COMM 487/597 — Instructor: Prof. Werner Antweiler
Debate Day (TBA)
— NOT OFFERED THIS YEAR —
 
Overview

This year's debate targets British Columbia's LNG Export Strategy.

The first debate team will speak in support of the province's LNG strategy. The second team will present the case against it.

Each team should make the "best possible case" for their chosen topic. This is very much like being a lawyer in court. Present the relevant arguments that support the case. While rhetoric can be used to improve the presentation, the teams should reference the available evidence in support of a particular case.

The debate topic is controversial and politically charged. As such, the debate should help us understand the positions better. The debaters' personal opinions are not at issue; this is a role-playing exercise.

Debaters: Sign-Up and Reward

Four students shall lead the debate, with two speakers for each side of the debate. Debate slots are assigned on a first-come first-served basis. The reward for leading the debate is three percentage grade points towards the final grade. Each debater is required to give a five minute statement to make a compelling case for the chosen side. The two debaters on each side should coordinate their debate points. Debaters will make their points without use of A/V. Following the opening and rebuttals from the four speakers, the debaters will be cross-examined by the audience. The debaters will sit in the front of the room facing the audience, separated by the moderator (i.e., the instructor). The first speaker for each team will typically have a prepared speech, while the second speaker should be prepared to provide a rebuttal to arguments made by the first speaker from the opposing team. Both speakers from each team will have to respond to questions from the audience during cross-examination.

Audience as Cross-Examiners:

The audience should prepare themselves by reading up on the topics. All students should be ready to engage in vigorous but unfailingly polite cross-examination of the speakers.

Courtesy Rules

Students must be courteous throughout the debate. Debaters must address the moderator, the opponents and the class. They must not interrupt a speaker at any time.

Team Members
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Information Sources

First, a primer on BC's LNG strategy: British Columbia's Liquefied Natural Gas Strategy. (PDF file, 16 pages). A key questions concerns the level of taxation of BC's LNG. See the article Liquefied natural gas companies say B.C LNG tax too high on the CBC web site (Feb. 23, 2014). See also the article Tax framework for B.C. LNG industry in the Globe and Mail from February 18, 2014. There is also a lot of information about the developments in Kitimat, where the proposed LNG Terminal is to be built.

There is an LNG Journal devoted to LNG news.

A very good introduction about LNG can be found in Liquefied Natural Gas: Understanding the Basic Facts from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Canadian Assocation of Petroleum Producers, a lobby group, has put together a 44-page report An Overview of the World's LNG Market and Canada's Potential for Exports of LNG.

The International Gas Union has published the World LNG Report - 2013 edition; it runs to 56 pages.

Lastly, a report by consulting firm Price Waterhouse Cooper Investing in the growth of Canada's LNG market.

Debate Schedule
 
Date TBA
B.C.'s LNG Strategy
Speaker 1, opening, pro LNG 5 min....
Speaker 1, opening, contra LNG 5 min....
Speaker 2, rebuttal, pro LNG 5 min....
Speaker 2, rebuttal, contra LNG 5 min....
Cross-Examination pro LNG 15 min.Audience
Cross-Examination contra LNG 15 min.Audience
Closed Vote 5 min.conducted by instructor
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