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Former CBC parliamentary bureau chief Rob Russo, left, greets Robert Fife, right, Ottawa bureau chief for The Globe and Mail, alongside Steven Chase, senior parliamentary reporter for The Globe and Mail, after wining the Charles Lynch Award for outstanding coverage of national affairs at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que. on June 10, 2023.Spencer Colby/The Canadian Press

Two Globe and Mail journalists who have spent months breaking stories on foreign interference in Canadian politics, based on national-security sources and classified documents, have received the Charles Lynch Award for outstanding national affairs coverage.

Ottawa bureau chief Robert Fife and senior parliamentary reporter Steven Chase were honoured Saturday night for their continuing reporting into Chinese state interference in Canada – a problem the Canadian Security Intelligence Service has called the “greatest strategic threat to national security.”

The award, presented by the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery, was created in 1997 in honour of Canadian journalist and Second World War correspondent Charles Lynch. Mr. Fife, who also received the award in 2014, is the only person to be recognized twice.

“These reporters represent the finest ideals of journalism,” said David Walmsley, The Globe’s editor-in-chief. “They are tenacious, tough but fair.” Mr. Walmsley pointed out that Mr. Lynch, along with Ralph Allen of The Globe, went ashore as a reporter at Juno Beach on D-Day. An award named after Mr. Lynch, he said, “highlights the best of qualities that today’s journalists aspire to live up to. That is why the recognition of Mr. Fife and Mr. Chase means so much to all of us.”

In February, The Globe reported on secret and top-secret CSIS documents that described a concerted strategy by Beijing to disrupt the democratic process in the 2021 election campaign. The Globe’s exclusive stories, the result of whistle-blower leaks to the Ottawa reporters, have led to repeated calls for a public inquiry into foreign interference in the country.

“None of our journalism would have been possible without brave national-security sources who, after years being met by political inaction, reached out to us to alert the public of the scale of Beijing’s foreign interference,” Mr. Fife said.

Mr. Chase said the stories are the result of painstaking efforts to uncover the challenge facing Canada.

“It is a privilege to be honoured by our working peers for our efforts to uncover how our national-security agencies, government officials and political leaders have dealt with Chinese state interference in Canada’s democracy,” he said.

In March, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed former Gov.-General David Johnston as special rapporteur on foreign interference – a position he resigned from on Friday, before his work was complete. Opposition parties, which represent the majority of the seats in the House of Commons, have voted three times for a public inquiry instead of Mr. Johnston’s probe and on May 31 adopted a motion calling on him to step down.

“The story has already changed the political dialogue in the country,” said Don Newman, retired CBC senior parliamentary editor and broadcaster, who, along with former CBC parliamentary bureau chief Rob Russo, presented the award at the press gallery dinner in Ottawa. “And it is not over yet.”

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