategic relationship that was established with China. … Canadian Chinese newspaper columnist Gao Bingchen had pointed out that the arrest of Meng Wanzhou and a series of incidents that followed forced Canadians to gradually wake up; they are starting to take into consideration the cost it takes to maintain good diplomatic relations with China, and whether they can afford such a cost.” (Chinese, BCbay.com)

“… the author says he does not agree with Bloomberg’s comments that the hearing will affect the federal election, on the grounds that the Chinese-Canadian community is a mature community that clearly separates politics from people’s livelihoods. In addition, during the election the Trudeau government is carefully maintaining a distance from “China topics.” (Chinese, Sing Tao Vancouver)

BQ leader Yves Francois Blanchet’s call for the federal government to use all diplomatic tools at its disposal to negotiate with China to resolve the trade dispute that is severely damaging the agricultural industry was noted.

Polls and other: The Angus Reid poll highlighting the negative impact of the Ford government’s unpopularity on voter intention was covered as was the Ipsos poll showing immigration being a top issue to 14 percent of voters, behind health care, affordability and the cost of living, climate change, and the economy.

Other issues receiving coverage (that is more than one article) included healthcare and the leaders’ debate.

Andrew Griffith, ethnic media provided by MIREMS