This week about 130 election-related articles were analysed.
Major issues covered:
Campaign: Much of the coverage concerned comparable riding-level fundraising by the Conservatives and Liberals with the NDP far behind, PM Trudeau’s continuing to use Ontario premier Ford as a foil to attack the Conservatives was also widely covered, with most articles noting the contrast between his stated intent to run a positive campaign and the actual campaign:
“During a discussion about the federal election [in Brampton], many people were of the opinion that Justin Trudeau does not need to do anything to win. Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s policies will make the Liberals win in the federal election.” (Punjabi).
The NDP’s use of leader Singh’s constituency office for a pre-election event and their subsequent withdrawal of the event invitation.
Former Ontario Cabinet Minister Michael Chan’s partisan op-ed was covered in Chinese media, “[Government cuts happen) every time a Conservative party is in power, regardless of whether it’s at the federal level or at the provincial level.” (Chinese)
Leaders’ Debate: Media in most language groups continued to cover the decision by the Leaders’ Debate Commission to exclude PPC leader Bernier. His letter to the Commission was not widely covered. The Munk Debates interest in holding a debate on foreign policy was noted, as was GreenPac’s plans to hold environment-focussed debates in 117 ridings.
Polls: The finding by Nanos research that most Canadians disapprove of provincial premier participation in the federal campaign was covered by a number of language groups. More general polling, showing a tight race, by Forum Research and Mainstream Research, was subject to commentary and analysis.
Citizenship (Syrian refugees and voting): The more than 2,500 Syrian refugees who had become citizens and thus entitled to vote was noted by a number of language groups, with the general view that this would benefit the Liberals:
“A lot of online users hold negative attitude about accepting refugees and about the fact that refugees who will be naturalized will participate in voting in the Canadian election. Some people commented that this circumstance is very beneficial for Trudeau. These refugees were brought to Canada because the government was carrying out humanitarianism, but is the real motive of the government to let these refugees vote for the Liberal Party after naturalization?” (Chinese)
Multiculturalism: The video of a women holding a support Andrew Scheer sign in Toronto and screaming racist epithets, along with Scheer’s immediate condemnation of her comments were widely covered. Senior public servant discussion and recommendations regarding refocusing on the majority to counter populism continued to be noted.
Ethics (SNC Lavalin): The ethics commissioner’s finding that PM Trudeau had violated the conflict of interest code was factually covered in many language groups with only one commentary in Chinese media noting the opinion of UBC Professor Kathryn Harrison that this might cost the Liberals support among young Canadians.
- Vaughan-Woodbridge: Teresa Kruze, was nominated at the CPC candidate following the withdrawal of previously nominated Frances Tibollo.
- Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel: For the first time in 30 years, a Conservative leader visited the traditionally Italian Canadian riding, suggesting the CPC believe it to be winnable for Ilario Maiolo. The defeat of Italian Canadian candidates in the Liberal nomination race by Hassan Guillet and consequent dissatisfaction among some Italian Canadians (22.5 percent of the riding are of Italian ancestry) is the likely explanation,
“Scheer recognized the work carried out by the Italian community and the historical role it has played in the development of the country. The internment of Italian-Canadians during World War II also came up, with Mr. Scheer pointing out that it was a Conservative government under Brian Mulroney that first issued an apology.” (Italian)
- Vancouver-Grenville: Taleeb Noormohamed, LPC to run against former Justice minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould, now running as an independent following the SNC Lavalin scandal and aftermath.
- Brampton South: Sonia Sidhu, Liberal incumbent, kicked off her campaign with local Liberal MPs Navdeep Bains, Kamal Khera, Ruby Sahota, Gagan Sikand and Maninder Sidhu.
Immigration: The OECD report praising Canada’s economic immigration system received coverage, with some articles also noting the contrast with Quebec’s more restrictionist policies. The Liberal government’s replacement of Ontario government cuts to legal aid for immigrants and refugees was noted, along with the associated political positioning.
China: The evolving situation in Hong Kong and PM Trudeau’s remarks urging caution were noted, with some commentary noting that “People do not think that Trudeau’s remarks have helped in easing the tension between China and Canada.” (Chinese) In terms of the potential impact on the election, one article noted:
“Justin Trudeau is locked in a statistical tie in opinion polls with Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer ahead of an October 21 federal election, and Scheer has attacked him relentlessly for being soft on China. China hopes the winner of the election can show the courage and wisdom and make joint efforts with China on the basis of mutual respect and equality to overcome the current difficulties,” (South Asian English)
Third parties: In addition to mentions of third party activities by organizations such as Canada Strong, Engage Canada, and Shaping Canada’s Future, the Canada Revenue Agency union’s concern that the CPC plan to transfer federal tax collection for Quebec residents to Quebec would result in 5,500 federal job losses, about half of them in Quebec.