Book about Canadian trade policy wins $60K Donner Prize for best book on public policy

Toronto lawyer Ryan Manucha has won the Donner Prize for Booze, Cigarettes, and Constitutional Dust-Ups: Canada's Quest For Interprovincial Free Trade.

Toronto lawyer Ryan Manucha has won the Donner Prize for Booze, Cigarettes, and Constitutional Dust-Ups

On the left is a red book cover with a beer opener and white and black text overlaid. On the right is a headshot photo of the author who is wearing a suit and smiling at the camera.
Booze, Cigarettes, and Constitutional Dust-Ups is a book by Ryan Manucha. (McGill-Queen's University Press, Ryan Manucha)

Toronto lawyer Ryan Manucha has won the 2022 Donner Prize for his book Booze, Cigarettes, and Constitutional Dust-Ups: Canada's Quest For Interprovincial Free Trade.

The annual award, which recognizes the best public policy book by a Canadian, was increased from $50,000 to $60,000 this year to celebrate its 25th anniversary. 

Booze, Cigarettes, and Constitutional Dust-Ups weaves together an understanding of international and domestic trade policy, a review of legal cases, history and considerations of the actual practical operations of tribunals and secretariats. 

It explores the concept of recognizing provincial rights and trying to stimulate inter-provincial trade at the same time, and draws on economics, political science, history, constitutional and administrative law to share Canada's changing approaches to removing internal trade barriers. It also looks at ways of analyzing and including Indigenous considerations. 

WATCH | Ryan Manucha discusses Booze, Cigarettes, and Constitutional Dust-Ups: 

"It's about how we accommodate while also unlocking liberalized trade at the same," said Manucha in his message to the Donner Prize upon receiving the award.

"There's always two or more stakeholders who are at odds when it comes to changing rules and regulations and it's recognizing this game of post-pandemic recession era pursuit of growth that perhaps we need to take another look at how we approach those trade-offs." 

Manucha is a interprovincial trade law scholar and a Harvard Law School graduate. He writes about Canada's economic union for the nation's leading think tanks and has been published in outlets such as CBC Radio and the Globe and Mail. 

"[The book] makes internal free trade lively with clear explanations and relevant anecdotes, [and is] an excellent review of the development of internal trade policy, as well as guidance on future policy developments in the years to come. And, as importantly, a compelling and enjoyable read!" The jury said in a press statement. 

LISTEN | Ryan Manucha on On the Coast: 
Ryan Manucha, author of the upcoming book Booze, Cigarettes, and Constitutional Dust-Ups: Canada's Quest for Interprovincial Free Trade, analyzes Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s promotion of reducing interprovincial barriers to trade and labour.

The 2022 jury was comprised of Canadian diplomat Louise Fréchette, professor and statistician Jean-Marie Dufour, economist and public policy analyst Jack Mintz, WaterAid International board chair Maureen O'Neil, public sector executive Karen Restoule and Dalhouise University social work professor emeritus Frederic Wien. 

The remaining finalists were were Cooperation and Social Justice by Mark Carney, Dream States: Smart Cities, Technology, and the Pursuit of Urban Utopias by John Lorinc, The Next Age of Uncertainty: How the World Can Adapt to a Riskier Future by Stephen Poloz and Canadian Policing: Why and How It Must Change by Kent Roach. 

They will each receive $7,500.

The Donner Prize was founded in 1998. It celebrates excellence in public policy writing by Canadians.

Past winners include Dan Breznitz for Innovation in Real Places, Joseph Heath for The Machinery of Government, Dennis McConaghy for Breakdown, Thomas J. Courchene for Indigenous Nationals, Canadian Citizens and Alex Marland for Brand Command.

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