The third week of by-election coverage in Canada’s ethnic media has slowed slightly, thanks to a quietening of the Karen Wang controversy, but it kicked up enough dust that ethnic media outlets are still speaking out about ethnic politics. Most coverage comes from Punjabi sources, followed by Chinese (including Cantonese and Mandarin). And, a Quebec Liberal seat is now up for grabs, making for four by-elections to watch.
MIREMS shares this special collection of multilingual and multicultural media coverage:
Chinese: "Beware of mainstream Canadian media outlets deliberately alienating ethnic groups from each other"
A commentary from Vancouver's BCbay.com says:
Jagmeet Singh was elected Ontario MPP in 2011. His base is in Brampton, an area where people of Indian descent live. It's a known fact that Indians vote for Indians. Singh resigned as MPP in 2017, when he was elected as the leader of the federal NDP. Taking part in the Vancouver by-election is very crucial for him. But the Conservative party and the Liberal Party don't seem to care about this by-election, as they think Singh is a weak leader and that the NDP is not in a position to win the federal election with him as the leader. Therefore, they're happy to see him get elected and to consolidate his position as leader of the NDP. But if he loses this by-election, and the NDP leader changes to someone strong, things would be more difficult for both the Liberal Party and the Conservative party. The writer mentioned that Karen Wang's WeChat post was aimed at Chinese people; it's understandable that she's calling to boost voter turnout. The writer says that referring to that as racism is ruining the image of Chinese people. Referring to Singh as someone of Indian descent is telling the truth. Singh is proud to be of Indian origin. Have you ever seen a Chinese person in politics wear traditional Chinese garments? The writer thinks that Wang meant to ask for Chinese people to vote for Chinese people, but was not discriminating against Indians. Misunderstanding in media reports is entirely due to cultural differences. For instance, we have a friend who is fat, so we call him fat among friends, but we're not discriminating against fat people. But in North America, this is offensive to fat people and is considered discrimination. Canadian mainstream media outlets accused Wang of racial discrimination. This is alienating Indian and Chinese ethnic groups from one another. If the NDP wins the 2019 federal election and Singh becomes prime minister, Canadian politics will have made great progress. Chinese people would surely be happy to see that. The writer hopes that more Chinese people will join the NDP and support the NDP in the 2019 election. The NDP is the only political party that treats ethnic minorities equally. (30/01/2019)
Punjabi: "Cheap minority politics and drama of Canadian values!"
An editorial in Vancouver's Indo-Canadian Times by Balraj Deol:
This editorial is about the cheap minority politics which is widely spreading across Canada and can be seen among almost all federal political parties. This minority politics is not only limited to civic politics but has substantially grown in to provincial and federal politics. Wherever the minority politics fits to benefit the political parties it is played with full strength but whenever there is a danger of loss then there is huge cry about Canadian values. PM Trudeau intentionally announced three by-elections, including Burnaby South in which NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is contesting. Experts are of the view that PM Trudeau intentionally delayed the announcement of the by elections so that there will be no time left for the NDP to change its leadership before the general elections if Jagmeet Singh losses the election in Burnaby South. But if he wins it will still be beneficial for the Liberals since under the leadership of Jagmeet Singh many sitting NDP MPs have already indicated they will not seek re-election and also the NDP is trailing far behind in raising funds. Another dramatic turn was seen when the Liberal candidate from Burnaby, Karen Wang announced her withdrawal from the race over a social media post. It can be a part of a bigger game design of Liberals to ensure victory for Jagmeet Singh. Has Karen Wang done something wrong? Even PM Trudeau had boasted in US media that there are more Sikh ministers in his cabinet than in Indian PM Modi's cabinet. The Liberals played the minority politics card fearlessly and gave preference to more than a dozen Sikh candidates. Even when Jagmeet Singh won the NDP leadership race he played the Sikh card. The cheap minority politics and the cry for Canadian values have become a drama these days.( 24/01/2019).
Punjabi: "Another Parliamentary seat vacated before the upcoming by-election, MP Nicola Di Lorio resigns"
Punjabi radio WTOR 770 AM South Asian Voice in Toronto reports:
There were three Parliamentary seats empty in Canada which were to be filled after by-elections to take place on February 25. Another seat is being vacated by an MP from the Liberal Party in Quebec. MP Nicola Di Lorio submitted his resignation yesterday from his post. The NDP has questioned and criticized his move. They said that he is resigning from his post after being absent from Parliament for a long time. He should have done it much earlier, they added. The NDP is asking for an investigation into the matter. (30/01/2019).
Punjabi: "Jagmeet Singh promises 500,000 affordable homes over 10 years"
On Punjabi Zee TV Canada - BC Daily Roundup a feature reports:
At a press conference in Burnaby South, where he hopes to win the Feb. 25 by-election, Singh challenged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to implement three measures to address the country’s “housing crisis.” The Liberal government should eliminate general sales tax for developers building affordable homes, subsidize low-income renters who spend more than a third of their income on rent and double the first-time homebuyers’ tax credit from $750 to $1,500, Singh said. (28/01/2019).
South Asian English: "Jagmeet Singh stakes NDP leadership on risky Burnaby South by-election bid"
The Canadian Parvasi in Mississauga reports:
Jagmeet Singh has lacked a voice in Parliament since he became NDP leader in the fall of 2017. The former Ontario legislator finally has a shot in the Burnaby South by-election, but it is a risky bet with his political future at stake. The New Democrats narrowly won the riding by about 550 votes in 2015. Experts say while recent Liberal turmoil has helped Singh, there is still a month before the vote on February 25. He had a rocky first year as leader, they add, and losing a by-election would likely end his tenure. The leader has faced criticism for weak fundraising, low support in the polls and his handling of harassment allegations against a caucus member. Singh said the past “number of years” have been difficult for the NDP but he has seen an upswing. “We’ve seen some positive movement in our donations. But more importantly, I’m focused in on the fact that people are feeling let down, and their sense of resentment at the options they have,” he said, referring to the Liberals and Conservatives. Lawyer Jay Shin is running for the Conservatives in the riding. He has been critical of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s immigration and refugee policies. The People’s Party of Canada candidate is Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson, known for opposing education about sexual orientation and gender identity in elementary schools. (28/01/2019).
Punjabi: "Liberals sort of support Jagmeet Singh by pulling their own candidate out of Burnaby South by-election"
Toronto's Punjabi WTOR 770 AM South Asian Voice reports:
A total of three by-elections are happening in Canada in February. Of these, the one in Burnaby South is the most talked about. Political experts believe that NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh's political career is at stake and that he has taken a risk by competing in the by-election. The Liberals are sort of supporting Singh in the by-election because their own candidate was removed after she made some racial comments on social media. Nonetheless, if Singh wins, he will be the first MP to enter Parliament this year. Singh would represent the NDP in Parliament. However, if he loses, there will be a great deal of pressure on him. Singh is facing two issues. First is the low publicity of the NDP, which has resulted in fewer funds for the party. Second, he was criticized for dismissing MPs accused of sexual misconduct from his party caucus. Hence, this by-election is very important for Canadian politics. (28/01/2019).
Chinese: "Thompson sets up campaign office"
Ming Pao Vancouver reports:
Laura-Lynn Thompson, Maxime Bernier's People's Party of Canada candidate for Burnaby South, opened her campaign office on Saturday. So far, five candidates have declared their intention to run in the riding: independent Valentine Wu, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Conservative Jay Shin, Liberal Richard Lee and Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson of the People’s Party. (27/01/2019).
These stories have been translated and summarized by MIREMS consultants, who read, watch and listen to multicultural and multilingual media every day in order to make language barriers transparent and make diverse voices accessible in Canada’s political and social discourse.