Canada’s Response to the Opioid Crisis

Over the next two Mondays, Curious Public at Central Library is hosting community events — including a student debate — on issues surrounding drug policy in Canada.

First, a panel discussion featuring leading experts on drug policy, public health, and intervention strategies. We’ll dig into the complexities and controversies of how we legislate and control drugs of all kinds in Canada. Monday, January 22, 2018, 7:00 pm at Central Library (Second Floor). See full event details and panelist bios.

Second, a public debate featuring students from the UWO Debate SocietyMonday, January 29, 2018, 7:00 pm, at Central Library (Second Floor). The motion: the Canadian government has not done its due diligence in responding to the opioid crisis. See full event details and debater bios.

Questions? Email

Meet the Panelists

On Monday — tomorrow! — Wolf Hall Debates is honoured to host an eminent brain trust of thinkers, who together will speculate about the future of Canada.

If you’d like to learn more about the panelists ahead of tomorrow’s event, check out some of their recent work below. Looking forward to seeing you at the Wolf Performance Hall tomorrow evening. (More event information)

Writing and interviews from author and historian Erna Paris:

Syndicated articles from journalist Stephanie Levitz‘s Populism Project series:

Writing by professor and scholar Ingrid Mattson:

Writing by professor and scholar Anton Allahar:

Academic articles by (or with contributions from) professor and scholar Victoria Esses:

More info about the event on Monday, May 29:


Canada vs Populism?

In one week from today, we will gather to ask the burning question of our moment in history: will populist, anti-immigration sentiments take hold of Canadian politics?


Be sure to check out the event details and panelist biographies for our May 29th debate. We have an incredible lineup of speakers who will bring a breadth of perspectives to the issue.


For your consideration…

Some thought-provoking theories and analyses on the roots, impact, and future of populism around the world:

Be it resolved, the liberal international order is over…”
“Since the end of World War II, global affairs have been shaped by the increasing free movement of people and goods, international rules setting, and a broad appreciation of the mutual benefits of a more interdependent world. Together these factors defined the liberal international order and sustained an era of rising global prosperity and declining international conflict. But now, for the first time in a generation, the pillars of the liberal internationalism are being shaken to their core by the reassertion of national borders, national interests, and nationalist politics across the globe. Can liberal internationalism survive these challenges and remain the defining rules-based system of the future? Or, are we witnessing the beginning of the end of the liberal international order?”

The Rise of the Anti-Establishment: Where do we go from here?
“When the housing crisis blew up in 2008, people started to understand that there were fundamental flaws in the economy. As the government bailed out the banks, Americans began to see the unfairness of the economic system…”

Globalized Anger: The Enlightenment’s Unwanted Child
“We should really look at the modern world as constituted by sameness and similarity rather than religious, cultural, theological difference… We have to move away from thinking of terror or violence as being specific to a particular religious community, or a particular part of the world. We have seen this over and over again erupt in all parts of the world. And we have to locate the sources of this violence in specific social, economic factors: we cannot really bring in religious scriptures, or indeed stereotypes about religious communities into our frameworks of analysis. If we do that, we are making a huge mistake.”

The Populist Revolt
“Several decades of greater economic and cultural openness in the West have not benefited all our citizens. David Goodhart argues that among those who have been left behind, a populist politics of culture and identity has successfully challenged the traditional politics of Left and Right. He suggests that a new division has been created: between the mobile ‘achieved’ identity of the people from Anywhere, and the marginalised, roots-based identity of the people from Somewhere.”

Will a populist anti-immigration agenda come to Canada?

Greetings from Wolf Hall Debates,

Our next event at the Wolf Performance Hall will take place on Monday, May 29th, 2017 (6:30pm pre-event concert).

The question on the floor: Will a populist, anti-immigration agenda come to Ottawa in 2019? Probably yes? or, Probably no? As we’ve seen populist sentiment sweep across the United States and Europe, we wonder: will Canada be different?

Once again, we have assembled an incredible ‘brain trust’ of scholars and thinkers, who will lead us through a nuanced discussion of the possibilities, probabilities, and potentialities of Canada’s future.

Speakers at a glance:

  • Anton Allahar is Professor of Sociology at Western University, where he studies economic development, globalization and democracy, and ethnic and racial relations.
  • Victoria Esses is Professor of Psychology at Western University, where she studies prejudice and discrimination in attitudes toward immigrants and immigration.
  • Stephanie Levitz (@stephanielevitz) is a journalist and Parliament Hill reporter at The Canadian Press, where she covers federal politics, immigration and refugee policy.
  • Ingrid Mattson (@IngridMattson) is the London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies at Huron University College, where she teaches and writes about Qur’an interpretation, Islamic theological ethics, and interfaith relations.
  • Erna Paris is a historian and award-winning author of seven works of nonfiction. Her most recent book is From Tolerance to Tyranny: A Cautionary Tale from Fifteenth-Century Spain.

Read more about the speakers and guest artists, and let us know if you are coming.

Also, be sure to connect with this event on Facebook.

Designer Babies: A Public Student Debate at Western University

Should we prohibit the genetic enhancement of fetuses? UWO’s Debate Society and Students for Partners in Health have collaborated to hold a show debate for the public. Curious about the ethical and philosophical implications of genetic engineering? Join us on Thursday, January 26, at 6 PM, at UWO Social Science Centre, Room 2032.

Debate Motion: “In a world where genetic technologies allow for the modification of fetuses for traits like strength and intelligence, this house would prohibit the genetic enhancement of fetuses.”

The event features:

  1. Audience pre- and post-debate vote
  2. Two teams from UWO Debate Society present their case for and against this resolution
  3. Critique from Students for Partners in Health
  4. Audience Q and A
  5. Refreshments and baked goods fundraiser (all proceeds going to Partners in Health global health programs)
  6. Optional social off-campus (details TBA)

Cast your pre-debate vote.

Learn more at the Designer Babies event Facebook page.

This student event is organized by the UWO Debate Society and Students for Partners in Health.

Revisit the last debate … and get ready for another one!

If you missed our debate about political correctness, now is your chance to watch and listen to the conversation in its entirety: the full video of the event is now available. This debate — filmed shortly before the American presidential election — is as pertinent as ever, with all sides making extremely relevant points regarding the social and political climate of our times. (Thank you once again to everyone who made this event possible. We, as a community, are richer for the experience.)

You might also be interested in some of these follow up resources:

Mark your calendars for our next debate: Monday, April 10, 2017, at 7pm. Watch this space for upcoming announcements and get ready for another thought-provoking evening at the Wolf Performance Hall!

Wolf Hall Debates: Political Correctness was made possible by:


Meet the PC Debate Memes

As we head into a long weekend, the Wolf Hall Debates team wants to remind you that our upcoming event about political correctness is only 9 days away. (Monday, October 17)

To get your brain primed for a compelling discussion, check out the event’s quirky-yet-provocative promotional video. (Note: this video also makes for an interesting discussion starter with your aunts and uncles over Thanksgiving dinner.)

After you watch the video (its only 5 minutes long), you might want to download the snazzy MemePack (8mb), which includes 34 memes from the video. Share your favourites and tag with #WHDpc


You can also download the event poster to share as well.


Thanks for helping us spread the word!

Please let us know if you are planning on coming… But also keep in mind that Wolf Hall Debates is an open and public event: we cannot provide advanced registration or guaranteed seating. All seats are general admission, first-come/first-serve, so be sure to arrive early. (But don’t worry, you won’t be bored: a special pre-debate concert by the super-talented Mike Trudgen begins at 6:30pm. More details here.)

The Big Reveal: Political Correctness Debate

Be it resolved that political correctness has gone too far.’

Do language and policies intended to not offend or disadvantage specific groups help us become a more compassionate society? Or do such rules encroach on everyone’s ability to express their opinions freely? Does ‘correcting our politics’ change hearts and minds? Or does it lead to resentment and accusations of special treatment?

Let’s have a debate.

Monday, October 17
Pre-Debate Concert: 6:30pm
Full Debate: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Wolf Performance Hall, Central Library
FREE. All welcome. Join us.

Be sure to visit the full event listing for complete details on the debate! Arguing in support of the motion will be Ali Chahbar (@AliChahbar) and Susan Toth (@TothSusan), while Mojdeh Cox (@womenincolour) and Jeffrey Preston (@jeffpreston) will argue contra.

Respondents include Tim Blackmore (Western University), Frankie Condon (@frankie_condon, University of Waterloo), and Sheri Doxtator (@sherideez, from the Oneida Nation of the Thames Settlement).

See the website for full bios for all of the debaters, respondents, and artists involved in this dynamic and multilayered evening. Follow #WHDpc for more announcements in the next few days. And if you have a moment, please let us know if you plan to attend!