Christie Blatchford dies at 68

Christie Blatchford

After a short battle with cancer, Canadian journalist and longtime NEWSTALK 1010 contributor Christie Blatchford has passed away.

Blatchford was diagnosed with cancer in November 2019.

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Blatchford had been undergoing treatment for lung cancer at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto.

According to a profile her newspaper the National Post published in November, the cancer had metastasized to bones in the spine and hip by the time it was detected late last year.

Her brother Les Blatchford says ``We'll miss her always,'' -- adding ``She was a great gal.''

Known as a tenacious reporter and unflinching social critic, a five-decade career cemented Blatchford as one of the country's most enduring voices on the courts and crime beat.

Criminal defence lawyer Marie Henein describes Blatchford as a fixture in the courts.

She says judges and lawyers read her stories and whether you agreed with her or not -- you did not ignore what she had to say.

Blatchford's recent reports for the Post and Postmedia chain of newspapers ranged from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's blackface and SNC-Lavalin scandals to the death of her beloved white bull terrier, Obie, in September.

In one of her final columns in October, she wrote about nagging muscle pain that forced her to leave the Liberals' federal election tour only six days in _ a mysterious ache that kept her from logging her daily 10-to-15-kilometre runs and instead led to a devastating diagnosis.

Blatchford was inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame last November but was too unwell to attend.

She was also the author of several non-fiction books, including ``Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army,'' based on her experiences during four trips to Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007.

It won the 2008 Governor-General's Literary Award in non-fiction.

Christie Blatchford was 68.