Will the Ontario leaders’ debate be a gamechanger?

With just 10 days until voters go to the polls and [Liberal Leader Dalton] McGuinty now in a dead heat against Conservative Tim Hudak in an election that has yet to hit its stride, political analysts say Tuesday’s 90-minute face-off…might just be one of the rare occasions when a televised leaders debate proves to be an election game-changer, wrote the National Post Sept. 27, in a story about memorable comments by leaders.

But those moments are few and far between and even as they prepare exhaustively for the televised sparring match, party leaders also tend to publicly play down their debating skills as a way to lower expectations and save face in the event of a debate-night flub, said York University political scientist Bob Drummond [Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies].

  • Drummond said [a] two-front fight might be tough for the Liberals but added it also puts the NDP in a bind, wrote The Canadian Press Sept. 26, in a story about the Ontario election campaign.

Andrea Horwath needs to attack Dalton McGuinty, but not to the point that it helps Tim Hudak, Drummond said. "It makes the campaign a little more complicated," he said.

What a difference one letter makes: MBA vs. EMBA

To outsiders, the distinction between an MBA and an EMBA (Executive MBA) is often unclear. But the differences between the two are significant, from the curriculum to the student profiles, wrote the National Post Sept. 27.

As André deCarufel, academic director for the Kellogg Schulich Executive MBA program explains, one of the biggest differences is the intended audience of each program.

"The typical MBA student is someone in the mid to late 20s, has at least two years of work experience and is planning to go into management. Somebody with an engineering degree, for example, may take it to get into project management or something along those lines."

The EMBA student is much further along the career path. "They’re usually in their late 30s or early 40s, have over a decade in the workforce, and have a significant amount of management experience," deCarufel explains. "The goal for them is not to get into management but to move within their organization. They typically are looking to make the transition from functional leadership such as finance to general management where they need to think in terms of cross-functional boundaries for a more strategic global view."

Unique elements aside, whether pursuing an MBA or EMBA, there is one area of common ground worthy of note deCarufel says. "They’re both very valuable ways to advance a career. That’s why we offer both."

  • Sudeep Garg‘s road to MBA success may not have been exotic, but it definitely took some twists and turns along the way, wrote the National Post Sept. 27. An engineer by training, this Bombay native discovered a love for American football when he was working in the United States as an intellectual property (IP) specialist.

Despite the fact he had never played the sport, he found a way to coach football at the high school and then university level while continuing with his IP day job. Three years into an assistant coaching job with Georgetown University, he realized an MBA in marketing and strategy at Schulich School of Business in Toronto might be to the ticket to the ideal career for him.

"While I was coaching I got a chance to be involved with sports sponsorships. I realized then that I wanted to combine sports and business. But I needed to brush up on accounting and finance skills, so an MBA was the next logical step."

His career ambitions were solidified once he did a summer internship with CBC sports as an associate business manager. He also worked with the NHL Players’ Association camp in the late summer.

"That was a great opportunity to meet people in large business entities that do a lot of sporting event sponsorships. I could see all kinds of opportunities. When I started this interest in sports, I had a hard time. A lot of people thought I was kidding because of my technical background. But I’m figuring out how to get the best of both worlds."

Britons get chance to fall in love with Group of Seven

In just a few weeks, the biggest ever European exhibition of the Group of Seven, the closest thing Canada has to artistic patron saints, opens in London, wrote the Toronto Star Sept. 27. On Monday, the drum beating began in earnest.

Forty storeys above Toronto’s financial district in a reception room in the RBC tower, Ian Dejardin, the director of the Dulwich Picture Gallery, Britain’s oldest art museum and among its most prestigious, could barely contain his enthusiasm as he introduced "Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven" to the Canadian media. It opens Oct. 19. Joining him was…Anna Hudson, a York University art history professor [Faculty of Fine Arts].

Forum explores ecological work climate

Work in a Warming World, a forum involving participants from Atlantic Canada and New England, takes place at the Fredericton University Thursday and Friday, wrote the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal Sept. 27.

The Work in a Warming World project is funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council and is affiliated with the Institute for Research & Innovation in Sustainability at York University.

A taste of Peking opera at NAC Fourth Stage

Ottawa dancer and actor William Lau [MFA ’91], who specializes in the tradition in which men play women’s roles in Peking opera, will be joined by artists from Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver to present a taste of the art form Thursday, Sept. 29 at the National Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage, wrote the Ottawa Citizen Sept. 27.

The performance will include two excerpts from classical Chinese opera, including costumes, makeup and English translation. Lau is a graduate of York University’s Master of Fine Arts program in dance. He will perform scenes from The Cosmic Blade, about a young woman who feigns madness to defy her father’s orders to become a royal concubine, and The Drunken Beauty, about a young woman spurned by the Emperor for a rival concubine.

‘Mr. Small Claims’ makes a career on volume

Small claims court cases are like any other legal disputes, but minus a zero, says Jordan Farkas [BAS ’01, LLB ’04], a Canadian lawyer who’s built a practice advising people who have $25,000 or less at stake, wrote the American Bar Association Journal in its Oct. 1 edition. “Most lawyers look down at it,” says Farkas, 31. He started small claims work as a law firm associate to pick up litigation experience, and he can be found online as “Mr. Small Claims Court.”

Farkas has an actual office, with a secretary, in Toronto. But the majority of his client consultations are done by email, fax and telephone. “If you’re looking to sit down and have a cup of coffee with a lawyer – and be charged $200 an hour – this isn’t the right service for you,” Farkas says.

As an associate with Toronto’s Solomon Grosberg, Farkas says, he saw a need for high-quality, affordable legal advice. So he started his website, and potential clients began emailing him while it was still in beta.

“He’s always kind of been a little hungrier than the rest of us,” says Mark A. Ross [LLB ’04], a Toronto sole practitioner who attended [York’s] Osgoode Hall Law School with Farkas. “He worked part time … and he was certainly out there seeing things.”

Farkas declined to disclose how much of a profit his business has made. “I’m not in this to become a millionaire. I’m doing it because I have independence and I’m being creative,” says Farkas, who spends a significant amount of time traveling. The majority of his work is accomplished on a laptop computer. “This is the type of business I can manage from anywhere,” he says. “I travel more than the average person because I have the ability to.”

Candidate, 20, hopes to get youth vote out

Ruida Lu doesn’t expect to win the MPP’s seat in Oak Ridges-Markham, but he hopes to motivate the younger generation to cast a ballot and let all constituents know voting independent is an option, wrote YorkRegion.com Sept. 26.

The 20-year-old Oak Ridges resident threw his hat into the political ring because he is frustrated by the government’s lack of transparency. "I can’t stand those politicians. I don’t consider myself a politician. I’m a concerned citizen running for office," the third-year York University Schulich School of Business student said before he took part in his first all-candidates meeting Saturday afternoon in Markham.

Lu said he chose to run as an independent because he does not care about political party interests. He wants to represent the riding and said having to also answer to a party "is a limitation".

This man ate 9.75 boxes of poutine in 10 minutes

The second annual Smoke’s Poutinerie World Poutine Eating Championship brought a crowd out to the Rogers Centre on Saturday, wrote The Grid TO Sept. 26.

In the amateur category, 24-year-old Aabid Patel, a York University student, won free poutine for a year by scarfing two-and-a-half boxes of poutine in six minutes. In the post-game interview, he said the hardest part was combating jaw fatigue and that he actually had room in his stomach for more fries and curds. As for his prize, he plans on getting a free poutine each day to give to a homeless person.