After more than 20 years of reporting from Parliament Hill, Jane Taber is leaving Ottawa and heading to Halifax. The 53-year-old Globe and Mail reporter is trading in her parliamentary press pass to head up the Globe’s Atlantic bureau this January.

A couple of organizations said farewell to The Globe and Mail's Parliament Hill reporter, Jane Taber. Alex Weber was there and reports on the goodbyes that were said and how Taber is preparing for her post as the Globe's new head of Atlantic bureau.

After more than 20 years of reporting from Parliament Hill, Jane Taber is leaving Ottawa and heading to Halifax. The 53-year-old Globe and Mail reporter is trading in her parliamentary press pass to head up the Globe’s Atlantic bureau this January.

On Tuesday night Famous 5 Ottawa and Equal Voice — two organizations that work to promote women’s political contributions — held a reception in Taber’s honour. Dozens of media colleagues, politicians and old friends, came out to the Metropolitan Brasserie restaurant in Ottawa to pay tribute to Taber’s political reporting and wish her well before she heads to the east coast.

“We’re sad but glad for Jane,” said Nancy Peckford, the executive director of Equal Voice. “She’s one of a few female reporters that has a prominence and stature, so when she writes, people read it. She writes well and she covers women from all political parties quite well, and in a way that does them justice.”

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson was one of many guests who sang Taber’s praises. Watson said he met Taber more than 25 years ago when he was working as the press secretary to the speaker and she was covering Parliament Hill for the Ottawa Citizen.

“I’ve known Jane for over 25 years. She’s a friend … and she’s been a great journalist in Ottawa. I’m sad to see her leave,” he said.

Taber began her reporting career in 1979 at the Ottawa Citizen, where she worked as the weekend reporter during her final year studying journalism at Carleton University. In 1986, she began covering the Hill for the Citizen. From there, Taber covered federal politics for the National Post, before joining The Globe and Mail in 2002.

From 1995 to 1997, Taber hosted a 30-minute political affairs show called Jane Taber’s Ottawa on the Women’s Television Network (now W). She also co-produced and narrated an hour-long documentary on women in politics, Balance of Power, which aired on CBC’s Rough Cuts during the 1997 federal election. For six years Taber was also the host of CTV’s Question Period, a role she stepped out of in June.

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Taber, who’s not used to being the one in the spotlight, said she was humbled at the recognition she received Tuesday evening. She said she has great admiration for both female politicians and journalists who step out of their comfort zone and into public roles.

“As a female journalist there’s not a lot of us on the Hill and there’s not a lot of female politicians, so you respect each other. I have always respected women who have put themselves forward for elected office,” Taber said.

 “I respect the men, too, obviously, but there is something harder about when you stand as a woman, because I think you’re criticized just a little bit more. I think you’re judged just a little bit more harshly, and I think people tend to pick apart what you do, what you say and how you look a little bit more than they would with men.”

After covering the Hill for so long, Taber said stepping into the role of Atlantic bureau chief is a refreshing challenge, but one that makes her a little nervous.

“I’ve done politics for so long that I’m scared about the job, but, a good scared,” Taber said. “It’s fairly easy writing on the Hill because the stories kind of just come to you.”

But, with free reign over all four of Canada’s Atlantic provinces, Taber said she’s excited to write about issues that didn’t fall within her political beat, and plans to follow some valuable advice from her boss, The Globe and Mail’s national editor and Cape Breton native, Sinclair Stewart.

 “He raised a very good point and he said, what you do in Atlantic Canada is you do a lot of listening,” Taber said. “There’s a lot of characters there, there’s a lot of rich stories, there’s a lot of rich culture, so you just listen and he’s absolutely right. So that’s what I’ll have to do, because I’m so used to this place.”