The Canadian Journalists for Free Expression’s (CJFE) special Vox Libera Award will be awarded posthumously to Canadian journalist Ron Haggart (1927–2011). The Vox Libera Award, along with the International Press Freedom Awards recognizing Khaled al-Hammadi (Yemen) and Mohamed Abdelfattah (Egypt), will be presented at the 14th annual CJFE Gala: A Night to Honour Courageous Reporting on November 24, 2011.

The Canadian Journalists for Free Expression’s (CJFE) special Vox Libera Award will be awarded posthumously to Canadian journalist Ron Haggart (1927–2011). The Vox Libera Award, along with the International Press Freedom Awards recognizing Khaled al-Hammadi (Yemen) and Mohamed Abdelfattah (Egypt), will be presented at the 14th annual CJFE Gala: A Night to Honour Courageous Reporting on November 24, 2011.

The Vox Libera Award is granted to a Canadian who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the principles of free expression and has made an important and sustained contribution – at home or abroad – to those same principles.

Haggart was selected for his lifelong dedication to free expression, his journalistic integrity, and his commitment to speaking on behalf of those who could not. After an extensive career in investigative journalism, he left behind a legacy of honest, tough, and fair reporting. He remained devoted to defending free speech in Canada throughout his life.

“Ron was a giant in Canadian journalism, a brilliant newspaper columnist and television producer who worked hard to shed light on wrongdoing in society,” said Arnold Amber, CJFE president. “It is a pleasure to be able to recognize his lifelong passion for free expression, and his dedication to uncovering the truth.”

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The Vox Libera Award will be presented at the CJFE Gala on November 24, 2011, held at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. Haggart’s family will accept the award on his behalf.

“My father used his gifts on behalf of a better, fairer, more just Canada,” said daughter Kelly Haggart. “His family is deeply honoured to have his contribution recognized with this prestigious award, conferred by an organization so in tune with his own values.”

Ron Haggart (1927-2011) won numerous awards for his work, including a National Newspaper Award for his first-hand reports of the 1971 Kingston Penitentiary riot, and two Geminis, including the Gordon Sinclair Award for Broadcast Journalism. Throughout his life, he remained dedicated to exercising and defending the right to free expression, making him a champion for free speech in Canada. Over the course of a long career, he worked at The Vancouver Sun, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The Toronto Telegram, Citytv, and the CBC.
 

Grant Buckler is a retired freelance journalist and a volunteer with Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and lives in Kingston, Ont.