Charest, Schwarzenegger, De Souza

Charest, Schwarzenegger, De Souza r1 ... Subscribe to this newsletter The Narwhal's masthead logo BECOME A MEMBER Mike De Souza wearing a Narwhal hat outside
“When we make an announcement and the whole war room gets together ... the first question we ask ourselves is ‘Where’s Mike De Souza this morning?’ ”

It’s a question longtime Quebec politician (and former premier) Jean Charest asked at a press conference nearly 20 years ago. As a dogged journalist who has a habit of making politicians squirm, it’s no wonder people in power find themselves asking ‘where in the world is Mike De Souza?’

And it’s a question we can now happily answer every single day with: ‘working at The Narwhal.’

Mike joined our pod this month as our new managing editor (don’t worry, co-founder and designer extraordinaire Carol Linnitt isn’t going anywhere) and he’s wasted no time, already churning out this insightful piece on why Ontario, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador got failing grades for their conservation efforts.

And now that he’s joined our pod, we’re starting to learn all about him, including an obsession with the Montreal Canadiens (we’re told they’re close to making it to the Stanley Cup finals or something).

Mike De Souza wearing a Narwhal hat outside
Okay but, wait, what was the deal with that Charest quote again? Back in 2002, when Mike was the Quebec National Assembly bureau chief for CJAD radio, Charest said whenever his ‘war room’ gathered to make an announcement, they always wondered where Mike was. The admission was cause for a lot of giggles in the press room (you can listen to the audio clip here).

The former premier probably wasn’t in such a joking mood in 2016, when Mike broke a major story for the National Observer revealing Charest attended a private meeting with the National Energy Board while he was working as a consultant for TC Energy. The regulator was supposed to be independently reviewing the Calgary company’s Energy East pipeline project, but Mike’s reporting caused the board’s credibility to take a hit and forced it to suspend hearings as a result of the scandal. TC Energy subsequently cancelled the project.

That was just one example of Mike’s relentless coverage of the environment beat, a file he’s broken story after story on over the course of two decades.

We are beyond thrilled to have him aboard Team Narwhal, where he’ll be helping to level up our coverage — with an eye toward our big plans for Ontario (did you snag your free tote yet?).

We’d love for you to get to know more about Mike, courtesy of this lovely chat he had with assistant editor Josie Kao. Mike dished on his love of frogs, an Arnold Schwarzenegger recorder mishap and his diehard love for journalism.

“Every day that we’re holding someone’s feet to the fire, bringing about positive change, is a good day,” Mike told Josie. “And every day we empower citizens with the information they need on life and death matters is a good day, and every day we reveal the truth is a good day.”

Take care and look forward to more good days,

Arik Ligeti
Audience engagement editor

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Narwhal in the world
The battle over old-growth forests in B.C. is one that’ll be in the news for a long time yet. And B.C. reporter Sarah Cox has been busy helping us make sense of it.

Just last week, Sarah was a guest on The Big Story podcast, where she delved into the recommendations made a year ago on what the B.C. government needs to do to save the province’s remaining old trees.

And in case you missed it, Sarah also hosted a Q&A for The Narwhal with Garry Merkel, who co-led the old-growth panel that issued those recommended changes to B.C.’s forestry policies.

If Sarah wasn’t busy enough, she’s also got a big upcoming feature on what’s been happening around Fairy Creek on Vancouver Island. Keep your eyes peeled for it.

Help us build a community in Ontario a person carrying a narwhal tote You may have heard we’ve got big plans to launch an Ontario bureau. But we need your help first. As a dedicated reader of our journalism, you know first hand the kind of reporting The Narwhal does. Now, we’re asking you to spread the word to friends and family in Ontario so we can build a strong community in the province and grow our impact.

And we’ve got an added perk for you: refer three friends, and we’ll pop this sweet tote bag in the mail to say thanks. Could you pitch in?
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This week in The Narwhal

The inside story of an Alberta coal mine devastated by a financial crisis

person in contruction gear stands among piles of rock By Sharon J. Riley
As Coalspur — the company behind the Vista coal mine near Hinton, Alta. — declares itself financially ‘devastated,’ experts question whether sufficient funds have been collected for eventual cleanup. Read more.

Audit of B.C.’s tailings pond regulations casts shadow on government’s ‘world class’ mining claims

aerial view of tailings pond By Judith Lavoie
B.C. positions itself as a world leader in responsible mining, but an internal review of the province’s tailings management regime, designed to avoid another Mount Polley-style disaster, sheds a disconcerting light on the work yet to be done. Read more.

‘Are you poor enough?’: First Nations face compounding financial hardship when defending rights in court

Crystal Lameman poses in a forest By Stephanie Wood
Even though Indigenous Rights are recognized under Indigenous law, the Canadian constitution, treaties and precedent-setting court cases, negotiations between the Crown and Indigenous Peoples often fail First Nations, forcing communities to spend millions just to get their day in court. Read more.

What we’re reading Story by Story, Canada’s News Media Built Indigenous Oppression r33

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