Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec-Merrill Lynch Economic and Financial
Journalism Awards of Excellence - Candidate submissions are open

MONTREAL, Oct. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - The Association des économistes québécois (ASDEQ), in collaboration with its partners, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, today launched the 13th edition of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec-Merrill Lynch Economic and Financial Journalism Awards of Excellence. The prestigious annual competition celebrates the important contribution of journalists who take part every day in the economic life of Québec by providing the public with quality business and financial information that is thorough, critical and accessible. Prizes of $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500 will be awarded to the winners on January 20, 2010, during a ceremony at the Centre CDP Capital.

The competition is open to all journalists working for print, audiovisual or electronic media in Québec, in either of the two official languages. To qualify, candidates must submit by November 13, 2009, an economic or financial report published or broadcast between September 1, 2008, and August 31, 2009. To ensure the broadest representation of journalism styles, excellence prizes will be awarded in three categories: long report, short report and column - news - analysis - commentary - editorial. The competition rules, descriptions of the categories as well as registration information are available from ASDEQ or on its website at www.asdeq.org.

Guy Savard, Chairman of Merrill Lynch Canada and the prime mover behind the awards, said: "We live in an era that is particularly rich in economic news and that more than ever requires an international and in-depth knowledge of the major issues. As such, it is important to appreciate and recognize the quality of the information and popularization work done by the journalists who cover financial and business news on a daily basis."

"The Caisse is proud to sponsor this award, said Michael Sabia, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. "It's important to acknowledge the contribution of specialized journalists who are instrumental in the general public's understanding of economic and financial issues. Since these global issues are increasingly complex, it is crucial for decision-makers and the public to have high-quality information so they can form more knowledgeable opinions and make the best decisions possible."

For her part, ASDEQ President Sylvie Dillard stressed that "the number of submissions, which has been growing constantly since the creation of the awards in 1997, as well as the quality of the articles and reports submitted each year, speak eloquently to the awareness and importance of the awards within Québec's journalism community."

Last year, the first prize was shared by two winners: Guy Gendron for his report, Ethanol, la fievre verte (Ethanol, green fever) aired on the Radio-Canada show "Enquête," and Philippe Mercure of the daily newspaper La Presse for his excellent article Indonésie: le pays où l'argent pousse dans les arbres (Indonesia, the country where money grows on trees). Martin Jolicœur of the Les Affaires business weekly won the second prize for his article on the opening up of markets in the air transportation sector, titled Le ciel ne peut attendre (Heaven can't wait), while Rudy Le Cours of La Presse was the recipient of the third prize for a series of short articles on the credit crisis and its impact on banks and the Canadian real estate market.

Jury members

The jury for the 13th edition of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec-Merrill Lynch Economic and Financial Journalism Awards of Excellence comprises Charles A. Carrier, General Manager of ASDEQ, Claude Beauchamp, journalist and former host of the "Capital Action" show on RDI, Alain Guilbert, journalist and former President of Transcontinental Publications Inc., Marie-Agnès Thellier, President and CEO of the Cercle des présidents du Québec and previously in charge of the business pages at Le Journal de Montréal, and Colette Brin, Professor in the Department of Information and Communications, Faculty of Arts, Université Laval.

Partners in the prize

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, 2008, it held $120.1 billion of 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 ASDEQ is the principal organization bringing together economists in Québec and is dedicated to the professional advancement of its approximately 700 members. Its primary objective is to foster awareness of, and knowledge about, the field of economics. ASDEQ is a dynamic association that is open not only to economists, but also to anyone interested in economic and financial issues. The association is becoming increasingly recognized as a vital participant in today's great economic debates. www.asdeq.org.

SOURCE Association des économistes québécois (ASDEQ)

For further information: For further information: Valérie Gonzalo, (514) 626-6976, gonzalo@videotron.ca

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Association des économistes québécois (ASDEQ)

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