About the Ethics Bowl


Respectful, constructive and reciprocal dialogue is a pillar in any democracy. In Canada, democracy is informed by our constitutionally entrenched Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which sets out the rights and responsibilities that shape our free and democratic society. Dialogue helps us collectively understand and give meaning to both our rights and our responsibilities. The Canadian High School Ethics Bowl is an excellent example of young people taking up the mantle to ensure that thoughtful and purposeful dialogue continues to inform our democracy, and is a testament to the importance of youth leadership across Canada.Senator Marilou McPhedran, March 2020
Through collaborative analysis, students participating in an Ethics Bowl gain a better understanding of ethical questions they encounter. The ethical cases they are asked to analyze are exemplars of issues relevant to their daily classroom experiences and mirror national and international ethical issues.
Manitoba supports the idea of a Canadian High School Ethics Bowl to take students beyond the polarization of issues to a deeper and broader understanding of the dimensions of current topics that make the headlines each day. It will build citizens who are knowledgeable and able to communicate a rich understanding of their role as citizens to maintain a democratic and socially just society.
Students in schools from across Canada can improve their global competencies of critical thinking, communication, creativity, collaboration, and citizenship by participating in the Canadian High School Ethics Bowl.Darryl Gervais, Director, Instruction, Curriculum and Assessment Branch, Manitoba Education and Training, January 2018
The Collaborative is thrilled to endorse the Canadian High School Ethics Bowl. The Ethics Bowl‘s inclusive approach to fostering excellence in moral inquiry is precisely what is needed to help human beings flourish individually, as Canadian citizens, and as participants in a rapidly changing world. Sandra Lapointe, Project Lead, The Collaborative, McMaster University, 2018
The Canadian Philosophical Association (ACP-CPA) heartily endorses the creation of a National High School Ethics Bowl. As advocates for reasoned discourse and careful thinking, we see encouraging high school students to engage with questions of ethical significance in a collaborative, constructive manner as an important and beneficial part of creating a public attuned to the philosophical dimensions of life. In working to create such a public, we believe that the National High School Ethics Bowl will simultaneously promote many of the virtues central to democratic citizenship.Samantha Brennan, President, Canadian Philosophical Association, June 2017
While the same rigour of empirical inquiry and investigation is expected, as exists in traditional public debate, there is one important distinction to the overall strategy taken by students during the Ethics Bowl: through their collaborative inquiry, students are meaningfully engaged in an intrinsic and fundamentally important understanding of how both the individual and collective dimensions of situated context and lived experience do influence and shape public dialogue with their peers on the issues and challenges raised. This moves beyond mere ‘facts’ to a more critical appreciation and iteration of each dilemma.
From my vantage point, our students’ abilities to circumnavigate this valuable confluence of the many ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ realities that inform each ethical question provides them with a foundational basis for renewed and strengthened public dialogue. It is my firm belief that our students’ abilities to achieve mutual understanding of, and co-defined solutions or outcomes to, these important questions, is a valuable method for ensuring that the public school system’s twin objectives of preparing students to assume their rightful roles as citizens and as social contributors will be fully achieved by the time they graduate. Josh Watt, Executive Director, Manitoba School Boards Association, July 2017
On behalf of the more than 15 000 members of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society, we are very pleased to lend our support to both the Manitoba High School Ethics Bowl and the creation of a National High School Ethics Bowl. We see these events as amazing opportunities to support the growth and development of our youth in areas of collaboration, critical thinking, and active listening.
It is as a result of opportunities like this that students develop the confidence and skills that ensure future leaders who are open minded, respectful, and receptive to new ideas. Norm Gould, President, Manitoba Teachers’ Society, April 2017
The Manitoba Provincial Health Ethics Network and its council are pleased to endorse the High School Ethics Bowl. The aims of collaborating, research, critical thinking, active listening, and public speaking are increasingly important and this type of event has the potential to support important educational objectives for schools at all levels. This type of approach to problem solving you describe will serve students well throughout their lives in whatever role or field they end up working. Jennifer Dunsford, RN, MN; Co-Chair, Manitoba Provincial Health Ethics Network, February 2017
By encouraging dialogue among high school students, we believe the Canadian High School Ethics Bowl will enable them to develop an open-minded spirit to build on what they have in common and transform their differences into a source of value.
/The Bowl constitutes education for global citizenship and promotes understanding of the challenges facing humankind. It fosters a spirit of coexistence, informed by an awareness that actions that profit one group of people might have a negative impact or be perceived as a threat by others.
Gaining confidence in their capabilities through participation in the Bowl the students will develop the skills to actively participate, as engaged citizens, in solving the problems facing society and the world. Tony Meers, General Director, Soka Gakkai International Association of Canada
The Ethics Bowl is unique in its commitment to promoting free and open debate on topics of vital importance. MARL does not promote any particular point of view, but rather encourages students to reflect on their own views, and to learn how to discuss those views with others. Students are exposed to a method of public discussion that breaks free from the rancor and partisanship that characterizes much of our current political discourse, and in doing so they are given an alternative model of engaged citizenship. I fully anticipate that many of them will carry those schools forward into their lives and careers. Neil McArthur, Director, Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics, University of Manitoba, April 2018
The Manitoba High School Ethics Bowl teaches and embodies qualities essential to business, government, and community success. Respectful, evidence-driven collaboration isn’t just the best path for advancing shared prosperity in our communities, it’s the only path.
The skills the Ethics Bowl invites attendees to develop are what turn young people into catalytic leaders. The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce couldn’t be more enthusiastic about this initiative and its potential to drive transformation in our city. Loren Remillard, President CEO, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, April 2017

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