Les Leyne, columnist for the Times Colonist, accepts the 2011 Michener Award from His Excellency David Johnston. Photo was taken at the Michener Award ceremony held in Rideau Hall, Ottawa, June 12, 2012.
The newspaper received the award for reporting on the plight of people with developmental disabilities when the B.C. government changed its policy to save money and to address a client backlog at its underfunded agency, Community Living B.C. Reporting by the Times Colonist forced the government to admit that it had been ushering people out of group homes, something it had long denied. The result was a change in policies and the commitment of $40 million to improve services.
The Michener Award, founded in 1970 by the late Right Honourable Roland Michener, then Governor General, goes to a news organization. The judges’ decisions are heavily influenced by the degree of public benefit generated by the print and broadcast projects submitted for consideration.