The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “development

Election 2015: What in the World?

Posted on September 29, 2015

IT WAS SUPPOSED TO REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL, and was even marked “secret” on its cover page, but the contents were obtained by the Globe and Mail. It wasn’t pretty. Neither was it inconsequential. In a presentation prepared by senior Foreign Affairs officials for a high level meeting two weeks ago, the analysis could be wrapped up in one sentence: “Despite Canada’s reputation as an active player on the world stage, by many measures, its relative influence has declined or is under threat.” It wasn’t a conclusion the government would have liked to hear, and so it sought to keep it quiet. And yet we know it; Canadians have felt the slippage over recent years, but because these issues are at a global level they have felt there…

A Tale of Three Rivers

Posted on February 10, 2015

IT WAS ONLY THREE DECADES AGO that Pittsburgh was deemed to be dying – an urban nightmare with polluted rivers, crumbling inner core, steadily declining employment, and a population fleeing for greener pastures. Yet the city my wife and I visited this past weekend showed rare traces of such a blighted past. Instead, we were caught up in a city life teeming with creativity, investment, and a keen new belief in itself. In just few years it has transformed from a warning to a model. We had first been invited down by officials this past summer for the 15th anniversary of their RiverLife project. Rarely had we witnessed a waterfront so teeming with possibilities. Even though this past weekend’s visit was in the midst of…

Picking Up Where We Left Off

Posted on January 1, 2015

“DOING NOTHING ACCOMPLISHES NOTHING, gains nothing, changes nothing, and wins nothing. You have to make a move,” says author Richelle Goodrich, and it’s true. But opting to make moves out of the ordinary carries it owns risk of failure. And then comes New Years and the renewing of the old tradition of making resolutions to make the coming year something more than the last. Maybe surprisingly, the most common resolutions haven’t changed much in decades. Here were the top resolutions of 1947, according to a wide-ranging Gallup Poll: Improve my disposition, be more understanding, control my temper Improve my character, live a better life Stop smoking, smoke less Save more money Stop drinking, drink less Be more religious, go to church oftener Be more efficient,…

The People’s Army

Posted on March 5, 2014

EVERY MORNING ENTIRE FAMILIES WOULD WAKE UP,  emerge from their houses and face the devastation from the night before.  They were called “The People’s Army” – a suitable phrase, given all that they had to endure.  Every night forces from a distant part of Europe filled the sky with airplanes and bombs, leaving nothing but devastation in their wake.  Adolf Hitler, their leader, felt it was only a matter of time until he broke the will of the so-called People’s Army. We now know how badly he underestimated the will of a people once they had set about the business of protecting their communities.  The people of England, Wales and Scotland arose every day to “reset” their cities and villages, restoring their way of…

A Woman’s Place Is In The …

Posted on January 15, 2014

  IN A COUPLE OF DAYS, JANE HEADS TO SOUTH SUDAN with two other formidable women to oversee our projects in that troubled region of Africa.  It happens every year, regardless of circumstances either here at home or over there.  Commitment like Jane’s knows no irregularities. I was asked for coffee by someone last week who wanted me to know that I wasn’t fulfilling my role as a husband because I was letting my wife head into a conflict region.  “She needs you there to take care of her, Glen, in case something happens,” he observed. For the next 30 minutes I took him through Jane’s remarkable exploits around the world, in places like Rwanda, Bosnia and Somalia.  I told him of when she travelled…

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