Diversity Votes — February By-elections: Matching Census Data with Ethnic Media Coverage (24-30 January 2019)
The absence of controversy in Burnaby South following previous weeks resulted in fewer articles in the ethnic media, with again the focus being on Burnaby South, with only 18 articles compared to 41 and 97 in previous weeks .
Media coverage was overwhelmingly in Punjabi (50 percent) and 27.8 percent in Chinese, Cantonese and Mandarin language media. Punjabi media covered the belated resignation of Liberal MP Di Iorio (Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel). Chinese media covered the opening of the campaign office of PPC candidate Laura-Lynn Thompson and the nomination of James Seale in Outremont.
NDP leader and candidate Singh’s focus on affordable housing received widespread coverage in Punjabi media and was the focus of the one article in Korean media, with no coverage in Chinese media. The one article in Urdu media referenced immigration as an issue given Singh’s pledge to end the Safe Third Country Agreement with the USA and the number of asylum seekers.
In terms of commentary (including analysis and opinion pieces), Punjabi and South Asian English media predominated with two items apiece and Chinese one.
Three pieces were neutral in tone while an editorial in Punjabi media was sharply critical of “cheap minority politics and the cry for Canadian values.” In Chinese media, one commentary accused the mainstream media of “deliberately alienating ethnic groups from each other” in terms of how they characterized criticism of former Liberal candidate Karen Wang’s divisive remarks on WeChat.
In general election coverage, the government’s announcement of measures to reduce foreign interference in the federal election received widespread coverage in virtually all languages.
Other stories include the PPC having raised $300,000 was covered in Gujarati media and former Liberal candidate Wendy Yuan having “jumped ship” to seek the nomination for the Conservatives in Steveston Richmond East (she had previously run for the Liberals in Vancouver Kingsway in 2008 and 2001 and had sought the nomination in Steveston Richmond East in 2015).