RADIO - Red FM 93.1 Punjabi Morning - Vancouver, 20/05/2020 - COMMENTARY, Punjabi
Summary Translation: Harjinder Thind - This pandemic caused immense sorrow - people got sick and died. However, some good things also happened like in relation to the environment and spending time with family. This has been a great time to boost the contribution and image of women in society. Women are included only in small numbers in the decisions made in board rooms. Boardrooms are usually predominated by middle-aged balding men. Now you will see that, since Prime Minister Trudeau made the first move towards gender balance, the number of women in boardrooms is increasing. During this COVID-19 crisis, women have shined. Of the 14 top healthcare officers, seven are women and they have done their job wonderfully. While they have shown excellent leadership, they also did not shy away from showing their emotions. Two names are worth mentioning here. One of them is Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam and the other is BC's Dr. Bonnie Henry. When at the height of difficulty Ontario's care homes were overwhelmed with death, Theresa Tam, despite criticism, stood her ground with a steely voice, keeping her emotions in control - even a man may not have been able to do so. On the other hand when Dr. Bonnie Henry appealed to people to maintain a distance of six feet with tears in her eyes, her request was adhered to in a way that maybe could not have been achieved even with a martial law in place. Dr. Bonnie Henry's tears were not a symbol of her weakness but a symbol of her passion with which she maintained firmness. Now, in the post-corona world the value of female leadership may increase. The expression of emotions by leaders should not be deemed their weakness. People will demand more such female leaders and male leaders who do not hide their true emotions from people. We congratulate these female leaders.
PRINT - Le Franco - Edmonton, 14/05/2020 - ARTICLE, French
Image Source: Le Franco website
Summary Translation: Anam Kiani - The Réseau santé albertain and Alberta Health Services are improving access to health services in French and are showing solidarity with all the francophone organizations. Director of the Réseau santé albertain Paul Denis thanked all health care providers. He particularly appreciated the remarkable work of Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and of Alberta Health Services in keeping Francophones informed. He emphasized that "Alberta Health Services have made a considerable effort to provide services and information in French during the pandemic. AHS has translated many of its COVID-19 resources in the most in-demand languages, and French was one of the first languages in which the material was made available. They published seven documents and a video on social distancing in French, according to Media Relations Consultant Sabrina Atwal. New advice becoming available is sent to translation services right away. AHS also offers medical interpretation services 24/7 in 300 languages.
TV - OMNI News: Punjabi Edition - Toronto, 11/05/2020 - FEATURE, Punjabi
Summary Translation: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is redeploying staff from other areas to inspect meat processing plants. These workers are not properly trained to inspect meat processing sites, but they have been threatened with dismissal if they refuse to redeploy. Agriculture Union President Fabian Murphy said that as more and more meat inspectors contract COVID-19, they may run out of inspectors to send into these meat plants. They have been able to obtain some face coverings, but those masks are not personal protective equipment that would protect the wearer from this biological hazard. At the Cargill plant in High River, Alberta, 18 inspectors have contracted COVID-19. Another Cargill plant in Quebec has been closed after at least 64 workers tested positive. The Agriculture Union reports that the CFIA only gives the redeployed inspectors two-day training in meat sector inspection. Murphy said inspectors are expected to take the training and to "answer the call of duty." University of Ottawa Associate Professor Sarah Berger Richardson said the food industry has been quite irresponsible in saying that keeping the plants closed would lead to a food shortage. It would at most be a meat shortage, and even that might not impact consumers. Dalhousie University Director of the Agri-Foods Analytics Lab Sylvain Charlebois said he was wondering where the leadership on this was. We have seen plants close while others have not, with COVID cases. Companies seem to be deciding for themselves. CFIA has stated that staff have a right to refuse dangerous work and so far, nobody has refused to work.
NCM reviewed COVID-19-related coverage in ethnic media in collaboration with MIREMS, a media monitoring service.
Overshadowed by the steady stream of mainstream media coverage, a content analysis of ethnic media outlets shows how they have kept their audiences informed during the pandemic.
Compra Y Venta is one of several Latin American newspapers available in the Greater Toronto Area. Image Credit: Shan Qiao/NCM Stock Photo
For the past two months, the story of COVID-19’s spread across Canada has been the primary focus of mainstream news organizations. While this story has garnered much attention from media critics, little attention has been paid to how Canadian ethnic media outlets have covered the coronavirus outbreak. This analysis has been produced with the recognition of this fact in mind.
The review of hundreds of media clips from February 28 to May 1, 2020, shows that ethnic media has been effective in keeping its audiences informed during the COVID-19 outbreak.
When it comes to conveying government messages, particularly those of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the tone of the coverage has been neutral and balanced. Furthermore, media across the ethnic spectrum have likewise reported many of the key government announcements to fight COVID-19, such as orders to self-isolate, coupled with the threats of criminal penalties, in a neutral manner.
Did the federal government downplay early warnings?
Did Canada’s federal government take too long before declaring a crisis and did it downplay suggestions that urged it to act sooner? A number of reports published and aired in ethnic media have addressed this matter reflecting on what they considered as a long time for Canada to respond to the crisis and how it handled the urge to close the borders.
There seems to be a growing consensus, in particular among the Chinese community media, that Canada reacted slowly in its response to COVID-19. In particular the Chinese media in Canada have insisted that the pandemic was downplayed. Other reports point out to some form of disregard for the tips and warnings offered by health authorities.
Others, including Italian and Polish ethnic media, have reflected on the COVID-19 experience in Europe and have drawn comparisons between Canada and European countries reactions to COVID-19. Much like the Chinese ethnic media, these examples were more assertive in urging Canada’s governments to take more radical steps.
Reporting on messages from other government agencies: controversies
Generally speaking, the coverage across ethnic media was more contentious when reporting on the messages from other government agencies. Central figures in Canada’s fight against COVID-19, such as Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s top doctor, have shouldered most of the burden and pressure given their prominent public roles during the pandemic. The public communications from the federal Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu, and to an extent the Minister of Public Safety, Bill Blair (both sitting on the government’s special COVID-19 committee) have also received considerable media scrutiny.
Comments made by Hajdu, in particular, when she suggested that Canadians “stockpile food and medicines in their homes” appears to have been controversial in ethnic media. Many outlets reported that Hajdu’s message lead to panic-induced buying sprees. “Chinese people in Metro Vancouver snap up grain,” wrote Chinese media Sing Tao Daily in its web edition following Hajdu’s advice to store food and medicine at home. It cited people saying they had no confidence in the market supply and the government’s ability to manage and control.
A wide range of ethnic newspapers available for pick-up at B Trust supermarket in Toronto. Image Credit: Shan Qiao/NCM Stock Photo.
In a similar fashion, the Russian web publication Knopka wrote that: “As panic over coronavirus heightens, Canadians and Americans stock up on goods at Costco” chronicled how consumers flocked stores as panic over the spread of the coronavirus intensified. The article further reported that the same thing was happening in California, claiming that over 500 people visited one Costco store in the first half-hour of its operation. However, it cautioned readers that according to Health Canada such a panic was unjustified, and there was no need to stock up on goods for weeks ahead. Hajdu later clarified that her advice was intended to be practical because people should always be ready for emergency situations.
Minister Hajdu was also subject to criticism on another comment made before the House of Commons on March 12, 2020, when she said that between “30 and 70 per cent of Canadians could become infected with coronavirus.”
In the wake of these comments, some ethnic media outlets reflected a deep concern with such predictions, some considered them “unexplained and doubtful” with little scientific basis. Others, by contrast, attempted to reassure their readers and calm the situation. “Panic will only help the pandemic to spread” wrote the Chinese Canadian Times. Another Chinese publication remarked that the federal Health Minister should not be making panic-stirring comments.
The strongest praise and criticism observed in this analysis of ethnic media content was focused on Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer. Tam was scrutinized about contentious issues such as whether it is better that the public wear the masks, or not, as highlighted in the Italian Corriere Canadese with the headline: “Does it really help to use the masks? Yes, no, maybe.”
These criticisms were brought forward after Tam earlier had claimed that masks were useless in protecting people shopping or walking in the streets. In this analysis, her role is seen as very important but controversial. Other areas that have stirred debate have been her hesitation to suggest closing borders, and her reliance on advice provided by the World Health Organization. At worst, some ethnic media outlets have insisted that she resign or be fired.
COVID-19 as a political ballgame
Besides being a human tragedy on an unseen scale, COVID-19 has become akin to a political ballgame between the government and opposition. Whereas in some countries the political bickering was left aside during crisis, this has not been the case in Canada. Whether Canada relied too much, too little or just about right on World Health Organization advice, this will be more a matter of further debate and emerging scientific evidence. The good news is that Canada’s coronavirus outbreak has slowed down and ethnic media most of the time have successfully accomplished their role of public information through these unprecedented times.
This analysis has been created by New Canadian Media as a service to readers who wish to follow news and commentary in languages other than English and French, in partnership with MIREMS. Mirems monitors 600 outlets and 30 language groups daily, by far the most comprehensive read of multicultural media available in Canada.
Link to original story: https://newcanadianmedia.ca/analysis-how-ethnic-media-is-covering-the-pandemic/
WEB - Urdu Times - Toronto, 09/05/2020 - NEWS, Urdu
Image Source: Urdu Times website
Summary Translation: No byline - Canada Post's main plant in Calgary has six confirmed cases of COVID-19. That news was confirmed by Dr. Deena Hinshaw. "I understand that there are six cases at that location," she said, before adding that the process was being followed to determine the identities of the cases, the timeframe of transmission and anyone else who's had close contact with that person, who would then be required to be home and undergo self-isolation for 14 days. Canada Post issued a statement Friday evening, where they said the cases occurred at separate times over a three-week period, starting April 20. "Some of the employees have not been in the building since early April," it said. "In the most recent case, the employee hadn't been in the building since May 5."
RADIO - Red FM 106.7 The Evening Show - Calgary, 27/04/2020 - PHONE IN, Punjabi
Translated Summary: Amanjot Singh Pannu - A blame game has begun in various places because of the coronavirus. This is happening at the High River Cargill meat plant as well. It is said that 70% to 80% of the 2,000 workers there are connected to the Filipino community and many belong to the South Asian community. Now there is a blame game occurring. The Filipino community has come forward to say they are being blamed for the spread of the virus. The host asked listeners about who is actually responsible for the spread: the workers, the union, the management, or the government? One caller said that the management appears to be at fault. He said that the occupational health and safety organization that checks all these plants was doing so via videoconference to check whether all the regulations were being followed. He added that checking has to be sudden and in-person and that it is very difficult to maintain social distancing at a meat processing plant. He said that now poor Filipinos are being blamed. They are being stopped from going to grocery stores in High River, and a bank refused them as well. Another caller said that the fault lay with the Alberta government, Premier Jason Kenney, and healthcare. He said that in British Columbia, there is an NDP government and everything is under control. Another caller was of the opinion that the communities working at the plant are at fault because people coming back from India tend to lie on forms. He said that the management did not bring the virus but that it came from within the communities working there. The host said that discrimination against anyone is wrong. He also said that since the workers at the plant are temporary foreign workers, they are afraid to speak up because it may cost them their job and consequently their permanent residence. The host said that the fault lies with the management and a system in which the inspection of whether regulations are being followed or not was done on camera.
RADIO - Fairchild Radio FM 94.7 Cantonese Noon News - Calgary, 28/04/2020, Cantonese
Translated Summary: Phyllis Ho - Alberta Health Services is sending help to Millrise Seniors Village in Calgary to support the facility during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement released on Monday. Due to challenges in staffing levels at the facility over the past few days, AHS is directly involved in supporting residents and staff of Millrise Seniors Village to manage the COVID-19 outbreak on site. AHS said it took immediate action to improve staffing, outbreak control, and infection prevention and control measures. The health authority said that over the weekend, it sent about 20 staff to the facility to help deliver care. Ashley Homme, the general manager of Millrise Seniors Village, said the facility is more than open and transparent. A COVID-19 outbreak was initially declared at the site on April 15, according to AHS. AHS said that its action at Millrise came just days after it and the United Nurses of Alberta signed an agreement to ensure that Albertans in care homes would be supported during staffing shortages.
WEB - E Awaz - Mississauga, 21/03/2020 - NEWS, Urdu
Translated Summary: No byline - Alberta has completed just over 20,000 COVID-19 tests — more than any other province in Canada. That's been possible due to existing infrastructure, the early availability of testing kits, collaboration with universities and a testing process that runs around the clock, according to Alberta's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw.