ONFR+/TFO's Les Accents receives Honourable Mention
BC Civil Liberties Association awarded Hillman Canada Prize for Democracy and Social Justice
TORONTO, March 26, 2020 The Sidney Hillman Foundation announced today it has awarded the 10th annual Canadian Hillman Prize to Crackdown, a community-led documentary radio show and podcast that covers the overdose crisis and failed war on drugs.
Crackdown is produced by a coalition of leading drug activists from Vancouver, including executive producer Garth Mullins, a longtime community organizer and former injection heroin user. In revelatory episodes, such as "Change Intolerance" ( Parts 1 and 2), Crackdown sheds light on pivotal public health incidents including "The Switch," a catastrophic attempt by British Columbia to push 15,000 methadone patients onto a new and unfamiliar treatment overnight. When the provincial government refused to heed warnings from users, Crackdown reveals how patients were forced to turn to the black market, with many relapsing – all on the eve of the devastating fentanyl crisis.
Judges Bonnie Brown, Tony Burman and Garvia Bailey called Crackdown a pioneering example of collaborative journalism, marshalled in the service of telling urgent and humane stories from the front lines of a community fighting for its life.
"Crackdown is an astonishing and profoundly moving example of the podcast format at its most emotionally acute," said judge Garvia Bailey. "The podcast is an effective amalgamation of 'on the ground' reportage, intimate first-person accounts, and investigative tenacity coupled with a deep dive into drug policy. By enlisting drug users to tell these frontline stories, the raw urgency and tragedy of this ongoing crisis has never been rendered more starkly."
The Hillman judges also recognized ONFR+/TFO's Les Accents (Accents) for honourable mention. Les Accents is a beautifully produced and impactful web series that exposes linguistic discrimination against Franco-Ontarian and other French speakers in the province, discouraging their participation in post-secondary education and barring them from employment opportunities.
"This year, the winner and the honourable mention used audio and video to reach online audiences to excellent effect," said judge Bonnie Brown. "While very different, each is an important piece of journalism that captures the lived experience of individuals whose challenges are often misunderstood to create lasting and meaningful societal change."
Hillman Canada Prize for Democracy and Social Justice
The Sidney Hillman Foundation is also proudly announcing that the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) will receive the Hillman Canada Prize for Democracy and Social Justice – a special award given by the foundation's officers to mark the 10th anniversary of the Hillman Prize in Canada.
The BCCLA, established in 1962, is the oldest and most active civil liberties group in Canada. Under the leadership of Josh Paterson, and now Harsha Walia, the BCCLA has repeatedly proven its commitment to just causes and, through its efforts, has instigated substantive change in the areas of human rights, privacy, police accountability, national security, free expression and workers' rights – each of which is central to the Sidney Hillman Foundation.
Hillman's judging committee was deeply impressed by the breadth of work of the BCCLA over the last decade on some of Canada's most important issues and cases, including winning the right to medically-assisted death, striking down Canada's cruel solitary confinement laws, defeating the second-class citizenship bill and challenging discriminatory police street checks.
"The BCCLA has had enormous influence and success overturning unjust laws, and bringing a progressive, humane perspective to many of this country's most contentious social issues," said judge Tony Burman. "The BCCLA has had a particular commitment to preserving the rights and freedoms of those who are most vulnerable to abusive government regulation and has repeatedly fought to protect the free expression of journalists and others."
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been forced to postpone the 2020 Canadian Hillman Prize Ceremony in Toronto. So, we are acknowledging our honourees online today, March 26, and we invite all of our readers to join us in sharing congratulations on social media. Please follow us on twitter @SidneyHillman to join our virtual celebration of outstanding Canadian journalism.
The Sidney Hillman Foundation honours excellence in journalism in service of the common good. The U.S Hillman Prizes have been awarded annually since 1950 and the Canadian Hillman Prize since 2011.
SOURCE The Sidney Hillman Foundation
For further information: Alexandra Lescaze: [email protected]