The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “G8

Coalition Language

Posted on May 24, 2010

No, this isn’t what you think it is.  Talk of a coalition between Liberals and NDP has been brewing in Ottawa for the last couple of weeks.  I read and watched it in the media, but no one has even mentioned it to me personally. No, I want to talk about the coalition “over there” – the one in Britain that has become more successful than people at first believed.  The new coalition government has been releasing a number of key statements of its plans for moving ahead, including a rather interesting one on international development. It might surprise some to learn that all 3 parties held to strong promises on this file, including full agreement to reach the old Lester Pearson goal of…

500 Year-old Problems

Posted on May 18, 2010

Finally, a realistic approach.  In an op-ed in today’s National Post, development observers Brett House and Desiree McGraw effectively said “enough already.” Reminding all of us of the propensity for successive G8 gatherings to make broad and expansive promises that they likely will never attain, they stake out a clear challenge to simply fulfill the promises already made in past years rather than raising the bar even higher with no hope of completion. Neither of the authors of the piece are lightweights. McGraw is a professor of international development at McGill University and former senior policy analyst in the CIDA minister’s office, while House is the Senior Macroeconomist at the Earth Institute, Columbia University and former Principal Advisor to the present United Nations Secretary…

The G8 and Canada – Into the Sunset

Posted on May 17, 2010

Internationalists are observing that the upcoming G8 hosted in Canada next month might very well be the last.  Like the aged Security Council in the United Nations, members of the G8 are more the victors of past efforts than prescient visionaries of the internationalism encroaching on the world.  Any great economic club that doesn’t include Brazil, China or India has already passed the point of redundancy. Canada used to be one of the premiere players in the club, in part because of its sound economic practices but also due to its commitment to international development and the legacy of Lester Pearson.  Not any more.  Our fiscal legacy is still strong, but in foreign aid, like the G8 itself, we have failed to keep up…

Getting Past The Promises

Posted on April 28, 2010

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – Canada’s hosting of this year’s G8 and G20 summits has placed a significant amount of pressure on the Harper government to show clear leadership at a time when international development in poorer countries is more required than ever.  When the Prime Minister announced that child and maternal health would form the subject of that leadership, many were heartened that a subject long-neglected would finally get due attention. The meetings here in Halifax this week provided International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda with an opportunity to move other G8 partners towards a clear consensus on how to move ahead on the file in time for the official meetings in a few weeks in Ontario. For Oda though, there is one elephant in…

The Gender 8

Posted on April 27, 2010

Just a brief observation from the G8 sessions today on food security and child and maternal health. CIDA minister Bev Oda and her colleagues were kind enough to include me in many of the events today – something that provided me a ringside seat. It was only as the morning session was underway that I noticed the makeup of the large conference table seating all the development ministers from the G8 countries. Every single one was male. Except for Canada, that is. It was striking to witness Bev Oda and CIDA president Margaret Biggs seated at the head of the table and ably leading the discussions dominated by men. All this reminded me once again what a special place CIDA has held in the…

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