Wallin, Pamela (1953-)

Pamela Wallin, University of Regina convocation, 2002.
University of Regina, Photography Department

One of Canada’s most accomplished and respected broadcast journalists, Pamela Wallin was born in Moose Jaw and raised in Wadena. She attended the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus (predecessor of the University of Regina), where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and political science. Beginning her career as a social worker, Wallin changed course after co-hosting a noon-hour open-line show on CBC Radio. From 1975 to 1978, she held numerous positions with CBC Radio in Regina, Toronto, and Ottawa; in 1978 she joined the Toronto Star, working in the Ottawa bureau.

Wallin’s long association with CTV began in 1981, when she joined the network to co-host its morning show, Canada AM, with Norm Perry. She reported from Buenos Aires in 1982, covering the Falklands War and the subsequent collapse of the Argentine government. In 1984, on the eve of the visit to Canada of the Chinese premier, Wallin and Perry hosted Canada AM from Beijing. Then in 1985, Wallin was appointed Ottawa bureau chief—the first woman in Canadian television history appointed to head a bureau. As bureau chief, she produced and hosted Question Period and regularly anchored CTV’s weekend National News program. Wallin left CTV in 1992, and for the next three years co-anchored CBC’s Prime Time News with Peter Mansbridge. In 1995 she established her own production company, based in Toronto, which produced such shows as Pamela Wallin Live. In 2000, she hosted the Canadian version of the hit game show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

In late 2001, Wallin hosted Canada Loves New York, a demonstration of Canadian solidarity after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Shortly after, she was appointed Canadian consul general to New York, a position she assumed in June 2002. Wallin has written several books, among which her 1998 best-selling memoir Since You Asked, and Speaking of Success: Collecting Wisdom, Insights and Reflections, a collection of the perspectives of the many celebrated people she has interviewed over the years. She is a recipient of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit (1999), and has received nine honorary doctorate degrees, including a degree from her alma mater, the University of Regina, in 2002.

Mark Vajcner

Further Reading

Wallin, Pamela. 2001. Speaking of Success: Collected Wisdom, Insights and Reflections. Toronto: Key Porter Books.