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Peter Kent, PC, MP (born July 27, 1943 in Sussex, Englandmarker) is Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the Americas in the Canadian Cabinet. In the Canadian federal election, 2008 on October 14, 2008, he ran for the Conservative Party of Canada and was elected as the member of parliament for the riding of Thornhill

Previously, he was Deputy Editor of Global Television News, a Canadianmarker TV network. He has previously worked as a news editor, producer, foreign correspondent and news anchor on Canadian and American television networks.

Background

Peter Kent is the son of Parker Kent, a long-time employee of the Southam Newspaper Group who retired as associate editor at the Calgary Herald. His younger brother, Arthur Kent, is also a journalist, known in the first Gulf War as the "scud stud".

Kent has been married to Cilla, a former print journalist with South Africa's Argus group for over 26 years. They have a daughter, Trilby who published her first novel, Medina Hill, in October 2009.

Kent is a member of the board of Canadian Coalition for Democracies and has represented them at public events such as a demonstration supporting publication of the controversial Muhammed cartoons.

Kent is a member of the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame and a past member of the Board of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. He is also a Founding Supporter of Canadians for Defence and Security and a member of the board of the revitalized ParticipACTION. He is a board member of Honest Reporting Canada, and co-Chair of Ontario Cabinet for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Kent was named the recipient of the 2006 President’s Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association of Canada (RTNDA). The President’s Award is presented annually to honour individuals, stations, companies or groups who have brought distinction to, or have made major contributions to the broadcast news industry. He is a four-time Emmy nominee and the recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award.

Journalism

Kent began his career as a radio journalist in the early 1960s. He then moved to television, joining Calgarymarker station CFCN-TVmarker in 1965 and subsequently worked for CBC Television, CTV, Global, NBC and the Christian Science Monitor's television newscast.

In the 1966, he went to South East Asia to cover the Vietnam War as a freelance foreign correspondent. He stayed on to cover the final withdrawal of US troops from Vietnammarker in 1973 and covered the fall of Cambodiamarker to the Khmer Rouge in 1975. Kent returned to Canada and worked as a producer for The National and, in 1976, he became the broadcast's anchor after Lloyd Robertson moved to CTV News.

In 1978 Kent agreed to step down as anchor of The National after he submitted an intervention to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) recommending that the Corporation's licence not be renewed until management created procedures and protocols to prevent political interference in the CBC's editorial decision-making. Kent's complaint involved messages conveyed through the then CBC President Al Johnson from the Prime Minister's Office that resulted in cancellation of a speech by Premier René Lévesque and coverage of a speech by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. As a result of his intervention and descent from The National anchor desk, Kent accepted assignment to the newly created African Bureau of the CBC, located in Johannesburg.

The CBC subsequently created protocols to govern Prime Ministerial access to the public broadcaster. They remain in effect today; the most recent example the speech made to the country by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien on the eve of the 1995 Quebec referendum. Kent returned briefly in 1978 to testify at a grievance hearing initiated by an unsuccessful anchor candidate who complained that Knowlton Nash, the vice-president of CBC News, had appointed himself to succeed Kent. In that testimony Kent -- the first journalist to anchor The National -- supported Nash's credentials.

Kent returned to Canada and the CBC in 1982 as a founding producer, correspondent and occasional co-host of The Journal, hosted by Barbara Frum and Mary Lou Finlay.

In 1984 Kent moved back to NBC serving in Miami, Washington and New York bureaus and as the US network's senior European correspondent in the late 1980s, winning four Emmy nominations with the network. He then reported for and was back-up anchor for John Hart and John Palmer at the Christian Science Monitor's World Monitor television news service. One of Kent's feature report series - on challenges in American inner cities - was awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Award.

Kent returned to Canada to join Global News in 1992, and was the anchor of its flagship news program First National until 2001. He then anchored the business news show MoneyWise on Global and Prime.

Politics

In the 2006 federal election, Kent ran as the Conservative Party of Canada candidate in the Torontomarker riding of St. Paul's. He placed second with 25.76% of the vote against the incumbent, Carolyn Bennett of the Liberals (50.25%), and ahead of Paul Summerville of the New Democratic Party (19.19%).

Kent ran again for the Conservatives in the 2008 election, this time in the riding of Thornhill, and was elected, defeating incumbent Susan Kadis by 5200 votes.

Kent was named Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Americas).

References

  1. http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/1115121480430_29/?hub=Canada
  2. Goodard, John, "PM's new recruit urged to clarify views", Toronto Star, January 8, 2007
  3. [http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2006/03/11/demonstrators-toronto060311.html "Toronto marchers back right to publish , CBC News, March 11, 2006, retrieved March 11, 2008
  4. Peter Kent biography, accessed January 9, 2008
  5. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canadavotes/riding/196/


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