“We have had the pleasure to once again read the breadth and depth of Canadian public policy writing. Our task is quite simple: to shine a light on the very best policy books published in the past year, and to celebrate the authors behind them. The true challenge of our task is not in reading so many excellent books, but in choosing those that represent the pinnacle of the vocation. Nevertheless, we are honoured to present this year’s shortlist of five outstanding books. Each of them takes a public policy issue and presents a compelling argument for consideration. They are all written to prompt fierce debate and thought-provoking dialogue and will neither gather dust on bookshelves nor populate one’s Zoom backgrounds. It is our hope that they will be widely read, not only by students and practitioners of public policy, but the wider Canadian public too.
There is no question that the calibre of public policy writing in this country is simply outstanding. However, it is also apparent that the opportunity to write a well-researched and rigorous book is most often accorded to those with the time, capacity, wherewithal, and privilege to do so. As jurors, we think that more can and should be done to broaden the Canadian public policy discourse to include voices from a wider array of perspectives. We do not lack for diverse public policy experience nor expertise in this country, but that diversity is not always immediately evident in the books that are published. Diversity, as a core Canadian strength, deserves to be better reflected in these debates. Indeed, we believe the public policy discourse in Canada would only be strengthened by it. The free and unfettered exchange of ideas is a tide that lifts all boats and our country will be better for it.”