Transcript: The Social Contract at 25 | Sep 20, 2018

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

A caption on screen reads "The social contract at 25. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says IT WAS CONTROVERSIAL
AND DIVISIVE AND IT'S HAUNTED
POLITICIANS AND THE PARTY THAT
INTRODUCED IT EVER SINCE.
JOINING US NOW TO LOOK BACK AT
THE BATTLES SPAWNED BY THE
SOCIAL CONTRACT.
ONTARIO'S FIRST AND SO FAR ONLY
NDP GOVERNMENT INTRODUCED WE
WELCOME FLOYD LAUGHREN WHO 25
YEARS AGO WAS MINISTER OF
FINANCE IN THE NDP GOVERNMENT.

Floyd is in his seventies, clean-shaven, with short white hair. He's wearing a gray suit and a pale yellow shirt.

Steve continues AT WESTERN UNIVERSITY IN LONDON, ONTARIO, KAREN HASLAM, WHO 25
YEARS AGO WAS ANOTHER MEMBER OF
THE BOB RAE CABINET.

Karen is in her sixties, with short blond hair. She's wearing glasses, a yellow blazer and a polka-dotted blouse.

Steve continues BACK HERE IN OUR STUDIO, MICHAEL
DECTER, WHO 25 YEARS AGO WAS THE
GOVERNMENT'S LEAD ON THE SOCIAL
CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS.

Michael is in his late sixties, clean-shaven, with short white hair. He's wearing a beige pinstripe suit, blue shirt, and checked blue tie.

Steve continues SID RYAN WHO 25 YEARS AGO WAS
PRESIDENT OF THE CANADIAN UNION
OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES, ONTARIO DIVISION.

Sid is in his late fifties, balding, with a stubble. He's wearing glasses, a black coat and white shirt.

Steve continues AND CHRISTINA BLIZZARD WHO
COVERED THE STORY 25 YEARS AGO
FOR THE TORONTO SUN.

Christina is in her sixties, with short blond hair. She's wearing a textured burgundy coat.

Steve continues AND IT'S GREAT TO HAVE EVERYBODY
FOR THIS WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE.
HERE AT OUR TABLE AND IN LONDON
AS WELL. KAREN HASLAM, GOOD TO
SEE YOU AS WELL.
FLOYD LAUGHREN, THE SOCIAL
CONTRACT WAS IN YOUR NAME.
SO LET'S START WITH YOU.
REMIND OUR AUDIENCE WHAT IT WAS
ALL ABOUT.

The caption changes to "Floyd Laughren. Health Sciences North."
Then, it changes again to "Taking the egalitarian approach."

Floyd says WELL, IT WAS IN 1993.
AND WE'D BEEN IN GOVERNMENT FOR
A COUPLE OF YEARS ALREADY.
AND THE DEFICIT WAS EXPLODING
FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE
GREAT DEPRESSION, REVENUES
ACTUALLY DECLINED YEAR OVER
YEAR.
AND AT THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT.
SO THE DEFICIT WAS RUNNING AT
ABOUT 10 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.
AND IN 1993, WE WERE STARING IN
THE FACE OF AN 18 BILLION DOLLAR
DEFICIT.

Steve says 18 BILLION DOLLARS!

Floyd says 18 BILLION DOLLARS.
THAT WAS COMPLETELY UNSUSTAINABLE.

Steve says LET'S REMIND EVERYBODY
NOT 18 BILLION DOLLARS ON A 150
BILLION DOLLARS BUDGET AS OF TODAY BUT
ON A BUDGET MAYBE HALF THAT SIZE.

Floyd says MAYBE 40, 50
BILLION DOLLARS.

Steve says LESS THAN HALF THAT SIZE.

Floyd says YES.
WE FIGURED THAT WAS
UNSUSTAINABLE.
AND WE FIGURED WE HAD TO GET
ABOUT 6 BILLION DOLLARS OUT OF IT
MINIMUM.
SO WHAT WE DID IS WE CREATED
WHAT IS KNOWN AS THE SOCIAL
CONTRACT.
I ALWAYS CALLED IT THE
THREE-LEGGED STOOL BECAUSE IT
CONSISTED OF TAKING 2 BILLION DOLLARS
OUT IN EXPENDITURE PROGRAMS,
INCREASING TAXES BY 2 BILLION DOLLARS
AND A SOCIAL CONTRACT FOR 2
BILLION DOLLARS.
SO THAT CAME TO 6 BILLION DOLLARS.
AND WOULD GET OUR DEFICIT DOWN
TO ABOUT 12.
WHICH IS PLENTY HIGH AS WELL.
AT THAT TIME.
SO THAT WAS WHAT LED TO IT.
AND SO WE HAD A VIGOROUS DEBATE
INTERNALLY.
ABOUT HOW TO GET THERE.
I MEAN THE EASIEST WAY WOULD BE
TO JUST CUT PROGRAMS.
AND TELL EVERYBODY TO LIVE WITH IT.
REDUCE TRANSFERS TO
MUNICIPALITIES, HOUSE...
HOSPITALS, SCHOOL BOARDS AND
WHAT NOT.
THAT DIDN'T SEEM LIKE A VERY
GOOD MOVE FOR A GOVERNMENT FIRST
TERM IN OFFICE.

Steve says LET ME GET YOUR FORMER
COLLEAGUE TO WEIGH IN ON THAT.
KAREN HASLAM, WHEN YOU HEARD
THAT ONE OF THE THREE LEGS OF
THAT STOOL WAS TO REOPEN
COLLECTIVELY BARGAINED CONTRACTS
IN ORDER TO SAVE 2 BILLION DOLLARS ON
WORKERS' SALARIES WHAT WAS YOUR RESPONSE?

The caption changes to "Karen Haslam. Former NDP Cabinet Minister."

Karen says WELL, I WAS NOT
AGAINST THE SOCIAL CONTRACT.
UNTIL IT MENTIONED OPENING UP
AND REDOING THE NEGOTIATED
CONTRACTS THAT UNIONS HAD.
I CAME FROM A UNION FAMILY.
MY FATHER WAS IN GM.
MY HUSBAND WAS IN CUPE.
SID RYAN WAS THE BOSS AT THE
ONTARIO LEVEL.
OUR FAMILY LIVED A UNION.
AND I KNEW WHAT THE UNIONS DID
FOR WOMEN.
SO THAT TO ME WAS SACROSANCT.
I DID NOT MIND WHAT WE WERE
TRYING TO DO.
I AGREED WITH WHAT WE WERE
TRYING TO DO.
AND I WANT TO SAY THAT FLOYD'S
FIRST BUDGET I STOOD IN A
STANDING OVATION.
HE DID WHAT HE COULD.
BUT I KEPT REMINDING THEM AT THE
END OF THE DAY, THIS IS WHAT WE
HAVE TO LOOK AT AND THAT'S WHAT
WE HAVE TO BE CAREFUL OF.

Steve says LET'S JUST BE CLEAR
AGAIN, FLOYD LAUGHREN, THAT PART
OF WHAT YOU WERE TRYING TO DO
SAID ANYBODY WHO'S PAID BY THE
PUBLIC SERVICE HAS GOT TO TAKE
10, 11, 12 DAYS OFF UNPAID.
BUT YOU DID PROTECT SOME PEOPLE IN THAT.

The caption changes to "Floyd Laughren. Former Minister of Finance."

Floyd says WE PROTECTED ANYONE
EARNING UNDER 30,000 A YEAR.
WOULD NOT BE AFFECTED BY IT.
AND IF YOU TRANSLATE THAT
30,000 INTO TODAY'S RATE THAT
WOULD BE ABOUT 50,000.
SO WE DID PROTECT THE LOWEST
INCOME PEOPLE IN THERE AS WELL.

Steve says MICHAEL DECTER, YOU
GOT YOUR MARCHING ORDERS FROM
PREMIER BOB RAE, WHAT DID HE
TASK YOU TO DO?

The caption changes to "Michael Decter. LDIC Inc."
Then, it changes again to "Coming to the table."

Michael says WELL, TRYING TO
NEGOTIATE AN AGREEMENT WITH ALL
OF THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
BROADER PUBLIC SECTOR.
IT WAS CERTAINLY THE BARGAINING
AGENTS.
Mr. RYAN AND THREE OF HIS
COLLEAGUES KIND OF LED THAT
EFFORT. BUT IT WAS ALSO THE
EMPLOYERS BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT
ITSELF WAS NOT THE EMPLOYER FOR
THE SCHOOL SYSTEM.
SO THERE WERE 600 ANGRY PEOPLE
IN A ROOM.
AND I WOULD SAY DENNIS TIMBRELL
WHO REPRESENTED THE HOSPITALS
WAS AT LEAST AS ANGRY AS ANYONE
ELSE.
BECAUSE THIS WAS A MASSIVE
INTERVENTION.
YOU KNOW, I THINK ENTIRELY WELL
MOTIVATED.
THE GOVERNMENT, Mr. LAUGHREN
DESCRIBED IT ACCURATELY.
LET ME DESCRIBE ONE MORE FEATURE
TO IT.
THE PROBLEM IN CUTTING THE
BUDGET TRANSFERS BY 2 BILLION DOLLARS
IS THERE WERE 1 MILLION PEOPLE
TO BE AFFECTED.
BUT THERE WERE 50,000 OF THEM
WHO WHY NOT UNIONIZED.
WHO WOULD HAVE CERTAINLY LOST
THEIR JOBS.
NOW, THANKFULLY, 25 YEARS LATER,
AND EFFORTS BY CUPE AND OTHER
UNIONS ALMOST ALL OF THOSE
PEOPLE ARE NOW UNIONIZED.
BUT WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED WAS
IF THE CONTRACT... IF THERE
WASN'T A SOCIAL CONTRACT, AND
YOU CUT 2 BILLION DOLLARS OUT OF THE
TRANSFERS, 50,000 LOW WAGE
PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS WOULD HAVE
LOST THEIR JOBS AND OTHER PEOPLE
WHO HAD GOOD CONTRACTS WOULD NOT
ONLY HAVE KEPT THEIR JOBS BUT
THEY WOULD HAVE HAD PAY
INCREASES, MOVEMENT IN THE GRID
AND SO ON.
SO THE CABINET AND PREMIER RAE
FELT THAT WAS NOT AN OUTCOME
THEY COULD LIVE WITH.

Steve says I WANT TO FIND OUT
WHAT SID RYAN THOUGHT WHEN HE
WALKED INTO THAT ROOM OF 600
PEOPLE.
YOU WERE ONE OF THEM.
AND MICHAEL DECTER SAID TO YOU:
WE'VE GOT TO NEGOTIATE SOME WAGE
DECREASES HERE IN ORDER TO
PREVENT THIS PROVINCE FROM GOING
INTO CHAPTER 11 OR WHATEVER THE
EQUIVALENT WOULD HAVE BEEN BACK

The caption changes to "Sid Ryan. Former CUPE Ontario President."

Sid says WE WERE IN SHOCK.
BECAUSE EARLIER WE HAD LOTS OF
MEETINGS WITH THE PREMIER AND
THE CABINET AND WE DISCUSSED
VARIOUS OPTIONS.
AND ONE OF THE OPTIONS CAME OUT
OF CUPE LIKE JUDY D'ARCY AND
MYSELF WE PROPOSED A SOCIAL
ACCORD WHICH WAS SIMILAR TO WHAT
IT BEEN NEGOTIATED IN BRITISH
COLUMBIA.
WHICH WAS BASICALLY A QUID
PRO-QUO ARRANGEMENT.
IF THEY TAKE A WAGE FREEZE, THAT
THERE WOULD BE SOME DEGREE OF
JOB SECURITY THROUGHOUT THE
PHASE OF THE AUSTERITY.
AND WE TRIED TO GET THE
GOVERNMENT TO BUY INTO THAT.
BUT THEY WOULD NOT.
AND WHAT WAS ANNOUNCED WAS YOU
HAVE TO COME INTO THE MACDONALD
BLACK ON APRIL 5th AND I
REMEMBER THAT BECAUSE IT WAS THE
DAY I CAME TO CANADA IN 1975.
ON APRIL 5th WE'RE IN THIS
MEETING WITH 200 EMPLOYERS
BASICALLY.
TWO OR THREE HUNDRED UNION
LEADERS PLUS THE CABINET AND THE
GOVERNMENT.
AND DENNIS TIMBRELL, MICHAEL IS
ABSOLUTELY CORRECT.
HE WAS JUST SALIVATING AT THE
POSSIBILITY OF BEING ABLE TO GET
AT THE COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS.
BECAUSE HE WAS NEGOTIATING WITH
THE HOSPITAL SECTOR.
AND THEY HAD GOOD COLLECTIVE
AGREEMENTS.
AND HE KEPT EGGING ON AND
MISCHIEVOUSLY I BELIEVE GOADING
THE PREMIER SAYING WE LOVE IT.
GIVE US THIS SOCIAL CONTRACT AND
WE CAN GET AT IT.
SO WE WERE REALLY VERY UPSET
WITH THE GOVERNMENT.

Steve says DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT
YOU CALLED MICHAEL DECTER BACK
IN THE DAY?

Sid says I DON'T.
WHAT DID I CALL HIM?

[LAUGHTER]

Steve says DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT
HE CALLED YOU BACK IN THE DAY?

Michael says I BELIEVE THERE WERE
BUTTONS. I HAVE ONE SOMEWHERE.

Steve says I THINK HE ACCUSED YOU
OF TREASON OR SOMETHING LIKE
THAT.

Michael says THE BUTTON I
HAVE SAID DECTER IS JUST A
FOUR-LETTER WORD.

Sid says I DIDN'T COME UP WITH
THAT SLOGAN I CAN ASSURE YOU.

Michael says I SAID WE'RE ONLY
LOOKING FOR 5 percent, NOT 20 percent.

Steve says IN THE INTERESTS OF
EQUAL TIME HERE, REMEMBER WHAT
YOU CALLED SID RYAN BACK IN THE DAY?

Michael says I DO NOT. I AM SURE
I CALLED HIM A GENTLEMAN AND A
SCHOLAR.

Steve says I'M PRETTY SURE THAT
WAS NOT WHAT YOU CALLED HIM. I'M
PRETTY SURE YOU REFERRED TO HIM
AND SOME OF THE OTHER UNION
LEADERS AS THE FOUR WIND BAGS OF
THE POPULATION.

Michael says I WAS NOT THE PERSON
WHO SAID THAT.

Steve says WHO SAID THAT, THEN.

Michael says THIS WAS PROBABLY
THE WORST MOMENT OF THE...

Sid says I THINK THAT WAS BOB
RAE THAT SAID THAT.

The caption changes to "Michael Decter. Social Contract Chief Negotiator."

Michael says I GOT A CALL AT 3
IN THE MORNING. I THINK PETER
WORTHINGTON SAID HAVE YOU HEARD
WHAT THE PREMIER SAID AT DINNER?
AND I SAID, I HAVE NOT. HE WAS
ASKED HOW THINGS WERE GOING AND
HE WAS THE ONE THAT SAID THAT.
I CAME IN THE NEXT MORNING AND
SID AND LIZ BARCLAY AND FRED
UPSHAW AND TED ROSCOE WERE ALL
SITTING THERE WITH THEIR ARMS
FOLDED.
I SAID I GUESS TWO THINGS ARE
TRUE, ONE YOU'VE HEARD.
AND TWO THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE
A VERY GOOD DAY FOR ME.
AND IT WAS NOT.

Steve says CHRISTINA BLIZZARD,
YOU WERE COVERING THIS AS A
JOURNALIST AT THE TIME.
WHAT WAS YOUR TAKE ON WHAT THE
NDP GOVERNMENT WAS TRYING TO DO
TO SAVE 2 BILLION DOLLARS.

The caption changes to "Christina Blizzard. Former Toronto Sun Queen's Park Columnist."

Christina says MY TAKE WAS THEY
CAME IN WITH THE FIRST BUDGET
WHICH I THOUGHT WAS
CATASTROPHIC.
BECAUSE IT HIKED WELFARE RATES.
AND AT THAT TIME, YOU'LL
REMEMBER THAT THE MINIMUM WAGE
WAS A LOT LOWER THEN.
SO IF YOU HIKE WELFARE RATES IT
BECAME, YOU KNOW, SIX OF
ONE-AND-A-HALF A DOZEN OF THE
OTHER WHETHER YOU WERE GOING TO
WORK FOR MINIMUM WAGE OR PERHAPS
GO ON WELFARE.
WELFARE, THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE ON
WELFARE STARTED TO RISE VERY
DRAMATICALLY.
I CAN REMEMBER WE WERE TRACKING
IT EVERY MONTH WHEN THE FIGURES
CAME OUT AS TO HOW MUCH THEY
WERE GOING UP.
I THINK AS WRITING FOR A
PHYSICALLY... FROM A FISCALLY
RESPONSIBLE POINT OF VIEW FOR A
NEWSPAPER THAT TOOK THAT KIND OF
TACK, OUR VIEW WAS YOU REALLY
NEED TO MAKE THE CUTS.
AS FLOYD SAID, THOUGH, THE
DEFICIT WAS STAGGERING.
AND THE ACCUMULATED DEBT WAS
RAPIDLY GROWING.

Steve says WHEN YOU SAY MAKE THE
CUTS YOU MEAN FIRE PEOPLE.

Christina says YES, EXACTLY.

Steve says SO YOUR PREFERENCE AND
THE SUN'S PREFERENCE WAS IF YOU
NEED TO SAVE THE MONEY, REDUCE
THE SIZE OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE.

Christina says YEAH, AT THAT TIME
THE ECONOMY AND PUB PRIVATE
SECTOR WAS NOT DOING VERY WELL.
A LOT OF MY READERS DIDN'T
UNDERSTAND WHY THE GOVERNMENT
COULDN'T DO LIKEWISE.

Steve says I SHOULD PUT THAT
QUESTION TO YOU.
OBVIOUSLY AN OPTION WAS FIRE
50,000 PEOPLE AS OPPOSED TO MAKE
A MILLION TAKE A PAY CUT.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE ONE OVER THE OTHER?

The caption changes to "Alternative approaches."

Floyd says WELL, PROBABLY OUR
FIRST PRIORITY WAS THE
PROTECTION OF SERVICES OUT
THERE.
PUBLIC SERVICES.
BECAUSE WHEN YOU CUT... LAYOFF
PUBLIC SERVANTS, YOU REDUCE
PUBLIC SERVICES.
AND WE FELT THAT WAS NOT AN
APPROPRIATE OPTION.
IF YOU HAD AN ALTERNATIVE.
AND I DON'T HEAR MANY
ALTERNATIVES.
IF YOU WANT TO PROTECT PUBLIC
SERVICES.
AND THAT'S REALLY WHAT DROVE IT.
BUT JUST ANECDOTALLY, I WAS
CAMPAIGNING IN THE NEXT
ELECTION.
AND SOMEBODY SAID TO ME: I'M
NOT SUPPORTING YOU THIS TIME I
SAID WHY.
HE SAID BECAUSE YOU'RE STUPID.
I SAID WELL, I CAN'T CURE THAT.
HE SAID I'LL TELL YOU WHY.
YOU COULD HAVE LAID OFF 50,000
PEOPLE AND THAT'S HOW MANY
PEOPLE WOULD HAVE BEEN MAD AT
YOU.
THIS WAY YOU GOT ALMOST A
MILLION PEOPLE MAD AT YOU.
NOW THAT'S STUPID.

Sid says WE NEVER BOUGHT THAT
ARGUMENT.
DALTON McGUINTY HAD THE SAME
APPROACH.
AGAIN HE BROUGHT PEOPLE IN
VOLUNTARILY TO TRY TO OPEN UP
THEIR COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS TO
GET SOME SORT OF CONCESSIONS AND
WE SAID NO.
THE 40,000 DIDN'T MATERIALIZE.
BY THE WAY WE CAME UP WITH
ALTERNATIVES THIS IS WHAT WAS SO
INFURIATING ABOUT IT ALL.
THERE'S ATTRITION TAKES PLACE
OUT OF A MILLION WORKERS ON AN
ANNUAL BASIS IT'S ABOUT 4 OR 5 percent.
YOU MULTIPLY THAT OVER A 3-YEAR
PERIOD, A WAGE FREEZE, THE
CORPORATE SECTOR WAS LEFT OUT OF THIS.
THERE WAS NO TALK ABOUT A SMALL
INCREASE IN CORPORATE TAXES, FOR EXAMPLE.

Steve says THEY DID RAISE TAXES.

Sid says ON THE AVERAGE PERSON,
ON WORKERS THEY RAISED TAXES BUT
NOT ON THE CORPORATE TAXES.

Floyd says YES, WE DID.

Sid says BOB RAE SAID WE WILL NOT
ENTERTAIN ANY INCREASES IN
CORPORATE TAXES.
WE GAVE HIM THAT PROPOSAL AT THE
ROYAL YORK HOTEL AND HE
NEGLECTED IT OUT OF HAND.
SAID THERE WILL BE NO CORPORATE
INCREASE IN THE TAXES.
THERE WERE ALTERNATIVES.
AND INSTEAD YOU PUT OUT THAT
MYTH ABOUT 40,000 JOBS WOULD
DISAPPEAR IF YOU DIDN'T... IF WE
DIDN'T OPEN THE COLLECTIVE
AGREEMENT.

Floyd says SID YOU HAD ONE
CONSTITUENCY, WE HAD THE ENTIRE
PROVINCE AS OUR CONSTITUENCY.
AND I DON'T BLAME YOU FOR
FIGHTING FOR YOUR CONSTITUENCY.
BUT WE HAD A BROADER MANDATE
THAN YOU DID.
AND THAT'S WHY WE DID WHAT WE DID.

Steve says LET'S GET KAREN IN.

Karen says AND I THINK THAT'S ONE
OF THE MAJOR PROBLEM IS THE
UNION HAS THIS IDEA AND THE
GOVERNMENT HAD THIS IDEA.
AND NEITHER ONE UNDERSTOOD WHAT
WAS GOING ON.
I THINK THAT WAS PART OF THE
PROBLEM.
THE UNIONS ARE THERE TO PROTECT
THEIR MEMBERS.
AND COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS IS HOW
THEY DO THAT.
THE GOVERNMENT IS CONCERNED
ABOUT ONTARIANS.
YES, WE DIDN'T WANT TO LAY OFF
40,000 PEOPLE.
BECAUSE THOSE WERE THE 40,000
PEOPLE AT THE END THAT WOULD
HAVE GOTTEN THE JOB OFF, NOT THE
BOSS.
BUT THE SECRETARIES.
SO I THINK THAT WAS PART OF THE
PROBLEM.
AND THERE'S MICHAEL DECTER IN
THE MIDDLE.
AND I DON'T THINK HE UNDERSTOOD
EITHER ONE OF THEM TO TELL YOU
THE TRUTH.
I THINK THAT'S PART OF THE
PROBLEM.

Steve says SHALL WE ASK HIM?

Karen says GO AHEAD.

Michael says I WOULD LIKE TO GO
BACK TO SOMETHING THAT SID SAID
AT THE BEGINNING.
THERE HAD BEEN PRE-DISCUSSIONS.
BUT I THINK THAT THE LABOUR SIDE
THOUGHT THE DEAL WAS GOING TO BE
SOMETHING LIKE A WAGE FREEZE.
MAYBE MULTIYEAR.
ATTRITION.
AND NO LAYOFFS OR, YOU KNOW,
SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
BUT BY THE TIME THE GOVERNMENT
REALLY SAW THE FINANCIAL
PICTURE, THAT WOULDN'T HAVE DONE
IT.
THAT WOULD HAVE, YOU KNOW, IT
WOULD HAVE HELPED.
BUT IT WASN'T GOING TO GET 2
BILLION DOLLARS.
THE IDEA OF TIME OFF IN LIEU OF
PAY HAD BEEN SUCCESSFULLY DONE
IN A COUPLE OF OTHER LOCATIONS.
OTHER PROVINCES AND OTHER
COUNTRIES.
I THINK THE REAL PROBLEM WAS THE
SCALE OF IT.
AND THE SUDDENNESS OF IT.
NOW, YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND:
THE ONTARIO ECONOMY LOST 750,000
PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS IN AN
18-MONTH PERIOD.
THAT WAS THE STEEPEST, SHARPEST
JOB LOSS PROBABLY SINCE THE 1930s.

Steve says SINCE THE DEPRESSION.

Michael says YEAH.
SO THE REVENUES FELL APART.
AND THERE WAS SOME REALLY
SERIOUS DISCUSSION ABOUT IF YOU
COULD EVEN... SOME PEOPLE SAID
JUST BORROW AND GET THROUGH
THIS.
IT WASN'T CLEAR THAT ONTARIO
COULD BORROW.
16 BILLION DOLLARS TO GET THROUGH IT.

Steve says AND INTEREST RATES
WERE WHAT BACK THEN?

The caption changes to "An economy in turmoil."

Michael says THEY WERE A LOT
HIGHER THAN THEY ARE NOW.
SO WE WOULD HAVE A PERMANENT
COST.
BUT I THINK IT WAS A VERY, VERY
DIFFICULT... LOOK, I GOT PUT
INTO IT BECAUSE I HAD
SUCCESSFULLY NEGOTIATED AN
AGREEMENT WITH THE DOCTORS A
COUPLE OF YEARS EARLIER.
WHICH I THOUGHT WAS DIFFICULT.
IT WASN'T EVEN IN THE BALLPARK
OF HOW DIFFICULT THIS WAS.
[LAUGHTER]
BECAUSE YOU WEREN'T REOPENING AN
AGREEMENT.
YOU WERE MAKING A NEW AGREEMENT.
AND YOU WERE DEALING WITH ONE
GROUP.
NOT DIVERSE GROUPS.
AND, YOU KNOW, LOOK, I THINK
THERE WAS A SENSE OF BETRAYAL ON
THE PART OF THE LABOUR
LEADERSHIP.
THEY HAD SUPPORTED THE NDP, THE
CCF BEFORE IT.
THIS WAS THEIR GOVERNMENT.
IN OFFICE FOR THE FIRST TIME
EVER IN ONTARIO.
AND THE GOVERNMENT TURNS AROUND
AND SAYS: YOU'VE GOT TO GIVE
SOMETHING BACK.

Steve says I WANT TO GET
CHRISTINA BLIZZARD'S TAKE ON THIS.

Michael says I THINK BY THE END
OF THE NEGOTIATION, IT WENT ON
THREE MONTHS.
A LOT OF THE NEGOTIATORS...
BECAUSE WE HAD TABLES.
YOU KNOW, A HEALTH TABLE, AN
EDUCATION TABLE.
THEY COULD SEE DEALS.
THAT COULD BE DONE.
WHICH INVOLVED THINGS OTHER THAN
TIME OFF.
SO THERE WAS, YOU KNOW, MOVEMENT
ON PENSIONS.
THERE WERE A WHOLE SET OF
THINGS.
THE NEGOTIATORS COULD SEE THEM.
BUT... AND THIS ISN'T A
CRITICISM... I THINK THE
LEADERSHIP COULDN'T SEE HOW THEY
COULD AGREE TO THIS.

Steve says THE NEGOTIATIONS...
LET ME GET CHRIS ON THIS.
THE NEGOTIATIONS DESPITE THE
EFFORTS OF ALL INVOLVED DID
BREAK DOWN.
AND THERE WAS THIS ASTONISHING
POUR TRAIT AT THE END OF THE
NEGOTIATIONS OF THE UNION
LEADERSHIP AND THE HEAD OF THE
ONTARIO MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
LOCKED ARM IN ARM SINGING
SOLIDARITY FOREVER.
NOW, HAD YOU EVER SEEN ANYTHING
LIKE THAT BEFORE?

The caption changes to "Christina Blizzard, @chrizblizz."
Then, it changes again to "Forcing their hand."

Christina says ABSOLUTELY NOT.
AND YOU SAW THIS GREAT, I THINK
WITHIN THE NDP YOU HAD ON THE
ONE SIDE YOU HAD HAD THE SOCIAL
DEMOCRATS AND THE MORE... THE
SAVE THE WHAT I AMS KIND OF
SOCIALISTS VERSUS THE PETER
KORMOS, THE HOWARD HAMPTONS WHO
CAME FROM THE GRASS ROOTS
UNIONIST HEARTLAND OF THE
PROVINCE AND WHO WERE ABSOLUTELY
COMMITTED TO THE UNION CAUSE.
AND WHO WERE ABSOLUTELY
HORRIFIED, ALIENATED, COMPLETELY
WITHIN THE NDP AND I THINK THAT
THAT WAS A MASSIVE... I THINK
THAT WAS DISASTROUS FOR THE NDP.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says SID I WANT TO KNOW
WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR
HEAD.
I DON'T KNOW IF YOU HAD LOCKED
ARMS WITH THE HEAD OF THE
ONTARIO MEDICAL ASSOCIATION.
BUT HE COULDN'T HAVE BEEN TOO
FAR AWAY FROM YOU.
AND I WONDERED WHAT WAS GOING
THROUGH YOUR HEAD WHEN YOU WERE
SINGING SOLIDARITY FOREVER WITH
HIM AND A FEW OTHERS.

The caption changes to "Sid Ryan, @PSidRyan."

Sid says HE WAS A BIT PLAYER.
HE WAS ALLOWED TO ATTEND THE
MEETINGS AS AN OBSERVER.
HE WASN'T AN INTEGRAL PART OF
THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE.
WE PUT TOGETHER WHAT WE CALLED
THE PUBLIC SERVICES COALITION
WHICH REPRESENTED A BODY OF 950
TO 1 MILLION WORKERS
REPRESENTING MAYBE ABOUT 160 UNIONS.
BUT WE WERE INCENSED THAT THE
FACT THAT WE WERE DRAGGED INTO
THE MACDONALD BLOCK ON APRIL THE
5th IN AN OPEN FORUM WITH OUR
EMPLOYERS.
THIS IS THE MAN BITES DOG KIND
OF STORY.
A SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT BASICALLY
CALLS IN THEIR EMPLOYERS TO SAY
TO US HEY, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE
TO UP YOUR COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT
AND WE HAVE THE EMPLOYERS HERE
TO TELL US HOW TO DO IT.
PUT IT ON THE OTHER FOOT.
IMAGINE THIS WAS THE TORY
GOVERNMENT AND CALLED IN THE
CORPORATE SECTOR AND SAID WE'RE
GOING TO RAISE CORPORATE TAXES.
HERE ARE THE UNIONS TO TELL US
HOW MUCH THE CORPORATE TAXES
SHOULD BE INCREASED.
THAT'S THE EQUIVALENT OF WHAT
HAPPENED TO US.
SO WE WERE LIVID WITH THE PARTY
ALL ALONG FOR DARING TO OPEN UP
OUR COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT AND
FLOYD TOLD US BY THE WAY ALL
ALONG THAT WE WOULD NEVER BRING
IN LEGISLATION ON A MANDATORY
BASIS TO OPEN UP COLLECTIVE
AGREEMENTS.
BUT THAT'S WHAT HE DID IN THE
END WHEN HE DIDN'T GET THE
SETTLEMENT.

Steve says KAREN I HEAR YOU
TRYING TO GET IN.

Karen says BUT THINK HOW WE FELT
AS THE FIRST SOCIALIST
GOVERNMENT AND WE CAME IN WITH A
10 TO 12 BILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT.
WE CAME IN WITH THIS IDEA WE
COULD DO THINGS WITH THE
INSURANCE.
WE COULD DO THIS, WE COULD DO
THAT.
AND WE COULDN'T.
IT WAS VERY DEVASTATING FOR
THOSE OF US WHO WANTED TO HELP
AND TO BE THERE AS A SOCIALIST
GOVERNMENT AND UNABLE TO DO IT.

Steve says WELL, 25 YEARS AGO, IN
FACT, 25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK, WE
DID A LITTLE PROGRAM HERE ON TVO
CALLED FOURTH READING WHICH WAS
ALL ABOUT... IT WAS A WEEKLY
QUEEN'S PARK SHOW.
AND HERE'S HOW WE REPORTED ON
WHAT WAS GOING ON 25 YEARS AGO.
GO AHEAD, SHELDON, ROLL IT.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "June 18, 1993."
In the clip, a very young Steve Paikin faces the screen and talks, as a wall banner behind him reads "Fourth reading."

Steve says BILL 48.
YOU HAVE HEARD A LOT ABOUT IT LATELY.
IT'S INTENDED TO CUT 2 BILLION DOLLARS
FROM THE PUBLIC SECTOR PAYROLL
NOW THAT THE SOCIAL CONTRACT
TALKS WITH THE PUBLIC SECTOR
COLLAPSED A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO.
AND BILL 48 WILL FREEZE WAGES,
IMPOSE UNPAID TIME OFF, AND
THREATEN UNILATERAL ACTION IF
UNIONS AND EMPLOYERS CAN'T REACH
THEIR OWN DEALS BY THE FIRST OF AUGUST.

In a clip, a man stands up at the Legislature.

A caption reads "Floyd Laughren. Minister of Finance."

The younger Floyd says I WANT TO SAY CATEGORICALLY
THAT OUR GOVERNMENT FINDS ANY
PROSPECT OF OVERRIDING
COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS PAINFUL
AND DIFFICULT.
BUT OUR PAIN AND OUR DIFFICULTY
ARE NOTHING COMPARED TO WHAT THE
ALTERNATIVE WOULD MEAN FOR THIS
PROVINCE.

The caption changes to "Lyn McLeod. Leader of the Opposition."

McLeod, in her forties, says THIS PREMIER HAS CHASED HIS DREAM OF SOME SORT OF SOCIAL CONTRACT.

The Speaker says ORDER!

McLeod says HAS NOW FORCED YET AGAIN INTO
LEGISLATIVE ACTION WHICH IS
LIKELY TO BE UNWORKABLE IF IT
EVER HAS TO BE IMPLEMENTED.

The clip ends.

Steve says I DON'T KNOW WHO THE
GUY WAS AT THE BEGINNING OF THAT
SHOT BUT YOU LOOK PRETTY GOOD AT
THAT YEARS ON.

Floyd says THANKS, STEVE.

Steve says DID YOU... ONCE THE
NEGOTIATIONS BROKE DOWN, DID YOU
NOT SEE ANY ALTERNATIVE TO
BRINGING IN A LAW THAT WOULD
IMPOSE THIS SETTLEMENT?

The caption changes to "Biting the hand that feeds."

Floyd says NO, WE DIDN'T WANT TO
IMPOSE IT OBVIOUSLY.
BUT ONCE NEGOTIATIONS BROKE DOWN
THAT WAS AN INVITATION TO BRING
IN LEGISLATION: WHAT WAS THE
ALTERNATIVE?
THERE ARE A LOT OF CRITICS OF
THE SOCIAL CONTRACT.
BUT THEY DON'T REALLY DEAL WITH
AN 18 BILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT.
AND SO I CERTAINLY DIDN'T SEE
ANY ALTERNATIVE HERE.

Steve says DID YOU FEEL
DISAPPOINTED IN THE UNION
MOVEMENT THAT THEY DIDN'T CUT
YOU A LITTLE SLACK?
BECAUSE YOU WERE A SOCIAL
DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT.

Floyd says YES, I FELT VERY, VERY
DISAPPOINTED.
BECAUSE WE HAD, I FELT, TRIED
EVERYTHING WE COULD TO NEGOTIATE
IT.
AND IT JUST FELL APART.
SO, I MEAN THAT'S UP TO THEM.
BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, YEAH,
I FELT THAT THERE SHOULD HAVE
BEEN A LITTLE MORE UNDERSTANDING
OF THE PREDICAMENT.
BUT I HAD UNION LEADERS SAY TO
ME THE PRIVATE SECTOR DEFAULTS
ON DEBT SOMETIMES, WHY DON'T
YOU?
SILLY STUFF LIKE THAT THAT
INDICATED THERE WAS VERY LITTLE
UNDERSTANDING OF HOW SEVERE THE
ECONOMIC PROBLEM WAS.

Steve says WHY DO YOU THINK THE
UNION LEADERSHIP WAS NOT
PREPARED TO CUT THE SOCIAL
DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT OF THE DAY
MORE SLACK IN GETTING TO A
NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT.

Michael says I THINK THERE HAD
BEEN IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR A
TENDENCY WHEN YOU COULDN'T
GET AN AGREEMENT TO GO TO
ARBITRATION. THERE HAD BEEN A
LOT OF ABRITRATED SETTLEMENTS
AND THATS WAS THE DEFAULT
POSITION AND OFTEN WORKED OUT.
I REMEMBER SAYING TO TED ROSCOE,
LAST YEAR WHEN WE COULDN'T AGREE
ON YOU WANTED 10 percent, WE DIDN'T
WANT TO GIVE IT TO YOU AND IT
WENT TO ARBITRATION.
YOU GOT 15. I SAID I JUST
WANTED THAT 5 BACK. AND HE
SAID IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY.
AND I SAID I'M PAINFULLY AWARE
IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY.
BUT, YOU KNOW, I THINK THERE
WERE A COUPLE OF THINGS.
THERE WASN'T... IT WAS A FIRST
TIME NDP GOVERNMENT.
WE DID THIS DEAL IN MANITOBA.
WHEN I WAS CABINET SECRETARY AND
THE PAULY GOVERNMENT GOT ELECTED
IN THE 80s. SO IT WAS THE
SECOND NDP GOVERNMENT.
AND THEY SETTLED THE PUBLIC
SERVICE AT A 9 percent INCREASE.
AND THEN AT THE FIRST CABINET
MEETING IT WAS REVEALED THAT IF
WE ROLLED OUT 9 percent TO THE TEACHERS
AND NURSES, IT WOULD BE A
CATASTROPHE.
SO THEY SENT ME TO SEE THE HEAD
OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE THE
UNION, ONE GARY DOER TO ASK FOR
3 percent BACK AND HE THOUGHT HE WOULD
THROW ME OUT OF HIS OFFICE.
INSTEAD HE SAID LOOK, YOU KNOW,
I SAID IT'S NOT MUCH MONEY.
BUT IT'S THE PATTERN WE NEED.
SO HE SAID, YOU KNOW, EVERYBODY
KNOWS THE ECONOMY'S FALLING
APART.
THIS WAS THE RECESSION OF THE
EARLY 80s.
I'VE GOT ONE CONDITION.
YOU'RE SETTING UP A MANITOBA
JOBS FUND.
I WANT THE 10 MILLION DOLLARS YOU ARE
GOING TO SAVE ON OUR MEMBERS TO
GO IN THE MANITOBA JOBS FUND AND
WE GET SOME SAY IN HOW IT'S SPENT.
I SAID DONE.

Steve says AND THAT WAS THE DEAL.

Michael says THAT WAS THE DEAL.
THEY CAME DOWN FROM 9 TO 6.
THIS WASN'T TAKING A CUT.
BUT, YOU KNOW, IT LED ME TO HAVE
I THINK THE FALSE BELIEF THAT
THIS WOULD BE SOMETHING... AND A
LATER GOVERNMENT HAD ACTUALLY
DONE THE FILMON GOVERNMENT HAD
DONE THE DAYS OFF IN LIEU.

Steve says HE WAS A CONSERVATIVE.

Michael says BUT THERE WAS NO
HISTORY IN ONTARIO.
THE LABOUR GOVERNMENT AND THE
GOVERNMENT HAD HISTORICALLY BEEN
UNITED IN THEIR OPPOSITION TO
THINGS.
AND SUDDENLY THEY FOUND
THEMSELVES IN OPPOSITION TO EACH OTHER.

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda; agendaconnect@tvo.org."

Steve says LET ME GET KAREN
HASLAM ON THIS.
KAREN, WHEN YOU HEARD THE
NEGOTIATION HAS FALLEN APART AND
IN FACT FLOYD LAUGHREN WOULD
HAVE TO BRING IN A BILL
MANDATING THE CHANGES, WHAT WAS
YOUR TAKE ON THINGS THEN?

Karen says LIKE I SAID, I WASN'T
AGAINST IT... THE SOCIAL
CONTRACT AS A WHOLE.
BUT WHEN IT GOT TO THE POINT
WHERE THEY WERE GOING TO FORCE
THE REOPENING OF CONTRACTS, THAT
WENT AGAINST MY VALUE SYSTEM, MY
FAMILY'S VALUE SYSTEM.
IT WENT AGAINST MY CORE THAT
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING WAS A FREE
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.
AND I KNEW THAT THAT'S THE POINT
I HAD TO MAKE A DECISION.
I HAD BEEN SAYING THIS FOR
MONTHS.
YOU KNOW, PLEASE LISTEN TO AND
LOOK AT WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN
IF THIS DOESN'T WORK.
THAT'S ALL I KEPT SAYING.
IF THIS DOESN'T WORKINGS LOOK
WHERE WE'RE GOING TO END UP AND
THIS IS NOT WHERE WE WANT TO END
UP WHEN THE UNIONS WERE SO
SUPPORTIVE.
WHEN THAT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
ISSUE CAME FORWARD, I HAD A
TOUGH DECISION.
FIVE PEOPLE LOST THEIR JOB
BECAUSE I STEPPED BACK.

Steve says WE SHOULD JUST CLARIFY
THAT, KAREN.
YOU RESIGNED FROM CABINET OVER THIS.

Karen says I RESIGNED FROM CABINET.
ACTUALLY, ONE PERSON... I FORGET
WHO IT WAS... KAREN YOU ARE THE
ONLY PERSON WHO HAS RESIGNED NOT
BECAUSE OF HEALTH ISSUES AND NOT
BECAUSE OF OTHER ISSUES BUT OVER
A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE.
THERE WAS NO SCANDAL IN YOUR
LIFE.
IT WAS OVER A MATTER OF
PRINCIPLE.
AND THAT'S WHERE I STOOD.
IT WAS THE PRINCIPLE OF MY LIFE
THAT I COULD NOT STEP OVER THAT
PARTICULAR ISSUE.
I TOOK TIME.
I TALKED TO BOB ON THE DAY THE
LEGISLATION WAS INTRODUCED.
AND I DON'T THINK I'M SHARING
SOMETHING THAT HE WOULDN'T LAUGH
AT.
BUT HE SAID KAREN, EVERY TIME I
LEAVE TOWN THE WHEELS FALL OFF.
COULDN'T YOU RETHINK THIS?
COULDN'T YOU WAIT A LITTLE BIT?
I SAID LET ME THINK ABOUT IT A
LITTLE BIT MORE I WENT BACK TO
MY STAFF AND MY HUSBAND.
A CUPE MEMBER RIGHT HERE.
AND I REALIZED THAT THIS WAS MY
LIFE.
AND I HAD TO LOOK AT MYSELF IN
THE MIRROR EVERY DAY FOR THE
REST OF MY LIFE.
I WENT BACK AND SAID I'M SORRY,
BOB.
I'M NOT GOING TO BE SUPPORTIVE.
I'M NOT GOING INTO THE HOUSE.
I AM RESIGNING FROM CABINET.
AND I SAID I'M NOT GOING TO MAKE
A BIG SPLASH ABOUT IT AND I
DIDN'T.
I JUST... THIS WAS MY DECISION.
IT WAS A PERSONAL DECISION.
AND ONE I'M VERY PROUD OF.
BOB SAID: I'M NOT SORRY FOR
WHAT I DID.
I'M NOT... I'M VERY PROUD OF THE
WAY WE TRIED TO DO IT.
I CAN SEE THAT.
HE TRIED VERY HARD TO DO
SOMETHING IN A SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC
WAY.
I'M IN THE SAME SITUATION.
THERE'S A POINT WHERE YOU SAY:
THIS IS NOT RIGHT.
AND I REACHED MY POINT.

Steve says NOW HAVING SAID THAT,
CHRISTINA BLIZZARD, I THINK
YOU'VE GOT TO GIVE THE RAE
GOVERNMENT SOME KUDOS HERE
INASMUCH AS I THINK SHE WAS THE
ONLY ONE WHO RESIGNED.
CONSIDERING THIS WAS A NUCLEAR
BOMB DROPPED IN THE MIDDLE OF A
SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT
THERE WERE NO OTHER CABINET
RESIGNATIONS AND THE GOVERNMENT
KIND OF HUNG TOGETHER PRETTY
GOOD I THINK.

Christina says WELL, YES,
ABSOLUTELY.
BUT TIMES WERE PRETTY DIRE.
AT THE TIME EVERYONE REALIZED
THAT SOMETHING HAD TO BE DONE.
I CAN REMEMBER JEREMY PHILLIPS
WHO WAS THE LIBERAL FINANCE
CRITIC OF THE TIME WAS
CONSTANTLY GOING AROUND TO
REPORTERS SAYING DO YOU REALIZE
THAT THIS GOVERNMENT HAS DOUBLED
THE DEBT?
WE HAD 40 BILLION DOLLARS BEFORE THEY
CAME IN.
THAT WAS THE ACCUMULATED DEBT
FROM CONFEDERATION.
AND NOW IT'S AT 80 BILLION DOLLARS.
AND WHEN YOU CONSIDER NOW,
STEVE, WHAT THE ACCUMULATED DEBT
IS NOW... OVER 300.

Christina says YEAH.

Steve says I WANT TO GET FLOYD
LAUGHREN'S TAKE ON THIS: THERE
WAS A POSTER GOING AROUND AT THE
TIME, TRAITORS AND HEROES AND IT
WAS PUT OUT BY THE LABOUR
MOVEMENT.
AND PEOPLE LIKE YOU HAD YOUR
PICTURE UNDER THE TRAITOR COLUMN
AND KAREN HASLAM HAD HER PICTURE
UNDER THE HERO COLUMN BECAUSE
SHE RESIGNED.
DOES THAT KIND OF THING HAVE A
PERSONAL IMPACT ON YOU?

Floyd says ACTUALLY VERY LITTLE.
IT WAS SO POLARIZED AT THAT
POINT THAT I EXPECTED THAT THERE
WOULD BE SOME OUTRAGEOUS POSTERS
AND COMMENTS MADE.
AND ONE OF MY FAVOURITE MEMORIES
WAS A BIG DEMONSTRATION OUT IN
FRONT OF QUEEN'S PARK.
AND I WENT OUT TO SPEAK TO THEM
AS THOUGH THEY WERE LISTENING.
I WENT OUT TO SPEAK TO THEM.
AND STARING AT ME RIGHT AT THE
VERY FRONT WAS THIS HUGE POSTER
THAT SAID "VOID FLOYD."

[LAUGHTER]

Floyd says SO I WAS GETTING USED TO THAT
KIND OF STUFF.
AND I'D GO THROUGH A CEREMONY...
A FUNCTION AND THERE WOULD BE
PLACARDS AND PICKETS OUT IN
FRONT AND ALL THAT.
SO YOU GET USED TO IT.

Steve says TAKE A LOOK AT THE
MONITORS IN THE STUDIO.
SID RYAN MAY REMEMBER SOME OF
THIS.
HERE WERE SOME OF THE PICTURES
BACK IN THE DAY.

A picture shows young people burning a dummy wearing a suit and an orange tie.

Steve continues PROTESTERS BURNING AN EFFIGY OF THE PREMIER.
THERE'S BOB RAE, 25 YEARS AGO.
RAE TODAY GONE TOMORROW THE SIGN SAYS.

In a black and white picture, Bob Rae faces protesters, one of whom holds a sign that reads "Rae today gone tomorrow."

Steve continues SID RYAN, I KNOW YOU GUYS FELT
BETRAYED BY ALL OF THIS.
BUT DID YOU... WAS THERE NOT A
PART OF YOU THAT SAID: YOU
KNOW, IF WE DEFEAT THIS
GOVERNMENT, WHAT WE'RE GOING TO
GET IN ITS PLACE MAY BE A LOT
WORSE AND, THEREFORE, WE OUGHT
TO PUT A LITTLE WATER IN OUR WINE?
DID THAT OCCUR TO YOU?
BECAUSE WHAT YOU GOT NEXT WAS
THE MIKE HARRIS GOVERNMENT AND I
THINK YOU LIKED THEM EVEN LESS.

Sid says EXACTLY.
BUT I WOULD SAY FOLLOWING THE
SOCIAL CONTRACT, I HAD SOME LONG
DISCUSSIONS WITH BOB RAE.
HE PHONED ME IN MY OFFICE TO SEE
IF I WOULD COME AROUND TO HIS
PLACE AS A MATTER OF FACT TO TRY
TO WORK OUT SOMETHING PRIOR TO
THE ELECTION.
I SAID I WOULD.
BUT THAT NEVER GOT OFF THE
GROUND.
SO THERE WAS CLEARLY AN
UNDERSTANDING WITHIN THE LABOUR
MOVEMENT THAT WHAT WAS COMING
BEHIND POTENTIALLY WOULD HAVE
BEEN HARRIS.
ALTHOUGH THAT WASN'T CLEAR AT
THE TIME BECAUSE LYN MCLEOD WAS
FAIRLY POPULAR AT THE TIME.

Steve says FOR THE LIBERALS.

Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live."

Sid says YEAH.
SO IT WASN'T CLEAR TO THAT IT
WAS GOING TO BE MIKE HARRIS
ALTHOUGH HE PUT THE COMMON SENSE
REVOLUTION THAT HE PUT OUT.
AND SEEMED QUITE EXTREME AND
PEOPLE DIDN'T BELIEVE THE
MAJORITY OF THE VOTER WOULD SAY
BUY INTO THAT WHICH THEY DID
EVENTUALLY.
BUT PUTTING WATER INTO WINE, I
THINK THE BETRAYAL WAS FELT SO
DEEPLY BY UNION LEADERS.
BUT KEEPING IN MIND EARLIER ON
WE WERE TALKING ABOUT COULD WE
NOT HAVE FOUND AN ALTERNATIVE.
YOU BRING IN THE UNION LEADERS
THAT HAVE BEHIND THEM 10,000
LOCAL UNION LEADERS.
AND YOU ARE ASKING 150 OF THEM
TO MAKE A DECISION TO OPEN UP
COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS.
WE ARE A VERY DEMOCRATIC
ORGANIZATION.
LIKE CUPE, FOR EXAMPLE HAS 1,000
LOCAL UNION LEADERS WHO HAVE
CARRIAGE OF THE COLLECTIVE
AGREEMENTS.
IN OTHER WORDS, THEY ARE THE
ONES THAT NEGOTIATE WITH THE
SCHOOLS, THE HOSPITALS, THE
MUNICIPALITIES.
WE DON'T NEGOTIATE WITH THE
GOVERNMENT.
OPSEU IS THE ONLY UNION IN THE
PROVINCE THAT IS MAYBE ONE OR
TWO UNIONS THAT ACTUALLY WORKS
DIRECTLY WITH THE GOVERNMENT.
SO WE WERE BEING ASKED TO OPEN
UP COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS WHEN WE
HAVE 10,000 PEOPLE BEHIND US
BASICALLY SAYING YOU DO THAT AND
YOU'VE LOST THE LABOUR MOVEMENT.

Steve says I GET THAT.
BUT AS YOU LOOK OUT AT THE
ECONOMY AND YOU LOOK AT THE
CARNAGE AS MICHAEL DECTER
EXPRESSED IT.
THE CARNAGE, THE JOB LOSS
WITHOUT THE PROTECTION OF THE
PUBLIC SERVICE GOING FOR THEM.
WAS THERE A PART OF YOU THAT
SAID THE PRIVATE SECTOR HAS
REALLY TAKEN IT ON THE CHIN
BECAUSE OF THIS RECESSION WE MAY
HAVE TO PUT SOME WATER IN OUR
WINE AS WELL.

Sid says WE DID.
WE CAME FORWARD.
WE WERE NOT SUGGESTING FOR ONE
MOMENT THAT THE ECONOMIC CRISIS
THAT WE WERE IN WAS NOT REAL.
AND WE CAME UP WITH PROPOSALS.
AND I KNOW FLOYD DISAGREED WITH
SOME OF THEM.

Steve says HE IS SHAKING HIS HEAD
ALREADY.

Sid says BUT WE CAME UP WITH
PROPOSALS THAT COULD HAVE
GONE... RAE DAYS WE SAID WHY
CAN'T WE MAKE IT VOLUNTARY.
WE ALL KNEW THAT THERE WERE
PEOPLE WHO WOULD WANT A MONTH
OFF INSTEAD OF 12 DAYS.
WE SAID EVERY WORKPLACE.
COME UP WITH THE ALLOCATION YOU
HAVE TO GIVE UP.

Steve says WAS THAT AN OPTION?

Floyd says IT WASN'T AN OPTION.
FOR ONE THING WE NEEDED TO ACT
QUICKLY BECAUSE WE WERE ALREADY
IN A CRISIS SITUATION.
AND WHILE IT OWL SOUNDS VERY
NICE AND ALL, LET'S SEE IF
PEOPLE WILL VOLUNTEER, WE TRIED
THAT THROUGH NEGOTIATIONS.
AND IT DIDN'T WORK.
THEY BROKE DOWN.
SO WE HAD TO TAKE ACTION OR THE
CONSEQUENCES WOULD HAVE BEEN
MUCH MORE SEVERE THAN PEOPLE
TAKING TEN DAYS OFF UNPAID.

Steve says LET'S CONSIDER IN OUR
LAST FIVE OR SIX MINUTES HERE,
THEN, WHAT 25 YEARS LATER YOU
THINK THE LEGACY OF THE SOCIAL
CONTRACT WAS.

The caption changes to "Mission complete?"

Floyd says I THINK THERE ARE TWO LEGACIES.
ONE, PERSONALLY, I THINK IT WAS
ONE OF THE BEST THINGS WE EVER DID.
I'M VERY PROUD OF THE SOCIAL CONTRACT.
BECAUSE OF WHAT IT AVOIDED.
WHICH IS BASICALLY REDUCTION IN
PUBLIC SERVICES AND HUGE
LAYOFFS.
AND SO I'M VERY PROUD OF IT.
AND I WILL BE FOREVER.
I THINK IT DID CAST A PALL OVER
THE NEXT ELECTION WITH A LOT OF
OUR FRIENDS IN THE TRADE UNION
MOVEMENT.
NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT.
AND I STILL HEAR ABOUT IT.
AT THE SAME TIME THERE WAS A LOT
OF EXAGGERATION WENT INTO IT AS
WELL.
I WAS AT A CONFERENCE OF
TEACHERS AND I WAS IN MANITOULIN
ISLAND, AS A MATTER OF FACT.
AND THEY WERE COMPLAINING ABOUT
THE SOCIAL CONTRACT.
I SAID WELL, HOW MANY JOBS...
HOW MANY DAYS DID YOU PEOPLE
HAVE TO TAKE OFF?
AND THE RESPONSE WAS ACTUALLY
NONE.
BECAUSE WE FOUND SAVINGS
ELSEWHERE.
WHICH WAS AN OPTION.
IF THEY FOUND SAVINGS SOME OTHER
WAY YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO TAKE
THOSE UNPAID DAYS OFF.
SO I THINK IT'S AN HONOURABLE
LEGACY FOR SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC
GOVERNMENT TO SAY THAT THIS IS
WHAT WE DID RATHER THAN THE
OPTIONS.
WHICH WOULD HAVE STRUNG OUT THE
SOLUTION OVER A NUMBER OF YEARS
THAT WAS UNACCEPTABLE.

Steve says MICHAEL DECTER, YOU
CALLED THE SOCIAL CONTRACT THE
FINEST HOUR TO THE NDP GOVERNMENT.
HOW COME?

Michael says WELL, I THINK THEY
PUT THE PROVINCE AHEAD OF THEIR
PARTY.
THEY PUT THE PROVINCE AHEAD OF
THEIR NATURAL ALLIES.
AND THEY WERE, I THINK,
COMPLETELY SEIZED OF THE CARNAGE
THAT WOULD HAPPEN TO LOW INCOME,
BROADER PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS
WHO DIDN'T HAVE THE PROTECTION
OF THE BARGAINING AGENT.
HAVING SAID THAT, I, TOO, COME
FROM A UNION HOUSEHOLD.
MY GRANDFATHER WAS ONE OF THE
WINNIPEG GENERAL STRIKE...

Steve says IN 1919.

Michael says YES, DROVE A
STREETCAR FOR THE THE WINNIPEG
DISTRICT ELECTRIC COMPANY.

Steve says OKAY.

Michael says AND MY IRISH MOTHER
HAD PASSED AWAY BEFORE THE
SOCIAL CONTRACT OR SHE PROBABLY
WOULD HAVE COME AND STRUNG ME UP.

[LAUGHTER]

Michael says BUT IT HAS HAUNTED ME FOR A LOT
OF YEARS THAT WE COULDN'T GET TO
A DEAL.
AND I THINK WHEN I LOOK BACK.
AND HINDSIGHT IS ALWAYS GREAT ON
THESE THINGS.
IF WE HAD DONE SOMETHING IN ONE
SECTOR A YEAR EARLIER, WE MIGHT
HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ROLL IT OUT.
BUT IT WAS JUST TOO MANY PEOPLE
INVOLVED.
WE DIDN'T UNDERSTAND THE
IMPLICATION FULLY OF PUTTING THE
EMPLOYERS IN THE ROOM.
I AGREE WITH SID ON THAT.
AND THE PRESSURE WAS ENORMOUS TO
DO IT QUICKLY.

Steve says SPEAKING OF QUICKLY I
DON'T WANT TO RUN OUT OF TIME
AND NOT HEAR FROM THE OTHER THREE.
SO CHRISTINA, THE LEGACY 25
YEARS LATER?

Christina says WELL, I THINK IT
WAS A MASSIVE MISCALCULATION.
IT LED TO THE HARRIS GOVERNMENT.
OBVIOUSLY HE CAME IN ON THIS
THEY'LL WORK FOR WELFARE.
IT LED TO HOWARD HAMPTON THEN
SORT OF RECLAIMING THE NDP AS
THEIR... AS THE PARTY OF LABOUR
AS OPPOSED TO THE SAVE THE GREAT
WHITE WHALE KIND OF THING.
SO I THINK FOR MY READERS IT WAS
THIS EYE ROLLING THING.
A LOT OF THEM HAD BEEN IN THE
PRIVATE SECTOR.
HAD LOST JOBS AND WERE SORT OF
LOOKING AND ROLLING THEIR EYES
AT CIVIL SERVANTS WHO DIDN'T
WANT TO TAKE 12 DAYS OFF.
THAT WAS BEING OFFERED AS AN
OPTION.
AND FOR PEOPLE WHO HAD LOST
THEIR JOBS, THAT WAS REALLY...
THEY DIDN'T UNDERSTAND IT.

Steve says KAREN HASLAM, 25 YEARS
LATER, WHAT'S THE LEGACY?

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcasts: tvo.org/theagenda."

Karen says WELL, WITH ALL DUE
RESPECT TO CHRISTINE AND ON THE
GREAT WHITE WHALES, I THINK IT
REALLY RESULTED IN A LARGE GAP
BETWEEN THE UNIONS, THE UNION
MOVEMENT WAS USUALLY VERY
COHESIVE.
I'M TALKING ABOUT PUBLIC SECTOR.
AND I THINK THERE WAS A MAJOR
SCHISM.
WHAT HAPPENED?
OUR UNION MEMBERS WHO HAD
SUPPORTED THE NDP FOR MANY
YEARS, MANY OF MY COLLEAGUES
WERE UNION MEMBERS.
AND THAT BROKE... THAT BROKE
AGAIN.
SO WE HAD A BREAK BETWEEN THE
UNIONS.
WE HAD A BREAK BETWEEN THE UNION
AND THE PARTY AND A LOT OF US
LOST OUR JOBS IN THE LAST
ELECTION.
SO IN THE NEXT ELECTION. SO
THERE WAS... THERE WERE RIPPLES
AND RIPPLES AND RIPPLES.
AND I DON'T THINK ANYONE HAS
EVER FORGOTTEN IT.
I THINK IT WILL BE WITH US A
LITTLE LONGER.
IT WAS A DEEP ONE.

Steve says LET'S GIVE THE...

Floyd says IT WAS NOT A
MISCALCULATION.

Karen says I DIDN'T SAY IT WAS A
MISCALCULATION.

Steve says WE HAVE A MINUTE LEFT
FOR THE HONOURABLE MEMBER FOR CUPE.
GO AHEAD.

The caption changes to "Remaining ripples."

Sid says AT THE TIME I SAID THAT
THE SOCIAL CONTRACT WOULD CAUSE
THE NDP TO WANDER INTO THE
WILDERNESS FOR THE NEXT TWO
DECADES AND I WAS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT.
THE WHOLE NOTION OF OPENING UP
COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS, OTHER
GOVERNMENTS FOLLOWED SUIT.
I BELIEVE THE NDP WERE THE FIRST
GOVERNMENT IN CANADA TO DO SO TO
BRING IN LEGISLATION.
TO OPEN COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS.
AND THE THIRD POINT WAS IT
COMPLETELY KILLED THE FEDERAL
NDP. THEY DROPPED TO 6 percent IN THE
ELECTION A YEAR LATER. SO THE
LEGACY HAS BEEN A BAD TASTE.
I STILL KNOCK ON DOORS IN OSHAWA
EVERY TIME THERE'S AN ELECTION
AND I STILL HEAR ABOUT THE
SOCIAL CONTRACT.
AND THAT'S LIKE 25 YEARS LATER.

Steve says YOU HAVE A BOOK COMING
OUT SOON.

Sid says I HAVE INDEED.
IT'S COVERING MY LIFE GROWING UP
IN IRELAND BUT ALSO COVERS THE
SOCIAL CONTRACT AND THE MAJOR
BATTLES OF THE LABOUR MOVEMENT
OVER THE LAST 30 YEARS.

Steve says WHAT'S IT CALLED?

Sid says A GRANDER VISION.

Steve says I LOOK FORWARD TO
READING IT AND HAVING YOU BACK
ON THAT.

Sid says LOVE TO.

The caption changes to "Producer: Steve Paikin, @spaikin; Producer: Harrison Lowman, @harrisonlowman."

Steve says I WANT TO THANK ALL OF
YOU FOR TAKING THIS WALK DOWN
MEMORY LANE, 25 YEARS AGO WITH
THE SOCIAL CONTRACT.
FLOYD LAUGHREN FOR COMING ALL
THE WAY FROM SUDBURY, THAT WAS
REALLY GOOD OF YOU TO DO.
EVERYBODY ELSE: KAREN HASLAM,
GOOD TO SEE YOU ON THE LINE FROM
LONDON, ONTARIO. THANKS SO MUCH
EVERYBODY FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION
TONIGHT HERE ON TVO.

All the guests say THANK YOU.

Watch: The Social Contract at 25