2016 Essay Contest – Should government force voluntary associations to be inclusive of everyone?

2016 Essay Contest


The Law Societies of BC, Ontario and Nova Scotia have refused to recognize the law program at Trinity Western University (TWU), for being “discriminatory” against the LGBTQ community.  TWU has taken all three Law Societies to court, asserting its Charter freedoms of expression, religion, conscience and association.  These three court actions raise important questions about Canadians’ historic and traditional freedom of association and society’s understanding of the concept of discrimination.

The Justice Centre received many thoughtful and well-written submissions for its 2016 Essay Contest, which asked students:

Should the government and government bodies, through law and policy, force voluntary associations (charitable, political, cultural, ethnic, religious, social, recreational, educational, etc.) to be inclusive and welcoming of everyone?

Why or why not?

The winners of the 2016 Essay Contest are:

1st Prize $1,500 – Ben Woodfinden, graduate studies in political philosophy, Carleton University

2nd Prize $1,000 –  Aaron Neil, undergraduate studies in commerce, Carleton University

3rd Prize $500 –  Carter Vance, undergraduate studies in political science, Carleton University

The Justice Centre sincerely thanks its panel of respected judges, who volunteered their time to judge 70 submissions: Marilyn Burns, Dr. Barry Cooper, Dan Hozack, Barbara Kay, Sharon Maclise, Brian Purdy, Dave Reesor, and Dr. John Robson.

The contest submission deadline has passed. Thank you for your interest. Please try again next year.