The Ottawa Citizen received the 2012 Michener Award for its exemplary investigation of the “robocalls” scandal during the 2011 federal election campaign.
Your Excellencies, Madame Chief Justice, Parliamentarians, distinguished guests.
To be standing here accepting this award for the winning work of reporters Glen McGregor and Stephen Maher implies there were those who work was less important, less vital, not quite enough.
That is simply not the case. The incredible work being done by journalists in this room under continuingly difficult challenges for our industry, continuingly difficult challenges in access to information and when free speech, shockingly, in this country is not a given, speaks to the caliber of each entry.
The work done on the robocalls affair by Glen and Stephen was exceptional reporting, old fashioned shoe leather, modern era data mining, and tried and true building of trusted contacts.
Their work revealed a dangerous pattern of misdirecting voters with the only possible motivation but to affect who would represent Canadians in Parliament. This is Canada we’re talking about.
This was a story of Canadian democracy at risk. Those were the stakes. That is not hyperbole.
Glen and Stephen and their editors Andrew Potter and Tina Spencer deserve to be recognized for their doggedness, their fearlessness and their conviction that this story mattered.
The Michener Awards represent the highest level of public service journalism in Canada, and these reporters, in their pursuit of this story, deserve this honour.
On behalf of the Ottawa Citizen and Postmedia, thank you for recognizing them.
June 18, 2013