The CRRF sponsored DiversityVotes.ca to support the full development and administration of the website, the ongoing collection, translation and analysis of ethnic media election coverage along with communications to interested organizations and individuals. The project aims to match riding‐specific demographic, economic, social and political data with ethnic media election and related coverage in an integrated and easy-to-use website.”
Andrew Griffith joins NCM for a Q&A session. He is the author of “Because it’s 2015…” Implementing Diversity and Inclusion, Multiculturalism in Canada: Evidence and Anecdote and Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias: Resetting Citizenship and Multiculturalism. He is a regular media commentator and blogger at Multiculturalism Meanderings. He is the former Director General for Citizenship and Multiculturalism and has worked for a variety of government departments in Canada and abroad. He is also a fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute and Environics Institute.
By NCM News Desk
Q. As an immigrant policy expert, what did you think of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) calling Canada’s intake system a “BENCHMARK” for the rest of the world?
A. Largely correct. Canada tends to encourage and manage economic immigration well, ranging from relatively objective and transparent criteria through Express Entry/points system, one that provides flexibility to adjust as required.
Associated policies and programs, such as settlement services and an accessible path to citizenship, are contributing factors.
Extensive datasets and evaluations help officials understand how well programs are working or not, an example being the previous business immigration program which was cancelled under the previous government based on poor results.
Public support for economic immigration is high. No major political party is anti-immigration.
The report correctly identifies foreign credential recognition as an ongoing issue, one that successive governments have tried to address with limited results to date (provincial certifying bodies).
The call for streamlining Express Entry through merging the Federal Skilled Worker program with the Canadian Experience class makes sense, as government programs often emerge to address specific needs. Periodic review to assess whether complex set of individual programs remain relevant or not is a good program management practice (sometimes easier to create a new program than integrate or streamline existing programs.
Related reports such as the OECD integration report indicate that strong economic (e.g., participation and employment) and social (e.g., integration), although some more recent immigrants and some visible minority groups struggle.
Q. This accolade comes on the eve of a federal election, which some experts say may be the first national campaign in which immigration proves to be a truly divisive issue. Do you see immigration emerging as a wedge issue?
A. Only one party, The People’s Party of Canada (PPC), is specifically campaigning on immigration, with its call to cut immigration by between half and two-thirds and repeal the The Canadian Multiculturalism Act. Conservative party criticism focuses more on administration and management issues, particularly the asylum seekers crossing at Roxham Road. Leader Andrew Scheer’s immigration policy announcement, while light on details, nevertheless made a strong statement on inclusion. However, their strong opposition to M-103 on Islamophobia and the Global Compact on Migration are signals of a somewhat more restrictive approach to immigration-related issues.
Given the large number of ridings in play with significant numbers of immigrants and visible minorities (41 ridings are majority visible minority, another 93 have between 20 and 50% visible minorities), hard to see how a successful political strategy can be expressly anti-immigration.
That being said, there will be considerable virtue signalling and identity politics by all parties, with likely some flirting with anti-immigration/anti-multiculturalism sentiment and some painting concerns about high immigration levels and the like as xenophobic and racist.
But not convinced that it will become a major wedge issue given electoral realities.
Q. What do you think of this often-reported “immigrant vote” or “ethnic vote” — especially in and around Toronto and Vancouver — playing a decisive role in national elections? What does your analysis show?
A. The tables at left show how visible minorities are reflected by province and ridings along with the number of ridings where individual visible minority groups form more than 10% of the population (electorally significant).
There is no one immigrant or ethnic vote. Voting preferences vary depending on the time of arrival (generally earlier waves of immigrants lean more to the Conservatives in contrast to more recent waves). While there are some general preferences between groups, there are differences within each group as well. No party has a monopoly of these voters, and preferences can shift between elections and thus all parties make efforts to win voters in these ridings through candidate selection, policy development and campaign strategies.
Given the large number of ridings in play with significant numbers of immigrants and visible minorities (41 ridings are visible minority majority, another 93 have between 20 and 50% visible minorities), here is no road to a majority government without winning most of these ridings (for the most part, the 905 in the Greater Toronto Area and B.C.’s lower mainland).
These ridings can shift dramatically. For example, the Conservatives made major inroads among immigrants, helping them achieve a majority in 2012, only to lose most of those ridings in 2015 to the Liberals. In the 2018 Ontario provincial election, the Progressive Conservatives won most of the Ontario visible minority majority ridings from the Liberals.
MIREMS (Multilingual International Research and Ethnic Media Services) and I developed diversityvotes.ca to match riding-level demographic and socioeconomic characteristics with ethnic media election coverage with a view to facilitate:
- More in-depth understanding of riding characteristics, and how these interact with electoral strategies;
- Wider awareness of how national and local issues are portrayed in community and regional ethnic media to increase accountability of ethnic-oriented media strategies;
- More informed discussion regarding ethnic voting patterns and issues, and;
- Greater responsibility of candidates and political partiers of their messaging to different groups.
Q. We know you are also a number-cruncher, one who takes a close look at data. In terms of candidate diversity, what are the trend lines looking like?
A. Too early to be definitive as not all candidates have been nominated, with the Liberals significantly behind the Conservatives in terms of nominations. Working with a number of other researchers currently to see whether the 2015 trend of greater diversity among the three major parties continues or not. The chart at left captures the change in 2015.
Q. Populism is seemingly driven by an underlying anti-immigrant sentiment. Do you see anti-immigrant sentiment rising in Canada? Or, do you see us as quite distinct from virtually every western nation?
A. While Canada is not immune to global trends, long-term tracking shows majority support for immigration. While there are concerns regarding the numbers of immigrants and the mix between economic, family and refugee classes, the three major parties are all strong believers that immigration is a net benefit to Canada.
The Conservatives tend to favour more restrictive policies, reflecting their base, than the Liberals or the New Democratic Party, but this is a matter of degree, not fundamentals. Much of the focus of Conservative attacks on the government’s immigration policies is on management of the program, where the irregular asylum seekers crossing the border in Quebec are cited as a failure.
The PPC, the only national party to run on an explicit restrictionist immigration (and multiculturalism) policy, appears stuck at around 3% of voter support at this early stage.
Polling data shows greater public concern regarding adherence to Canadian values, typically in relation to accommodation for religious minorities.
Quebec is different from the rest of Canada in this regard, as seen by the strong support for The Coalition Avenir Québec government’s dress code requirements for public servants and employees and its perennial debates and discussion regarding accommodation issues.
In the end, the electoral realty that one cannot win a majority government without support from immigrant and visible minority voters limits the attractiveness of populism based on anti-immigrant views.
The two leading populists, Ontario’s Doug Ford and Alberta’s Jason Kenney, are not anti-immigrant and frame their populism largely around economic issues.
See original article at New Canadian Media:
TORONTO – The Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA) has accepted an invitation to partner the launch and support the ongoing execution of http://www.diversityvotes.ca, a joint pre-election venture hosted by Andres Machalski, of Multilingual International Research and Ethnic Media Services (MIREMS), and Andrew Griffith, author, immigration, diversity policy and data expert.
The main objective of the new website is to create a central platform for ethnic media covering electoral issues important to all Canadians, while focusing on matters relevant to the documented multicultural make-up of their ridings, in their respective first languages.
In making the announcement, CEMA Chair, Madeline Ziniak said, “CEMA, as a conduit and change agent for Ethnic Media in Canada, believes it is important to engage in diversityvotes.ca to advance the expression of Ethnic Media in Canada, engaging ethno-cultural communities across the country to deliver their democratic right to voice their opinion of what is important to the multicultural reality of Canada.”
To that end, CEMA will initiate an awareness campaign among its members, calling on them to contribute to diversityvotes.ca, and enabling its administrators to assess the impact of their coverage on local candidates and constituents. It will proactively undertake initiatives, such as podcasts, blogs, teleconferences and other interactive programs to project the role of ethnic media on electoral results.
CEMA has long been held in high regard as the voice of Ethnic Media in Canada. Having recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, it has entered this next era of its mandate fully energized and as consistently reflective of its ever-growing national membership.
For further information, please contact:
Averill Maroun – 905 881-3955 – [email protected]
Madeline Ziniak – 416 371-5719 – [email protected]
The team at diversityvotes.ca
Andrew Griffith – [email protected]
Silke Reichrath and Andrés Machalski – [email protected]
TORONTO – The Canadian Race Relations Foundation announces sponsorship of new project: diversityvotes.ca. In partnership with Andrew Griffith and MIREMS, diversityvotes.ca will promote and foster cross-cultural communications Canada-wide. “Diverse voices in Canada are important,” says Lilian Ma, Executive Director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. “Sharing ethnic media coverage allows all Canadians to the perspectives of different communities, contributing to a greater common understanding of issues and priorities.” “Diversityvotes.ca works to highlight the value of Canada’s diverse communities” says project founder Andrew Griffith. “Our goal is to bring attention and easy access to data and stories that matter to Canada’s diverse Canadians and amplify those voices by giving them a platform.” Our donation contributes to the development of this easy to use interactive website marrying data with ethnic media to provide:
· More in-depth understanding of riding characteristics, and how these interact with electoral strategies;
· Wider awareness of how national and local issues are portrayed in community and regional ethnic media to increase accountability of ethnic-oriented media strategies;
· Allow for more informed discussion regarding ethnic voting patterns and issues; and,
· Greater responsibility of candidates and political parties of their messaging to different groups.
Diversityvotes.ca is a national project that aims to bring together national expertise in diversity demographics and diversity’s discourse together to connect, empower and educate. The online hub will combine the impact of statistics and stories into a new, useful and powerful tool for citizens, journalists, researchers, academics, government agencies and non-governmental organizations.
About the Canadian Race Relations Foundation
The purpose of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation is to facilitate throughout Canada the development, sharing and application of knowledge and expertise in order to contribute to the elimination of racism and all forms of racial discrimination in Canadian society. The work of the Foundation is premised on the desire to create and nurture an inclusive society based on equity, social harmony, mutual respect and human dignity. Its underlying principle in addressing racism and racial discrimination emphasizes positive race relations and the promotion of shared Canadian values of human rights and democratic institutions.
For further information:
Contact: Lilian Ma, Executive Director, Canadian Race Relations Foundation
TORONTO – The Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management announces its support for http://www.diversityvotes.ca. In partnership with Andrew Griffith and MIREMS, http://www.diversityvotes.ca will promote and foster cross-cultural communications Canada-wide.
“Diversityvotes works to highlight the value of Canada’s diverse communities” says project founder Andrew Griffith. “Our goal is to bring attention and easy access to data and stories that matter to Canada’s diverse Canadians and amplify those voices by giving them a platform.” “We are delighted to partner with http://www.diversityvotes.ca ,” said Stephen Azzi, Director of the Riddell Program. “It is essential for anyone working in the political field to understand Canada’s ethnic media.”
Diversityvotes.ca is an easy to use interactive website marrying data with ethnic media to provide:
• More in-depth understanding of riding characteristics, and how these interact with electoral strategies;
• Wider awareness of how national and local issues are portrayed in community and regional ethnic media to increase accountability of ethnic-oriented media strategies;
• Allow for more informed discussion regarding ethnic voting patterns and issues; and,
• Greater responsibility of candidates and political partiers of their messaging to different groups.
http://www.diversityvotes.ca is a national project that aims to bring together national expertise in diversity demographics and diversity’s discourse together to connect, empower and educate. The online hub will combine the impact of statistics and stories into a new, useful and powerful tool for citizens, journalists, researchers, academics, government agencies and non-governmental organizations.
About the Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management
Founded in 2011, the Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management is the first in Canada to offer a one-year master’s degree in applied politics. The program’s graduates work in political offices throughout Ottawa and the provincial capitals as political aides, government relations professionals, communications consultants, and pollsters.
For further information:
Associate Professor and Director, Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management
Environics Institute Fellow, Multicultural Meanderings, Author
Dear Friends of Diversity and Democracy,
Diversityvotes.ca is an initiative to promote awareness and understanding that Diversity Empowers Democracy. At a time when Canadian politics are being polarized around immigration and race relations issues, its mission is more relevant than ever.
Andrew Griffith, acknowledged expert on matters of multiculturalism and citizenship, has pioneered the venture, which recently received the endorsement and funding from the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. More sponsors are on their way, and we ask you to join them.
Heartfelt thanks from MIREMS to CRRF for their support!
MIREMS (Multilingual International Research and Ethnic Media Services) – Canada’s leading multilingual media monitoring agency covering both domestic and international sources invites like-minded individuals and organizations to join CRRF in helping in this timely and relevant initiative.
Although a small, boutique shop devoted to ethnic media research, MIREMS is backing diversityvotes.ca with substantial contributions. These include all the media articles in two dozen different languages, collected and summarized in English and processed for the analysis of the Federal By-elections earlier this year, the production of dozens of blogs and reports, the building of the first stage of the diversityvotes.ca website and its launch at the Metropolis Conference in Halifax. The market value of these contributions is up to $15,000 to date, and counting.
However, we know the impact of this project will be much greater the more support it receives. We’re calling your organization to help this initiative to succeed and make a difference to the Canadian political process.
How can you help? Donations in cash or kind are welcome – see the diversityvotes.ca for details. Show your support by other means – letters of endorsement, articles, volunteer activity, informing your connections and inviting them to participate, hosting an essay contest on politics and ethnicity – anything to promote an inclusive vision of diversity in Canadian society, instead of a divisive one.
The time is now. We are working relentlessly to get our project featuring 338 ridings online by Canada Day, so time is running out. Make your contribution matter: pick up the phone and call 613 402 7078 or email Andrew Griffith at [email protected] with your commitment.
Thank you in advance for your support!
Andrés Machalski and the Board of Directors, MIREMS Ltd.
Vancouver – Toronto – Ottawa – Montreal – Halifax