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A Great Debate in Vancouver

|Written By Gail J. Cohen

As advertised, it was "an evening of hilarity, camaraderie, stunning rhetoric, and taxing puns" at the fifth annual Boughton Law Corp./British Columbia Law Institute's Great Debate.

The debate was held Thursday night in Vancouver at the Pan Pacific Centre with more than 100 lawyers and supporters gathering to hear the learned thoughts on the pressing issue of maintaining the HST in British Columbia. No one was deterred that the issue had already been decided in a provincial referendum that will see a throwback to the separate PST and GST system reintroduced on April 1, 2013.

On the pro side (fighting to keep the HST, a lost cause as mentioned above) were Canadian Lawyer columnist and franchise lawyer Tony Wilson of Boughton Law Corp. and University of British Columbia law student Chris Thompson. Thompson had become somewhat of a local celeb on the HST scene prior to the referendum with his pro-HST YouTube video FightFightHST - A Letter to Bill Vander Zalm.

Against were Michael Bain, of Hamilton Howell Bain & Gould, and Greg Allen of Hunter Litigation Chambers.

The official judges for the debate were B.C. law deans Mary Anne Bobinski from UBC and Donna Greschner of the University of Victoria. "I was ready in case there was some thoughtfulness needed," remarked Bobinski. She was not called upon for that at any point in the evening.

The annual event raises money for the BCLI and was hosted by CBC Radio One’s Rick Cluff.

Photos: Gail J. Cohen


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