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Shortlist Announced for Second Annual Balsillie Prize for Public Policy

Open Book WT Public Policy prize 2022

Now in its second year, the Balsillie Prize for Public Policy at the Writers' Trust of Canada has announced its 2022 shortlist. The nominated books tackle big subjects, ranging from tech to policing to MAiD (medical assistance in dying) and more. Last year, the prize was presented to inaugural winner Dan Breznitz for his book Innovation in Real Places: Strategies for Prosperity in an Unforgiving World (Oxford University Press).

The prize is unique amongst nonfiction awards in Canada as it specifically focuses on a mission to deepen understandings of what public policy is and how it impacts Canadians in their everyday lives. Welcoming discussions of social, political, economic, and cultural issues, it is funded by Canadian businessman and philanthropist Jim Balsillie, who also funds the Trust's prestigious fiction award as part of an overall $3 million commitment to supporting Canadian literature via the Trust.

The $60,000 2022 prizewinner will be announced on Tuesday, November 29 at a private dinner hosted at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto, separate from the Trust's other annual awards, which will be presented in a ceremony on November 2. The remaining shortlisted authors will be awarded $5,000 in recognition of the excellence of their works. 

The 2022 Shortlist for the Balsillie Prize for Public Policy:

  • Dream States: Smart Cities, Technology, and the Pursuit of Urban Utopias by John Lorinc (Coach House Books)
  • The Last Doctor: Lessons in Living from the Front Lines of Medical Assistance in Dying by Jean Marmoreo and Johanna Schneller (Viking Canada)
  • Canadian Policing: Why and How It Must Change by Kent Roach (Delve Books)
  • How the World Really Works: The Science Behind How We Got Here and Where We're Going by Vaclav Smil (Viking)
  • Reconciling Truths: Reimagining Public Inquiries in Canada by Kim Stanton (UBC Press)

“The 2022 shortlist builds on the strong foundation set by the Balsillie Prize’s inaugural edition,” said Charlie Foran, executive director of Writers’ Trust. “The range and importance of the public policy issues raised in these books is notable, and the shortlist shows six authors engaging these concerns with solid arguments and literary elegance.”

The 2022 jury is composed of author and physician Samantha Nutt, policy expert Taki Sarantakis, and digital strategist Scott Young, who selected the shortlist from 53 books submitted by 31 publishers across the country.