23. 01. 2019
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Why there’s no need to pick a career in the first week of university

Why there’s no need to pick a career in the first week of university

TORONTO – Students who worry too much about picking the “perfect” major as they enter university aren’t necessarily setting themselves up for success, say experts who caution that school should be seen as time to learn, network and explore different career paths.

“Sometimes university is about more than getting it perfectly, it’s often about the journey,” said Eileen Chadnick, a career coach with Big Cheese Coaching in Toronto.

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“You may start in a career and you may, through trial and error, change it, so don’t worry about having all the answers before the first semester of university. Go in with an open, curious mind.”

Students today have access to an unprecedented amount of information over the Internet, so focusing on something they are passionate about and using their time at university to learn how to think and to meet people is as important than any particular content expertise they may gain, said Sharon Irwin-Foulon, executive director of Career Management and Corporate Recruiting at the Ivey Business School at Western University.

“Often you want to stay in your dorm room and study and get 90s, but I’m not sure that that’s actually going to impact your career and the satisfaction you get out of your career,” said Irwin-Foulon.

“Being able to interact with different personalities, getting a network of like-minded people who have had this shared experience, I would argue is just as important as the degree content itself.”

The way the job market is evolving is another reason why getting set on one track too early can be a mistake.

“You’ve got jobs that are being created that didn’t exist five years ago,” Irwin-Foulon. said. “Being too rigid is the tricky part, or doing a degree because you think it will get you a job.”

Abdallah Al-Hakim, 36, has a PhD in science but works for a California-based technology company, and says he would encourage students to look at their options early and often.

“Educationally, I was definitely in one track; I was following the path you would follow to become a professor at a university,” said Al-Hakim, from Hamilton, Ont., who earned a PhD in science and did a post-doctorate focusing on biochemistry before deciding a life in science wasn’t for him.

“The issue with science is that there are a lot of PhDs that are graduating every year and there just aren’t enough faculty positions.”

Al-Hakim set out to explore alternatives and spent a year of his post-doctoral talking to as many people as he could, including those who had left a career in science.

After meeting with several players in Toronto’s start-up scene, he realized he would enjoy working for a small, fast-paced company where he could immediately see the results of his work and, nine months later, landed a contract in a small Toronto company. He was eventually hired by a bigger startup, and recently became a marketing automation consultant with Blue Jeans Network, a U.S. technology company focused on video communications.

“I wish that after high school or maybe before my master’s (degree) I’d stopped and looked at my options and maybe even worked,” Al-Hakim said.

“Working is really the best thing to figure out what you want to do.”

Nathan Laurie, president of online student job board Jobpostings桑拿按摩, says it’s never too early to start thinking about a career.

“I would talk to as many people as possible about what they’re considering doing,” said Laurie.

Speaking with parents’ friends, looking up industry organizations or following people who work in a field you’re interested in are all good ways to learn more about it.

“I also think you’re allowed to change your mind as many times as you want through your career, and many people do.”

Given the cost of education, “it’s a good idea, if you’re not feeling good about what you’re taking, to stop, re-evaluate and reconsider what you want to do, and then move forward when you have a new plan,” Laurie said.

Whatever you choose to do, Irwin-Foulon urges all first-time students to make sure they are choosing their career for the right reasons.

“Do it because it legitimately interests you and you are in the zone and you’re engaged with it,” she said.

“You don’t know what you don’t know, so go and be open to learning things about yourself, things about the world and don’t do it because your parents told you to, don’t do it because you’re supposed to, don’t do it because it’s going to get you a job.”

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23. 01. 2019
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Father of Magnotta’s alleged victim wants ‘obscene’ evidence kept under wraps

Father of Magnotta’s alleged victim wants ‘obscene’ evidence kept under wraps

MONTREAL — The father of murder victim Lin Jun is having a difficult time dealing with the death of his son.

Twice last year, he broke down in court when gruesome evidence was played during Luka Magnotta’s preliminary inquiry.

Lin Diran does not want a repeat.

READ MORE: Grieving father breaks down, leaves court, at Luka Magnotta hearing

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With the trial a week away, lawyers for the grieving father are requesting that certain exhibits be played in court once to the jury – but they should never be made public.

“Those exhibits should not be distributed, or published, or reproduced,” says Benoit Lapointe, Lin Diran’s attorney.

“In our view it represents obscene material.”

READ MORE: Letters from Luka Magnotta: accused killer thanks “fans” for numerous gifts sent to prison

Luka Magnotta is charged with murdering and then dismembering Concordia University student in May 2012.

The alleged crime was videotaped.

Justice Guy Cournoyer appeared sensitive to the father’s request.

He didn’t render a final decision, but he suggested only a portion of the police evidence should remain sealed.

Media lawyer Mark Bantey agrees with the judge’s reasoning.

TIMELINE: The Luka Rocco Magnotta case

“The position of the media I represent is that other exhibits are not obscene,” says attorney Mark Bantey, who represents Global News.

“They are shocking, not obscene.  They should be made public.”

The 32-year-old suspect sat in the prisoner’s box as lawyers debated the delicate topic Thursday.

Magnotta’s appearance has changed – his weight gain is noticeable.

Some say he’s put on about 40 pounds.

Gallery: Jun Lin’s life in photos

Pretrial hearings continue Friday and next Wednesday at the Montreal Courthouse.

Next week, defence lawyer Luc Leclair is expected to file a motion on behalf of Magnotta’s family.

Some of his relatives could be called as witnesses and Leclair is asking the court to conceal their identities.

Justice Cournoyer denied a similar request this week.

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23. 01. 2019
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What happens to unruly passengers who divert your flight?

What happens to unruly passengers who divert your flight?

WATCH: Two Toronto-area women face multiple charges, after a ruckus on a Sunwing flight bound for Cuba, that had to turn back with a military escort. Vassy Kapelos reports.

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TORONTO –Flight diversions have made headlines for a number of reasons as of late: From smoking in the bathroom, to fighting caused by a gadget that prevents the person in front of you from reclining, to intoxicated rants involving pelvis thrusting and/or chewing through restraints.

The latest incident started with two twentysomethings en route to Cuba drunkenly smoking in the bathroom, and escalated to a physical altercation and “non-credible” threat; it ended in a diversion back to Toronto flanked by two CF-18 fighter jets. National Defence estimated the total operating cost of one CF-18 at $16,750 per hour, which means at least $33,500 of taxpayer money was spent Wednesday evening.

Unruly passenger incidents are an “escalating problem,” occurring over 28,000 times between 2007-2013, according to the  International Air Transport Association (IATA).

“Due to loopholes in existing laws, there are many cases where those who commit serious offenses are not punished,” said the IATA website section on unruly passengers.

The organization cautioned that current regulations are “inadequate to deal with the scale of today’s problems,” and said flight diversions could cost airlines up to US$200,000.

But IATA is working with the International Civial Aviation Organization (ICAO) to improve regulations, and build upon the 50-year-old Tokyo Convention that currently governs offences that happen during flights.

Adopted on April 4, 2014, the Montreal Protocol will impact two main areas: jurisdiction—making it possible to extend the jurisdiction over offence to the destination country of the flight as well as the country of aircraft registration—and right of recourse—providing more clarity on the airline’s right to reclaim the costs incurred.

“This closes a loophole which allowed many serious offences to escape legal action,” said IATA.

But the protocol has not yet been ratified by any States, and needs 22 States’ approval before it comes into force.

Currently, the worst consequences for a flight passenger so unruly the plane must be diverted off its path is a fine of $100,000 or five years of jail time under the Aeronautics Act.

But looking back at similar incidents, it appears unlikely that anyone pays the maximum price.

Flights can be stressful enough without the threat of an unruly passenger.

AP Photo/Gail Burton

I’ll “send your genitals to your mother”

An Air Transat flight from Vancouver to the United Kingdom on March 27, 2013 had to make an emergency landing in Iqaluit, Nunvaut after a 39-year-old man had to be restrained by flight crew and passengers.

Drunk and unruly, Darren Cosby punched a coffee maker, “jokingly” grabbed a flight attendant by the throat, and spit on those trying to restrain him, according to Crown prosecutor Amy Porteous. He was able to get out of plastic wrist restraints twice, bent back the thumb of someone trying to restrain him and tried to bite those holding him back.

He said he would “slit their throats,” and “send their genitals to their mothers,” and thrust his pelvis at flight attendants, according to courtroom proceedings reported by the Nunavut’s Nunatsiaq Online.

Cosby was arrested when the flight landed, and the plane continued to the U.K.

Charges of uttering threats, causing a disturbance and mischief, were stayed April 4. He pleaded guilty to one count of unruly behaviour under the Aeronautics Act and was given credit for nine days spent in jail. Cosby was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and reimburse Air Transat for approximately $13,875, according to the report.

Smoking charges dropped, $500 for other offences

A flight diversion to Bermuda that cost Sunwing approximately $40,000 in February 2013 was caused by a Cape Breton, N.S. family who allegedly smoked in the bathroom and became unruly.

Daryl McWilliams of the Sunwing Travel Group says the plane was flying from Halifax to the Dominican Republic and was forced to make an emergency landing, then put up 180 passengers overnight and bring in a mechanic. The plane resumed its flight the next morning.

Three members of a four-person family were arrested by the Bermuda police and appeared in Magistrates’ Court in Hamilton, Bermuda. The father pleaded guilty to behaving in a disorderly manner by using abusive and offensive language, and the mother pleaded guilty to disobeying a lawful order by a flight attendant.

The Crown elected to offer no evidence on the smoking (which the defendants denied), and the smoking charges were dropped. Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner fined David MacNeil Sr. and Donna MacNeil $500 each for their offences, ordering that the fines be paid immediately or they would spend up to 10 days in prison.

When asked if Sunwing was suing the family for a reported $50,000 in lost costs, the airline confirmed Thursday it has served a Statement of Claim against the MacNeil family in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Spokesperson Rachel Goldrick said the “matter is proceeding through the normal court process.”

Not everyone wants to party in the lavatory with an unruly flyer.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Party in the lavatory with a grinding pelvis?

An intoxicated Calgary man caused an emergency landing in Edmonton on a flight from London to Calgary in August 2012. For what? It started with pelvis grinding.

Thirty-six-year-old Justin Frank was grinding his pelvis two inches from a flight attendant’s face, asking if she wanted to “party in the lavatory” before grazing her breast in an attempt to grab her buttocks.

Frank also punched a TV screen before being wrestled to the ground by crew and passengers, then restrained until the emergency landing.

He pleaded guilty to assault, mischief and failing to follow directions of a flight crew. In February 2014, he received a one-year suspended sentence and was ordered to pay $15,200 in restitution to Air Canada as well as a $4,000 fine. Frank was also ordered to participate in any alcohol counselling that his probation officer ordered.

BlackBerry execs fired, fined after chewing through restraints

Two vice-presidents at Research in Motion caused an entire plane of Air Canada passengers to go into lockdown for the final hour of their trip because of their unruly and belligerent behaviour.

George Campbell, 45 of Conestogo, Ontario, and Paul Alexander Wilson, 38, of Kitchener, Ontario, were charged and pleaded guilty to mischief after kicking seats, yelling and swearing at flight staff and passengers. They reportedly mixed sleeping pills with alcohol on a flight from Toronto to Beijing that had to make a landing at Vancouver International Airport.

Crown counsel Gerri-Lyn Nelson said Wilson tried to break plastic restraints with his mouth and “ultimately chewed through the restraints,” according to the Toronto Star.

Both men were fired after the incident, and spent two nights in police custody.

The breakdown of the costs of the incident, which included $75,475 in extra fuel, $42,200 in pay for the crew and $2,560 in navigation service was given to court, according to the Globe and Mail.

The men were initially ordered to pay $35,878 each, but a court of appeal reduced each to about $10,528, reported the Globe. They each received a suspended sentence and probation for one year, and were banned from flying with Air Canada.

Air Canada occasionally bans troublesome passengers from booking tickets with their airline.

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23. 01. 2019
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Sim Bhullar looking to leave his mark on the NBA – Toronto

Sim Bhullar looking to leave his mark on the NBA – Toronto

TORONTO – Sim Bhullar is making a name for himself by becoming the first player of Indian descent to sign a contract with an NBA team.

The seven foot five inches tall, 360 pounds centre recently signed an undisclosed contract with the Sacramento Kings and says the accomplishment has already garnered a lot attention for the sport of basketball in India, a country where cricket is king.

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“I think, probably close to a million kids already started playing basketball because of that, I got messages on Facebook saying kids, just all over India have started picking up basketball and stuff so that’s pretty crazy.”

Bhullar played two seasons for New Mexico State, where he averaged 10.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks. He twice earned Western Athletic Conference tournament MVP honours and led the Aggies to back-to-back NCAA tournaments. He went undrafted in June and helped the Kings win the NBA’s Summer League tournament in Las Vegas in July. He will be competing for a spot behind starting centre DeMarcus Cousins who has already given him some tips.

“He told me the adjustment period takes a little bit, but when you get used to it, the speed of the game and stuff you should be good. He told me to work out, work hard every day and just keep pushing yourself and you’ll be great one day.”

Bhullar’s former high school coach Paul Melnik believes that he has what it takes to make it in the NBA.

“I think with proper training, guidance, diet and his work ethic, I think the sky is the limit. I think he can progress to be possibly an NBA all-star at some point,” says Melnik.

As for the possibility of playing for the Toronto Raptors one day, Bhullar says a close family friend is trying to make that happen.

– With files from The Associated Press

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23. 01. 2019
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Edmonton arena a top project on continent: Oilers owner – Edmonton

Edmonton arena a top project on continent: Oilers owner – Edmonton

EDMONTON – The owner of the Edmonton Oilers says the booming, oilsands-driven economy of northern Alberta is behind the early success of the city’s downtown makeover featuring a new arena for his team.

“I don’t think there’s a better market anywhere to do what we’re doing,” Katz said Thursday as he unveiled a new website on the billions of dollars on construction planned for the Alberta capital’s core.

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“From an investment point of view, this is as much a play on Alberta and where Alberta’s going – and particularly northern Alberta – as anything.”

Katz pointed to $284 billion in investment planned for the oilsands by 2035. Six million people are expected call the province home by then, two-thirds of them in northern Alberta.

“That’s our market.”

Phase 1 of the Arena District plans include more than 1,000 residential units, 1.3 million square feet of office space, more than 215,000 square feet of retail, a public square, a community ice rink, and an “upper scale hotel” – all linked by walkways and designed to be used winter and summer.

Katz said a new arena for his NHL team and flush times in his hometown have combined for a “once in a generation” chance to revitalize a downtown that has often been called dowdy, or worse.

“This was the vision from the beginning,” he said.

“We planned this before we bought the team. It’s very satisfying to see it come out of the ground.”

Those plans haven’t been without controversy.

It took years for city council to come to a funding agreement with Katz, who owns the Rexall pharmacy chain. Councillors wrestled with the issue of putting up hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars for an arena to house a hockey team owned by a billionaire.

The total tab for 18,559-seat facility is $480 million. Edmonton taxpayers are to pay $219 million, Katz’s share is $143 million. Another $125 million will come from a ticket tax.

Work on the arena is now underway.

More than $2.5 billion in construction has already started or is expected to start in the area district in the next six months. More than 9,000 square metres of retail space has already been spoken for.

Earlier this week, engineering firm Stantec signed a lease on space in a 62-storey office tower to be built in the arena district.

READ MORE: Design unveiled for record setting 62-storey Edmonton tower  

Katz said there may not be a development anywhere in the continent that can match the scale of what’s happening in downtown Edmonton.

Construction is expected to extend into the next decade.

“This isn’t just an Edmonton story. This is a Canadian story.”

(Watch below: a fly-through of the arena district. Supplied by the Edmonton Arena District)

With files from Global News

©2014The Canadian Press

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