Philip Lee is a journalist, teacher, father and grandfather whose last book, Bittersweet – Confessions of a Twice-Married Man, was long-listed for the BC Award for Non-Fiction, Canada’s largest non-fiction writing prize.

Lee began his career as an investigative reporter on Canada’s east coast, uncovering the abuse of children at two separate institutions in Newfoundland and New Brunswick, prompting two Royal Commissions of Inquiry, millions in compensation paid to victims of violence, and a Michener Award for public service journalism.

Since 2000, Lee has taught journalism, literature and communications at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, while continuing to write investigative series, essays and feature stories for a variety of media and occasionally appearing as an invited expert on CBC and CTV.

As founding Director of the Journalism program at St. Thomas, Lee created successful academic programs in traditional and digital journalism, communications, public policy and helped launch the careers of countless young Canadian journalists. He formed lasting partnerships with CBC New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Telegraph Journal, raised $3 million for student programming and developed the Dalton Camp lecture series, broadcast annually by CBC’s Ideas programme since 2002.

Lee has written three books and edited a published collection of essays from the Camp Lecture called The Next Big Thing.

Lee’s first book, Home Pool: The Fight to Save the Atlantic Salmon, told the story of the steep and alarming decline of a species from New Brunswick, Quebec, Iceland and Scotland and was honoured by the Canadian Association of Journalists as the nation’s best investigative work in 1998.

Lee’s biography of former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna, Frank: The Life and Politics of Frank McKenna, was a national best seller.

Lee is a passionate defender of rivers and the people who love them. He is the former editor of the Atlantic Salmon Journal, has been a director and volunteer for the Miramichi Salmon Association, and won the Ted Williams Award for his writing about the wild Atlantic Salmon. He has canoed and cast flies over thousands of kilometres of rivers in New Brunswick and beyond.

When not teaching, Lee spends as much time as he is able in his 22-foot Miller cedar strip canoe, following the currents downstream with his favourite travelling companions – his partner of 20 years Deb Nobes, their daughter Lucy, and an impulsive terrier who has a habit of falling overboard when least expected. 

 


Reading more like a firsthand account of life on the front lines of love than a self-help digest or philosophical chronicling of a mid-life crisis - and implying that we only become disillusioned because we have illusions to begin with - Bittersweet is an honest and moving account of one man’s struggle to step away from a castle made of sand to rebuild upon the rock of truth.
— Stephen Clare, the Globe and Mail, on Bittersweet.