The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “community

Community Amnesia – Part 1

Posted on December 8, 2017

Today I lunch with a good friend and committed journalist trying to come to terms with the loss of his job because of the recent Postmedia-TorStar deal that closed a good number of local newspapers across Canada, including London. He is one of those people who is his writing; it’s how he chronicles his aspirations and struggles, his belief in community and his own place within it. There are many like him now wondering how to navigate their future. The communities are still here, but many of their dedicated storytellers are gone. Such thoughts abounded when I came across CBC London’s Kate Dubinsky’s piece on what happens to the archives of such publications when they close down. You can read it here. She rightfully…

A Village State of Mind

Posted on December 3, 2017

There’s no denying it – Christmas and a village just go together. There’s the original Santa’s Village, where the famous bearded man and his wife lived and toiled with the elves. There are replicate Santa’s Villages in over 40 countries, including our own province. Even Bethlehem, in the time of Jesus, is referred to by some commentators as a village. And the Whos from Whoville in Dr. Seuss’s famous How the Grinch Stole Christmas, lived in village that was ingeniously located on a snowflake. Every year around this time families begin digging out the boxes with the little figurines, which, when compiled together, become ornate or rustic villages placed on tabletops or on a piano. So, yes, “Christmas and the village” go comfortably together…

How Our Libraries Opened My Eyes

Posted on December 3, 2017

It’s called epiretinal membrane disease and the implications seemed more than serious. A condition where a scar tissue-like membrane coats the retina at the back of the eye, the disease left me with only two options: major surgery on both eyes or continual decline of sight. I opted for the former, and the good professionals at the Ivey Eye Institute, following two major procedures, successfully removed both membranes, effectively stopping the disease. Nevertheless, my eyesight isn’t what it was and new challenges have emerged. The most serious has been the effect on my ability to read effectively. It hasn’t been easy. But as it has during so many other important occasions in my life, the London Public Library has guided me through difficult days.…

It’s Called Civil Society For a Reason

Posted on July 3, 2017

This post can be viewed in its original National Newswatch format here. Numerous insights have been written in recent years regarding the eroding effect of partisanship on the political estate, most recently in America. That’s too bad because it’s a red herring and frequently masks what is the real underlying cause of political dysfunction. The fact that individuals hold opinions often at odds with others and support parties of various convictions has been essential to both the spirited and fluid nature of democracy itself. Others feel differently. Writing recently in Fusion, American commentator Hamilton Nolan went so far as to say that those who profess to be non-partisan are surely part of our present problem. The title of his article speaks for itself: “Bipartisanship…

Want to Defeat Poverty? Take Time.

Posted on October 19, 2016

ASKED BACK IN 2012 WHY POVERTY WAS SO ENTRENCHED in affluent societies around the world, President Barack Obama provided an answer that, while infuriating some social activists, actually gave hope to others. He simply said that it was time to apply “two-generation solutions.” He meant developing initiatives that affected both parents and their children as opposed to isolated programs that helped one but not the other. And such policies would take time to develop to be effective, he believed. We don’t really want to hear this because those enduring grinding poverty require quick alleviation of their distressing circumstances. We want to believe that through good-hearted actions that we create paths to escape from poverty’s hold. I wrote a blog post last week concerning how…

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