The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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Follow the Food

Posted on May 31, 2018

There are many key components that keep a city functioning, but if you would want to check up on its overall health, it’s helpful to follow how it moves its food around.  Seriously, it’s one of the main ways you can judge just how integrated things are. If healthy local food from the region is largely bypassing a city on its journey to other markets, then you know there’s a problem.  Should there be numerous food deserts that leave significant holes for food resources in neighbourhoods, it has a serious impact on citizens, especially for those in low-income situations or who aren’t mobile. If there are successful urban gardens that experience difficulty in the distribution of their harvests to locations that require them because of…

The Time For Tinkering Is Over

Posted on May 25, 2018

Writing posts like this is never easy.  Partisans of one stripe or the other relentlessly claim that their party’s policies will do the trick, introduce a new era of prosperity, or restore voter confidence in politics and democracy.  We’ve heard all this before, numerous times, and in diverse fashions, but the net result always seems the same – loss of voter confidence that leaves many wondering if anybody can really turn things around. Yesterday I did an interview with our local paper on a Toronto Star story that concerned how government interventions at various levels have helped the city’s food bank – the country’s largest – see their numbers decline somewhat.  It true – all of it.  Remedial efforts through things like tax credits,…

A Woman For All Time

Posted on May 21, 2018

She has this particular day named after her, but so few us know much about Queen Victoria.  Given that this a holiday named after her remarkable identity and reign, that’s just a bit embarrassing. Though she had much to say about the prospects for, and station of, women that would likely infuriate the average feminist of today, her life and accomplishments are virtually unmatched in history.  A woman exercising remarkable power in an age where men primarily dominated every important aspect of life and influence, it’s worthwhile for us to spend a bit of time getting to know her better, this woman whose prominence got most of us the day off. Prior to becoming queen, Victoria faced a difficult upbringing. After losing her father to…

Lost for Words

Posted on May 17, 2018

Grief can be a fickle thing.  The loss of someone close to us can throw us into periods of personal darkness and pain for months, even years.  Human beings have remarkable capacity of bearing such things. Thanks to modern technology, we are aware that literally dozens of species are going extinct every day and a rate at 1,000 to 10,000 times the natural rate.  Yet other than a little flutter of concern, we carry on as though such a reality doesn’t exist.  That’s one of those ironic things about living in affluence: we are more aware but less concerned of such things than ever.  And unlike those mass extinction events that occur occasionally in history, these current extinction rates are caused by only one…

Rolling the Dice

Posted on May 15, 2018

My city of London, Ontario is in the midst of a gambling debate, with some feeling our collective future could be at risk should a larger casino be built near the centre of town.  That’s likely a little dramatic since a slots casino has been with us for years. But the world itself has changed and key to it all is the difference in attitudes towards gambling inter-generationally.  Regardless of whether the casino is approved, attitudes regarding its presence in our midst are already going through a substantial shift. New research is telling us something important about how gambling is being perceived.  Here’s just a sample of what’s been discovered: While gambling remains popular with older generations, Millennials (1980-2000) take a far dimmer view…

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