The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “community engagement

Community Engagement Podcast (7) – Against Our Wishes

Posted on July 10, 2013

We might very well be walking the road to greater independence of our respective communities if the more senior levels of government don’t stop treating them like distant cousins.  None of us wants this.  We would prefer a place at the table, maybe even some constitutional reform that would recognize that some 80% of Canadians now live in cities and it’s time that reality took on deeper resonance in our form of federalism. Just click on the audio link below to hear the five-minute podcast.

An Open Letter To London’s New City Manager

Posted on August 18, 2012

My London Free Press article of today – An open letter to City Manager Art Zuidema on his first week on the job. First of all, Mr. Zuidema, a sincere welcome to London. I’m just one of thousands of local and regional citizens who are proud of our community but understand that you’ve come at a pivotal time. With your arrival as the new city manager, though, things are a bit different from when your predecessors took up their jobs. We were more observers then, somewhat worried over the decline of the manufacturing base in the city and turmoil at city hall. Former manager, Jeff Fielding, showed a deft hand at bringing order out of some of the chaos and earned a lot of…

Political Dialogue – Not

Posted on June 12, 2012

(Artwork by Tommy Ingberg: I received an email from a University of Toronto researcher thanking me for yesterday’s blog on “Negative Discovery.” He reminded me that it could well be true that most important discoveries were happened upon when the searchers were looking for something else and developed some new findings by accident. If so, with all the technology swamping the ability of the senses to make progress of it all, perhaps it might be better to stop looking for answers and start asking questions. Maybe part of survivability in the modern era is learning that in our complex societies it’s not so much the finality of the answers that matters, but the fertility of the questions. Most of the facts pounding us each…

The Language of Movement

Posted on May 7, 2012

Peter Mansbridge came to town and for a few hours it was all people were talking about. Accustomed to presenting the news, he found himself in the rather uncomfortable position of making it. He was brought in by the City of London staff to launch the grand kick-off to ReThink London – a year-long visioning exercise that will consult widely on how local citizens want to see their city in the future. Mansbridge was direct without being too pointed, challenging but not confrontational. Central to his message was the requirement of London’s citizens to wake up and realize an opportunity like this doesn’t come along very often. He noted its low voter turnout and the distinct sense that the city itself is underperforming despite…

Worth It

Posted on June 22, 2011

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities met in Halifax a short while ago and some of the federal political party leaders addressed the gathering. Bob Rae was at his candid and disarming best. He began by observing: “For some time I have wanted to be the Liberal leader in the worst way. Be careful what you wish for.” His wry smile induced all kinds of laughter. Rae phoned me a few days ago to talk about the parliamentary debate on the Libyan intervention. He was on his game – to the point, eloquent, searching for solutions, and heartily friendly. I put down the phone and realized that he knows his role.  We worked well together in the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament for over two…

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