About the committee
The Hart House Debates & Dialogue Committee is one of ten standing committees at Hart House in the University of Toronto. The Committee is part of a the debates program at Hart House which also includes the Debating Club, which trains students and funds their attendance at numerous national and international tournaments. In short, the Club is where one debates, and the Committee is where one watches debates and dialogue. If you're looking for the Club, please click here.
Founded in 1919 to protect and uphold the principles of free speech and debate in Canada, the Debates & Dialogue Committee has hosted leaders in every field, including heads of state, senior Cabinet officials, filmmakers, business leaders, activists, poets, policymakers, and philanthropists. Some of our most notable speakers include John F. Kennedy, Christopher Hitchens, Adrienne Clarkson, Noam Chomsky, John Turner, Brian Mulroney, John Tory, Margaret Atwood, Atom Egoyan, Dennis Edney, Marie Henein, and Kathleen Wynne.
As one of the most prestigious student-led organizations in Canada and the only student group directly funded by the University of Toronto to invite speakers and curate panels on issues that matter, the Debates & Dialogue Committee has a unique mandate to create accessible and diverse spaces for thought-provoking discourse.
In the recent past, we've hosted panels and keynotes such as:
Canada's Economic Trends | featuring Former Prime Minister John Turner
The Past, Present, and Future of Canadian Foreign Policy | featuring the Honourable Bill Graham
The 2016 US Election: Populism and Discontent | featuring the Honourable John LaFalce
On Green Cities | featuring David Miller
The Future of Canadian Mental Health | Dr. Catherine Zahn, Ms. Louise Bradley, Dr. Carol Hopkins, Dr. David Bloom, moderated by the Honourable Michael Wilson
Should We Be Proud of Canada's Immigration Policy? | The Honourable Ratna Omidvar, Leen Al-Zaibak, Lorne Waldman, Omran Faour, Julie Gilmour
Keynote Speaker Series | featuring Marie Henein, Premier Kathleen Wynne, and Dennis Edney
The Annual Alumni Debates | featuring Michael Kergin, Veenu Goswami, The Honourable Louis LeBel