Remembering Barb McLintock


She Wove Facts to Defend the Powerless

She was legendary before she joined The Tyee. And journalism was just her first career.

By Tom Hawthorn,      29 Dec 2018 |

Hawthorn is a long time contributor to The Tyee who lives in Victoria. His book, The Vilest Rag You Can Imagine: The Ubyssey at 100, will be released by Harbour Publishing in 2019.

Barb McLintock knitted while listening to testimony in court. She knitted while sitting in the Legislative Press Gallery. She knitted during fiery speeches and raucous floor demonstrations at political conventions.

She knitted while listening to the bombast of Dave Barrett, the bafflegab of Bill Bennett, and the poppycock of Bill Vander Zalm.

She was never seen to write a note during a scrum, or a press conference.

When the politician Al Passarrell complained to other reporters about her knitting, which he found disrespectful, she coolly replied, “I don’t knit with my ears.”

A reputation for delivering scoops, first for the Victoria Daily Colonist and then for The Province of Vancouver, continued at The Tyee, where her presence helped provide this site with journalistic credibility in its early months.

“It didn’t matter how many years Barb had covered politics, she never was jaded,” said Tyee founder David Beers. “She always thrilled to the hunt. I remember her care and satisfaction as she exposed a plan by the BC Liberals, just a year after premier Gordon Campbell had been arrested for drunk driving, to soften B.C.’s drunk-driving laws. Media picked up on her scoop and then minister Rich Coleman hastily backed off the idea.”

From reporter to coroner

Even while covering politics for The Tyee, McLintock became an investigating coroner. In 2011, she became the first coroner of strategic programs, working to improve communications with the public. She retired from the post last year, though she continued to offer strategic advice on a part-time basis.




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