The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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Public Liberty Versus Private Control

Posted on September 30, 2010

You can see it creeping in everywhere around the edges of the public space. Just yesterday, the Senate of Canada presented its 300-page report on its plan for fighting the growing levels of poverty in Canada. In all, there were 74 recommendations on combating homelessness and poverty, but the Conservative government rejected the report. When the Senate produces something like this, it’s usually far more substantive than what most Common’s committees deliver, and the fact the Senate adopted the report unanimously gave it special weight. The report, titled, A Call to Action on Poverty, concludes that a troubling 3.4 million Canadians are trapped in poverty by government social programs that are no longer functionally connected, but actually “substantially broken.” Things have been this way…

The Tyranny of the Minority

Posted on September 29, 2010

We need to spend some time considering the privatization of the public space in this country and what it will mean to our children and to us. Privatization is an ideology premised on the notion that we can take care of ourselves. It’s neither new nor novel, but for the first time in some sixty years it has become predominant. This has nothing to do with the regional tensions that have always challenged our unity as a nation, but rather the new dynamic of citizens saying they want one thing, while as consumers they want another. It has sadly created a form of national schizophrenia that effectively pits us against one another, putting us at odds with the hopes we have for this country.…

It’s Our Time To Lead

Posted on September 28, 2010

A special thanks to my friend Mark Moraes in Vancouver for this timely video. It’s about what would happen if all of us decided to plot a new future for Canada in an increasingly complex world. It’s simple, to the point, and reminds us again of our possibilities. Give it a look, and, for a change, let’s dream a bit. [youtube=]

Cooperating With The Inevitable

Posted on September 27, 2010

The above title was one of those simple yet profound truths written by Dale Carnegie, which he often used to urge people towards a progressive outlook when things can’t be changed.  It’s likely that his counsel is perhaps the best solution for dealing with the disappointments of the UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals, and for Canada’s diminishing quality of official development assistance in recent years. It is now clear that, with five years left in the timeline for the MDGs, that they will not be met.  The crucial ones – halving extreme poverty and hunger from 1990 levels, environmental action, slashing maternal mortality by three-quarters, and reducing the child mortality rate by two-thirds – formed a great challenge, one that in the…

Good Morning, Lester

Posted on September 23, 2010

Note: A few times during the political year I journey behind my office and sit by the bronze statue of Lester B. Pearson.  It always seems to happen after some challenging event.  His placid demeanour and quiet repose always encourages me forward.  That’s where I was when the sun rose this morning. What a week.  I always come to see you whenever I need some sanity, and that’s no truer than this morning. The gun registry hullaballoo is over for now.  The House was packed and tensions were about as high as I can remember.  Some emotions remain with me this morning.  My buddy, Scott Sims, was finally able to unload the huge load that had been on his back all his summer.  His…