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Ethnic Media Election Highlights
MIREMS continues to closely watch the federal elections through the eyes and ears of Canada’s ethnic media. Please see below for a selection of translated multilingual stories providing a diverse perspective on the election campaign as we round the final bend before September 20.
Liberals and their election platform - Punjabi
Description: Jagdish Grewal - The show began with a criticism of the manner in which the Liberals have gate-kept Justin Trudeau from an interview with the host of the show. He spoke about how he has always been considerate of MPs' privacy, and never personally attacked them, preferring to stick to policy questions. The host was disappointed by the fact that, apart from Liberal MP Ruby Sahota, whom the host held in great regard for her bravery and commitment to Sikh and Muslim communities, no other Liberals had reached out to his show to discuss their new platform. MP Sahota had forwarded the show a list of talking points about the Liberals' platform, which was discussed. It included actions against the flipping of real estate, new vaccination protocols and universal public health care, sustainability and climate change directives, the taxation of big banks, and the protection of communities from gun violence, as well as fighting racism and providing drinking water to Indigenous communities across Canada. With Trudeau announcing this platform, Erin O'Toole was also heavily criticized by the Liberals for not mentioning racism in the Conservatives' platform. Currently, in Quebec, the Liberals are in the lead, but a co-host said that he was certain that the Conservatives would be able to form a minority government. The polls show both parties neck-and-neck, and the Liberals' platform release had not really benefited their standing. The question remained whether the Conservatives would be able to run successfully against the Bloc Quebecois in Quebec, since the NDP would not align with them. The co-host also pointed out how Trudeau's performance at press conferences was dismal, and that he seems uncertain of his own political standing.
RADIO - WTOR 770 AM Asian Awaz - Toronto, 02/09/2021 - COMMENTARY, 10 mins, Punjabi
Early elections ordered by Trudeau could blow up right in his face! - Romanian
Description: Petru Clej - When he asked the Governor General to dissolve the House of Commons [sic] and [called] elections on September 20, Prime Minister Trudeau hoped to capitalize on the relatively good results in combatting the coronavirus, in contrast to the neighbour to the south. However, in the course of the campaign, Trudeau was often met with hostility. After starting the election campaign with a lead in the polls compared to the Conservative party led by Erin O’Toole, Trudeau has started to lose ground and now is practically equal with his principal centre-right rivals. In the previous federal election in 2019, Trudeau was unable to obtain the absolute majority with which he came into power for the first time in 2015, and this year, alongside anti-vaccine protests, he had to also face the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, where Canadians, like other westerners, were not filled with glory. In fact, Trudeau, at 49 years of age, has rather disappointed in the six years he has been in power. The son of the famous former prime minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Justin Trudeau, as time went on, [left] more and more people disappointed by this politician who seems more interested in gratuitous gestures, such as when he dressed in Hindu [sic] clothing during a visit to India, and he is accused by his adversaries of lacking in consistency and of not fulfilling his election promises. This year, he has to face a formidable opponent for prime minister, the new Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, a lawyer who is not really charismatic but who is very precise in his criticism of Trudeau. On the left, Trudeau is competing with the charismatic leader of the NDP, Jagmeet Singh, the son of Sikh immigrants from India, who especially addresses the young and the disadvantaged voters. The next three weeks will be as decisive for Trudeau as much as for O’Toole. Either way, Trudeau is the one who wanted this election to obtain an absolute majority and the political bomb that he threw on August 15 could blow up right in his face on September 20.
PRINT - Faptu Divers - Toronto, 01/09/2021 - ARTICLE, p. 13, Romanian
Erin O’Toole is unfriendly towards China - Chinese
Description: No Byline - Since Erin O’Toole was chosen as Conservative Party leader, many Chinese community members have been paying attention to him, because he loves to talk about China. Even though Conservatives were never friendly towards the Chinese, O’Toole appears to be more radical and firm compared to Andrew Scheer. O’Toole blamed the tense Canada and China relations on the Trudeau government, calling them “weak” and said the federal government “had made serious mistakes on security and trade issues”. He also called for the establishment of a committee to investigate Canada - China relations. Trudeau emphasized that there is no need to further escalate the conflict between Canada and China. After many Chinese people learned about O’Toole’s attitude, they all expressed support for the Liberals. A netizen had lots of opinions about the Liberals, but now they can only vote for the Liberals, because the Conservatives are worse. Another netizen said that Canada is a multicultural country. If the right-wing Conservatives are elected, then Canada’s multiculturalism will disappear, and WeChat will also be banned. WeChat is a critical mobile app to many Chinese. They use this tool to communicate with their families and friends. The news about banning WeChat has caused many Chinese Canadians to object. https://www.vansky.com/news/char/191828.html
WEB - Vansky - Vancouver, 30/08/2021 - ARTICLE, 1 page web, Chinese
The invisible campaign in Brampton - Punjabi
Description: While in the previous election, party workers would knock on doors up to three times in the run up to the elections. The host said he had not heard at all from either the Conservatives or the NDP. Are the parties taking it easy this time, or has something changed for Brampton? The guest on the show said that these elections belong to COVID-19. Usually, there are volunteers putting up signs, and going door to door, but the pandemic has prevented this. Secondly, 1.3 million people have already voted in advance, while 6-7 million people are voting via ballots, so this has made the physical manifestations of the election seem absent. No major leaders appeared in Brampton -- is it because they already know who is going to win in the region? The guest said that Brampton has always been a battleground, remembering how Stephen Harper would campaign in the region. This time, only Trudeau paid Brampton a short visit, and no other leader even did so, neither Liberals, nor Conservatives, nor the NDP. It seems that the latter parties have left the region up to the Liberals. Brampton has a massive immigrant, South Asian, and Punjabi population, and all the candidates in the region are Punjabi, irrespective of whichever party they represent. Perhaps for these regions, the parties have generally avoided Brampton, as well as Mississauga. It is evident that the Liberals will win the region, which is why they do not visit the region as well.
RADIO - CJMR Punjab Di Goonj - Oakville, 13/09/2021 - COMMENTARY, 10 mins, Punjabi
English-language federal election debate - Spanish
Description: Celia Urbalejo, Fabian Merlo - The English-language federal leaders' debate was held on Thursday night, and the main topics were climate change and Indigenous affairs. The debate was the last chance for the leaders to influence voters ahead of the September 20 elections. The fall of Afghanistan and detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in China provoked discussions among the leaders. There was also criticism against Justin Trudeau for calling an election as Afghanistan fell into the hands of the Taliban. Radio host Fabian Merlo thinks there are election topics that are important, but they don't incite passion in people. There was a heated exchange regarding climate change, but this isn't a topic that draws out passion like the economy or immigration. Fabian Merlo doesn't know if climate change would be such a hot topic in other places like it is here. Canada forms part of one of the main groups fighting against climate change, and many people have accused Trudeau of not doing enough and that many promises weren't met. Another topic that shouldn't be left aside is the increase of COVID-19 in Alberta, which is due to errors and inaction by the provincial government. The UCP's plan to lift all restrictions and preventative measures for the pandemic seems to have been based on optimism and political convenience, without scientific evidence, according to infectious disease and pandemic modelling experts.
RADIO - CHIN 91.9 FM Spanish - Toronto, 10/09/2021 - TALK SHOW, 3 mins, Spanish
Alternatives to Trudeau: The Liberals are losing the advantage - Russian
Description: no byline - The article says that, for the first time in the election campaign, the Conservatives overtook the Liberals in popularity. A recently published regular poll shows that 34.4 percent of those surveyed are going to vote for the Tories and 33.6 percent for the Liberals. This is a small but very significant difference in the dynamics of the election. Although the outcome of the election is far from certain, the numbers may indicate the kind of growing disenchantment among voters with Justin Trudeau's party and himself which may be decisive on September 20. The main reasons for discontent are obvious: the radical policies of the Trudeau team, fatigue from the war on the coronavirus, housing difficulties, the rapid rise in the cost of living and the untimely elections. However, voters are moving away from the Liberals not so much towards the Conservatives as towards the New Democrats, whose approval rating rose three percent to 18.9 percent. The author says that NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is clearly aiming to become the "new Trudeau" and attract voters who share the Liberals' radical attitudes, but who have turned their back on Trudeau. As for the other parties, the Green party was supported by just over four per cent of the surveyed, and the People's Party of Canada by just over three per cent. The Bloc Québécois, even in Québec, has a rating below six per cent. The polls on the leaders' popularity provide interesting data. The most popular leader is Jagmeet Singh. He has the approval of 45 percent of respondents and the disapproval of 39 percent. The attitude of Canadians to Conservative leader Erin O'Toole is quite predictable. His positive rating is low, only 28 percent, and his negative is 48 percent. The article says that this is the result of many years of anti-conservative campaigning in society and the mass media, and the fact that the Conservative leader took office relatively recently. However, with a very moderate and "progressive" campaign, O'Toole has a chance of becoming a real alternative to Justin Trudeau. Trudeau is supported by 41 percent of respondents, but has disapproval of a record 53 percent of respondents. The article says that although polling data and ratings from different companies differ and change quite rapidly, the dynamics so far are not in favour of the Liberals. In all likelihood, they will continue to increase the appeal of their promises and will probably resort to intimidating "progressive" voters with the prospect of a Conservative government. The big question remains who will be the alternative to the Liberals, the New Democrats, led by Singh, or the Conservatives, led by O'Toole.
WEB - Russian Express - Toronto, 03/09/2021 - COMMENTARY, 1 page web, Russian
Federal election 2021 - Will Trudeau come to power again? - Tamil
Description: Sivathasan - Canadian federal elections are due in two weeks. When Justin Trudeau faced the 2019 federal elections he expected a majority win. He could not secure a majority win since he had many allegations against him, his government and Liberal politicians/cabinet ministers/MPs. Trudeau's Principal Secretary Gerald Butts ran the PM's office like the Rajapaksa's of Sri Lanka. His approach was "my way or high way" according to many political observers. However, Butts was instrumental in bringing the Liberals back to power. He was Trudeau's "Prashant Kishor". Even though Butts is officially out of the government it appears that Butts is operating from the background. As such, undoubtedly Trudeau will form the government. Trudeau's luck is three pronged this time. First the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented unwanted political meetings and people are stuck in their homes. It is unlikely that many will opt for postal voting. Those who will opt for postal voting will be younger voters who are Trudeau fans. Secondly, Conservative leader Erin O'Toole lacks charisma. But O'Toole is honest and not an "ultra-right" like his predecessor Andrew Scheer. This could lead the Conservatives to withdraw their support for O'Toole. Thirdly, Trudeau's Liberal and left inclined policies have earned a respectable position for Canada in the domestic and international arena. Trudeau is a leader keenly observed by other international politicians. Even though Trudeau has made mistakes, in the absence of a viable political alternative, voters will likely choose Trudeau again.
WEB - Marumoli - National, 06/09/2021 - ARTICLE, 1 page web, Tamil
NDP might lead in seat count in Quebec - Gujarati
Description: NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is very focused on his campaign in Quebec. He is not bothered what other parties are doing there. He does not even react to the comments of other parties. The NDP hopes that it will get back the seats lost in the previous federal election. The NDP had won 59 seats during the Orange wave of 2011 but lost most of them in the last federal elections. Right now, the Bloc Quebecois, NDP and Liberals are at the same level. But whichever party attempts to divide Quebecers on the basis of race and religion will have to pay the price on election day, and the NDP might be the one who gains.
PRINT - Gujarat Abroad - Toronto, 03/09/2021 - COMMENTARY, p. 7, Gujarati
Money and time squandered: a useless debate - Italian
Description: Joe Volpe - Corriere publisher Joe Volpe says Canadian election campaigns and debates should be about matters of interest to Canadians in general. Nonetheless, the Canadian multilingual group, which comprises over 22% of the country’s population, has been excluded. Not surprisingly, no one consulted in the Corriere’s focus group watched the debate. Volpe admits to having difficulty maintaining interest in a “robotic exercise” lacking in vision or ability to manage the unexpected. It was a superficial debate best characterized by the phrase “Believe me, I’m better than they are.” No proof required. The only bomb of the evening exploded when the question of “systemic discrimination” inherent in two legislative initiatives approved by the Quebec government was raised. It angered Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet and Quebec Premier François Legault. Blanchet claims Quebec is a secular society because it discovered that religion has proven ineffective in protecting the rights of women and minorities. Whether one believes such a statement or not, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who openly shows his religious garb, would be “unwelcome” in the Quebec legislature or any public institution except as a casual visitor.
PRINT - Corriere Canadese (29500 - Daily5) - Toronto, 13/09/2021 - ARTICLE, 1/2 page, p. 2, Italian
The wind of the election is blowing. - Bengali
Description: No byline - Canada's national election was announced during the pandemic, almost two years before the scheduled election date. Hence, the wind of the election has started blowing. The situation of the ruling Liberal Party, which was at its peak of popularity only a few months ago, is in turmoil. The popularity of the party is decreasing every day. Doubts have also arisen as to whether the absolute majority can somehow win now. The recent survey found that most Canadians (58%) do not like the idea of holding elections during this epidemic and do not feel safe. The Ipsos poll survey also found that about 25% of voters did not feel safe going to the polls during the epidemic. Among voters, 16% said they would vote by post instead of going to the polls. And 21% of voters said they were not yet sure whether they would go to the polls in person or vote by post. And 2% of voters said they would not vote at this time. With a majority, the Liberal Party has a 12% chance of winning. And the chances of winning as a minority are 42%. On the other hand, the Conservative Party has a 5% chance of winning with a majority and a 40% chance of winning as a minority.
PRINT - Probashi Kantho - Toronto, 08/09/2021 - ARTICLE, p. 6, Bengali
Elections in Canada: It is difficult to survive Prime Minister Trudeau’s chair - Hindi
Description: Shivangi C - In the second election debate, Justin Trudeau appeared surrounded by questions from opposition leaders. He was seen faltering on the question of why he imposed mid-term elections on the country when it was battling the COVID pandemic. Trudeau decided to hold elections two years before the end of the Parliament’s term. The election will be held on 20 September. Trudeau was asked repeatedly whether he would now promise that there would not be another election within four years if he won again. Trudeau’s response to this was weak. According to analysts, there is not much difference between the agenda of the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party. There have been differences between them on the implementation methods of the welfare schemes. But broadly, the agenda of both the parties has been the same. Erin O’Toole has tried to present a more centrist face of the Conservative Party. According to observers, the personality of the leaders has therefore become the most decisive factor. With respect to immigration policy, the Liberal Party has promised that it will abolish citizenship fees if it returns to power. Also, the applications filed for immigration will be processed more expeditiously. The Liberal Party has promised to make it easier for foreign workers to obtain permanent resident status and to allow more foreign students to come to Canada. The Conservative Party has said that its immigration plan will include allowing immigrants who want to get their applications processed quickly to pay an additional fee for faster processing. The Conservative Party has also promised to tighten the surveillance system for migrants.
WEB - CanAm News - Vancouver, 10/09/2021 - ARTICLE, 1 page web, Hindi
East Vancouver candidates refuse to attend Chinese radio debate - Chinese
Description: Han Jiafeng - NDP candidate and immigration issues commentator Jenny Kwan criticizes the Liberal Party for ignoring the Chinese community. A Canadian Chinese radio station was originally scheduled to hold a forum on September 9 for the federal candidates, but candidates of the Liberal Party, Conservative Party and Green Party all refused to attend. Hence, the event was cancelled. Kwan expressed disappointment and criticized the candidates for doing this. Kwan said that if candidates are unwilling to come out and take questions from the media, will they meet with people and listen to public opinion after being elected? The Voices of Overseas Chinese invited candidates to their forum last week, but only the NDP and Conservative candidates attended. There are six federal constituencies in Vancouver, but none of the Liberal candidates are willing to attend an election forum hosted by Chinese media. Recently, it was reported that someone gave out free lunch to help East Vancouver Liberal candidate Josh Vander Vies gather support. Regarding Vander Vies reluctance to participate in Chinese media debates, Kwan questioned how much he actually values the opinions of the Chinese community. She also thinks that inviting people to eat to support the Liberals is a very problematic approach. https://info.vanpeople.com/1252115.html
WEB - Van People - Vancouver, 11/09/2021 - ARTICLE, 1 page web, Chinese
Federal leaders' habit of ignoring Western Canada continues - Punjabi
Description: Amanjot Singh Pannu - Every time there is a federal election, the leaders routinely neglect issues from the western, prairie part of the country, and this election season has been no different. Since the election has been announced, neither of the three main leaders, Trudeau, Singh, and O'Toole, has made an appearance in the region. Why is this so? Perhaps because the provinces in the region do not count for as many seats as the ones in the eastern parts of the country do. Besides, it seems that the NDP and Liberal leaders have accepted that whatever they do, at least 30 or so of the seats will go to the Conservatives. Political experts also believe that were federal leaders to pay attention to the prairies, perhaps some swing seats might go to new parties, but most residents would vote in predictable ways, and so the leaders, too, act in a predictable manner. The host compared the importance given by these leaders to Ontario and Quebec to the way Indian leaders think of the state of Uttar Pradesh, which elects the largest number of members to the Indian parliament.
RADIO - Red FM 106.7 Good Morning Calgary - Calgary, 13/09/2021 - COMMENTARY, 5 mins, Punjabi
Almost 18 months after the start of the pandemic, Tam went silent - Portuguese
Description: Idalina da Silva - Sol Portugues contributor Idalina da Silva is a fan of the daily news about COVID-19 and especially enjoys listening to Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam with her daily report on the pandemic situation. Da Silva finds Tam explicit in her statements. Suddenly, however, Tam stopped showing up to talk to Canadians. After nearly 18 months of the pandemic, Tam is remarkably absent from the national scene. Da Silva asks why. The situation prompted da Silva to ask another question: Did Prime Minister Justin Trudeau make a bad decision in calling federal elections during this fourth wave of the pandemic and ban the public health authority from providing daily updates on the pandemic situation? Personally, da Silva does not agree with Trudeau's decision to call elections when we are still grappling with the crisis caused by the pandemic, especially the Delta variant. However, she believes that everyone will do their best to ensure that public safety is maintained.
PRINT - Sol Portugues - Toronto, 10/09/2021 - ARTICLE, p. 10, Portuguese
Host defended Liberals for black face scandal - Urdu
Description: Dr. Abdul Qayyum Rana, Founder of the Centrist Party of Canada (CPC) said that Canadians have seen both the Conservative and Liberal parties. Now they should give a chance to a new party to bring change. He said that he was not interested in politics, but as a neurologist, and specialist in Parkinson's disease, when he heard the issues of people, he studied the parties and their plans. He said that the Conservatives have so many corruption scandals. In 2015, when the Liberals came to power, Canadians thought that their leader was young and energetic, and would work differently. But, with the new leader, the Aga Khan scandal came up. SNC-Lavalin and the black face scandals also came up. Host Arifa Muzaffar defended the black face scandal, and shared her experience in performing stage plays. She said that we can talk about WE Charity, SNC-Lavalin, and other scandals. But the black face one was unfair.
RADIO - Saaz-O-Awaz - Toronto, 10/09/2021 - INTERVIEW, Urdu
Pablo Rodríguez: We want the people to decide - Spanish
Description: Isabel Inclán - Correo Canadiense speaks to Liberal candidate Pablo Rodríguez, who is running in the riding of Honoré-Mercier, Quebec. Rodríguez, who is originally from Argentina, calls on members of the Latino and Hispanic community to be more active in Canada’s political life. In his view, it is important, no matter what party they choose, for Latinos to be represented at all levels of Canadian society. He says that while Canada’s doors are open to Latin Americans, migration is not always an easy process, as there are provincial objectives and numbers. For example, Quebec chooses a large portion of its migrants. Nonetheless, it is difficult to compare the situation in Latin America to what is now happening in Afghanistan. For that reason, says Rodríguez, we have decided to open the doors to those 20,000 refugees who are in a life and death situation.
PRINT - Correo Canadiense - Toronto, 09/09/2021 - INTERVIEW, pp. 6 and 7, Spanish
Confusion around political platforms ahead of elections - Punjabi
Description: Harjinder Thind - Two weeks ahead of the elections, the frontrunner has changed, due to the dipping fortunes of the Liberals. Both the Conservatives and Liberals have taken ideas from each other's platforms, causing much debate. Protests have been following all of Justin Trudeau's rallies. In London, Ontario, Trudeau was pelted with small bits of gravel. While people have the right to protest, should they be allowed to hurt political leaders like this? Eggs were not thrown at him, but pieces of rock certainly were. Some are also claiming that this might be planned mischief by the People's Party of Canada (PPC), because many of the protestors seemed to be wearing PPC clothes. The matter of restricting ownership of assault rifles has led to much conflict. It is often considered a typically Liberal talking point to promulgate gun control laws, but Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole has also said that he supports this kind of control. Overlapping promises have been made by each of the parties -- some of which contradict one another, rendering their fulfilment impossible.
RADIO - Red FM 93.1 Punjabi Morning - Vancouver, 07/09/2021 - COMMENTARY, Punjabi
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