The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “federalism

Letting Our Cities Take Flight

Posted on March 13, 2018

“It is always easy to create an ordinary city; what is difficult is to create an extraordinary one, peaceful and restful one, smart and tidy, artful and cultivated one.  In short, a livable one,” wrote Mehmet Murat ildan. It makes sense, seems perfectly plausible, and for committed citizens and good politicians should be doable.  Yet many Canadian cities are having trouble achieving it.  Those that struggle inevitably compare themselves to other municipalities elsewhere that seem to have their act together and lament that we lack the resources, leadership or innovation to replicate such success.  There’s a lot of that going around these days in this country, especially among mid-sized cities. Since my time as a member of parliament in Ottawa a number of years…

Politics Without the Politics

Posted on May 17, 2016

Read this post on National Newswatch here. IN IRONIC FASHION, POLITICS IS SEEING a resurgence in Canada – not the kind that swirls around professional political parties but the kind which inevitably finds its way in discussions in coffee shops, among neighbours and employees, even between parents and their high school or university-aged kids. It’s not the rants between partisans that we have grown so used to and rejected, but open conversations about all those aspects of citizenship that we must live out together. There was a time not all that long ago when people pined for this true essence of democracy. It’s been some time coming. Politics had become what citizens saw on television, and in social media, or encountered with indifferent bureaucracies,…

When the Past Can’t Escape the Present

Posted on March 26, 2015

TODAY THE LONDON FOOD BANK LAUNCHES its 29th Spring Food Drive amid growing doubts concerning this country’s resolve to take poverty, and those mired within it, seriously. Dr. Jason Gilliland, professor from Western University will report at the press conference that poverty and hunger have now become entrenched, not only in our city, but in numerous communities across the country. This is a difficult spot to arrive at for Canadians, for it effectively moves poverty from being a serious issue to tackle to a permanent class of individuals and families. Effectively, we appear to be coming to an end of what American author E. J. Dionne Jr. calls “the Long Consensus” –  an era where governments from all jurisdictions legally came together to join…

Community Engagement Podcast (11) – “It’s Time”

Posted on July 16, 2013

By 2030, 60% of the world’s population will be living in cities.  In a nation with one of the most urbanized populations on the planet per capita, we are heading in the opposite direction to other country’s who can see what the future will look like.  Our communities lie at the intersection between space and creativity.  There is no way out of our dilemma until they receive the priority they deserve. Just click the audio button below to listen to the five-minute podcast.

Community Engagement Podcast (10) – At the Table

Posted on July 15, 2013

While various forms of community renaissance are going on around the world, Canadian cities remain stuck in neutral, in part because of their lowly place within the Canadian constitutional structure.  At the founding of our nation, the vast majority of citizens lived in rural landscapes and the power structures reflected that reality.  Today most of us live in larger communities and it’s time the political power structures began saving them a place at the table. Just click on the player below to listen to the five-minute podcast.

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