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)
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