The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “public policy

That’s Two Red Planets, Not One

Posted on November 27, 2018

We watched in fascination yesterday as NASA’s inSight Lander successfully touched down on the surface of Mars – the Red Planet.  Following years of research and efforts, six months of space travel, and one billion dollars of funding.  It was an accomplishment of seismic proportions. In a few days, the Lander will begin digging 16 feet below the surface to test the temperature of the soil.  Some believe it’s hotter than many think. It now appears that millions are beginning to wonder the same thing about earth. It’s taken time to approach it seriously – likely too long – but the arrival of the Trump administration’s climate change report is just the latest in a series of urgent warnings that our environment is about to…

Bringing It Home

Posted on April 20, 2018

Last week I attended an annual outdoor lunch that raises awareness over the state of homelessness in our city.  It’s a powerful mix of housing advocates, policy makers, media and most important of all, homeless individuals seeking a better world. On the same day The Guardian published what turned out to be a timely piece titled, “Finland has found the answer to homelessness.  It couldn’t be simpler.”  It was the kind of headline meant to quickly draw the reader into its rationale that defeating homelessness isn’t perhaps as complex as we thought. But first the bad news.  The article reminded its British readers that, whether they liked it or not, they were tolerating a homelessness situation that was becoming a national embarrassment: The number…

17 Minutes That Could Change Democracy

Posted on March 20, 2018

True, the raw emotion of it has worn off somewhat, but not its memory – never the memory.  The sight of fearful students rushing out of Parkland Douglas school in Florida was, in truth, all too familiar an image on our screens – we’d seen it all before.  Problem was that all that collective angst, the outpouring of emotion and support, sympathetic news coverage that occurred in other states in other times had come to the same end – nothing.  It’s likely millions watching it all unfold thought the Parkland shooting would be little different.  It seemed like nothing could shake lukewarm or belligerent politicians, a cold and immovable organized gun lobby, or a media that diligently covered the story until they didn’t and…

A Policy for All

Posted on October 26, 2016

THIS IS THE LAST IN A SERIES OF THREE POSTS on how we as citizens should address the poverty problem in Canada and in our communities. In the first, we referred to the need of all the charitable efforts in our cities to work more collaboratively in an effort to get our fellow citizens to become more aware of the gripping effects of poverty. In the second post we talked about how charity alone can never fully deal with the problem and that, at some point, governments at all levels must take the problem more seriously. Now is the time for citizens and governments alike to realize that times have changed and the desire to more effectively deal with the ramifications of poverty has…

Public Good Without the Facts

Posted on June 23, 2015

WHEN ALLAN GREGG DELIVERED THE Knowles-Woodsworth lecture at the University of Winnipeg 18 months ago, his speech created much introspection on where Canada is going. Yet the well-known pollster, television interviewer, and political pundit, began with who were are as a people before launching into his concerns of who we might become. He spoke of how we were a nation of facts, data, progressive thought, and directed by research for public policy decisions. Such dependence on evidence-based data and relevant statistics had served us well for decades, helping Canada to stand somewhat apart from other countries through its unique balancing of social justice and economic health. But no sooner had he said that than he got to nitty-gritty: “It seems as though our government’s…

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