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Successful Founder’s Dinner highlights value of debate

Founder’s Dinner dished up a fantastic night of great conversation, food and lively debate as almost 500 Old Boys, parents, past parents and friends of the College enjoyed an evening of friendship and great food catered by Oliver & Bonacini on Feb. 10.

This year’s event welcomed political heavy-hitters on both sides of a controversial debate regarding the primacy of individual privacy or the government’s right to conduct surveiliance in the name of national security.

“[A citizen] doesn’t need to have done anything wrong to be made vulnerable,” said Jameel Jaffer ’90, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union and director of the ACLU’s Centre for Democracy in New York. He praised U.S. whistleblower Edward for a “courageous stance that sparked an overdue debate.”

In contrast, Michael W. Duffy, Senior General Counsel for the Canadian Department of Justice argued that “an individual is not judge and jury,” stressing instead the need to “focus on a mechanism within the system to voice concern, rather than going public.” On this front, he stressed that the United States has more of a whistle-blowing culture, whereas the “Canadian system is not built on trust; it’s built on laws and their legitimacy [in the public eye].”

The debate was expertly moderated by Michelle Shephard, an investigative reporter for the Toronto Star.

Another evening highlight was Piera Morra’s thoughtful and heart-felt speech as she accepted the John D. Stevenson Award for volunteer service. “I started volunteering when my son suggested I could keep a closer eye on him,” she said. Ultimately, through two decades of service, the mother of Marco ’08, Alexander ’11 and Nicholas ’13 eventually “set an example for my sons about the value of giving back.”

Thanks go out to evening co-chairs David Morgenstern ’90, John MacKay ’90 and Maurice Siu ’91 who were co-masters of ceremonies for the evening and also raised funds to offset its cost.

Founder’s Dinner 2016 Livestream