About the author
Curt Petrovich began his career as a journalist in 1986 after spending several years following university looking for steady work in a profession that has never been easy to enter. That first steady job was with the CBC in what was then known as Frobisher Bay, on Baffin Island.
Curt's time in the Arctic was spent learning how to listen. As a white, English-speaking southerner, he was a minority. Frobisher Bay, a town of some three thousand people at that time, would eventually change its name to Iqaluit, the Inuktitut word for “many fish.” It was a land of a thousand stories. Curt eventually moved back south, landing in Winnipeg. It was there, after becoming the CBC's National Network reporter for Manitoba that Curt's curiosity, instincts, persistence and integrity as a journalist coalesced and he began working on what today is still the single-most significant story of his career. Curt uncovered a scheme hatched in the office of the Premier at the time, Gary Filmon. The plan was to subvert a provincial election by creating a fake political party. Conservative party officials including the Premier's chief of staff conspired to manipulate First Nations candidates in a desperate attempt to siphon votes away from the opposition NDP. When Curt broke the story after months of research, Filmon was forced to call a full-blown public inquiry into the assault on democracy perpetrated by his own party and his closest confidantes. The retired judge who oversaw the Inquiry concluded his investigation by saying that in all his time on the bench he’d never encountered so many liars. Curt showed that Elections Manitoba, the public body tasked with safeguarding the fairness and propriety of elections, had not only failed, but attempted to obscure its incompetence. Election law was toughened, Filmon was ultimately turfed in the next election. His party spent more than a decade in the political wilderness. For his work, Curt received the Michener Award from the Governor General of Canada in 1999.
Curt's career took him to CBC's parliamentary bureau in Ottawa where he lead coverage of two other seismically stunning stories that unfolded in public inquiries: the extraordinary rendition of Maher Arar, and the Sponsorship scandal.
In 2005, Curt took on the job of National reporter for British Columbia. In between foreign assignments in the U.S., Europe and Asia, his investigative work has been recognized by a number of groups that celebrate excellence in journalism, including The Jack Webster Foundation, The Radio and Television News Director's association, the Canadian Association of Journalists, and The New York Festivals.
Curt has been called on to report on countless critical incidents, catastrophes and humanitarian crises: from the devastating Manitoba flood in 1997 which overran the entire city of Grand Forks North Dakota, to the Columbine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado, to more recent events including the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan. That same year Curt reported from the middle of the worst drought in Eastern Africa in a generation. He went on to document Typhoon Haiyan’s swath of destruction in the Philippines in 2013. It was following Curt's trip to the Philippines, after some particularly difficult conditions, that he was diagnosed with PTSD.
Since 2007, no single story has occupied more of Curt's time, interest and curiosity than that of the death of Robert Dziekanski and the investigation into what happened.
Throughout Curt's illness and treatment, he maintained an interest in the sprawling and complicated story that is the subject of Blamed and Broken. His treating physicians encouraged him to use writing as part of his therapy, even when he was unable to carry out the job which has been his life’s work for more than thirty years. It was good advice. Curt lives in Vancouver.