03/13/2013 02:11 EDT

The Huffington Post Canada, King's College Share National Newspaper Award Nomination


An investigative project by The Huffington Post Canada and the University of King’s College looking at a controversial immigrant partner program in Prince Edward Island has been nominated for a National Newspaper Award.

The series, Cashing In, found that the provincial nominee program became for some a way to purchase entry into Canada, by making “investments” they would never recoup, in companies they might not even know.

The investigative project was produced by journalism students at the University of King’s College in Halifax, with oversight from the school and The Huffington Post Canada. It was published last May.

More from Cashing In: Behind Ottawa's Tense Showdown With The Island.. Case Study: Two Business, Two Immigrants.. Student Blogs: Why It Matters.. And How We Did It.. More From King's: Programs That Worked.. By The Numbers.. SEARCH P.E.I.'s Corporate Records Online

The National Newspaper Awards announced its nominees on Wednesday. The Globe and Mail leads with 15 nominations, followed by La Presse, which received 12 nods, and The Toronto Star with nine. In total 26 news organizations were nominated in 22 categories. The awards take place in May.

“The NNA nomination confirms our commitment to supporting great reporting and storytelling,” said Kenny Yum, managing editor of HuffPost Canada. “We’re proud of the work by the journalists at King’s College and applaud the decision by the awards committee to allow digital news organizations to enter these prestigious awards.”

Cashing In overcame the veil of secrecy that had kept the names of businesses that had received money shielded from public scrutiny. The team used data journalism methods to identify immigrants and businesses that likely participated in the program, and then used old-fashioned “shoe leather” journalism to find them. The series also told the story of a struggle between Ottawa and P.E.I. that played out behind the scenes from almost the day the program began.

The P.E.I. program was one of a number set up jointly by Ottawa and individual provinces to give the provinces more say in choosing immigrants, so as to select those who would integrate well into each province's economy. It ran from 2001 until the federal government changed regulations in 2008 specifically to force closure of P.E.I.'s program.

Cashing In was reported and produced Laura Armstrong, Laura Bain, Niko Bell, Catherine Burgess, Jane Caulfield, Elsa Chang, Andrew Davies, Iris Estrada, Kelly Graham, Geoff Lowe, Vanessa MacKinnon, Matt MacNeil, Bill McEwen, Andrew Miller, Jordan Parker, Jessica Piche, GinaBeth Roberts, Harley Rustad and Adam Scotti

cashing in pei