Michaëlle Jean, Canada’s ex-governor general and former secretary general of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, talks to Esther Bégin about her family’s escape from Haiti’s dictatorial regime of Papa Doc Duvalier, her youth spent in the small town of Thetford Mines and her work in international diplomacy. Being the first Black woman named governor general of Canada at the same time the United States elected its first Black president would be a defining moment in her career. But it is in controversy that she ended her term as head of la Francophonie.
Esther joined CPAC in 2018 as the network’s French Anchor. She hosts L’Essentiel, a daily program that looks at the impact of federal policy decisions on the everyday lives of Canadians, specifically those in French-speaking communities.
A seasoned and accomplished communications professional, Esther has more than 25 years of experience in journalism and broadcasting. As anchor at LCN and TVA from 1997 to 2007 as well as TQS (currently known as V Télé) from July 2007 to May 2008, she has hosted hundreds of interviews with key decision makers in Quebec and Canada, including prime ministers and renowned business leaders in various sectors. She has also hosted decision day coverage in dozens of Quebec, Canadian and American elections.
More recently, she produced the documentary series Fièvre politique, which was broadcast on Télé-Québec and later honoured at the Prix Gémeaux in 2017. She has also worked as a journalist and correspondent for RDI and ICI Radio-Canada on Canada’s West Coast.