York alumna Chantal Hébert receives award for journalistic excellence

Toronto Star columnist Chantal Hébert (right), a Glendon graduate (BA ’76), has been chosen to receive an award of distinction on April 6 for her “significant contributions to public policy”. Hébert reports on national affairs for the Toronto Star, and for Montreal’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 CBC TV’s “The National”.

Hébert will receive the Hyman Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism, presented by the Public Policy Forum. The forum says the award, named after the late Ottawa bureau chief of the Financial Post,  is 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 CBC broadcaster Don Newman, Globe and Mail editor Edward Greenspon and columnist Jeffrey Simpson, and Toronto Star editor-in-chief 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.

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 on radio. On Parliament Hill, she served as correspondent for Radio-Canada, as well as bureau chief for Le Devoir and La Presse.

Hébert, a bilingual political commentator, has not only observed, but actually lived the reality of Canada’s French-English duality. This first-hand experience she says, 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 to YFile by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny.