Global Montreal staff news story picks from 2014

Global Montreal staff offer up their favourite news stories from 2014. Global News

MONTREAL — From the inquiry into corruption in Quebec’s construction industry, to revelations about Arthur Porter, to Pierre Karl Péladeau‘s leadership bid to the Luka Magnotta murder trial, there were no shortage of news stories coming out of Quebec and Montreal in 2014.

We asked our reporters, news director, producers and video journalists to share what news stories they felt had the most impact this past year.

Here’s a look at their news story picks from 2014:

Parti Québécois’ election loss

News Director Karen MacDonald: Quebec’s 2014 election campaign

“It was the election no one in Ottawa wanted to talk about — and after Monday night’s drubbing of the Parti Quebecois, federal politicians won’t have to.” 

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Watch: Quebec election campaigns’ top defining moments

My story of the year would be the 2014 provincial election campaign. I couldn’t believe I was watching Pauline Marois lose her lead in the polls day after day. It was one of the most stunning turnarounds in Quebec politics, especially given that the Quebec Liberal Party appeared so unpopular because of the Charbonneau Commission.

Investigation into Diamond Spa’s business practices

Reporter Anne Leclair: Diamond Spa’s business practices

“I’m extremely sorry for the inconveniences that happened. We will be reopening shortly and we appreciate everyone’s patience for the past few months.” ~ Sanaz Noroozi, the owner of the Diamond Spa franchise

Watch: Diamond Spa series

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I would say our Diamond Spa series is one that stands out for 2014! I think we’ve done 10 stories on the spa saga. What’s most disturbing is to see how many people, including customers, employees, charities and distributors, were affected by the alleged scam.

Letters from Luka Magnotta to his fans

Reporter Domenic FazioliLetters from Luka Magnotta: accused killer thanks ‘fans’ for numerous gifts sent to prison

“I have beautiful photos hanging on my wall with encouraging cards from people around the world.” ~ Luka Magnotta

Watch: Letters from Luka Magnotta

Not the most visually spectacular stories I’ve ever done, but it was picked up around the world and the Crown prosecutor even talked to me about it. Was it possibly once considered as evidence to show Magnotta was lying about his symptoms? I think so.

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Montreal Grammy winner

Reporter Paola Samuel: Montreal-based musician wins a Grammy

“Self-produced artist Jennifer Gasoi becomes the first Canadian to win a Grammy for Best Children’s Album of the Year.” ~ Grammy’s award statement

Watch: Montreal musician takes home Grammy

I loved telling jennifer Gasoi’s amazing story of success. Her combination of talent, determination and humility took her from selling CDs out of an NDG toy store to walking the red carpet at the Grammy’s!

Musician loses life in fire

Reporter Billy Shields: Family celebrate life of Montreal musician killed in fire

“They just decided they were going to go to Montreal. It’s the Mecca of music and if you’re going to play jazz, that’s where you go.” ~ Luke Rachwalski’s mother

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Watch: Family celebrates life of son lost to fire

This is a story I did on Luke Rachwalski, a musician from BC who died in a fire in NDG. The family was extremely generous with their time during a terribly difficult period, and they and the band gave us access to footage that we usually wouldn’t be able to get on such short notice. In a sense, this story ended up being a short, tragic road movie on the life of a budding star.

The Charter of Values

Reporter Aalia Adam‘Support Another’ kicks off Charter hearings with rally

“Since the discussions of the charter of values have surfaced, there have been hundreds of reported cases of verbal and physical assaults against visible minorities, wearing religious symbols, in our own streets of Quebec.” ~ Support Another website

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Watch: ‘Support Another’ campaign against Charter

The debate over the proposed charter of values was something that affected a lot of Quebecers this year, especially immigrants. Even though many people felt targeted for their beliefs, communities really stood their ground in a non-violent way by starting campaigns like Support Another, and created a platform for discussion on acceptance.

Mother’s life saved by bone marrow donation

Reporter Rachel Lau: Community rallies to help Montreal mother find bone marrow donor

“To have that heart to give the umbilical cord, because otherwise it’s going to be tossed in the garbage … she is going to potentially save my life.” ~ Mai Duong

Watch: Mai Duong’s search for a cord blood donor

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This story was particularly important to me because it shed light on an issue that, firstly, I didn’t know anything about (the fact that there is such a small number of Asian donors), and secondly, could affect me personally, if I or a family member ever got sick. When I met Mai, I was inspired by how strong she was, and sharing her story also inspired me to sign up as a donor.

Montreal family saves dog from Mexico

Reporter Sarah VolstadMontreal family adopts rescue dog from Tijuana, Mexico

“We saw a picture of the condition she was in and our hearts just broke.” ~ Lisa Arturo from Hope For Paws

Watch: Iggy comes home to Montreal

I’m an animal lover so this one is a personal favourite! We cover so many stories of struggle, hardship and loss, it’s wonderful to see people (and pets!) get their happy ending.

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The magic of news gathering

Video journalist David Sedell: Montreal off-island commuters breathe sigh of relief as A-20 reopens

“The closure caused an enormous gridlock and traffic headaches for thousands of drivers.” ~ Reporter Tim Sargeant

Watch: Cedres overpass closed on Highway 20

The story of how this story came together is a wonderful example of the magic of news gathering. The airport happened to be next to the exit where traffic was diverted. Tim Sargeant asked if I felt like going for a flight, and that’s how we got the aerial shots. The guy on the side of the road happened to live in the red house just behind him and he came to us as we watched traffic go by. (And this one is just pretty.)

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Stopping for ducks case

Web producer Annabelle Olivier: Emma Czornobaj gets 90 days in prison in stopping-for-ducks case

“I just wanted to pick up all those ducklings and put them in my car … I know it was a mistake.” ~  Emma Czornobaj 

Watch: 2 killed after woman stops for ducks on Quebec highway

Why? Because it could have been me or any number of people I know. It was a bad decision, coming from a good place. In the blink of an eye there were tragic consequences and the knowledge that you can’t go back and undo what has been done.

Taking a dip on a dare…

Weather specialist Jessica Laventure: Jumping into the icy waters of the St. Lawrence River

“Jess Laventure is officially crazy!” ~ Global Montreal Morning News anchor Camille Ross

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Watch: Taking a dip in the St. Lawrence River at Bota Bota Spa

Were you looking for something not so newsy? I’m thinking about that time I took a dip in the St. Lawrence River in the middle of February. Richard Dagenais dared me to dip a toe in for a cherry pie, and I ended up going in neck-deep!

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