CTV News congratulates Craig Oliver on being named to the Order of Canada today. The Order of Canada is one of Canada’s highest civilian honours and recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement and service to the nation.
“On behalf of everyone from CTV News, I’d like to congratulate Craig Oliver on this tremendous honour,” said Wendy Freeman, President, CTV News. “Craig has done so much for the CTV News division and for so many Canadians outside of our news family. He has continually demonstrated excellence in his work, while serving as a mentor for young journalists and selflessly giving his time to philanthropic causes. He has covered and reported on the major political events and newsmakers of many generations with passion and hard work, for the benefit of all Canadians. We at CTV News are thrilled to see Craig saluted for his lifetime of outstanding achievement and contributions to the country.”
Oliver, who is legally blind, celebrated his 70th birthday by hosting a fundraiser for the Ottawa Eye Institute raising more than $100,000. For decades he has worked tirelessly to support the visually impaired community. His work includes sharing his expertise with various services including the CNIB and the Ottawa Eye institute.
Every newshound interested in the intricacies of Canadian politics has at one time tuned in to hear the reports of Craig Oliver. His remarkable 56-year career has taken him across the country and around the globe to cover Canadian, U.S. and world news. During his 15-year tenure as host of Canada’s landmark political program, QUESTION PERIOD, his unique style of interviewing Canadian newsmakers and members of government have made him one of the country’s most respected and recognized journalists. He has reported on the major political figures and news stories of our times with passion, insight and bracing candour.
In 2011, Oliver published Oliver’s Twist: The Life and Times of an Unapologetic Newshound. His many-layered memoir recounts an extraordinary professional and personal life, where a chance summer job with the local CBC station launched his broadcasting career, taking Oliver from Prince Rupert, B.C. to Ottawa, Washington, Central America and reporting from capitals around the world.
The depth of Oliver’s experience is evident in the many awards he has been given by his peers over his career. He has known and covered 10 Canadian Prime Ministers and been involved in every Canadian federal election campaign since 1957 when he chased John Diefenbaker down the streets of Prince Rupert. During his time as CTV Washington bureau chief, Oliver reported on the Ronald Reagan years, covered U.S. election campaigns and the Reagan-Gorbachev summits that ended the cold war.
From his first days in the radio booth at CBC Radio in Prince Rupert, B.C. at the tender age of 18, to corridors of Parliament Hill, Oliver has covered it all. He got his start in broadcasting at CBC Radio in 1957, cutting his teeth covering news from the Prairies. He moved up the ranks and across the country from Prince Rupert to Regina to Winnipeg and finally landing in Toronto as the Executive Producer of Regional News for CBC.
Oliver took his first assignment with CTV in 1972. He served as Ottawa bureau chief for a span of almost 20 years, was CTV’s correspondent in Washington from 1979 – 88, held the post of Director of News and Current Affairs from 1973 – 76, and produced Canada AM’s inaugural live broadcasts in 1973.