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Tyee's 'Sanctuary City' Series Chosen as Finalist for Webster Award

More recognition for reporter David P. Ball, whose stories traced lives of undocumented migrants.

By Tyee Staff 9 Sep 2015 | TheTyee.ca

A 2014 Tyee series on the lives of undocumented Vancouver residents has been named a finalist for a Jack Webster Foundation Award for Community Reporting.

The seven-part multimedia series by Tyee reporter David P. Ball was also shortlisted for a Canadian Association of Journalists investigative award earlier this year.

"Status: Inside Vancouver's Sanctuary Movement" investigated the struggles of migrants with no citizenship status in the Greater Vancouver region. Ball began probing the issue in May 2014 after learning that Vancouver city council intended to declare the city a sanctuary for undocumented migrants.

Ball interviewed migrant workers, authorities, and examined municipal services where many undocumented immigrants say they fear being caught and deported.

"It's an honour to have The Tyee's series on undocumented immigrants recognized by the Jack Webster Foundation, especially now that asylum-seekers and migration are in the public spotlight and Canadians are seeking solutions to a global crisis," Ball said.

The series sparked a public debate, particularly in the wake of the suicide of a Mexican undocumented hotel worker who was detained in Vancouver for not paying a transit fare. She died in custody of the Canada Border Services Agency in late 2013.

Other nominees in the category include Roszan Holmen, for a Focus Magazine investigation into the condition of the E&N Railway tracks on Vancouver Island, and Erin Haluschak, for a Comox Valley Record series on the demolition of St. Michael's Residential School in Alert Bay and the experiences of local former students.

The winner will be announced at the 29th annual Jack Webster Awards dinner on Nov. 4, 2015 in Vancouver.  [Tyee]

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