The 2013 Michener Award finalists talk about their award winning stories and the people who helped make them happen – Michener Awards Ceremony, June 11, 2014.
CTV News broke many of the stories in the Senate expense scandal, including a secret $90,000 repayment scheme involving the Prime Minister’s Office. The network’s news coverage contributed to significant action including investigations by the RCMP, the federal ethics commissioner, and a Senate committee. Bob Fife was the lead reporter.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I want to say how humbled and honoured I am to be nominated with such a fine group of journalists and such a fine body of work you did this year.
I am a product of a small town in Northern Ontario where, like most Canadians, people work hard, pay their taxes and possess a strong moral compass.
Nothing boils the blood of these folks more than when our political leaders engage in wrongdoing, abuse taxpayers trust and think they can get away with it by simply paying the money back.
Our stories on the senate scandal – and those of our competitors – pulled the curtain back and exposed a high-level government cover-up and serious abuses in the oversight of senate spending.
When caught, the politicians lied, delivered half-truths, denied, and blamed the media. They tried to pay back the money. They tried to play for time.
It didn’t work thanks to the power of the media and a vigorous opposition in parliament.
As a result of our stories, we have seen new accountability and transparency reforms in both the Senate and House of Commons. Further changes may come when the Auditor General completes his audit of the red chamber.
None of this would have happened if it wasn’t for brave whistleblowers, good old fashioned journalism, our razor-sharp lawyer Peter Jacobson and very careful, fearless editorial backing from CTV management. And I appreciate the support I got from anchor Lisa LaFlamme and Wendy Freeman.
One of the joys of being a journalist is working with young people – young journalists. The Ottawa bureau staff – the editors and photojournalists – were instrumental in the making of these stories. But I have to give special mention to two inspiring young producers, who are here tonight, Tina Romito and Philip Ling without whom, frankly, I couldn’t have done these stories.
We are non-partisan watchdogs in the corridors of power. Our job is to expose what is purposely hidden – and I don’t think there is a higher calling than what we do.
Michener Awards Ceremony
June 11, 2014.