Your Excellencies, Senator Munson, recipients and finalists, ladies and gentlemen,
Au nom de la Fondation des Prix Michener, j’aimerais d’abord remercier votre Excellence pour l’appui que vous nous apportez, ainsi que votre accueil si généreux.
Pour nous tous, cette soirée sera inoubliable.
I join in your welcome for the presentation of the 44th annual Michener Award and the 27th annual Michener-Deacon Fellowship.
Your Excellency, on behalf of the Foundation board I would also like to thank you for your continuing strong support for the Award and this ceremony. Governor General Roland Michener would be delighted that all of his successors have supported the Award strongly and that it is now in its 44th year.
You have helped to make the Michener Award Canada’s most prestigious honour for excellence in journalism. Merci beaucoup.
In a few minutes, we will honour ONE winner of the Michener Award.
Je peux vous affirmer que les SIX finalistes de ce concours sont tous des concurrents de grand mérite.
Tous représentent ce qui s’est fait de mieux en journalisme d’enquête durant cette année.
The outstanding work of all of our finalists deserves to be known as widely as possible. It was former Governor General Roland Michener’s intent in establishing this award that it should become a continuing source of motivation for public service journalism across Canada.
To help promote the Award, we are pleased that CPAC, the Cable Public Affairs Channel, will again be broadcasting a program about the finalists on its national network.
We will begin the presentations this evening by awarding the Michener-Deacon Fellowships.
For the past 27 years, the Michener-Deacon Fellowship has been Canada’s premier award to encourage excellence in investigative journalism that serves the public interest.
Depuis 27 (vingt-sept) ans, la bourse Michener-Deacon a permis de réaliser des projets de grande qualité.
The judges have awarded this year’s Fellowship for Investigative Reporting to CBC journalist Rita Celli. Since 1991, Ms. Celli has held numerous reporting and hosting positions in radio and television with CBC in Sudbury and Ottawa.
Her project is entitled « Stock Traders, Money Lenders, Companies or Everyday Joe : Who is getting rich from Ontario’s multi-billion dollar mining industry ?
A titre d’animatrice de l’émission Ontario Today a la radio de CBC, Madame Celli a découvert a quel point les ressources naturelles du Canada sont importantes pour le bien-être de sa population.
She plans to examine the public policy questions raised by the profits generated by the mining industry, and provide her research findings to all available platforms, radio, television and online.
Your Excellency, I’m pleased to present the CBC’s Rita Celli.
The Foundation is pleased that two years ago a second Fellowship was added to support Journalism Education. This is made possible through the generosity of the BMO Financial Group which has provided support for the Michener-Deacon Fellowship for Investigative Reporting. Because of this generosity a new fellowship was added to enable a senior journalist to spend four months in residence at one of Canada’s Journalism schools. This fellowship is supported by the Foundation and the family of the late Paul S. Deacon.
The judges have awarded the Fellowship for Journalism Education to Francine Pelletier.
Au cours de sa carrière, madame Pelletier a oeuvré au sein de médias francophones et Anglophones. Entre autres fonctions, elle a été journaliste et co-animatice a la presigieuse émission “the fifth estate” au réseau de télévison de la CBC. Elle a aussi été correspondante parlementaire à Quebec pour l’émission “Le Point” de la télévision de Radio-Canada. Elle est presentement écrivaine et productrice de films en plus rédiger une chronique hebdomadaire dans le quotidien Le Devoir.
She will devote her time at Concordia University organizing workshops on big data journalism and elements of digital information in order to help young journalists in finding tools to better contribute to public information.
Your Excellency, I’m pleased to present Francine Pelletier.
This year the Michener Foundation board also decided to award the Michener-Baxter Special Award to two people who have played a large role in encouraging public service journalism through the Michener Award, Tim Kotcheff and Alain Guilbert. Mr. Kotcheff served as vice-president of both CBC and CTV News during a long career in broadcast journalism. Monsieur Guilbert served as editor-in-chief of Le Soleil and Vice-President of Canada Post during a long career in journalism and communications.
Fourteen years ago, Tim Kotcheff persuaded the board of the Michener Foundation that it needed a website.
La contribution d’Alain Guilbert à la version francaise du site Web de la Fondation, remontant au début des annees 2000, constitue une adaptation a la fois fidèle et libre.Le development du site Web de la Fondation n’aurait pas été possible sans le travail d’équipe d’Alain Guilbert and Tim Kotcheff.
After countless thousands of hours of volunteer work by these two men, michenerawards.ca has become the dominant and celebratory billboard of public service journalism in Canada. On behalf of the Foundation’s board, I thank them deeply.
J’invite Mr. Kotcheff et Monsieur Guilbert à accepte le prix Michener-Baxter.
Maintenant, nous allons nous concentrer sur le Prix Michener.
This year we received 21 excellent entries from newspapers and broadcasters across Canada. The five-person panel of judges that selects the winner of the Award is independent of the board of the Michener Foundation. The judges believe that although the number of entries was down this year, the quality was outstanding.
Now it’s my pleasure to introduce the finalists for the Michener Award.
The Canadian Press
Canadian troops have left Afghanistan but the impact of that war will be felt for decades, not just by the country’s newest generation of veterans. Mental health services, support for the disabled, jobs after leaving the forces, adequate pensions for those who serve, assistance to the families of soldiers and even support for the burial of impoverished veterans are all commitments made to those who serve their country. As the Canadian Press discovered they are commitments being broken by the federal government and National Defence. In too many cases the tragic result of this abandonment is suicide. In a series entitled The Long Road Home, the news agency revealed the many ways Canadian veterans are being shortchanged by the government and the country they served.
Informés de cette anomalie, les Canadiens ont demandé et obtenu des améliorations à plusieurs programmes et services de soutien aux anciens combattants.
I invite journalist Murray Brewster to speak about the entry by The Canadian Press.
CTV News broke many of the stories in the Senate expense scandal, including a secret repayment deal involving officials in the Prime Minister’s Office. CTV regularly exposed new details about questionable expense claims submitted by Senators Patrick Brazeau, Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Mac Harb. It also revealed a backroom deal in which the Prime Minister’s then chief of staff personally covered the $90,000 that Duffy owed to taxpayers. CTV’s reporting contributed to significant action: investigations by the RCMP, the federal Ethics Commissioner, and a Senate committee; criminal charges against Brazeau and Harb; the suspension of three Senators – Brazeau, Wallin and Duffy – and the retirement of Harb; the departure of the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Nigel Wright; and reforms to Senate expense reporting.
Grâce à son travail, CTV a demontré le rôle important que les journalistes peuvent jouer en tenant les représentants du gouvernement responsables auprès du public qu’ils servent.
I invite Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife to speak about the entry by CTV News.
The Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald
A four-year legal battle with the Alberta government to get the death records of children who died while in foster care since 1999 led to explosive findings in the six-part Fatal Care series by the Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald. The articles revealed that 145 children died in the last 14 years, three times more than the province reported. The victims were mostly aboriginal children, one in three were infants, and one-third died because of unsafe sleeping conditions.
L’enquête a mis en lumière un système de révision des décès byzantine et hermétique qui n’a de compte à renter a personne et des lois désuetes qui empêchent les parents de parler du décès de leur enfant.
The sensitive and thorough reporting pressured the government to open death records for public scrutiny, prompted a provincial roundtable on child welfare reform, and led to calls for new legislation to restructure the system and to update the law covering publication bans.
I invite Edmonton Journal reporter Karen Kleiss to speak about the entry by the Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald.
The Globe and Mail
A Globe and Mail investigation exposing the volatility of Bakken oil shipped in massive trains from North Dakota helped explain why the 2013 rail disaster in Lac-Mégantic killed 47 people and caused so much damage. A government and industry culture of inadequate regulation and expedient oil-testing shortcuts saw a growing number of oil trains carry explosive cargo through populated towns and cities with remarkably little oversight. Over a four-month period, Globe reporters travelled to four provinces and three states, filed access to information searches, withstood industry bullying and government stalling, uncovered earlier warnings about the dangers, and developed key sources willing to speak out about the shortcomings in the transportation chain. The goal was to prevent another tragedy.
Le gouvernement canadien a réagi rapidement en classant le pétrole brut comme produit hautement dangerous et en appliquant, de concert avec les autorités américaines, des mesures d’évaluation et de sécurité pour les convois d’hydrocarbures.
I invite journalist Jacquie McNish to speak about the entry by The Globe and Mail.
The Toronto Star
The best journalism painstakingly pursues tips no matter how fantastic they may seem, verifying each bit of information every step of the way, refusing to give up even in the face of intimidation and an organized campaign trying to undermine the credibility of the reporting.
Le Toronto Star a dû faire face à une telle situation, main a persisté à croire que la vie privée du maire Rob Ford entait d’intérêt public.
It exposed his public drunkenness, boorish behaviour, abuses of his office and existence of a video of him smoking crack cocaine accompanied by members of a drug gang. The mayor lied consistently in his denials, countering every story with vehement attacks. Behind the scenes the Toronto police launched an investigation that proved all the Star’s allegations to be true. Going to court to win the release of details about the police investigation, the Star’s work led the council of Canada’s largest city to remove all powers from the mayor, leaving him just a figurehead.
I invite chief investigative reporter Kevin Donovan to speak about the entry by the Toronto Star.
The Windsor Star
The Windsor Star provided a powerful voice for a community fighting to keep a vital health care service in the city. As part of a consolidation plan, Cancer Care Ontario directed Windsor hospitals to stop providing cancer-related thoracic surgery and to send their patients to a health care centre in London, a two-hour drive away. When the Windsor medical community resisted, Cancer Care Ontario threatened to withdraw funding for all cancer surgeries in the city. The Windsor Star’s persistent and comprehensive coverage highlighted inconsistencies and potential health risks in the Cancer Care Ontario plan. In doing so, the newspaper galvanized a community-wide protest that eventually caused the agency, and the provincial government, to reverse its decision.
Les représentants de la communaute médicale locale ont reconnu le rôle fondomentnal joué par le Windsor Star dans ce dossier en faveur des personnes atteintes du cancer de la région.
I invite senior copy editor Brian Cross to speak about the entry of The Windsor Star.
I am sure you can imagine the very difficult time the judges had in assessing and ranking these superb projects in public service journalism. They are all inspiring examples of the best work in our field. But a choice had to be made and now comes the moment we have been waiting for.
Je demande à Monsieur Clyde MacLellan, vérificateur général adjoint du Canada, de nous présenter l’enveloppe qui contient la décision des juges pour l’obtention du Prix Michener 2013 (deux mille trieze).
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, the winner of the 2013 Michener Award is the Toronto Star.
I invite Michael Cooke, editor of the Toronto Star, to please come forward to accept the award on behalf of his newspaper.
(Michael Cooke speaks – Then ceremony closes with presentations of the 2013 Citations of Merit to Canadian Press, CTV News, Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald, Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star.
President, Michener Awards Foundation
Rideau Hall, Ottawa
June 18, 2013