The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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How Do You Measure Grief?

Posted on June 28, 2018

I spent some of morning yesterday speaking to a remarkable group of global academics, psychologists and numerous knowledgeable leaders from a variety of fields and who get together every two years in various locations around the world two discuss the implications of some of humanity’s greatest sadness.  This year they were in Canada. Officially titled the International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement, I realized I was standing before a gathering of activists who seek to not only understand grief but to influence policymakers who hold the responsibility of improving the global conditions that lead to such earthly pain.  It was a challenge just to be in their midst; to address them was more than a little intimidating. If we desired to understand…

Is An Ethical Economy No Longer Possible?

Posted on June 26, 2018

Soon enough we’ll be entering into an economic period where we’ll be informed that we can no longer afford those things we believe important.  Climate change, poverty, affordable housing, mental health, effective employment, post-secondary education, investments in home-grown businesses – these cost too much, we will be informed, and to create a competitive economy we must learn to let such aspirations  go.  Which is kind of funny, since Canada has more wealth running through than at any time in our history. These aren’t merely aspirational desires but fundamental necessities for any modern society to flourish and to be told we can no longer afford them is both a lie and an insult. These are investments – down payments on our present capacity and our future…

Wounded Warrior

Posted on June 24, 2018

I caught his stare as I was brought into the House of Commons for the first time and just couldn’t read it.  It was late-2006, shortly after I had won a by-election as a Liberal in London, Ontario.  Paul Dewar had entered the House as a newcomer for the NDP only a few months before.  I had known of him prior to my political tenure, but seeing his face that day left me with no doubt that he was a fighter of some kind. A couple of hours later we passed one another in the Opposition Lobby and he introduced himself.  Taller than me, he looked vigorous, contained, and somewhat intense.  We sat on the same side of the House and frequently voted the…

War Under the Peace Tower

Posted on June 24, 2018

In the parliamentary calendar, it is inevitable that the subject of Question Period’s dysfunction will emerge, often with a twinge of anger. It’s happening again in these last few days, led by the Toronto Star researching into the veracity and truthfulness of that one time in the House where the government must account for its actions, or lack of them. To that must be added the insights of Star reporter Tonda MacCharles, who notes that Question Period’s 45-minute duration is really just a regurgitation of talking points, ad nauseum. Bruce Campion-Smith and Sabrina Nanji of the same newspaper put a fitting point on it by asking just how is it that an important political event designed to hold the government accountable has become an…

London’s Ivory Tower Breaks Its Bubble

Posted on June 21, 2018

Secure in the lush surroundings of north-central London, Western University, despite its size and strategic importance to the city, can appear an island unto itself — bustling and creative, to be sure, but nevertheless isolated. Londoners have come to take it for granted without realizing how much the university has transformed in just the past decade. In essence, the world has come to Western and its host city in numbers likely unknown in the broader community. Ten years ago (2007-2008), the university had 24,071 students, with only 1,303 from other countries. Today, the international component numbers more than 4,500 full-time students coming from 121 countries. This quiet revolution has brought a global dynamic and diversity to Western’s classrooms in ways that introduce Canadian students to a…

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