Karen Kleiss, of the Edmonton Journal, and Darcy Henton, of the Calgary Herald, have won the 2014 Canadian Hillman Prize for their Fatal Care investigation into the deaths of children while in provincial foster care in Alberta.

Journalists Karen Kleiss, of the Edmonton Journal, and Darcy Henton, of the Calgary Herald, have won the 2014 Canadian Hillman Prize for their investigation into the deaths of children while in provincial foster care in Alberta.

The Sidney Hillman Foundation prize honours journalists, writers and public figures who pursue social justice and public policy stories.

Kleiss and Henton’s Fatal Care series revealed that over the past 14 years, 145 children—most of whom were Aboriginal—have died while in Alberta’s care. After a difficult four-year process, including an appeal to Alberta’s information officer, the newspapers received a more thorough response to their freedom of information request.

According to the press release, “since the series was published, Alberta has changed its policy on death records and held a two-day roundtable on child welfare reform. The Human Services Minister has vowed to lift the province’s publication ban with a legal amendment this spring.”

Honourable mentions went to La Presse for its Roads that kill series that concluded design flaws in construction led to so many serious accidents on Quebec roads and highways, and the Racism in Paradise series produced by The Province in Vancouver.

Kleiss and Henton will share a $3,000 prize and will receive their awards in Toronto on March 18 and  then travel to New York City to participate in the U.S. Hillman Prize ceremony on May 6, 2014. The two honourable mentions will each receive $1,000.


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Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.