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It's Debatable: Prejudice

Drugs, student power, non-conformity, problems in education - adults can talk about these subjects all they want, but it's the students who really know the score. This was the premise behind It's Debatable, a CBC Radio program that ran on Friday evenings during the socially turbulent years of 1967 to 1969. Recorded in high school auditoriums, the panel would typically consist of two teenage students (usually a girl and a boy) and an adult expert in the topic at hand. Walter Pitman hosted during the spring of 1967, but the host from September 1967 onward was the witty and provocative Elwy Yost.

Religious minorities, ethnic minorities, women, hippies. They've all had their share of prejudicial experiences in 1968. In this episode of It's Debatable, two high school students and Alan Borovoy of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association discuss prejudice in Canada. Newfie jokes, job discrimination and prejudice against women are all subjects of debate - and Borovoy is surprised to find the student panellists aren't as open-minded as he thought the younger generation would be.
• Alan Borovoy became general counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association in 1968, and as of 2008 he was still doing the job. He's written several books, including When Freedoms Collide: The Case for Our Civil Liberties (1988), The New Anti-Liberals (1999), and Categorically Incorrect: Ethical Fallacies in Canada's War on Terror (2007).

• In a 2007 article, the Toronto Sun's Peter Worthington commented, "Alan Borovoy is always provocative, and usually correct."

• Borovoy was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 1982.
Medium: Radio
Program: It's Debatable
Broadcast Date: Jan. 3, 1969
Guest(s): Alan Borovoy, Bob Mackenzie, Andrea Rosen
Announcer: Ken Haslam
Moderator: Elwy Yost
Duration: 29:25
Photo: Terry Pearce/Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa

Last updated: January 26, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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