5 Canadian writers shortlisted for the $ 25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for political writing

Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Desmond Cole, Ronald J. Deibert, Alex Marland and Karin Wells are the five finalists for this year’s Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.

The $ 25,000 prize is awarded annually to a literary non-fiction book that deals with a political topic relevant to Canadian readers and that has the potential to shape or influence thinking on Canadian political life.

César-Chavannes is shortlisted for Can you hear me now? How I found my voice and learned to live with passion and determination.

Both a dissertation and a leadership book, Can you hear me now? is a look at how failing badly is truly more powerful lessons on how to lead a life than extraordinary success.

Caesar-Chavannes is an equity and inclusion advocate and leadership consultant from Whitby, Ont. She is a former deputy. She was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of African Descent Under 40 in the World in 2017 and one of Chatelaine Magazine’s Women of the Year in 2019.

“Celina Caesar-Chavannes’ memoir is unlike any other in the history of Canadian politics,” the jury said in a statement. “Along the way, she exposes the deeply rooted racism and sexism in Canadian society and on Parliament Hill and reminds us that our politicians are real people.

Ottawa morning14:13Celina Caesar-Chavannes on her argument with the Prime Minister and why she left politics and the liberal party

The former Liberal MP for Whitby from 2015 to 2019 has just released her memoir, “Can You Hear Me Now”. 14:13

Cole is nominated for The skin we are in: a year of black resistance and power.

In The skin we’re in, Cole recounts a year spent being Black in Canada. It examines the carding practice, the treatment of black refugees, and Cole’s own activism with respect to the Toronto police and their treatment of black citizens.

Cole is a Toronto-based journalist, radio host and activist. His writings have appeared in the Toronto Star, Toronto Life, Now Magazine and Walrus. The skin we’re in won the Toronto Book Prize 2020.

“It’s a story of confrontation and resistance, but also of deep listening and witnessing. Cole challenges his home and homeland to dispense with magical thinking and reckoning with uncomfortable truths,” said the jury in a press release.

The next chapter19:15Desmond Cole on The Skin We Are In

Toronto journalist Desmond Cole talks about his first successful non-fiction book, The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power. 19:15

Deibert is shortlisted for his Massey Lectures, Reset: recover the Internet for civil society.

In Reset, Deibert is inspired by his Citizen Lab research and exposes the impacts of this communication ecosystem on civil society. It follows a mostly unregulated surveillance industry, innovations in remote control technologies, superpower policing practices, dark public relations firms, and highly profitable hacking services feeding on insecure personal data. .

Deibert is the founder and director of Citizen Lab, a University of Toronto-based research center that studies technology, surveillance, and censorship. Reset was also nominated for the 2021 Donner Prize for the best Canadian book on public policy .

“With pioneering originality, he explains why it is time to reset the Internet to thwart cybercriminals, protect political activists, contain environmental costs and limit social media chaos,” the jury said in a statement.

The flow23:36How social media undermines democracy

In the wake of Trump’s defeat, social media has once again become the scene of conspiracies and lies. Ron Deibert, professor of political science and director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto, discusses how social media and big tech companies can undermine democracy. His new book is called Reset: Reclaiming the Internet for Civil Society. 23:36

Marland is nominated for Fouetté: party discipline in Canada.

Whipped examines the hidden means by which political parties exercise control over elected members of Canadian legislatures. Drawing on in-depth interviews with politicians and staff from across the country, Marland explains why MPs and provincial lawmakers have followed the party line and shows how party discipline has spread to discipline of the party. message.

Marland is professor of political science at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is the author of Brand Command, which won the 2016 Donner Prize and an Atlantic Book Award for scholarly writing.

“Drawing compelling material from over a hundred interviews he conducted through unparalleled access, Alex Marland sheds light on the culture of secrecy and the perpetual quest for electoral victory that often stifles dissent and leverage. democratic process, ”the jury said in a statement.

The abortion caravan: when women stop the government in the fight for the right to choose by Wells is also a finalist for the award.

In the spring of 1970, 17 women left Vancouver in a big yellow convertible, a Volkswagen bus and a pickup truck. It was called the abortion caravan. 5,000 kilometers later, they led a rally of 500 women on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, ‘occupied’ the Prime Minister’s lawn, chained themselves to their chairs in the visitors’ galleries and closed Parliament – the first and only time that this has been accomplished.

Wells is a lawyer, a Documentary filmmaker at CBC Radio and three-time recipient of the Canadian Association of Journalists Documentary Award. She has reported in over 50 countries. The abortion caravan is his first book.

The abortion caravan is the vibrant story of a seminal but forgotten period in Canadian feminist history, when a handful of women activists and working mothers came together with a yearning and conviction for safer access to abortion, ”the jury said in a statement. “Karin Wells uses deep, original research and forceful writing to expose the ideological and practical ups and downs of the early struggle for reproductive rights in this country.”

Sunday edition39:48Documentary: ‘The Women Are Coming’ by Karin Wells

Last week’s landmark vote to overturn Ireland’s abortion ban has caught the world’s attention. And it reminded us of a gem in our documentary safe. Almost 50 years ago, a group of Canadian women set out on a trek across the country to Ottawa in what has become the abortion trailer. They literally stormed Parliament. We will taste Karin Wells’ 2010 documentary “Women are coming”. 39:48

The finalists were selected by a jury made up of author Peter Dauvergne, CBC News Ottawa presenter Adrian Harewood and Toronto Star Ottawa bureau chief Heather Scoffield from among 41 titles.

The Shaughnessy Cohen Award was created in honor of the popular and outspoken MP for Windsor, Ontario.

The 2021 winner will be announced on September 22, 2021.

Last year’s winner was former Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin for her memoir The truth must be told.

The prize has been awarded annually since 2000.

Other previous winners include Kamal Al Solayle, Jane Jacobs and Roméo Dallaire.

The Writers’ Trust of Canada is an organization that supports Canadian writers through 11 annual national literary awards, scholarships, financial grants, mentors and more.

The organization donated more than $ 970,000 to support Canadian writers in 2020.


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