2008 Michener Award winners announced

The Michener Awards Foundation honoured CBC/Radio Canada and the Canadian Press (CP) with its annual award at a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa June 10.

Her Excellency The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada presented the awards.

CBC/Radio Canada and CP worked together on an investigation on the use of Taser stun guns.

The Foundation said, in a release:

“The CBC/Radio-Canada and CP project collaborated on data analysis, identification of vital trends, interviews and preparation of stories for newspapers, websites, radio and television. The analysis found that more than 10 per cent of Tasers tested were either defective or behaved unexpectedly, with some discharging significantly more electrical current than the manufacturer’s standard.”

In addition, Edmonton Journal reporter Ed Struzik was presented the 2009 Michener-Deacon Fellowship for a project on arctic sovereignty. Former Vancouver Sun, Ottawa Citizen and Montreal Gazette publisher Clark Davey was given a Special Award for a lifetime of work that “exemplifies the best in public service journalism.”

Michener Citations of Merit were presented to:

  • Le Courrier de Saint-Hyacinthe for an 18-month investigation that resulted in the publication of a shocking report of misuse of public funds, illegal political contributions, non-approved and non-verified expense allowances and suspicious international missions by the CEGEP of Saint-Hyacinthe
  • The Globe and Mail for a six-month investigation of Canada’s 911 system for handling telephone emergency calls, which found that outdated technology was being used in Canada while industry and regulators dragged their feet on changes
  • The Hamilton Spectator for following an extended outbreak of Clostridium Difficile at Burlington’s Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital that claimed the lives of 91 elderly patients
  • The Toronto Star for conducting scientific tests that resulted in a series of stories on high level of lead in toys being sold in Canada
  • The Winnipeg Free Press for a two-year investigation of the state of the First Nation child welfare system in Manitoba that was triggered by the tragic death of a five-year-old girl

Each of these investigative reports led to some government action or policy change.