After a long battle with cancer, Montreal-based journalist Michel Vastel has died.
Vastel wrote for Montreal dailies including Le Devoir, La Presse and Le Journal de Montreal as well as Quebec City’s Le Soleil and Ottawa’s Le Droit. He also worked for CKAC radio in Montreal and Radio-Canada.
Vastel also wrote biographies of such noted Canadian politicians as Robert Bourassa, Lucien Bouchard and Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
The 68-year old journalist was known to be a tough commentator. Montreal Gazette journalist Hubert Bauch is quoted in an article about Vastel:
“He was dedicated, he worked hard, and he had his own abrasive style. That’s what made him such a good journalist. Michel was a separatist sympathizer, but unlike most Quebec French-language journalists, he went out and covered English Canada very devotedly.”
He also wrote for L’actualité, and in honour of his work, the news magazine has announced it will post a series of his best work on its website and will also leave his blog active for a time to allow readers to go back and re-read his work. L’actualité editor-in-chief Carole Beaulieu wrote in a press release:
“From Jean Chrétien to Stephen Harper with Brian Mulroney, Lucien Bouchard and Robert Bourassa along the way, all of the leaders of the past 30 years fell under the unflinching gaze and sharpened pen of Michel Vastel. The breadth and scale of his work is staggering – particularly considering that for all of those years he was also parliamentary correspondent for one or another of Quebec’s major dailies, and regularly provided commentary on breaking political news for both TV and radio.”
Liberal leader Stéphane Dion posted this message to the party website.