A screen-shot of Amaruk's website.

A screen-shot of Amaruk’s website.

So, yesterday morning I published a lengthy bit of research into Amaruk, PAWGI, and Christopher Fragassi (see “Digging deeper into the Amaruk story: Who is Christopher Fragassi?”). I had been following news reports since CBC first broke the story, and thought the two groups (CBC News and The National Post) who had been giving the subject initial coverage might find it interesting. To that end, I tweeted them a link to my research early yesterday morning. I hoped it might spur them to dig a bit deeper into the story themselves.

I’m pleasantly surprised to discover that The National Post seems to have taken up the challenge: late yesterday Brian Hutchinson published a new story digging deeper into the background of Christopher Fragassi. The story has a lot of great original research, and benefits from including interviews with people who have actually met Fragassi. Careful readers will also note The National Post story repeats a number of things that I first brought to attention in my own report. Among these things are:

Highlighting Amaruk’s requirement that all prospective employees require PAWGI certification (while noting the suspicious links between the two groups).

  • Noting that professional guides began raising questions about PAWGI in an online forum years ago.
  • Noting Fragassi’s connection to Sooke, B.C.
  • Noting that Fragassi served as President of the BC Chapter of The Wilderness Society.
  • Noting that Fragassi was tapped as a survival expert consultant for Hinterland video games.


While I’m pleased to see The National Post take up the story again, an acknowledgment recognizing the use of my research would have been nice. Granted, it’s certainly possible all The National Post’s research could have been original, but the fact that The National Post published their story about a half-day after I published mine makes the timing rather coincidental—especially since I sent them a link to it earlier in the day. Their most recent story on the subject before last night’s was six days earlier. Still, I’m glad to see more investigative reporting going on regarding Amaruk and Christopher Fragassi, and hope to see more in the future.


UPDATE: Brian Hutchinson has responded to this post with a tweet, suggesting his story was actually filed on Wednesday afternoon. So while my post would have been published first, his would not have been directly influenced by mine. It may well have been a simple case of coincidence after all.