The Donner Prize - The Award for the Best Book on Canadian Public Policy

For further information

Sherry Naylor, Prize Manager
The Donner Prize
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Toronto, ON M4K 1P5

(416) 368 8253



Topics foremost on Canadians’ minds feature prominently in shortlist for $50,000 annual prize

TORONTO April 11, 2017 – The shortlist for the 2016/2017 Donner Prize, the award recognizing the best public policy book by a Canadian, was announced today by Kenneth Whyte, Chair of the Donner Canadian Foundation.

“Our five finalists are leading academics and award-winning writers who offer Canadians insight into highly topical subjects, elevating the public policy discourse in our country,” said Mr. Whyte. “Each of these books deserves a wide-readership, and in announcing the shortlist we invite Canadians to join the conversation.”

Donner Prize Jury Chair Peter Nicholson said the five short-listed books cover a wide range of contemporary issues and include thoroughly researched, evidence-based examinations of significant subjects such as medically-assisted dying; separating truth from deception in the digital age; integrating health services to focus on the patient; the growing use of tight, centralized message control in political communications; and the transfer of Western policy models (specifically in the case of central banking) to postcommunist countries. “The books we chose for the shortlist exemplify the criteria established for the Donner Prize—relevant and important topics for Canadian public policy; based on sound and original analysis; and accessible not only to experts but also to a general readership,” said Nicholson.

Nicholson added that the five shortlisted books have important implications for Canadians. “By stimulating informed discussion, each of these books will contribute to an even stronger and more inclusive Canadian democracy.”

The prestigious Donner Prize, established in 1998, annually rewards excellence and innovation in public policy writing by Canadians. In bestowing this award, the Donner Canadian Foundation seeks to broaden policy debates, increase general awareness of the importance of policy decision-making, and make an original and meaningful contribution to policy discourse.

The 2016/2017 shortlist titles were chosen from a field of 81 submissions; the winner receives $50,000 while each other nominated title receives $7,500.

The winner of this year’s Donner Prize will be announced at an awards ceremony in Toronto on Monday, May 15, 2017. The ceremony will be hosted by former Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan, who served as Donner Prize Jury Chair from 2009-2016.

The 2016/2017 Donner Prize finalists are:

  • L’intégration des services en santé: Une approche populationnelle by Yves Couturier, Lucie Bonin, Louise Belzile (Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal)
  • Priests of Prosperity: How Central Bankers Transformed the Postcommunist World by Juliet Johnson (Cornell University Press)
  • A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age by Daniel J. Levitin (Allen Lane Canada, Penguin Random House Canada)
  • Brand Command: Canadian Politics and Democracy in the Age of Message Control by Alex Marland (UBC Press)
  • A Good Death: Making the Most of Our Final Choices by Sandra Martin (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.)

Shortlisted authors are available for comment and interview.

For further information, please contact:
Erin Phelan, Naylor and Associates
Phone: 416 368 8253