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Help Build Canada's Best Independent Election Reporting Team

With such a high-stakes election around the corner, we need your support.

By Jane Armstrong 23 Mar 2015 | TheTyee.ca

Jane Armstrong is editor in chief of The Tyee.

Nine years and several omnibus bills later, in many ways the Canada of 2015 is unrecognizable compared to the country Stephen Harper inherited in 2006. The change is ongoing: as you read this, experts are offering their testimony to politicians on Bill C-51, new legislation that would give federal agencies sweeping surveillance powers.

With Canada's next federal election around the corner, isn't it time to take stock of this legacy? We at The Tyee certainly think so. That's why, right now, we're assembling an amazing election reporting team -- one that will examine the Harper government's record over the last nine years, but also press the alternatives for their vision and solutions.

After all, the issues in the 2015 vote are among the most important the country has ever faced: climate change, the need for good, sustainable jobs, the growing wealth gap, our international role, and so much more.

The first federal election I covered was a generation ago, in 1988, for the Toronto Star, the largest newspaper in Canada. The Star's election team was massive. The paper dispatched dozens of reporters across the country.

Today, newspapers no longer have mammoth election teams. And traditional newsrooms have fewer resources and much less influence over the outcome of elections.

Which is why it's so thrilling to be part of the Tyee team. Last fall, after more than 25 years as a newspaper reporter, I took over as editor in chief at The Tyee. Our newsroom, in a heritage building in downtown Vancouver, is a fraction of the size of the Star's football-field-size newsroom, but we have perfected the art of gathering more news with less.

Now, with such a high-stakes election on the horizon, we want to do even more. And we need your support.

Today, we're launching a new national drive to expand our election coverage. The more money we raise, the more stories we can report for you. The target is $50,000 in three weeks.

Contribute to The Tyee's federal election coverage now.

You might ask: wasn't it just over a year ago that readers raised $100,000 to expand national coverage? You're right. With your help, The Tyee sent a correspondent to Ottawa and built a pool of national contributors.

They've been busy. Ottawa correspondent Jeremy Nuttall helped expose abuses in the Temporary Foreign Workers program and energy writer Andrew Nikiforuk brought you a remarkable series on the effects of hydraulic fracturing in Alberta.

With more resources, we'll bring you even more of that kind of investigative reporting -- throughout the election campaign.

Help expand The Tyee's federal election coverage today.

Over the last 11 years, The Tyee has produced independent, principled journalism. We've twice won the National Edward R. Murrow journalism prize. We are committed to producing original reporting on issues we know you care about.

Elections provide a rare opportunity for voters to ask tough questions of elected officials and candidates. Our reporters won't be on a campaign bus with the press pack, trailing leaders and gathering sound bites. Instead, we'll frame our election stories around the issues that are important to you. The big issues, and the under-reported issues often neglected by mainstream media.

That's where you can play a role. We want to know what the hot-button issues are for you. Are you concerned with our reliance on energy exports and lack of cohesive climate strategy? Are you wary of the security-related agenda touted by Ottawa leaders? What issues matter most to you?

Tell us by becoming a Tyee Builder.

By ranking the issues you care about, you can help us shape our reporting priorities.

It's up to you how much to give. But think about how much money a monthly cable or newspaper subscription costs. If a few thousand readers sent $25 each, we'd reach our goal.

With that, we'll unleash our reporters and get to work. This campaign marks a crucial moment in our history. What's needed now is rigorous, fact-driven reporting. Help us beef up our resources to give this election everything we've got.

Back in the 1988 federal election campaign, I recall feeling like a small cog in a massive news-gathering machine. The big issue of the campaign was Canada's free trade deal with the United States, yet I was writing short riding profiles in an eastern Toronto suburb. I'm not sure those pieces had much impact with readers.

That won't happen when you support The Tyee's election coverage. We'll dispatch journalists to write on issues we're certain you care about, because you, the reader, will help shape that agenda.

Invest in critical, independent election reporting. Support The Tyee today.  [Tyee]

Read more: Federal Politics

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