National Newswatch

COVID-19 and the Rebirth of Social Capital

Jun 29 2020 — Glen Pearson — We wait with baited breath the next pronouncements from government centres, health authorities and business commentators.  We’re doing our best – in Canada at least – to respect the guidelines of social distancing, just as we’ve been instructed.  We watch south of the border as the American melting pot becomes the boiling pot and we […]

What if the Post-Covid-19 Future Isn’t About Growth at All?

Jun 24 2020 — Glen Pearson — It was a straightforward conversation with a French government official –  an acquaintance from my time in politics –  about Canada’s failure to secure a temporary seat on the UN Security Council.  We continue to enjoy a shared interest in foreign aid, development, and the state of global refugees. As we wound up the conversation, […]

When Compliance Just Can’t Cut It Anymore

Jun 10 2020 — Glen Pearson — It was Barack Obama’s final international trip before Donald Trump was to occupy the Oval Office.   The venue was the Summit of Pacific Nations in Lima, Peru, and at the first opportunity he was taken aside and asked what could be expected from Donald Trump.  Being diplomatic, Obama cautiously observed, “Give him a chance.  Wait […]

Canada’s Economic Achilles Heel is Now Exposed For the World to See

May 20 2020 — Glen Pearson — Virtually from the beginning, the World Health Organization has labelled our present predicament as a “global” pandemic.  This isn’t just about COVID-19s reach, but it’s ability to turn back the clock on so many international advancements made on the economic front.  It’s so frightening, in fact, that the Economist recently ran an article with the […]

The Coronavirus Might Just Save Us

May 8 2020 — Glen Pearson — It’s been hard.  For some it’s been the inability to get together in our favourite pastimes or with our friends and families, but for others it has been the loss of income, the present reality of food insecurity, or the fact that there might be no job to go back to.  We want our lives […]

Our Vulnerabilities Now Threaten Our Future

May 5 2020 — Glen Pearson — It’s taken time, but increased amounts of commentary are emerging about what life will be like post-covid.  Truth is, we just don’t know and while all the projections are interesting, there are too many unknowns for us to plan for anything beyond the near future. And there are uncertainties out there that could, at any […]

For Poorer Nations, COVID-19 Will be Decimating

Apr 13 2020 — Glen Pearson — It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that the plight of developing nations has understandably fallen off the radar of the Western world. Despite its global origins, the coronavirus has focused on domestic concerns in countries like Canada like little else in our history. International development, foreign aid and emergency relief funding have been part […]

Caught in Our Own Excess

Apr 8 2020 — Glen Pearson — We are creeping towards our post-coronavirus future.  The problem is that we don’t have a clear idea as to what it will look like, short or long-term.  That’s going to create an abundance of uncertainty likely to destabilize much of what we have relied on for decades.  Canada has earned plaudits for its overall handling […]

“What’s After the Pandemic? The New Renaissance?”

Mar 31 2020 — Glen Pearson — In an interview with our local paper yesterday, I was asked at its conclusion if I felt any sense of optimism at all during this crisis? I even surprised myself a bit when I replied in the affirmative. The thing is, there is a case whereby our collective exodus from these dark and lonely days […]

What’s a Life Anyway?

Mar 29 2020 — Glen Pearson — The Environmental Protection Agency in the George W. Bush era, in attempting to assess air quality regulations, reported that the value of the life of a 70-year old person was 37% percent less than the life of a younger person. This caused some politicians to suggest that seniors consider sacrificing themselves to save the economy. […]

“We Survive Through Our Institutions”

Mar 18 2020 — Glen Pearson — In his book The Good Society, author Robert Bellah says that institutions are “patterned ways of living together.” He reminds us that we often overlook the fact that our institutions are more than mere social associations but structural necessities that help us get from one age to the next. It’s been in vogue in recent […]

Racism by Other Means

Mar 10 2020 — Glen Pearson — Ezra Klein’s new book, Why We’re Polarized, effectively turns people’s political presumptions on their heads.  He challenges our thinking in ways that are provocative as well as researched.  In doing so, he has ripped open conventional thought in ways that are exceedingly uncomfortable. One of his key assertions is that modern voters are more linked […]

Why Socialism Won’t Go Away

Feb 20 2020 — Glen Pearson — It used to be the word socialism was a political term – just not one most people would take to.  In turns, it was deemed as too expensive, too populist, too extreme, and, in the end, too impractical.  And so it remained relegated to the left end of the political spectrum, where it retained significant […]