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The Globe and Mail leads 2018 National Newspaper Award nominations

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TORONTO — The Globe and Mail has received the most nominations for the 2018 National Newspaper Awards, with 20 out of 63 finalists for the distinction.

The Toronto Star and La Presse are in second place with six nominations each.

The Canadian Press received four nominations — one in the breaking news category for its team coverage of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash that killed 16 people, and three in the news, sports and feature photo categories.  

The Saskatoon StarPhoenix and Waterloo Region Record each received three, while the Winnipeg Free Press, St. Catharines Standard, Calgary Herald/Calgary Sun, Edmonton Journal/Edmonton Sun and Ottawa Citizen nabbed two each.

Another 11 organizations received one nomination apiece.

The nominations are issued in 21 categories, and selected from 951 entries for work published in 2018, with the winners to be announced at an awards ceremony in Toronto on May 3.

Here is the full list of nominees:

Arts and Entertainment: Jonathan Dekel, Globe and Mail, for a feature about how the members of Radiohead continue to deal with the death of one of their crew members when a stage collapsed in Toronto almost seven years ago. Chris Hannay and Daniel Leblanc, Globe and Mail, for investigating the National Gallery of Canada’s botched attempt to sell a major piece of art by Marc Chagall in order to free up money to buy another artwork. Fanny Lévesque, Katia Gagnon and Véronique Lauzon, La Presse, for exposing how the head of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra used his authority to engage in psychological harassment and sometimes physical aggression against musicians.

Beat Reporting: Zosia Bielski, Globe and Mail, for coverage of gender and sexuality. David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen, for coverage of the national defence beat. Randy Richmond, London Free Press, for coverage of Ontario’s correctional system.

Breaking News: The Canadian Press, for team coverage of the truck-bus collision that killed 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos organization. Charles-Antoine Gagnon, Louis-Denis Ebacher, Jean-Simon Milette, Daniel LeBlanc and Mathieu Bélanger, Le Droit, for coverage of a tornado that struck the Ottawa-Gatineau region. The Toronto Star, for team coverage of a shocking incident when a man driving a van mowed down pedestrians on Yonge Street, killing 10 of them.

Business: Jeff Lewis, Jeffrey Jones, Renata D’Aliesio and Chen Wang, Globe and Mail, for digging deeply into the flourishing trade of aging wells, in which major companies routinely offload energy assets burdened with hefty cleanup costs onto smaller players with scant ability to pay the environmental bill. Paul Waldie, Globe and Mail, for an investigation that revealed how Canadian corporate money helped to finance Islamic State terrorism abroad. Geoffrey York, Globe and Mail, for finding evidence of questionable conduct and connections to corruption in South African business deals made by Bombardier and Export Development Canada.

Columns: Nathalie Petrowski, La Presse; Niigaan Sinclair, Winnipeg Free Press; Russell Wangersky, St. John’s Telegram.

Editorial Cartooning: Michael de Adder, Halifax Chronicle-Herald/Brunswick News/Toronto Star; Brian Gable, Globe and Mail; Garnotte (Michel Garneau), Le Devoir.

Editorials: François Cardinal, La Presse; Heather Persson, Saskatoon StarPhoenix; John Roe, Waterloo Region Record.

Explanatory Work: Carolyn Abraham, Globe and Mail, for “Cracks in the Code,” which explored how science’s ability to “read” DNA has far outpaced its capacity to understand it. James Bagnall, Ottawa Citizen, for a thorough explanation of how the federal government managed to end up with its deeply flawed, and very expensive, Phoenix employee pay system. Douglas Quan, National Post, for discovering how the municipal government in Richmond, B.C., was dealing with cultural challenges it faces as the “most Asian” city in North America.

Feature Photo: Chris Donovan, Globe and Mail, for a photo of a woman saying farewell to a friend just before her medically assisted death. Andrew Vaughan, Canadian Press, for a photo of fog shrouding the waterfront during flooding in Fredericton. Gavin Young, Calgary Herald/Calgary Sun, for an image depicting an oasis of calm on the otherwise raucous Calgary Stampede midway.

International: Daniel Dale, Toronto Star, for his exhaustive coverage of the deceptions and lies of U.S. President Donald Trump. Stephanie Nolen, Globe and Mail, for her reporting on Brazil, from environmental challenges to social and political developments. Nathan VanderKlippe, Globe and Mail, for an on-the-ground look at China’s crackdown on Uyghurs and repression of Muslim observance.

Investigations: Aaron Derfel, Montreal Gazette, for uncovering shocking information about violent acts committed against health-care workers at Montreal General Hospital, and the institution’s attempts to cover up the incidents. Grant LaFleche, St. Catharines Standard, for a year-long investigation that uncovered a political conspiracy to manipulate the hiring of Niagara Region’s top bureaucrat and a secret contract worth more than a million dollars. Wendy Stueck and Mike Hager, Globe and Mail, for a series exposing the deplorable conditions in many rental buildings in Vancouver’s low-income Downtown Eastside, and failed efforts by the city to enforce its bylaws.

Local Reporting: Erin DeBooy, Brandon Sun, for an unflinching look at the personal and human toll caused by methamphetamine use in her community. Grant LaFleche, St. Catharines Standard, for a year-long investigation that uncovered a political conspiracy to manipulate the hiring of Niagara Region’s top bureaucrat and a secret contract worth more than a million dollars. Greg Mercer, Waterloo Region Record, for a detailed probe into the serious health problems that afflicted workers from the region’s once-booming rubber industry, and the apparent reluctance of workplace safety officials to accept their compensation claims.

Long Feature: Isabelle Hachey, La Presse, for a feature about an amazing medical feat: the first facial transplant in Canada. Jana G. Pruden, Globe and Mail, for a story on the aftermath of a fire that left three people dead, and a family destroyed. Grant Robertson, Globe and Mail, for a feature about an experiment in which three lab monkeys were quietly moved to a sanctuary to retire, instead of facing the death sentence that awaits most animals used in medical research.

News Photo: Jonathan Hayward, Canadian Press, for a photo of a man who salvaged his friend’s prized electric guitars after a flood in Grand Forks, B.C. Darren Makowichuk, Calgary Herald/Calgary Sun, for an image of police officers tending to a fallen comrade. Kayle Neis, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, for a photo of hockey sticks stuck in a snowbank as a memorial to members of the Humboldt Broncos who had been killed in a bus-truck collision.

Photo Essay: Carlos Osorio, Toronto Star, for photos accompanying a feature story about a 77-year-old woman who was forced to move out of the publicly subsidized building she lived in when it was deemed unsafe. Renaud Philippe, Globe and Mail, for pictures documenting the plight of the Rohingya and their escape from genocide in Myanmar. Melissa Tait, Globe and Mail, for an essay about a rugby league that strengthens relationships among its women players, and provides support for families.

Politics: Lori Culbert, Dan Fumano and Joanne Lee-Young, Vancouver Sun/The Province, for an in-depth look at what governments had done and were promising to do about affordable housing in one of the world’s most expensive cities. Robert Fife, Steven Chase, Sean Silcoff and Christine Dobby, Globe and Mail, for looking into how Huawei fits in with Beijing’s global ambitions, and just how far Canada was willing to go to accommodate the technology juggernaut’s quest for expansion. Greg Mercer, Waterloo Region Record, for exposing how the Ontario Conservative party concocted a story that a legislator had sexually harassed a former party intern, in order to nominate a more well-connected party insider.

Presentation: Laura Blenkinsop and Christopher Manza, Globe and Mail, for their work showcasing a Brazilian road trip, a major investigation and a true crime saga. Jean-François Codère and Maxime Jean, La Presse, for a highly interactive presentation accompanying a story about a nearly disastrous Air Canada flight. Cameron Tulk, David Schnitman, Tania Pereira and Fadi Yaacoub, Toronto Star, for bringing to life a research project in which reporters fact-checked every question and answer over five days of Question Period, to find out just how much federal politicians speak the truth.

Project of the Year: Jessica Botelho-Urbanski, Melissa Martin and Katie May, Winnipeg Free Press, for “Ice Storm: Manitoba’s Meth Crisis,” a seven-part series documenting how methamphetamine was ravaging Winnipeg and destroying lives. Zane Schwartz, National Post/Calgary Herald, for “Follow the Money,” an 18-month project that gathered and analyzed more than five million records across Canada to create the first central, searchable database of political donations in every province and territory. A Toronto Star team for “Medical Disorder,” an 18-month effort to collect, analyze and report on 27,000 discipline records and 1.4 million licensing records for doctors practising in Canada and the United States.

Short Feature: Jamie Ross, Globe and Mail, for a piece, in the wake of the fatal Humboldt Broncos bus-truck crash, that explained what playing junior hockey meant to him as he was transitioning from youth to adult and trying to find his way in life. Jon Wells, Hamilton Spectator, for an engaging and poignant story about a couple’s determination to see a man freed from death row in the U.S. for a crime he said he did not commit. Patrick White, Globe and Mail, for a story about a humble, rural attraction – a simple sunflower patch – that had been ruined by a social media mob.

Sports: Dan Barnes, Edmonton Journal/Edmonton Sun, for reporting on the sad tale of Dorian Boose, who played in the NFL and won a championship with the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos, only to end up living on the streets and eventually taking his own life. Kevin Mitchell, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, for deep coverage, spanning a period of months, on the Humboldt Broncos bus-truck crash and its aftermath. Mary Ormsby, Toronto Star, for uncovering new information that suggested sprinter Ben Johnson’s drug sample had been mishandled 30 years earlier, and for a story outlining the cognitive decline and personal turmoil faced by legendary boxer George Chuvalo.

Sports Photo: Bernard Brault, La Presse, for an image of acrobatic Olympic skiers awaiting results while one of their fellow competitors soars overhead. Ed Kaiser, Edmonton Journal/Edmonton Sun, for a picture showing a Vancouver Canucks player flying through the air as he attempts a shot on goal.Andrew Vaughan, Canadian Press, for a photo of a downed fighter that captures the brutality of mixed martial arts.

The Canadian Press

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Five Things to watch for as PM meets Trump, congressional leaders in Washington

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WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is spending the day in Washington for a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House and face time with congressional leaders from the Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill. Here are five things to watch for:

1. Working towards certainty on continental trade uncertainty

Trump foisted an acrimonious renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement on Canada and Mexico, and after more than year of hard-fought bargaining, everyone survived. The leaders of the three countries signed the deal late last year, but final legal ratification remains a significant hurdle — especially in the U.S. Trump has insulted House Leader Nancy Pelosi, who essentially holds the cards on ratification. But Trump’s trade czar Robert Lighthizer has been repeatedly complimentary of her efforts to find solutions. Trudeau will likely seek to persuade Pelosi that if the deal is good enough for Liberals in Canada, perhaps the Democrats in the U.S. can swallow it too. We likely won’t know for weeks how successful Trudeau will be. But one test will be whether the matter moves through Congress before the end of July, when it adjourns for the summer.

2. Helping two Canadians in big trouble in China

Two Canadian men, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, have been languishing behind bars in China for more than six months. Their arrest is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on an American extradition warrant. Chinese leaders have snubbed Trudeau and his cabinet ministers, but Trump has been playing hardball with the People’s Republic in an escalating trade war that is rocking the global economy. During a visit to Ottawa last month, U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence said Trump will push Chinese President Xi Jinping for their release at the G20 leaders’ summit in Japan next week. Will Trump tip his hand about doing Trudeau a favour?

3. Winning in the eyes of Canadians

Managing relations with the United States, Canada’s largest trading partner, neighbour, close friend and ally is arguably one of the most important jobs of a prime minister. Trudeau has had a rough time with Trump, to put it mildly. Trump insulted him over Twitter after leaving the G7 in Quebec last year, and he imposed punishing steel and aluminum tariffs on Canadian imports as a bargaining chip in the NAFTA talks. All of that would seem to be history. The subtexts, the body language the words, each interaction between the two men will be under scrutiny when they shake hands and trade remarks in the Oval Office. What matters for Trudeau — and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer — is how Canadians interpret that when they go to the polls in October.

4. Huawei, or not Huawei

The Trump administration is clear: the Chinese telecom giant is a national security threat and won’t be supplying any of the equipment for America’s next generation 5G network. The Trump administration doesn’t want Canada or its allies using Huawei either. The Trudeau government is taking its time deciding. Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale have repeatedly said they will make an evidence-based decision on the advice of their national security experts. That likely won’t come before the October election, however. Trump will push the issue with Trudeau when they talk in private. In public, expect nothing to change.

5. That’s the way the basketball bounces

In addition to trying to work to salvage the North American economy, protect jobs and bring certainty back to big business planning, Trudeau will have the opportunity to gloat with Pelosi for winning his bet on the NBA Finals that saw the Toronto Raptors defeat her home-state Golden State Warriors. Will Trudeau pop the cork on the nice bottle of California wine he is likely to receive? More importantly, perhaps, will Trump give any hint that he plans to invite the champions to the White House, in keeping with what is now an often-controversial tradition?

Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press

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Trade, China sure to surface as Trudeau meets Trump, congressional leaders

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WASHINGTON — Justin Trudeau is headed back to the White House today in what could prove to be a pivotal visit to the U.S. capital not only for North American trade and Canada’s strained relationship with China, but for the campaign-bound prime minister himself.

An earnest end to the tensions between Trudeau and President Donald Trump, which erupted into full view following last year’s G7 summit in Quebec, could prove useful to his governing Liberals when Canadians head to the polls this fall.

The Oval Office meeting, Trudeau’s third since Trump was elected in 2016, is aimed primarily at pushing the new North American trade deal over the finish line in both countries.

But Trudeau will also be looking to the U.S. president to speak out against the detention of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who have been languishing behind bars in China since shortly after Canada arrested high-tech executive Meng Wanzhou late last year at the behest of U.S. authorities. 

Canada has been caught in the crossfire after detaining Meng last December in Vancouver, where she awaits extradition south of the border to face allegations of fraud in violating Iran sanctions.

Trudeau is hoping Trump will go to bat for Kovrig and Spavor when he meets China’s President Xi Jinping at next week’s G20 leaders’ summit in Japan.

Vice-President Mike Pence has promised Trump would do just that, but Trudeau will find out today whether the mercurial president plans to follow through.

And then there’s the new NAFTA.

Trump needs to persuade his Democratic opponents in the House of Representatives — in particular Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with whom Trudeau is scheduled to meet later in the day — to allow the actual start of the ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Lawmakers in Mexico voted Wednesday in a landslide to ratify the deal.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer called that “a crucial step forward” towards finalizing the deal.

“The USMCA is the strongest and most advanced trade agreement ever negotiated. It is good for the United States, Mexico, and Canada in a way that truly benefits our workers, farmers, and businesses,” he said in a statement.

Pelosi and her fellow Democrats want stronger enforcement mechanisms for the deal’s new labour and environmental provisions — and Trudeau’s visit might be just the thing needed to pry loose her support.

Canada, meanwhile, has been building strong support for the new NAFTA and open borders within the U.S. and it has many American business allies who remain active.

Lighthizer told the powerful House ways and means committee Wednesday that he’s willing to co-operate with Democrats to move forward on the new trade bill.

“Getting this done sooner rather than later is in everybody’s interest,” he said. “It saves jobs, it helps the economy, it gets certainty in place.”

Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press

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