Transcript: Dalton McGuinty wins the Liberal leadership convention | Dec 02, 1996

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his forties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a red suit and a black turtleneck.

Steve says DALTON McGUINTY JOINS US
NOW, THE NEW LEADER OF
THE LIBERAL PARTY
OF ONTARIO.
WHEN YOU CAME OUT AFTER
THE SECOND BALLOT,
A WORSE FOURTH,
YOU MUST HAVE FIGURED
YOU'D BLOWN IT.

Dalton is in his forties, clean-shaven with short brown hair. He is wearing a dark blue suit, white shirt, and a colourful checkered tie.
A caption appears on screen. It reads “Dalton McGuinty. Ontario Liberal Leader.”

Dalton says WELL, IT WASN'T IN
ACCORDANCE WITH PLAN A
I CAN TELL YOU THAT MUCH.
WE WERE TALKING ABOUT PLAN
B, C... WHAT COULD WE DO
TO SALVAGE SOME KIND OF
A WIN OUT OF THIS THING.
BUT THEN WHEN ANNE MARIE
CAME TO ME, FOLLOWED BY JOHN
THEN WE HAD THE SINGLE-MOST
VALUABLE COMMODITY YOU CAN GET
IN A CONVENTION FLOOR,
AND THAT'S MOMENTUM.

Steve asks YOU KNEW THEY WERE COMING?

Dalton says I SUSPECTED THAT THEY WOULD,
BUT THERE WAS NO DEAL MADE.

Steve says NOW, HANG ON.
SHE AND YOU SPOKE ON THE
PHONE THE NIGHT BEFORE,
AND SHE SAID I'M
COMING TO YOU.

Dalton says NOPE.
THAT'S NOT TRUE.

Steve asks THAT'S NOT TRUE?

Dalton repeats THAT'S NOT TRUE.

Steve says SOMEBODY TOLD ME
IT WAS TRUE.

Dalton says I'M SURE THEY DID.

Steve says I SUSPECT THAT YOU PROBABLY
THOUGHT SHE WASN'T COMING
GIVEN HOW BADLY YOU'D DONE
ON THAT SECOND BALLOT.

Dalton says WELL, I THOUGHT THAT SINCE
I HAD DROPPED TO FOURTH,
THAT THE LIKELIHOOD THAT
EITHER JOHN OR ANNE MARIE WERE
COMING TO ME WAS
SIGNIFICANTLY SLIMMER.

Steve says EVERYBODY ALSO THOUGHT YOU
HAD A DEAL WITH DWIGHT DUNCAN.
WHOEVER CAME THIRD, THE
FOURTH-PLACE CANDIDATE WOULD GO
TO THE THIRD PLACE CANDIDATE.

Dalton says RIGHT.

Steve continues YOU CAME FOURTH, YOU DIDN'T
GO TO HIM WHO WAS THIRD.
DID YOU BREAK YOUR WORD
BY NOT GOING TO HIM?

Dalton says NO, THERE WAS
NO DEAL THERE.
WE HAD TALKED,
THAT'S TRUE.
BUT WE WERE SUPPOSED
TO SPEAK AGAIN
AFTER THE NUMBERS CAME
OUT AND WE NEVER DID.

Steve asks YOU NEVER DID SPEAK?

Dalton says NO.

Steve says AND SO... IT WAS NOT
UNANTICIPATED THAT YOU WOULD
STAY ON.

Dalton says ABSOLUTELY, YEAH.

Steve says IT WAS A SURPRISE
TO HIM APPARENTLY.

Dalton says HE'S NEVER TOLD ME
THAT PERSONALLY.

Steve says DALTON, AFTER YOU WON,
I GOTTA TELL YOU,
YOU LOOKED LIKE YOU WERE
IN THE TWILIGHT ZONE.
THERE WAS THIS SORT OF
AURA OF -- AND I'M SURE
THE HOUR HAD SOMETHING TO
DO WITH IT, BUT THERE WAS
AN AURA OF UNREALITY
ABOUT THE WHOLE THING.

Dalton says ABSOLUTELY.
IN FACT, AT ONE POINT IN TIME
I WALKING ONTO THE STAGE
AND FRANK SWITZER, ONE OF
OUR PEOPLE THERE, ONE OF
THE LIBERAL MEDIA GUYS,
WAS TELLING A CREW OF
CAMERA PEOPLE THAT THEY OUGHT
TO STEP ASIDE FOR THE LEADER,
AND I STEPPED ASIDE
WAITING FOR THE LEADER
TO COME THROUGH.
IT HADN'T REALLY
STRUCK ME AT THE TIME.

Steve asks DOES IT FEEL LIKE
YOU'RE THE LEADER YET?

Dalton says IN LARGE PART, YES.
THE FULL RESPONSIBILITIES
HAVEN'T REALLY SETTLED UPON ME.
I SAT IN THE LEADER'S
CHAIR TODAY.
I ASKED THE LEAD QUESTIONS.
I'VE DONE TWENTY INTERVIEWS
TODAY IN MY CAPACITY
AS LEADER, SO IT'S
GETTING THERE.

Steve says 'CAUSE THE SPEAKER, CHRIS
STOCKWELL, GOT UP TODAY
AND SAID AND NOW I'D LIKE
TO PRESENT TO THE LEGISLATURE
THE NEW LEADER OF HER
MAJESTY'S LOYAL OPPOSITION,
SAID YOUR NAME, EVERYBODY
GETS UP, STANDING OVATION.
I MEAN, IT'S PRETTY
HEADY STUFF.
YOU KNOW, OF COURSE, THAT THE
NEXT TWO AND A HALF YEARS
ARE NOTHING LIKE TODAY.

Dalton says TODAY WAS A TREAT.
THERE'S NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.
I'M ENJOYING A BIT
OF A HONEYMOON,
AND THE QUESTIONS TODAY
ARE SIMPLER AND NEATER
AND WANT TO KNOW ABOUT
ME AND WHAT I'VE DONE
IN THE PAST.
PEOPLE WANT TO GET TO
KNOW THE PERSON, I THINK.

Steve says LET'S PICK UP ON
THAT THEN, DALTON.
I KNOW THAT, FOR THOSE
WHO WENT TO BED EARLY ON
SUNDAY MORNING OR SATURDAY
NIGHT OR WHATEVER,
THEY WENT TO BED WITH
CORDIANO AND KENNEDY
FIGHTING IT OUT FOR
FIRST AND SECOND.
THEY GO TO BED AND THEY
WAKE UP AND THEY SEE
DALTON McGUINTY ON THE FRONT
PAGE OF THEIR NEWSPAPERS.
AND I HAD MANY, MANY PEOPLE
TODAY EITHER CALL ME OR
STOP ME ON THE STREET AND SAY,
WHO THE HELL'S DALTON McGUINTY?

Dalton says RIGHT.

Steve says SO LET ME ASK YOU.
WHO THE HELL
ARE YOU ANYWAY?
WHAT DO YOU WANT
TO TELL PEOPLE?

Dalton says WELL, I'M A FRESH
START FOR MY PARTY.
I'VE GOT SOME
BACKGROUND IN POLITICS.
I'VE BEEN THERE
FOR SIX YEARS.
I HAVE, I GUESS, A FAMILY
HISTORY IN POLITICS.
MY FATHER HAD THE
SEAT BEFORE ME.
AND I'M SOMEBODY WHO
BELIEVES THAT POLITICS IS
AN HONORABLE PROFESSION
AND THAT PEOPLE WORKING
TOGETHER CAN DO GOOD THINGS.
I, ALSO, AM A FIRM BELIEVER
IN LIBERAL PHILOSOPHIES
AND VALUES.

Steve says ARE YOU A KINDLER,
GENTLER MIKE HARRIS?
WHICH IS HOW I'VE
HEARD YOU DESCRIBED?

Dalton says YEAH, I KNOW PEOPLE LIKE TO
TOSS THAT KIND OF STUFF AROUND.
I THINK I'M MUCH DIFFERENT
THAN MIKE HARRIS.
THERE'S NO DOUBT THAT I
HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT
FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY,
BUT I BELIEVE THAT
THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IS
TO MARRY THE NEEDS OF
FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY
WITH THE NEEDS FOR HAVING
A CARING AND
COMPASSIONATE SOCIETY.

Steve says WELL, HE OBVIOUSLY PERCEIVES
HIMSELF TO HAVE THE
FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY PART
OF THE JOB TAKEN CARE OF.
DO YOU NOT PERCEIVE HIM AS
BEING A COMPASSIONATE PERSON?
YOU VIRTUALLY ACCUSED HIM
TODAY OF NOT CARING ABOUT KIDS
IN THIS PROVINCE.

Dalton says WELL, THAT'S BECAUSE
I BELIEVE HE DOESN'T.
BECAUSE IF HE REALLY DID
HE WOULDN'T BE DOING THE
KINDS OF THINGS
THAT HE'S DOING.
I THINK HE'S BECOME OBSESSED
WITH FINANCIAL MATTERS
IN GOVERNMENT.
THAT'S MERELY ONE ASPECT.
AND HE BELIEVES THE ONLY REAL
TEST THAT OUGHT TO BE APPLIED
TO GOVERNMENT IS
THE FISCAL TEST.
I BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE
MORE TESTS THAN PURELY
THE FISCAL TEST.

Steve says YOU SPENT YOUR FIRST QUESTION
AS LEADER TODAY, IN QUESTION
PERIOD, ASKING
ABOUT CHILDREN.

Dalton says RIGHT.

Steve says SO LET ME ASK YOU, TELL
ME ONE SORT OF NEW IDEA,
WHAT ONE NEW THING WOULD YOU
WANT TO DO IF YOU WERE IN CHARGE
THAT WOULD IMPROVE THE LOT
OF CHILDREN IN THIS PROVINCE
WHO ARE AT RISK RIGHT NOW?

Dalton says WELL, ONE OF THE THINGS
I'D WANT TO DO IS I'D WANT
TO PUT INTO PLACE A PROGRAM
WHICH EDUCATES YOUNG
EXPECTANT MOTHERS WITH
RESPECT TO NUTRITION.
THE PERCENTAGE OF LOW BIRTH
WEIGHT BABIES BEING BORN
IN ONTARIO TODAY
IS AN EMBARRASSMENT.
THIS IS NOT SOME FORSAKEN
THIRD WORLD COUNTRY.
WE OFFER THE BEST QUALITY
OF LIFE ON THE PLANET.
ONE OUT OF FIVE KIDS IN
ONTARIO TODAY ARE GROWING UP
IN POVERTY.
I WOULD WANT, IN ADDITION
TO A NUTRITION PROGRAM,
I'D WANT A HOME VISITING NURSES'
PROGRAM.

Steve asks WE DON'T HAVE THAT ALREADY?

Dalton says WE DON'T HAVE THAT.
AND THE ASSUMPTION IS MADE
THAT AFTER YOU'VE BEEN EVICTED
FROM THE HOSPITAL, AFTER YOUR
24-HOUR STAY FOR DELIVERY,
IS THAT THERE'S SOME KIND OF
SUPPORT SYSTEM OUT THERE
FOR ALL YOUNG MOTHERS.
THAT'S NOT THE FACT.
WE HAVE TO HELP.
WE HAVE TO HELP THEM.

Steve asks YOU GENUINELY BELIEVE
THAT MIKE HARRIS DOESN'T
CARE ABOUT THE CHILDREN
IN THIS PROVINCE?

Dalton says IF HE DOES HE'S
NOT SHOWING IT.

Steve says WORKFARE.
DO YOU SUPPORT THE
IDEA OF WORKFARE?

Dalton says NO, NO.
EVEN FOR ECONOMIC REASONS
ALONE, IT'S UNAFFORDABLE.

Steve says UNAFFORDABLE?
HOW DO YOU MEAN?

Dalton says YEAH, IT'S SIMPLY
TOO EXPENSIVE.
IT'S MORE EXPENSIVE TO
PUT INTO PLACE THESE KINDS
OF PROGRAMS THAN TO
SIMPLY ALLOW FOR
PASSIVE INCOME SUPPORT.
THE ISSUE IS JOBS.
AND WHAT DO WE
DO ABOUT JOBS?
I'M ALL FOR A CRACKDOWN
ON FRAUD AND ABUSE.
THERE'S NOTHING IN THERE
THAT'S CONTRARY TO LIBERALISM.
BUT, ON THE OTHER HAND,
THERE'S NOTHING THAT'S
GOING TO COME OUT OF
THIS WORKFARE APPROACH
EXCEPT... YOU CAN SEE THE
TORIES ARE BACKING AWAY FROM IT.
THEY'VE DELAYED
IMPLEMENTING IT.
THEY'RE NOT MEETING
WITH ANY SUCCESS.
IN ADDITION TO THAT, IT'S BEEN
PROVEN TO BE EXTREMELY COSTLY
IN ALL JURISDICTIONS
WHERE IT'S BEEN TRIED.

Steve says YOU HAVE, SOME WOULD SUGGEST,
A TOUCHY RELATIONSHIP PROBLEM
NOW WITH GERARD KENNEDY.
HERE'S A GUY WHO,
ALTHOUGH HE CAME SECOND,
STILL COMMANDS A GREAT
DEAL OF SUPPORT OUT THERE,
AND MANY PEOPLE STILL THINK
THAT HE WOULD HAVE ENERGIZED
LIBERAL PARTY POLITICS AS
LEADER MORE THAN YOU CAN.
NUMBER ONE, IS THAT TRUE?
IS THAT TRUE THAT HE WOULD
HAVE BEEN, YOU KNOW,
AS A MORE INTERESTING,
UNUSUAL CANDIDATE WITHOUT
QUEEN'S PARK BAGGAGE
ATTACHED TO HIM WOULD HAVE
ATTRACTED MORE SUPPORT
TO THE PARTY?

Dalton says WELL, I THINK THAT HE
WOULD HAVE BROUGHT A DIFFERENT
APPROACH THAN I WOULD HAVE.
THERE'S NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT.
HE DIDN'T HAVE THE
HISTORY IN THE PARTY.
HE DIDN'T HAVE THE
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE.
HE HADN'T BEEN TAINTED
BY POLITICAL LIFE, I GUESS.
BUT, ON THE OTHER HAND,
I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO
HAVE SOME EXPERIENCE,
SOME POLITICAL EXPERIENCE,
UNDERSTAND THE WORKINGS
OF THE LEGISLATURE
AND THE WORKINGS
OF POLITICS.
IT'S COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
FROM ANYTHING ELSE.
I CAN TELL YOU THAT I
USED TO PRACTICE LAW.
AND WHEN I GOT INTO POLITICS,
IT'S JUST DIFFERENT KINDS OF
REALTIES THAT OBTAIN IN
POLITICS THAT YOU DON'T
FIND ANYWHERE ELSE.
AND IF YOU WANT TO
MAKE THE SYSTEM WORK,
IF YOU'RE TRYING TO
GARNER PUBLIC SUPPORT,
YOU'VE GOT TO LEARN
HOW TO DO THAT.

Steve says TAXES.
YOU OPPOSE THE TAX CUTS?

Dalton says YEAH.

Steve asks WOULD YOU RAISE TAXES
30 PERCENT IF YOU GOT IN
NEXT TIME TO MAKE UP
FOR THE LOST REVENUE?

Dalton says NO, I WOULD NOT.
WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE
DO WITH WHAT WE'RE GIVEN
ON THE TAX FRONT.

Steve asks WOULD YOU RAISE
TAXES A BIT?

Dalton says NO, I DON'T THINK SO.

Steve says NOT INCOME TAXES.
MAYBE OTHER KINDS OF TAXES?

Dalton says WELL, I MEAN THAT'S
SOMETHING THAT I'D CONSIDER.
IT'D DEPEND ON THE
FINANCIAL SITUATION
THAT OBTAINED AT THE TIME.
WE'LL HAVE TO WAIT AND
SEE HOW THINGS LOOK.
BUT RIGHT NOW OUR PUBLIC
IS SIMPLY NOT IN ANY MOOD
WHATSOEVER TO GIVE
US MORE MONEY.

Steve says THE EMPLOYER HEALTH TAX, FOR
EXAMPLE, IS GOING TO GO DOWN
IN THE NEXT THREE YEARS,
IF THE CONSERVATIVES
FOLLOW THROUGH ON WHAT
THEY'VE ANNOUNCED.

Dalton says RIGHT.

Steve says WOULD YOU PUT THAT
EMPLOYER HEALTH TAX UP,
PAYROLL TAX, WOULD YOU
MOVE IT UP TO MAKE UP
FOR THE LOST REVENUE?

Dalton says I WOULD PREFER TO GENERATE
REVENUES IN MORE CREATIVE WAYS,
RATHER THAN RAISING TAXES.

Steve asks WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Dalton says WELL, GET THE ECONOMY
KICK-STARTED AND GET MORE PEOPLE
PAYING THE SAME KINDS OF
TAXES THAT ARE ALREADY IN PLACE.
THAT'S A BETTER WAY
TO GO ABOUT IT.

Steve says HOW ABOUT WELFARE RATES?
IF YOU AGREE THAT CUTTING
WELFARE RATES BY 21.6 PERCENT --
I THINK CORDIANO SAID IT
WAS UNCONSCIONABLE --
WOULD YOU RAISE THE RATES?

Dalton says WHAT I SAID IS THAT I'D LIKE
TO LOOK AT AN IMPACT STUDY TO
FIND OUT IN MORE DETAIL
WHAT THE FULL IMPACT
OF THAT CUT HAS BEEN.
THERE'S BEEN ALL KINDS OF
TALK FROM ALL THE PARTIES
INVOLVED IN THIS ABOUT
WHAT ITS IMPACT HAS BEEN.
THE TORIES SAY THAT
IT'S DONE NOTHING.
OTHERS SAY THAT IT
HAS HAD AN IMPACT.
I SUSPECT THAT, IN PARTICULAR,
IT'S HAD AN ADVERSE AFFECT
ON CHILDREN.

Steve says LET ME ASK YOU, AS ONE OF
TEN CHILDREN YOURSELF,
AND A PERSON WHO HAS FOUR
OF HIS OWN, ONE OF THOSE
SO-CALLED FAMILY
VALUES QUESTIONS.
YOUR POSITION ON
ABORTION IS WHAT?

Dalton says I BELIEVE IN A WOMAN'S
RIGHT TO CHOOSE.

Steve says YOU'RE CATHOLIC, RIGHT?

Dalton says RIGHT.

Steve asks IS THAT INCONSISTENT?

Dalton says NO, NOT AT ALL.
I'M A CATHOLIC, BUT I'M ALSO
A PUBLIC REPRESENTATIVE.
I REPRESENT CATHOLICS,
HALF OF WHOM, BY THE WAY,
BELIEVE IN A WOMAN'S
RIGHT TO CHOOSE.
I REPRESENT ATHEISTS,
I REPRESENT PROTESTANTS,
I REPRESENT MUSLIMS,
AND I REPRESENT JEWS.
AND I THINK ONE OF MY
RESPONSIBILITIES IS TO
ENSURE THAT NO ONE RELIGION'S
VALUES CAN BE IMPOSED
ON ALL THE REST OF US.

Steve asks HOW ABOUT SAME
SEX BENEFITS?
ARE YOU IN
FAVOUR OF THAT?

Dalton says I BELIEVE IN SUPPORTIVE --
I THINK GOVERNMENT OUGHT
TO SUPPORT SUPPORTIVE
RELATIONSHIPS.
AND THAT'S HOW I
APPROACH THE ISSUE.
AND WHETHER THAT MEANS THAT
THERE'S A DAUGHTER AT HOME
WHO TAKES IN HER OLDER FATHER,
WHETHER IT MEANS TWO SISTERS
LIVING TOGETHER, IF THEY
ARE SUPPORTING EACH OTHER,
THEN GOVERNMENT OUGHT TO
RECOGNIZE THAT RELATIONSHIP
AND BENEFIT IT THE SAME WAY
WE DO FOR MARRIED COUPLES
OR COMMON-LAW SPOUSES.

Steve asks SO A GAY RELATIONSHIP
OBVIOUSLY WOULD FILL THAT?

Dalton says GAY AND LESBIAN RELATIONSHIPS
QUALIFY, AS FAR AS I'M
CONCERNED, AS SUPPORTIVE
RELATIONSHIPS.
THERE'S SOMETHING
FUNDAMENTALLY GOOD THERE.
AND WE OUGHT TO RECOGNIZE IT.

Steve asks HOW ABOUT MARRIAGE?
GAY MARRIAGES?
WOULD YOU RECOGNIZE THOSE?

Dalton says NO.

Steve says NO FOR THAT.
WHAT'S LYN McLEOD
GOING TO DO NOW?

Dalton says SHE'S GOING TO STAY
ON IN THE PARTY.
I MET WITH HER AT
NOON ON SUNDAY.
SHE'S TAKING A WELL-DESERVED
BREAK AT THIS TIME.
SHE WANTS TO STAY ON.
SHE WANTS TO PLAY
AN ACTIVE ROLE.
AND I HAVE EVERY -- I BELIEVE
SHE WANTS TO RUN AGAIN.

Steve says OKAY.
WE WISH YOU WELL
IN YOUR NEW JOB.

Dalton says THANKS A MILLION.

Steve says LOTS OF LUCK.

Dalton says THANK YOU.

Steve says DALTON McGUINTY JUNIOR.

Watch: Dalton McGuinty wins the Liberal leadership convention