Nov. 11-15, 2002: CBC Coverage of Greater Vancouver Municipal Election Issues

Week of Nov. 11-15, 2002: CBC Coverage of Greater Vancouver Municipal Election Issues—Dealing With Effects And Ignoring The Cause

Ms. L. Haeber
Executive Producer
CBC Radio
Vancouver, B.C.
Ms. Haeber:

Here are some comments about CBC coverage of Greater Vancouver municipal election issues for the elections which occurred yesterday, November 16, 2002.

(1) Over and over again in this campaign, municipal candidates said that traffic congestion, densification and new housing evelopment proposals were major issues in their areas. Did any CBC reporters ask what effect Canada’s immigration programme has had and will continue to have on these issues and this area? Did any CBC reporters ask whether it is logically possible to write or talk about an effect (the issues I’ve mentioned) without dealing with the major cause (immigration) of the effect? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I did not hear a single such question asked. Once again, the local CBC
has failed to provide the most basic of services to the people it is
supposed to serve.

(2) In Richmond and one or two other areas, residents of the Greater
Vancouver area are beginning to see the pressure that will be put on the province’s agricultural land reserve to release land for housing. Might it be logical to ask what population factor is causing this new demand for housing? Or is the local CBC afraid of finding out that the factor is immigration?

(3) Local candidates repeatedly stated that improved transit (that is,
technology) would solve the problem. Local residents have seen that
widening of the # 1 Freeway, peak-period use of three of four lanes on
Highway 99, and building more Skytrain lines has not solved traffic
problems. Experience in every other city has shown that technological
solutions are not the answer. Might it be logical to consider stabilizing the population of the area by making major cuts to immigration levels?

(4) For the growth promoters at the CBC, might it be logical to ask whether the continued inundation of this area does any good for the residents? For example, if there are no economic or demographic reasons for high levels of immigration and subsequent population explosion in the Greater Vancouver area, what is the point of even considering such things as densification and new transit proposals for this area?

I repeat, is it possible to deal with an effect without dealing with the cause of the effect?