Announcement of the winners of the 15th edition of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec - Bank of America Merrill Lynch Economic and Financial Journalism Awards of Excellence

First Prize: Marie-Hélène Proulx, Magazine Jobboom
Second Prize: Stéphanie Grammond, La Presse
Third Prize: Martin Jolicoeur, Les Affaires
Succession Award: Philippe Mercure, La Presse
Career Award: Claude Beauchamp and Alain Dubuc

MONTREAL, Feb. 2, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Association des économistes québécois yesterday announced the names of the winners in the 15th edition of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec - Bank of America Merrill Lynch Economic and Financial Journalism Awards of Excellence. Five grants totalling $27,500 were awarded at an official ceremony held at the Centre CDP Capital. This prestigious competition is intended to publicly recognize journalists who cover business and financial news for their role in providing information and analysis and making it understandable.

The first prize, along with a $10,000 grant, went to Marie-Hélène Proulx from Magazine Jobboom for her report titled "Pour un Québec indépendant - Lancez-vous en affaires" (For an independent Québec - Start a business). The winner of the second prize, earning a $5,000 grant, is Stéphanie Grammond of La Presse for her report "La retraite à la mode scandinave" (Retirement the Scandinavian way). Finally, the third prize and $2,500 was presented to Martin Jolicoeur of Les Affaires for his report "L'aérospatiale, la carte cachée du Japon" (Aerospace, Japan's hidden card).

In this special anniversary year, a one-time Succession Award is granted to encourage young journalists aged 35 and under who choose to work in the economic or financial domains. This prize, together with a $5,000 bursary, was awarded to Philippe Mercure of La Presse for his report "Innovation - La recette israélienne" (Innovation, the Israeli recipe).

On this 15th anniversary of these Awards of Excellence, the jury decided to issue two Career Awards to pay tribute to journalists who have contributed in an outstanding way to the development and credibility of business and financial journalism. One of these awards went to Claude Beauchamp, a great builder of this form of journalism in Québec and someone who has had a decisive influence on young journalists and editorial teams as a key player at crucial moments in business and financial reporting, whether via daily, weekly or audiovisual media. The other prize went to Alain Dubuc, an extraordinary communicator and interpreter of economic and financial issues through his columns, editorials and books, who has had a notable influence on public debate for more than 30 years.

More than 50 entries from some 15 media outlets were submitted to the jury, chaired by Marie-France Germain, General Manager of the Association des économistes québécois, and comprised of Claude Beauchamp, journalist and former host of the "Capital Action" show on RDI, who was replaced by Jean-Paul Gagné, editor emeritus at Les Affaires, for the deliberations regarding the Career Award; Colette Brin, professor in the Department of Information and Communications, Faculty of Arts, Université Laval; 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.

"Again this year, we are pleased to note the very high quality and diversity of the articles and reports submitted," said François Dupuis, President of the Association des économistes québécois. "I wish to thank the jury members, who did not have an easy job. We are proud also to observe just how much these awards have gained in credibility over the years and to recognize the profile they enjoy today in Québec's journalism community."

Speaking for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Benjamin Gaspar, Director, Business Banking Services, stated: "Bank of America Merrill Lynch is especially proud to have contributed 15 years ago to establishing these awards of excellence in economic and financial journalism, helping highlight and recognize the work of journalists who play a daily role in Québec's economic life. As the issues become ever more complex, their role in making the news more understandable becomes vital in conveying quality business and financial information to the general public in a way that is rigorous, critical and accessible."

For his part, Michael Sabia, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, noted "the extent to which journalists have to deal with a work environment that has changed substantially over time, in particular because of the multiplicity of information sources and the imperatives associated with the instant nature of disseminating the news. This reality motivates us all the more to celebrate the importance of their work through these awards, which have achieved an enviable reputation not only in the world of journalism but also in business and financial circles. This is why the Caisse is proud to be associated with this prestigious competition."

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 December 31, 2010, it held $151.7 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. 

The Association des économistes québécois is the main organization linking economists in Québec and is dedicated to the professional advancement of its 600 members. Its primary objective is to foster the development and dissemination of economic knowledge, to enlighten public debate and to provide support for decision-makers. 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 ECONOMISTES QUEBECOIS (ASDEQ)

For further information:

Valérie Gonzalo
514 626-6976
gonzalo@videotron.ca

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