Alumni Debates

Details: The Hart House Debates & Dialogue Committee is pleased to present this year’s Alumni Debate, featuring revered alumni of the Hart House debating and U of T community: The Honourable Ian Binnie, Former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and Andrew Coyne, National Affairs Columnist of The National Post and one of Canada’s most widely read polemicists. These two titans will be joined by two competitive debaters Joanna Nairn, the 2006 World Universities Debating Champion and Victoria Hale.

With the teams clashing head-to-head on electoral form, and with a post-event reception full of food and drink to follow, this will be the event of the semester for all to attend. Audience members will have the opportunity to pose questions to the floor following the debate. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The resolution: “This house believes that the government was wrong to abandon its promise on electoral reform.”

If you have questions, please contact Aceel Hawa at or President of the Hart House Debates & Dialogue Committee, Joudy Sarraj at

When: Tues., Feb. 14, 2017, 7-9 pm
Where: Debates Room, Hart House
Cost: Free / Registration encouraged

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Honourable Ian Binnie, Former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada is a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, serving from 1998 to 2011. Of the justices appointed to the Supreme Court in recent years, he is one of the few to have never sat as a judge prior to his appointment. He was described by the Toronto Star as “one of the strongest hands on the court.”

Andrew Coyne is a Canadian columnist with the National Post and a member of the At Issue panel on CBC’s The National. Previously, he has been national editor for Maclean’s and a columnist with the Globe and Mail.

Joanna Nairn is the 2006 World Universities Debating Champion. She clerked for the Hon. Justice Morris J. Fish at the Supreme Court of Canada before spending several years as a member of the Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation Practice at a large firm in Washington, D.C. Joanna obtained her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review and graduated magna cum laude.

Victoria Hale is currently at the University of Toronto Faculty of has been involved in university debate for several years, competing for Western University and Hart House. Her accomplishments include: WUDC Chennai Octo Finalist, Cambridge Women’s Open Champion, Seagram Invitational Champion, BP Champs Finalist, Central Canadian Championships Finalist, and Commonwealth Open Champion. She served as CA of the Canadian British Parliamentary Championships in 2014 and of the Hart House IV in 2015.

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