In honour of the Champlain Saint-Lambert’s 50th anniversary, the college has followed up with 50 of its alumni to see where their paths have led after their time in Cegep. These 50 former students have gone on to accomplish amazing things and their paths show just how much is possible for a Champlain grad.
Longtime Montreal Gazette reporter got his start writing for the student newspaper
Phil Authier (Social Science, 1978) has worked as a journalist for the Montreal Gazette for 33 years.
Back in his days at Champlain Saint-Lambert, Authier used to write for The Bugle, the student newspaper on campus.
Originally from Saint-Lambert, Authier said that coming to Champlain for college was a natural choice.
He served as the production editor of The Bugle, which published weekly at the time and would cover stories ranging from events on campus to provincial politics.
“We were as professional as we could be for a bunch of Cegep students,” he said. “We took it seriously.”
Authier recalled his time at Champlain as being one of discovery.
“It made me into a better thinker,” he said. “I was exposed to a lot of concepts and a lot of ideas. I remember Champlain being a very open place. I remember it being a fantastic experience because it was so wide open.”
Authier had worked at his high school newspaper as well and would go on to work at the Concordia student newspaper, The Link, during his undergrad.
He said his work in student journalism proved a catalyst and inspired him to pursue a career in media.
After he finished a Bachelor’s in Urban Studies from Concordia, Authier took a job at the Port Hope Evening Guide in Ontario since jobs in Montreal English media were scarce.
After two years, he returned to Quebec, taking a job with the Sherbrooke Record as a journalist before heading to The Ottawa Citizen as the Gatineau bureau chief in 1985.
“At each of those stages, I acquired more knowledge of the craft,” he said. Authier gained experience covering crime, court stories, and municipal and provincial politics.
In 1989, Authier caught the eye of the Montreal Gazette editor for his work covering the Quebec election that year.
Authier was hired to work as the National Assembly reporter for the Montreal Gazette, a role he still occupies today.
He said that this felt like a culmination of all his efforts: “The Gazette was my goal all along.”
Authier worked as the National Assembly reporter in Quebec City for years, covering the 1995 referendum among other important milestones, before becoming a feature writer for the Gazette.
Several years ago, he returned to the role, and worked throughout the pandemic attending daily press briefings in Quebec City.
“It’s a very captivating job,” he said.
“The English-speaking community is passionate about politics,” he said. “I get a lot of feedback from the readership.”
Authier’s advice for current students and recent grads: “Get as well-rounded an education as you can and take advantage of all the options you have. You will never have that level of freedom again in your life. Later on, the reality of life is work and you don’t have the same freedom to do what you want.”