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.

2014 Winner


Dealing With Losers: The Political Economy of Policy Transitions

Michael J. Trebilcock

(Oxford University Press)

Whenever governments change policies, there will typically be losers: people or groups who relied upon and invested in physical, financial, or human capital predicated on the pre-reform policies, and whose losses will have to be mitigated during a transition phase. The book explores rationales for transition cost mitigation strategies in a wide variety of policy contexts, providing examples and realistic strategies for genuine policy reform. Dealing With Losers is an invaluable essay on the role and importance of compromise. This is a book that every elected and un-elected official at whatever level of government should read.

Runners – up


Réinventer le Québec: Douze chantiers à entreprendre

Marcel Boyer and Nathalie Elgrably-Lévy

(Éditions Stanké)

A plea for economic freedom that challenges the sacred cows of the Quebec economic model, Réinventer le Québec debunks myths and proposes reforms to ensure the achievement of Quebec’s full socio-economic potential. This potential is currently hampered by a lack of economic freedom and a lack of autonomy and individual and institutional responsibility. This economic manifesto is highly relevant—a refreshing, if controversial, perspective on the economic performance of Quebec. The authors’ statistical analysis provides compelling reasons for concern, as well as providing the underpinnings of a roadmap for change and action. A punchy, take-no-prisoners book where every sentence serves a purpose, it is large in ambition—taking on nothing less than to change seventy years of societal, political and economic thinking in Quebec.


Brave New Canada: Meeting the Challenge of a Changing World

Derek H. Burney and Fen Osler Hampson

(McGill-Queen’s University Press)

Globalization and the shifting tectonic plates of the international system have led to an increasingly competitive world. Brave New Canada identifies the key trends that are reshaping the world’s geopolitics and economics and discusses the challenges Canada confronts with the rise of China and other global centres of power. An informative and timely read, the book details how Canada can become bold, assertive and confident in a new global landscape, and presents a compelling case for a serious foreign policy debate while remaining refreshingly readable and jargon-free. Burney and Hampson have written an excellent, thoughtful and accessible book that deserves wide readership.


Enlightenment 2.0: Restoring Sanity to Our Politics, Our Economy, and Our Lives

Joseph Heath


Over the last twenty years, the political systems of the Western world have become increasingly divided—not between right and left, but between crazy and non-crazy. With rational thought seemingly losing ground in the current social and media environment, Joseph Heath outlines a program for a second Enlightenment of new “slow politics.” Enlightenment 2.0 argues that the only way to restore sanity is by engaging in collective action against the social conditions that have crowded it out. This compelling work addresses deep and divisive issues in our contemporary society in an entertaining, insightful and thought-provoking fashion. Heath has put his finger on one of the most pressing issues for liberal democracies and the development of public policies in our time—Canada’s democracy included.

2014 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 is Vice Chair – Board of Directors for the Institute for Research on Public Policy. McLellan was appointed Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Alberta Institute for American Studies at the University of Alberta in July 2006 but retired from the University of Alberta effective June 30, 2013.

Jean-Marie Dufour

An Officer of the Order of Canada, Jean-Marie Dufour is the William Dow Professor of Political Economy at McGill University and a Bank of Canada Research Fellow. He is also Director of the Canadian Econometric Study Group, a Member of Governing Council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (June 2013), and Research Fellow at the Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis on Organizations (CIRANO) and the Center for Interuniversity Research on Quantitative Economics (CIREQ). Dr. Dufour has served as President of the Canadian Economics Association and the Société canadienne de science économique. He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Canada, the Econometric Society and the American Statistical Association, and was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2006-2007. An Officer of the National Order of Québec, Dr. Dufour is a recipient of the Konrad Adenauer Research Award (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany), the Léon-Gérin prize (Government of Québec), and the Izaak-Walton-Killam Award for social sciences.

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 was a Senior Research Fellow with the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute and the Chair of its Advisory Council from 2008 until 2014. From 2007 until 2013, he also served on the Board of the Pearson (Peacekeeping) Centre. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006.

Peter George

Recipient of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario, Peter George is an economist with broad policy interests. He was President and Vice-Chancellor of McMaster University, from 1995 until 2010. Previously, he was President of the Council of Ontario Universities from 1991 to 1995. Dr. George has served as Chair of the Ontario Expert Panel on Health Human Resources, and on the Boards of the C.D. Howe Institute, the Institute for Work and Health, and the Ontario Cancer Institute. He is currently a Board member of the Kids Health Links Foundation, the LORAN Foundation, the Ontario Research Fund’s Advisory Board, and is Senior Advisor to the United Nations University’s Institute for Water, Environment and Health.

V. Peter Harder

Peter Harder is Senior Policy Advisor to Dentons Canada LLP. Before joining Dentons in 2007, he was a long serving Deputy Minister in the Government of Canada. Harder also serves as a corporate director on a number of public companies as well as President of the Canada China Business Council and a number of not for profit organizations. In 2000, the Governor General presented Harder with the Prime Minister’s Outstanding Achievement Award for public service leadership. He is also the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden (2002) and Diamond (2012) Jubilee medals. He has an LLD from the University of Waterloo.