As national polls continue to track the growing popularity of Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada, which now rates well ahead of the Green Party, the search for a cause is underway. Federal Conservatives have tried to pin it to Justin Trudeau and his willingness to speak out against anti-vaccine protesters, while Liberals are more than happy to point out Bernier’s long-standing ties to the Conservative Party of Canada. But as a disastrously tone-deaf column from The Globe and Mail’s John Ibbitson showed, we shouldn’t overlook the role the mainstream media is playing in the PPC’s troubling rise.
In a piece arguing the PPC “deserves” representation in Ottawa, Ibbitson traded in an argument that sounds like it was drawn straight from the 2016 coverage of the American election. “There are plenty of reasons why so many people have become resentful and untrusting: the loss of manufacturing jobs due to offshoring; the increasing number of non-European immigrants; the stress of the pandemic; the self-empowerment that comes with rejecting authority,” he wrote.
Yes, you read that right — “non-European immigrants” are apparently to blame for the paranoid tirades and xenophobic nationalism that tends to characterize large gatherings of PPC supporters. It was so odious that The Globe and Mailwas forced to add an “editor’s note” explaining that this sort of racism is, indeed, a bad thing.