The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “neighbourhoods

Poverty in Canada Has a Woman’s Face

Posted on April 17, 2014

FOUR YEARS AGO I ATTENDED AN INTERNATIONAL poverty forum with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.  We had been cooperating on an initiative for helping African girls to stay in school and he was a forceful proponent for equal opportunities in that continent for men and women. At one point he was asked what would be the one thing that he could do, if he had it in his power, to get rid of African poverty.  It was a big question, but his answer was bigger: “Invest in the women of every African country.”  The silence following that response was deafening because everyone in that room was seasoned in international development and Blair’s solution was almost breathtaking in its simplicity and scope. It’s easy…

Cheers For Fears

Posted on April 15, 2014

PARDON THE CHANGE OF WORDING REGARDING the famous new wave band Tears for Fears, but somehow it seemed suitable over these past few days. Last week was like few others for those of us associated with the London Food Bank.  Following 28 years of service to our community, we decided the time was right to consider a new way of doing things, of helping those we traditionally assist to find a more dignified way of getting food than lining up at a food bank. We had known this key moment would be coming for the past couple of years, but now that it had arrived we wondered how our community would react.  Some of it we already knew, through detailed discussions over the last…

Identity – Romancing the Community

Posted on February 14, 2013

It’s Valentine’s Day. Many things to many people, it nevertheless finds a certain commonality in that romance can be as universal as it is secluded and intimate. I’m taking Jane to our favourite restaurant for lunch and then we’re going for a walk through the neighbourhood we love – just the two of us. I feel a certain thrill about it, even hours before our special date. I hope it isn’t too much of a stretch to believe that people can possess such feelings about their community, their neighbours, their place in the land.  Some are just wired this way. They can’t build a life around themselves for the simple reason that they desire a world greater than themselves.  Put simply: they love the…

Identity – If You Eat, You’re In

Posted on February 11, 2013

Common vernacular says we are “what” we eat. There’s truth in that, but it’s actually how we organize ourselves in the pursuit of food, which all of us require, that can surely set us apart as a community with a unique identity. This isn’t about supporting your local food bank. Instead, it’s about how we’ve permitted our collective identity to be decided for us by a modern food system that is inefficient, dangerous to our health, expensive, and ultimately alienating. How we change that paradigm as a community will largely determine who we are as a people. For if we are citizens blithely transporting ourselves to food stores on the periphery of our city, buying the same products, looking at the endless array of…

  

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