Mark Bourrie

Mark Bourrie is a Canadian lawyer, blogger, journalist, author, historian, and lecturer at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. His work has appeared in many Canadian magazines and newspapers.


Bourrie earned his BA in History at the University of Waterloo in 1990. He holds a diploma in public policy and administration from the University of Guelph, a master's degree in journalism from Carleton University, a doctorate in Canadian media history from the University of Ottawa and law degree in from the University of Ottawa [1] He's a member of the Ontario bar.[2]

Journalism career

He worked for two decades as a freelance news and feature writer, primarily for The Globe and Mail from 1981 to 1989 and the Toronto Star from 1989 to 1999 and sporadically since then, and also a blogger.[3] He was Parliamentary correspondent for the Law Times from 1994 until 2006. He also wrote for the InterPress Service, the United Nations-sponsored news and feature service. By the late 1990s, he had branched out from newspaper freelance work to book and magazine writing. He has won several journalism awards including a 1999 National Magazine Award gold award for his Ottawa City Magazine article, "The System That Killed Santa"[4] and the Ontario Community Newspaper Association's award for 2007 Columnist of the Year for his work in the Ottawa City Journal.[5]

In 2012 Bourrie stated that the Chinese government-owned Xinhua News Agency asked him to collect information on the Dalai Lama by exploiting his journalistic access to the Parliament of Canada.[6][7] Bourrie stated that he was asked to write for Xinhua in 2009 and sought advice from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), but was ignored. Bourrie stated that the request for information about the Dalai Lama caused him to refuse to continue to write articles for Xinhua. He wrote an article exposing the Chinese agency's actions.[8]

In April 2015, during the fraud trail of Senator Mike Duffy, Bourrie testified that he received an unsolicited cheque for $500 from Duffy, after spending an estimated 80–100 hours combating internet trolls who had posted material about Duffy, including editing Duffy's Wikipedia entry.[9][10] Bourrie testified that he did not recall asking for payment, and his research services would usually run $100 per hour. Christopher Waddell, a journalism professor and former Parliament Hill correspondent, said it was “inappropriate" for Bourrie, as a journalist, to accept paid work from Duffy the senator.[11]


Bourrie's PhD thesis was on Canada's World War II press censorship system and was published by Douglas & McIntyre as "The Fog of War."[12][13] From 2007 to 2009, he was a lecturer at Concordia University's journalism school, teaching reporting, criticism and media history. He is a contract lecturer in Carleton University's History department and the University of Ottawa's Canadian Studies department.[14][15] He is also a member of Canada's Parliamentary Press Gallery and an expert and author on propaganda and censorship.[15]

Personal life

Bourrie is from the North Simcoe area of Ontario,[16] but lives in Ottawa.[17] He is married to Marion Van de Wetering, a federal government lawyer.[18] Bourrie is an amateur paleontologist specializing in trilobites, a group of extinct arthropods.[19]


Bourrie is the author of several bestselling non-fiction books.[16] His most recent work is a biography of French fur trader and adventurer Pierre Radisson. The Globe and Mail said the book is "a significant contribution to the history of 17th-century North America."[20]

Books include:

  • Chicago of the North. Annan and Sons, 1993.
  • Ninety Fathoms Down. Toronto: Dundurn, 1995.
  • The Parliament Buildings. Toronto: Dundurn, 1996.
  • By Reason of Insanity: The David Michael Krueger Story. Toronto: Dundurn, 1997.
  • Flim Flam. Toronto: Dundurn, 1998.
  • Parliament. Toronto: Key Porter, 1999. (preface to Malak Karsh's photo essay on Parliament Hill)
  • Hemp. Toronto: Key Porter, 2004.
  • True Canadian Stories of the Great Lakes. Toronto: Key Porter/Prospero, 2005.
  • Many a Midnight Ship. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press/Toronto: Key Porter, 2005.
  • The Fog of War. Vancouver, Douglas & McIntyre, 2011.[12]
  • Fighting Words: Canada's Best War Reporting. Toronto: Dundurn, 2012
  • Kill the Messengers: Stephen Harper's Assault on Your Right to Know. Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2015[21]
  • The Killing Game: Martyrdom, Murder and the Lure of ISIS. Toronto: HarperCollins Canada 2016[22][23]
  • Bushrunner: The Adventures of Pierre Radisson. Windsor: Biblioasis, 2019[20]


  2. "Lawyer Contact Information". Law Society of Ontario. Archived from the original on January 27, 2019. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  3. Barrera, Jorge (February 15, 2006). "'Prince of Darkness' sues blogger". Ottawa Sun. Sun Media. Archived from the original on April 28, 2006. Retrieved June 8, 2019. An Ottawa blogger is facing a libel suit ...
  4. "National Magazine Awards Archive". National Magazine Awards. National Media Awards Foundation. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  5. "Better Newspaper Awards". Ontario Community Newspapers Association. April 5, 2008. Archived from the original on May 15, 2008. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  6. Carlson, Kathryn Blaze (August 22, 2012). "China's state-run news agency being used to monitor critics in Canada: reporter". National Post.
  7. The Canadian Press (August 22, 2012). "Reporter says Chinese news agency asked him to spy". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  8. Bourrie, Mark. "THE EX FILES: Journalist Mark Bourrie's behind-the-scenes account of his two years in the employ of Xinhua". Ottawa Magazine.
  9. Galloway, Gloria (April 17, 2015). "Duffy paid journalist to combat 'trolls' online, trial told". Globe and Mail. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  10. "Mike Duffy's payment for combating Internet trolls was funnelled through a friend's firm, court hears". National Post. April 17, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  11. Akin, David (April 9, 2015). "Duffy, as Senator, Paid Journalists". Canadaland. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  12. "Bestsellers - Week of August 29th, 2011". Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  13. Quill, Greg (January 6, 2011). "Canadian book publisher Key Porter shuts down". Toronto Star. Retrieved June 17, 2019. Bourrie’s book The Fog of War, about press censorship during World War II ...
  14. "Mark Bourrie, Contract Instructor". Carleton University, Department of History. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  15. "Mark Bourrie". Huff Post Canada. HuffPost. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  16. Mealing, Travis (October 29, 2016). "Did you know these famous Canadians are from north Simcoe?". Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  17. "Why this Ottawa lawyer is quitting social media". CBC News. January 6, 2019. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  18. "Mark Bourrie". Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  19. "trilobites - mdbourrie". Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  20. "Author Mark Bourrie captures the disturbing, historic adventures of Pierre-Esprit Radisson". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. April 2, 2019. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  21. Hannay, Chris (January 30, 2015). "Kill the Messengers: Stephen Harper and how our elected leaders meddle with the media". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  22. Behrens, Matthew (March 10, 2016). "The Killing Game: Martyrdom, Murder and the Lure of ISIS". Reviews. Quill & Quire. Toronto: St. Joseph Communications. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  23. "Independent Bookseller List" (PDF). Retail Council of Canada. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 5, 2016. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
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