Wednesday, July 29, 2020
McGill-Queens University Press 2019
 
Administered by the  Writers’ Trust of Canada, the 20th annual Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing is given to a work of topical literary non-fiction that is both revelatory and influential on Canadian political life.
 
Five books have been shortlisted for this year's $25,000 award, including Professor Kent Roach's book, "Canadian Justice, Indigenous Injustice: The Gerald Stanley and Colten Boushie Case" (2019 McGill-Queen's University Press).
 
In August 2016 Colten Boushie, a twenty-two-year-old Cree man from Red Pheasant First Nation, was fatally shot on a Saskatchewan farm by white farmer Gerald Stanley. In a trial that bitterly divided Canadians, Stanley was acquitted of both murder and manslaughter by a jury in Battleford with no visible Indigenous representation. 

The jury citation reads

"A highly readable autopsy of a controversial criminal case that rocked the nation, Roach’s book meticulously details many of the gaps and failings of Canada’s justice system and the systemic racism that it harbours. Authoritative and impeccably researched, it provides a fair, insightful, and thought-provoking read that should serve as a call for action. The injustices laid bare in Roach’s exposé are undeniable. From detailing a sloppy investigation to questionable court tactics and instructions, this is a powerful eye opener grounded in facts and the historical and political context happening outside the courtroom’s doors. You may think you know this case, but you will walk away with a richer perspective." — 2019 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize Jury (Greg Donaghy, Althia Raj, and Paula Simons)

The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize winner will be announced on Sept. 23, 2020.