The Times Colonist 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.
Thanks so much to your Excellencies and to the Michener Foundation for putting this on. I think you know this but I’ll say it anyway. This is a huge deal for our business. Everyone in the industry lives for a night like this and it’s a hugely respected honour. And it’s number one and we appreciate it very much.
Speaking just as a nominee and as a watcher, but also as a winner now, which startles me. I just had chills in my spine listening to the recounting of the stories tonight. I took an hour or so during the week and tried to read as much as I could about the entries. You did amazing work all of you. Lindsay and I were just so touched to be included in this group let alone win it. That accounts for my stuttering lack of composure here. I didn’t see this coming. Anyway it’s such an honour to be here and as Mr. Mills said, I can’t imagine how you go about the judging. I probably shouldn’t second-guess the judging but I’m a newspaper columnist and I do that for a living. I think what won it for us was our subject matter.
The clients that Lindsay wrote about – they’re completely helpless, they’re completely helpless – and they just need us so much to look out for them and Lindsay did such a good job in doing that and taking a serious meticulous look at what was going on in that story.
The commitment that he made to this story over the long haul is something that we treasure and everyone in the newsroom respects him for it and loves him very much.
I sometimes question how serious I am as a journalist. I’m constantly fighting the inclination when the choice comes to buckle down and see something through the long haul to find something new and different to do. I have to fight the inclination to take the latter. Lindsay took the opposite. It’s a real tribute to him.
I did the best with Jodie, Paul, Adrian and Lyle to back him up but he did the vast share of all the hard work of reporting on this.
I sometimes wonder also how ephemeral our business is and our news stories are. One thing follows another and you wonder about the impact. A very common reaction I get as a columnist is – Les that was a good piece today…what was it about again? I’ve had that at nine o’clock in the morning, which makes you really kind of wonder.
So it’s very, very rewarding to know that we made a bit of a difference on this one and on a night like this and an honour like this it’s just the icing on the cake.
Thanks so much again.
June 12, 2012