The Toronto Star announced on February 5th that columnist Chantal Hébert has been chosen to receive an award of distinction on April 6th for her "significant contributions to public policy." Hébert reports on national affairs both for The Star and Montréal’s Le Devoir (as a guest columnist). She is also a regular political commentator, in French and English, on various television and radio news and current affairs programs, including the CBC’s The National.
Hébert will receive the Hyman Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism, presented by the Public Policy Forum. The award is named after the late Ottawa bureau chief of the Financial Post, created to celebrate "journalistic standards and intellectual integrity" in covering the "complex interplay of the public and private sectors, and the intricacies of national decision-making”. The Forum further defines the award as being presented “…each year to a journalist whose work, in either official language, provides insights into the policy-making process in Canada, and explains to Canadians how changes in public policy affect their individual well-being and collective economic progress".
Previous award winners have included other journalists working for The Toronto Star, such as Jim Travers and Graham Fraser; CBC broadcaster Don Newman; Edward Greenspon and Jeffrey Simpson of The Globe and Mail; and current editor-in-chief of The Star, Giles Gherson. Other Hyman Solomon award recipients in April will include George Erasmus, former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations; former Ontario premier Bob Rae; and Louise Fréchette, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations.
Chantal Hébert is a Glendon graduate of York University (BA Political Science 1976) and a Senior Fellow of Massey College at the University of Toronto. Hébert started as a reporter in 1975, working for the regional television and radio newsroom of Radio-Canada in Toronto. She went on to become the correspondent for Queen’s Park, and a national reporter for Radio-Canada (radio). On Parliament Hill, she served as correspondent for Radio-Canada, as well as bureau chief for Le Devoir and La Presse.
What makes Chantal Hébert unique is the fact that, as a bilingual political commentator, she has not only observed, but actually lived the reality of Canada's French-English duality. This first-hand experience provides her with deeper insights into the issues of living in a country with two official languages, and enhances her perspective on political events.
This article was submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny