The National Business Book Award

National Business
Book Award

Jim Leech and Jacquie McNish Win National Business Book Award


The Third Rail recognized as the most outstanding Canadian business-related book

TORONTO, MAY 26, 2014 — Jim Leech and Jacquie McNish have been named the winners of the National Business Book Award for their book, The Third Rail: Confronting Our Pension Failures, published by Signal, an imprint of McClelland & Stewart. The announcement was made at a luncheon today in Toronto, hosted by co-sponsors PwC and BMO Financial Group.

With Canada's looming pension crisis at the forefront of financial and public policy discourse, The Third Rail embarks on an assessment of the country's pension system. Leech and McNish provide a brief history and context for the current pension squeeze and use case studies of pension reform — from Holland, New Brunswick and Rhode Island — to argue how Canada can revive and enhance the current system.

According to the authors, longer life expectancy and exaggerated market volatility have distorted the assumptions on which most pension plans were originally founded. The authors reveal why immediate action is required to rehabilitate our ailing pension program that is no longer adequate for the unprecedented exodus of seven million Canadian workers expected to retire over the next 20 years.

"Business writing in Canada plays an essential role in helping us stay on top of issues that are relevant to our firm and our clients," says Gino Scapillati, Vice-Chair of PwC Canada. "When we look back at the Award winners over nearly 30 years, their stories offer us insight into the personalities and thinking that ultimately shape Canadian business decisions."

"On behalf of BMO, we extend the warmest congratulations to this year's National Business Book Award winners, Mr. Leech and Ms. McNish," says Mona Malone, Regional Vice-President, Personal Banking, Central Toronto, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Business books, and the talented authors who write them, are fundamental to Canada's literature and business communities."

Now in its 29th year, the National Business Book Award has come to be recognized as one of Canada's most prestigious literary awards.

Jim Leech most recently served as the President and CEO of Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. He has also led Unicorp Canada Corporation and Union Energy Inc. He chairs the advisory board of the Queen's School of Business and was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012 for his work with the True Patriot Love Foundation.

Jacquie McNish is a well-respected journalist and senior writer with The Globe and Mail. McNish has won five National Newspaper Awards and is the author of two bestselling books, including Wrong Way: The Fall of Conrad Black, winner of the National Business Book Award in 2004.

The finalists for this year's National Business Book Award are:
  • Nina Munk, The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty, published by Signal, an imprint of McClelland & Stewart.
  • Donald J. Savoie, Harrison McCain: Single-Minded Purpose, published by McGill-Queen's University Press.
For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Mary Ann Freedman
Freedman & Associates Inc. for the National Business Book Award
Tel: 416-868-1500
Email: mafreedman@freedmanandassociates.com