Canada

CBC journalist and union leader Arnold Amber dead at 77

Longtime CBC journalist and union leader Arnold Amber died on Labour Day at age 77.

'A leader in the newsroom and in the negotiating room,' says Peter Mansbridge

Arnold Amber was one of the founding members of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, serving as president until 2015. (Canadian Media Guild)

Longtime CBC journalist and union leader Arnold Amber died on Labour Day at age 77.

Amber won three Gemini Awards for producing news specials for the CBC. In 2014 he became the first person to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom, recognition of his work helping journalists around the world.

In his long career at CBC, Amber led coverage of major news events as executive producer of CBC News specials. He was executive producer of Inside Media and Newsworld International and had worked as a reporter, lineup editor and producer in various regions.

Amber retired from the CBC in 2006.

"Arnold was a terrific journalist and friend, a leader in the newsroom and in the negotiating room. CBCers for decades will benefit from his work," Peter Mansbridge said in a statement.

Before coming to the CBC, Amber was a correspondent for Reuters in Africa and Europe.

His dedication to journalism extended beyond news coverage. He was the longtime president of the CBC branch of the Canadian Media Guild and spent years helping to consolidate the multiple unions serving CBC employees.

"It was another era. But Arnold understood what mattered: strength and stability for the people who made programming so that good journalism and quality shows could thrive," former CMG national president Lise Lareau said in a statement.

"As a friend, he'll be remembered as someone who always asked about your family and remembered your answer. But it's his role as a mentor, as a leader and as a thoughtful and smart soul that we will all miss when we're tackling the next big issue."


Amber shared his experience and knowledge with journalists worldwide and helped South African journalists cover the country's first election in 1994.

He was one of the founding members of Canadian Journalists for Free expression, serving as president until 2015. He remained CJFE's treasurer until his death.

Amber is survived by his wife, Phyllis, daughters Jeannine and Gillian, and son, David.  A private funeral will be held this week and a memorial service at a later date.