Morden Welcomes High School Debaters from Across Canada for the 53rd National Student Debate Seminar

Morden Welcomes High School Debaters from Across Canada for the 53rd National Student Debate Seminar

The Canadian Student Debating Federation / Fédération Canadienne des débats d’étudiants (CSDF-FCDÉ) will host the 53rd Annual National Student Debate Seminar / Séminaire national de débats étudiants in Morden, Manitoba from Sept. 25-30, 2019. The event will welcome over 100 participants from all across Canada.

The National Seminar is attended by delegations of high school students from every province and territory of Canada, with all events offered in both French and English.

The theme for this year’s Seminar is The Rural / Urban Divide. There will be workshops on debate techniques, key speakers from the community to explore the theme, a debate tournament at Morden Collegiate Institute, and a model youth parliament at the Manitoba Legislative Building chamber. There are also cultural events, such as a visit to the Canadian Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg, the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden, an Indigenous Blanket Exercise with Swan Lake First Nation Elders, and best of all, the opportunity to meet and network with like-minded students from every region of Canada.

The speakers for this year’s programme include a carefully curated selection of presenters whose experiences will broaden our delegates’ personal worldview of what it means to be Canadian, as well as the theme of The Rural / Urban Divide. They include:

* Wab Kinew – Manitoba NDP Leader, speaking on the topic of Residential Schools and Truth and Reconciliation

* Will Bergmann – 2019 Manitoba Outstanding Young Farmer, speaking on the topic of Agriculture, the farm-to-table movement, and modern-day farming

* Steve Reynolds – Executive Director of Regional Connections, speaking on the topic of Immigration and its impact on the Pembina Valley

The National Student Debate Seminar is hosted by the CSDF-FCDÉ every year in a different host province and, while Manitoba has hosted the event four times previously, this is the first time it will be held outside of Winnipeg. Since its inception in 1967 by founder Tom Lawson – a former teacher at Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ont. – the National Seminar has had the goal of encouraging debating programs in new schools. This year, we are excited to welcome Tom Lawson who, at 93 years old, is still enthusiastic about getting students involved in advocacy and making their voices heard to politicians.

The City of Morden, Western School Division, Morden Collegiate Institute, and Manitoba Student Debate Federation have been great supporters of this unique endeavour; their help has been invaluable and instrumental to the delegates gathering in Morden next week.