Tonight, in a virtual ceremony that showcased the journalistic prowess of six incredible finalists, the Globe & Mail was announced as the winner of the 2019 Michener Awards for meritorious public service journalism. False Promises, an investigation led by reporter Kathy Tomlinson, delved into the systematic exploitation of temporary workers and foreign students by corrupt immigration consultants and employers.

“This year’s winner is an excellent example of all that the Michener Awards stand for, significant commitment and dedication to an in-depth investigation that will have lasting and wide-ranging impacts on our society,” said Michener Foundation President Pierre-Paul Noreau. “The Globe & Mail’s complex and timely investigation spanned the country and resulted in real change, with the federal government introducing new open work visas to allow foreign nationals facing abuse to switch employers, as well as the passing of a new law allowing more stringent regulation of immigration consultants.”

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Michener Award was founded in 1970 by the late Roland Michener, then governor general, to honour excellence in public service journalism. The Michener Awards submissions are judged by an expert panel of journalists who have worked in media outlets and in academia across the country.

In a video addressing the finalists, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, said “You, the journalists, have the important task of researching facts and explaining them to the public. During this pandemic, that interpretation is essential. For what you have done and still do for Canadians. Thank you.”

This year’s ceremony also recognized John Anderson Fraser, as the winner of the prestigious Michener-Baxter Special Award for long-term achievement in public service journalism. Earlier this year, the Michener Awards Foundation also announced the recipients of the new Michener-L. Richard O’Hagan Educational Fellowship and two Michener-Deacon Investigative Fellowships. Each of the 2020 fellowships is worth $40,000 plus $5,000 in expenses.

The educational fellowship was awarded to the J. Source/Canada Press Freedom project, which aims to create a database of violations of press freedom in Canada. The investigative fellowships went to Laura Eggertson for a series on aging out of foster care; and to Marie-Claude Lortie for a project on the use of pesticides in Canadian agriculture.

The other 2019 finalists are:

Thank you to the Michener Award Judges:

Submissions are now being accepted for the 2020 Michener Award and Fellowships for public service journalism. Learn more at

For media inquiries:

Jill Clark
Manager of Communications
Rideau Hall Foundation

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