How to follow politics and events in British Columbia, our northern neighbor

It’s no secret that traditional media outlets in the United States don’t do a very good job reporting on world news or events abroad, except when there’s a major disaster or political crisis with decent visuals, like the tragic earthquake in Haiti in 2010 or the popular uprising against the Mubarak regime in Egypt in 2011.

But knowing what’s going on outside of the United States is important, particularly here in the Pacific Northwest, since our region spans a national boundary. Directly to the north of Washington, Idaho, and much of Montana lies British Columbia, the fifth largest province of Canada, with a population of 4.4 million. B.C.’s land area is larger than Washington, Oregon, and Idaho combined, but the vast majority of its inhabitants live close to the border with the United States.

Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and Vancouver is its largest city.

We occasionally report on happenings in British Columbia in our B.C. Journal series, but since we’re based in the United States, we depend on journalists and activists who actually live and work in the province to stay informed. If you’re interested in following politics in British Columbia, here are a few sites you should bookmark.

For political and urban affairs coverage:

  • The Tyee: An independent online magazine covering happenings in the province. Excellent political coverage and analysis.
  • Vancouver Observer: Another online-only publication worth reading; covers urban affairs and provincial politics.
  • The Georgia Straight: Largest urban alternative weekly in Canada, updated daily on the Web. It’s Vancouver’s The Stranger.
  • Victoria Times-Colonist: The capital city’s major newspaper, which has better provincial political coverage than many Vancouver media outlets.

For news in general:

  • CBC British Columbia: Canada’s equivalent of the BBC has newsrooms in British Columbia and a site that focuses on the province.
  • Global BC: The most-watched evening newscast in British Columbia is produced by Global, according to television ratings.
  • Vancouver Sun: Flagship paper of the Postmedia Network, which owns nearly all of the other newspapers in the city, including the community papers.
  • The Globe and Mail: Considered to be the newspaper of record for Canada, The Globe and Mail maintains a bureau in British Columbia.

At some point this year, we intend to add a page for British Columbia on Pacific NW Portal, though we haven’t yet firmed up our plans. We’ll keep you posted.