Debate # 1

Is the House of Commons running a decorum deficit?  Is the Speaker right in clamping down on those interjections which prompt a call for “Order…à l'ordre”?  Should the phrase "Some hon. members: Oh, oh!" disappear from Hansard?

Our first debate of the evening will address the merits of the following motion:

“Heckling is a Parliamentary privilege and should be maintained”

For the Motion

Scott Feschuk

Scott Feschuk is a columnist for Maclean's and Sportsnet magazines. He also writes speeches for business leaders and politicians of varied political stripes. A three-time winner of the Gold award for Humour at the National Magazine Awards, Scottis the author most recently of The Future and Why We Should Avoid It (Douglas & McIntyre).




Ruth Ellen Brosseau is the NDP MP for the Quebec riding of Berthier — Maskinongé. She was first elected to the House in 2011 in Quebec’s so-called Orange Wave led by Jack Layton, and was re-elected in 2015. She is the NDP Deputy Critic for Agriculture and Agri-Food, and the caucus Vice Chair



Against the Motion

Katie Simpson

Katie Simpson is an Ottawa correspondent for CTV News.  A former reporter for CP24, Simpson garnered international attention for her breaking coverage of the Toronto Mayor Rob Ford scandal and more recently, covered the Mike Duffy trial for the network. Simpson is a proud member of the first graduating class of the innovative Media Theory and Production program at Fanshawe College and The University of Western Ontario.




Rodger Cuzner was first electedas the Liberal MP for the Nova Scotia riding of Cape Breton-Canso in 2000, and has been returned to office in every subsequent election. He currently serves as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. Mr. Cuzner is known for his annual parliamentary parody of the Night Before Christmaspoem, delivered before the House rises for its Christmas break.



Debate # 2

Is democracy facing serious risks with the decline of legacy media? With the traditional media’s uncertain future now part of the daily news agenda as well as the scrutiny of a Parliamentary Committee, some fear for the democratic process itself and worry that every newspaper or broadcasting layoff somehow lessens the foundation of an informed public.

This debate will ask if this is a valid concern, and whether cutting edge new media are changing the game in ways that the old media will not be missed.


Bruce anderson

Bruce Anderson is one of Canada’s is one of Canada’s leading commentators on public opinion and political affairs. As Chairman of Abacus Data, he is sought after as one of the country’s most respected pollsters and communications counselors.  Mr. Anderson has worked on Parliament Hill and has served in the past as a pollster and/or strategic advisor to political leaders in the Liberal and Progressive Conservative parties, as well as consulting extensively with many of the country’s major corporations and organizations.

He a former regular member of the CBC’s popular At Issue Panel, and writes online columns for the Globe and Mail.


Ed greenspon

Ed Greenspon has worked at the intersection of journalism, business and public policy for more than 30 years and is currently the President and CEO of the Public Policy Forum. He joined the PPF from Bloomberg where he was Editor-at-Large for Canada, and has worked for Torstar Corp. and at the Globe and Mail as a business reporter/editor, Ottawa bureau chief, European correspondent, founding editor and Editor-in-Chief.

Mr. Greenspon is the author of two books and in 2002 was awarded the Hyman Soloman Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism. Ed has a combined honours degree in journalism and political science from Carleton University and was a Commonwealth Scholar at the London School of Economics, earning a master’s degree in politics and government.

2016 Debate Officials


Hon. John Manley is president and chief executive of the Business Council of Canada, a non-partisan research and advocacy organization composed of the CEOs of Canada’s leading enterprises. Mr. Manley is a former deputy prime minister, and from 1993 to 2003 he was a minister in the governments of Jean Chrétien, serving in the portfolios of Industry, Foreign Affairs and Finance.






Hon. Peter Kent has been the Member of Parliament for the Toronto-area riding of Thornhill since 2008. He served in the portfolios of Minister of State of Foreign Affairs, responsible for the Americas and Minister of the Environment in the previous Conservative government. Prior to his political career, Peter was a broadcast journalist having spent more than 40 years working as a writer, reporter, producer, anchor and senior executive in Canada, the United States and around the world. @kentthornhillMP





Debate Moderator

Hon. Bob Rae was elected eleven times to the House of Commons and the Ontario legislature between 1978 and 2013.  He was Ontario’s 21st Premier from 1990 to 1995, and served as interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada from 2011 to 2013. He is working now as a lawyer, negotiator, mediator, and arbitrator, with a particular focus on first nations, aboriginal, and governance issues. In his most recent book “What’s Happened to Politics?” Canadians finally get a definitive account of the problems plaguing their national politics. @BobRae48




Mistress of Ceremonies

Rosemary Barton, recently described as one of the most powerful and influential people in the Capital, is the host of CBC News Network's daily political show, Power & Politics. She has been a national reporter with CBC's Parliamentary Bureau since 2007, covering federal elections, as well as a number of federal leadership campaigns. Barton joined CBC as Quebec's legislative reporter at the National Assembly in 2004.  @RosieBarton




Honorary Timekeeper

Kevin Page is the current Chair of the Jean-Luc Pepin Research Chair on Canadian Government at the University of Ottawa. He was the first Parliamentary Budget Officer for Canada, and served in that office from 2008 to 2013. He has authored Unaccountable: Truth and Lies on Parliament Hill making a case for better government accountability.