The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “foreign aid

Humanity – “Is George Clooney There?”

Posted on August 7, 2012

“Is George Clooney right there, with you? Can you see if we can get an interview with him?” This wasn’t the request I had been hoping for. Yes, George Clooney was in south Sudan, as was former president Jimmy Carter, but the real reason we were all there as international observers was to oversee the southern Sudanese referendum in an effort to attest to its credibility. It was big international news and had profound implications for all of Africa. So I was a little taken aback when a Canadian national network reached me near the border of Darfur, virtually ignoring the significance of events swirling all around us and wanting to talk to the famed Hollywood actor. In truth, Clooney was confined to his room…

Fox In The Henhouse

Posted on July 6, 2012

My Huffington Post piece on Julian Fantino’s appointment as the new minister for the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) created something of a stir, mostly for a couple of reasons. Usually I don’t write such strongly worded blog posts as I did on this occasion. While I was an MP, I had the official role in the shadow cabinet of Critic for International Cooperation for the official opposition. That basically meant that I was to help oversee and respond to developments that resulted from the government’s actions on CIDA. It was an important file at the time because Canada was to host the G8 summit in Toronto and Muskoka and the Harper government wanted to make CIDA’s efforts regarding child and maternal health for…

Troubles Ahead For CIDA

Posted on July 5, 2012

The following is my Huffington Post piece for today on the appointment of a new minister for the Canadian International Development Agency. It’s the wrong choice at the precisely the wrong time and spell difficulties ahead for all the dedicated folks at CIDA. Note: My apologies for the title on the Huffington Post piece. It was no my choice. Official international development assistance for the world’s poorest countries has become a precarious business in recent years. If the first five years of the last decade were seen as a time of foreign aid and development renaissance – debt relief, Millennial Development Goals, movement towards more aid accountability – the last five years became the decline of most of these important activities. Then with the…

The Long Road Home

Posted on May 29, 2012

Of all our numerous undertakings, our work in Sudan over the last 15 years has stretched us the most. Something about attempting to function in what was then Africa’s largest country and in the continent’s longest running civil war helps you mature pretty quickly. When we first journeyed to the region in order to fight slavery we were totally in over our heads – and we knew it. Moreover, we had CBC television and the London Free Press along with us for the duration and feeling a sense of responsibility for their protection when you’re trying to learn the situation yourself was a sobering exercise. And yet it was life-altering. We had walked into history and we sensed it every minute. It had taken…

A Growing Crisis

Posted on October 31, 2011

Sometime this week we will supposedly reach an unprecedented milestone. According to the United Nations, the world’s population is about to reach seven billion people. We’ll never know for certain because it’s hardly an exact science, but it’s been clear for the last few years that the seven billion mark was imminent. And because we’ve been inching toward it for some time, many will ignore its larger implications. Since the beginning, approximately 100 billion people have lived and died on this planet. From that earliest moment until 1800 only one billion had accumulated. By 1920 the two billion mark had been reached. Things were changing fast. Scientific advances, better diet, and a lower rate of child mortality were having their effect. The UN reports that…

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