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Glen Pearson

Director, London Food Bank, former Member of Parliament

Glen Pearson is director of the London Food Bank and assists with development projects in Sudan. A father of seven, he is a former member of Parliament and was the critic for international cooperation for the Liberal Party. Pearson lives in
London, Ontario.

When We Forget History, We Forget Our Values

History doesn't exclusively disappear through a sword, a bomb, or a mallet. It can as easily be brought about through a lack of attention to detail as it can through explosives. The affluent countries of the West are showing disturbing signs of neglect for values that once were sacred to how they worked.
03/11/2015 05:04 EDT
kayla mueller

Kayla Mueller Is Free

"We cannot be sure of having something to live for unless we are willing to die for it," said Ernesto Guevara. If indeed true, then Kayla Mueller would have spent her final hours in deep assurance and firmness of conviction.
02/11/2015 01:12 EST
Bloomberg via Getty Images

At Davos, Can Oxfam Put Income Inequality on the Elitist Agenda?

Oxfam will take on the most powerful and wealthy organizations and individuals in the world. And the voice on this occasion is Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam's international spokesperson, speaking to the global elite as they gather this week in their annual state of the global economy meetings in Davos, Switzerland. And does she ever have a story to tell, backed by research and motivated by a deep sense of social justice. Byanyima will hit those people present with a remarkable and troubling truth: as of next year, over half of the world's wealth will be owned by the top 1 per cent. This is staggering, perhaps even representing the end of the economic order we have known and which sustained the West for decades.
01/20/2015 05:31 EST
ASSOCIATED PRESS

This Season, South Sudan Will Celebrate the Opposite of Christmas

Massive military egos, political conniving, and Western dilly-dallying have resulted in a potent brew. And now has come famine on a vast scale, in what the United Nations has described as perhaps the worst humanitarian disaster of this recent era. Two million people are now on the move, displaced by conflict and lack of resources.
12/22/2014 12:39 EST
weerapatkiatdumrong

Not Dealing With Climate Change Endangers More Than the Planet

As prosperous governments continue in their retreat from the kind of global commitment required to deal effectively with dire poverty, women's empowerment, health and educational infrastructure, they inevitably leave the world a more troubled place. That threat is compounded multiple times by the world's nations refusing to deal seriously with the challenge of climate change.
11/28/2014 12:45 EST
Richard Lautens via Getty Images

Food Banks Were Meant to be Temporary. So Why Are They Growing?

The real news in the recent Hunger Count 2014 report is not that 841,191 people came to food banks for help in one month -- a number 25 per cent higher than in 2008. Nor is it the realization that close to 40 per cent of food bank recipients are children. No, the overarching narrative is how the presence of food banks in most communities has come to represent the failure of imagination for a country and its citizens.
11/12/2014 12:19 EST
CP

Kevin Vickers Brought More Honour to Parliament Than Any Politician

When I became the newest Member of Parliament from London North Centre, Kevin Vickers congratulated me. At the end of that day I walked up to Vickers and thanked him for his attention to detail and for his warm welcome. "I'm pretty new here myself, but you get used to it," he responded in that comfortable manner of his. Well, there are some things you just can't get used to, and nobody can testify to that reality better than Mr. Vickers himself. Just a few hours ago, he went from being a ceremonial Sergeant-at-Arms to a modern-day hero taking the lead in eliminating a gunman who, in that moment, brought the entire Parliamentary operation to a standstill.
10/22/2014 06:38 EDT
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Canada's Pulling Back From a Global Commitment Is Ruining Its Reputation

Diplomatically, we are losing much of the "bench strength" we once possessed, as senior and able diplomats transition out of public service due to the lack of government engagement in the more vital files. The Canadian government denies all this repeatedly, as governments are prone to do, but those many areas where this country once was a steady player are increasingly being recognizing for our absence.
10/08/2014 12:37 EDT
CP

Platitudes From Politicians Will Not Fix World Problems

For decades we have heard how we are becoming a global family. There is little trace of that now, as division and selfish pursuit better characterize what is happening to our fragile globe. We require new leaders who can put the health of the globe above their own parochial and partisan concerns.
09/10/2014 12:31 EDT

A New Manifesto For a Dangerous World

It's been hanging over us in impending fashion for years. It creeps in around the edges of consciousness, leaving its effects even when it temporarily disappears. It's what our parents and grandparent...
07/31/2014 12:05 EDT

Children Should Not Be Pawns for Violence

Some of our ultimate values as a civilization have swirled around children. They have prompted our drive towards education, health, training and opportunity. What does it say about us, then, that we are willing to accept the increasing death of millions of children in conflicts in which they have had no responsibility?
07/09/2014 12:25 EDT
CP

How Dallaire Relived Rwanda in Canada

In ironic fashion, Romeo Dallaire was reliving the events of Rwanda, only on a less costly human scale. Sent to the Senate to bring intellectual rigor and disciplined experience, he was increasingly abandoned by a government that delighted more in waging domestic war in political ridings than in enhancing Canada's human rights and diplomatic record on the world's stage. He called for resources; they didn't arrive. He sought meetings with political elites; they didn't transpire. And when he ultimately called the government to account for its abandonment of Canada's diplomatic expertise in the world, he was ultimately abandoned and isolated
06/02/2014 05:27 EDT
TONY KARUMBA via Getty Images

When Hashtag Humanitarianism Just Isn't Enough

#BringBackOurGirls was a massively popular way of protesting in part because it was so simple. Most major celebrities, politicians and even conservative political pundits participated. It was all an impressive display that sadly overlooked the real solutions to dilemmas like the Nigerian kidnappings.
05/27/2014 05:37 EDT
Jamie Grill via Getty Images

This Is Why Democratic Spirit Is So Low

The average citizen is confronting a host of enduring problems that require resolution -- unemployment, escalating poverty, lack of support for small and medium-sized businesses, mental health complexities, lack of community infrastructure, the high cost of post-secondary education, to name a few.
05/07/2014 06:01 EDT
STR via Getty Images

In Syria, Millions Could Be Destroyed

Consider what is happening in Syria even as we read these words. Aid agencies have become so desperate for help that they repeatedly call upon the affluent West to step up and assist the 9.3 million people living at risk, and the 3.5 million Syrians living under siege. Surely these people matter to us, right?
04/24/2014 09:36 EDT
CP

Jim Flaherty Was a Man Whose Humanity Trumped His Politics

Jim Flaherty stared at me with tears streaming down his face. It was five years ago and I had been asked to speak at the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa to support a group that helped with African adoptions. Then when I looked up, Jim Flaherty was facing me with a tear-stained face. I was in shock. We often faced one another across the aisle and it was easy to see when he was mirthful or angry. But my favourite image of him will be of a dignified man, fully encompassed in emotion, who was yet capable of embracing another father -- a Liberal father, even -- and touching that human nerve in me that is the basis of all our compassion.
04/10/2014 03:20 EDT
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Harper, Stop Canada From Entering a Decade of 'Diplomatic Darkness'

There was a time when Canada realized that while military security was an important investment, it was the long-term planning involved in relief and development that would ultimately bring greater measures of peace to our world. Somewhere along the way we lost that. We also lost a seat on the UN Security Council, the world's respect through our lack of action on climate change, and our altruism the moment we decided to invest development resources only in those nations that enhanced our own local economy and brought political benefit to the government.
04/02/2014 05:55 EDT
AFP via Getty Images

Harper, Don't Abandon Those Who Fought For You in Afghanistan

Yes, the Canadian story in Afghanistan is mixed, with closure hard to come by for those soldiers not only involved in security details, but development projects like protecting schools, building damns, and conducting civilian peace efforts in villages. But what shouldn't be in doubt is our government's promise and dedication to those military personnel.
03/20/2014 12:45 EDT
Getty

Parliament is Beautiful From the Outside, and a Sham Inside

I recall moving up those grand steps of Parliament for the first time following my election and the sense of responsibility that suddenly seemed to descend onto my shoulders. But nothing had quite prepared me for the crudeness of human behaviour that I witnessed.
03/12/2014 12:50 EDT
John Berry via Getty Images

Harper's Politics Serve Politicians, Not Canadians

Poet, Anatole France, once observed that, "it is the certainty that they possess the truth that makes men cruel." He could just as easily be commenting on two recent actions of our present federal government that fly directly in the face of what is supposed to be good politics: giving the people what they want. How else to explain the undue harshness against this country's veterans, or the outright attack and manipulation in the Harper government's attempts to revamp Elections Canada to its own purposes? What makes both of these instances so remarkable is the sheer arrogance of a government acting against the best interests of its own people.
02/05/2014 12:48 EST