SABEW Canada Announces the Finalists for the 7th Annual Best in Business Awards

TORONTO, May 19, 2021 – The Canadian chapter of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW) is excited to announce the finalists for the 7th annual Best in Business Awards competition, recognizing outstanding business reporting published and produced in 2020.

Their work—produced by publications large and small—shone a spotlight on a wide range of stories, including, of course, the impact of COVID-19 on the Canadian economy at large, on individual businesses and on our own personal finances. They also explored subjects such as the WE Charity scandal, alcoholism in the legal world, the 5G rollout, Bank of Canada governors both old and new, and more.

SABEW Canada would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to everyone who submitted work to the BIB contest. It was an exceptionally difficult year for journalists, and we applaud each and every one of you for your efforts. We’d also like to thank our distinguished judges, chosen from Canadian and U.S. news outlets and journalism schools.

Sadly, for the second year in a row, it seems unlikely we’ll be able to hand out the awards in person. But we promise to throw a make-up bash as soon as it’s safe to do so. In the meantime, here are the winners and finalists for this year’s awards:

Jeff Sanford Best Young Journalist Award

Our third annual Jeff Sanford Best Young Journalist Award goes to Shelly Hagan of Bloomberg News. Shelly graduated from the University of Missouri in 2017 and joined Bloomberg as a Canadian economy reporter in September 2019, a little more than six months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Since then, she has been responsible for all major aspects of Bloomberg’s economic coverage, including the Bank of Canada and the labour market.

As Derek DeCloet, Bloomberg’s managing editor for Canada, said in his nomination letter: “Shelly rose to the occasion, working hard to understand and then explain to readers the significance of the emergency measures being implemented by policy makers and to report the incredible disruption to working people in Canada. She has taken a particular leadership role in Bloomberg’s coverage of the Canadian immigration story and was one of the first to quantify the pandemic’s impact on permanent immigration to Canada—a key growth driver of the country’s economy. She finds stories in data that other journalists overlook and digs for exclusive numbers that help tell stories of what’s happening in the economy in real time.”

(The Best Young Journalist Award is named after Financial Post and Canadian Business journalist Jeff Sanford, a graduate of the Ryerson School of Journalism who died in 2018. The award is generously supported by Jeff’s family.)

Outstanding Achievement Award

The winner of our third annual Outstanding Achievement Award is Michael Babad. Mike spent two decades as a senior business editor at The Globe and Mail, where he was universally beloved—a near-miraculous accomplishment in the journalism game. His writing displayed that rare combination of deep business knowledge and sly humour, and his Business Briefing consistently ranked among The Globe’s most-read articles. He was early to embrace online journalism and recognize the value of reader data. Perhaps most important, he was a mentor and champion to generations of reporters, supporting them with kindness and patience.

In addition to his long career at The Globe, Mike was business editor at The Toronto Star, a senior manager at The Financial Post, and headed United Press International in Toronto before the wire service closed. Along with his wife, Catherine Mulroney, he also co-wrote three business books: Campeau: The Building of an EmpirePillars: The Coming Crisis in Canada’s Financial Industry; and Where the Buck Stops: The Dollar, Democracy and the Bank of Canada. He did most of his book-writing in the early mornings before work rather than taking significant time off.

Mike died of cancer in March 2020, just days after filing his last Business Briefing column. He was celebrated at a packed memorial service just before the world went into lockdown, where Catherine joked there were “three of us in this marriage”—referring to Mike’s devotion to The Globe.

As his long-time friend Eric Reguly wrote after Mike’s death: “To me, Mike was the heart and soul of The Globe, a gentle force of nature who combined humour, good nature, a strong work ethic and a killer news sense to make The Globe a fine paper and put a smile on the face of everyone who worked with him.”

Audio or Visual Storytelling

  • Kyle Bakx (CBC News), “Portrait of retail survival: Inside a strip mall during
  • Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post), “Down to Business: ‘No science’ behind
    lobster dispute”
  • Rob Carrick, Roma Luciw, Kiran Rana, Hannah Sung, Amanda Cupido and TK Matunda (The Globe and Mail), “Stress Test” 

Beat reporting

  • Josh O’Kane (The Globe and Mail), small business
  • Aleksandra Sagan (The Logic), retail
  • Theo Argitis (Bloomberg), Canadian finance

Breaking news 

  • Wendy Stueck, Brent Jang, Les Perreaux, Eric Andrew-Gee, Eric Atkins, Evan Annett, John Sopinski and Jimmy Jeong (The Globe and Mail), “Coastal Gaslink protests and rail blockades”
  • Rosa Saba (Toronto Star), “CERB confusion”
  • Jake Edmiston, Joe O’Connor, Kevin Carmichael and Terence Corcoran (Financial Post), “Michael McCain’s anti-Trump tweets”


  • Rita Trichur (The Globe and Mail)
  • David Skok (The Logic)
  • Eric Reguly (The Globe and Mail)

Editorial newsletter

  • Daily Briefing (The Logic), The Logic staff
  • Posthaste (Financial Post)m Yadullah Hussain and Pamela Heaven
  • Cannabis Canada Weekly (BNN Bloomberg), David George-Cosh and Shane McNeil

Feature (long)

  • Eric Reguly (The Globe and Mail), “Next stop, Ottawa: Mark Carney comes home”
  • Natalie Obiko Pearson (Bloomberg), “How Huawei won 5G”
  • Joe Castaldo (The Globe and Mail), “Despite a pandemic, mega-mall pioneers bet on American Dream”

Feature (short) 

  • David Milstead and Bill Curry (The Globe and Mail), “CPPIB’s fracking operation in U.S. raises questions”
  • Anita Balakrishnan (Canadian Press), “The Year in Labour”
  • Rachelle Younglai, Frances Bula and Michael Awad (The Globe and Mail), “Will the pandemic reshape landmark high streets?”


  • Natalie Obiko Pearson, Danielle Bochove and David Herbling (Bloomberg Businessweek), “How a Charity Superstar Innovated Its Way to Political Scandal”
  • James McLeod (Financial Post), “Double-double tracking: How Tim Hortons knows where you sleep, work and vacation”
  • Tavia Grant, Kathryn Blaze Baum and Carrie Tait (The Globe and Mail), “Canada’s vulnerable food sector workers”


  • Tara Deschamps (Canadian Press), diversity series
  • Kait Bolongaro, Shelly Hagan and Sandrine Rastello (Bloomberg), “Canada immigration upheaval”
  • Nathan Caddell, Alyssa Hirose, Michael McCullough, Matt O’Grady and Nick Rockel (BCBusiness Magazine), “Making It Work”

Personal finance and investing

  • Victor Ferreira (Financial Post), “Money to be made: Meet the new retail investors flooding the market amid the pandemic”
  • Divya Balji, Jacqueline Thorpe, Susanne Barton, Michael Bellusci and Eddit van der Walt (Bloomberg), “COVID market crash”
  • Rob Carrick (The Globe and Mail), pandemic personal finance updates


  • Alanna Mitchell (Report on Business magazine), “Women Lead Here: Eira Thomas”
  • David Parkinson (The Globe and Mail), “Crush it: Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem says a crisis is no time for half measures”
  • Brent Jang (The Globe and Mail), “Chasing the hydrogen dream: Ballard on quest to transform long-haul transportation”


  • Murad Hemmadi (The Logic), “Palantir and the pandemic”
  • Andrew Willis and Jeffrey Jones (The Globe and Mail), “Aimco’s errors”
  • David George-Cosh (BNN Bloomberg), “Aphria, Tilray said to be in advanced merger talks”

Trade article

  • Garry Marr (CoStar News), “Canadians shuffle off to Buffalo looking for better property returns”
  • Helen Burnett-Nichols (Globe Advisor), “New advisors find ways to make a go of it during the pandemic”
  • Daniel Fish (Precedent Magazine), “In recovery”

Thank you to everyone who submitted work to this years contest and to our fantastic judges. 

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