[lg policy] Donner Prize finalists aim to shape Canadian public policy discussions

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Thu May 10 10:31:15 EDT 2018

 Donner Prize finalists aim to shape Canadian public policy discussions
becky toyne
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published 20 hours ago Updated May 9, 2018

When the winner of the 20th anniversary Donner Prize is announced in
Toronto on May 15, the result won’t necessarily send readers scrambling to
the shelves for the best Canadian book on public policy. “Fifty-thousand
dollars [for the winner] certainly beats the hell out of the royalties,”
says Philip Cercone, executive director of McGill-Queen’s University Press,
the publisher that boasts the most nominations in the prize’s history,
including two on this year’s shortlist.

For the shortlisted researchers and academics, much more is at stake than
prize money or modest bumps in sales: “It’s the ultimate recognition among
their peers that they have done a work that is both substantial and will
have an impact on society,” Cercone says.

This year’s five-person jury was generally “looking for something written
in a way that is accessible,” chair David Dodge said in an interview. “As a
former deputy minister and governor of the Bank [of Canada] who used this
kind of stuff in my life, I find it just extraordinarily valuable. And the
more and better quality folks we can induce to write this kind of book, the
better off public servants, minsters and other people responsible for
public policy are going to be.”

The following five books from the past year represent those the jury thinks
can play an important role in future public policy discussions in Canada.
Open this photo in gallery


In *Charte canadienne et droits linguistiques: Pour en finir avec les myths*,
the sole French-language book on the shortlist – the award unusually
considers works in Canada’s two official languages on a single list –
Frédéric Bérard aims to reconsider the Charter of Rights and Freedoms’
effect on language rights. Analyzing laws, regulations and Supreme Court
decisions, Bérard argues that the Charter has not in fact resulted in
systematic bias against French language rights in Quebec. If it wins, this
would be only the second French-language book to do so


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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