By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: March. 31, 2012
My story on dike seepage was shortlisted in the “scoop” category.
The Squamish Reporter stories uncovered a crucial report on dike safety the district had commissioned after 2003 flood, but had ignored for several years.
In 2003, massive flooding in the Squamish River breached the dike at several points along the river. The municipality hired consultants to find ways to strengthen the dike, but never acted on these consultant reports.
One of the them, the Thurber report of 2008, warned the dike seepage must be addressed to avoid catastrophic damage in the event of a 2003 like flood.
The Reporter articles uncovered the Thurber report, and the fact that Squamish had ignored the report for several years.
With pressure from Brackendale residents and a letter from the local engineer Frank Baumann, the district finally decided to give more than $900,000 to dike remediation.
Last year, the Squamish Reporter was also shortlisted for a CAJ investigative journalism award for exposing a confidential Squamish fire department report.
Civic and public-service journalism that brings crucial information to light has always been my driving force. The award nomination, in my view, is an affirmation of that vision.
For the CAJ award in the ‘scoop’ category, I’m up against senior journalists working in some of Canada’s biggest media organisations.
Others in scoop category include Kim Bolan of the Vancouver Sun, Ian McLedod of Ottawa Citizen, Natalie Clancy and Manjula Dufresne of CBC Vancouver, and Tiar Wilson of APTN National News.
The finalist will be announced on April. 28th in Toronto.
Wish me luck.