Canadian Newsmaker of the Year

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The Canadian Newsmaker of the Year is a title awarded by The Canadian Press (CP) annually since 1946, based on a survey of editors and broadcasters across the country on which Canadian has had the most influence on the news in a given year.[1]


Canadian historian Chad Gaffield stated that the practice of recognizing a newsmaker of the year was a return to the study of how history can be influenced by one person, rather than studying obscure people.[1]

The honour is often granted to politicians.[2] Pierre Trudeau holds the record for most wins, receiving the distinction for the 10th time in 2000, breaking a tie with Lester B. Pearson's nine wins.[3] Though it is generally a positive acknowledgement, it is not guaranteed to be such.[4] In 1999 a newsmaker of the century was chosen in place of a newsmaker of the year,[1] with candidates having to meet the standard of "lasting significance". Voters gave a mix of compliments and criticisms to the winner, Pierre Trudeau, who responded by noting that he was "at once surprised and quite pleased with the information."[5]

List of Newsmakers of the Year[edit]

Diplomat and politician Lester Pearson won the title more than any other person except Pierre Trudeau.
Pierre Trudeau was named Newsmaker multiple times.
Marathon runner Terry Fox was awarded Newsmaker of the Year for two consecutive years.
Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky was Newsmaker for 1982.
Prime Minister Brian Mulroney was Newsmaker for 1983, 1984, and 1991.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper was Newsmaker for 2008, and 2009.
Musician Gord Downie was Newsmaker for 2016 and 2017.
Year Awardee Notes
1946 Igor Gouzenko Embassy clerk who exposed Soviet espionage.
1947 Barbara Ann Scott First North American to win World Figure Skating Championship
1948 William Lyon Mackenzie King Retired that year as the longest serving prime minister in Commonwealth of Nations history.
1949 Louis St. Laurent Politician who was appointed prime minister after his party won that year's federal election.
1950 Lester Pearson Diplomat.
1951 Lester Pearson
1952 Lester Pearson
1953 Lester Pearson
1954 Marilyn Bell Marathon swimmer.
1955 Lester Pearson
1956 Lester Pearson
1957 John Diefenbaker Appointed as prime minister after his party won an unexpected minority in that year's federal election.
1958 John Diefenbaker Continued as prime minister after his party won the largest majority in Canadian history in that year's federal election.
1959 John Diefenbaker and Joey Smallwood Prime minister and premier of Newfoundland, respectively.
1960 John Diefenbaker
1961 James Coyne Resigned that year as Governor of the Bank of Canada.
1962 Réal Caouette Social Credit politician who helped vote out the Diefenbaker government.
1963 Lester Pearson Was appointed as prime minister after his party won that year's federal election.
1964 Lester Pearson Oversaw as prime minister the debate on Canada's flag.
1965 Lucien Rivard Convicted drug smuggler who escaped from prison and remained at large for 136 days.
1966 John Diefenbaker Refused to surrender Progressive Conservative Party leadership.
1967 Lester Pearson Oversaw as prime minister the organisation of the festivities for the Canadian Centennial.
1968 Pierre Trudeau Appointed as prime minister and continued in office after his party won that year's federal election.
1969 Pierre Trudeau
1970 Pierre Trudeau
1971 Pierre Trudeau
1972 Pierre Trudeau
1973 Pierre Trudeau
1974 Pierre Trudeau
1975 Pierre Trudeau
1976 René Lévesque Appointed as the first sovereigntist premier of Quebec after his party won that year's provincial election.
1977 René Lévesque
1978 Pierre Trudeau
1979 Joe Clark Appointed as prime minister after his party won that year's federal election.
1980 Terry Fox With an artificial leg, averaged 42 km per day during his Marathon of Hope.
1981 Terry Fox Died at age 22.
1982 Wayne Gretzky Hockey player nicknamed The Great One, scored a record 92 goals in a single season.
1983 Brian Mulroney Won the leadership election to head the Progressive Conservative Party.
1984 Brian Mulroney Appointed as prime minister after his party won a record 211 of 282 seats in that year's federal election.
1985 Steve Fonyo Cancer victim who lost a leg and ran a marathon similar to Terry Fox's.
1986 Rick Hansen World-class cross-country wheelchair athlete.
1987 Rick Hansen
1988 Ben Johnson Set a world record in the 100 meter race at the 1988 Summer Olympics, but was subsequently disqualified for steroid use.
1989 Michael Wilson Minister of Finance responsible for the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement.
1990 Elijah Harper Member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba who filibustered to stop the Meech Lake Accord.
1991 Brian Mulroney Advised the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax and dealt with the aftermath of the failure of the Meech Lake Accord.
1992 The referendum on the Charlottetown Accord The first selection of a symbol rather than a specific person.
1993 Kim Campbell Briefly served as prime minister, becoming the first woman to do so in Canada.
1994 Jacques Parizeau Appointed as premier of Quebec after his party won that year's provincial election
1995 Lucien Bouchard Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition in the federal parliament, and a key player in the referendum on Quebec sovereignty.
1996 Donovan Bailey Sprinter who ran 100 meter dash in record 9.84 seconds, winning gold at that year's Olympics.
1997 Sheldon Kennedy Hockey player and child abuse victim who went public in his campaign against abuse.
1998 Jean Chrétien Prime minister who was chosen over the National Post's publisher, Conrad Black, by one vote, for favourable public opinion. Chrétien merely replied that a prime minister is often a newsmaker.[6]
1999 Pierre Trudeau Voted Canadian newsmaker of the 20th century, with no newsmaker named for 1999 itself. The vote also produced a top 10 list of newsmakers, in which Terry Fox came second, followed by René Lévesque, Frederick Banting, Tommy Douglas, William Lyon Mackenzie King, Lester Pearson, Wilfrid Laurier, Billy Bishop, and Brian Mulroney.[5]
2000 Pierre Trudeau Events of the six days that marked his passing and state funeral.
2001 Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance leader challenged by many in his own party. Day received 74 votes, followed by Chrétien with 12 votes. It was argued that while the Newsmaker of the Year title is often a positive title, Day was selected for perceived ineptness and probably did not want the designation.[4]
2002 Jean Chrétien Editor Don McCurdy explained: "While not everything he has done has met with a positive reaction, like the gun registry fiasco, much of it has been notable."[3]
2003 Paul Martin Appointed as prime minister after winning the his party's leadership election that year.
2004 Paul Martin Became the first minority prime minister in 25 years, after his party won that year's federal election, and was linked to the sponsorship scandal.
2005 John Gomery Judge who held the inquiry into the Liberal Party sponsorship scandal.
2006 The Canadian soldier Members of the Canadian Forces engaged in the war in Afghanistan; editor Gary MacDougall said that "The issue of Canada's involvement in Afghanistan has been on the lips, and in the hearts, of Canadians all year."[7]
2007 Royal Canadian Mounted Police National police force besieged by crises and scandals throughout the year. According to an editor: "The RCMP dominated Canadian news this year."[8]
2008 Stephen Harper Prime minister who tabled the apology for the residential schools and instigated that year's parliamentary dispute.[9]
2009 Stephen Harper  
2010 Russell Williams Former Royal Canadian Air Force Colonel, found guilty of murdering and raping two women.
2011 Jack Layton Led the New Democratic Party to official opposition, Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition in the federal parliament, whose state funeral occurred in 2011.[10]
2012 Luka Magnotta Arrested and charged with the murder and dismemberment of a student.[11]
2013 Rob Ford Mayor of Toronto whose controversies attracted international attention.[12]
2014 Patrice Vincent
and Nathan Cirillo
Two soldiers killed two days apart in separate attacks on Canadian soil.[13]
2015 Justin Trudeau The 23rd Prime Minister of Canada, who led his third-place Liberal Party to electoral victory in the year's federal election.[14]
2016 Gord Downie Lead singer for the rock band The Tragically Hip, with whom he performed in a series of high-profile farewell concerts following his diagnosis with terminal brain cancer.[15]
2017 Gord Downie Died at the age of 53 from brain cancer, ten days before the release of his sixth solo album Introduce Yerself. Honoured, in part, for his work with the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Foundation, which aids in the effort for reconciliation with the Indigenous peoples of Canada, and in particular survivors of the Canadian Indian residential school system.[16]
2018 Humboldt Broncos Junior ice hockey team from Saskatchewan involved in a collision with a semi-trailer on April 6, resulting in 16 deaths and 13 injuries.[17]
2019 Jody Wilson-Raybould Member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville and former cabinet minister at the center of the SNC-Lavalin affair.[18]
2020 Front-line workers Responders to the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.[19]
2021 "Children who never returned from residential schools" Many Canadian Indian residential school gravesites were discovered in 2021.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Poll to select century's events". Moose Jaw Times Herald. 27 September 1999. p. 7.
  2. ^ "Most CP survey winners politicians". Trail Times. 30 December 2002. p. 8.
  3. ^ a b Canadian Press (31 December 2002). "Canadian Press names Chrétien newsmaker of 2002". CTV. Archived from the original on 16 January 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2007.
  4. ^ a b "A worthy winner". Expositor. 28 December 2001. pp. A.8.
  5. ^ a b White, Scott (6 December 1999). "Trudeau named Canadian newsmaker of the century". Canadian Press.
  6. ^ "Chrétien top newsmaker of 1998". CBC. 27 December 1998. Retrieved 18 April 2009.
  7. ^ Graveland, Bill (25 December 2006). "Canadian Soldier chosen as Newsmaker of 2006". National Post. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2007.
  8. ^ Brown, Jim (26 December 2007). "RCMP picked as CP's newsmaker of 2007". Canadian Press.
  9. ^ "Harper selected as Canada's newsmaker of the year". CTV. 23 December 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2008.
  10. ^ Levitz, Stephanie (22 December 2011). "Jack Layton named 2011's Newsmaker of the Year". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  11. ^ Blatchford, Andy (22 December 2012). "Magnotta surfaces again: this time as Canadian Press News Story of the Year". The Canadian Press. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  12. ^ "Rob Ford is Canada's Newsmaker of the Year". CBC News. 22 December 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  13. ^ Perkel, Colin (December 20, 2014). "Slain soldiers Cirillo and Vincent named Canada's Newsmaker of the Year". The Canadian Press. Archived from the original on December 28, 2014. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  14. ^ "Justin Trudeau named Canada's Newsmaker of the Year by the Canadian Press". Global News. 21 December 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  15. ^ Friend, David (23 December 2016). "Gord Downie chosen as Canadian Press Newsmaker of the Year". Global News. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  16. ^ Friend, David (December 19, 2017). "Gord Downie named Canadian Press Newsmaker for 2nd consecutive year". CBC News. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  17. ^ The Canadian Press (December 19, 2018). "CP's Newsmaker of the Year: Humboldt Broncos hockey team". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  18. ^ Bryden, Joan. "Jody Wilson-Raybould chosen Canada's newsmaker of the year". National Post. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  19. ^ Smart, Amy. "Front-line workers named The Canadian Press Newsmaker of the Year". CTV News. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  20. ^ Malone, Kelly Geraldine (15 December 2022). "Children who never returned from residential schools newsmaker of the year: CP poll". National Post. The Canadian Press. Retrieved 18 January 2022.