Peter Mansbridge and His Legacy

July 4, 2017

On June 30th, Peter Mansbridge, OC (Order of Canada), Chief Correspondent for CBC News, and anchor of The National, signed off for the final time.

Mansbridge held those positions since 1988, when Knowlton Nash retired. For nearly 30 years, millions of Canadians welcomed Mansbridge into their homes and trusted his reporting—always fair and honourable—on world issues, the economy, and a broad range of human-interest topics.

It seems fitting that Mansbridge’s final assignment was to cover Canada’s 150th birthday celebration in the nation’s capital. Throughout his tenure with CBC, Peter Mansbridge reported on countless important Canadian news stories, including the Meech Lake Accord, the 1995 Quebec referendum, the state funeral of the Right Honourable Pierre Trudeau, and the 2014 Parliament Hill terrorist attack.

And he covered numerous world events, including the Gulf War, the funerals of Princess Diana and Pope John Paul II, and the fall of the Berlin Wall. He also hosted special broadcasts celebrating the 50th and 60th anniversaries of D-Day from Normandy, France.

An Officer of the Order of Canada, Peter Mansbridge has received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, 12 Gemini Awards, and 11 honorary degrees. He has been a highly trusted public figure in this country.

For all those reasons, he will be missed—a familiar and valued example of Canadiana that will no longer grace our screens nightly.

There’s nothing we can say that Peter Mansbridge hasn’t said better. So here are his own words from CBC’s Canada 150 coverage, Saturday, July 1st 2017.

“Over the decades I’ve traveled the country from province to province, from community to community, from ocean to ocean to ocean. I’ve met our people—people whose diversity makes us whole, makes us smart, makes us beautiful.

“I’ve witnessed our triumphs, shared in our failures. Reported on our proudest moments, and our most shameful. But, through it all, like millions of Canadians, I’ve never stopped loving our country. I’ve never stopped wanting it to be better.

“Today we gather in cities and towns, fishing villages, prairie elevators and northern community centres. Our history points to centuries of stories…one of which is 150 years since confederation. On this July 1st 2017, we remain an unfinished canvas. But that is both the excitement and the challenge of the future.

“It’s up to us, all of us, to take that challenge on…to make us stronger…to make us better. To make our Canada.

“On this day we celebrate and reflect on who we are, and look to the years ahead, wondering what we can become.

“Welcome to Parliament Hill, It’s Canada Day 2017.”

Peter, thank you for your work over the last 50 years. And thank you for embodying the Canadian sprit, both on and off the air.

If you missed CBC’s Canada Day 150 coverage, hosted by Peter Mansbridge, you can watch the entire broadcast by clicking on the link below.

CBC Canada 150 Coverage