Transcript: Ontario: Heart, Soul, or Brand? | May 22, 2017

On a white slate, music plays as a colourful logo in the shape of a maple leaf forms: TVO. Canada 150. Ontario.

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, peach shirt, and lilac tie.

A caption on screen reads "Ontario: Heart, soul or brand? @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says ALMOST 40 percent OF
CANADIANS LIVE IN ONTARIO.
THE COUNTRY'S LARGEST CITY AND
MUCH OF THE NATION'S CAPITAL ARE
BOTH LOCATED HERE.
THIS
PROVINCE WAS A CRITICAL FOUNDING
PARTNER OF THE COUNTRY IN 1867.
WE HAVE MUCH TO BE PROUD OF
HERE, BUT HOW MANY OF US LIVING
IN THIS PROVINCE THINK OF
OURSELVES AS ONTARIANS?
AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE,
SPECIFICALLY, AN ONTARIAN?
TO HELP US EXPLORE THAT ELUSIVE
IDEA OF AN ONTARIO IDENTITY,
WE'RE JOINED BY:
MARC MAYER, DIRECTOR AND CEO,
NATIONAL GALLERY OF CANADA...

Marc is in his mid-forties, with short, side-parted salt and pepper hair and a stubble. He's wearing a gray suit, gray shirt, and striped gray tie.

Steve continues CHARLIE FORAN, CEO, INSTITUTE OF
CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP

Charlie is in his late forties, with wavy gray hair and a shadow of a beard. He's wearing a black coat and white shirt.

Steve continues MENON DWARKA, ARTISTIC AND
MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE 918
BATHURST ARTS CENTRE IN TORONTO...

Menon is in his mid-forties, bald, with a trimmed goatee. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit and a white shirt.

Steve continues AND GAIL LORD, PRESIDENT, LORD
CULTURAL RESOURCES.

Gail is in her seventies, with blond hair in a bob. She's wearing round glasses, a gray blouse, and a colourful beaded necklace.

Steve continues GOOD TO HAVE ALL OF YOU
WONDERFUL ONTARIANS HERE,
WHATEVER THAT MEANS.
WE'RE GOING TO FIND THAT OUT
OVER THE NEXT PERIOD OF TIME.
I WANT TO START BY HARKENING
BACK TO SOMETHING THAT IF YOU
WERE HERE 50 YEARS AGO, YOU
REMEMBER WELL AND LOVINGLY.
ROLL IT.

A clip plays. It shows footage of different scenes at the same time, in frames of different sizes, including farming equipment and horses, people greeting each other, green lawns, quick-running rivers, and forests.

A song plays that says
A PLACE TO STAND
AND A PLACE TO GROW
I CALL THIS LAND
ONTARIO
A PLACE TO LIVE
FOR YOU AND ME...

The clip ends.

The caption changes to "A place to stand."

Steve says WELL, THAT
UNFORGETTABLE TUNE WAS WRITTEN
OF COURSE FOR OUR CENTENNIAL
YEAR, MEANT TO PRAISE AND
PROMOTE THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO.
I WONDER, CHARLIE, GET US
STARTED HERE, ANY MEMORIES
ATTACHED TO THAT IN PARTICULAR?

The caption changes to "Charles Foran. Institute of Canadian Citizenship."

Charlie says OF COURSE.
I SANG IT.
WE MESSED WITH THE WORDS.
IT WAS THE FIRST TIME I EVER
IDENTIFIED WHERE I WAS LIVING AS
A 7-YEAR-OLD IN THE SUBURBS OF
TORONTO.
THE SONG CAPTURES, REFLECT THE
ERA, THE SWEETNESS OF THE
NATIONALIST MOVEMENT THAT
CONGEALED AROUND 167 AT EXPO AND
PUSHED OUT AND WAS THE BIRTH OF
A NATIONALIST MOVEMENT, A
CULTURAL NATIONALIST MOVEMENT,
THAT ONE COULD ARGUE HAD ABOUT A
20-YEAR LIFE SPAN AND PASSED
AWAY.

Steve says GAIL, WHAT ABOUT YOU?

The caption changes to "Gail Lord. Lord Cultural Resources."

Gail says I REMEMBER THE SONG WELL.
IT WAS BETTER THAN "CA-NA-DA."
THAT SPOKE TO ONTARIO'S TALENTS,
WE CAN SING AND WE CAN DANCE.
WE PROBABLY NEED MORE OF THAT.
THAT WOULD BE MY CONTENTION.

Steve says WERE YOU GROWING UP
IN SUDBURY, ONTARIO AT THIS TIME?

The caption changes to "Marc Mayer. National Gallery."

Marc says I WAS GROWING
UP IN SUDBURY. I LIVED IN
LOS ANGELES THAT YEAR.
MY FATHER WANTED TO BECOME A
MOVIE STAR SO HE PACKED UP THE
KIDS AND MOVED.
WE MISSED THE CENTENNIAL YEAR.
WE CAME BACK IN '68, SO I DIDN'T
MISS ALL THAT MUCH.

Steve says DID YOU PICK UP ON
THE TUNE WHEN YOU CAME HOME?

Marc says WE ALL SANG THE TUNE.

Steve says HOW ABOUT YOU, MENON?

The caption changes to "Menon Dwarka. 918 Bathurst Arts Centre."

Menon says I WASN'T
ACTUALLY BORN YET. BUT
CERTAINLY I REMEMBER THE TUNE.
WE SANG IT AT SCHOOL.
TO ME IT'S WRAPPED UP IN
MEMORIES OF ONTARIO PLACE AND
THIS UTOPIAN ONTARIO FUTURE THAT
EVERYTHING SEEMED TO BE NEW AND
UPWARD-MOVING AND IT SEEMED LIKE
A GREAT ENCAPSULATION OF WHAT
WAS GOOD ABOUT THE PROVINCE.

Steve says IF THAT SONG EVOKED
UTOPIA FOR YOU, DID YOU AT SOME
POINT IN YOUR LIFE FEEL LIKE AN ONTARIAN?

Menon says I THINK I
FELT MORE LIKE AN ONTARIAN WHEN
I LEFT ONTARIO.
I SPENT 20 YEARS IN NEW YORK
DOING CULTURAL PROGRAMMING AND I
REALIZED THERE WERE THESE VERY
STRONG ENGRAINED VIEWS ABOUT
PUBLIC HEALTH AND PUBLIC
EDUCATION AND THINGS LIKE THAT.
THINGS WHICH MY FELLOW NEW
YORKERS A LOT OF TIMES DIDN'T
REALLY THINK ABOUT.

Steve says BUT WERE THOSE
CANADIAN THINGS YOU WERE
THINKING ABOUT OR ONTARIO...

Menon says O.H.I.P. WAS
FIRMLY PLANTED IN MY MIND AND I
USED TO RUN LARGE FACULTIES OF
TEACHERS, NONE OF WHOM HAD
HEALTH INSURANCE, AND THIS
ALWAYS WEIGHED ON ME.
WE DID EXTENSION PROGRAMS IN THE
SCHOOLS.
THE SCHOOLS WERE NOTHING LIKE
THE SCHOOLS WE HAD IN ONTARIO.

Steve says THE "O" IN O.H.I.P.
RANG TRUE TO YOU?

Menon says DEFINITELY.

Steve says GAIL, HOW ABOUT YOU?

Gail says IT'S AN ELUSIVE
IDENTITY AS YOU SAID AT THE
BEGINNING.
IT'S IMPORTANT BECAUSE ONTARIO
STANDS FOR THINGS.
PUBLIC HEALTH.
WE STAND FOR CIVIL SOCIETY,
WHICH IS REALLY, REALLY
IMPORTANT.
WE HAVE PROBABLY THE GREATEST
SUPPLY OF FRESH WATER AND SALT
WATER IN THE ENTIRE WORLD, SO WE
HAVE BIG RESPONSIBILITIES, AND
WE ACTUALLY HAVE CANADA'S
LARGEST INDIGENOUS POPULATION
HERE IN ONTARIO.
AND THE MOST DIVERSE... PROBABLY
THE MOST DIVERSE PLACE IN THE
WORLD.
SO I THINK THAT THE... THESE
RESPONSIBILITIES LAY HEAVY ON
OUR SHOULDERS.

Steve says AS A GUY WHO IS
RUNNING ONE OF THE MOST
IMPORTANT CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS
IN THE COUNTRY, A NATIONAL
CULTURAL INSTITUTION, DO YOU
EVER HAVE DAYS WHERE YOU THINK
OF YOURSELF AS AN ONTARIAN?

Marc says ACTUALLY VERY, VERY RARELY.
I THINK OF MYSELF AS A CANADIAN
EVERY SINGLE DAY.
THAT'S REALLY PART OF THE BRIEF
WHEN YOU'RE THE DIRECTOR OF THE
NATIONAL GALLERY.
ONTARIO IS KIND OF OUR BLIND
SPOT IN A WAY BECAUSE WE'RE SO
CONSCIOUS OF OUR CANADIANISM IN
THAT ONTARIO.

Steve says EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE
IN ONTARIO.

Marc says WE ARE VERY
MUCH IN ONTARIO.

Steve says OTTAWA IS IN
ONTARIO.

Marc says IT IS.

Gail says YOU'RE IN THE
NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION, AS A
MATTER OF FACT.

Marc says LIKE THE UNITED
STATES, THERE IS A CAPITAL
REGIONAL DISTRICT.

Steve says IF YOU GO TO THE
MOVIES OR WATCH T.V., YOU WILL
SEE THIS, THEY'VE DONE AN UPDATE
OF "ONTARIO" ALTHOUGH THEY TOOK
THAT PART OUT OF IT.
HERE'S HOW IT IS TODAY.

Another clip plays. An animation shows a logo that reads "Ontario 150." It melts down.

A female voice sings
GIVE US A PLACE TO STAND
GIVE US A PLACE TO GROW
AND CALL THIS LAND ONTARIO...

Fast clips show green lawns, small towns near lakes, children in a classroom and playing in the snow, then people performing traditional dances, the logo floating in water, and people riding a roller coaster.

The song continues
A PLACE TO LIVE
FOR YOU AND ME
ITS HOPES AS HIGH
AS THE TALLEST TREE
THIS IS THE LAND OF LAKES
AND THE LAND OF SNOW
AND WE WILL BUILD ONTARIO...

The clip ends.

Steve says CHARLIE, IT'S
OBVIOUSLY SLICKER, IT'S GOT MORE
ZEST, BOOM, BA.
WHAT DIFFERENCES WOULD YOU NOTE
BETWEEN THAT AND THE ORIGINAL?

Charlie says BETTER
PRODUCTION QUALITY?
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT INCLUSION,
ABOUT DIVERSITY, A LITTLE MORE
OPENLY ACKNOWLEDGING TORONTO, I
THINK, BASED ON THE IMAGES, IT
LOOKS LIKE, WHERE... I SUSPECT
THE ORIGINAL WAS A LITTLE
CAREFUL ABOUT THAT.
I JUST WANT TO ADD TO THE IDEA
OF BEING AN ONTARIAN.
I GREW UP WITH NO SENSE OF
MYSELF AS AN ONTARIAN EXCEPT
WHEN PEOPLE WOULD TELL ME I WAS
AN ONTARIAN BECAUSE I
REPRESENTED CENTRAL CANADA AND
THE FAMILY COMPACT AND THE
LAURENTIAN COMPACT.

Steve says CONSENSUS.

Charlie says CONSENSUS, YES.
IT WAS NOTHING LIKE TRAVELLING
CANADA TO HEAR HOW OTHER VIEWED
ONTARIO.
I'M FRANCO ONTARIO.
I SPENT VERY LITTLE TIME LIKE
MARC ABOUT BEING AS SOMEONE FROM
ONTARIO BUT OTHER PEOPLE WERE
QUITE WANTING ME TO OWN THAT.

Steve says AND HAPPY TO REMIND
YOU OF IT WHEN YOU WERE OUTSIDE
THE PROVINCE?

Charlie says YES.
THE PRIVILEGE OF IT.
THE NATURAL CENTRE OF POWER, THE
SELF-DECLARED NATIONAL CENTRE OF POWER.

Menon says WHAT'S INTERESTING IS WHILE
THE OLD SONG WAS A CHORUS, THIS
NEW SONG IS A SINGULAR VOICE
WITH A HARMONY ADDED.

Steve says WHAT DO YOU INFER
FROM THAT?

Menon says THERE'S A
REDIRECTION OF THE PERSONAL
IDENTITY OUTWARDS.
THE OTHER WAS A LET'S ALL SING
TOGETHER BECAUSE WE NEVER SANG
TOGETHER BEFORE.
THIS IS A SOLO VOICE PROJECTED
WITH IMAGES OF PRETTY
UNAMBIGUOUS IDENTITY OF CERTAIN
KINDS OF MINORITIES.
YOU CAN DO A CHECK BOX LIST ON
IT, BUT IT'S ADDRESSING
INDIVIDUALITY BUT NOT ALL THESE
INDIVIDUALS ARE SINGING
TOGETHER.

Steve says LET'S REALLY GET...

Gail says GREAT POINT.

Steve says LET'S GET HEAVY AND
METAPHORICAL.
DO YOU THINK BECAUSE WE'RE IN A
POST CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND
FREEDOMS ERA, THE INDIVIDUAL
COUNTS MORE AND THUS A SINGULAR VOICE?

Gail says WE'RE IN AN ERA
OF FRACTURED IDENTITIES, SO WE
HAVE ONE PERSON SINGING.
ON THE OTHER HAND, THE VISUAL
SYMBOLISM REALLY IS A FLUIDITY.
I THINK IT IS A POST-MODERN ERA
OF IDENTITY, NOT SO MUCH POST
NATIONAL BUT POST MODERN IN THE
SENSE THAT IDENTITY IS VERY FLUID.
YOUR IDENTITY TODAY, MY IDENTITY
TODAY MIGHT BE A DIFFERENT
IDENTITY TOMORROW.
I KIND OF FEEL THAT WE GET A
LITTLE SENSE OF THAT IN THIS
YOUNG WOMAN SINGING.

Steve says SOME OF YOU AROUND
THIS TABLE MAY KNOW NELSON
WISEMAN WHO HAS TAUGHT AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO FOR A LONG
TIME AND HERE'S WHAT HE HAD TO
SAY ABOUT SOME OF THIS...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Ontario, the confident." The quote reads "Ontario is not known for regional grievances, for feeling ignored, taken for granted, shunted aside, or shortchanged. Such sentiments and conditions are identified with Quebecers and Western and Atlantic Canadians. Ontarians have touted grandness rather than victimization. Ontarians are more likely than Canadians elsewhere to articulate a pan-Canadian position, less likely to think of their own province as a region, or to think of Canada as a composite of quite different regions whose residents have regionally diverse outlooks. Ontario's demographic weight, wealth and power buttress its pre-eminence. So naturally, the Ontarian is often depicted as the quintessential English Canadian."
Quoted from Nelson Wiseman, "In search of Canadian political culture." 2007.

Steve says NOW, THAT'S FROM TEN
YEARS AGO.
YOU'RE A FRANCO-ONTARIAN.
DOES THAT WORK FOR YOU?

Marc says WELL,
FRANCO-ONTARIANS, WE HAVE SPLIT
PERSONALITIES.
WE HAVE THE ENGLISH SIDE OF US
BECAUSE MOST OF US SPEAK
ENGLISH.
THAT FEELS THE SAME WAY AS ALL
THE OTHER PEOPLE FROM ONTARIO
FEEL, AND THAT IS, IT'S A VERY
GENERIC PLACE AND WE'RE FROM
HERE AND WE DON'T REALLY HAVE AN
IDENTITY.
THEN THE FRENCH SIDE, OF COURSE,
WE HAVE A VERY STRONG IDENTITY
AND WE IDENTIFY OURSELVES AS NOT
Québecers IN THE SAME WAY THAT
CANADIANS IDENTIFY THEMSELVES AS
NOT AMERICANS.
IT'S KIND OF A NEGATIVE
IDENTITY, IN A WAY.
AND YOU'RE TORN BETWEEN THE TWO.
BUT THAT'S VERY, VERY REAL, AND
BEING A FRANCO-ONTARIAN IS
SOMETHING THAT I'M EXTREMELY
CONSCIOUS OF WHEN PEOPLE ASK ME
WHAT MY ETHNICITY IS, THAT'S MY
ANSWER.

Steve says IF YOU LOOK AT THE
JUMBOTRON BEHIND US, YOU CAN SEE
IT. THAT UNION JACK IS PRETTY
PROMINENT ON OUR FLAG STILL.
DOES THAT SPEAK TO YOU AS AN
ENGLISH CANADIAN?

Menon says IT SPEAKS TO
THE PAST, I FEEL.
BECAUSE I THINK IT'S ADDRESSING
THIS IDEA OF MULTIPLE IDENTITIES
AND WHAT GAIL WAS SAYING EARLIER
ABOUT POST-COLONIAL KIND OF
IDENTITY, I THINK THAT WE
LIVE... MODERN ONTARIO IS A
TRANS-CULTURAL SPACE.

Steve says WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Menon says THAT MEANS
THAT DEPENDING ON MY CONTEXT,
THAT IT COULD BE MORE FRANCO AND
MORE ONTARIAN AND MORE ENGLISH
IN CERTAIN CONTEXTS.
I COULD BE MORE GUYANESE OR MORE
NEW YORK OR MORE SCARBOROUGH,
BUT THE TRUTH IS THAT THE THING
THAT'S INTERESTED ABOUT ONTARIO
IS THAT I CAN DO THESE THINGS
WITHOUT ANYBODY CHALLENGING ME
OR GETTING UPSET OR BEING
THREATENED.
WHICH IS NOT THE CASE IN NEW
YORK CITY.
YOU CAN BE ANYTHING YOU WANT IN
NEW YORK, AS LONG AS YOU'RE A
NEW YORKER.
AS SOON AS YOU START TO GIVE
THAT UP, THERE'S A LOT OF
SUSPICION.

Steve says INTERESTING.
HOW ABOUT THIS NOTION OF WHAT
NELSON WISEMAN TALKS ABOUT, THAT
THAT'S US AND WE'RE DIFFERENT
FROM EVERYBODY ELSE BECAUSE OF IT?

Gail says WELL, WE ARE
DIFFERENT FROM EVERYBODY ELSE
BUT I THINK THERE ARE LOTS OF
REASONS.
ONE OF THE REASONS IS THAT
EVERYBODY ELSE, YOU LIVE CLOSE
TO THE AMERICAN BORDER.
BUT WE LIVE CLOSE TO HUGE
AMERICAN CITIES, AND THAT IS A
VERY FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE.
WE GREW UP.
THERE WAS BUFFALO.
IT WAS THRIVING.
THERE WAS DETROIT.
IT WAS THRIVING.
AND THAT'S QUITE DIFFERENT FROM
HAVING A BORDER WITH SOME
FARMLAND OR SOME FORESTS ON THE
OTHER SIDE.
SO I THINK THAT THE NEED TO
CARVE OUR OWN CANADIAN, ONTARIAN
IDENTITY IS QUITE SPECIFIC TO
ONTARIO.
I KIND OF LIKE TO FOCUS ON HOW
THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE.
IT MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE.
TAKE A LOOK AT THE MAP.
NOBODY ELSE IS LIVING BESIDE
HUGE AMERICAN CITIES, BELCHING
OUT THEIR VALUES, SENDING OUT
THEIR SIGNALS AND SO ON.

Steve says VANCOUVER'S NOT FAR
FROM SEATTLE.

Gail says TRUE.
BUT IT IS SEPARATED BY WATER.
IT'S SEPARATED BY A LOT MORE
THAN WE ARE.
YOU CAN'T JUST LITERALLY WALK
OVER, WHICH WE CAN.

Steve says DO YOU FEEL LIKE A
QUINTESSENTIAL ENGLISH CANADIAN
AFTER HEARING NELSON WISEMAN'S
PRECIS, THERE.

Charlie says I THINK I
WAS RAISED THAT CANADIAN, THAT
FLAG, WHICH IS INDEED FROM THE
PAST.
I THINK, HOWEVER... AND THIS IS
MAYBE EXTENDING GAIL'S
THOUGHT... WHAT ACTUALLY
DISTINGUISHES ONTARIO NOW
SPECIFICALLY, THE GREATER
TORONTO AREA, IS THAT THIS
EXTRAORDINARY UNPRECEDENTED
EXPERIMENT IN DIVERSITY,
EXPERIMENT IN INCLUSION.
WE ARE DOING SOMETHING RIGHT
HERE, RIGHT NOW THAT NO ONE ELSE
IN THE WORLD IS DOING AT THIS
LEVEL, AND SO FAR WITH THIS
SUCCESS.

Steve says PRETTY WELL, YEAH.

Charlie says SO I WOULD
MUCH RATHER... I CERTAINLY AM
TIRED OF HAVING TO DEFEND
LAURENTIAN COMPACT, WHATEVER IT
WAS OR MIGHT BE, AND CERTAINLY
TIRED OF HAVING TO DEFEND THE
NOTION THAT IF YOU'RE FROM
ONTARIO, YOU HAVE ASSUMPTIONS OF
SUPERIORITY OR PRIVILEGE, BUT
I'M VERY HAPPY TO OWN THAT ONE.
I'M VERY HAPPY TO OWN THE
ONTARIO AND THE G.T.A. WE ARE NOW.

Steve says LET'S JUST SHARE
SOME POLLING WITH YOU ALL HERE
BECAUSE WE KNOW IN ONTARIO, WE
TEND NOT TO THINK OF OURSELVES
AS ONTARIAN FIRST, CANADIANS SECOND.
THAT'S NOT THE CASE IN SOME
OTHER PROVINCES.
WHY DON'T WE BRING THIS UP HERE?

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Strong sense of belonging."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
IF YOU'RE FROM MANITOBA, DO YOU
HAVE A STRONG SENSE OF BELONGING
TO THE PROVINCE OF MANITOBA?
WELL, NOT SO MUCH.
37 percent DO.
BUT TWO-THIRDS OF MANITOBANS
HAVE A VERY STRONG SENSE OF
BELONGING TO CANADA.
HOW ABOUT ONTARIO?
AGAIN, 39 percent WITH A STRONG SENSE
OF BELONGING TO THE PROVINCE BUT
70 percent WITH A STRONG SENSE OF
BELONGING TO CANADA.
AND THEN IT DESCENDS.
ALBERTANS HAVE A STRONGER SENSE
OF BELONGING TO THEIR PROVINCE
THAN THE COUNTRY.
Québecers OF COURSE, A MUCH
STRONGER SENSE OF BELONGING TO
THEIR PROVINCE AS OPPOSED TO THE
COUNTRY, AND NEWFOUNDLAND AND
LABRADOR, THE STRONGEST SENSE OF
BELONGING TO THEIR PARTICULAR
PROVINCE AS OPPOSED TO A
STRONG... A LESS... OR EQUALLY
STRONG SENSE, I GUESS, OF
BELONGING TO THE COUNTRY.
ANY SURPRISES IN THERE FOR YOU, CHARLIE?

Charlie says NO.
THE OVERARCHING SURPRISE FOR ME,
AND I THINK CANADIANS UNDERSELL
THIS, UNDERTHINK ABOUT, IF
THAT'S A WORD.
CANADA IS AN ASTONISHMENT.
WE ARE 4,000 MILES WIDE.
WE EXTEND TO THE ARCTIC CIRCLE.
IT IS AMAZING TO ME THAT ALL
THESE PEOPLE WHO HAVE... EVEN IN
THE 21ST CENTURY, EVEN WITH ALL
THE TRANSPORTATION AND
TECHNOLOGY, STILL ARE VAST
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THESE
DIFFERENT GROUPS, AND YET THIS
GLUE IS THERE AND THIS... THIS
COMPLEX, BUT ULTIMATELY QUITE
POSITIVE OVERALL FEELING ABOUT
NATIONAL IDENTITY EXISTS AT ALL.
I DON'T THINK WE SPEND ENOUGH
TIME THINKING ABOUT HOW
REMARKABLE IT IS.
PROBABLY EVERYBODY AT THIS TABLE
TRAVELS A FAIR BIT.
AND AS YOU KNOW, IT'S QUICKER TO
FLY TO LONDON, ENGLAND, THAN TO
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA.

Steve says AMAZING, YEAH.
THAT SAYS A GREAT DEAL, DOESN'T
IT, RIGHT THERE?
DO YOU WISH WE WERE A LITTLE BIT
MORE LIKE NEWFOUNDLAND AND
LABRADOR OR Québec OR ALBERTA
AND HAD A STRONGER SENSE OF OUR
ONTARIANNESS RELATIVE TO THE COUNTRY?

The caption changes to "Gail Lord, @gail_lord."

Gail says IT'S A TOUGH
QUESTION, ACTUALLY.
I THINK THAT EVERYBODY SHOULD
HAVE A SENSE OF WHERE THEY LIVE
AND WHY THEY LIVE THERE.
OTHERWISE, YOU'RE A KIND OF
ROOTLESS PERSON.
SO I THINK THAT THE IDENTITY
COMPONENT IS ACTUALLY VERY
IMPORTANT.
WE HAVE A WONDERFUL IDENTITY.
WE HAVE OUR PROBLEMS, BUT WE
KIND OF HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF
LET'S SOLVE THEM.
I'M CONCERNED THAT WE AREN'T
FOCUSED ON THE POSITIVE IN
ONTARIO, THAT WE TEND TO EITHER
SEE OURSELVES AS A KIND OF
SEE-THROUGH PLACE THAT'S
INVISIBLE, AND SO WHY NOT HIRE
MOST OF OUR CULTURAL LEADERS
FROM ELSEWHERE?
THAT'S ONE OF THE PROBLEMS.
WE...

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

Steve says WHAT'S THAT A REFERENCE TO?

Gail says IT'S A REFERENCE
TO THE FACT THAT IN THE CITY OF
TORONTO RIGHT NOW, MOST OF THE
CULTURAL LEADERS HAVE BEEN
LITERALLY BROUGHT IN FROM OTHER
COUNTRIES.
THAT'S REALLY QUITE INCREDIBLE.

Steve says DO YOU REGRET THAT?

Gail says WELL, I THINK
THAT IT HAS A... I THINK THAT
OUR CULTURE IS THE MAIN CARRIER
OF IDENTITY.
I THINK WE HAVE IS A COMPLEX OF
REALLY SUBTLE IDENTITY.
OF COURSE I REGRET IT.
I THINK IT'S PRETTY HARD FOR
THOSE ORGANIZATIONS TO BE LED IN
A CONSCIOUSLY ONTARIAN OR
CANADIAN WAY.

Steve says NOT TO GET TOO FAR
OFF THE PATH HERE, BUT DO YOU
THINK THEY'RE TICKED OFF IN
BOSTON BY THE FACT THAT THERE'S
AN ONTARIAN RUNNING THEIR MUSEUM
DOWN THERE?

Gail says I THINK THEY'RE
THRILLED.
THEY SHOULD BE THRILLED.
BUT ONE OUT OF 20 CULTURAL
LEADERS IS NOT THE SAME AS THE
MAJORITY OF CULTURAL LEADERS.
MAYBE IT'S SOMETHING THAT OUR
DIVERSITY... OUR DIVERSITY HERE
IN THE PROVINCE, WE HAVE LOTS OF
FABULOUS PEOPLE HERE.
I HAVE TO GET THAT OUT BECAUSE
IT'S AN ISSUE.

Steve says OKAY.
LET'S PUT THIS UP HERE NOW.
TO CELEBRATE ONTARIO'S 150... OF
COURSE, WE'RE HEARING A LOT
ABOUT CANADA'S 150th, BUT IT'S
OF COURSE THE 150th
ANNIVERSARY OF ONTARIO, AND SO
THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF THE
PROVINCE INVITED 150 ONTARIANS
TO SHARE SHORT APPRECIATIONS OF
WHAT THE PROVINCE MEANS TO THEM,
AND HERE'S ONE FROM BILL
THORSELL, THE FORMER PUBLISHER
OF THE GLOBE AND MAIL, FORMER
HEAD OF THE ONTARIO MUSEUM WHO
IS ORIGINALLY FROM ALBERTA AND
WROTE THIS ON VISITING TORONTO...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Ontario Difference." The quote reads "I was sitting on a bench in Yorkville, where someone had left a newspaper on a ledge. The wind scattered it around. To my amazement, a man got up, chased down the many pages, and placed them in a trash can. I did not witness that kind of thing in Edmonton then."
Quoted from William Thorsell, "150 stories." 2017.

Steve says DOES THAT TELL US
ANYTHING ABOUT BEING AN
ONTARIAN, THAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW
BEFOREHAND?

Gail says I LIVE IN THAT
NEIGHBOURHOOD AND I'VE NEVER
SEEN THAT HAPPEN, BUT THAT'S OKAY.

Menon says THE DESCRIPTION OF BROAD
FORESTS AND SO ON... IT'S SUCH A
PAT THING.
SURE, PEOPLE ARE CLEAN AND TIDY
HERE.
THAT DOESN'T TELL US ABOUT THE
HEARTS AND MINDS OF THE PEOPLE
WHO ARE LIVING HERE.

Steve says THAT'S THE QUESTION:
DOES IT SPEAK TO A NEED FOR
CLEANLINESS, ORDERLINESS, PEACE,
ORDER, AND GOOD GOVERNMENT, LEST
I USE THAT EXPRESSION, THAT WE
HAVE HERE IN THIS PROVINCE?

Menon says I THINK
THAT'S A BASIC HUMAN NEED ON THE
MASLOW PYRAMID, WHATEVER WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT, CLEANLINESS.
WE HAVE ATTRIBUTES LIKE OUR
ABILITY TO SWAY IN THE DIRECTION
OF THE AMERICAN CITIES, IMBIBE
THEIR CULTURE, BRING IT BACK
WITH US, AND STILL BE OURSELVES.
IT MIGHT BE SEEN AS A DETRIMENT
PREVIOUSLY, BUT WE'VE UNLEASHED
A WHOLE GROUP OF WORKERS IN THE
STATES WHO CAN BLEND IN WITH ALL
THESE VARIOUS COMPANIES AND RUN
THINGS.
YOU ALWAYS NOTICE THERE'S NEVER
REALLY ANY STRONG CANADIAN CLUBS
IN THESE MAJOR CENTRES, UNLIKE
ENGLISH CLUBS OR... WE DON'T
BAND TOGETHER BECAUSE WE'RE SO
GOOD AT EXTENDING OURSELVES
OUTWARDS.

The caption changes to "Marc Mayer, @marc_mayer."

Marc says I DON'T KNOW
ABOUT THAT, ACTUALLY.
I LIVED IN NEW YORK FOR MANY
YEARS AND WE WOULD ALWAYS HAVE A
HUGE PARTY WHERE ALL THE
CANADIANS WOULD GET TOGETHER TO
CELEBRATE CANADIAN THANKSGIVING.
WE HAD A FEW AMERICAN FRIENDS
WHO THOUGHT IT WAS SO AMUSING
THAT YOU'D HAVE THANKSGIVING A
MONTH EARLIER.
BUT WE DID STICK TOGETHER, THE
CANADIANS.
AND THE CANADIANS SORT OF STICK
TOGETHER IN PARIS ALSO, WHICH IS
ANOTHER FOREIGN CITY I LIVED IN
WHERE CANADIANS TEND TO STICK
TOGETHER.
NONE OF US HAD LANGUAGE
PROBLEMS.
IT WASN'T FOR THAT REASON.
CERTAINLY NOT IN NEW YORK.

Steve says HOW ABOUT IN THAT
GROUP OF CANADIANS STICKING
TOGETHER WOULD ONTARIANS SEEK
EACH OTHER OUT AND FEEL THERE
WAS A COMMON BOND THERE?

Marc says THAT'S A GOOD
QUESTION AND IT'S SOMETHING THAT
I THINK WE NEED A MUCH MORE
IMPRESSIVE PHILOSOPHER THAN ANY
OF US TO UNPACK.
BECAUSE I CAN'T TELL THE
DIFFERENCE.
AM I TALKING ABOUT MYSELF AS AN
ONTARIAN OR AS A CANADIAN?
IN MY HEAD I'M USUALLY TALKING
ABOUT MYSELF AS A CANADIAN.

Steve says THAT'S INTERESTING
YOU MAKE NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN
THE TWO.
CLEARLY IN Québec, IN ALBERTA,
IN NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR,
THEY DO MAKE THAT DISTINCTION.

Marc says I THINK BECAUSE
THEY NEED TO AND WE DON'T IN
ONTARIO. PERHAPS THAT'S WHY.
IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT'S
IMPORTANT TO ME.
IT'S NOT MISSING FROM MY LIFE
THAT I DON'T HAVE A KIND OF.
[SPEAKING IN FRENCH]
A BELONGINGNESS TO ONTARIO.
I BELONG TO ONTARIO.
IT'S SOMETHING I TAKE COMPLETELY
FOR GRANTED AND NEVER REALLY
THINK ABOUT.

Steve says THE COAT OF ARMS
DOESN'T TAKE IT FOR GRANTED.
IF YOU ACTUALLY LOOK AT THE COAT
OF ARMS THAT QUEEN VICTORIA GAVE
US IN 1868, THE MOTTO IN LATIN
READS
(SPEAKING LATIN)
LOYAL SHE BEGAN.
LOYAL SHE REMAINS.

The caption changes to "The place that was."

Gail says OH, WOW.

Steve says CHARLIE, DOES THAT
HAVE ANY RESONANCE AT ALL TO
ANYBODY WHO IS UNDER 50, LET'S SAY?

Charlie says NO, NO.
NOR SHOULD IT.

Steve says NOR SHOULD IT?

The caption changes to "Charles Foran, @312Foran."

Charlie says I DON'T THINK SO.
NOT PARTICULARLY.
I WOULD SUGGEST THAT WE NEED
SOME NEW LANGUAGE TO UNDERSTAND
WHO WE ARE AND HOW WE ARE
COMPORTING OURSELVES IN SOCIETY.
I THINK EVEN THE LANGUAGE OF
POLITENESS, THE LITTLE NEWSPAPER
INCIDENT, IS ACTUALLY OLD
LANGUAGE AND IT'S BANAL LANGUAGE
AND COLONIAL.
I THINK THE CORRECT LANGUAGE IS
ACCOMMODATION.
THE CORRECT LANGUAGE IS A
SOPHISTICATED UNDERSTANDING OF
SPACE HERE.
THAT ACTUALLY SPEAKS TO WHO WE
ARE.
I THINK SO MUCH OF OUR LANGUAGE,
LIKE SOME OF OUR SYMBOLS, ARE
FROM FRANKLY A COLONIZED ONTARIO
AND WE'RE WAY PAST THAT.

Steve says SO WE SHOULD CHANGE
THE FLAG?

Charlie says YES.

Steve says TIME TO GET RID OF
THE FLAG.
JOHN ROBARTS PICKED THAT FLAG.
YOU WANT TO GET RID OF THAT FLAG?

Gail says I AGREE.
I WALKED IN THE ROOM I WAS
SHOCKED.
IT'S BIG.

Steve says THAT'S OUR FLAG.

Gail says I THINK IT'S A
GREAT TIME TO CHANGE IT.
IT'S A GREAT YEAR TO DO IT.

Marc says THERE'S A
FRANCO-ONTARIAN FLAG THAT'S
QUITE BEAUTIFUL.

[MIXED VOICES]

Marc says TRILLIUM AND
GREEN BACKGROUND FOR THE FLOWERS
DE LIS AND WHITE BACKGROUND FOR
THE TRILLIUM.

A picture shows the described flag fluttering in the wind.

Charlie says THIS IS NOT
DISRESPECTING THE 19TH AND FIRST
HALF OF THE 20TH CENTURY.
THIS HAPPENED.
THIS IS AN ACCURATE REFLECTION.
THAT LATIN MOTTO IS LARGELY
ACCURATE OF THE SELF-CONCEPTIONS
OF ONTARIANS DURING THAT FIRST
CENTURY, LET'S SAY.
I JUST THINK WE'RE NOW WELL INTO
THE SECOND CENTURY AND WE ARE AN
EVOLVING, EXPANDING SPACE AND WE
CAN DO BETTER AND WE SHOULD FIND
THE LANGUAGE THAT EXPLAINS WHO
WE ARE.
IT'S NOT THAT ELUSIVE.
BUT YOU CAN'T... YOU CAN'T GET
THERE IF YOU KEEP TALKING ABOUT
THAT WE'RE POLITE.

Steve says WE DIDN'T HAVE A
FLAG BEFORE THIS ONE, ACTUALLY.
THIS FLAG'S ONLY 50 YEARS OLD.

Charlie says THAT'S
ANOTHER ISSUE.
WE USED THE UNION JACK.
THAT'S PERHAPS ANOTHER DEBATE,
I'M NOT SURE.

Marc says IT'S THE RED ANSON.
IT'S A SUB BRITISH FLAG.

Gail says EXACTLY RIGHT.
I THINK WHAT'S INTERESTING, WE
TALKED ABOUT TRAVEL, THE FACT
THAT EACH OF US IS SOMEWHAT OF
AN INTERNATIONAL PERSON.
I'VE LIVED IN ONTARIO ALL MY
LIFE BUT I'VE WORKED IN, I DON'T
KNOW, A HUNDRED DIFFERENT CITIES
AND MANY DIFFERENT COUNTRIES AND
I THINK WHAT'S AMAZING ABOUT
ONTARIANS IS HOW WE FLY BELOW
THE RADAR.
AND IT'S REALLY ONE OF THE
QUALITIES THAT MAKES US
SUCCESSFUL INTERNATIONALLY.
BECAUSE WE'RE SURROUNDED BY
PEOPLE FROM EVERYWHERE, WE CAN
EASILY LAND ANYWHERE AND BE
REALLY QUITE COMFORTABLE.
I THINK IT MAKES ONTARIO VERY
SUCCESSFUL IN INTERNATIONAL
TRADE.
WE PROBABLY COULD BE MORE
SUCCESSFUL.
I THINK WE NEED TO BE MORE...
HAVE MORE FUNDING FROM OUR
GOVERNMENT TO EXPORT ONTARIO
TALENT AND MAKE OUR IDENTITY
STRONGER ON THE WORLD STAGE.
I THINK WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT,
HOW CAN WE STRENGTHEN THIS GREAT
THING THAT WE HAVE.
WE DO IT WITH SO LITTLE SUPPORT
COMPARED TO OTHER REGIONS, OTHER
PLACES.
I THINK THAT THAT'S SOMETHING WE
HAVE TO KIND OF THROW OUT THERE.

Steve says GOING BACK TO THE
FLAG FOR A SECOND.
MARC, THAT FLAG DID... YOU'LL
INDULGE... I THINK IT'S A GOOD
DEBATE. IT'S A GOOD DEBATE.
THAT FLAG EVOKES THE FAMILY
COMPACT, WHICH RAN THIS PROVINCE
FOR A VERY LONG TIME AND WHICH
SUGGESTED ONCE UPON A TIME THAT
UNLESS YOU SORT OF CAME FROM
BRITISH STOCK, THE PRIVILEGES
THAT FLOWED FROM THAT FAMILY
COMPACT WERE NOT FOR YOU AND IN
FACT THERE WAS A LITTLE REVOLT
ABOUT 6 BLOCKS NORTH OF HERE
WHERE THE REFORMERS TRIED TO
TAKE ON THE FAMILY COMPACT AND LOST.
IS THAT STILL... IS THAT STILL
THE ONTARIO OF TODAY?

Marc says I HAVE TO TELL
YOU, STEVE, AND I'M VERY
EMBARRASSED TO SAY THIS, BUT I
NEVER REALLY NOTICED THAT THAT
WAS THE FLAG OF ONTARIO, TO BE
QUITE FRANK.
I NOTICED A LOT OF OTHER FLAGS
BUT NOT REALLY THAT ONE.
YEAH, IT'S INVISIBLE.
THE FLAG MAY BE ONE OF THE
PROBLEMS.
BUT I'D LIKE TO COME BACK TO
SOMETHING THAT GAIL SAID ABOUT
HOW WE FLY UNDER THE RADAR AND
HOW COMFORTABLE CANADIANS ARE IN
THE WORLD.
I GREW UP IN SUDBURY, AS YOU
KNOW, WHICH IS EVERY BIT AS
COSMOPOLITAN AS TORONTO AND I
THINK THE FACT THAT YOUR
NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOURS AS A CHILD
WERE PEOPLE THAT SPOKE A
DIFFERENT LANGUAGE THAN ANY
LANGUAGE YOU HAD EVER HEARD OF
OR ANY LANGUAGE OF THE OTHER...
MAKES YOU A DIFFERENT KIND OF
PERSON IN THE WORLD.
MY FATHER USED TO SAY THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN AMERICAN
AND A CANADIAN IS, AN AMERICAN
IS VISITING A FOREIGN COUNTRY
WHEN HE'S ABROAD, WHEREAS THE
CANADIAN IS THE FOREIGNER WHEN
HE'S ABROAD.
I HAVE A SENSE THAT I'M NOT FROM
HERE AND I'M VISITING THIS
PLACE.
AND THAT'S A HUGE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN US AND THEM, AND I THINK
IT HAS TO DO WITH THIS
FUNDAMENTAL COSMOPOLITANISM OF
CANADIANS.

Gail says THAT WE'VE EVOLVED.
I'M GLAD YOU MENTIONED SUDBURY.
ONE OF THE OTHER SPECIAL THINGS
ABOUT ONTARIO IS WE HAVE QUITE A
FEW BIG CITIES AND MID-SIZED
CITIES AND A LOT OF TOWNS AND
SMALL CITIES AND WE ARE IN THE
MIDST OF A KIND OF CRISIS OF THE
SURVIVAL OF THESE SMALL CITIES,
YET SMALL TOWNS AND CITIES HAVE
A KIND OF LIFE CYCLE.
THE CHILDREN GROW UP, THEY LEAVE
FOR MORE AMBITIOUS PLACES, THEN
PEOPLE RETIRE, THEY RETURN.
AND I THINK AGAIN THAT ONTARIO
HAS TO TAKE THIS LIFE CYCLE OF
CITIES... IT IS A CRUCIAL PART
OF OUR IDENTITY.
I THINK EVERY ONE OF US HAS SOME
SMALL TOWN OR SOME WONDERFUL
PLACE THAT WE GO, AND THEY
AREN'T APART FROM US, THEY ARE A
PART OF US.
SO HOW DO WE MAKE THAT HAPPEN?
WHICH I THINK IS DIFFERENT.
I THINK IT'S DIFFERENT FROM
OTHER PLACES.

Steve says CHARLIE, DO YOU
STILL SEE MANIFESTATIONS OF OLD
ONTARIO MAKING ITS PRESENCE FELT
IN TODAY'S ONTARIO?

Charlie says IT IS RESILIENT.
IT HAS RESOURCES.
IT'S CERTAINLY NOT LIKE IT WAS.
WHEN I WAS A CHILD, MY FATHER
WOULD DRIVE ME AROUND AND POINT
OUT THE ORANGE LODGES IN THE
G.T.A. BECAUSE WE WERE CATHOLIC.

Gail says THAT'S TRUE.

Charlie says HE WOULD SAY
THESE PEOPLE STILL RUN THIS
PLACE.
AND I AM MINDFUL EVEN NOW IN
2017 THAT THERE'S A LOT OF POWER
THAT RESIDES INSIDE THOSE OLDER
STRUCTURES.
SOCIOECONOMIC, CLASS, AND SO
FORTH.
AT THE SAME TIME, IT IS ALL UP
FOR GRABS.
SO MUCH OF THE ENERGY IN
ONTARIO, SO MUCH OF THE ENERGY
IN THE G.T.A. IS THE 905, ITS
NEW PEOPLE, NEW THINKING.
OLD-NEW.
THEY'RE BRINGING THINKING FROM
THEIR COUNTRIES.
IT'S ALL UP FOR GRABS.
THIS IS A PROTIUM, UNFOLDING
PLACE.
SO, YES, AND I DON'T BEGRUDGE
ANGLO SAXONS, THEY'RE FAMILY
COMPACT PEOPLE, THEIR LIFESTYLES
OR THEIR OPPORTUNITIES.
BUT THEY ARE JUST ONE PLAYER NOW.

Steve says HAVE YOU BEEN TO AN
ORANGE DAY PARADE LATELY?

Charlie says NOT IN A LONG TIME.

Steve says THERE'S NOTHING LEFT.
THERE'S ALMOST NOTHING TO IT NOW.

Charlie says GOOD TO HEAR, STEVE.

Gail says THEY USED TO
MARCH BY OUR HOUSE AND I WAS A
LITTLE KID AND MY MOTHER WOULD
ALWAYS HAVE ME TURN AWAY AND SHE
WOULD SAY, YOU KNOW, THOSE
PEOPLE ARE AGAINST PEOPLE LIKE US.

Steve says WHO ARE PEOPLE LIKE YOU?

Gail says PEOPLE LIKE US
WERE NOT WHITE ANGLO SAXON
PROTESTANT AND, YEAH, I DIDN'T
REALLY UNDERSTAND IT.
BUT I CAME TO UNDERSTAND IT, YEAH.

Steve says DO YOU SEE
MANIFESTATIONS OF OLD ONTARIO
STILL TRYING TO HANG ON?

Menon says NO, NOT ME.
FOR ME ONTARIO IS THE ONLY
COSMOPOLITAN CENTRE IN NORTH
AMERICA THAT OWNS THE RACIAL
SLUR FOR SOUTH ASIAN.
IN NEW YORK, YOU DON'T HEAR
THIS.
IN TEXAS, YOU DON'T HEAR THIS.
IN CALIFORNIA.
AND WHEN I GREW UP HERE, THAT
WAS A HEAVY WEIGHT TO BEAR.
BUT COMING BACK AS AN ADULT, I
REALIZED ALL THOSE STRUCTURES
KIND OF EVAPORATE.
IN FACT, I WAS PROBABLY CARRYING
THAT AROUND MORE THAN THE
CULTURE WAS.
BUT I THINK IT'S AN IMPORTANT
THING TO REALIZE THAT THERE MAY
BE VESTIGES OF THIS, BUT THE
ENERGY... I MEAN, NOT TO BE
FLIPPANT.
BUT REMEMBER THE FOOD AND GOING
OUT HERE A LONG TIME AGO?
IT WAS TERRIBLE.
AND ALL THESE PEOPLE HERE NOW
HAVE CREATED AN INCREDIBLE,
VIBRANT CITY THE WORLD WANTS TO SEE.

Steve says THEY USED TO TIE UP
THE SWINGS IN THE PARKS ON
SUNDAYS. YOU COULDN'T GO INTO
A PARK ON A SUNDAY AND SWING,
BACK IN THE DAY.

Charlie says CAN I
INTERJECT A LITTLE ABOUT ACCENT.
I THOUGHT A LOT ABOUT ACCENT
OVER THE COURSE OF MY CAREER,
PARTICULARLY AS A WRITER.
I REGRET IT'S PROBABLY TOO LATE
TO EVER HAVE AN ONTARIAN ACCENT
BECAUSE WE WERE SO
LINGUISTICALLY CONSERVATIVE AND
PRESERVATIVE, WE ARE THE
VESTIGES OF THE EMPIRE AND WE
WERE HANGING ON AND WE WERE
DELIBERATELY FLATTENING
EVERYTHING OUT AND STAYING UNDER
THE RADAR IN CONTRAST TO
NEWFOUNDLANDERS AND PEOPLE IN
OTHER PARTS.
NOW WE'RE SIMPLY TOO... WE'RE
TOO EXPLODING WITH DIVERSITY AND
DIFFERENT VOICES TO EVER HAVE ONE.
I WOULDN'T HAVE MINDED BEING
IDENTIFIABLE BY MY ACCENT WHEN I
WAS YOUNGER.
PEOPLE WOULD SAY YOU'RE FROM
MINNESOTA, BUFFALO, CLEVELAND.

Steve says YOU DID A PIECE IN
THE GUARDIAN ON THIS I JUST READ
THE OTHER DAY.

Charlie says FAIRLY
RECENTLY ABOUT POST NATIONALISM.

Steve says IF CANADA IS A POST
NATIONAL STATE, ARE WE A POST
PROVINCIAL STATE IN THE SAME WAY?

Charlie says YES, YES.
WE ARE EVOLVING OUT OF ANY
NOTIONS OF MONOCULTURE.
WE ARE EVOLVING INTO THE MULTI.
IT'S INEVITABLE.
IT'S NOT WITHOUT ITS BUMPS.
WE CAN TALK ABOUT PEEL RIGHT NOW
AND THE CHALLENGES AROUND
SCHOOLING THERE.
BUT IT IS HAPPENING.
AND FOR A MOMENT, TO SOUND
SOFTER THAN I AM, IT'S QUITE
BEAUTIFUL.
IT'S QUITE LOVELY.
I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER AS A
56-YEAR-OLD ONTARIAN, TO BE
ALIVE AND WELL AND PARTICIPATING
IN THIS BLOOMING OF OUR CULTURE
AND OUR SOCIETY.

Steve says LET ME QUOTE
SOMEBODY WHO, ALAS, IS NOT ALIVE
AND WELL.
THIS IS CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS WHO
SAID OF ONTARIO OR TORONTO: A
UNITED STATES WITH A WELFARE
REGIME AND A MORE POLITE STREET
ETIQUETTE AND THE ADDITIONALLY
REASSURING VISAGE OF QUEEN
ELIZABETH ON THE CURRENCY."
HOW DOES THAT WORK FOR YOU?

The caption changes to "The place that wants attention."

Marc says I DO LIKE TO
SEE HER EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE.
I'M ONE OF THE FEW
FRENCH-CANADIAN MONARCHISTS THAT
I KNOW SHE PROTECTS OUR
DEMOCRACY FROM THE POLITICAL
SYSTEM THAT WE BORROWED FROM
WHAT WE FRENCH CANADIANS CALL
THE CONQUEROR.
BUT WE HAVE A REAL SOFT SPOT FOR
THAT CONQUEROR BECAUSE I REALLY
LIKE THE COUNTRY WE BUILT
TOGETHER AND EIGHTS OPENNESS.
I LOVE THE DIVERSITY IN CANADA.
IT'S IMPORTANT TO ME.
SOMETHING ABOUT HER FACE MAKES
ME THINK ABOUT THAT DIVERSITY
BECAUSE OF THE WIDTH AND BREADTH
OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE.
I'M NOT DOWN ON THE FAMILY
COMPACT OR BRITISH HERITAGE IN
CANADA OR ONTARIO WHICH WAS
INVENTED IN 1791 TO ACCOMMODATE
UNITED EMPIRE LOYALISTS.
WE'VE BEEN WAVING FLAGS HERE FOR
A LONG TIME.
IT'S FUNNY WE AREN'T ANY MORE.

Steve says YOU ARE BRAND
AMBASSADORS, IF YOU LIKE, IN A
CERTAIN KIND OF A WAY.
LET'S HIT THIS WITH YOU FIRST,
GAIL.
PUT YOUR MARKETING HAT ON.
YOU KNOW, ONTARIO, IS IT...
EVERYBODY'S LOOKING FOR THAT
SORT OF CATCHY PHRASE OR THAT
SLOGAN OR THAT CERTAIN SOMETHING
THAT SAYS TO THE WORLD, HERE'S
WHAT WE ARE.
YOU KNOW, CANADA'S KIND OF COOL
RIGHT NOW.
WHAT'S ONTARIO?
DO WE HAVE THAT KIND OF OUTWARD
BRAND TO THE WORLD?

Gail says WELL, I THINK
THAT WE'VE TALKED ABOUT IT.
IT'S OUR DIVERSITY.
IT'S OUR FLUID IDENTITY.
IT'S OUR REALLY DEVOTION TO
CANADA.
YOU KNOW, ONTARIO WOULD MAKE A
PERFECTLY FINE COUNTRY ALL ON
ITS OWN.
THIS IS SOMETHING WE HAVE TO
THINK ABOUT.

Steve says ARE YOU A SEPARATIST?

Gail says I MIGHT BE ON
CERTAIN DAYS, YEAH.
ONTARIO IS BIGGER THAN AUSTRIA,
FOR EXAMPLE.
MOST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ARE
SMALLER THAN WE ARE.
THEY'RE DEFINITELY LESS DIVERSE.
WE HAVE A DIVERSE ECONOMY.
THAT'S NOT THE ROUTE ONTARIO HAS
EVER TAKEN.
ONTARIO HAS ALWAYS SAID WE ARE
STRONGER TOGETHER.
AND I THINK THAT THAT'S, YOU
KNOW, FINDING THAT BRAND I THINK
WOULD BE GOOD.
BRANDS ARE GREAT BECAUSE THEY
SIMPLIFY COMPLEXITY AND ONTARIO
IS NOTHING IF NOT COMPLEX SO I
THINK IT WOULD BE GOOD AND WE
HAD A BRAND AND A NEW FLAG.
I THINK THESE ARE TOOLS WE NEED.

Steve says I WAS ALWAYS OF THE
IMPRESSION THAT, WHILE CANADA
COULD BE A KIND OF A COOL NAME
TO HAVE YOUR BRAND ASSOCIATED
WITH, THAT ONTARIO ALWAYS
SCREAMED BORING.
IS THAT TRUE, CHARLES?

Charlie says I DON'T
THINK WE SHOULD BRAND ONTARIO.
I THINK WE'RE JUST FINE THE WAY
WE ARE.
I THINK WE SHOULD KEEP THE
PROFILE WE HAVE BECAUSE, AGAIN,
FROM TRAVELLING A LOT, FROM
TALKING A LOT, FROM RUNNING A
NATIONAL ORGANIZATION, IT'S
BECOME CLEAR TO ME THAT OTHER
PARTS OF THE COUNTRY... THIS IS
A NUANCED AND COMPLEX
CONVERSATION.
SO I THINK WE ARE WHAT WE ARE.
WE CONTAIN WHATEVER PERCENTAGE
OF THE POPULATION AND THE
ECONOMY AND, AS I SAID EARLIER,
I HOLD VERY DEAR THE PROJECT WE
ARE EMBARKED UPON AS A SOCIETY.
BUT, NO, WE DON'T NEED TO BRAND
ONTARIO.
WE'RE ALL RIGHT.

Steve says I'M GOING TO TRY
THIS AGAIN.
MY HUNCH IS WHEN YOU TRAVEL, YOU
DON'T TELL PEOPLE YOU'RE FROM ONTARIO.
YOU SAY YOU'RE FROM TORONTO FIRST.

Menon says I DO.

Steve says CANADA SECOND.

Menon says CORRECT.

Steve says YOU NEVER SAY YOU'RE
FROM ONTARIO.

Menon says I DON'T THINK
MOST KNOW WHERE ONTARIO IS,
QUITE FRANKLY.
THE PROBLEM IS, WITH PEEL AND
THESE OTHER REGIONS, IT'S NOT
JUST... EVEN THE GTHA DOESN'T
TALK ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE THAT
MOST OF US ENJOY.
WHILE I AGREE THERE'S NOT A LOT
OF KIND OF PRACTICAL BENEFIT TO
BRANDING ONTARIO, IT SEEMS LIKE
JUST SAYING WE'RE FROM TORONTO
DOESN'T REALLY EXPLAIN THE WHOLE THING.

Steve says ONTARIO TOO BIG TO BRAND?

Menon says TOO COMPLEX
AND TOO RICH MAYBE.
IF I'M GOING TO TALK ABOUT MY
BRAMPTON, YOU KNOW, DISTANT
RELATIVES AND THINGS LIKE THAT,
I MEAN, THAT INDO-ONTARIAN
PRESENCE IS REALLY STRONG.
STRONGER THAN IT IS IN THE CORE
OF THE CITY.
AND YET YOU WOULDN'T REALLY SAY
YOU KNEW TORONTO IF YOU DIDN'T
CONNECT WITH THESE OUTER
BURROUGHS OR OUTER CITIES.
IT'S ALMOST LIKE TORONTO IS TOO
SMALL TO CONTAIN THE WHOLE THING
BUT CERTAINLY SMALLER THAN
CANADA.
THAT'S WHERE ONTARIO MAYBE LIES,
BETWEEN THE TWO SPACES.

Steve says DO YOU WANT TO GET
ON CHARLIE'S BAD SIDE AND TRY TO
BRAND THE PROVINCE?

Marc says UNFORTUNATELY I CAN'T.
I AGREE WITH CHARLIE.
I'M SUPERSTITIOUS ABOUT THIS THING.
IF WE STARTED TO BRAND ONTARIO
AND WE'RE SHRILL ABOUT IT, THAT
IT WOULD BE A SIGN OF DECLINE.
I THINK IT WOULD MEAN THAT WE'RE
AFRAID THAT WE'VE LOST
SOMETHING, AND THEREFORE, WE
NEED TO MAKE AN EFFORT TO REGAIN
IT.
AND THAT'S REALLY NOT THE CASE.
SO I THINK BRANDING ONTARIO IS
NOT WHERE I WOULD WANT TO SPEND
A LOT OF MY MONEY.

Steve says GAIL?

Gail says I THINK THE
ISSUE, THOUGH, IS, WHEN YOU
TRAVEL AND PEOPLE SAY, WELL,
OKAY, WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
AND I AGREE, IT'S HARD TO
EXPLAIN ONTARIO.
NOBODY REALLY KNOWS WHAT ONTARIO IS.
AND IT'S A DISADVANTAGE FROM AN
ECONOMIC POINT OF VIEW, FROM A
TOURISTIC POINT OF VIEW, THAT
PEOPLE DON'T HAVE A CONCEPT.
WHY ARE WE AFRAID TO BRAND
ONTARIO BUT WE DON'T THINK IT'S
WRONG THAT CALIFORNIA HAS A
STRONG BRAND.

Steve says OR NEW YORK.

Gail says NEW YORK, EXACTLY.
THAT MAY BE A COLONIAL CRINGE
AND I THINK MOST BRANDING
COMPANIES PROBABLY COULDN'T DO
THE JOB.
BUT THAT IS A TASK.
I THINK IT'S AN INTERESTING ONE.
I THINK IT WOULD BE GOOD FOR
KIDS.
I THINK IT WOULD BE GOOD IN
SCHOOLS.
IT'S A WAY OF TAKING COMPLEXITY
AND PUTTING OUR ARMS AROUND IT.
THAT'S WHAT A BRAND IS.

Steve says CHARLIE, OBVIOUSLY
THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, ONTARIO
INC., IF YOU LIKE, HAS AN
INTEREST IN BRANDING THE
PROVINCE AS A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE
FROM OUTSIDE THE PROVINCE SHOULD
WANT TO COME AND SPEND LOTS OF
TOURISM DOLLARS.

Gail says OR TO INVEST.

Steve says OR TO INVEST.
THE QUESTION IS WHETHER THAT'S A
FRUITLESS ENTERPRISE.

Charlie says I WOULD
ARGUE RATHER THAN BEING A
COLONIAL CRINGE, WE'RE ACTUALLY
TALKING HERE AS CLASSIC
ONTARIANS.
WE'RE STRATEGIZING HOW TO LEAD
AND FIT IN AT THE SAME TIME.
IN CANADA.
AND WE'RE STRATEGIZING IN A WAY
THAT'S QUITE NUANCED AND
CLASSIC.
THAT'S VERY ONTARIAN, ACTUALLY,
VERY CANADIAN AS WELL.
SO I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT, OF
COURSE, FOR ONTARIO BRAND TO
PROSPER.
FRANKLY, STEVE, IT NEVER CROSSED
MY MIND THAT IT MIGHT NOT.
I KNOW WE EXPERIENCED A BRIEF
MOMENT OF BEING A HAVE-NOT.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

Gail says THAT IS A BIG EXPERIENCE.

Charlie says THAT WAS
FUNNY MORE THAN REAL, IT FELT
LIKE TO ME.
AND I GUESS... I'M OPERATING ON
THE ASSUMPTION THAT WE DON'T
NEED TO SELL T.V. ADS SAYING
COME TO ONTARIO.

Steve says WE DON'T NEED TO DO THAT?

Charlie says I DON'T FEEL...

Steve says IT WOULDN'T WORK
ANYWAY, WOULD IT?

Charlie says THIS I CAN'T SAY.
I DON'T HAVE EXPERTISE THERE.

Menon says WHAT WOULD
YOU SAY FOR A LARGE GEOGRAPHIC AREA.
IT'S A MYTH THAT CALIFORNIA AND
NEW YORK HAVE THESE STATE BRANDS
BECAUSE NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN
NEW YORK, NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN
CALIFORNIA ARE VERY DIFFERENT THINGS.
SO I THINK, AGAIN, KIND OF
SAYING THAT HAVING A FIXED
IDENTITY MAY BE A PLUS... MAY BE
A PLUS TO NOT HAVE THAT.
THE OTHER PROVINCES THAT YOU
SAID HAD STRONG PROVINCIAL
IDENTITY, THOSE THINGS ARE
SLIGHTLY STEREOTYPICAL AND WHAT
WE MIGHT THINK OF AS WHAT THOSE
IDENTITIES ARE.
WE HAVE A RICHNESS AND FLUIDITY
IN IDENTITY THAT TO BRAND IT
WOULD BE TO FIX IT.

Steve says CALIFORNIA MAY WANT
TO PLUG THE FACT THEY'RE THE
GOLDEN STATE, BUT WE DON'T NEED
TO DO THAT.

Menon says I DON'T THINK SO.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT SUN AND
FRUIT AND RIDICULOUSLY REDUCTIVE
THINGS.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT VERY COMPLEX
CHANGING, FORWARD-LOOKING
UTOPIAN-LEANING CULTURE.
I THINK IT'S FUNNY WHEN WE
CELEBRATE THINGS THAT ARE TEN
YEARS... WE'VE DONE TEN YEARS
AGO, LIKE GAY RIGHTS, MARRIAGE,
AND AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE THRILLED
HERE.
WE SHOULD ACCEPT OUR
FORWARD-LOOKINGNESS MORE, I
THINK, AND REALIZE THAT THEY'RE
USUALLY FOLLOWING US.
WE'RE LEADING.
WE JUST NEED TO ACCEPT THAT.

The caption changes to "Producer: Wodek Szemberg, @wodekszemberg."

Steve says WE ALSO HAVE TO
ACCEPT THE FACT THAT ALL
DISCUSSIONS COME TO AN END AND
THIS ONE JUST DID.
BUT I WANT TO THANK YOU FOUR
GREAT ONTARIANS AND IF I MAY
SAY GREAT CANADIANS AS WELL FOR
COMING IN TO TVO TONIGHT AND
SHARING YOUR VIEWS ON THIS.
THANKS SO MUCH, EVERYBODY.

All the guests say THANK YOU.

Watch: Ontario: Heart, Soul, or Brand?