Students showed impressive public speaking skills earlier this month at the L.V. Rogers debate event.

What I learned at high school

A couple of Saturdays ago, I awoke to a beautiful sunny day and the prospect of spending most of that day indoors

A couple of Saturdays ago, I awoke to a beautiful sunny day and the prospect of spending most of that day indoors. I tore myself away from the sunshine and made my way to L.V. Rogers Secondary to be a part of the judging team for the regional debate tournament. When I left the school at 2 p.m., I knew that it was one of the best Saturdays I’d enjoyed in a long time.

Students from J.L. Crowe in Trail, Rossland Secondary, LV Rogers Nelson, and Stanley Humphries Castlegar came together to debate the resolution “Fences make good neighbours.” There were 38 debaters in all ranging from the novice Grade 8 students, to juniors Grades 9-10 and a senior division, Grades 11 and 12. Each team did two rounds of impromptu debate followed by an individual public speaking contest where participants crafted and delivered a four minute speech based on a popular music lyric.

Each team of two had the opportunity to argue for, then against the resolution while adhering to rules on proper debating style. It was amazing to watch each student present their case, answer questions, pose questions and think quickly on their feet. Best of all, the debates were conducted politely and vigorously with each side having the opportunity to explore many sides of the question.

As I watched, I could see the leaders of tomorrow emerging. Tia Huttemann and Eja Loponen – Stephenson, two members of the junior team from L.V. Rogers will be representing this region at the provincial debate tournament in West Vancouver in early March. Take note of these names and the other teams, because I’m sure you’ll be hearing about them in the years to come.

I was so impressed with the calibre of debate that I’m recommending these young people demonstrate their skill at a future regional local governments meeting. I think there are many politicians who could learn much from these young debaters.

I, along with many other Canadians, have been disappointed and discouraged at the lack of decorum in parliamentary debate, and want to see this changed. What better way than to learn from young people embarking on a new path? The dedication of the teachers who are coaching these young people is evident and my hat is off to them as they continue this important work.

In recent columns, most of council has been providing budget updates and there is an item I’d like to highlight. The city and you as ratepayers have been investing heavily in water and sewer infrastructure over the last six years. That commitment is paying off in more ways than one. Staff reassessed rates this year and recommended a lower increase than anticipated. The 6 per cent increase for water and 5 per cent for sewer will add up to a total of $44/month or $855/year for the average homeowner; a good value for continued public ownership of our own utilities.

We’ll continue to keep you informed and will soon confirm a date in March for the public budget presentation.




Deb Kozak is a Nelson city councillor who shares the Wednesday column with her colleagues around the table


Just Posted

Nelson Leafs, regional district plan full-time hazardous waste recycling depot

City requires flood-mitigation plan before one-year trial can begin

Nelson Leafs humble Rockies 9-2

Leafs score 7 unanswered goals en route to win

Nelson Leafs fall in Kimberley 4-1

The Dynamiters took a 2-0 lead en route to the win

Nelson Legion to sell its building to tech company

Traction on Demand will purchase the building while the Legion will lease space

Climbing group launches fundraiser for Castlegar cliffs

TAWKROC wants to raise $60,000 to purchase the property from the owners

VIDEO: Monday Roundup

#hotscoops #hotscoops #hotscoops

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

B.C. man linked to human remains probe to stand trial on unrelated assault case

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will appear on all three Vernon matters this week

B.C. lumber industry trade mission still has high hopes for China

Forests Minister Doug Donaldson cut short trip after Japan, Korea stops

Omar Khadr to ask for Canadian passport to travel, permission to speak to sister

He spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught when he was 15

One of Tori Stafford’s killers transferred to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

Military closes book on oft-criticized support unit for ill, injured troops

The transition unit will provide support and services to military members struggling with physical and mental injuries so they can return to work.

Most Read