MIREMS consultants followed Quebec’s election closely. We’ve shared stories on immigration, separatism, the political system, Arabic media, and final wrap up reporting before the vote from multicultural and multilingual communities and their newspapers, radio and TV stations and online news sites.
MIREMS analyzed 20 stories featuring post-election results coverage. Immigration was certainly the hot-topic, with 14 of 20 stories discussing immigration under the new government. Religious symbols and connections with the federal Conservatives also got coverage in these outlets.
Most coverage discussing immigration was critical of CAQ’s proposed policies, saying they have “induced fear of immigrants” (Noticias Montreal) and describing the plans as “incoherent discourse on the topic of immigration.” (Pagini Romanesti).
Montreal’s Spanish Noticias Daily said immigration would be the focus of attention in the coming months. They report on the CAQ’s main argument for reducing immigration levels is that “according to the new premier, immigrant integration is ‘a failure’ so it’s necessary to reduce the numbers to a ‘manageable’ level.”
Vancouver’s Chinese Van People spoke with an analyst who thinks Legault’s immigration reform plan will be hard to implement; A bi-weekly Arabic source from Montreal El-Ressala reported on Conservative MP Alain Rayes comments saying the opposite. He notes that this could be the push needed for immigration reform on the federal level: “I consider immigration is at stake now, not just in Quebec, there is an issue of integration and the questions that many Quebecois and other Canadians are asking about is religion,” says Rayes.
Chinese source Sinoquebec Chinese Newspaper, however, was supportive, calling the election results “Everyone’s victory, Trudeau’s defeat.” This article and others pointed out the connection between the Federal Conservatives and the CAQ, noting that Andrew Scheer reached out to congratulate Legault, even before he’d delivered his victory speech. Another story in the newspaper credits strategic voting and not economic decision making for CAQ’s sweeping victory.
Chinese, Spanish and Urdu sources covered the upcoming protest in Montreal against the CAQ’s immigration policy. Sinoquebec Chinese Newspaper says the protest, scheduled for this weekend, will have “thousands of people will protest against racism, and critics of CAQ’s stance on immigration and religion.” Adding that the organizers say “immigrants have become scapegoats.”
Both stories from Punjabi outlets focused on the CAQ’s promises surrounding religious symbols. The headline in a PTC North America article reads “New Quebec premier prepared to override Charter rights.” On Radio South Asian Pulse in Mississauga, the program host called the CAQ win “big news” adding that it’s been said people will have to choose “between jobs and wearing a religious symbol.”
This on-the-ground reporting from diverse communities offers valuable insight into reactions to the vote and the newly elected government. MIREMS works to make this information accessible by making language barriers transparent.