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

Shortlist 2014/15

Book Cover of Réinventer le Québec: Douze chantiers à entreprendre

Réinventer le Québec: Douze chantiers à entreprendre

by 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.

Marcel Boyer is Professor Emeritus of Industrial Economics at the University of Montreal and a founding member of the Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis of Organizations.

Nathalie Elgrably-Lévy teaches economics at the University of Montreal and UQAM and is a senior economist at the Montreal Economic Institute and Fraser Institute.

Book Cover of Brave New Canada: Meeting the Challenge of a Changing World

Brave New Canada: Meeting the Challenge of a Changing World

by 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.

Derek H. Burney is a senior strategic advisor of Norton Rose Fulbright and former Canadian ambassador to the United States.

Fen Osler Hampsonis Chancellor’s Professor at Carleton University and director of the Global Security and Politics program at the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

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

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

by Joseph Heath / HarperCollins

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.

Joseph Heath is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto

Book Cover of Dealing With Losers: The Political Economy of Policy Transitions

Dealing With Losers: The Political Economy of Policy Transitions

by 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 unelected official at whatever level of government should read.

Michael J. Trebilcock is Professor of Law and Economics at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.