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The Globe and Mail wins 2019 Michener Award, excellence in public-service journalism

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OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail has been named the winner of the 2019 Michener Award, which honours excellence in public-service journalism. 

It was nominated for False Promises, an investigation led by reporter Kathy Tomlinson, that 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 in a release Thursday. 

"The Globe and 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." 

The finalists for the award included work by CBC News; the Halifax Examiner; La Presse; The London Free Press and the Institute for Investigative Journalism.

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. 

"You, the journalists, have the important task of researching facts and explaining them to the public," Gov. Gen. Julie Payette said in a release.

"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 Michener-Baxter Special Award for long-term achievement in public service journalism. 

The Michener Awards submissions were judged by an expert panel of journalists who have worked in media outlets and in academia across the country.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 10, 2020

The Canadian Press