It’s a sad day when yet another award-winning journalist decides to leave Canada’s oldest national news service.
But we wanted to take a moment to say thank you and goodbye to the union president at The Canadian Press, Mike Blanchfield as he leaves CP and moves on to forge a new career.
For 35 years, including the last 12 at CP, Mike built a distinguished career as an international affairs and political reporter, winning awards including the James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellowship (a paid sabbatical to focus on research and reporting on the deadly scourge of cluster bombs, sadly now being used by Russia in its attack on Ukraine).
He has also written two non-fiction books. The most recent, released in 2021, The Two Michaels was nominated for the prestigious Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for political writing, with his co-author Fen Osler Hampson.
And for the union, Mike has made even more significant contributions. He has shared his passion for professional respect and journalistic independence by advocating for better working conditions.
His colleagues at CP have benefited from his leadership in the following:
-He has championed the rights of women, fought the rise in temporary jobs, denounced racism and pushed for diversity, to ensure The Canadian Press would be a progressive workplace.
-He led a committee of union activists to settle countless grievances against the current CP management in these uniquely challenging times.
-He has advocated tirelessly for his fellow workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect their interests, and their mental health.