The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “engagement

The People of Hope

Posted on April 1, 2018

We live in a troubled world.  Despite many positive advances, the future security of our planet is no longer a sure thing.  We know all the terms: terrorism, climate change, hatred, racism, democratic decline, war.  There is reason to worry. But it is Easter Sunday morning – an historical occasion meant to remind us that hope is essential if we are to survive.  We’re not talking about the kind of hope here that is naïve or fabricated, but rather that state of mind in which we don’t so much look for success but for a willingness to engage in making life better regardless of the outcome. Life is hard, and the longer we live the more likely we have the scars that provide evidence…

2018’s Greatest Danger to Democracy

Posted on January 4, 2018

Ugh. We get into the same bind every year. New Years is a time of resolutions and some of them inevitably deal with our hopes for a better society, cleaner environment, a functional equality between the genders, and our desire for meaningful work, to name just a few. And then we look back a few months later and realize we didn’t make it. Somehow the rigors of life got between us and our aspirations. If we’re not careful, 2018 could end up looking a lot like last year. For democracy to truly work, it will take more than just wishing it to be so – we must become essential parts to its overall performance. But that’s just the problem: society seems to go on…

Stephane Dion’s Opportunity for Renewal

Posted on April 12, 2016

This post is also available on National Newswatch here. IT PROVED TO BE A SEMINAL MOMENT FOR CANADA-AFRICAN RELATIONS – not just for me during my tenure as a Member of Parliament, but for Canadian politics and the work of the civil service. It was May 2009. The setting was Centre Block, where the Foreign Affairs Committee was facing 19 African ambassadors who had come together in support of 8 African nations – Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Rwanda, Zambia – who had recently learned through the media that their foreign development assistance was about to be severely cut by the Harper government. It’s all recent history now, but the effects of what appeared to be a betrayal of commitment lingers to…

Solid Foundations

Posted on December 3, 2013

There come those quick moments in time when, if captured well, can highlight one of those instances where someone could look back and say, “That was when we started to turn the fate of our community around.”  We had one of those moments yesterday in my hometown of London.  There have been a number of such occasions of late, but the announcement of some dynamic new initiatives by the London Community Foundation (LCF) successfully captured the will of our community to shape the future rather than play victim to it. Ours is a city struggling for a narrative and yesterday another chapter was written that stated our own community had the resources to build a new future.  What are required are some organizations willing…

Striving for the One Voice

Posted on May 10, 2012

The next phase has begun. When the Citizens’ Panel presented its initial report to City Hall on income disparity, it was accepted unanimously. Then a bit of a surprise. Would we continue our work, operating as an independent citizens group and taking the pulse of Londoners? It took us time to consult and determine that, since we were asked to keep up the work, we should honour that request. But what would the theme be for our next round of consultations? The answer quickly became apparent once dissension began to arise between City Council and engaged citizens who had been involved in working with civic politicians for over a decade, developing a workable rapport. Decisions were being reversed that had been developed over years…

  

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