The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “House of Commons

Wounded Warrior

Posted on June 24, 2018

I caught his stare as I was brought into the House of Commons for the first time and just couldn’t read it.  It was late-2006, shortly after I had won a by-election as a Liberal in London, Ontario.  Paul Dewar had entered the House as a newcomer for the NDP only a few months before.  I had known of him prior to my political tenure, but seeing his face that day left me with no doubt that he was a fighter of some kind. A couple of hours later we passed one another in the Opposition Lobby and he introduced himself.  Taller than me, he looked vigorous, contained, and somewhat intense.  We sat on the same side of the House and frequently voted the…

War Under the Peace Tower

Posted on June 24, 2018

In the parliamentary calendar, it is inevitable that the subject of Question Period’s dysfunction will emerge, often with a twinge of anger. It’s happening again in these last few days, led by the Toronto Star researching into the veracity and truthfulness of that one time in the House where the government must account for its actions, or lack of them. To that must be added the insights of Star reporter Tonda MacCharles, who notes that Question Period’s 45-minute duration is really just a regurgitation of talking points, ad nauseum. Bruce Campion-Smith and Sabrina Nanji of the same newspaper put a fitting point on it by asking just how is it that an important political event designed to hold the government accountable has become an…

Identity – United We Fall

Posted on April 3, 2013

At some point you have to stick up for yourself.  That is especially true in politics, where countless people come after you with their own agendas.  If you don’t, you might lose their vote.  And if you accede to what they wish, even though you disagree, you might lose yourself. – a tough bargain. Conservative MP Mark Warawa has recently discovered a thing or two about this.  I know Mark, and even took French lessons with him one summer in Quebec.  He’s a nice enough guy, though we disagreed on many fundamental issues.  He holds strong opinions that are often fortified by support from a large number of his constituents.  When he announced in Parliament recently that he wanted to provide a MP privilege…

It’s Our House

Posted on April 29, 2011

It was years ago and it was a vicious fire in a rural region. A number of us with firefighting experience volunteered to attempt to stop a forest blaze that was in the process of devastating the wildlife and habitat of the region. It had already consumed a number of houses and cottages and threatened a local woodworking operation. Seven of us had banded together in an attempt to head off the blaze before it charted a new path into another set of woodlots. We were filthy and exhausted, having struggled for the entire night and now half the morning. It was almost noon when a helicopter arrived with some food and water for the team. It was then that we noticed one of…

The Lobby and the House

Posted on November 8, 2010

Here’s something of a private tour of the opposition lobby in Parliament and a tour of the chamber of the House of Commons itself.  You’ll see Conservative Michael Chong in it briefly, whose bill I’m seconding to improve the decorum in Question Period. And you’ll get a close-up of the Speaker’s chair. [youtube=]