Sylvie Fournier wins 6th Annual Beth McLaughlin Environmental Journalism Award

Sylvie Fournier, a Montreal-based journalist with Radio-Canada’s Enquête program, is this year’s first-place recipient of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick South East Chapter’s Annual Beth McLaughlin Environmental Journalism Award.

Sylvie receives the award, given annually since 2015  in recognition of in-depth reporting and thoughtful coverage of environmental issues in New Brunswick, for her  documentary, La Forêt Désenchantée/ The Disenchanted Forest, focused on the highly contested battle to end glyphosate spraying in New Brunswick.

“The Radio-Canada documentary is a shocking exposé of corporate capture and corrupt influence that extends beyond government into universities,” said Rosella Melanson, a retired journalist, broadcaster and professor of journalism, and one of the judges presenting the award. “From a journalistic point of view, the documentary is “balanced” and “fair” because it includes commentary and opinion from all sides, yet it does more because it puts the opinions of those who defend glyphosate spraying in context. Instead of accepting the word of glyphosate defenders, it examines the record showing viewers a deeper truth about those claims.”

“I am deeply honoured that our piece has been chosen to receive the Beth McLaughlin Environmental Journalism Award this year,” said Sylvie Fournier upon receiving the award during the Conservation Council’s 51st Annual General Meeting, held virtually on Saturday, Nov. 21. “Gil Shochat, who worked on the piece with me, want to express our gratitude to the members of the committee and to the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. Gil and I love what we do, and we do it for the public interest, but it is always very gratifying and encouraging to be reminded that our stories are being watched, and we hope that we can make a difference.”

Joan Baxter, a Nova Scotia-based reporter, and Ben Goldfarb, an independent journalist based in Spokane, Washington, were jointly-awarded second place for their articles, The Borealization of Canada, published in the Halifax Examiner, and Too Hot to Handle? Salmon and Climate, published in the Atlantic Salmon Federation Journal, respectively.

Beth McLaughlin, the founder of the Southeast Chapter of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, was a teacher, writer, social activist, and active citizen. The Southeast Chapter presents this award annually in her memory.

Find the winning works here:

  • Sylvie Fournier‘s La Forêt Désenchantée. An Enquête documentary aired on Radio-Canada Nov. 21, 2019, about aerial spraying of the herbicide glyphosate on New Brunswick’s public forests. Watch here (French)Watch English version here (Published on Youtube June 16, 2020)
  • Joan Baxter’s article The Borealization of Acadia published in the Halifax Examiner July 2, 2020 about the implications of industrial forestry practices in New Brunswick. Read the article here.
  • Ben Goldfarb‘s article Too Hot to Handle? Salmon and Climate, published in the ASF Journal, Summer 2019 about the fate of Atlantic salmon. Read the article here.

Thank you to the distinguished judges and the members of the Southeast Chapter who made the award possible this year:

Judges Panel: Bruce Wark, Roland Chiasson, and Rosella Melanson.

Award Committee: Anita Cannon, David Cannon and Cynthia Doucet.

Supporting CCNB SE Chapter members: David MacDonald, Serge Robichaud, Liz Storey, Jon Storey, Frank Johnston, Helen Chenell, John Crompton.