Canadian Newsmaker of the Year (Time)

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Athlete Donovan Bailey was Time's Canadian Newsmaker of the Year in 1996.

The Canadian Newsmaker of the Year is a designation awarded by the Canadian edition of Time magazine. It comes with a written piece reflecting the magazine's staff's opinion on which Canadian or Canadians have had the most impact on the news, either positively or negatively.[1] The honour has also been known by the title Canada's Newsmaker,[2] or by titles such as "Headliners" and simply "Newsmakers" which were shared with non-Canadians. However, the exact phrase "Canadian Newsmaker of the Year" has been used by Time.[3] This selection is not to be confused with the Canadian Press' separate selection of a Canadian Newsmaker of the Year, or with Time's overall Person of the Year.

Time's practice of selecting a Canadian Newsmaker of the Year began in 1995. Columnist Robert Fulford has speculated that the point was to try "gesturing politely to Canadian readers".[4] In early years, the selection received a short article within a list of other international newsmakers. Thus, the 1995 newsmaker was found under the title "Headliners: Canada"[5] and in subsequent years phrases like "Others Who Shaped 1997",[6] "Others Who Shaped 1999",[7] and "Newsmakers 2000"[8] were used. Since 2001 the selection has been accompanied by a fuller article, and interviews with the subjects have also appeared (for example, in 2001[9] and 2002,[10] but not 2003). Still, the press has noted that even with the Canadian edition of Time, it is the Person of the Year rather than the Canadian Newsmaker who is pictured on the cover of the issue.[11]

The selections have been at the centre of other cases of media attention and debate. For example, the Montreal Gazette said of the project in general that it was initially "dull" in favouring seemingly conventional men, but that 2003 provided a refreshing selection of two homosexual men and commentary on liberalism in Canada. The Gazette took this as recognition from a US magazine that Canadians are distinct from Americans.[12] There has never been a woman selected as Canadian Newsmaker of the Year.

List of newsmakers[edit]

Foreign Affairs Minister John Manley was the Newsmaker of the Year for 2001.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper was Time's Canadian Newsmaker of the Year in 2006 and 2008.
Year Awardee Lifetime Notes
1995 Lucien Bouchard born 1938 Following the Quebec sovereignty referendum of 1995, Time gave the Quebec separatist leader Bouchard credit for providing separatism a "nobler sound" "for people who think that ethnic secessionism runs to riots, bomb throwing and assassinations." Time noted how Bouchard nearly won the referendum despite initial expectations,[5] and that he was destined to become Premier of Quebec.[5]
1996 Donovan Bailey born 1967 Bailey received attention for his performance as an athlete at the 1996 Summer Olympics. Time thus said at the time that he "Ignites National Pride".[13] Time later looked back at the selection for Newsmaker of the Year as one that did not take much difficulty to make.[14]
1997 Paul Martin born 1938 Martin was the Finance Minister of Canada at the time, and was chosen for nearly eliminating the deficit and consequently weakening the Quebec separatist position.[6] Time's Paul Couvrette photographed Martin for the selection, and wanted Martin to smile for the picture, but found Martin preoccupied with his budget. Couvrette eventually eased Martin by telling him that it had been Couvrette's father who covertly gave Martin comic books when Martin was a boy, while Martin's father Paul Martin, Sr. had forbidden comic books.[15]
1998 Lucien Bouchard (second time) born 1938 Bouchard was selected for changing the Parti Québécois to cut the budget for social programs, winning the 1998 provincial election, and for the possibility of another sovereignty referendum. Bouchard's quote "I am not the great Satan" was also mentioned.[16]
1999 Supreme Court of Canada established 1875 The Supreme Court was selected for its decisions concerning gay rights in Canada, Aboriginals (particularly R. v. Marshall) and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Time editor George Russell felt these decisions would influence "Canadian society" and the magazine noted the Court had also inspired public controversy regarding judicial activism. The Firearms Reference was also anticipated at the time.[17]
2000 John Roth born 1942 Roth was the CEO of Nortel Networks. Time credited him with influencing the Canadian government to financially assist technology and education.[18]
2001 John Manley born 1950 Manley was chosen as the Foreign Affairs Minister during the September 11, 2001 attacks. He was also credited for trying to improve Canada–United States relations and rethinking rights in Canada for purposes of fighting terrorism, which Time suggested was the most radical approach to rights taken since the Charter was enacted in 1982.[19] Manley went to Toronto to receive the honour in person from George Russell.[20]
2002 Paul Martin (second time) born 1938 After Martin had left the Cabinet of Canada, Time nevertheless noted that he would likely shape the government's future.[2] Journalist Norman Specter replied that Prime Minister Jean Chrétien would have been a better choice since he secured his office for more than another year.[21]
2003 Michael Leshner and Michael Stark born 1948 (Leshner) Leshner and Stark were selected for being the grooms of the first legal same-sex marriage in Canada.[22] Steven Frank of Time also chose the couple as an emblem of "the year that Canada rethought what was taboo", referring to other events such as the loosening of marijuana laws. Leshner replied that "I really feel like we're Canada's new Mary Pickford... we are Canada's sweethearts... What better human rights story to send around the world that says Canada loves the Michaels, and for the rest of the world to wonder, what on earth is going on in Canada?"[23]
2004 Maher Arar born 1970 Arar is a Syrian-born Canadian citizen. He was a suspected terrorist and extradited to Syria. In Time's opinion, Arar forced Canada to rethink how it balances human rights and security concerns.[24] Arar thus prevailed over winners in the 2004 Summer Olympics, Auditor General Sheila Fraser, Paul Martin, Alberta Premier Ralph Klein and other candidates.[14] One National Post writer criticized the decision as being too focused on "Victimhood".[25]
2005 John Gomery born 1932 Gomery, the judge overseeing the inquiry on the Sponsorship scandal, was complimented by Time for personal "charm and passion".[26] Conversely, Steve Frank noted, "we started to think, he was just doing his job. He didn't create the inquiry, he was just appointed to it."[27]
2006 Stephen Harper born 1959 Time said Harper redefined the role of a prime minister in a minority government, and recognized his budget cutting and recognition of Quebec as a nation. Time speculated that "If Harper wins the majority he craves, in the election expected sometime next year, he may yet turn out to be the most transformational leader since [Pierre] Trudeau."[1] Journalist Ted Byfield praised the selection as brave since Harper was a controversial figure, compared to the Canadian Press' choice that year, the Canadian Soldier.[28]
2007 The Canadian dollar introduced in 1858 During the year, the Canadian dollar surpassed the United States dollar for the first time in over 30 years and reached record highs.[29]
2008 Stephen Harper (second time) born 1959 [citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Harper named Time's top Canadian newsmaker". CBC News Canada. 17 December 2006. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Handelman, Stephen (2002-12-30–2003-01-06), "Citizen Martin", Time Canadian Edition, p. 51  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ For example, Frank, Steven (2004-12-27–2005-01-03), "Canadian Newsmaker of the Year: Seeking The Truth", Time Canadian Edition, pp. 70–71  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ Fulford, Robert (2003-12-27), "Two neighbours, growing apart", National Post, pp. A.22 
  5. ^ a b c Scott, Gavin (1995-12-25–1996-01-01), "Headliners: Canada: Lucien Bouchard", Time Canadian Edition, pp. 60, 69  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ a b Sibbald, Peter (1997-12-29–1998-01-05), "Others Who Shaped 1997: Paul Martin", Time Canadian Edition, pp. 72–73  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ Handelman, Stephen (1999-12-27), "Others Who Shaped 1999: Canadian Supreme Court", Time Canadian Edition, pp. 110–111 
  8. ^ Handelman, Stephen (2000-12-25–2001-01-01), "Newsmakers 2000: John Roth", Time Canadian Edition, pp. 88–89  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ "Interview: Getting Ready For the Future", Time Canadian Edition, p. 73, 2001-12-31–2002-01-07  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  10. ^ Frank, Steven; Handelman, Stephen (2002-12-30–2003-01-06), "Paul Martin: Interview: Martin's Priorities", Time Canadian Edition, p. 58  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  11. ^ Kubler, Sara; The Associated Press (2003-12-26), "Time Magazine picks soldier as 'person of year'; Honour does not endorse Iraq policy", The Windsor Star, pp. C.9 
  12. ^ "We're certainly different", The Gazette, pp. A.30, 2003-12-26 
  13. ^ "New North Star: An amazing Olympian Blazes Across the Skyline and Ignites National Pride", Time Canadian Edition, p. 50, 1996-12-30–1997-01-06  Check date values in: |date= (help).
  14. ^ a b Ignatius, Adi (2004-12-27–2005-01-03), "Canadian Newsmaker of the Year", Time Canadian Edition, p. 6  Check date values in: |date= (help).
  15. ^ Gray, Ken (2001-12-26), "Time's man behind the shutter", The Ottawa Citizen, pp. A.2. .
  16. ^ Purvis, Andrew (1998-12-28–1999-01-04), "Others Who Shaped 1998: Lucien Bouchard", Time Canadian Edition, pp. 102–103  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  17. ^ Tibbetts, Janice (1999-12-21), "Supreme Court named newsmaker of the year", The Windsor Star, pp. B.10 
  18. ^ "Time names Nortel CEO Newsmaker of the Year", Cape Breton Post, p. 6, 2000-12-19 
  19. ^ Handelman, Stephen (2001-12-31–2002-01-07), "Canada's Newsmaker: Border Guardian", Time Canadian Edition, p. 69  Check date values in: |date= (help).
  20. ^ Media Advisories, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, 2002-01-14, retrieved 2007-02-20 
  21. ^ Spector, Norman (2002-12-30), "That old fox Chrétien outsmarted them all", Calgary Herald, pp. A.19 
  22. ^ White, Tarina (2006-12-18), Harper big news, Calgary Sun, retrieved 2007-02-20 
  23. ^ (2003-12-21), Gay couple Time's Canadian newsmaker for 2003,, retrieved 2007-02-20 
  24. ^ Quinn, Greg (19 December 2004). "Time's Canadian Edition Names Maher Arar Newsmaker of the Year". Bloomberg. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  25. ^ Garvey, Bruce (2004-12-21), "Person of the Year a Farce", National Post, pp. A1 
  26. ^ Akin, David (2005-12-19), Gomery is Canada's 2005 newsmaker, Canoe, archived from the original on 2014-09-14, retrieved 2014-09-14 
  27. ^ "Time unveils top newsmakers", Star-Phoenix, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, pp. D.8, 2005-12-19 
  28. ^ Byfield, Ted (2006-12-31), "PM just too much for media", The Calgary Sun 
  29. ^ Lofty loonie named Time's top Canadian newsmaker,, 2007-12-20