The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “social justice

2019 Wish – Faith Groups Cooperate to Face Our Greatest Challenges

Posted on December 30, 2018

The annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland gets widespread media coverage in all corners of the globe.  Most are aware that economic, political and celebrity speakers address the conference, yet few have heard that the Forum earnestly seeks faith leaders to participate and that they are seen as essential to the betterment of the world.  Many toss cold water on the concept of faith playing a prominent role in helping the world with its greatest challenges, but a significant portion of those from fields as diverse as health, climate change, democracy, politics and media are themselves of religious persuasion and they can look past the ills of religious institutions and see their strengths.  For this reason, faith leaders and grassroots religious movements have been provided…

Humanity is About the Workers, Not the Work

Posted on September 3, 2018

With Labour Day upon us, it might be a good time to ask a simple question: “What about the workers?” Seriously.  We’ve been talking about everything from what industry requires for the better part of two decades and workers are meant to just deal with any changes that have been implemented – most often without their input.  We demand citizen participation In our politics but tolerate an economy that sees less labour input, or even rights, each successive year. A good example of this the World Economic Forum’s recent report, published by its Council of Work, Gender and Education.  Its co-chair, Stephane Kasriel, posted last December what he believed to be the four predictions on the future of work, based largely upon the activities…

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…

A Different Path

Posted on March 18, 2018

Fifty years ago  this past week (March 16, 1968), Robert Kennedy announced he would be running for president in the same Senate Caucus Room his brother had made his announcement eight years earlier.  We all know how it ended, but few recognized the personal transformation he went through during that brief campaign. Ironically, RFK chose an opposite path to most of today’s politicians, opting to migrate from a place of attack and negativity to one of hope, social justice and a sense of ethical responsibility.  True, he had frequently been somewhat moralistic earlier in his career, but it always seemed to propel him into attack mode, especially against corruption and greed.  He became his JFK’s watchdog as his attorney general in his relentless pursuit…

Homes Without People

Posted on February 16, 2018

It’s a phenomenon few saw coming, but it’s beginning to turn our perspectives on modern cities on its head.  The point of the spear seems to have begun in New York City – Manhattan specifically.  The number of apartments in that region occupied by absentee owners and renters grew from 19,000 in 2000 to 34,000 by 2011 and has likely mushroomed since.  That’s a jump of 70% in just a decade.  One three-block stretch of the Upper East Side has a 57% vacancy rate for 10 months each year. It’s not just developers and owners excessively purchasing properties and holding on to them as they hold out for higher sales (we have lots of them in Canadian cities).  According to Richard Florida in his…