Born and raised in and around Toronto, Dan Lett came to Winnipeg in 1986, less than a year out of journalism school with a lifelong dream to be a newspaper reporter.
No really, it was his earliest dream, one that possessed him since he was a kid. He carefully studied every episode of Lou Grant, watched All the President’s Men repeatedly and memorized Humphrey Bogart’s concluding monologue from Deadline USA.
As you can imagine, Dan did not have many friends growing up. That’s what happens when no one on the playground will go “on the record.”
Since arriving in Winnipeg, he has worked at Free Press bureaus covering every level of government — from city hall to the national bureau in Ottawa. And he has seen some stuff.
He has had bricks thrown at him in riots following the 1995 Quebec referendum, wrote stories that helped in part to free three wrongly convicted men, met Fidel Castro, was trapped in a riot with Imelda Marcos, interviewed three Philippine presidents, crossed two borders in Africa illegally, chased Somali pirates in a Canadian warship and had several guns pointed at him.
In other words, he’s had every experience a journalist could ever hope for.
He has also been fortunate enough to be a two-time nominee for a National Newspaper Award, winning in 2003 for investigations. Other awards include winner of the B’Nai Brith National Human Rights Media Award and nominee for the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism.
Dan’s principal beat now is politics, but he also dabbles in justice and youth sports. He also devotes time to programming content at the Free Press News Café.
Now firmly rooted in Winnipeg, Dan visits Toronto often, but no longer pines to live there.
Recent articles of Dan Lett
There’s simply no way to get around it: Canadians are energy-consuming hogs.
This past April, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a non-governmental environmental advocacy organization, issued its annual international energy efficiency scorecard. Analyzing the 25 “most energy-consuming” countries, the ACEEE scorecard highlights those countries that are making a real effort to reduce energy consumption to help slow climate change, and exposes those that only talk a good game.
This year, Canada ranked 13th of 25 countries with an overall energy efficiency score of 49.5 out of a possible 100 points. That is well below first-place France (74.5) and only slightly above the global average of 48.5. That is a remarkably poor score given our relative wealth but it looks even more unflattering when you consider other metrics.
Canada actually rates seventh on policy, with robust targets and a myriad of government programs promoting energy efficiency. However, we rank 23rd when it comes to performance. In other words, Canadians are energy hogs.
After a week of carefully crafted apologies for the Roman Catholic church’s role in residential schools, Pope Francis decided to save his most intriguing comments to last.
On a July 30 flight from Iqaluit to Rome following a six-day tour of Canada, Francis finally conceded the residential schools system amounted to “genocide.” Although he apologized repeatedly for the Church’s role in that system, to that point he had not uttered the term genocide.
In an exchange with reporters on the plane, Francis noted he had used words like “assimilation” and “colonization” and “cultural destruction,” all of which the pontiff argued amounted to the same assessment.
“It’s true that I did not use the word because I didn’t think of it. Yes, genocide is a technical word, but I did not use it because I did not think of it. But … yes, it was a genocide, yes, yes, clearly. You can say that I said it was a genocide.”