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

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