Jack Layton and Charles Taylor Awards

Nominations are currently open for the Jack Layton and Charles Taylor Awards.

The deadline for submissions is Thursday, April 22nd, 2021 at 11:59pm PT.

Submit a nomination

Jack Layton Progress Prize


The late Jack Layton served as leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada from 2003 to 2011, when he became the Leader of the Official Opposition.

During his long career in public service, Layton was fond of a great campaign. Whether working with local environmentalists to erect a windmill on the Lake Ontario shore, co-founding the White Ribbon campaign for gender justice, shining a light on the scourge of homelessness, or running in multiple political campaigns at the municipal and federal levels, Layton loved nothing more than the creation of empowering efforts to rally people around a common cause.

In his honour, and in partnership with Olivia Chow, the Jack Layton Progress Prize is awarded annually to an individual or organization who has run a particularly noteworthy political or issue campaign reflecting the ideals exemplified by Layton, including justice, sustainability and democracy.




  • Commitment to progressive/social democratic values and movement
  • Primary responsibility for executing the campaign in question over the previous year or exemplary movement building gaining significant momentum in the previous year
  • Vision, engagement, imagination, and effectiveness as an individual or organizational leader, including representing and/or engaging the diversity of Canada 

2021 winner: Hoodstock
2020 winner: Catherine Abreu
2019 winner: Leilani Farha
2017 winner: Cindy Blackstock 
2016 winner: Jill Piebiak (Canadian Menstruators)
2015 winner: February 14th Women's Memorial March Committee 

Charles Taylor Prize for Excellence in Policy Research


Charles Taylor is one of the great Canadian thinkers of the last century, and Prospect magazine has called him perhaps “the most important philosopher writing in English today.”

The author of countless articles and the groundbreaking Sources of the Self and The Malaise of Modernity, Taylor has also received the prestigious Kyoto and Templeton Prizes. As a philosophically committed social democrat, much of his work has been rooted in real world concerns. He has been a candidate for the federal NDP and president of the Quebec NDP and, in 2007, was co-chair of the Bouchard-Taylor Commission on reasonable accommodation with regard to cultural differences in the province of Quebec.

In recognition of Taylor’s rich legacy of politically resonant scholarship, the Charles Taylor Prize for Excellence in Policy Research is awarded annually to a researcher whose work has made an important contribution to policy debates relevant to building a more socially just Canada.



  • Commitment to progressive/social democratic values
  • Primary responsibility as the lead author/creator of the policy, research or philosophical contribution in question for each year
  • Priority given to persons whose work has had demonstrable impact on policy making, governance or the political discourse

2021 winner: Martha Friendly
2020 winner: Marjorie Griffin Cohen
2019 winner: Akwasi Owusu-Bempah
2017 winner: Daniel Weinstock
2016 winner: Leah Vosko 
2015 winner: Charles Taylor