We’re exploring the climate crisis in Canada and around the world. What’s working? What’s holding us back? What to do about it and how to talk about it (sometimes even how to think about it).
Our work is essential information for a diverse audience and paying subscribers, who include university and high school students, government ministers and policymakers, civil society groups, and readers across Canada.
You can access our content daily on the internet, including through our new app, which is available in the Apple and Google stores. We also reach audiences via newsletters, podcasts, social media, and, here, on our dedicated platform. We pride ourselves on providing Canada's most accurate and best daily climate coverage, offering in-depth analysis and comprehensive reporting that shapes the national conversation.
CNO brings together seasoned professionals, each with decades of experience in the field, and some of the brightest emerging talents in Canadian journalism. This unique combination fosters an environment rich in expertise and innovative perspectives, allowing us to cover the complex issues of climate change and environmental policy with depth, clarity, and creativity. Our employees are unionized with the Canadian Media Guild. For CNO's staff page, go here. Read our collective agreement here.
At Canada's National Observer, our commitment is to journalism that makes a difference – reporting that informs, engages, and empowers. We are dedicated to producing stories that are not only newsworthy but also contribute to the greater good, driving change and fostering a more sustainable and environmentally conscious society.
Canada's National Observer (CNO) thrives on the strong connection with its readers and subscribers. We value public feedback beyond just publishing comments or letters. Our audience’s insights contribute significantly to our story development, helping us address emerging questions, uncover under-reported issues, and bring new and diverse perspectives to light. This commitment to engaging with our readership is a testament to our dedication to transparency and interaction in journalism.
The Canada's National Observer (CNO), founded in 2015, is part of the Observer Media Group. It emerged to fill a gap in Canadian journalism, reporting on environmental, climate, and related cultural and political issues. Early in its history, CNO conducted a Kickstarter campaign, raising funds to support its journalistic endeavors. This included covering topics like climate change, corporate influence, and environmental policies. CNO has been involved in significant collaborative journalism projects, such as the "Price of Oil", and has gained recognition for its investigative reporting, particularly in areas affecting Canadian society and beyond.
Linda Solomon Wood played a key role in the founding and development of Canada's National Observer (CNO). Having previously founded and developed Vancouver Observer (VO), she was ready to expand. When VO's coverage outgrew the local brand to include big national stories on energy and the environment, government spying on citizens, and foreign control of Canadian energy assets, she received the CJF Jackman Award for Excellence on behalf of VO in Toronto. At the gala, she announced that a new publication was in the planning stages. See video below.
CNO broke new ground in 2017 for digital-only media when it received a citation from the Michener Awards, which are given by the Governor General of Canada at Rideau Hall. This is one of the highest honours in Canadian journalism and National Observer was the first online-only publication ever to have received a Michener citation. The citation was for reporting on dysfunctions in the regulatory process governing the proposed Energy East pipeline.
It happened again the same year when CNO became the first digital-only news site to win a National Newspaper Award. The award came in the business reporting category for reporting on the Irving family of New Brunswick. The 8-part series entitled 'House of Irving' won the National Newspaper Award and Tracy Glynn, who was editor of New Brunswick Media Co-op at the time, said that "National Observer is changing the media landscape in Canada, showing that business can be reported on in a way that has the public interest at heart, which is the task of journalism."
CNO has garnered prestigious recognitions, including multiple Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAs) such as 'Best News Website', 'Best Column or Blog', and 'Best Photo Journalism'. In 2016, it was named 'Independent Publisher of the Year' by COPAs, winning in categories like 'Best News Coverage' and 'Best Digital Solution'. Sandy Garossino's commentary earned special accolades. The National Observer also ranked second for 'Best News Website' nationally, and has multiple nominations from the Canadian Association of Journalists.
CNO received a second Michener citation for its role in the collaborative 'Tainted Water' series, exposing widespread lead contamination in Canada's water. In 2019, Garossino was nominated for the best column of the year in British Columbia by The Webster Awards.
Marc Fawcett-Atkinson's reporting on plastics in Canada received a nomination in 2021 for 'Best Environmental Reporting' from the Webster Foundation awards.
In 2022, Canada's National Observer won its second National Newspaper Award for Karyn Pugliese's columns on residential schools. It received nominations for the National Newspaper Awards and an Honourable Mention at the Canadian Hillman Prize for 'Friends with Benefits', highlighting the influence of developers on politics. The Observer was also a finalist for the Canadian Journalism Foundation's Excellence in Journalism Award, in collaboration with the Institute for Investigative Journalism, for its water series and also was nominated for the Climate Solutions Reporting Award for the podcast, "Race Against Climate Change".
Sandy Garossino and Max Fawcett landed as finalists in 2022 in the Digital Publishing Awards of the Magazine Association of Canada for best columns.
In 2023, Canada’s National Observer’s The Salmon People was named a Webby Honoree in the 27th Annual Webby Awards. “Honorees like The Salmon People are setting the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet,” said Claire Graves, president of the Webby Awards. “It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the nearly 14,000 entries we received this year.”
"The Salmon People" was also nominated for the best in Canada for "overall excellence" in the Canadian Foundation for Journalism award for small media.
Chloe Logan's hard-hitting exposé, entitled 'Investigation: Past Safety Violations Loom Large Over the Reopening of Canadian Coal Mine,' was nominated for an Atlantic Journalism Award in the Enterprise Longform category. She was a fellow in the Metcalf Foundation’s 25th annual science immersion workshop for environmental journalists.
Matteo Cimellaro, an Ottawa-based journalist, was honored by the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) with a nomination for its Emerging Indigenous Journalist Award. His reporting on 'Native American Journalists Association Bars New York Times from Its Conference Over Harmful Coverage' was among the stories that contributed to his nomination.
Marc Fawcett-Atkinson and Jessica McDiarmid’s, “Right-wing operatives masquerading as local grassroots groups on Facebook,” won a nomination for a Canadian Association of Journalists award.
For a complete list of CNO's awards and nominations, go here.
Founder and Publisher Linda Solomon Wood: started her career at The Tennessean in Nashville as an investigative reporter; her reporting on insurance fraud received two awards from United Press International, one for best public service reporting and one for best investigative reporting that year, after leading to senate hearings and new federal regulation of the insurance industry;
Editor-in-Chief Adrienne Tanner: In 2001, she joined the Vancouver Sun as assignment editor, then became city editor where she helped transform the newspaper to a digital publication. She served as deputy editor from 2012 until 2017, overseeing the investigative team and political reporters;
Deputy Managing Editor David McKie: 2020 winner of Canadian Association of Journalism Charles Bury award for outstanding contributions to Canadian journalism (his second Bury award), spent two decades at the CBC, was part of a team that won the Michener Award for its Taser coverage, and he worked as a producer for Power and Politics: considered the top data journalist in Canada;
Copy Editor Shelley Wallis has served as editor and producer with publications including The Toronto Star, Calgary Herald, and the Calgary Sun;
Assistant Editor Diana Coulter has worked for the Christian Science Monitor, the Canadian Press, Toronto Star, Edmonton Journal, and, Ms. Coulter has covered news and features for The Globe and Mail from India.
Our revenue is generated through subscription sales, crowdfunding, sponsorship for podcasts, events, and newsletters, contracts, and government grants, and tax credits for journalism jobs from The Government of. Canada.
From 2020 through to the present, we have received grants from The Government of Canada's Local Journalism Initiative to support reporting from Quadra-Cortes Islands (local reporting), Ottawa (federal policy regarding Vancouver and B.C.), Vancouver (food security-support ended in 2020-2021 only), Toronto (civic society and youth) and in 2022, Urban Indigenous Communities in Ottawa.
Climate Solutions Reporting Project
The Climate Solutions Reporting Project, a collaborative effort with the Institute for Sustainability, Education, and Action, offers in-depth exploration of Canada's environmental challenges and solutions. Providing free access to stories, podcasts, and newsletters, it delves into issues like global warming and its community impacts. The project is a collaboration with a network of foundations. Read more about the project here.
The newsletter "Zero Carbon" by Chris Hatch is a central element of the Climate Solutions Reporting Project. It's recognized as Canada's leading newsletter on the climate emergency, offering in-depth insights into the most promising global solutions for addressing climate change. This publication is a key resource for those seeking to understand both the challenges and opportunities in transitioning to a cleaner, sustainable future.
By participating in Climate Desk, Canada's National Observer enhances its climate change coverage, offering readers a richer, more comprehensive perspective. This collaboration, initiated by Mother Jones Magazine, unites leading media outlets to address the complex impacts of climate change, demonstrating the power of collective journalistic efforts in today's dynamic media environment.
In collaboration with the European Union's Delegation to Canada, we organize annual panels that bring together EU climate officials and Canadian ministers. These discussions focus on mutual learning and cooperation between the two entities in their efforts to transition away from fossil fuels and towards a clean economy. This partnership emphasizes shared strategies and insights in addressing climate change challenges.
The Trust Project
Canada’s National Observer is a member of the Trust Project consortium. Through its ongoing collaboration with the public and top news executives around the world, and with the support of big search and social media companies, National Observer works with The Trust Project on defining both public-facing and technical standards for quality journalism using standards that can be easily understood. It is an acknowledgment of our ongoing commitment to diversity fairness and accuracy in our reporting. Find out more about The Trust Project and National Observer here.