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About the Event

Politics and the Pen is a grand celebration of Canadian political and literary cultures.

We look forward to celebrating with you! Politics and the Pen is a highlight of the capital’s social calendar and an important annual fundraising event benefiting Writers’ Trust. The event regularly attracts 500 guests from Canada’s political and literary circles. To date, Politics and the Pen has raised more than $5 million to support Writers’ Trust literary programs.

Held at the Fairmont Château Laurier in Ottawa, Politics and the Pen / la politique et l'écrit is a unique fundraiser bringing together national politicians, talented writers, prominent diplomats, and notable arts and business leaders all in support of Writers’ Trust mandate to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing. The highlight of the evening is the presentation of the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, named in honour of the spirited and inspiring parliamentarian and generously supported by CN.

Writers' Trust of Canada extends enormous thanks to Politics and the Pen co-chairs Elizabeth Gray-Smith and Patrick Kennedy, and to committee members Jim Armour, Hardave Birk, Maureen Boyd, Heather Bradley, Dan Mader, and Rob Rosenfeld.

2023 Politics and the Pen Co-Hosts

Daniel Blaikie
Member of Parliament for Elmwood—Transcona

Blaikie was born and raised in Transcona; a blue-collar neighbourhood of Winnipeg built around the CN shops. First elected as the MP for Elmwood-Transcona in 2015, Blaikie has since served in several positions including NDP Caucus Chair. He currently occupies several roles within the NDP, including Finance Critic, Critic for Employment, Workforce Development and Democratic Reform Critic. An electrician by trade, Blaikie earned his certification as a construction electrician after completing a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Winnipeg and a Master of Arts Degree in philosophy at Concordia University. Blaikie entered politics to fight for an economy that is fair for working people and sustainable for the planet. He continues to live in Transcona with his wife Janelle and two sons, Robert and Noah. 

The Honourable Mona Fortier
Member of Parliament for Ottawa—Vanier
President of the Treasury Board

The Honourable Mona Fortier was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Ottawa—Vanier in 2017, and is the first woman to represent the riding. She has previously served as Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance and is currently the President of the Treasury Board.  

Fortier has always believed that she can best serve her community by taking action. Her expertise covers the areas of health care, education, job creation, management of organizations, and Francophone affairs. Fortier is a strong advocate for linguistic duality, a champion for Official Language minority rights, and always searches for the right balance between prosperity and social justice.   

As a mother of three, a University of Ottawa graduate, a community leader, and an entrepreneur, Fortier knows that it is important to come together with an ambitious plan to build stronger communities for everyone.

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