The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “CIDA

Lighting the Kindling

Posted on February 17, 2011

With all the hyper attention being paid to the unfolding drama of the CIDA minister this week, it’s important to remember that far greater issues are at stake. A couple of days ago I posted about the threat to the Canadian International Development Agency that comes with a scandal of this magnitude. As one CIDA program officer said to me in an email yesterday: “It seems like all of us at CIDA have been on life support for the past number of years, but now our concern is for the organization itself.” Rightfully so, for if CIDA gets tainted with the same brush as the scandal, it will be hard to maintain Agency confidence either in Parliament or in the broader public. In reality,…

Those Things That Outlast Us

Posted on February 14, 2011

Lyndon Johnson was a master politician, especially in comprehending the Congress and its inner workings. He was quoted later in life as saying, “It is the genius of our Constitution that under its shelter of enduring institutions and rooted principles there is ample room for the rich fertility of American political invention.” Well, there are lots of political machinations going on now in Ottawa, especially concerning the Canadian International Development Agency. A non-governmental organization called KAIROS had its funding cut by CIDA last year and no one could make heads or tails as to why such a lengthy relationship between the government agency and a highly respected NGO should be severed. Repeated questioning most often got the same response from the government – KAIROS…

Winds of Change – The Referendum and Women

Posted on January 21, 2011

The women of both north and south Sudan are remarkably tenacious and adaptive. This past decade witnessed leaders of women’s groups from both regions holding joint peace conferences in an effort to put an end to two decades of war and to give their children a chance at a better life. It is this last point that has so come to identify the plight of so many of the Sudanese internally displaced people and the returnees flooding back to south Sudan. They left the south over the years because the war left them little choice. They journeyed to Darfur (part of the north) and deep into northern Sudan itself in pursuit of amenities for their families – education, medical supplies, food, even the opportunity…

Winds of Change – From Darfur to Independence

Posted on January 20, 2011

I had only just been elected for a month when in January 2007 we journeyed with a large team of businesswomen to oversee our programs in south Sudan. All was normal until the third day, when someone approached us saying that thousands of internally displaced families from Darfur had been found hiding in the swamps and forests of a region north and west of where we were. My wife Jane and I made the decision to investigate and the rest of the team voiced their desire to accompany us. We didn’t know it at the time, but it was about to change the very nature of our work in that region. What we found was a devastated form of humanity. We found families who…

For Women, A Chance At Last

Posted on December 7, 2010

The narrative on women’s issues in the modern age has dominated its fair share of political attention in this past year. With the government’s attention on maternal health for the G8 meetings, concern over human trafficking, the primacy of women’s concerns over the loss of the gun registry, and the presence of female advocates pleading with the government to maintain the long-form census, since it tells a detailed story of the various plights women face in Canada. And then just today we held a minute of silence in the House for the young women who were slain in the Polytechnique massacre over two decades ago. The challenges are enormous; the will to tackle them seriously has, at times, waned. Last week was AIDS Awareness…

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