J.L. Crowe Debate students joined with Nelson’s L.V. Rogers and Wildflower to attend the Law Foundation Cup Provincial Debate Championships in Victoria last weekend. Submitted photo

Kootenay debate students join forces at provincials

The championships were held March 1 and 2 in Victoria at Glenlyon Norfolk School

J.L. Crowe Debate students joined with Nelson’s L.V. Rogers and Wildflower to attend the Law Foundation Cup Provincial Debate Championships.

The championships were held March 1 and 2 in Victoria at Glenlyon Norfolk School.

The JLC members included debaters: Katie Mountain, Grace Holden, Ripley Shubert and Sasha Leithead, with Micayla Fuhrmann and Mattea Palesch as chairpersons and moderators and making up the 14-member West Kootenay Regional Team.

The novice and junior legal topic under discussion for the prepared cross-examination was “This house would abolish trial by jury.” The senior topic was that “This house would remove retribution as a factor in sentencing in the criminal justice system.”

In the second day of competition the students completed three rounds of impromptu debates whereby a new topic was delivered for each round. Those topics ranged from requiring Canadians to pass a political general knowledge test in order to vote in federal elections, to stopping funding directed towards space exploration, to stopping imprisonment for people who commit non-violent crimes, and that was just the novice category.

The juniors debated that scholarships and financial aid should be paid exclusively on the basis of financial need, that members in Parliament should be paid an average salary of $56, 000, and that there be a “sin tax” placed on the consumption of meat products.

Students at the senior level debated that large tech companies should refuse to provide data on their customers to the government even if it involves refusing to comply with a laws which compel them to do so, to requiring that houses or apartments left vacant for six months or more be surrendered to the state, to the fact that central banks should set limits on government spending.

Students were given 30 minutes to prepare their cases in order to showcase their debating skills. The final motion undertaken by the top two senior teams in the province was, “This house regrets that Western Media has demonized Islamic terrorists rather than portraying them as criminals with legitimate political grievances.”

Congratulations are extended to our amazing Grade 8’s, Katie Mountain and Grace Holden, who placed sixth and to Ripley Shubert paired with Bea Kelly of Wildflower School in Nelson who placed ninth!

Sasha Leithead jumped in as an alternate two days before and paired up with a Nelson student to debate in the junior category. Way to go, Sasha, writing speeches on the bus is never easy.

The five-day trip to Victoria included touring the Legislature, attending question period, meeting local MLA’s Katrine Conroy and Michelle Mungall, an introduction to Keith Baldry of BCTV and to the chamber which be forever remembered in Hansard.

Students visited the BC Provincial Museum, went to the iMax Theatre, ate at the Spaghetti Factory, toured the University of Victoria and of course had time to debate. It was a memorable whirlwind trip that the students won’t forget soon.

Many thanks to Ms. Eggert for co-coaching and to Mr. Brian Taylor for his contributions.

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