OTTAWA—The Telegraph-Journal in New Brunswick has been named the winner of the 2018 Michener Award, which honours excellence in public service journalism.
The Saint John-based newspaper was nominated for an 18-month investigation that exposed problems with New Brunswick’s ambulance service. The newspaper uncovered a severe shortage of paramedics that left ambulances sitting empty, leaving some people in emergency situations to be transported in regular vehicles.
The finalists for the award included the Toronto Star and two of its sister papers, the Waterloo Region Record and St. Catharines Standard, as well as CBC and APTN.
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette presented the award to the winner Friday at a ceremony at Rideau Hall. The Michener Award was founded in 1970 by former governor general Roland Michener.
The Toronto Star, CBC News and Radio-Canada received a joint nod for their collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that shone a light on lax approval, regulation and oversight of the country’s medical-device industry. They revealed that medical devices continued to be implanted into Canadians years after they were pulled from the market elsewhere due to health risks. The investigation also found that federal data showed at least 1,400 Canadian deaths since 2008 have been linked to medical devices.
The Waterloo Region Record was nominated for Greg Mercer’s months-long investigation of the health problems inflicted on workers by the once-important rubber industry in Kitchener, Ont.
The St. Catharines Standard earned its nomination for reporter Grant LaFleche’s yearlong investigation that led to more than 50 stories on a conspiracy behind the hiring of the top bureaucrat in Ontario’s Niagara region.
CBC TV News was nominated for an investigation by the program The Fifth Estate into long-standing claims by Transport Canada that school buses are safer without seatbelts, contrary to the department’s own conclusion that they would have prevented numerous deaths and thousands of injuries.
APTN and CBC North earned a joint nomination after they exposed failures in the child-welfare system that led to physical abuse and neglect of Indigenous teens. The reporting led to a public apology by the Yukon government for its failure to protect the youths as well as corrective actions.
With files from Star staff