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Toronto Star wins 2013 Michener Award for stories on Mayor Rob Ford

Toronto Star editor Michael Cooke poses for photograph with Governor General David Johnston after the Toronto Star won the Michener Award for Journalism at a ceremony at Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General, in Ottawa, Wednesday June 11, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

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Toronto Star editor Michael Cooke poses for photograph with Governor General David Johnston after the Toronto Star won the Michener Award for Journalism at a ceremony at Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General, in Ottawa, Wednesday June 11, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

OTTAWA - The Toronto Star has won the 2013 Michener Award for its reporting on the conduct of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who was eventually stripped of all but ceremonial powers after some of his antics became public.

The Michener Awards Foundation said in a release Wednesday that the Star revealed the existence of the notorious "crack cocaine video" and also exposed public drunkenness and boorish behaviour by Ford.

It said the Star did not waiver as the Toronto mayor countered every story with vehement denials and attacks and that the newspaper did its work "despite intimidation and an organized campaign trying to undermine the credibility of the reporting."

The announcement from the Michener Awards Foundation said the Star's work "led the council of Canada's largest city to remove all powers from the mayor, leaving him as a figurehead."

The Toronto Star and the U.S. website Gawker first reported in May 2013 seeing a video that appeared to show the mayor smoking crack cocaine.

Months later, Ford admitted to trying the drug while in one of his ``drunken stupors'' and to using drugs while in office.

Ford announced on April 30 he was seeking help for an alcohol problem, just as new allegations of substance abuse surfaced in several published reports.

The Michener Award is presented annually for journalism that makes a significant impact on the public good.

The other finalists were The Canadian Press, CTV News, The Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail and the Windsor Star.

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