Paul Wells

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Paul Wells
Paul Wells.jpg
Wells at the 2014 Manning Networking Conference
Born1966 (age 52–53)
Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Alma materUniversity of Western Ontario
OccupationPolitical journalist
EmployerToronto Star (since 2016), Maclean's, National Post, The Gazette

Paul Wells (born 1966) is a Canadian journalist and pundit, currently working as a senior writer at Maclean's. He was briefly a national affairs columnist for the Toronto Star in 2016-17. Before that, he was a columnist for Maclean's for 13 years; his column originally appeared in the back page slot famously occupied for many years by Allan Fotheringham, but was subsequently moved to the front of the magazine with other columns.


Wells was born in Sarnia, Ontario, the son of Seigrid Eleanor (Wedin) and Allen Rollins Wells.[1] His mother's family was Swedish.[2] He attended Northern Collegiate Institute and Vocational School where he played trumpet in the school's jazz band and captained a winning Reach for the Top team. He graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1989 with a BA in political science. While at UWO, Wells spent a lot of his time working on The Gazette, the undergraduate student newspaper, where he was news editor. After graduation, he landed an internship at the Montreal Gazette. Midway through his tenure there, Wells took a year off and moved to France to study politics and improve his French, hoping that this would help him move to the political beat.

In 1994 the Gazette assigned Wells to Ottawa as a political columnist. His work for the Gazette and his occasional pieces in Saturday Night magazine during this period brought him to the attention of editors and political writers, and in 1998 Wells moved to the new National Post daily newspaper as a political columnist. Wells became frustrated at the Post after its sale to the Asper family and the severe downsizing that followed, and in 2003 he moved to Maclean's. Wells supplements his weekly column with his blog, Inkless Wells hosted on the Maclean's website.

Wells' first book, Right Side Up: The Fall of Paul Martin and the Rise of Stephen Harper's New Conservatism, debuted in October 2006 and quickly appeared on multiple Canadian best seller lists.[3] In early 2012, he released his e-book The Harper Decade, following Stephen Harper's rise to power.[4]

He won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing in 2014 for his book The Longer I’m Prime Minister: Stephen Harper and Canada, 2006.[5]

Wells moderated the first nationally-televised English leader election debate of the 2015 Federal Election campaign season.[6] He will again moderate one of the English leader debates during the 2019 Federal Election campaign.[7]

Wells married his long time partner Lisa Samson in November of 2015 at The Church of St. Bartholomew in Ottawa.

Notable articles[edit]

Wells with Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer.
  • On 8 May 2008, Wells criticized Robert Dutrisac, Christian Rioux and Michel David for their bowdlerization of Canadian history in the service of Quebec separatists. His angle is that these Quebec journalists downplay any Canadian history before the Quiet Revolution of Jean Lesage, because it is inconvenient for the separatists.[8]


In his 13 years at Maclean's, he won three gold National Magazine Awards.[9]

In 2015, he was awarded Poland's Gold Cross of Merit "for spreading a positive image of Poland in Canada".[10]

Named Honorary Patron of Friends of the National Arts Centre Orchestra 2016.


  1. ^ "Lessons from my Dad", 15 Jun 2012
  2. ^
  3. ^ | Books | Right Side Up by Paul Wells
  4. ^ "Paul Wells: The Harper Decade (audio interview with Anna Maria Tremonti)". The Current. CBC Radio One. 27 March 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  5. ^ "The Longer I'm Prime Minister wins $25K Shaughnessy Cohen Prize". CBC News, April 2, 2014.
  6. ^ "A viewer's guide to the Maclean's National Leaders Debate". Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  7. ^ "Leaders, moderators confirmed for 2019 English, French debates". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  8. ^ "Terre de nos aïeux", 8 May 2008
  9. ^ "Paul Wells Author Page". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2017-09-19.
  10. ^ "Northern grad receives Gold Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland".

External links[edit]