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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.
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Canada Abandons a Former Partner

The recent troubles in the south that sprung up only a month ago, and the instability that has resulted, has pressed that African region to the precipice. But just this week, the Harper government, through its Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), has recommended, "that Canada consider downgrading its development program (in Sudan), or exiting entirely."
01/10/2014 05:22 EST
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A True Christmas Miracle in London, Ontario

Bob Cratchit comes out as the true hero of Dicken's novel A Christmas Carol -- a worker, a family man, a believer in the goodness of people. London, Ontario just witnessed a similar example yesterday, as Kellogg's employees, despite the devastating news of the impending shutdown, raised $10,000 and purchased quality foodstuffs for the local food bank. If we are ever to find a reason for believing in Christmas, this is it.
12/17/2013 05:32 EST
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Romeo Dallaire Has Turned His Depression into Purpose

When I read that Romeo Dallaire had been in a car accident on Parliament Hill just outside of East Block, I wondered if it was due to fatigue. I have never known him to be other than fully occupied and frequently exhausted in the course of his heavy schedule. Romeo has a lot more than just memories to fight. As he explained this week, he fights depression and remains medicated for PTSD. But he has turned his pain into a purpose, and in so doing he can get up every day.
12/05/2013 08:02 EST
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Altruistic Canada Has Become Another Nation of Gold Diggers

At first blush, the recent decision of the Canadian government to shift its foreign affairs focus from diplomacy to servicing private industry came as something of a shock to many. We have become just another nation interested in building up its own wealth at the expense of being an effective influence in the larger struggles facing the globe -- poverty, climate change, localized conflicts, and a general breaking down of democracy's legitimacy.
11/28/2013 05:36 EST
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What Would Leaders of the Past Say About Politicians Today?

What would Abraham Lincoln or Vaclav Havel think of Rob Ford, or the growing list of other politicians fallen into an unethical swamp? Two leaders who fought against the tyranny of slavery or of communism would surely shake their heads at our sliding scale of accountability.
11/20/2013 05:31 EST
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Ottawa Only Cares About Squeezing Votes, Not Humanity

For all the Duffys, Harpers, Harbs, Wallins and Brazeaus, there are the quiet, reasoned and compassionate voices of the Segals, Dallaires and Cowans, and, yes, the Munsons, fighting for the humanity of Canadians instead of the loyalty of their base. They have tackled the political order in both houses and in every party to restore this country's image in the world.
10/29/2013 12:42 EDT
CP

The Senate Scandal's True Victims Aren't Well-Dressed Elites

The real scandal of politics at present is not about a number of high profile, well-attired, and well-trained political elite caught in scanda. The true victims in this very moment are all those Canadians seeking work, lining up at food banks, hoping for better Veteran's benefits, the hundreds of Aboriginal women gone missing and presumed deceased, those waiting for extensive times in emergency rooms, and those on the wrong side of the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor in this country. They look in vain to both Houses of Parliament for a proper addressing of their circumstances.
10/25/2013 05:39 EDT
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The Shady Presence of Politics' Back Room Boys

New democracy is more about citizen activism than backroom shenanigans and pressing for transparency than secret dealings. It ultimately opts for cooperation over contention, public policy over punishing partisanship, and a sense of the integration of power over its ideology. So, can someone send the Old Boys' Club a memo?
10/07/2013 12:58 EDT
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Democracy Failed Syria's Refugees, and All of Us

We can now admit the truth: the Syrian refugees are on their own. So let's stop pretending. The two million refugees have fled to neighbouring countries, and some four million remain internally displaced. The numbers are simply staggering -- the largest since the Rwandan crisis of the early 1990s. We shouldn't be surprised. Our belief in politics is at an all-time low, as is voter turnout in many countries. We seem frozen in time when it comes to troubling developments such as climate change or the rapid widening gap between the rich and the poor. Democracy seems incapable at the moment of meeting its most serious challenges.
09/15/2013 11:44 EDT
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Syrian Refugees Don't Care About Your Rhetoric

People worldwide can be forgiven for their sense of bewilderment at the constant back and forth between military and diplomatic solutions to the crisis in Syria. We've now been at this long enough for commentators to reverse their positions depending on the most recent developments. But there is one group -- a huge one -- for whom none of this really matters: refugees.
09/12/2013 05:05 EDT
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Why Canada's Not Doing More For Syria

It remains a difficult thing for Canadians to embrace when hearing little concerning the injustices of the governments of such regions as Syria. Certain voices indeed have been raised from within the Muslim/Arab communities, but the lack of overall response until it is too late remains a mystery. But is that enough to refuse any kind of intervention? Clearly not.
08/27/2013 12:13 EDT
CP

Bob Rae Was More Than A Politician

Bob Rae's sudden retirement announcement shouldn't have come as a complete surprise and yet it left everyone in a kind of shock that only gets reserved for those whose lives have counted for something. History will reveal that Bob Rae outgrew all the labels that people used to identify him. They will remember him as a recipient of the Order of Canada, as chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Senior Fellow at Massey College. Twice under consideration as the Governor General of Canada, we will yet hear of his further exploits. Politics is a phase; service to others is a life, and Bob Rae isn't nearly finished with the latter.
06/19/2013 05:44 EDT
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Don't Abolish Senators, Choose Better Ones

What is happening in both the House of Commons and the Senate at the moment represents a serious enough threat to our democracy that we require remedial efforts in real time, far in advance of whatever constitutional refinements to these institutions that might lie in the future. Our focus should be upon the selection process for Senators, at least in the interim.
06/03/2013 03:47 EDT
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Don't Let a Few Bad Apples Spoil the Senate

Surely Canadians can spot the difference between a Mike Duffy and a Romeo Dallaire, or between a Pamela Wallin and Muriel Ferguson! The quality of character and intelligence in Senator Hugh Segal simply dwarfs the rather sad record of Patrick Brazeau. The average citizen can sense the distinction a kilometre away. We often forget just how many great Senators have kept rampant politics at bay through reasoned and compelling arguments that often put the present House of Commons to shame. Let's leave the Duffys et al to their fate and consider the others who did our government proud.
05/31/2013 12:24 EDT
CP

Politics Is Killing the Senate

Canada's Senate has had a grounded history and its occasional failures were never enough to deflect its effectiveness in the long haul. The great tragedy of recent years is that people have been appointed to undertake the dirty work of parties when it would have been better to keep such shenanigans in the House where partisanship has a role. Politics is killing the Senate; professionalism, cooperation and merit can save it, and our reasoned legislative system in the process.
05/29/2013 07:46 EDT
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A Senateless Canada Might Not Be As Effective As We Think

At present, Canadians are of the belief that the political class has sunk so far beyond redemption that little of importance remains in the Senate. That's an illusion, and deserves some further thought and reflection. While there are non-trivial problems within the Canadian senate, it still serves a purpose.
05/27/2013 12:22 EDT
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Canada Should Be Smartening Up Instead of Dumbing Down

The Prime Minister's personal poll numbers are receding (dropping almost by half since 2010), as are those of his government. Sensing the decline, the Conservatives have taken to their historic method of going negative, as with their recent attack ads on Justin Trudeau. Yet it's not working as effectively because Canadians themselves have faced too many negative indicators in the last five years.
05/22/2013 05:43 EDT

Will Canadian Politics Have a Breakthrough?

The biggest and most complex problems of a generation remain unaddressed and stand a chance of remaining so no matter who the leader of the country might be in the future. Unless Justin Trudeau brings his game face to the following predicaments, he runs the risk of simply being an "also ran" like the others.
04/22/2013 05:39 EDT
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Why Justin Trudeau Might Be More Popular Than His Dad

I have come to the conclusion that Justin Trudeau is a more popular character than his father, Pierre. Justin Trudeau's arrival on the leadership stage has rekindled an inner youth we worried we had lost. And whether or not he wins, he has brought a new sense of life and possibility to much of the land.
04/07/2013 11:10 EDT
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CIDA's Death Leaves a Foreign Aid Skeleton

Sadly, with yesterday's Conservative budget, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) suffered a premature passing. Many of us knew it was coming, but its axing in the budget is a far more significant blow to this country's reputation that the Harper government realizes. Very good men and women in CIDA had built solid and progressive relationships with their partners in other countries, and though Canada's foreign aid will continue in various capacities, the dream of the kind of international interventions of compassion that made a clear and multi-dimensional difference is over.
03/22/2013 08:53 EDT