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Debates Room, Hart House, University of Toronto
7 Hart House Circle, Toronto, Ontario M5S3H3
The annual Hart House Alumni Debate celebrates the tradition of community discourse and critical engagement central to the Hart House Debates & Dialogue Committee. To that end, multiple generations of University of Toronto debaters and alumni will come together on March 13 to debate the role of the Supreme Court and the role of Parliament: their responsibilities as Canadian institutions, their position in society, and the resulting interactions and tensions.
On Tuesday March 13, The Hart House Debates & Dialogue Committee is pleased to feature revered alumni of the Hart House debating and U of T community: The Honourable Justice LeBel, Former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and Mr. Michael Chong, Member of Parliament and former Federal Cabinet Minister. The two will be joined by two competitive debaters Anisah Hassan, a recent U of T Law grad and the winner of the Canadian National University Championships, and Sarah Millman, a fourth-year undergraduate who was the top speaker at the 2017 Canadian British Parliamentary Championship and the 2016 Chancellor’s Cup.
With opportunities for the audience to take the floor following the speeches, audience voting on which side prevailed, and a post-event reception full of food and drink, this will be the event of the semester for all to attend.
Event is free to attend and will not be livestreamed.
Michael Chong | Member of Parliament and Former Federal Cabinet Minister
Michael Chong MP was first elected to Parliament in 2004 and represents the riding of Wellington-Halton Hills. In 2006, Michael served in the federal cabinet as President of the Queen’s Privy Council, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister for Sport.
Michael has been Chair of the several House of Commons Standing Committees (Industry, Science and Technology; Canadian Heritage; Official Languages). He is a co-founder and member of the All Party Climate Caucus since it was formed in 2011. He was recently appointed by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer as the Official Opposition’s Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Communities and Urban Affairs.
In 2015, Michael’s Reform Act passed Parliament and became law. The Reform Act begins to address a long-standing problem in Ottawa: the concentration of power in party leaders. It gives MPs more power to represent their constituents and Canadians. Michael was able to reach across the aisle and work with members from other parties to secure the bill’s passage.
Prior to his election, Michael acted as Chief Information Officer for the National Hockey League Players’ Association and as a senior technology consultant to the Greater Toronto Airports Authority for the redevelopment of Pearson International Airport.
Michael co-founded the Dominion Institute, now known as Historica Canada, an organization committed to raising Canadians’ awareness of history and civics. He currently sits on its Board of Governors.
Michael attended Trinity College in the University of Toronto where he obtained a degree in philosophy.
The Honourable Louis LeBel, CC | Former Justice, Supreme Court of Canada
A retired justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, on which he sat from 2000 to 2014, the Honourable Louis LeBel was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1962. He obtained an undergraduate degree in law from Laval University in 1965 and a Master of Laws degree from the University of Toronto in 1966. He first practiced law in Quebec City as an associate of the firm LeBel, Letarte, Bilodeau, Boily from 1963 to 1964 and then at Désilets, Grondin, LeBel & Associés from 1964 to 1971. He subsequently became a partner at the firm Grondin, LeBel, Poudrier, Isabel, Morin & Gagnon, where he practiced from 1971 to 1984.
He is the author of various legal articles and monographs, and co-author with lawyer Robert P. Gagnon and professor Pierre Verge of the labour law treatise entitled Le droit du travail en vigueur au Québec, published by Presses de l’Université Laval. Mr. LeBel has also sat on various committees of the Quebec City Bar and the Quebec Bar, including the editorial committee of the Revue du Barreau from 1976 to 1982, which he chaired from 1979 to 1982.
He was a member of the board of directors of legal-aid organization Corporation du Centre communautaire juridique de Québec from 1973 to 1975, prior to which he sat on the Quebec City Bar’s legal aid committee. In addition, he was vice president of the Quebec Bar from 1982 to 1983, and the Quebec Bar’s president (Bâtonnier) from 1983 to 1984. He has also been a guest lecturer at the University of Ottawa and Laval University.
He was appointed to the Quebec Court of Appeal on June 28, 1984 and then to the Supreme Court of Canada on January 7, 2000. He received an honorary doctorate of laws degree from Laval University in 2001 and from the University of Ottawa in 2010. He has also been awarded both the Medal of the Quebec City Bar and the Medal of the Quebec Bar. He has been an honorary member of the American College of Trial Lawyers since 2004. He was named a Companion of the Order of Canada on December 29, 2017.
Mr. LeBel acts as legal counsel at Langlois law firm in Quebec and Montreal since May 2015 and as resident judge at the Faculty of law at Laval University.
Anisah Hassan | Canadian National University Debate Champion
Anisah Hassan is a commercial litigator in Toronto. A physics graduate, Anisah combines her interests in science and law by acting as counsel in complex engineering disputes and incorporating new technologies into legal practice. While at Hart House, Anisah won the Canadian National University Championships and placed first as a speaker at the North American Women’s Championships and the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot (Canadian Division).
Sarah Millman | Past President, Hart House Debate Club
Sarah Millman is in her fourth year studying Criminology, and competed on behalf of the University of Toronto at the 2017 and 2018 World University Debate Championships in The Hague and Mexico City respectively, and the 2016 Oxford and Cambridge Inter-varsities. She was top speaker of the 2017 Canadian British Parliamentary Championship and 2016 Chancellor’s Invitational, and Champion of the 2015 CIC Debate, the 2015 Monkhouse Invitational, and the 2014 Central Novice Championship.
For further information on this event, please contact the Hart House Debates & Dialogue Committee Facebook page, or email [email protected]
Media Inquiries should be directed to Stephanie Eldred, Senior Communications Officer, Hart House: [email protected]
If you have an accessibility request, we will do our best to make appropriate accommodations. Please email marco.[email protected]
at your earliest.