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Michael Granville Valpy is a Canadian journalist and author. He wrote for the Globe and Mail newspaper where he covered both political and human interest stories until retiring in 2012. Through a long career at the Globe, he has been a reporter, Toronto- and Ottawa-based national political columnist, member of the editorial board, deputy managing editor, and Africa-based correspondent during the last years of apartheid. He also has been a national political columnist for the Vancouver Sun. Since retiring from the Globe he has been published by the newspaper on a freelance basis as well as by CBC News Online and the Toronto Star.
Valpy was born in Toronto and lived there until his family moved to Vancouver, where his mother's family was from. after World War II. His great-grandfather, W. W. Walkem, was Vancouver's first European doctor and the brother of George Anthony Walkem, British Columbia's third premier. He has three children, a daughter who he had during his first marriage in the 1970s, a son who was born during a long-term relationship in the 1980s and who he kept custody of and raised after the relationship ended, and a son with his second wife, economist Deborah Coyne, from whom he is now divorced.
Valpy studied at the University of British Columbia towards a general arts degree for two years before leaving. After considering entering the Anglican priesthood, Valpy went to work for the Vancouver Sun in 1961 as a reporter and was then night city editor at the Vancouver Times. In 1965, he moved to Toronto to work for the Globe and Mail first as a reporter, then as a feature writer and member of the editorial board. In 1966 and 1967, Valpy was a staff member for the short-lived Company of Young Canadians and then returned to the Vancouver Sun, first as a member of its editorial board and then as a political columnist based in Ottawa. In 1981, he rejoined the Globe and Mail as a national affairs columnist and subsequently served as its Southern Africa correspondent from 1984 to 1988 during the penultimate years of apartheid, he then returned to Canada to serve as the newspaper's urban affairs columnist, and later served as the paper's religious affairs correspondent, a feature writer, and in other capacities.
Valpy retired from the Globe and Mail in 2012. He is a senior fellow at Massey College at the University of Toronto, a fellow at the University of Toronto School of Public Policy and Governance and a member of the dean's advisory committee at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. In 2013, he was awarded the Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy. He continues to write as a freelance journalist with pieces published on the CBC News website and the Toronto Star as well as the Globe and Mail.
Despite being from what he describes as a "strongly Tory monarchist British imperialist-quite right wing" family, Valpy was one of the few liberals at the Globe though he is also an outspoken monarchist. In the 2000 federal election, Valpy ran as a New Democratic Party candidate in the Toronto riding of Trinity—Spadina, against Liberal Party of Canada incumbent Tony Ianno. He was not elected.
Valpy co-authored three books (two on Canada's Constitution and the third on the 21st-century generation of new Canadian adults), produced public affairs documentaries for CBC Radio, contributed chapters to several books on public policy issues and written for Maclean's, Time Canada, Policy Options, Shambhala Sun and Elm Street magazines.
He has won three National Newspaper Awards (two for foreign reporting and one for an analysis of dysfunctional students in the public education system) and been nominated for a fourth (for a profile of Michael Ignatieff), In 1997, he was awarded an honorary doctorate (D.Litt) from Trent University. He also received the Queen's Jubilee Medal in 2002.
- Francis, Daniel (1997). National dreams: myth, memory, and Canadian history. arsenal pulp press. pp. 15–. ISBN 978-1-55152-043-8. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
- "The True Grit of Michael Valpy", Ryerson Review of Journalism (June 1991)