Omar Sachedina ended his first night as chief anchor of CTV National News by addressing the ousting of his predecessor, Lisa LaFlamme.
“We typically cover the news, but lately we have become the subject of it,” said Sachedina.
“The fact that we can have these conversations and learn from them is one of the hallmarks of this great country and reminds us of the role we all have in making it even better.”
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Sachedina then went on to express how meaningful the position of chief news anchor is to him, shouting out his parents, who he says were expelled from Uganda and “welcomed by compassionate and generous Canadians.”
“Starting this journey with you tonight means a great deal to me, and it validates the promise of possibility,” he said.
The anchor also made sure to credit the team behind the national newscasts and their commitment to objectivity and a representation of different perspectives before thanking the woman at the centre of the story.
“It is important for me to acknowledge the inspiration and mentor that Lisa LaFlamme has been to me over the years. Lisa, thank you for everything,” said Sachedina. “Like many of you, I really wish Lisa’s goodbye could have been from here.”
He closed out the message by pledging to rebuild viewers’ trust.
“I know welcoming me into your homes every night is not a right, it’s a privilege,” he said. “I will work hard with our team to earn and build your trust for that continued privilege.”
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The announcement of Sachedina’s tenure came shortly after LaFlamme’s bombshell video message.
He received an onslaught of hate from the public, and several Canadian journalists pointed out how that overshadowed what could’ve been a historic moment for a person of colour and Muslim man.
Sachedina, who was born in Vancouver to parents of Indian descent from Uganda, grew up in an Ismaili-Muslim household.
He first joined CTV National News in 2009 as a correspondent based in Toronto and has since been all over the world delivering on-the-ground news coverage.
He’s reported in Ukraine during the war, in Haiti and Indonesia on natural disasters, and covered Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his time at CTV’s Parliamentary Bureau.