The Coast out of Halifax, Nova Scotia has been nominated as a finalist for the 2012 Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism for their story, “A Trust Betrayed: Peter Kelly and the estate of Mary Thibeault” by Tim Bousquet.
The Michener Award is one of the highest honors in Canadian journalism.
The story required over 11-months of investigative reporting and when published brought to light the corrupt practices of Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly regarding the estate of Mary Thibeault. Upon her death, Mary Thibeault’s estate was valued at over half a million dollars without any outstanding debts, and Kelly was not only named as an heir, despite not being a family member, but was also chosen to be both executor and trustee of her will.
Due to the straight-forward nature of Thibeault’s assets the distribution of her estate to her heirs should have taken 18-months to 2 years, but more than seven years after her death on December 7, 2004 many heirs have yet to see their full inheritance and Kelly has pocketed $145,000 from the estate.
As a direct result of this story, Kelly decided against seeking a re-election with many Halifax residents calling for his resignation prior to the completion of his term.
Of the six 2012 Michener Award finalists, The Coast is the only alt-weekly, and publisher Christine Oreskovich says the timing could not be better.
“We are celebrating 20 years this June, so this feels pretty good,” she said.