Patrick Brethour

If Patrick Brethour’s career path is any indication, B.C. just climbed a rung in national recognition. The former Alberta bureau chief for the Globe and Mail was recently appointed to the new position of B.C. editor for the country’s biggest national newspaper.


Getting its own editor is a big deal for our corner of Canada, which boasts about 13 per cent of the country’s population, compared to Ontario’s approximately 40 per cent. (Prior to Brethour’s arrival, the Globe’s B.C. newsroom was headed by bureau chief Rod Mickleburgh, who took his cue from editors in Toronto.) It’s only fitting, now that the West seems to have firmly landed on Toronto’s radar.

The paper’s local newsroom has grown to 13 full-time staff, and it made a big splash locally when it launched a three-page B.C. section in 2005, playing up the fact that it had lured high-profile writers Petti Fong and Gary Mason from the local dailies.So how will this latest move to woo B.C. readers actually change the way the Globe covers this province? And what does a guy from Calgary know about B.C.?

What exactly is your new position?The title is B.C. editor. Rod Mickleburgh has been our bureau chief and has done a really good job of pushing the bureau forward over the last few years, but this new position is going to incorporate some editing functions that were being done out of Toronto, and some of the functions that the bureau chief was doing. So it’s a new job. There won’t be a bureau chief once the editor position is in place.

What will you be doing?The analogy I would draw is with our Ottawa bureau chief, who gets things off and running in conjunction with the national editor first thing in the morning. He also writes and leads our coverage on Parliament Hill. That’s been a very successful model for the Globe, and that’s really what we’re talking about in B.C. And despite the word “editor,” I will continue to do reporting both for news and for Report on Business. The idea is to have someone on the ground who is familiar with the news agenda and the business news agenda, and push both forward.

Does it mean more B.C. coverage, or just a shuffling of personnel?This is really the latest step in an evolution. We went from two journalists in the 1980s to 13 in Vancouver now.


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