Thursday, December 17, 2015

Regina Leader-Post

Recent issue image from Shaw Global News

The Regina Leader-Post originated in 1883 as a weekly called The Leader. It's proud to be the third oldest continuously operating business in Saskatchewan, behind the Bay and the CPR.

Nicholas Flood Davin, who began the paper, was born in Ireland, studied law in England and worked as a reporter in the British House of Commons.

He arrived in Toronto in 1872, to practice law and write editorials. In 1882 he went west and decided to start a newspaper in what was then the village of Regina. His biographer Ken Mitchell says he was a "loose cannon," a poet, and a shameless supporter of the Conservatives.

He also campaigned for women's votes in the 1880s, thirty years before they got them. And he disguised himself as a priest and managed an interview with Louis Riel when he was on trial for treason after the Northwest Rebellion.

In 1887 Davin was elected MP for Assiniboia West. He had sold his paper to a Liberal, Walter Scott, who defeated Davin in the election and took his seat. Some time later, Davin shot himself.

Between 1900 and 1910, Regina grew from 30,000 to 300,000. The paper grew with it, and found itself in competition with several others, two of which eventually merged into the Post. The two papers joined in 1922 and became the daily Regina Leader-Post.

In the late 70's, the Leader-Post helped writer Richard Wagamese get his start in journalism, letting him in on a writing challenge, without demanding proof of official qualifications. Good call, Regina Leader-Post. Since those early days of his career, Wagamese has gone on to become one of Canada's most revered writers. He has 13 books out, and now writes a column for the Calgary Herald.

The Post went online in 1995, but the paper edition remains available.

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