|Founded||March 27, 1913|
35,810 weekend days in 2011
Le Droit (established on March 27, 1913) is a Canadian daily newspaper, published in Ottawa, Ontario. Initially established and owned by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the paper has been published by Gesca since 2000.
The newspaper was launched at that period as a tool to condemn Regulation 17, an Ontario legislation that restricted education in French at that time. Today, it defends federalism in Canada as well as provincial jurisdictions. It is still involved in the protection of francophone rights in Ontario, notably advocating for the survival of the Montfort Hospital during the government of Ontario premier Mike Harris.
In the 1960s, Le Droit tried to extend its market into Northeastern Ontario, including the North Bay, Timmins and Sudbury areas, but quickly abandoned the project due to high costs. Originally published as a broadsheet, it switched to tabloid format in 1988, following an 11-week strike by the pressmen. The newspaper also had a previous strike in 1982.
In 2001, Gesca, a subsidiary of Power Corporation owned by Franco-Ontarian Paul Desmarais acquired the paper from Conrad Black's Hollinger, who owned it between 1987 and 2001. In the eighties, it belonged to Montreal-based Jacques Francoeur, the founder of Sunday weekly Dimanche-Matin, who built the Unimedia chain which included Le Soleil (Quebec City) and Le Quotidien (Chicoutimi, now Saguenay). He acquired Le Droit from the Oblates.
The publisher is Jacques Pronovost since 2007. Before him, it was led by Claude Gagnon (2002–2007), Pierre Bergeron (1993–2002), Gilbert Lacasse (1987–1993) and Jean-Robert Bélanger (1953?-1987). Managing editors: Jean Gagnon (presently), André Larocque (2006–2010), Michel Gauthier (2001–2006), François Roy (1994-2001), Claude Beauregard (1994), Gilbert Lavoie (1991–1994), André Préfontaine (1989–1991), etc.
It is the only francophone daily newspaper currently published in Ontario for the Franco-Ontarian community and was the fourth all-time (the previous three existed in the 19th century). It is also read by francophones who live in and around Gatineau, Quebec, directly across the Ottawa River from Ottawa. Its articles can also be read on the internet in the Cyberpresse network, which also includes La Presse in Montreal, Le Soleil in Quebec City, Le Nouvelliste in Trois-Rivières, La Tribune in Sherbrooke, La Voix de l'Est in Granby and Le Quotidien in Saguenay.
In 2008, Sudbury's francophone community newspaper Le Voyageur published an editorial criticizing the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for its handling of Le5 Communications' application to acquire two francophone radio stations, CHYC-FM in Sudbury and CHYK-FM in Timmins. The paper took issue with the fact that the CRTC's original notice of hearing was published only in Le Droit, and not in any of the region's local media — thereby giving the francophone community in Northeastern Ontario little notice of either the pending transaction or the deadlines for reviewing and submitting comments regarding the application.