Lifetime Achievement Award

Michèle Ouimet accepts the CJF Lifetime Achievement Award, following introductory remarks by former colleague François Cardinal, assistant editor, and vice-president of information at La Presse. (Stephanie Lake/The Canadian Press)

Michèle Ouimet honoured with CJF Lifetime Achievement Award


Michèle Ouimet’s acceptance speech will be available soon. 

TORONTO—March 10, 2022 – The Canadian Journalism Foundation’s (CJF) Lifetime Achievement Award this year goes to Michèle Ouimet in recognition of her fearless career and desire to tell impactful stories that provided a voice to the voiceless in Canada and abroad.

“Michèle Ouimet has reported on war and injustice, often at personal risk, seeking to shed light on the plight of the victims of conflict and hardship, with the belief that journalism is at its best when it speaks truth to power,” says selection jury chair Michel Cormier, former executive director, news and current affairs, Radio-Canada. “With this award, we recognize her courage and her integrity.”

Ouimet will be honoured at the CJF Awards ceremony on June 7 at the Art Gallery of Ontario. For tickets, tables and sponsorship opportunities, see contact information below or visit the CJF Awards page.

Until her retirement in 2020, Ouimet spent 29 years at La Presse covering wars, humanitarian crisis and natural disasters, including genocide in Rwanda, tsunami in Japan, earthquake in Haiti, revolution in Egypt, and civil war in Syria, Pakistan and Iran. In Canada, she produced immersive, thought-provoking reports, including an in-depth look into the impoverished community members of Centre-Sud neighbourhood in Montreal.

“To have an idea of the quality and importance of Michèle’s work, take a listen in the school yards: here, she is the journalist most frequently cited as a model by students,” says François Cardinal, assistant editor, and vice-president of information at La Presse. “So, in addition to being an inspiration to all of her colleagues, she is likewise galvanizing a throng of budding journalists with her enthusiasm and courage as they embark on this stimulating profession that she herself has practiced with an unparalleled dedication.”

Ouimet has won many awards, including the Judith-Jasmin award for her career as a journalist and the Michener award for her investigation into the Taliban in Afghanistan. She was also anointed chevalière of the Ordre national du Québec in 2020.

Since retiring, Ouimet has continued her fiction writing, publishing L’Homme aux chats last year. Earlier novels include La Promesse (2014) and L’Heure mauve (2017). And in 2019, she produced a behind-the-scenes account of her foreign reports, Partir pour raconter. Additionally, she provides regular commentary on international issues for Radio-Canada.

Ouimet joins a distinguished group of CJF Lifetime Achievement Award winners including: Kim BolanJohn HonderichThaioronióhte Dan David, Peter MansbridgeJean PelletierLloyd RobertsonMichel AugerPeter BreggJack SigvaldasonLise BissonnetteJoe SchlesingerSally ArmstrongKnowlton NashJune Callwood and Trina McQueen, among others.

For further information:

Natalie Turvey, President and Executive Director, The Canadian Journalism Foundation,
For sponsorship opportunities, contact: Josh Gurfinkel, Director of Operations, The Canadian Journalism Foundation,

About the Lifetime Achievement Award

The annual Canadian Journalism Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding lifetime contribution to journalism in Canada. Individuals who have worked in any type of media (print, broadcast, digital) and in any journalism category (news, business, politics, cartoon, arts, etc.) are eligible for consideration. The recipient will have demonstrated, throughout his/her career, a commitment to the highest journalistic standards and ideals. His/her work and contribution to the field and society should serve as a model that inspires excellence in others.

Criteria for the Lifetime Achievement Award:

Among the items to be considered are:

  • Body of journalistic work during a multi-decade career
  • Contribution to their community and broader society through outstanding journalism
  • Recognition and respect from peers and audiences

**Note: Lifetime Achievement cannot be awarded posthumously. 

Judging Methodology
The judging panel is comprised of four to eight jurors (with bilingual representatives), who review all submitted entries through an online portal, rank the entries and then attend a face-to-face meeting or participate via conference call with their rankings to agree upon the recipient of the award. See this year’s jury.

The recipient will be recognized at the CJF Awards ceremony in June 2022.

Past Recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award

2021Thaioronióhte Dan David.
2020 Kim Bolan
2019 John Honderich
2018 Peter Mansbridge
2017 Jean Pelletier
2016 Lloyd Robertson
2015 Michel Auger
2014 Peter Bregg
2013 Michael Maclear
2012 Jack Sigvaldason
2011 Patrick Brown
2010 Lise Bissonnette
2009 Joe Schlesinger
2008 Sally Armstrong
2007 Norman Webster
2006 Knowlton Nash
2005 Pierre Berton (posthumous)
2004 June Callwood
2003 Doris Anderson
2002 Trina McQueen
2001 Doug Creighton
2000 Mark Starowicz
1999 Bernard Derome
1998 Peter C. Newman
1997 Peter Gzowski
1996 Robert Fulford