Marking 20 years
of bold journalism,
reader supported.
Tyee News
Federal Politics
BC Politics

These Elections Are Like None Before

First up, BC’s. Then the federal battle. Why this political moment is new. And how your support for The Tyee matters.

David Beers 27 May 2024The Tyee

David Beers is the founding editor of The Tyee and serves as current editor-in-chief.

Both are already well underway. Two elections, certain to have huge impacts on our lives.

One in October will decide who next runs British Columbia.

The other, sometime in the next 16 months, will determine the next government of Canada.

These contests don’t just present extremely high stakes. For a few reasons, they are unlike any previous.

If that sounds like an exaggeration, let me explain. (I base my views on the 20 years I’ve spent as The Tyee’s founding editor and 34 years as a B.C.-based journalist.)

Let me share, as well, how The Tyee intends to meet the important challenge at hand — with your help and support.

Over the next three weeks, we’re aiming to raise $65,000 to equip our newsroom to do in-depth journalism leading up to and during these elections. Help us get there and sign up today.

The surprise surge of the BC Conservatives

Just several months ago it seemed the David Eby-led B.C. New Democrats had sewn up re-election with broad support around the province and the right split evenly between Kevin Falcon’s BC United party and an upstart, farther-right B.C. Conservative party led by John Rustad.

How fast fortunes can shift. Today, polls show the B.C. Conservatives have blown by BC United and some place them nearly even with the BC NDP, signalling a populist, rural brush fire.

What is fuelling this rise? Is it the B.C. Conservatives’ hammering against trans rights and gender education? Do they share the upsurge in support for Pierre Poilievre’s federal Conservatives? Is it the party tapping anti-vax and other culture war grievances on the fringes, or gaining trust on bread-and-butter issues? Why hasn’t BC United, a retread of the BC Liberals, gained traction? How are New Dems and Greens playing in key ridings and why? What issues really matter most to voters and where do the parties stand?

Answering questions like these requires perceptive on-the-ground reporting by Tyee reporters, starting now. Help us turn them loose.

The collapse of traditional news media

Turning loose Tyee election reporters is more pressing because B.C.’s news media is a shadow of its former self. When we launched The Tyee two decades ago, we simply wanted to diversify a robust existing news media. Today, instead, we feel lonely, staring out at a decimated journalism landscape. Big city newsrooms are cut to the bone. A number of B.C. community papers have folded. Among digital independent news sites, The Tyee is one of the few that cover a range of beats in the region rather than specializing in one narrow area of interest.

So we are well placed and feel a strong responsibility during elections to deliver wide and deep coverage while publishing many views.

That can feel like resisting the tide, because Poilievre and other self-styled right-wing populists have borrowed pages from the Donald Trump playbook by showing open contempt for journalists. Instead, they spin without accountability in social media echo chambers and biased sites with low standards.

Of course The Tyee has never shied from running critical coverage of any political party. And now, if traditional media is no longer where some politicians inform and energize voters, it falls to us to monitor what’s being said in back channels and ask the hard questions of all candidates.

With your support, we will dedicate a team to reporting on new modes of campaigning in nooks of the internet most people don’t see and press politicians for answers on key issues.

A mounting wave of disinformation

Which brings me to another emerging challenge in election coverage. Thanks to our intensified coverage of Alberta politics, we at The Tyee know the blueprints created by Jason Kenney and Danielle Smith and allies like extreme-right organizer David Parker — “rage farming” tactics that use false claims to demonize and intimidate opponents. “Populist authoritarianism” is how experts describe what’s emerging in Alberta and many other places. Could something similar come to B.C.?

Fortunately, as I say, The Tyee has developed a network of informed reporters and analysts in the province next door and across the country who can document and diagnose such phenomena. As always, the bedrock of such journalism must be basic reporting. So, for both the B.C. and national elections, The Tyee intends to make investigating and exposing disinformation — players, tactics and lies — a major focus.

With your help we’ll create TRRU — The Tyee’s Rapid Response Unit for tracking and fact-checking politicians’ campaign claims.

The need to be fair and factual

In these supercharged times, The Tyee takes extremely seriously its mission to publish journalism that is fair and fact-based. Other sites might succumb to the lure of the dollars that sensationalism can generate. It’s media’s version of “rage farming.”

Here at The Tyee, we understand that our readers want the opposite.

So, while I have shared with you why I think the looming B.C. and federal elections present extremely high stakes and will be waged like none before, I make this pledge:

With your support, The Tyee will deliver even more fact-based reporting and analysis that promote thoughtful, constructive discourse.

That’s our core mission because it strengthens democracy rather than tearing it apart.

It’s why we publish experienced journalists, pepper our articles with hyperlinked substantiation, seek comment from various sides, and have repeatedly won the highest awards in the land. It’s why we’ve become one of the top-read independent digital news sources in Canada.

Clearly you value our core mission of crafting journalism to these high standards because you read The Tyee.

Please therefore support us financially in our plans for election coverage in the coming months by...

Becoming a Tyee Builder.

Or, if you are already a Builder, upping your monthly contribution.

With your support we will dispatch reporters to key ridings for on-the-ground reports, investigate the new digital landscape of disinformation and publish experts with the insights to bring clarity to this crucial but clouded political season.

The Tyee is a non-profit newsroom, and we operate without a paywall, meaning that nobody is obliged to pay to read our journalism. The way we sustain our newsroom and show up for big moments is through the support of our readers, whom we call Tyee Builders. Starting today, for the next three weeks, we’re asking our readers to contribute to our editorial budget and help us hit our $65,000 fundraising goal by June 17. Are you with us? Sign up now at an amount that works for you.

Thanks for listening and caring.


David Beers
Founding editor and editor-in-chief of The Tyee  [Tyee]

  • Share:

Get The Tyee's Daily Catch, our free daily newsletter.

Tyee Commenting Guidelines

Comments that violate guidelines risk being deleted, and violations may result in a temporary or permanent user ban. Maintain the spirit of good conversation to stay in the discussion and be patient with moderators. Comments are reviewed regularly but not in real time.


  • Be thoughtful about how your words may affect the communities you are addressing. Language matters
  • Keep comments under 250 words
  • Challenge arguments, not commenters
  • Flag trolls and guideline violations
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity, learn from differences of opinion
  • Verify facts, debunk rumours, point out logical fallacies
  • Add context and background
  • Note typos and reporting blind spots
  • Stay on topic

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist, homophobic or transphobic language
  • Ridicule, misgender, bully, threaten, name call, troll or wish harm on others or justify violence
  • Personally attack authors, contributors or members of the general public
  • Spread misinformation or perpetuate conspiracies
  • Libel, defame or publish falsehoods
  • Attempt to guess other commenters’ real-life identities
  • Post links without providing context

Most Popular

Most Commented

Most Emailed


The Barometer

Are You Concerned about Your Municipality’s Water Security?

Take this week's poll