Andrew Potter

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Andrew Potter
Alma materMcGill University, University of Toronto
OccupationWriter, Journalist
Known forEditor of Ottawa Citizen

Andrew Potter is a Canadian author and associate professor at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. He is the former editor-in-chief of the Ottawa Citizen; best known outside Canada for co-authoring The Rebel Sell, with Joseph Heath, and for his 2010 book, The Authenticity Hoax.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Teulon, Manitoba, Potter attended Glebe Collegiate Institute in Ottawa, before earning a BA in Philosophy at McGill University, then MA and Ph.D. degrees in philosophy at the University of Toronto. He was also an assistant professor at Trent University for three years. Upon graduation, he did post-doctoral work at the Centre de recherches en éthique (CREUM) at the University of Montreal.[2]


Potter was Professor of Philosophy from 2001 to 2004 at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.[3]

He then left academia to become the National Editor at the Ottawa Citizen, a daily newspaper. He left in 2010 when he was appointed Features Editor at Canadian Business in Toronto.[4] Potter returned to the Ottawa Citizen to become Managing Editor in 2011 and was promoted to Editor-In-Chief in December 2013.[5] In 2013, Potter and the Ottawa Citizen were awarded the Michener Award for reporting that exposed the use of "robocalls" to mislead and harass voters during the 2011 federal election campaign.[6]

From 2007 to 2012 Potter wrote a column for the Canadian national weekly news Maclean's magazine.[7] Andrew Potter served as Director of the Montreal-based McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC)[8]

In March 2017, Andrew Potter published an article in Maclean's in which he talks about the lack of solidarity within Quebec society.[9] This article was decried and denounced at the provincial legislature of Quebec, and the administration of McGill tweeted that Potter did not represent the views of the university. A few days after the publication of his article, Potter distanced himself from elements of his article and soon after resigned from his position at MISC, while remaining an associate professor. Distinguished national affairs commentators including Paul Wells and former Macleans national editor Andrew Coyne questioned [10] or condemned[11] the backlash, specifically the perceived yielding to political pressure by an academic institution.

Academic interests[edit]

His academic background is in metaphysics and political philosophy, post-secondary educational policy, branding, consumerism and popular culture. He maintains an interest in technology and the future of the news media.[12]



  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-07. Retrieved 2010-05-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Author biography at HarperCollins, 2010
  3. ^ Potter, Andrew. "The Author". Authenticity Hoax Blog. Retrieved 19 December 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Macdonald, Chris. "Interview: Andrew Potter and The Authenticity Hoax". The Business Ethics Blog. Retrieved 19 December 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Andrew Potter becomes editor of the Ottawa Citizen". 10 December 2013. Archived from the original on 19 December 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Postmedia-Ottawa Citizen: Winner 2012 Michener Award". June 18, 2013. Archived from the original on December 19, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Andrew Potter". Maclean's Magazine. Rogers. Retrieved 19 December 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Andrew Potter to head the MISC". 12 January 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Potter, Andrew (March 20, 2017). "How a snowstorm exposed Quebec's real problem: social malaise". Retrieved July 25, 2018. The issues that led to the shutdown of a Montreal highway that left drivers stranded go beyond mere political dysfunction
  10. ^ Andrew Coyne [@acoyne] (23 March 2017). "If McGill forced out Andrew Potter over a piece of social criticism bcs it upset some powerful people, we have a major scandal on our hands" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  11. ^ Paul Wells [@InklessPW] (23 March 2017). "Honte à vous, M Leitao" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  12. ^ Lilley, Brian. "Andrew Potter doesn't know squat". Lilley Pad. Archived from the original on 2013-09-02. Retrieved 19 December 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)