“That Was Then, This Is Now” explores the beginnings of some of Canada’s favourite writers and journalists.
Peter Mansbridge found a door into journalism just by luck when he went from being a baggage handler to radio announcer as a young man.
Mansbridge spent 1966 to ’67, in the Royal Canadian Navy; the following year, at the age of 19, he took a job with Transair, a regional airline that served Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the Arctic, where he did “everything from pumping gas to loading bags.”
One day, between hauling bags and other odd tasks, someone asked him to make a quick flight announcement over the intercom. He did, and it just so happened that a CBC executive was listening. The executive went on a search for the voice, and found Mansbridge. The executive told him that the CBC was really in need of someone to work at the Churchill, Manitoba, CBC station. “There was no one else. It was lucky,” Mansbridge recalls.
Mansbridge worked at the station in Churchill for three years before he was offered a job in Winnipeg in 1971. Over the years, Mansbridge took various reporting and correspondent jobs with both CBC television and CBC Radio. His broadcast positions took him across Canada, eventually landing him in his current position as host of The National.