Justice Centre Essay Contest

2021 Youth Essay Contest

There has been a lot of debate about whether governments, airlines, universities, event venues, private businesses and other entities will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to access their services. Moreover, there is concern that certain workplaces may try to mandate vaccines for employees, and that certain government benefits may only be distributed to vaccinated individuals.

Canadians have the right to give their voluntary, informed consent to any medical treatment. There are concerns that this is a new vaccine, and that a vaccine passport would violate privacy, medical confidentiality, Charter rights to freedom of conscience and religion, mobility rights, and the right to liberty and security of the person under the Charter.

Our 2021 essay question is:

Should citizens who refuse to get vaccinated have the same rights and freedoms as those who do get vaccinated?

To assist your research as you write your essay, see the Justice Centre’s work on this topic:


    October 31, 2021 at 11:59pm Pacific Time


    This contest is open to all Canadian youth who will be between the age of 15–24 on the date they submit their essay.

    Length, format, and evaluation criteria

    The essay should be a MINIMUM of 1000 words and NOT EXCEED 2,500 words. Please submit your essay in PDF or Word format using the form below, or email it to essaycontest@jccf.ca. Quality of writing and persuasiveness of argument will be the central criteria considered by the judges.

    Your essay should have a title and references/footnotes and follow proper essay form with a clear introduction, thesis statement, persuasive evidence and arguments, followed by a conclusion.


    1st prize: $2,000

    2nd prize: $1,000     |     3rd prize: $500

    2021 Judges

    • Barry Cooper
    • Robert Donick
    • John Robson
    • Tom Bateman
    • Sam Goldstein
    • Tim Boyle
    • Danny Hozack
    • Norm Machida
    • Bud Smith
    • Andrew Lawton
    • Bruce Hallsor
    • Sharon Maclise

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    2021 Essay Contest Submission

    • Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx, Max. file size: 50 MB.
    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

    2020 Essay Contest Question

    Which government-mandated lockdown measures are justifiable, which are not, and why?

    2020 essay contest winners