Josée Dupuis, Emmanuel Marchand | Hillman Foundation

2016 Canadian Hillman Prize Winner

SQ abuse: women break the silence
Josée Dupuis, Emmanuel Marchand
Radio-Canada’s Enquête

The 2016 Hillman Prize judges chose three pieces that brought to light critical new information on the subject of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada and contributed to the federal government’s decision to call an inquiry into this tragedy.

Cindy Ruperthouse, an aboriginal woman from the Abitibi region in Quebec, had been missing from the town of Val d’Or for over a year. The police investigation was stalled until Dupuis and Marchand began looking into the case. On camera, women from her community described horrific treatment by some of the police officers – starlight tours where they would drop women off far out of town, even in the dead of winter, violence, abuse, prostitution, sexual abuse, even rape. The women’s complaints to the police ethic board went unanswered.

The research and reporting by Dupuis and Marchand resulted in the police suddenly taking an interest in the treatment of these Aboriginal women. The stories of the abuse were carried widely across the country.

In Quebec, the Enquête reports led to numerous significant changes including: 

  • The suspension of eight provincial police officers, and the appointment of the first female police chief in Val d’Or
  • Quebec’s Minister of Public Security, Lise Thériault, put the Montreal police force in charge of the investigation
  • Two aboriginal police officers joined the Montreal police investigation into the alleged SQ abuses.
  • The Quebec National Assembly has begun its own inquiry into violence and aboriginal communities and it will also look into the situation in Val d’Or.
  • The mayor, the Grand Council of the Cree, and the Algonquin communities signed a joint declaration to end violence and discrimination.

Josée Dupuis has worked as a Television journalist for the last 30 years, mainly in current affairs at Radio-Canada in Montreal. She has reported on a wide variety of stories that has taken her to several countries around the world. Josée has been part of the investigative program, Enquête, from its inception in 2007. Several of Josée’s stories won national and international recognition and have provoked changes in policy and laws in Quebec and Canada. She reported extensively on the mistreatment of animals in Quebec’s puppy mills and shelters forcing the provincial government to amend its animal cruelty laws. Her story on the Asbestos industry’s attempt to hide its murderess impact garnered national praise. And, her take on a shooting rampage in a little amish school in Pennsylvania reflected amazing humanity and forgiveness in the wake of horrendous terror. 

Emmanuel Marchand has been a Producer / Director at Enquête for the last eight years.  He has worked on many investigative reports that have resonated in Quebec.  Including stories about the infiltration of organized crime in institutions and businesses in Quebec and Ontario, and political and criminal corruption in the construction industry scandal which led to the Charbonneau Commission inquiry. Before joining the team at Enquête, Emmanuel worked for the CBC as the Quebec field producer for The National and as a producer for the investigative program Disclosure. Emmanuel’s has been recognized over the years winning several Quebec journalism awards and a Gemini for best current affairs direction.