Diversity Votes Stories

from our Ethnic Media Partner and other sources

When Liberal inclusiveness meets home-country conflict

Similar to the mainstream media, the race of the two giants, the Liberals and the Conservatives, is what catches the ethnic media’s attention. Out of the over six hundred stories related to the upcoming federal elections MIREMS identified in the ethnic media over the month of August, over half were about the Liberals and Prime Minister Trudeau.

Almost half of those stories (152) were from the Chinese media, followed closely by the South Asian media with 131 stories. This reflects the fact that these two population groups are the largest ethnic communities in Canada, with the most developed local media including daily radio and TV programs and daily papers. They are also politically engaged communities, fielding numerous candidates and actively participating in local dialogue and voting.

Much of the coverage centred around similar items as in the mainstream media: the latest poll results, candidates, slogans, advertising and fundraising. Liberal positions on the major issues like climate change, affordability, infrastructure, etc. got relatively limited coverage, although government funding announcements were covered. A particular focus across languages and ethnicities was the SNC Lavalin affair, with the release of the Ethics Commissioners report, Trudeau’s response and the observation that the report had little effect on the polls. Premiers Kenney and Ford were mentioned, with Kenney campaigning against the Liberals and Trudeau highlighting Ford’s unpopular funding cuts in association with the federal Conservatives’ expected policies.

“The ethnic media have, however, additional areas of interest in comparison to the mainstream media. An obvious one is the area of immigration.”

The majority of the coverage here related to complaints mostly in the Chinese media over how the Syrian refugees admitted when Trudeau first came to power are now gaining citizenship and therefore voting rights. Other reports, including an interview with Immigration Minister Hussen on OMNI BC TV Mandarin, emphasized that the Liberals will continue promoting immigration and multiculturalism (Vancouver, 2 August 2019).

Additional focal points are the relationship of any given ethnic community to the party. The daily Italian paper Corriere Canadese cited NDP Candidate Maria Augimeri as describing the Trudeau government as disappointing due to the lack of a significant Italian presence in his administration and its insensitivity to the immigration of Italians (Toronto, 1 August 2019). The South Asian English Darpan Magazine endorsed Black Vote Canada’s call for more Black candidates in winnable ridings (Vancouver, 16 August 2019). The Polish newspaper Puls published a two-page interview with the Polish-Canadian Conservative candidate Ted Opitz, who said that Trudeau does not represent Polish values because he once commented he admired the Chinese dictatorship (Mississauga, 16 August 2019).

Numerous Punjabi media including the daily paper Canadian Punjabi Post returned attention to Trudeau’s ill-fated trip to India with a report on a book to be released about the misadventure and pointers to Gerald Butts’ claim that the Indian government tried to “screw the Liberals” to help their Conservative rivals because of a perception that the Liberals tolerate Khalistani pro-independence activism (Toronto, 2 August 2019). Channel Y South Asian 360 Punjabi TV held a panel discussion on the book; panel members considered the India trip a failure but said it was absurd to blame the India government (Toronto, 2 August 2019).

Source: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-india-spending-scheer-1.4829121, Sep 18, 2018

Foreign policy made up nine percent of the captured coverage, and half of the stories were about the Liberal government’s relationship to China.

Party positions on homeland matters and the relationship of homeland governments to a party are often areas of interest in the ethnic media. Concerns were raised about the Liberals not being tough enough on China, Huawei’s involvement in Canada’s 5G network, former ambassador McCallum calling on China to be more accommodating towards the Liberal government to avoid a Conservative election victory and government responses to the protests in Hong Kong. Conservative candidates held a roundtable with Chinese media to criticize the Liberals’ inability to get Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor released, which was covered by Chinese media including the national daily Sing Tao (Vancouver, 8 August 2019). The daily Chinese websites 51.ca in Toronto and BCbay.com in Vancouver wondered whether Trudeau has the time, ability and motivation to meet the demands of Hong Kongers in Halifax to help Hong Kong protesters (18 August 2019). Meanwhile, the daily Chinese newscast on Talent Vision Canada reported that Liberal membership forms were distributed at a pro-Beijing rally in Toronto, although a Liberal spokesman said the forms were old forms not currently valid (Toronto, 23 August 2019).

Keeping an eye on the ethnic media can be invaluable in identifying and counter-acting these very specific angles and responses from specific ethnic communities to government or candidate announcements and positions.

Ethnic media and the environmental challenge: How Green is May’s valley?

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, centre, is arrested by RCMP officers after joining protesters outside Kinder Morgan’s facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday, March 23, 2018. Photograph By DARRYL DYCK, The Canadian Press

Back in December 2018, National Post’s John Ivison wondered whether really, finally, truly, 2019 could be the year Elizabeth May’s Green Party broke through, saying it is an appeal that might find a sympathetic audience. On the other hand, he said the Greens could just as easily pass from rising hopes to has-beens.

As we approach the final run nine months later, we looked for evidence of the rise of the Green Party in the ethnic media. In trying to provide a snapshot of coverage on Elizabeth May and the Green Party, we used word counts in a compilation of more than 650 stories collected from ethnic media sources that dealt with the 2019 federal election.

The answer to the headline question is that while 27% of respondents to a recent national poll consider environmental issues to be key to their voting decisions, reflected by more than 200 mentions of the environment, climate change and global warming in our story collection, Elizabeth May was mentioned fewer than thirty times.

In total, and related to all issues, Andrew Scheer’s name appeared more than 560 times, Justin Trudeau’s more than 630, and Maxime Bernier had 208 mentions. Jagmeet Singh with 80 topped Elizabeth May’s mentions, even though the polls suggest she has double the percentage of support at 14%.

What is it about the Green Party (mentioned a bare 80 times, against 770 for the Conservatives, 560 for the Liberals, 120 for the PPC and 130 for the NDP) and its message that seems to have failed to capture the imagination of the ethnic media?

After a brief and surprised flurry of interest after the Nanaimo-Ladysmith win, May and the Greens slid off the map, to become a sidebar mention in other issues – unfortunately few of them related to Green Party policies and positions, and even fewer connecting with key immigrant community concerns.

At least 24 of the May mentions were related to the Pierre Nantel move to the Party, while others were side mentions in the Bernier TV debate dispute, cameo appearances in the Vancouver Pride Parade condemnation of Scheer’s absence, and to protest Elections Canada’s warning to environmentalist groups.

In contrast, immigration and immigrants were mentioned more than 300 times in our story collection, none of them in conjunction with May’s name. Whatever the Green echo chamber, the ethnic media and its issues do not seem to be part of the conversation, and that is bad for both sides.

In fact, after brief mentions in August on Fairchild TV BC’s daily Cantonese news (07/08/2019) of Green Party leader Elizabeth May’s plan to help workers in the gas and oil sector transition to a renewable energy economy, called Mission: Possible, which was released in May, there has been little if any coverage of the Green Party platform even on this subject.

It will be interesting to see if the October 3 environmental issues debate in 117 ridings scheduled for October 3 by GreenPAC, a non-partisan organization dedicated to electing environmentalist candidates (Sing Tao Vancouver, 10/08/2019, Chinese), will attract ethnic media attention. It may just take an invitation.

Accompagné de la chef Elizabeth May, Pierre Nantel a confirmé lundi qu’il portera les couleurs du Parti vert et se présentera dans Longueuil–Saint-Hubert. Photo: Valérian Mazataud Le Devoir

One riding that might deserve special attention from Quebec’s close to a hundred multilingual media outlets is Longueuil–Saint-Hubert, as Pierre Nantel, the former NDP MP, becomes the Green Party candidate for a riding with a growing African, Arab and Latino population. While French is the predominant language, with English only at 4%, Spanish claims 2% of speakers. It is a riding in which the Greens had a bare 3% in the 2015 election, with Liberals and NDP running neck to neck at ten times that number, the NDP winning by a bare percentage point, and the Bloc a close third. It looks like every vote will count. Of the riding’s population just over a hundred thousand, 17% claim visible minority status, with almost 30% of recent immigration coming from Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Algeria in Central Africa and Haiti.

Shortly after being booted from the NDP, Nantel tweeted in French that his priorities remain the same: Quebec and the climate. The Green Party has had a banner year in both fundraising and polling, fueling speculation about a strong performance by the party in the fall election, reports the Canadian Punjabi Post Daily (Toronto, 20/08/2019). He said he believes Green Party leader Elizabeth May is the only federal leader willing to truly tackle climate issues. “There are two choices: the status quo with the Liberals and the Conservatives or there’s the alternative. And I think factually, for no matter who is looking at the climate situation, the person who embodies that, it’s obviously Ms. May” (The Canadian Parvasi Daily – Mississauga, 19/08/2019).

We hope the message reaches multilingual media audiences.

(~870 words, Andres Machalski, President, MIREMS Ltd., with files from diversityvotes.ca)

Silence on Singh

The vast majority of ethnic media elections coverage captured for diversityvotes.ca is focused on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer, while NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is often only briefly mentioned or included as an afterthought.

The most widespread story in the ethnic media on the NDP in August was the brief mention of Jagmeet Singh participating in the federal election leaders’ debates. The main topic of these stories was, of course, the exclusion of People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier from the debates.

Reporting on recent polls, the Toronto-based Punjabi newspaper Sikh Spokesman reported that the NDP and Green Party both have 12% support. On a positive note, the article indicated that some political experts are expecting the Punjabi community will support the NDP, especially in the Brampton and Vancouver-Surrey area, because it is the first time in Canadian history that a Sikh leader is part of the race to become prime minister of Canada.

Picking up on the theme of a minority candidate running to be prime minister, another Punjabi newspaper in Toronto, Hamdard Daily, highlighted that The Toronto Star has come under some serious heat for an insensitive tweet about NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. The article points out that the Sikh community was quick to cry foul, saying that the tweet ranged from being insensitive to flat-out racist.

“Only 60 days are left until the federal elections, and during this time, any racial comment against a particular religion can change the community’s mind” – Hamdard Daily

Meanwhile, the ethnic media picked up on the fact that former NDP MP Pierre Nantel will be running for the Green Party. According to the Fairchild TV British Columbia Cantonese program, Pierre Nantel will run for the Greens in the coming federal election after he was turfed from the New Democratic Party for holding secret discussions with Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.

Along the lines of abandoning the party, Iran Star, a Farsi newspaper in Toronto, reported that MPs are fleeing the House of Commons, noting “for those who want to get stuff done, life in the House of Commons can be pretty frustrating.” Eighteen Liberals, 15 Conservatives and 14 New Democrats are not standing for re-election, according to the Iran Star, adding those numbers are not out of whack with previous elections, except for the NDP, which has lost a third of its caucus.

(From left to right) NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer are seen in this combination shot. Chris Young/Justin Tang/Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Speaking about the NDP’s chances in the election, radio host Amandeep Benipal said on a Toronto-based CIAO AM 530 Punjabi program that NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is losing his hold. He noted that the Liberals can win the October election if they take a lead in Quebec and Ontario. Many months ago, when Singh won the Burnaby South election, it was emphasized that the NDP would need to have a hold in Quebec, and weakness in Quebec will be a big loss for the NDP, according to Benipal.

Beyond the ethnic media silence and stories about abandoning the party, there were reports on the event that the federal New Democrats say was meant to be an open house for leader Jagmeet Singh’s new BC constituency office.

In an article entitled “NDP suspected of using ‘open house’ event to canvass for federal election votes”, Canadian Chinese Express, a Chinese newspaper in Vancouver, reported that a federal election law restricts the use of so-called MP resources, such as constituency offices, for election campaign purposes, but NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s constituency office in BC staged an “open house” and sent out emails describing the event as a pre-election campaign.

More engagement with ethnic media outlets could turn their silence into multilingual stories that reach all Canadians. Jagmeet Singh’s proposed policies and how they relate to the ethnic communities are largely missing so far in the lead up to the election. Where is the coverage on the NDP that could connect the party with Canada’s diverse voters?

By: Blythe Irwin, with files from diversityvotes.ca

The diversity information tool

Although Canadians are increasingly connected via media and social experience, people frequently find themselves separated by both language and political ideals.

Enter Diversity Votes, a website and media initiative that aims to educate the general public about the demographic, economic and social characteristics affecting electoral strategies, increase the accountability of regional and national media sources by making their work more accessible in various languages, hold candidates and political parties responsible to the greater population, and inspire informed discussions regarding Canada’s diverse voting patterns while bringing disparate voices into the national discourse.

Sharing the small stories

Blythe Irwin, sources director, Diversity Votes | Photo courtesy of Diversity Votes

When asked about the impetus for starting Diversity Votes, sources director Blythe Irwin stresses the need to validate ethnic media voices using both data and new access to their work.

“In order to validate ethnic media voices with the statistical data of the population they serve, we produced a citizenship education tool. Diversity Votes combines demographics with ethnic media to showcase what’s being said in these communities about upcoming elections [and political matters in general],” she says.

The goal was to produce a citizen education tool using the statistical data of Canada’s population as its backbone, while providing access to the conversations and problems media sources specific to ethnic communities address that may be forgotten or passed over in the wider media spotlight. Two clear and important examples of this have been the conflict some Jewish communities have experienced with “Shemini Atzeret” and “Simchat Torah” falling on federal election day, as well as the Italian-Canadian community’s request for Trudeau to apologize for the detention of over 700 Italian-Canadians during World War II. These community-specific topics may fall through the cracks or be brushed over by larger Canadian media.

Irwin reminds us that as an important benefit of Canadian citizenship, people have the right to free speech and to make their voices heard, and that the increased prominence gained by many communities will always lead to the exposure of frictions.

Between neighbors

Andrew Griffith, author, immigration, diversity policy and data expert. | Photo courtesy of Diversity Votes

Because Canada shares an ideologically porous border with the United States, Canadians often feel themselves drawn into the tide of American politics while still hoping to remain distinct from their southern neighbours.

“The States is our monster neighbour which gets all of the attention and has a much larger population; Canadians feel the need to differentiate themselves in perception from the U.S. to the rest of the world, who might otherwise just lump us in with the U.S,” says Irwin. She continues by pointing out how closely linked Canada is to America both economically and culturally. But there is a downside to this close connection: “It is becoming increasingly evident that Canadians are not insulated from the U.S. as the polarization in the U.S. has led to an influx of migrants (to Canada) but also to anti-multicultural and anti-immigrant rhetoric here in Canada.”

Irwin explains that though populist democracy is often an attack on multicultural democracy, immigrants are often just a pawn of a bigger crisis. Since populism frequently works as a tool to enhance larger divisions in societies, she posits that this is a time and place where making diversity inclusive rather than divisive can play a major role in protecting the wider Canadian population.

Bring us closer to them

As social media spreads various bad faith political ideals or open attempts at misinformation, Irwin wants to be clear that gullibility does not discriminate along ethnic lines. In reality, all demographics are equally susceptible to fear mongering, and education may be the most important factor in helping people make strong political decisions

“As a society we need to ensure that all Canadians can participate in our democracy, and that they have full access to the education and resources needed to make informed decisions,” she says.

Lastly, Irwin invites Canadians to educate themselves about the interplay between diversity and politics.

“Canadians can be open to new things, new points of view, leave our echo chambers and talk to each other and not just our Facebook followers and friends,” she says. “Communication can bring ‘us’ and ‘them’ closer together.”

See original article at The Source: http://thelasource.com/en/2019/08/26/the-diversity-information-tool/

Spotlight on a Quebec riding: How the Italian apology demand played in Montreal riding conflicts

Doug Todd’s review of the Italian apology issue in the Vancouver Sun (https://diversityvotes.ca/douglas-todd-idea-of-apology-splits-italian-canadians/) mentions riding candidate nominations as the context of the debate. This is an interesting example of how demography and politics interact.

We prefer to view the fight for an apology from a different angle, more as a fight for political space for the community than a campaign for redress, a vindication of the Italian identity in the context of the current election. The Italian community, like other established ones, is fighting a battle for language conservation and “Italianess” among the younger generation, and this would serve as a banner beyond the individual feelings of the ‘Old Guard.’

Reading the Italian Canadian media today, we can see that the apology issue is triggered by the struggle for more Italian Canadian representation and political profile, as well as Toronto-Montreal rivalry. This representation issue was clear above all in the Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel nomination process, which shocked the community by not delivering an Italian candidate for the first time in 35 years in a 65% Liberal riding that has a solid 23% of residents that claim Italian ancestry, has Italian as the third most spoken language at home and Italy as the most prevalent country of origin.      

*For further demographic charts on the Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel riding, please visit http://diversityvotes.ca

To top it off, a whopping 47% of the recent immigration to the riding comes from Arab speaking countries, so if you do the math, it is pretty clear that the rallying call is more about survival of the hereto dominant Italian minority which is faced with a new Middle Eastern demographic in their territory.

Clearly, these internal conflicts in one party are opportunities for the other, so we see Scheer visiting Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel to point out that it was a Conservative government under Brian Mulroney that first issued an apology.

This struggle between older and more recent immigrant groups is also represented by the Chinese outrage at the Syrian refugees becoming new citizens and is certainly one of the underlying triggers of Islamophobia.

The Italian community, like others, uses apology and redress issues to establish their political and cultural identity in Canada. It is a way of creating a space for themselves by using self-affirmation of their identity, and being a victim is a popular common cause and gets attention, above all in Canada with its concern about fairness and balance, and even more in the current polarized political discourse that demonizes diverse identities.

As with the Chinese redress, Komagata Maru and other similar issues, the community has a range of positions on whether there should be an apology, redress, restitution or recognition – some opinions favor financial compensation, others want monuments, some both.

The Italians are particularly aggressive in this sense because they have a history of political participation and leadership and a need to defend that space against other ethnic lobbies. The Italians seem to be negotiating – or playing footsie with – their political support as a community based on these vindications rather than on common themes such as jobs or the environment.

The whole point of diversityvotes.ca is to shed light on electoral themes that will help both voters and candidates understand some of the undercurrents of opinion. This is a local riding issue in Montreal, with some impact in others where there is an Italian constituency, such as Vaughan.

One thing I have learned in 30 years of studying ethnic media and opinions is that there are always at least two sides to every story, and over-simplification of the issues is not a good thing.

(880 w. Andres Machalski, President, MIREMS Ltd., with files from diversityvotes.ca)



Il Cittadino Canadese (Weekly) – Montreal, 19/06/2019 – COLUMN, Italian

Il Cittadino Canadese (Weekly) – Montreal, 19/06/2019 – COMMENTARY, Italian

Il Cittadino Canadese (Weekly) – Montreal, 19/06/2019 – COLUMN, Italian

Il Cittadino Canadese (Weekly) – Montreal, 19/06/2019 – EDITORIAL, Italian

Lo Specchio (Weekly) – Toronto, 21/06/2019 – COMMENTARY, Italian

Il Cittadino Canadese (Weekly) – Montreal, 26/06/2019 – NEWS, Italian

Corriere Canadese (Daily) – Toronto, 27/06/2019 – ARTICLE, Italian

Corriere Canadese (Daily) – Toronto, 02/07/2019 – ARTICLE, Italian

Il Cittadino Canadese (Weekly) – Montreal, 14/08/2019 – FEATURE, Italian

Douglas Todd: Idea of apology splits Italian Canadians

CP-Web. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pauses while making a formal apology to individuals harmed by federal legislation, policies, and practices that led to the oppression of and discrimination against LGBTQ2 people in Canada, in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Tuesday, Nov.28, 2017. ADRIAN WYLD / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has already offered his apologies to many different Canadian minority groups, some Italian Canadian media outlets have been aroused to express anger that their ethnic group has not yet received one from him.

The Italian-language media, which has 25 different outlets in Canada, has been simmering this summer about Trudeau, who has made it clear he will formally apologize only after the Oct. 21 election for the internment of a relatively small portion of Italian-Canadians during the Second World War.

“Almost 80 bitter years later, the federal government appears ready to apologize to Italian Canadians for the humiliation, suffering, arrest and internments of hundreds in 1940. … While some say better late than never, others wonder why he did not do it right after he came to power,” said Lo Specchio newspaper.

“The fact Justin Trudeau has ‘promised’ just before the fall election to apologize in Parliament for the internment of Italian Canadians … raises questions about the prime minister’s sincerity,” said Corriere Canadese newspaper.

“Anti-Italian prejudice must end,” declared one writer in Il Cittadino Canadese.

Trudeau’s promised apology has become a key political issue in ridings with large Italian and other ethnic groups.

And it’s sparked debate among Italian Canadians and others over whether such an apology is warranted, since the detention of 586 suspected Fascist Italian Canadians was different in many ways from the mass internment of 22,000 Japanese Canadians during the Second World War.

Andres Machalski, co-founder of an organization that monitors electoral issues among Canada’s ethnic communities, said many Italian-language newspapers are pushing for Trudeau to say he’s sorry because, like other ethnic groups, they’re “using apology and redress issues to establish their political and cultural identity in Canada.”

Andres Machalski suspects calls for an apology to those Italian Canadians interned during the Second World War has more to do with modern promotion of community interests. HANDOUT BY MACHALSKI / PNG

Italian Canadians are “particularly aggressive … because they have a history of political participation and leadership and a need to defend that space against other ethnic lobbies,” said Malchaski, whose website, diversityvotes.ca, monitors hundreds of ethnic-language media outlets in Canada.

About 1.6 million Canadians are of Italian ethnicity, including almost 100,000 in Metro Vancouver, 280,000 in Greater Montreal and 490,000 in the Toronto region. Malchaski says many are involved in nomination competitions in ridings which have a changing mix of ethnic voters.

In his four years in office Trudeau became the focus of academic studies for his frequent “apologism,” for the way he regularly, often tearfully, expresses regret for historical wrongs to certain groups, including Sikhs, Indigenous people in B.C., Jews, Inuit and LGBTQ people.

As a result many Italian Canadian media outlets are suspicious about why he’s holding off until after the election to apologize for what occurred in Canada during the Second World War, when Canadian soldiers joined the Allies battling against Nazi Germanyimperial Japan and Fascist Italy.

Part of the reason for Trudeau’s delay could have to do with the uncertainty and controversy that continues to burn among Italians and the wider public over whether to apologize to offspring of the those Italian Canadians detained as suspected collaborators with Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s Fascists.

Canada was “not wrong or malicious” to try to protect the country by detaining certain Italians in the country at a time of war, says Patrick Luciana, an Italian Canadian who is a senior fellow at the University of Toronto’s Global Cities Institute.

“To have done otherwise would have shown an extraordinary dereliction of duty to Canada and its people …. What government wouldn’t take precautions against potential enemy subversives?” Luciana recently wrote, noting such precautions were the norm among Allied countries.

“How can we as Italian Canadians ask for an apology when 5,000 Canadian men and boys are buried in cemeteries throughout Italy, who died to rid ‘our’ ancestral home of fascism and naziism?,” Luciana said.

“If we want anything, it’s to avoid having this episode in our history forgotten. But that’s in our hands, not the government’s.”

Another prominent Canadian historian, Jack Granatstein, told Postmedia he thoroughly endorsed the views of Luciana, who argued it’s insulting to ask for an apology today from the descendants of Canada’s leaders in the 1940s, who were predominantly Anglo-Saxon.

Historians often make many distinctions between the targeted Italian Canadian arrests in Eastern Canada and the way that, after the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong and Pearl Harbour, most Japanese Canadians were removed from the West Coast, had their property confiscated and were interned.

Former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, Justin’s father, opposed collective apologies in general. And at least two other Italian Canadian scholars – Franca Iocovetta and Roberto Perin, who edited the 2000 book, Enemies Within – have also expressed skepticism about the Italian redress campaign, according to Christopher Moore, a contributing editor to Canada’s History magazine.

“In the 1930s, there were pro-Fascist organizations in most Italian-Canadian communities, often sponsored by Italian consulates loyal to Mussolini’s Fascist regime. The roughly 600 Italian Canadians interned, out of some 112,000 Italians Canadians, were mostly associated with these pro-Fascist organizations,” Moore said.

On the eve of the Second World War, the Italian Canadian population was split by duelling pro- and anti-Fascist organizations, noted Moore, a prolific writer and former Vancouver resident whose father wrote a biography of Angelo Branca, a leading B.C. lawyer, judge and Italian community leader.

Moore says Branca’s standing among Italian Canadians was “eventually enhanced by his determined resistance in the 1930s to the encroachment of the pro-Fascist movements.”

Regardless of whether Canadians support or oppose an apology, Machalski, whose website translates the Italian-language media into English, said the fight of some Italian Canadians “for an apology is more of a fight for political space for the community than a campaign for redress that might kindle old animosities.”

In advance of this fall’s election, Machalski is on to something when he maintains the campaign to make sure Trudeau says he’s sorry is mostly about trying to conserve a sense of Italian identity among younger generations and to hold onto some political influence.



See original article at: https://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/douglas-todd-idea-of-federal-apology-splits-italian-canadians

Ethnic Media Election Coverage 18-24 August 2019

This week about 160 election-related articles were analyzed.

Major issues covered:

Ethics (SNC Lavalin): The ethics commissioner’s finding that PM Trudeau had violated the conflict of interest code, the PM’s refusal to apologize, the blocking of hearings by Liberals in the House Ethics Committee and CPC leader Scheer’s call for a RCMP investigation were widely covered in many language groups.

“Host Mark Strong said this does not look good right around election time. He said it is a bombshell report and leaves a substantial crater in the Liberal government’s road to re-election.” (Caribbean, G 98.7 FM Mark & Jem in the Morning)

“The SNC-Lavalin scandal will clearly be fatal for Trudeau’s political career. ‘Will it become fatal for the Liberal Party, and what should the party do to prevent this from happening?’ asks the author. He continues, ‘If Trudeau’s main concern were the victory of his party in the election, he would take responsibility for this scandal, apologize, and resign.” (Russian, Russian Express)

Climate change (Elections Canada): The initial ruling by Elections Canada that discussing the risk of climate change could be interpreted as partisan given the PPC denial of climate change, the concerns by environmental organizations and the subsequent assurance that it could be discussed by the Chief Electoral Officer were extensively covered in most languages.

“This sort of “bizarre hyper-guaranteeism” seems more like the result of a “contorted Orwellian vision” than something out of one of the greatest democracies on the planet.” (Italian, Corriere Canadese)


  • Scarborough North: Chen Yan, NDP candidate, had an extensive profile in Chinese media. The riding is currently held by Liberal Shaun Chen.
  • Cumberland-Colchester: Coverage of Stephen Garvey, leader of the far-right National Citizens Alliance, focused on the criminal charges he is facing regarding circumventing election spending limits.
  • Etobicoke North: Sarabjit Kaur, Conservative Party, launch coverage mentioned the presence of provincial PC MPPs Prabhmeet Sarkaria and Amarjot Singh Sandhu, suggesting the Ford government enjoys support among the base. The riding is currently held by Liberal cabinet minister Kirsty Duncan.
  • Longueuil-Saint-Hubert: Former NDP MP Pierre Nantel switching to run for the Green Party received considerable coverage. The margin for the NDP in 2015 was 1.2 percent.
  • Etobicoke Centre: Ted Opitz, the former Conservative MP, is running to regain his seat that he lost to Liberal Borys Wrzesnewskyj who regained his seat in 2015 (Wrzesnewskyj was the MP 2004-11). 7.3 percent of the population is of Polish ancestry.

“He [Opitz] also said that Trudeau disappointed people. Trudeau said in the past that he admires the Chinese dictatorship, and statements like this don’t have to be explained to Polish people that know too well the meaning of communism. Polish people have to stop supporting Justin Trudeau, as he doesn’t represent Polish values, Opitz says.  On the other hand, Andrew Scheer is a devoted Catholic with five children, from a hard-working family who shares the values dear to the Polish community.” (Polish, Puls)

  • Markham-Thornhill: Alex Yuan, Conservative candidate, launched his campaign with Canadian senator Victor Oh, Conservative MP Peter Kent and other federal and provincial conservatives:

“He [Yuan] shared his door knocking experience, and said that voters are most concerned that the Liberal government’s policy may mess up the existing peace and societal order. They are afraid that the legalization of marijuana will lead to loose regulation of other more damaging drugs. Voters are concerned that the Liberal government will not be able to control the border and that we will see an increase in illegal border crossers entering Canada.” (Chinese, Van People)

  • Vancouver-Granville: Taleeb Noormohamed, LPC, running against former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, received further coverage.
  • Brampton South: Sonia Sidhu, Liberal incumbent, received more coverage of her campaign launch.

Campaign: Comparable riding level fundraising of the Conservatives and Liberals continued to be covered. Conservative plans to offer a reduced rate to media on the leader’s tour was noted. One commentator noted:

“At some events, Scheer will act like a naughty little brother trying to tease his older brother. During the visit in Moncton, the way Scheer looked at Trudeau seemed suggestive. Scheer told Trudeau he has to stop lying to Canadians. Trudeau laughed in response and did not think Scheer would care so much about him. Some people on Twitter questioned Scheer’s honesty. It also appears Trudeau has always looked at Scheer in an endearing big brother kind of way.” (Chinese, 51.ca)

Cost of living: CPC leader Scheer’s announcement of their platform commitment to give new parents a non-refundable tax credit of 15 per cent on EI income was widely reported. One commentator noted:

“It is not that great of an approach in reality. These politicians always sugar coat things and make it sound like it’s for Canadians. In reality, low-income individuals already get taxed a small amount or none at all. Hence, this policy will not impact this group.” (Chinese, Van People)

Polls: Covered continued of Nanos research findings that most Canadians disapprove of provincial premier participation in the federal campaign and their expectations that it would be a negative campaign. Ipsos and Leger polls showing no drop in Liberal support following the release of the Ethnics Commissioner’s report were noted. Other coverage included a majority of Ontario voters believing the province was on the “wrong track” (Corbett Communications) as well as Forum Research and Mainstream Research polls.

Leaders’ Debate: In addition to ongoing coverage of the decision by the Leaders’ Debate Commission to exclude PPC leader Bernier, the announcement by CityTV and Macleans for an earlier debate on September 12 was covered.

Citizenship: The revocation of Jack Letts UK citizenship and consequent implications for Canada given his Canadian citizenship was covered, along with comments from the PM and CPC leader. The campaign urging Canadian expatriates in Hong Kong to vote and pressure the parties to take a stronger stand on Hong Kong’s independence was noted.

Immigration: The federal Liberal government’s replacement of Ontario government cuts to legal aid for immigrants and refugees continued to be covered, along with the associated political positioning.

“[The radio host] said that he thinks that Trudeau and Tory have joined to weaken Premier Ford and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer. Ford has become a big problem for Scheer’s future as well. Trudeau is taking aim at Ford by showing that if Canadians elect a Conservative government, it will cut funding and impact healthcare, infrastructure, and immigration and refugee services.” (Punjabi, CJMR Punjab Di Goonj)

Third parties: Third parties mentioned included Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) and anti-abortion groups RightNow and the Campaign Life Coalition. The widespread use of Facebook advertising by third parties was noted.

Leaders and Parties in the Ethnic Media – Part 3 – Conservative Party – cont. Scheer, the Conservative Party and the immigration elephant in the room

Diversityvotes.ca follows with its series of spotlights on Leaders and Parties with a continuation of how Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and his Party are faring in the multilingual media coverage in the first two weeks in August. We will continue this series with a focus on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, followed by NDP Leader Jagdeep Singh and Green Party’s Elizabeth May.

Tanya Davidson – The Post Millennial

The elephant in the ethnic media room, so to speak, is the concern over immigration quotas and policies.

The media asked Scheer about the three words – orderly, fair and compassionate – in his immigration policy. The Canadian Punjabi Post says the policy addresses neither refugee numbers nor border security, improvements to the process of sponsoring parents and grandparents, or issues concerning international students. According to Scheer, there is a great deal that is hidden in these three words, and he will bring his policy to the public in more detail very soon.1

Yao Yong An in Loving Sister points out that mainstream media asked Scheer about how many immigrants his Conservative Party platform would accept annually. Scheer has not responded yet. In recent years, the Conservative Party has vigorously advocated anti-refugee remarks and condemned legitimate asylum seekers as illegals. Conservative MPs even blame all the immigration and tourism visa issues on cross-border asylum seekers when they speak before Parliament.2

Talking about the federal election, WTOR 770 AM host Yudhvir Jaswal said that we will have to see whether Andrew Scheer does something or waits for voters to cast their vote to support him. Until now, Scheer has not revealed what he actually wants to do. Neither has he revealed his policy on immigration or on climate change.3

From fact to craze: The Chinese media seems to be very concerned about the fact that Syrian refugees will be able to vote. The headlines of the articles are quite inflammatory, and seem to have been triggered by a line in a 680 word National Post article: https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/refugees-in-2015-syrians-now-citizens-in-time-for-2019-federal-election

There is a profile of Ahmad Almahmoud, one of 25,000 Syrian refugees who were resettled in Canada between the October 2015 federal election and February 2016. The Chinese media latched on to two dozen words in the original story “More Syrian refugees have landed in the country since then, with Statistics Canada numbers showing almost 60,000 being resettled as of this past February.”

This statement of fact became transformed into alarm in a series of escalating headlines:

  • Syrian refugees who become Canadian citizens will be able to cast federal ballot for first time – Tamil
  • Refugees in 2015, Syrians now citizens in time for 2019 federal election – Filipino
  • Refugees in 2015, Syrians now citizens in time for 2019 federal election – South Asian English
  • Now Canadian citizens, some Syrian refugees able to cast federal ballot for first time – Chinese
  • 60,000 Syrian refugees waiting to become Canadian citizens – Chinese
  • A large number of Syrian refugees who came to Canada in 2015 have already field their citizenship applications, hoping to cast a vote in the fall federal election – Chinese
  • Trudeau expected to take these 2,500 votes! This figure is expected to rise – Chinese
  • Syrian refugees naturalize one after another; expected to become a new force in this year’s federal election – Chinese
  • 897 Syrian-born applicants became Canadian citizens during the first four months of 2019 – Chinese
  • Crazed: 60,000 Syrian refugees are rushing to be naturalized, just to vote in the federal election… – Chinese
  • Canada will change?! 60,000 Syrian refugees line up for naturalization and wait for the October federal election to vote! – Chinese4

Some of the stories carry comments from the audience – perhaps not representative statistically, but indicators of the tone nonetheless:

Syrian refugees queue for Canadian citizenship – Chinese – One Twitter user wrote: “Liberals only hope for a win…refugees and legalized marijuana [sic]…… SAD”. Another Twitter user wrote: “He [sic] thinks he was brought here because of compassion, but the real motive of the government was for him to vote Liberal.” One internet post in the comment section of yorkbbs: “Make Justin be a drama teacher again [sic]”. Another comment: “Do not worry, he [sic] is done after Oct. 21”.5

Change in Canada? – Chinese – One comment asked “who is the lesser evil”? Another comment wrote: “Look at Little Potato (Trudeau)! Look at so many refugees around you! Look at the crime rate now! Look at the current gas prices! Look at the current deficit!”6

60,000 Syrian refugees eager to gain Canadian citizenship and voting rights – Chinese – Wang Luo states that Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer publicly criticized Trudeau for treating refugee acceptance like child’s play. He said he has heard complaints, including from new immigrants, about applying for immigration in accordance with rules and procedures. They said since the Liberal government came to power, they have felt offended because many illegal refugees were able to skip the line-up and exploit loopholes to cross the Canadian border.7

60,000 Syrian refugees will gain Canadian citizenship, Trudeau smiles – Chinese – A lot of online users hold a 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?8

Almost a rebuttal, a thoughtful article entitled Understanding why Chinese people and new immigrants are easily fooled byCanada-U.S. Must Read” comments, “After going abroad, I realized the many Chinese people and new immigrants are easily fooled, because the information platforms they read are still WeChat, Weibo and other mainland Chinese social media.” The writer says that not caring about the English media makes it easy for them to fall into all kinds of traps. This year, as Canada’s federal election looms, the writer says that some parties have taken advantage of Chinese people’s reading habits and are being two-faced in the Chinese and English media, making contradictory commitments to different groups and attempting to fish in troubled water. The writer says, for instance on Twitter, Conservative Party leader Scheer has a tough stance and wants to confront China. However, on social media that Chinese people often use, the writer noted that Scheer’s attitude took a 180 turn and says that the Conservative Party has always wanted to maintain good relations with China!9

An incident at a rally allowed Scheer to condemn the ‘racist’ comments by a woman calling to vote for him, Fadi Al Harouni of RCI Arabic reports. However, Chinese writer Bei Hai says that netizens have raised suspicion about the woman Talya Davidson’s real identity – Davidson may be an undercover supporter for the Liberal Party. The goal is to create negative discussion against the Conservative Party; it is not only directed towards Scheer. If that is the truth, this kind of behavior is too low.10

Next week – Ethnic media takes on Trudeau, the Liberal Party, and more!

(~ 1621 words inc. footnotes, Andres Machalski, President, MIREMS Ltd, with files from diversityvotes.ca)

  1. PRINT – Canadian Punjabi Post (35000 – Daily5) – Toronto, 06/08/2019 – News, 1/6 page, p. 1, Punjabi
  1. WEB – Loving Sister (Daily3) – Toronto, 04/08/2019 – EDITORIAL, 2 page web, 1st Top, Chinese
  2. RADIO – WTOR 770 AM Radio South Asian Pulse Prime Time (Daily5) – Mississauga, 06/08/2019 – COMMENTARY, 2 mins, 03/19, Punjabi
  3. RADIO – CMR FM 101.3 Tamil Weekend (Twice-Weekly) – Toronto, 10/08/2019 – News, Tamil
WEB – Philippine Canadian Inquirer (Daily) – National, 11/08/2019 – NEWS, English
WEB – The Canadian Parvasi (Daily7) – Mississauga, 11/08/2019 – NEWS, English
PRINT – Epoch Times (Daily) – Toronto, 12/08/2019 – NEWS, Chinese
WEB – Van People (Daily) – Vancouver, 10/08/2019 – ARTICLE, Chinese
WEB – BCbay.com (Daily) – Vancouver, 11/08/2019 – COMMENTARY, Chinese
WEB – 51.ca (Daily) – Toronto, 11/08/2019 – NEWS, Chinese
WEB – Dushi.ca (Daily) – Markham, 11/08/2019 – NEWS, Chinese
WEB – yorkbbs (Irregular) – Toronto, 11/08/2019 – NEWS, Chinese WEB – londonchinese.ca (Daily7) – London (Ontario), 13/08/2019 – ARTICLE, Chinese
WEB – Dushi.ca (Daily5) – Markham, 15/08/2019 – NEWS, Chinese
       5. WEB – yorkbbs (Irregular) – Toronto, 10/08/2019 – COMMENTARY, Chinese
  1. WEB – yorkbbs (Irregular) – Toronto, 11/08/2019 – FORUM POST, Chinese
  2. WEB – Van People (Daily7) – Vancouver, 11/08/2019 – EDITORIAL, Chinese
  3. WEB – lahoo.ca (Daily7) – Vancouver, 11/08/2019 – ARTICLE, Chinese
  4. WEB – BCbay.com (Daily5) – Vancouver, 09/08/2019 – NEWS, Chinese
  5. WEB – RCI Arabic (Daily5) – Montreal, 13/08/2019 – News, Arabic
WEB – superlife.ca (Daily7) – North York, 13/08/2019 – ARTICLE, Chinese
TV – PTC North America (100000 – Daily7) – Toronto, 14/08/2019 – News, Punjabi
WEB – Van People (Daily7) – Vancouver, 13/08/2019 – ARTICLE, Chinese
WEB – westca.com (Daily7) – Surrey, 13/08/2019 – ARTICLE, Chinese

Leaders and Parties in the Ethnic Media – Part 2 – Conservative Party The Scheer-Trudeau slug fest centers on health spending and provincial premiers

Diversityvotes.ca follows with its series of spotlights on Leaders and Parties with a two section look at how Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and his Party are faring in the multilingual media coverage in the first two weeks in August. We will continue this series with a focus on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, followed by NDP Leader Jagdeep Singh and Green Party’s Elizabeth May.

Marc Grandmaison/The Canadian Press – Andrew Scheer takes questions from the media in Dieppe, N.B., on Aug. 15, 2019.

As the election focus moves from the scheduling of the event dates and debates to the campaign, our tracking shows that Andrew Scheer seems to be receiving the same level of coverage as Justin Trudeau, but this is hard to determine, since they are often mentioned together.

Beyond highlighting Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer playing musical chairs in the polls and reporting on the tail end of the Food Guide spat politicizing Canadian eating habits, the ethnic media have featured Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer in relation to provincial healthcare transfers and the ongoing skirmishes over various actions of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party.

It is important to underscore at this point that the ethnic media is not a single voice but is diverse not only in its language and culture, but also in the individual political points of view of its outlets and their journalists. It is also important to distinguish stories by mainstream writers from Canadian Press or Postmedia wire agencies, which reach new audiences through syndication, and original opinions from community writers who actually are in touch with those audiences.

In an article titled Toward the vote, electoral campaign fails to take off, Corriere Canadese’s Francesco Veronesi complains that while employment, immigration, foreign trade and the environment are among the major questions that should characterize the current federal election campaign, until now the debate has centered on trivial issues like squabbling between the Tories and Liberals over the Canadian Food Guide, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s criticism of Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s failure to take part in the Vancouver Pride Parade. In Francesco Veronesi’s opinion, the destiny of a country is not decided by the participation in or boycott of the Pride Parade. Hopefully as the election draws nearer, the political debate will take a leap forward in terms of quality.1

Of particular interest are two very different accounts of Scheer’s meeting with ethnic journalists from the Greater Toronto Area. According to the Polish source Zycie, not all journalists had a chance to ask questions, as the meeting with Scheer had a time limit. Most of the questions related to local community issues and possible guarantees that Scheer as a future prime minister could give if elected.

In the multicultural twice monthly newspaper Mosaic, Edward Akinwunmi also comments on the event, quoting Andrew Scheer reassuring the ethnic community of his party’s openness. “Conservatism is founded on the principle that all human beings are created with the same inherent value and equal rights,” he says. On a recent visit to the GTA, Scheer was able to meet and see many Canadians from various ethnic backgrounds. He stated that he and his party will not do what Justin Trudeau is doing – “playing politics of division, creating fears amongst communities with baseless accusations”.2

In general, the ethnic press coverage of Scheer and the Conservative Party to date in August seems to center around the discussion of health care policies and the theme of cuts and services, and the Liberal counterarguments. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is promising the premiers that he would increase health transfers and a social transfer by at least three per cent every year should he become prime minister, but a Chinese commenter on 51.ca complains that the federal Conservatives have not revealed their healthcare plan yet.3

This collection of stories includes a very positive spin on Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives’ promise to increase mental health and homecare funding, with the Punjabi Post saying it is very unfortunate that Trudeau’s Liberals deliberately tried to misguide members of the Canadian Punjabi Post about Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s funding increase for healthcare services. Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives will protect public services and will leave more money in Canadians’ pockets so that their families can move on.4

The Liberal counterargument is presented as equating federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer to the Conservative Premier of Ontario Doug Ford. Trudeau urged his candidates to stay out of the mudslinging and “politics of fear and division.”5

In connection with the above, another issue discussed quite extensively is whether the intervention of Jason Kenney and the association with Doug Ford will be beneficial or the kiss of death to Conservative hopes, above all in Ontario. Kenney has said he will be soliciting votes for Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer in key regions of the Greater Toronto Area later this year. An opinion poll by Nanos Research found that 56% of respondents feel anxious and uncomfortable about premiers involving themselves in federal elections. Looking at the demographics of these ridings, shown on our diversityvotes.ca web site, we think that in these ridings with a very diverse population, this anxiety will have special impact on ethnic voters.6

With the question “Will Ford’s policies really impact Andrew Scheer?”, Punjabi radio host Deepak Punj said that he recently attended an event at the Anokhi Restaurant in Brampton. During a discussion about the federal election, 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.7

At the end of the week, Andrew Scheer must have elevated thanks to the Canadian Ethics Commissioner for the gift that keeps on giving him a big stick for bashing Trudeau. As a Korean daily TV source remarks, Prime Minister Trudeau’s SNC scandal is the biggest factor in the upcoming election. The Canadian Ethics Commissioner’s assessment is that Trudeau’s actions breached the Conflict of Interest Act. In response, the Conservatives and the NDP raised voices against the prime minister, emphasizing that he must be defeated in the election. Other sources echo this opinion.

Expert analysis is that the SNC-Lavalin scandal could result in the federal Liberals losing 5% of their support, leading to an election defeat in October.8

What remains to be seen is the reaction of the ethnic media as the drama plays out. Divesrityvotes.ca will let you know what it will be soon.

(~ 1625 words inc. footnotes, Andres Machalski, President, MIREMS Ltd, with files from diversityvotes.ca)

1. PRINT – Corriere Canadese (Daily) – Toronto, 06/08/2019 – ARTICLE, Italian
2. PRINT – Zycie (Weekly) – Toronto, 09/08/2019 – COMMENTARY, Polish
          WEB – Mosaic Edition (Twice Monthly) – St. Catharines, 30/07/2019 – NEWS, English
3 . WEB – Darpan Magazine (Daily) – Vancouver, 01/08/2019 – News, English
          RADIO – Red FM 106.7 Good Morning Calgary (Daily) – Calgary, 02/08/2019 – News, Punjabi
          RADIO – CFMB AM 1280 Italian Morning (Daily) – Montreal, 02/08/2019 – NEWS, Italian
          RADIO – CHIN AM 1540 Cantonese (Daily) – Toronto, 02/08/2019 – NEWS, Cantonese
          WEB – Van People (Daily) – Vancouver, 02/08/2019 – ARTICLE, Chinese
         WEB – BCbay.com (Daily) – Vancouver, 02/08/2019 – NEWS, Chinese
          WEB – BCbay on 52calgary.com (Daily) – Calgary, 05/08/2019 – ARTICLE, Chinese
          WEB – 51.ca (Daily) – Toronto, 02/08/2019 – COMMENTARY, Chinese
          RADIO – WTOR 770 AM Radio South Asian Pulse (Daily) – Mississauga, 09/08/2019 – COMMENTARY, Punjabi
4. PRINT – Canadian Punjabi Post (Daily) – Toronto, 12/08/2019 – News, Punjabi
5. RADIO – KRPI Radio 1550 AM H. S. Gill Show (Daily) – Vancouver, 01/08/2019 – NEWS, Punjabi
         RADIO – KRPI Radio 1550 AM K. Aulakh Show (Daily) – Vancouver, 01/08/2019 – NEWS, Punjabi
         PRINT – Parvasi (Weekly) – Mississauga, 02/08/2019 – News, Punjabi
         TV – Fairchild TV British Columbia (Daily) – Vancouver, 05/08/2019 – News, Cantonese
         TV – Talent Vision Canada News (Daily) – Toronto, 03/08/2019 – NEWS, Mandarin
         WEB – Katie Simpson in Atin Ito (Daily) – Mississauga, 05/08/2019 – ANALYSIS, English
         PRINT – Pakistan Post (Weekly) – Toronto, 08/08/2019 – Analysis, Urdu
6. WEB – Sing Tao Vancouver (Daily) – Vancouver, 09/08/2019 – NEWS, Chinese
        TV – Talent Vision Canada News (Daily) – Toronto, 05/08/2019 – NEWS, Mandarin
        RADIO – CMR FM 101.3 Tamil Morning (Daily) – Toronto, 06/08/2019 – News, Tamil
        WEB – RCI Arabic (Daily5) – Montreal, 06/08/2019 – News, 1/2 page, 1st Top, Arabic
         TV – Fairchild TV British Columbia (Daily) – Vancouver, 07/08/2019 – News, Cantonese
        RADIO – Red FM 106.7 Good Morning Calgary (Daily) – Calgary, 14/08/2019 – News, Punjabi
        PRINT – Hamdard Weekly (Weekly) – Mississauga, 09/08/2019 – NEWS, Punjabi
7. RADIO – CIAO AM 530 Frontline Radio (Daily) – Toronto, 13/08/2019 – COMMENTARY, Punjabi
       WEB – Sinoquebec Chinese Newspaper (Weekly) – Montreal, 11/08/2019 – ARTICLE, Chinese
       WEB – Dushi.ca (Daily) – Markham, 08/08/2019 – ARTICLE, Chinese
        RADIO – Chin AM 1540 Russian (Weekly) – Toronto, 11/08/2019 – News, Russian
        WEB – yorkbbs (Irregular) – Toronto, 06/08/2019 – ARTICLE, Chinese
        PRINT – Diario El Popular (Weekly) – Toronto, 09/08/2019 – ARTICLE, Spanish
8. TV – All TV evening (Daily) – Toronto, 15/08/2019 – NEWS, Korean
        TV – All TV evening (Daily) – Toronto, 14/08/2019 – NEWS, Korean
        RADIO – East FM 102.7 (Daily) – Toronto, 14/08/2019 – News, Tamil
        TV – Talent Vision Canada News (Daily) – Toronto, 14/08/2019 – NEWS, Mandarin
        WEB – Ming Pao Toronto (Daily) – Toronto, 15/08/2019 – NEWS, Chinese
        WEB – Sing Tao Vancouver (Daily) – Vancouver, 15/08/2019 – NEWS, Chinese
        WEB – Sing Tao Vancouver (Daily) – Vancouver, 15/08/2019 – NEWS, Chinese
        WEB – 51.ca (Daily) – Toronto, 14/08/2019 – COMMENTARY, Chinese

Leaders and Parties in the Ethnic Media – Part 1 – PPC Bernier’s policies give some ethnic media heartburn while others approve

Diversityvotes.ca is kicking off its series of spotlights on Leaders and Parties with a quick initial look at Peoples Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier’s standing in the multilingual media coverage in the first two weeks in August. We will continue this series with a focus on Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as what we can find on NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.

Source: https://twitter.com/P4Bernier

It is perhaps symptomatic that the high point in Bernier’s ethnic media coverage was the news of his exclusion from the debate schedule. About seventy per cent of the couple of dozen stories focusing on Bernier found in daily and weekly ethnic media since the beginning of the month dealt with the exclusion.

Maxime Bernier’s exclusion from the debate was widely reported in Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Punjabi, Tamil, Polish and Filipino media as of this writing, covering debate organizer David Johnston’s decision not to invite Bernier, primarily because the People’s Party does not have elected representatives in the federal parliament. According to current opinion polls, people feel that the People’s Party is unlikely to get more than one candidate elected to Parliament. Although Bernier is currently an MP, he was elected as a Conservative Party representative. However, Johnston said that if the People’s Party can provide more candidates’ names in three to five federal constituencies, he will organize a poll to see if there is support for the party before determining whether an invitation is appropriate.

The People’s Party of Canada has been polling below 5%, as reported in a couple of outlets (1), and its ethnic media coverage has been dwarfed by the slogging match between Trudeau and Scheer.

Yet Bernier argues that some of his candidates will have a real opportunity to be elected. Recent political trends show that in various provincial elections in Canada and in other Western countries, populist parties have emerged and become important players, for example, the Brexit Party. Hmmm. (2)

We expect renewed activity by the PPC on all fronts to prove that at least some of the high number of candidates they have fielded, many unknown, have a chance at delivering a populist message – which might be undistinguishable from the increasingly populist rhetoric permeating the whole campaign, including, as we will see in future articles in this series, the new Liberal direction.

It is hence useful to see what the different Canadian ethnic media outlets are saying to their multilingual communities regarding the PPC. While the Party touts the fact that some of its candidates have diverse backgrounds, a statistical certainty in our diverse society, the official positions do not sound particularly appetizing to immigrants, their families or supporters of larger immigration quotas to fuel the economy.

The fact is, while some immigrants will practice “pull up the ladder after themselves” in the immigration climb to success, few want to appear publicly espousing positions that demonize immigrants and their contribution to Canada.  This has led to a negative reaction to Bernier’s debatable statement that only a quarter of immigrants have entered the work force, as well as to the rest of his platform.

A lead editorial in Loving Sister, a Chinese women’s magazine, Anti-immigration sentiment is rising in Canada as well, voters should not treat the matter lightly by Yao Yong An joins the dots, linking Trump’s anti-immigration and racial discrimination sentiments with Maxine Bernier’s speech in Mississauga, saying it is anti-immigration and has traces of white supremacy. The editorial further includes Alberta Premier Kenney as sharing anti-immigration sentiments and uses references to the Fraser Institute’s anti-immigration report and Bill C-24. It links Kenney’s policies excluding people of colour from China and India and opening the back door to Canada to a lot of White people with Bernier and other Conservative candidates’ proposals. (3) This did not sound good to immigrant ears.

“PPC immigration policies are not good for Canada or immigrants,” said Punjabi Zee TV, echoing Liberal Minister Navdeep Bains’ response to People’s Party Leader Bernier’s immigration proposals. Bernier had announced his immigration policies in Mississauga, including significant cuts to the number of immigrants he would admit. Bains is a Mississauga MP. Bains highlighted how much immigrants contribute to society, including his own father, who employed about 20 people in his kitchen cabinet-making business within a few years of coming to Canada. (4)

‘It’s not a wall. It’s a fence:’ Bernier vows to cut immigration, block irregular border crossings – reported the Filipino Star’s Megan Campbell. The statement that his People’s Party would be “fencing off the areas” along the border used by illegal migrants got mixed reactions at an event. Some of the people in the audience hoped to hear Bernier dramatically reduce the annual number. “150,000” said a 21-year-old electrician, who asked to remain anonymous. “Less than 50,000,” said a 25-year-old IT specialist, who also requested anonymity. However, Lynda Shapiro, a retired physiotherapist who lives in Ajax, Ontario, said Canada needs to accept refugees. (5)

On a Brampton Red FM Punjabi Radio talk show, Bernier’s claim that only 26% of immigrants in Canada are economic immigrants and the rest are subsidized immigrants took a beating at the hands of guest speaker and political activist Raj, wo said Bernier’s claim is not true. He added that Bernier’s claims are politically motivated and are pandering to the small number of people who fear immigration. (6)

In Vancouver, the Indo-Canadian Times published the news under the headline Maxime Bernier promises to build border fences if elected PM. (7)

In contrast, none other than a very White European Russian weekly says that Bernier’s speech on immigration reform was accompanied by expressions of support from the audience, a large part of whom were “representatives of non-European immigrant communities.” (8)

In an interview with a Montreal Baptist pastor, reported by the RCI’s Arabic journalist Fadi Al Harouni, Bernier says he believes that sex education classes in Quebec schools affect individual rights. Bernier encourages Quebec parents to fight the imposition of the sex education program offered in the province’s schools – definitely an audience concern! (9)

From where we sit, it would look like the main chance the People’s Party of Canada has at winning any position in some local ridings in the October electoral race will be playing not only on a presumed White antipathy toward immigrants, but also at inter-group animosities and at positions that trend conservative rather than progressive on the opinion charts. Stay tuned.

(~ 1473 words inc. footnotes, Andres Machalski, President, MIREMS Ltd, with files from diversityvotes.ca)

(1) TV – Zee TV Canada – BC Round Up (Daily) – Vancouver, 02/08/2019 – NEWS, Punjabi;
RADIO – WTOR 770 AM Radio South Asian Pulse Prime Time (Daily) – Mississauga, 09/08/2019 – COMMENTARY, Punjabi
(2) RADIO – Voces Latinas CHHA AM 1610 (Daily) – Toronto, 12/08/2019 – NEWS, Spanish
RADIO – CFMB AM 1280 Italian Morning (Daily) – Montreal, 13/08/2019 – NEWS, Italian

RADIO – Red FM 106.7 Good Morning Calgary (Daily) – Calgary, 13/08/2019 – News, Punjabi

RADIO – CMR FM 101.3 Tamil Morning (Daily) – Toronto, 13/08/2019 – News, Tamil

RADIO – WTOR 770 AM Radio South Asian Pulse Prime Time (Daily) – Mississauga, 13/08/2019 – COMMENTARY, Punjabi

RADIO – Red FM 93.1 Punjabi Morning (Daily) – Vancouver, 13/08/2019 – News, 02/09, Punjabi

WEB – Ming Pao Toronto (227000 – Daily) – Toronto, 13/08/2019 – NEWS, Chinese

WEB – Sing Tao Vancouver (50000 – Daily) – Vancouver, 13/08/2019 – NEWS, Chinese

WEB – Van People (Daily) – Vancouver, 13/08/2019 – ARTICLE, Chinese

WEB – Goniec (3000 – Daily) – Toronto, 13/08/2019 – NEWS, Polish

WEB – Atin Ito (9000 – Daily) – Mississauga, 13/08/2019 – NEWS, English

WEB – Philippine Canadian Inquirer (Daily) – National, 12/08/2019 – NEWS, English

RADIO – CFMB AM 1280 Italian Morning (Daily) – Montreal, 14/08/2019 – NEWS, Italian

TV – Talent Vision Canada News (Daily) – Toronto, 13/08/2019 – NEWS, Mandarin

WEB – Canadian Chinese Express (Vancouver) (Weekly) – Vancouver, 14/08/2019 – NEWS, Chinese

WEB – lahoo.ca (Daily) – Vancouver, 12/08/2019 – NEWS, Chinese

TV – Fairchild TV British Columbia (Daily) – Vancouver, 13/08/2019 – News, Cantonese

(3) WEB – Loving Sister (Daily) – Toronto, 04/08/2019 – EDITORIAL, Chinese
(4) TV – Zee TV Canada – BC Round Up (Daily) – Vancouver, 31/07/2019 – NEWS, Punjabi
(5) PRINT – North American Filipino Star (5000 – Monthly) – Montreal, 31/07/2019 – NEWS, English
(6) RADIO – Red FM 88.9 Good Morning Toronto (Daily5) – Brampton, 29/07/2019 – Talk show, Punjabi
(7) PRINT – Indo-Canadian Times (Weekly) – Vancouver, 01/08/2019 – NEWS, Punjabi
(8) WEB – Russian Express (Weekly) – Toronto, 02/08/2019 – COMMENTARY, Russian
(9) WEB – RCI Arabic (Daily5) – Montreal, 06/08/2019 – News, Arabic