Debate Team

Every year cadets within the squadron are given the opportunity to participate in the Debating Program, which leads to the opportunity to compete in the provincial and national level amongst air cadets across the country.

Debating develops three important skills: critical thinking, presentation, and oral advocacy. It is a fun way to gain confidence and enviable public speaking skills.

The Air Cadet debating program follows the Oxford style of debating. There are two teams of two debating a resolution. In the parliamentary style of debate, the Government presents an affirmative case or Plan, while the Opposition must refute it. The Opposition can choose to present a counter-plan, which proposes an alternative solution to the same underlying issue. However, this is not necessary.


The Government proposes: Be it resolved that all post-secondary students receive free tuition. 

The Government will then provide 3-5 arguments in support of their position.

The Opposition can choose to attack the plan by refuting each of the arguments presented in support or attack it and propose a counter-plan with arguments in support.

Such as: All post-secondary students should receive a five year grace period for government student loans, with their government student debt forgiven after ten years if their annual income is below $50,000.

The team presenting an affirmative case must discharge their persuasive burden. Meaning, on a balance of probabilities, their Plan is the winner because their arguments are more convincing.

There are no ties.

Any cadet member of the squadron is eligible to participate, given they have not aged out up to and including the day of return to unit from the Provincial Competition. The Provincial Competition occurs in Mid April.

Cadets are encouraged to review the information here and in the links.

Workshop information

Every other Thursday evenings starting on October 10th to December 19th. 

Restarting on January 16th, 2020 until competition.

 Time: 1830 - 2030 hrs

Location: Danforth CTI, Room A11


To sign up or if you have any questions: email


Emilio Morales is the 2019-2020 Effective Speaking and Debate coach and a member of the SSC. He is also a past Air Cadet from 588 Squadron in Montreal and CI Instructor from 803 Squadron. He is long-time member with Toastmasters International where he achieved the highest distinction of DTM – Distinguished Toastmasters. He has competed in many speaking events and coached others before. His greatest achievement is delivering a TED talk.


1. Prime Minister’s (PM) Introduction 

5 minutes (prepared)/ 3 minutes (impromptu)

The Prime Minister should define the terms of the resolution and outline the Government’s case, giving necessary background information. The PM is also expected to outline several points in detail and provide evidence to support them.

 2. First Member of the Opposition (MO) Speech

5 minutes (prepared)/ 3 minutes (impromptu)

The Member of the Opposition must do two things:

     1. Rebut all of the points raised by the Prime Minister.

     2. Summarize why the Government’s resolution must fail.

Note: if the Opposition wishes to propose a counter-plan it must be done at this time.

However, such a plan is not required and there are no penalties for not introducing one.

3. Minister of the Crown (MC)

5 minutes (prepared)/ 3 minutes (impromptu)

The Minister of the Crown must do three things:

     1. Rebuild the government’s case by reinforcing the points raised by the PM and rebutting the points raised the MO.

     2. Bring up one or two new constructive points for the Government’s case,

     3. Summarize by explaining why the Government’s case still stands.

4.  Leader of the Opposition (LO)

7 minutes (prepared)/ 4 minutes (impromptu)

The Leader of the Opposition is the last speaker against the resolution.


     1. Rebuild the opposition arguments against the resolution by rebutting arguments and evidence raised by the MC and reinforcing the rebuttal of the PM made by the MO.

     2. Summarizing why the Government’s resolution must fail.

5. Prime Minister’s (PM) Rebuttal

2 minutes (prepared)/1 minute (impromptu)

This is the final summary of the Government’s case and evidence.

The Prime Minister is expected to rebut arguments raised by the Opposition and summarize why the Government’s case must ultimately stand.

No new information can be introduced at this point, except in direct refutation to something brought up by the LO. It is generally more effective to pick 2-3 main arguments in favour of the resolution and show why they still stand or critically undermine the arguments presented against the resolution by the Opposition rather than trying to hit everything in just 2 minutes.