This week’s special collection of by-election reporting from Canada’s ethnic media is our biggest yet, as many outlets chimed in on the discussion of election results, Singh's victory, the role of diversity politics in these by-elections and the popularity of Bernier's People's Party within some minority communities.
These stories are collected and cross-culturally translated by MIREMS multilingual consultants from coast-to-coast.
Plus: Explore these stories by the numbers on Multicultural Meanderings.
Chinese: "NDP insists that their Orange Wave is not dead in Quebec"
Vancouver's Canadian Chinese Express reports:
On Monday, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh won the by-election in British Columbia's Burnaby South riding. Liberal candidate Rachel Bendayan won the by-election in Quebec's Outremont riding, while Conservative Scot Davidson won in York-Simcoe in Ontario. Jagmeet Singh's victory finally gave him the opportunity to challenge PM Trudeau face-to-face in the House of Commons. Upon the Liberal Party's victory in Quebec, Liberal Infrastructure Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne declared that the NDP's Orange Wave is dead in Quebec. Jagmeet Singh did not agree with Champagne's remark while MP Alexandre Boulericem of Quebec said that Champagne's remark reflects the typical arrogance of the federal Liberal Party. Conservative MP Gerard Deltell of Quebec said that the NDP has not died in Quebec and stressed that conclusion should not be drawn from one by-election. (28/02/2019)
Chinese: "Federal by-elections; why do Chinese people once again support the extreme right?"
Online news source in Vancouver, BCbay.com reports:
The three by-elections that were held on February 25 were considered, to some extent, a trial run for the federal election. The by-election results are likely to predict the outcome of the federal election, therefore it received lots of attention in the political arena. What is puzzling to experts is that the extreme-right People's Party, which has been scorned by mainstream politics for being against multiculturalism, actually received 10.6% of the votes in the Burnaby South by-election. UBC political scientist David Moscrop mentioned that it's hard to explain why the People's Party received nearly 11% of the votes in Burnaby South. But according to information being circulated in Chinese circles, People's Party candidate Thompson received support from a large number of Chinese voters. Why are so many Chinese people willing to support a Canadian right-wing candidate? Someone wrote that Thompson is known for being against SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) sex ed, and is the favoured candidate of many Chinese people. That writer said if 10,000 people support Thompson, then she would win, or lose by a smaller margin. If Thompson really gets elected, then any party would consider Chinese people important in this year's federal elections. (28/02/2019)
Filipino: "Singh survives byelection test. Now he needs to shift his focus from his leadership to NDP policies"
Filipino source from Mississauga, Atin Ito reports:
Jagmeet Singh stepped before the microphones late Monday night, savouring a rare moment of victory. After 16 months without a seat in the Commons — and dire warnings from within his own party that he’d either win the seat or find himself looking for another job — the NDP leader defied his critics and the pundits by capturing Burnaby South. Singh led throughout the night over his main rivals, Conservative candidate Jay Shin and the Liberal’s Richard Lee. Some will still suggest that Lee, a long-time provincial politician, had too much ground to make up after the Liberals original choice was forced to resign mid-campaign after making remarks in Mandarin about Singh’s ethnicity that were considered offensive. The PPC did surprisingly well in Burnaby South. The party’s candidate took about 11 per cent of the vote there, most of it from the Conservatives. In the other two races, Bernier’s candidates barely registered. What does that mean? Possibly very little. But Conservatives will have to consider the potential impact of vote-splitting with the People Party this fall in swing ridings, where even a small amount of vote bleeding just might mean the difference between them and the Liberals. (27/02/2019)
Chinese: "By-elections results are released! NDP's performance was unexpected"
Online Chinese source Yorkbbs reports:
After a fierce round of competition, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh won in Burnaby South. Conservative candidate Scot Davidson won in York-Simcoe, while Liberal candidate Rachel Bendayan won in Outremont. Singh wrote on Twitter that he's determined and ready to fight for the help people need - from the housing crisis to health care not covering everyone the way it should, Canadians deserve better. This isn't the end of a campaign - it's the beginning of one. The writer asked if the readers were shocked by the results of this by-election. (26/02/2019).
Cantonese: "Maxime Bernier's People's Party posts mixed-bag results after its first byelection test"
Fairchild TV British Columbia reports:
The fledgling People's Party of Canada got off to an uneven start in its first electoral test Monday in a trio of federal byelections. The party, founded last fall by former Conservative leadership contender Maxime Bernier, captured some 11% of the vote in the Vancouver-area riding of Burnaby South but failed to make much of a splash among voters in the rural Ontario riding of York—Simcoe or the urban Montreal-area riding of Outremont where the party had less than 2% of the final tally. However, some analysts said People's Party of Canada has a fair amount of supporters. (27/02/2019)
Hindi: "Federal byelection results indicate tough road ahead for all three parties"
Commentary from Khurshid Akram on Radio CINA 1650 AM News:
The results of federal byelections held in three ridings in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec have indicated that upcoming federal election will not be easy for all three major parties. All three parties- Liberal, Conservative and NDP- have gained one seat in the three byelections. Political experts say that the Liberals can still trust Quebec voters in October federal elections. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who has got a historical victory in Burnaby South, is planning to rejuvenate his party. Singh is the first non- white leader who will lead a major federal party in the House of Commons. Conservatives win in York—Simcoe riding in Ontario, but their vote share increased by just 3.6%. This increase is not enough to ensure a victory for conservatives in the next federal elections. (27/02/2019)
Portuguese: "Who is Jagmeet Singh?"
Peter Ferreira writes for Milenio Stadium:
Jagmeet Singh was born on January 2, 1979, in Scarborough and is the son of Indian immigrant parents. He is a lawyer specializing in criminal defence and has been leader of the New Democratic Party since 2017. Ideologically, Singh judges himself a progressive and social democrat. He argues that the federal minimum wage should rise to $15 an hour and supports the decriminalization of all drugs for personal use and the elimination of several tax deductions available to those who earn more. Singh's election to Canadian Parliament was hampered by political manoeuvres aimed at denying him a platform in the capital. Although this year's election date has now been set, there are still questions as to whether the government is able to decide how long communities are left without representation. Singh is facing a critical test in the Burnaby South election on February 25. Singh's campaign is drawing attention to some of the racial dynamics at stake and questions about what representation really means. Needless to say, this is his greatest opportunity to enter Parliament and face Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer. (22/02/2019)
Punjabi: "Davidson holds on to Ontario riding of York-Simcoe for Conservatives"
Punjabi radio show Red FM 93.1 Punjabi Morning reports:
In Monday’s by-elections, former NDP leader Tom Mulcair’s old riding of Outremont was snagged by Liberal Rachel Bendayan, while with 54% of the vote, Scot Davidson held on to the riding of York-Simcoe for the Conservatives. Jagmeet Singh won the by-election in Burnaby South, retaining the seat previously held by former NDP MP Kennedy Stewart. (26/02/2019).
Punjabi: "Federal by-election results: An analysis
WTOR 770 AM Radio South Asian Pulse Prime Time in Mississauga reports:
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has new life with his victory in the Burnaby South byelection. The victory of the Liberal candidate in Quebec, indicates a strong position for Justin Trudeau in Quebec. The number of seats that the federal Liberal Party won in Quebec in the 2015 election may increase (in the October election). Andrew Scheer's Conservative Party has won its traditional seat in Ontario-York—Simcoe. However, the interesting fact is this that People's Party of Canada has a vote share of more than 11% in Burnaby South and the Green Party got 13% in Outremont, Quebec. It shows that the environment will prove to be a big issue in Quebec, while Maxime Bernier’s anti-immigrant policy can harm the Conservatives’ vote bank in British Columbia, especially in the Lower Mainland that has a large immigrant population. (26/02/2019)
Chinese: "Why did Laura Lynn Tyler Thompson receive more than 2,000 votes?"
Chang Xi reports for 51.ca:
People's Party candidate Laura Lynn Tyler Thompson didn't get elected as MP in the Burnaby South by-election, but the number of votes she received was shocking enough. 2,420 votes were not enough to send her to Parliament, but it was enough for people to see the People's Party, and the forces it represents in the Vancouver area. The People's Party not only attracted voters who are dissatisfied with the Liberal government, but it also attracted voters who are dissatisfied with Conservative party leader Scheer and the direction in which the Conservatives are heading. Having a Trump-like politician offers them a new option. Usually, these Conservatives are more likely to be white males, but in Vancouver, a large number of Thompson's supporters are Chinese. This appears to be unexpected, but is actually reasonable - church influence, different values of their native country and Canada, and their dissatisfaction with Trudeau all became the main reasons for the Chinese community to turn to the right. If one were to say that the Scarborough hijab gate ignited the anger of Chinese people in the GTA, then Chinese people in Vancouver being dissatisfied with the government and refugee policy was a direct result of Marrisa Shen's murder in Vancouver. (26/02/2019)
Punjabi: "'Judgment Day': An opinion on the federal election scene through the Burnaby South by-election"
Toronto's CIAO AM 530 Frontline Radio reports:
Monday was the "Judgment Day for the NDP and its leader Jagmeet Singh", said the program host. If you look at the recent public opinion survey from Angus Reid, the Conservative Party is in the lead, and the Liberals and the NDP come after the Conservatives. The host said that the Liberal Party will need to work hard if they want to win again at the federal level. If the NDP moves up Canada-wide, then it will definitely benefit the Conservative Party of Canada. Currently, the candidate of Maxime Bernier's newly formed People's Party of Canada is running ahead in the Burnaby South by-election. However, the result of the federal by-election was going to tell whether the graph of the NDP and Jagmeet Singh will go up or down. (25/02/2019)
Chinese: "Toronto Star: a large number of People's Party supporters are Chinese"
People’s Party supporters showed up at Burnaby South by-election debates and were louder than the supporters of any other party. In the third debate, they broken into anger and shouted "Canadians first" when the topic of immigration arose, while others shouted "racist" and "fascist" in response. This is one face of an increasingly visible populist movement in Canada. Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson is running in Burnaby South. Her results could be an early indicator of the PPC’s chances in the upcoming general election. Unlike most populist movements, Tyler Thompson's supporters aren't white males, but a large number of Chinese people. She said that Canadians who appreciate family values are disappointed with current politics. This is why so many Conservative party supports have turned to support the People's Party. In addition, she said a silent majority of Canadians are sick and tired of living in fear. One commenter says the extreme left in Canada inspired the extreme right. (25/02/2019).
Itaian: "Critical by-elections for NDP leader"
Montreal's Italian CFMB AM 1280 Italian Morning reports:
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh could join the House of Commons after today’s by-elections, but his party could also lose the riding of Outremont. The by-election in South Burnaby near Vancouver will be decisive for him and his party. After being criticized for his absence from the House of Commons, Mr. Singh is trying to get elected for the first time. If he loses, he may have a hard time keeping his job as party leader. The caucus could in fact unilaterally replace him with an acting leader ahead of the October federal general election. In Montreal, the New Democrats are not likely to hold on to Outremont, a former Liberal stronghold first won by Thomas Mulcair in a by-election in 2007, which set the stage for the "orange wave" that swept over Quebec in 2011. With the NDP's falling behind in voter support, the Liberals expect to take Outremont. The Conservatives have little prospects of winning. For the Bloc Québécois, Monday’s vote is a first test for their new leader, Yves-François Blanchet. In Ontario, the Conservatives should keep their stronghold; however, all eyes will be on the result of Maxime Bernier's new party. Voter turnout is expected to be very low in all three constituencies, which could result in some surprises. (25/02/2019)
Filipino: "Impact of political scandal, religious symbols debate felt in Outremont byelection"
The Philippine Canadian Inquirer reports:
Julia Sanchez, the NDP’s candidate in Monday’s Outremont byelection, says people in the riding talk to her about climate change, wealth inequality – and sometimes what the leader of her party wears on his head. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is Sikh and wears a turban, making him conspicuously religious in front of a heavily secular province. His French is also weaker than the two previous party leaders, complicating the job of appealing to Quebec voters. “Some people are concerned about (the turban),” Sanchez said during a recent interview following a candidate debate in the riding. Kathryn Furlong, 43, who attended the debate, said she voted for Sanchez, an economist with experience in humanitarian work and climate activism, at an advance poll. She has voted Liberal in the past “but never by conviction. Sometimes to keep the out the Conservatives.” (25/02/2019)