The Motion: Be it resolved that there is an existential crisis to Canadian competitiveness.


The AfFirmative

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Dwight Duncan, Former Liberal Minister of Finance, Ontario 

Dwight Duncan serves as a Senior Strategic Advisor at McMillan LLP, one of Canada’s largest and most respected full service law firms. At McMillan, Mr. Duncan is, or has been engaged, by some of Canada’s largest and most influential pension funds, private equity firms, insurers and gaming companies.

Mr. Duncan currently serves on the Board of Travelers Insurance Canada, The Dominion General Insurance Company, Crown Crest Trust, The Global Risk Institute, the MS Society of Canada Scientific Research Foundation, and is Chair of the Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority.

Prior to joining McMillan, Mr. Duncan had a distinguished career in public service that spanned close to 25 years.

During his time as a Member of the Ontario Legislature he served as Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance, Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet, Chair of Cabinet, Government House Leader, Minister of Energy, Minister of Revenue, Minister of Government Services and Opposition House Leader.

The Hon. Joe Oliver, Former Federal Conservative Minister of Finance

Joe is Chairman of Echelon Wealth Partners. He has served in various senior roles in government and the corporate sector. Joe served as the Member of Parliament for Eglinton-Lawrence,
Minister of Natural Resources, Minister Responsible for the Greater Toronto Area, and Minister of Finance where he delivered a socially and fiscally balanced budget. He also represented
Canada at G7, G20, IMF and World Bank meetings of Finance Ministers and Governors of Central Banks. During his private sector career, he held senior positions at Merrill Lynch Royal Securities,
Nesbitt Thomson, BMO Nesbitt and First Marathon Securities.

A graduate of McGill and Harvard Universities, Joe has been instrumental in spearheading organizations and policies in Ontario within the securities industry. Positions included founding
president and CEO of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association, past president and CEO of the Investment Dealers Association and initiated its division into a self-regulatory organization and
trade association (IIROC and IIAC). He also served as executive director of the Ontario Securities Commission.


The Negative

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Brad Duguid, Former Liberal Minister of Economic Development and Growth, Ontario 

Brad Duguid has spent 23 years in public office, at the municipal and provincial levels. A gifted communicator, Brad has been applauded for his ability to bring people together, to build consensus and strengthen relationships. This skill has brought him success in all of his roles, as a City Councillor, a Member of Provincial Parliament, Cabinet Minister, and now in the private sector.

After 9 years as a Scarborough and Toronto City Councillor, Brad served as an MPP for 14 years.  Brad served in 7 different Cabinet posts including Economic Development; Energy; Infrastructure; Research and Innovation; Training, Colleges and Universities; Aboriginal Affairs, and Labour. As Minister of Economic Development and Growth, Brad led efforts to ensure Ontario is competitive in the new economy. Taking over this portfolio during the province's recovery from the recession, Brad's efforts have helped transform Ontario's economic development strategy to not only lead the country in growth today, but position Ontario to excel in the new economy.  Brad has been a champion of reducing regulatory burden on businesses and he led the national negotiations for the Canada Free Trade Agreement, the most ambitious free trade agreement in our history.

Janet Ecker, Former Progressive Conservative Minister of Finance, Ontario

Janet L. Ecker is the former President and CEO of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA), a concept she turned into a growing and influential public-private partnership dedicated to building Toronto as an international financial services centre. With government and industry support, she also established the Global Risk Institute in Financial Services to leverage the sector’s global reputation for stability, as well as the Centre of Excellence in Financial Services Education to capitalize on the region’s talent advantages. The Centre was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a best practice in collaborative public-private partnerships.  

In 2016 she received the Order of Canada for public service, in recognition of her contributions in the financial sector and in her political life.  A frequent public speaker and media commentator, she also received the “Excellence in Leadership” award from the Transformation Institute for Leadership and Innovation in 2014, a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for public service in 2012 and was recognized as one of the “Most Influential People in the World’s Financial Centres” by Financial Centres International in 2010.  She also received one of “Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award” from the Women’s Executive Network and the Richard Ivey School of Business in 2003.  Ms. Ecker is one of the founders of Equal Voice, a national, multi-partisan organization working to elect more women.

She currently sits on a wide range of public and private boards, agencies and government advisory committees and is a Senior Fellow of the C.D. Howe Institute and a member of its National Council.


The Motion: Be it resolved that Western democracies should establish a universal basic income to help their citizens cope with the disruptive effects of new technologies and artificial intelligence.

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