Announcement of the winners of the 17th Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec - Bank of America Merrill Lynch Economic and Financial Journalism Awards of Excellence

First prize: Anne Panasuk, Radio-Canada
Second prize: Francis Vailles, La Presse
Third prize: Simon Diotte, Affaires +

MONTREAL, Jan. 30, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Association des économistes québécois announced the names of the winners of the 17th Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec - Bank of America Merrill Lynch Economic and Financial Journalism Awards of Excellence during an official ceremony held yesterday evening at the Centre CDP Capital. This prestigious competition aims to publicly recognize journalists who cover business and financial news for their role in providing information and analysis and making it understandable. Three grants totaling $17,500 were handed out during the award ceremony.

The first prize, along with a $10,000 grant, went to Anne Panasuk from the investigation program Enquête of Radio-Canada for her story SNC Lavalin : Plans et délits. The winner of the second prize, earning a $5,000 grant, was Francis Vailles of La Presse for his story Comment concocter un déficit zéro. Finally, the third prize and $2,500 was presented to Simon Diotte of the Affaires + magazine for his story Sommes-nous vraiment dans le trou?

Close to 60 applications from more than 15 media outlets were submitted for this 17th instalment of the awards competition. The jury was chaired by Sylvie Dillard, former President of both the Association des économistes québécois (2010) and the Conseil de la science et de la technologie, and comprised Claude Beauchamp, journalist and former host of Capital Action (broadcast on RDI), Alain Guilbert, journalist and former President of Transcontinental Publications Inc., and Marie-Agnès Thellier, President and CEO of the Cercle des présidents du Québec and former Business Editor of Le Journal de Montréal.

"We believe it is important to underscore the significant contribution of journalists to Québec's economic life and to recognize it publicly," noted Denis Payette, Senior Vice President of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "This is what motivated us to create this award 17 years ago. Their contribution is fundamental in providing the general public with quality business and financial information that is rigorous and accessible, and we are proud to celebrate the excellence of their work with this awards ceremony."

"I would like to congratulate all the winners and candidates who, once again this year, outdid themselves in their quest for excellence in business and financial journalism," said Michael Sabia, President and Chief Executive Officer of La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. "In an increasingly complex world, financial education is more important than ever. Beyond the day's headlines, the best journalists try to broaden our perspectives and shed new light on the issues so that we can better understand our economic environment. Again this year, La Caisse is proud to support the Award."

"As in the past years, we had the opportunity to read, view and listen to first-rate content in business and financial journalism that contributes to a better understanding of current issues," said Marcel Mérette, President of the Association des économistes québécois. "I thank the jury members, whose task was far from easy due to the very high quality of the reports submitted."

Awards partners
The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is a financial institution that manages funds primarily for public and private pension and insurance plans. At June 30, 2013, it held $185.9 billion in net assets. As one of the leading institutional fund managers in Canada, the Caisse invests in the main financial markets as well as in private equity and real estate. For more information: www.lacaisse.com.

Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions. Bank of America Merrill Lynch focuses on middle-market and large corporations, institutional investors, financial institutions and government entities.  It provides innovative services in M&A, equity and debt capital raising, lending, trading, risk management, research, and liquidity and payments management. Bank of America Merrill Lynch serves clients in more than 150 countries. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has had a major presence in Québec for over 50 years.

The Association des économistes québécois is the main organization linking economists in Québec and is dedicated to the professional advancement of its 700 members. Its primary objective is to foster the development and dissemination of economic knowledge, to enlighten public debate and to provide support for the role of economists. In keeping with its slogan, "Pour des choix éclairés" (For enlightened choices), the Association is recognized as a credible and impartial opinion leader in economic debates. Founded in 1975, it is a dynamic association open not only to economists but to anyone interested in economic and financial issues. www.economistesquebecois.com

SOURCE Association des économistes québécois (ASDEQ)

For further information:

Valérie Gonzalo
514 626.6976
gonzalo@videotron.ca