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photo courtesy of the Canadian Journalism Foundation

Michèle Ouimet and François Cardinal on Tuesday night in Toronto

Cardinal Francois

Cardinal Francois
Vice President for Information and Deputy Publisher La Presse

(Toronto) I immersed myself in the texts of Michèle Ouimet in connection with the presentation of the Career Coronation Award, which is presented by the Canadian Journalism Foundation on Tuesday evening.

Posted at 5:00

I mean just one word: exceptional.

Her work ethic is remarkable, as is the rigor of her texts, the courage she shows in every situation, her immense sensitivity, her passionate sense of justice and her proverbial tenacity.

I knew all that, notice. We worked together, we were neighbors from the office, we knew each other for a long time … and I read it much longer! Reading it all came back to my memory and I realized how much of his work – a summary of his work on Press and it really deserves this title – it has no analogues.

And what I missed so far, because I had my nose too stuck on every line of his editorials, reports and chronicles when they were published, was its extreme versatility. As if Michèle excelled in all positions in the sport!

In addition, in both journalism and sports, professionals usually have their own profile. Some are commentators, others are investigators, analysts or rapporteurs (those who consider the news exclusive). Others shine on the field, in dangerous areas or thanks to an exceptional pen.

Michèle Ouimet is in a class by herself: she has developed all the profiles! And everywhere she went, she excelled, both in local news and abroad. She became famous as a reporter, as well as an editor, publicist, field, war and immersion journalist …

Imagine. During his 30 years in Press, as a journalist, she managed to terrorize the mayor of Montreal and, as a journalist assigned to the sector, shake the columns of the education system at a time of great reforms. As a war reporter, she visited Kandahar prisons and caught scabies while living in a slum in the Montreal Center-Sud. She worked as a supermarket cashier, card drawer, erotic telephone operator and devoted herself to genocide, coups and terrorist attacks.

No wonder she won a phenomenal number of Judith-Jasmin awards and accolades at the Canadian newspaper competition.

Most impressively, however, she has won the Michener Prize, Canada’s highest journalist award, for her work in investigating Taliban prisoners in Afghanistan, and the Jules-Fournier Prize for the excellent quality of language in his texts.

It’s as if Art-Ross won the trophy as the best shooter … then Vézina the next year as the best goalkeeper!

That’s why all journalism students want to become Michèle Ouimet, that’s why she inspires so many professions herself.

That is why today she is one of the most respected journalists in this profession. And not just in Quebec, in the country.

We miss you, Michèle, but above all you miss the readers! Congratulations on this well-deserved honor.

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