In 2014 Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties (MARL) secured an invitation to participate in the USA High School Ethics Bowl. For two consecutive years Manitoba sent teams to compete at the USA competition held at the University of North Carolina Parr Centre for Ethics. Although the students’ experience was very positive it was determined for the growth of the Ethics Bowl, MARL would concentrate their efforts of expanding through the public school system in Manitoba followed by Canada. The USA Ethics Bowl provided an endorsement which greatly supported the vision of a Canadian version.
Between 2016 to 2018, with the support of the University of Manitoba Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics and the Manitoba Department of Education, Manitoba High School Ethics increased participation from six to sixteen high school teams. In 2018 the first ‘Coupe éthique des écoles secondaires’ was held at the Université de Saint-Boniface with six teams making the Ethics Bowl a truly bilingual Canadian event.
On April 24 and 25, 2019 the first Canadian High School Ethics Bowl was held at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), an endorser since 2015. The inaugural event included a full day of ethical games and opportunities for students and supervisors to strengthen their critical thinking skills and collegial ties. The first schools to attend outside of Manitoba were Ideal Mini School and Sands Secondary School from British Columbia. The champions were École secondaire Kelvin High School with the finalist being Springfield Collegiate Insititute, both from Manitoba. Also in attendance was Leaf Rapids Community School from northern Manitoba, a priority of the Canadian High School Ethics Bowl (CHSEB) committee of engaging isolated communities in critical and collaborative discussions. By the end of March 2020 over 1000+ high school students participated in the high school ethics bowl.
In the Fall and Winter of 2019 and 2020 the CHSEB successful expanded further into British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario with a strong commitment from Saskatchewan to host regionals for the 2nd CHSEB which was to be held on April 25 and 26 at the CMHR. Due to the covid 19 pandemic the 2nd CHSEB was postponed.
Not to be deterred, on May 4, 2020 CHSEB committee piloted a virtual high school ethics bowl between Sands Secondary School in British Columbia and École secondaire Kelvin High School in Winnipeg. It was a resounding success in spite of the fact there was no direct contact between teams.
Throughout 2019 and 2020, the CHSEB committee has conceptualized a consortium model to help galvanize and support the regional leaders, teacher coaches and students with resources. One of the resources is the CHSEB website which in great part received support from the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.
History is now being written as the expansion continues across Canada.