The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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Living In A Time of Diminishing Returns

Posted on April 30, 2008

Listening to all the arguments in Parliament leaves one with the impression that we still live in a time of no limitations.  We continue to act as though there are plenty of resources to go around and I’m troubled that a true sense of urgency hasn’t yet gripped all parties. We have consumed for so long that we feel invincible in a way.  As perhaps the greatest generation of consumers, we follow a kind of collective delusion that is quickly leading us into a place of few options. Like our friends south of the border, we have fooled ourselves into thinking that our economic prosperity has left us in a place of perpetual freedom. For far too long we have felt we have a…

The Things We Miss

Posted on April 28, 2008

Following a week long break and a rather hectic schedule of events back in the home riding, I’ve just arrived back in Ottawa in preparation for another three weeks of “rock-em, sock-em” politics.  For me, it doesn’t hold much relish. But others clearly love it and this can only be bad news for what’s coming up in the next couple of months.  As this particular parliament grinds itself to a standstill, there is an increasing sense that we have somehow lost our way.  Put simply, the country is catching on that we can’t get our act together as a parliament and we’re sensing it too as politicians. What makes it even more frustrating is the reality that huge issues like the environment, or pressing…

Home Again?

Posted on April 15, 2008

Weekends can get pretty busy.  I hadn’t been home for two weeks because of the Al Gore event in Montreal, but when I finally did get back to London there were numerous things that had to be done. I arrived back at London airport shortly after midnight on Thursday and then had to speak at Ryerson Public School the next morning at nine o’clock.  Although a little tired, I still had a great time.  The kids were eager to learn about life in Parliament and seemed especially delighted when I worked through with them the process of trying to pass a bill in the House of Commons that would give them a week off.  It was all great fun. Then I met with my…

Weekend with Al Gore

Posted on April 9, 2008

Not long ago, if someone would have asked if I would like to spend a weekend with Nobel Prize winner Al Gore, I would have thought it impossible. But that’s exactly what happened last weekend in Montreal, as I spent the entire three days locked in training with 200 other Canadians, under the intense scrutiny of the former vice-president. Most folks with remember that the environment and climate change became the focal point of my by-election victory over a year ago now and my desire to be active on that file has continued. I am a member of the Liberal Environment and Sustainability Committee and recently encouraged Stephane Dion and other leaders in the party to make the environment our key issue in the…

Coast to Coast

Posted on April 2, 2008

With a week off from Parliament, I decided to collect all the invitations I had for speaking on child poverty, the environment and Darfur and spend that week travelling the country and encouraging citizen engagement on these files.  It ended up becoming a special week because I took my daughter Achan, 7 years old, and recently arrived from Darfur on the cross-country trek with me.  We started in Halifax and ended up in Whitehorse and Vancouver, with stops in between. For some of the rallies I partnered with a group called STAND, which is an acronym for Students Taking Action Now Darfur.  Made up of both high school and university students, STAND has chapters at campuses across the country and have developed a high…