On February 27, 2014, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute organized a debate on the resolution "Muslim immigration is no threat to Canada or the West" between Doug Saunders arguing for this statement and Salim Mansur arguing against it. If you missed this debate from our Great Canadian Debate Series, you can read the synopsis from the Globe and Mail, or you can watch the whole debate and decide for yourself on CPAC. For pictures of the debate, please visit our website.

Robert Sibley from the Ottawa Citizen has been observing how much media attention this debate has been getting nationally, and around the world.

Following the debate we have sent a survey back to those who attended to see which side they supported, and the results are in! Seems that this crowd was leaning towards Salim Mansur's argument, by 83.3%. Doug Saunders argument won him 11.2% of the crowd, and 5.5% were undecided.

A few quick interesting comments we would like to share with you from our survey-takers:

  • "We thoroughly enjoyed both speakers. It was so engaging to have knowledgeable and committed speakers challenge each other and us in a respectful manner. I would certainly try to hear another such debate."
  •  "I thought many of the attendees jumped to the conclusion that if Muslim immigration is a threat that it should be banned. I don't agree with that conclusion. There are probably many strategies that could be taken to mitigate the risk beyond banishment."
  •  "I do hope you can find a sponsor for these Great Canadian Debates as they provide a necessary conversation."
  • "The proposition is self-evident. Please publish the voting results."

Thanks to everyone who attended and voted on our debate. Our next debate on "Free speech in Canadian Universities is an endangered species" will take place in Ottawa's Canadian War Museum on March 27, 2014. Barbara Kay, National Post Columnist, will argue for this resolution, and Daniel Drache, Professor from York University, will argue against it.