As we approach the winter break, one would think that debate and public speaking would also begin winding down; however, debate and public speaking opportunities were abundant in late November through to last weekend.
At the junior level, Lucy, Leela, Ryleigh, Chenyu, Emily, and Rana were very busy developing arguments supporting and opposing the establishment of “right to fix” laws in Canada. In the tournament, hosted by Lower Canada College on December 4, 2021, the partnerships examined the harms and benefits of allowing third party and homeowner repair of devices, including if repair could reduce our human impact on the environment, inspire innovation, limit economic growth for large businesses, and facilitate economic growth for small repair companies.
After two rounds of prepared debate, the competitors debated the motions, “This house would ban eating contests,” and “This house supports breaking the law to protect the environment or diminish climate change.” With a wide range of topics possible at impromptu tournaments, you never know what to expect, and our debaters always embrace the challenge. Also impressive were the numbers of competitors who remained following their four main rounds to learn from and support the teams in the final, who debated, “This house would require anyone on parole or bail to be electronically monitored.”
At the senior level, we would like to congratulate Asmara and Janet for representing Manitoba at Senior British Parliamentary Debate National Championships. Their participation at the senior national level will hopefully be one of many more rounds they will qualify to attend in the future. Their six motions debated from November 19–21, 2021, were extremely challenging with the following preliminary motions:
Round 1 — This house would make all workers legally entitled to profit sharing, whereas the employees are entitled to a share of the profits made by a company.
Round 2 — This house would require major polluters to open their borders to environmental refugees.
Round 3 — This house believes that AI will do more harm than good.
Round 4 — The government should fund universal free childcare centres in the same way that the government funds schools.
Round 5 — This house would allow legislation through binding voter-initiated referenda.
Round 6 — This house believes that governments should prioritize policies that reduce social inequality over economic growth.
Just last weekend was the 29th annual Rupert’s Land Debate and Public Speaking Tournament. Balmoral Hall School hosted this qualifying tournament for the upcoming National Public Speaking Championships and was very well represented by our team of six students, including Asmara, Katia, Alex, Janet, and Xiaohang.
At this tournament, our Balmoral Hall competitors presented persuasive speeches on the evening of December 8, 2021 about the zero-waste movement, the right to fix, the lack of healthcare funding from the government for tax-paying immigrants, gender-inclusive studies, vision impairment in India, and the challenges of learning to understand math instead of simply completing arithmetic. Thank you to our judges and moderators for this evening of intensive listening about the problems in our world that still need to be solved. Having the ideas of our young thinkers eloquently shared was engaging for audience members. Also, it is a phenomenal opportunity to take stock of everything that we have to be thankful for in our own lives.
During the two rounds of parliamentary debate on December 12, 2021 for the Rupert’s Land tournament, our Zoom presences in the world of debate was strong. Thirty-two debaters respectfully argued: “This house believes in collective punishment and consequences;” and “If it were possible, this house would change the tech industry to one characterized by multiple smaller firms rather than one dominated by a few large players such as Google.”
While every tournament is a celebration of accomplishments for our learners, we would also like to congratulate the following top performers.
Katia — 1st in persuasive speaking, 2nd in debate, 1st overall
Janet — 9th in debate, 12th overall
Asmara — 9th in persuasive speaking, 15th overall
Congratulations to Katia, who will advance to represent Balmoral Hall School and Manitoba at National Public Speaking Championships in early February 2022!