Mercedes Stephenson

Mercedes Stephenson

Parliamentary Correspondent, CTV National News

Mercedes Stephenson is the Parliamentary Correspondent for CTV NATIONAL NEWS and the Friday host of CTV News Channel’s daily marquee political program POWER PLAY. Stephenson covers breaking news stories of national significance from Parliament Hill, applying her expertise in defence, national security, and veterans’ issues.

Stephenson has covered Canadian party politics, major political and leadership conventions (NDP and Liberal), scandals (including the Senate scandal), and the Supreme Court. She regularly appears in CTV News specials including those for Canada 150, Remembrance Day, and Federal Budget coverage.

Breaking numerous stories, Stephenson was first on the air with exclusive details about Canadian suicide bomber Aaron Driver, earning her a nomination for the prestigious Canadian Association of Journalists Scoop Award in 2017. Her investigative reporting into how the military justice system treats sexual offences resulted in a major policy change in the Canadian Armed Forces. Covering veterans’ issues is a priority for Stephenson, whose in-depth reporting triggered systemic change after revealing gaps in care as well as a mounting suicide crisis among Canada’s veterans.

Beyond Canada’s borders, Stephenson reports internationally on Canadian foreign and defence policy from Africa to Europe to Afghanistan. She reported from Latvia during Canada’s first major troop deployment to Europe since the end of the Cold War, travelled with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on his inaugural visit to the Trump White House, and covered the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the battle at Vimy Ridge in France.

In 2014, Stephenson covered Canadian counterterrorism efforts in Africa, embedding with the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) in Niger where Special Forces Operators were training African militaries to fight al-Qaeda. Her exclusive story, “Secret Warriors”, aired on CTV’s W5.

As Friday host of CTV’s POWER PLAY, Stephenson interviews the most important and influential players in Canadian and international politics. She hosts lively discussions on the day’s hottest political topics, conducts hard hitting interviews with politicians, and brings diverse viewpoints for debate.

Before joining CTV NATIONAL NEWS, Stephenson was the Parliamentary Correspondent for CTV News Channel where she delivered domestic and international political news coverage, including covering Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election from Washington D.C., the Boston Marathon bombing, and the Ukraine crisis. In the lead-up to the Canadian federal election in 2015, Stephenson hosted a twice-daily political program RACE TO THE HILL on CTV News Channel, covering and analyzing the latest news from the campaign trail.

Stephenson also makes regular contributions to CTV’s local newscasts, CP24, BNN, CTV News Channel, and Bell Media Radio stations.

Passionate about defence and security, Stephenson holds a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the University of Calgary’s Centre for Military, Security, and Strategic Studies. Her thesis focused on information operations in Afghanistan. She has also studied political journalism at Georgetown University, interned at the Pentagon, and was a visiting student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for International Studies.

Born and raised in Calgary, Stephenson moved to Toronto to host a weekly public affairs television program as well as numerous documentaries. She served two terms as a Director of the Parliamentary Press Gallery. Her love of political journalism drew her to Ottawa, where she now resides.