Presenting the Shortlist for the 18th Annual Donner Prize

Five diverse books shortlisted for $50,000 annual prize

TORONTO, March 31, 2016 /CNW/ - The shortlist for the 2015/2016 Donner Prize, the award recognizing the best public policy book by a Canadian, was announced today by Allan Gotlieb, Chairman of the Donner Canadian Foundation.

"These five finalists offer compelling, timely, and thought-provoking contributions to the public policy discourse in our country," said Mr. Gotlieb. "Each of these books deserves celebration and wide readership."

This year's shortlist includes some authors already familiar to Canadians, while for other nominees, this is their first book. The breadth of topics covered by these five books is far-reaching. "This year's shortlist tackles head-on public policy challenges that either already loom large in the minds of Canadians – or that very soon will. In recognizing these five books, we also recognize the foresight and thoughtfulness of their authors," said Jury Chair A. Anne McLellan.

McLellan goes on to say, "Each book offers rigorous analysis of a different public policy issue that our country faces or will face: the nuances and challenges of our relationship with China; a deep dive into the future of water; the complexity of our relationships with Indigenous peoples; a sharply focused study of the future of our public service; and the conditions necessary to build and sustain great research universities."

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 2015/2016 shortlist titles were chosen from a field of 86 submissions; the winner receives $50,000 while each other nominated title receive $7,500.

The winner of this year's Donner Prize will be announced at an awards ceremony in Toronto on Wednesday, April 27, 2016. The ceremony will be hosted by Jeffrey Simpson, columnist for The Globe and Mail and the winner of the 2012 Donner Prize for his book Chronic Condition.

The 2015/2016 Donner Prize finalists are:

  • Back to the Well: Rethinking the Future of Water, by Marq de Villiers (Goose Lane Editions)
  • Les Grandes Universités de Recherche: Institutions autonomes dans un environnement concurrentiel (Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal) / Leading Research Universities in a Competitive World, by Robert Lacroix and Louis Maheu, translated by Paul Klassen (McGill-Queen's University Press)
  • Middle Power, Middle Kingdom: What Canadians Need to Know about China in the 21st Century, by David Mulroney (Allen Lane/Penguin Canada)
  • From Treaty Peoples to Treaty Nation: A Road Map for All Canadians, by Greg Poelzer and Ken S. Coates (UBC Press)
  • What Is Government Good At?: A Canadian Answer, by Donald J. Savoie (McGill-Queen's University Press)

Shortlisted authors are available for comment and interview.

SOURCE Donner Canadian Foundation

Image with caption: "Donner Canadian Foundation (CNW Group/Donner Canadian Foundation)". Image available at:

For further information: Sherry Naylor, Prize Manager, Phone: 416 368 8253, E-mail:,

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