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Identity politics in 2019: The Karen Wang Affair

Wed, Jan 30, 2019

Has identity politics reared it’s head in the lead up to the 2019 federal election, or had it been there all along, but this time, someone said what is usually kept behind closed doors?

On our last episode we spoke to three pollsters about what they see on the horizon heading into the 2019 vote.  For Burnaby South’s Karen Wang, it’s over before it started. Wang is a prominent young businesswoman in Burnaby, running a number of daycare centres.  She emigrated to Canada from China in 1999.  She is well known in the community of Burnaby and was selected by the Liberals to run in the Burnaby South by election on February 25th.  What heightened the profile of the by-election is that federal NDP leader, Jagmeet Singh was running there as well to gain a seat in Parliament.   He has been on the outside looking in when it came to Question Period. Needless to say a lot of eyes would be on this campaign to gauge the strength of the NDP and Liberal brands ahead of the October federal election.  

For those unfamiliar with Burnaby, about half the population is made up of immigrants, most from Asia.  It was Wang’s WeChat post that appealed to the Chinese Canadian community in Burnaby that got her thrown overboard from the good ship Liberal. In her post, she points out she is of Chinese descent and Singh is of Indian descent. By pointing out their heritage, Wang has been called a racist, forced out of the election and will not be given a second chance. Former MLA, Richard Lee will now carry the Liberal  banner for the 25th.  

Coming up on the Unpublished Cafe, we will chat with Caroline Andrew, Director, Centre on Governance at university of Ottawa and expert on Canadian politics.  

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January 30, 2019
Karen Wang, ex-Liberal candidate for Burnaby South, says she may run as an Independent
January 17, 2019
National Post
Liberal candidate Karen Wang steps aside after pointing to Jagmeet Singh’s ‘Indian origin’ on WeChat
January 16, 2019
Global News
Karen Wang withdraws as Liberal candidate in Burnaby South after making racial remarks about Jagmeet Singh
January 16, 2019
The Georgia Straight
Liberal Karen Wang steps down in Burnaby South byelection
Invalid Date
Burnaby South Liberals warned the national party about issues with Karen Wang
January 15, 2019
Burnaby Now
The Karen Wang press conference was a gong show
January 15, 2019
Burnaby Now
Liberal Karen Wang: Burnaby South needs a local in Parliament
January 8, 2019
Burnaby Now
Snap resignation of Karen Wang gives Liberals just weeks to find new byelection rival for Jagmeet Singh
January 16, 2019
The Star
Conservatives rejected Karen Wang before her short-lived Liberal candidacy, MP says
January 16, 2019
Burnaby Now
‘It makes us look bad’: Burnaby’s Chinese-Canadian community reacts to Karen Wang’s resignation over WeChat post
January 16, 2019
The Star
Federal Liberals nominate Karen Wang to run in Burnaby-South by-election
December 29, 2018
City News 1130
Karen Wang (was) Jagmeet Singh’s big problem
January 4, 2019
Federal Liberals tap former B.C. MLA Richard Lee as new candidate in Burnaby South
January 19, 2019
Andrew Coyne: Ex-Liberal candidate’s only crime was engaging in ethnic politics — out loud
January 18, 2019
The London Press
Karen Wang, ex-Liberal candidate for Burnaby South, says she may run as an Independent
January 18, 2019
Vancouver Sun
Housing a top issue in Burnaby South as NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh seeks seat
January 24, 2019
Calgary Herald
Liberals reject Karen Wang's plea for another chance
January 17, 2019
Toronto Sun
Votes by District

The map above shows how the votes are broken down by district.

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