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Québec’s 20 most trusted individuals: 8th and 9th positions [post 5 of 11] (#260)

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This post will look at the #8 and #9 spot in our top 20 most trusted people in Québec.  It is interesting to note that one is the most “unbiased” public figures in Québec, and the other is one of the most “political” figures in Québec and Canada.   The contrast cannot get much larger than that.

#8 Céline Galipeau –

Céline Galipeau is someone who I personally would have ranked in the top three.  I’m a little surprised she did not rank higher.

Every country, nation and every global linguistic region has their own celebrity chief news anchors.

English Canada has

  • Peter Mansbridge (CBC),
  • Lisa Laflamme (CTV) and
  • Dawna Friesen (Global).

Québec and French Canada has

  • Céline Galipeau (Radio-Canada), and
  • Pierre Bruneau (TVA).

Likewise (to put things in context for USA readers), the USA has

  • David Muir (ABC news)
  • Scott Pelley (CBS news), and
  • Lester Holt (NBC news).

The above list should give you a fairly good context of where Céline Galipeau fits into the big picture.

Every chief anchor has to walk a very thin line between playing a major role in choosing the news stories of the day, deciding how to deliver the news, and maintaining the appearance of being unbiased and impartial.   It is not an easy task, and only the best of the best are able to pull it off.

I have felt that Céline Galipeau has been able to pull it off quite well – and she is certainly someone who I have followed for many many years.  I have a pet theory why she may not have ranked a bit higher (versus Pierre Bruneau of TVA, for example).  Of course there is the ratings factor (TVA gets higher ratings, which I mentioned in the post which included Pierre Bruneau).

Another factor might be that she sometimes has a tendency to add small one-line closing “comments” at the end of some reports (especially controversial or emotional reports).   Pierre Bruneau of TVA does not do this。   I think a number of people may have picked up on this — and it’s one area where she might lose some points for some people (and the personal, odd, one-line comment should perhaps be toned down a little).

Regardless, apart from the odd, small one-liner subjective commentaries (such as subjectively saying Omar Khadir’s story is “moving”), I still believe she is one of the better chief anchors in Canada and Québec — and I have a great deal of respect for Céline Galipeau — especially for her more worldly views touching on matters which do not necessarily directly involve local Québec news.

I first began to follow her career when both her and I were posted to Beijing (China) for work during overlapping periods (she was posted to Beijing as CBC / Radio-Canada’s main China correspondent, and I was posted to the Canadian embasy in Beijing with the Canadian foreign service — back in my government days before I went to the private sector).   I had the opportunity to meet her on several occasions during our overlapping years in Beijing, and it confirmed my belief that she was someone of character and integrity.


Photo of me and Céline Galipeau in Beijing… I think possibly in 2002

Galipeau returned to Canada in 2003 to anchor the weekend Le Téléjournal on Radio-Canada (the French equivalent to the weekend addition of CBC’s English “The National”).  In 2009, she became the head news anchor of Radio-Canada and of Le Téléjournal.

I am not at all surprised that she is one of the most trusted people in Québec.

#9 Thomas Mulcair (note the orange)

Thomas Mulcair is the first (and highest) ranked politican on this list.  As the federal head of the New Democratic Party, he certainly painted the town orange in 2012.

Québec has known Thomas Mulcair for many more years than the rest of Canada.  Mulcair was a Québec MNA (the equivalent of an MLA, MPP or MNL) for many years.  He was Québec’s environment minister from 2003 to 2006 with the provincial Liberals.

With everything which happened in Alberta yesterday, we may very well see him take his orange paint brush to other parts of the country in October, 2015 (much remains to be seen, dependant on both his and Rachel Notley’s actions and positions running up to the Federal election.

Nonetheless, the fact that he remains Québec’s most trusted politician, despite having been the head of the official federal opposition since 2012, says much about his skills as a politician.   Even in an overall Canadian context, polls indicate he constantly comes out as the most trusted politician in all of Canada (even much more popular than his own party).

Even people who I know who normally vote on the further right end of the spectrum confide to me that they believe that Mulcair is the most “likeable” individual of our political lot (regardless of his politics).  That’s not an easy feat to pull off by any means (especially considering that his politics are left of centre).

I don’t know what is going to happen in the next Federal election any more than anyone else (are we talking about Canada’s next Prime Minister?).  But politics in Canada and Québec can be as much a game of personalities and trust, as it can be of policy and substance.   If Mulcair is able to balance and marry these factors in the last months of the 2015 Federal election campaign, we may be seeing much more of him for many many years to come.

This year’s election cycle will be interesting.

The next post will be the half-way point in our list of the 20 most trusted individuals in Québec.


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