Here’s a look back at past winners and the books that made that year’s shortlist. You’ll also find our Jury from each award season.

2011 Winner


Democratizing the Constitution: Reforming Responsible Government

Peter Aucoin, Mark D. Jarvis and Lori Turnbull

(Emond Montgomery Publications)

Canada’s time-honoured system of responsible government is failing us. The principle by which the executive must be accountable to the people’s elected representatives is slipping away, and our constitution and its unwritten conventions no longer provide effective constraints on a prime minister’s power. Democratizing the Constitution examines recent history and ongoing controversies as it makes the case of restoring power to where it belongs – with the people’s elected representatives in Parliament.

Runners – up


Toward Improving Canada’s Skilled Immigration Policy: An Evaluation Approach

Charles M. Beach, Alan G. Green and Christopher Worswic

(C.D. Howe Institute)

Canada’s approach to immigration has faced major challenges in recent years. The gap between earnings of recent immigrants in Canada and their Canadian-born contemporaries has been growing, and the time it takes to close the gap has been lengthening. The authors provide a panoramic view of shifts in Canada’s skilled-immigration policies and the strengths and weaknesses of the points system used to screen new arrivals.


Museum Pieces: Toward the Indigenization of Canadian Museums

Ruth B. Phillips

(McGill-Queen’s University Press)

A manifesto that calls on us to re-imagine the museum as a place to embrace global interconnectedness, Museum Pieces emphasizes the transformative power of museum controversy and analyses shifting ideas about art, authenticity, and power in the modern museum. Drawing on forty years of experience as an art historian, curator, and museum director, Ruth Phillips looks at the complex and situated nature of the problems that face museums, introducing new perspectives on controversial exhibitions.


XXL: Obesity and the Limits of Shame

Neil Seeman and Patrick Luciani

(University of Toronto Centre for Public Management)

Public health organizations and governments have traditionally tried to combat obesity through shame-inducing policies. This generic approach has failed, as it does little to address the personal, genetic, and cultural challenges faced by obese individuals. XXL directly confronts the global public health sector by proposing an innovative, alternative policy, and challenges governments to abandon top-down planning solutions in favour of bottom-up innovations to confront the obesity crisis.

2011 Donner JurY

A. Anne McLellan


The Honourable Anne McLellan joined Bennett Jones LLP after a distinguished career in federal politics, where she served four terms as the Liberal Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre from 1993-2006. During her political career McLellan was Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Minister of Health, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and Minister of Natural Resources and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians. As Deputy Prime Minister, she chaired two Cabinet committees: the Operations Committee and the Security, Public Health and Emergencies Committee. She was appointed Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the University of Alberta’s Institute for United States Policy Studies in July 2006 and currently is acting director of the Institute.

Marcel Boyer

Marcel Boyer is Emeritus Professor of Economics at the Université de Montréal; Research Associate, Department of Economics, École Polytechnique de Paris; Fellow of the C.D. Howe Institute, CIRANO and CIREQ; and Vice-president of the Society for Economic Research on Copyright Issues. He taught economics at York University, UQÀM and at Université de Montréal, and held the Bell Canada Chair in Industrial Economics in the Department of Economics of the University of Montreal. He was Vice-President and Chief Economist of the Montreal Economic Institute, President of the Canadian Economics Association, and CEO of CIRANO. He has acted as expert economist on behalf of several national and international corporations and government organisations, and has testified as expert witness before various organizations and tribunals.

Wendy Dobson

Dr. Wendy Dobson is Co-director of the Institute for International Business in the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. She is a former Associate Deputy Minister of Finance in the Canadian government and a former President of the C.D. Howe Institute. She is also Vice-Chair of the Canadian Public Accountability Board, a director of the Canadian Ditchley Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation and member of the Advisory Committee of the Peterson Institute of International Economics. She participates actively in a number of international networks, including the Pacific Trade and Development Network (PAFTAD).

Kevin G. Lynch

The Honourable Kevin G. Lynch is Vice-Chair, BMO Financial Group. Prior to joining BMO, Mr. Lynch built a distinguished career in the Government of Canada, serving as Clerk of the Privy Council, Secretary to the Cabinet, and Head of the Public Service of Canada. Mr. Lynch began his public service career at the Bank of Canada in 1976 and has held a number of senior positions in the Government of Canada, including the post of Deputy Minister of Industry, and Deputy Minister of Finance. From 2004 to 2006, he served as Executive Director (for the Canadian, Irish and Caribbean constituency) at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C. Mr. Lynch is on the Boards of Waterloo University, Perimeter Institute, Gairdner Foundation, Shannon School of Business, the U.K. Ditchley Foundation, and is also Chair of the Canada Ditchley Foundation.

Denis Stairs

Dr. Stairs is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Dalhousie University, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a past-President of the Canadian Political Science Association. The founding Director of the Centre for Foreign Policy Studies, he was Dalhousie’s Vice President (Academic and Research) from 1988 to 1993. A former Chair of the Board of Visitors of the Canadian Forces College and for many years a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Research on Public Policy, he is currently Senior Research Fellow and Chair of the Advisory Council of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006.