The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “The New Internationalism” Category

The World’s Food Supply is at Risk

Posted on October 16, 2017

It happens on the same day every year and on each occasion the world falls farther behind. Today, October 16th, is World Food Day, whose purpose is to mobilize global awareness and citizen action for those suffering from hunger around the world. We occasionally hear that the battle against hunger is getting better in developing nations, but that is only partially true. And in developed countries like Canada? Well, that’s another story. Food Secure Canada estimates that almost 2.5 million Canadians live without secure access to food. Of the 850,000 Canadians that visit food banks each month, one-third are kids. Between 20-25% of American lives are mired in the same situation. Countries with lower rates of child hunger than the United States include Vietnam…

The Lost Art of Disagreement

Posted on October 9, 2017

What makes for a thankful city, a grateful community? Thanksgiving weekend is a good time to ask that question. Our divisions can overtake what are some of the great qualities of this city. Divisive opinions abound, while common purpose becomes rare. It’s tough to adopt a collective thankful culture while all this is going on.  We’re not alone though; the entire world seems in an increasingly grumpy state. A recent lecture by U.S. journalist and political commentator Bret Stephens in Sydney, Australia, created quite a buzz online and sheds some light on why a sense of collective gratitude seems harder to come by. A Pulitzer Prize winner, Stephens bemoaned what he termed “the dying art of disagreement.” While finding agreement is necessary for communities…

Humility or Hubris? It’s a Choice

Posted on September 26, 2017

Talking with some folks in the audience during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s speech to the UN General Assembly last week evoked some interesting observations. Ironically, the most common response was the least charged: “It was different.” Indeed it was. Trudeau’s clearly pointing out some of this country’s failures was surely unlike anything Canadians had heard in years, if ever. It has left many wondering as to the purpose of the PM’s approach. We’ll never fully know, but some advantages come to mind. Some maintain that’s it likely to help Canada’s next bid for a seat at the UN Security Council, scheduled for 2021. Given our failed bid for that same seat in 2010 following something of a bungled campaign, there are some lingering perceptions…

A Unique Commitment With a Powerful Champion

Posted on September 15, 2017

Yesterday’s story by Toronto Star’s Tonda McCharles on the possibility of Canada’s peacekeeping future being tied with the demilitarization of child soldiers could represent a clear departure for this country’s foreign agenda. Two key influencers have come together to move Canada in that direction. The first is the UN Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial forum to be held in Vancouver in November, and the second is the redoubtable General Roméo Dallaire.   The global forum, designed to gain pledges from the participating nations towards peacekeeping, will be interested in Canadian input since this country’s participation on that file has been under review for an extended time. Still, the idea of having a rapid deployment military unit that can move quickly and be trained on preventing the recruitment…

Behind Lincoln’s Back

Posted on September 8, 2017

It has become known as one of the greatest protest movements of the modern era, and one of its most poignant and powerful moments was the great March on Washington by those fighting for civil rights. Led by Martin Luther King Jr., some 250,000 people (70% of whom were black) gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to hear King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. It became an iconic moment for how to mobilize and empower a nonviolent rally. It could have turned out another way, however. John Lewis, now an American black congressman but on that day in 1963 was only 23 years old, tells of a key moment that ultimately turned the rally into a success. Lewis was an angry and young black activist…

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