Settling Into The Big Smoke

19 Jun

I dove right into work on Tuesday of last week, having arrived late Monday night.  The couple of times I had visited the EWB National Office in the past, it had always been packed with people, however, this week turned out to be very quiet, as many of the staff were up in Ottawa to lobby for International Aid Transparency.

EWB’s advocacy group has been making great strides lately.  This week was another big step, as we held 50 MP meetings and a press conference that attracted quite a bit of media coverage.

EWB’s Ian Froude and Erin Flanagan being interviewed by Metro News on Parliament Hill.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/06/14/pol-foreign-aid.html

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/06/14/stop-canadas-foreign-aid-waste-ngo

The focus of the meetings and our recent advocacy work is lobbying to convince the government to sign onto the International Aid Transparency (IAT) convention.  All of the MP’s that we interacted with seemed to be in favor of the signing on, so the next step will be to…  To learn more and sign the petition, please click on this banner:

logo

The Ottawa activity made for a bit of a quieter week for me in Toronto, but I still had plenty to do and it gave me an opportunity to get to know a few of the people who were left in the office much better.  This included some great chats about Fair Trade and the 2012 National Conference.

Due to a scheduling conflict with the person originally scheduled to attend, it was also decided mid week that I should represent EWB at the Cracking The Nut conference on Rural and Agricultural Finance in Washington DC this coming Monday and Tuesday (the 20th and 21st), so I spent a good part of the week getting up to speed on EWB’s Value Chain and Business Development Services overseas work.  The conference looks amazing and I’ve never been to Washington before, so I’m really looking forward to seeing the sites too.

In the evenings and on Saturday, I had a chance to explore downtown Toronto both on foot and on my bike, which I had boxed up and taken with me on the plane.  Most of my exploration was focused on finding a furnished sublet for July and August so I can get to know the city a bit before committing to somewhere more permanent. 

EWB alum Robin and Dave have graciously lent me their place while they are off getting married in Calgary (many people from the office went to their wedding, which also contributed to the quietness in the office) and this gives me a pretty firm deadline for finding a place, as I don’t really want to still be there when the newlyweds return home.  I finally found a great place in Liberty Village that I’m really excited about, so things are shaping up quiet nicely on all fronts for me so far in the Big Smoke.

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2 Responses to “Settling Into The Big Smoke”

  1. Lynn June 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    Have great time in Washington!

  2. Lorna Young June 23, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    Hi Mark

    Things seem to be going quite well for you – but that doesn’t surprise me as you take charge and make those things happen. I am glad that you have found a place albeit temporarily. It appears as if there is going to be a July workshop taking place in Toronto that I need to be at and so would have a chance to get together if you are in town for a drink or lunch or dinner or something. The dates are tentatively set for July 21 and 22. Will you be around? Anyway, more later when I know for sure about the workshop.

    Things going well here – voluteering for EWB/FTV at the Scotiabank 1/2 marathon on Sunday.

    Cheers
    Lorna

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