June 17. Last year’s verbal slugfest between former British PM Tony Blair and journalist Christopher Hitchens established the Munk Debates as a must-attend event for Toronto’s intelligentsia. This year’s showdown affirmed that reputation. Harvard pop economist Niall Ferguson and Chinese scholar David Li argued that “the 21st century will belong to China,” while Henry Kissinger and CNN’s Fareed Zakaria opposed the motion. Kissinger commanded the stage, then made his way down the hall to the VIP reception and ruled the room. Guests practically lined up for one-on-one time with the Cold War icon, including Brian Mulroney, Adrienne Clarkson and Michael Ignatieff, who yanked his wife Zsuzsanna away from a conversation with Steve Paikin to get at the esteemed statesman. But no one got as close as Zakaria. After it was announced that he and Kissinger had won, he flashed his TV-trained smile and surprised his debate partner with a man hug.
Insider intel on the politics and personalities shaping the city. Sign up for Preview newsletter for weekly updates