Peter Morton is a veteran trade, economic and political reporter and columnist, and founder of economicreporter.net. He is the former the Washington Bureau Chief for The Financial Post, a position he held for 12 years. His coverage in Washington covered bilateral trade issues including softwood, agriculture and the Western Hemisphere Initiative. He can be reached at petermortonATeconomicreporter.net.
What do you actually do in your job?
Report, write and generally editorialize on bilateral and multilateral trade and economic issues
What is the hardest thing about your job?
Getting people to talk openly
What do you most enjoy about it?
When people talk openly.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Toronto but raised in Brockville in Eastern Ontario.
What did you study?
I studied journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto and later economics and political science at the University of Toronto.
What was your first job and what path led you to your work today?
I was a cub reporter at the Brockville Recorder & Times, with a Speed Graphix camera and a red bicycle.
What is the best advice you received in the course of your career?
“F8 and be there” – from a Calgary Herald photographer. (F8 is an an F-stop generally used by photographers to capture everything in view behind the lens. So he meant “be at the story” and see as much as you can.)
Looking back, what are you most proud of?
The day my fixer and I found the place where the Canadian mining company Bre-X was “salting” the ore samples with gold dust in a shack on the edge of the Borneo jungle.
When and how do you start your day?
The usual – up around 6:30, check the news and start arranging interviews.
Blogs or websites you find interesting or useful:
Blogs not so much but pretty much any news website is up to date. Huffington is always interesting.
Where are you most likely to be found when you’re not working?
On the golf course or on the St. Lawrence River.
If you had an alternative career, what would it be?
Golf course marshall.
Favorite sports team?
Used to be the Leafs but alas, I am now floundering.
Who is your hero or heroine?
My parents – at least they had the patience to put up with me.
Drink of choice?
Rose from the South of France. Only.
What is one worthwhile book you read in the past year?
Autumn of the Patriarch, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Anything Gabo has written.
What is one thing you’d like to learn more about?
South American culture.
What is your favorite place in Canada and your favorite place in the US?
Brockville, Ontario and Savannah, Georgia.
What is one thing you’d like to tell Canadians about the U.S., and/or one thing you’d tell Americans about Canada?
As close as we are, we are still two very different cultures. Canada is neither the 51st state nor is America the world’s largest shopping mall.
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