On the eve of the 2009 CUSID National Debating Championships, the grand finale of the CBC’s Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister aired last night — and after a fierce debate hosted by Alex Trebek and judged by former Prime Ministers Brian Mulroney, Joe Clark, Kim Campbell and Paul Martin, Calgary native and University of Ottawa English Debating Society member Amy Marlene Robichaud won the competition and was awarded $50,000 and a paid internship.
Among other achievements, Amy has co-ordinated the English Debating Society’s 24 Hour Debate Challenge, raising hundreds of dollars for a shelter for battered women, and ranked as a public speaking finalist at tournaments as prestigious as Queen’s University and the CUSID British Parliamentary National Championships.
Amy was the second person to enter this season’s competition which began online when the CBC asked young Canadians, aged 18-25, to post a video to YouTube telling us what they would do to improve Canada politically, socially and economically. Candidates challenged one another’s platforms with additional videos. They also responded to weekly video challenges asking for their opinions on current affairs. Finally, ten semifinalists were selected to come to Toronto to compete head to head at political bootcamp where four finalists were selected to compete on the nationally televised show.