Former Citizen reporter up for prestigious award

Former Citizen reporter Gord Hoekstra is a finalist for a 2017 Michener Award for public service journalism as part of a team of journalists from the Vancouver Sun and Globe and Mail.

Hoekstra, who was a reporter for The Citizen from 1992 until he took a position at the Vancouver Sun in July 2011, won the prestigious journalism award in 2006 for a series of 35 articles examining the causes of a high number of deaths among logging truckers.

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He was nominated again in 2012 for his investigation into the deadly explosions at Babine Forest Products and Lakeland Mills.

This year's nomination comes for a series titled Financial Crime, along with the series Easy Money which ran in the Globe and Mail.

"In these two series the Vancouver Sun and Globe and Mail exposed a shocking failure of Canadian security regulators and governments to protect investors. Sun Reporter Gordon Hoekstra's databases for B.C. uncovered unpaid penalties of more than a half-billion dollars over the past 10 years, and fraudsters with $31 million in assets," the Michener Awards Foundation said in a press release issued on Monday.

"Globe reporters Grant Robertson and Tom Cardoso took the investigation of white-collar crime national, analyzing almost 30 years of security offenses. Data revealed that one in nine white-collar criminals are repeat offenders, evading regulators and fines by moving provinces. Both series sent shock waves through the investment community and governments. Among the changes: B.C.'s Finance Minister ordered the Securities commission to improve its collections and enforcement. Manitoba's Minister of Finance introduced amendments to the Securities Act, Ontario proposed new legislation for Ontario Securities Commission, and RCMP announced new efforts to fight stock-market abuses."

The Micherner Award was launched in 1971 and honours outstanding examples of public service journalism and is one of, if not the, most prestigious Canadian award for journalism.

Gov.-Gen. Julie Payette will host the Michener Awards ceremony at Rideau Hall on June 12.

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