Transcript: The Agenda's Week in Review | Jun 07, 2019

Nam stands in the studio. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses and a gray blazer over a green shirt.

A wall screen behind her reads "The week in review."

Nam says "THE AGENDA" THIS WEEK
SAT DOWN WITH WRITER WESLEY
MORRIS TO TALK CULTURAL
CRITICISM.
AND EXAMINED THE STRENGTH OF THE
UNION MOVEMENT IN ONTARIO "THE
AGENDA'S" WEEK IN REVIEW BEGINS
ASSESSING THE STATE OF QUESTION
PERIOD AT QUEEN'S PARK.

Music plays as an animated slate reads "The week in review."

Steve sits in the studio with several guests. A caption on screen reads "A better question period. Such bad behaviour!"

Steve says FOR YOU, WHAT WAS THE
QUESTION PERIOD EXPERIENCE LIKE?

The caption changes to "Janet Ecker. Former PC Cabinet Minister."

Janet is in her late fifties, with chin-length wavy blond hair. She's wearing glasses, a blue blazer and a white blouse.

She says WELL, I USED TO ACTUALLY SORT
OF ENJOY QUESTION PERIOD, QUITE
FRANKLY.
I MEAN THERE WERE DAYS IT WASN'T
AS MUCH FUN.
BUT IT'S KIND OF THE CUT AND THE
TELUS AND FOR ME IT WAS, YOU
KNOW, CAN YOU SORT OF BAT THEM
OUT OF THE PARK IF THEY'RE SORT
OF THROWING SOMETHING AT YOU
SORT OF THING.
SO I USED TO FIND IT SORT OF
INTERESTING, STIMULATING,
CHALLENGING.
A LITTLE BIT OF FUN.
BUT ALSO AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET
YOUR... WHAT YOU THINK YOUR
MESSAGE IS ACROSS.

Steve says DID YOU FIND IT USEFUL?

Janet says YEAH, I THINK SO.
I THINK SO.
NOW THINGS HAVE CHANGED A LOT.
IT'S BEEN A WHILE SINCE I WAS
THERE.
BUT...

Steve says IT'S 24 YEARS SINCE
YOU WERE FIRST ELECTED.

Janet says IS IT REALLY?
OH, MY GOD.
THANK YOU FOR REMINDING ME OF
THAT.
[LAUGHTER]
IT DOESN'T FEEL THAT LONG.
I WAS SURPRISED HOW MANY PEOPLE
WATCHED.
THE MEDIA STILL TAKES CLIPS OFF
WHAT YOU SAY IN THE HOUSE.
BUT IT WAS ALSO, TOO, IT'S A
TEMPERATURE GAUGE ABOUT WHERE AN
ISSUE IS AND HOW AN ISSUE IS
PLAYING AND IT'S ALSO FRANKLY
REALLY MAJOR ACCOUNTABILITY.
LIKE IF YOU CAN'T STAND UP AND
EXPLAIN WHAT YOUR GOVERNMENT IS
DOING OR DEFEND WHAT YOUR
GOVERNMENT IS DOING IN THAT
VENUE, THEN YOU SHOULDN'T BE
DOING WHAT YOU'RE DOING.
SO FOR ME IT'S AN ACCOUNTABILITY
MECHANISM THAT, LIKE, AMERICAN
POLITICIANS JUST HAVE NO IDEA.
WALKING THROUGH THE SCRUM.
BECAUSE IT'S NOT ONLY QUESTION
PERIOD ITSELF.
YOU HAVE TO USUALLY, YOU KNOW,
WALK THROUGH A SCRUM GOING IN OR
GOING OUT WITH THE MEDIA THERE.
AND IT REALLY IS A DAILY
ACCOUNTABILITY EXERCISE.

Steve says SHOULD WE HEAR FROM
THE ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE NOW?

[LAUGHTER]

A guest says WE'RE OF THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE.

Steve says THERE YOU GO.
AS YOU WATCH IT WHAT DO YOU
THINK PREVENTS QUESTION PERIOD
FROM BEING A MORE USEFUL
EXERCISE THAN IT IS?

The caption changes to "Laura Stone. The Globe and Mail."

Laura is in her thirties, with long straight blond hair. She's wearing a tan blazer and a pale blue blouse.

She says I AM LIKE JANET.
I ACTUALLY ENJOY WATCHING
QUESTION PERIOD GENERALLY.
I LIKE THE POLITICAL THEATRE.
I LIKE WATCHING POLITICIANS ON
THEIR FEET AND SEEING WHAT THEY
CAN COME UP WITH AND HOW THEY
RESPOND.
NOW, I THINK SOME OF THE PROBLEM
THAT IS ARE OCCURRING RIGHT NOW
IS WHAT'S HAPPENING AT QUEEN'S
PARK ESPECIALLY IS OFTEN
DESCRIBED AS A "TOXIC
ATMOSPHERE" AND WE TALK ABOUT
HOW PERSONAL SOME OF THE
COMMENTS AND SOME OF THE INSULTS
HAVE BECOME.
I MEAN YOU LOOK AT SOME OF THE
VITRIOL THAT WAS DIRECTED AT
KATHLEEN WYNNE, FOR INSTANCE,
AND THAT STILL IS, EVEN THOUGH
SHE OCCUPIES JUST THAT ONE
CORNER SEAT OF THE LEGISLATURE.

The caption changes to "The Week in Review. @theagenda. Tvo.org."

Steve says SHE GETS BOO'D.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live."

Laura says SHE DOES.
AND IT'S CALMED DOWN A BIT SINCE
THE ELECTION.
BUT THERE IS THIS AIR OF THE
CONSTANT CAMPAIGN THAT'S
HAPPENING.
AND IT'S NOT ABOUT GOVERNING OR
GOVERNANCE.
IT'S ABOUT SHOWING UP YOUR
OPPONENT.
AND THAT GOES BOTH TO THE
OPPOSITION AND THE GOVERNMENT.
SO THERE IS THIS TOXICITY THAT'S
HAPPENING.
AS WELL, YOU KNOW, THE ISSUE
OF... WE ALWAYS TALK ABOUT IT'S
NOT QUESTION PERIOD... SORRY
IT'S QUESTION PERIOD NOT ANSWER
PERIOD.

Steve says NOT ANSWER PERIOD, YEAH.

Laura says BUT I THINK THE WAY THAT IT
GOES COMPLETELY OFF TOPIC THAT
SOME OF THE LEADERS OR THE
MPPs ARE ABLE TO JUST
COMPLETELY DISMISS THE SUBSTANCE
OF A QUESTION AND MOVE ON TO
TALKING POINTS.
AND I BRING UP THE EXAMPLE
RECENTLY WHEN PREMIER FORD WAS
ASKED ABOUT ABORTION, FOR
INSTANCE AND HE DIRECTED THAT
QUESTION TO ENERGY MINISTER GREG
RICKFORD WHO TALKED ABOUT THE
CARBON TAX.
AND THAT WAS A TOTAL MISSED
OPPORTUNITY FOR THE GOVERNMENT
TO ANSWER WHAT IS A SERIOUS
QUESTION THAT PEOPLE IN ONTARIO
AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY WANT TO
HEAR AN ACTUAL ANSWER TO.

Steve says WHAT DOES HENRY JASON
WANT TO END HERE?
HE WANTS TO END THE CONSTANT
OVATION, TABLE THUMPING,
APPLAUSE, ALL OF THAT CONSTANT STUFF.

A guest says HEAR, HEAR.

Steve says YOU AGREE, GET RID OF
ALL THAT?

The caption changes to "Dave Levac. Former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly."

Dave is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with mid-parted gray hair and a mustache. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit, white shirt, and printed red tie.

He says ABSOLUTELY.
BECAUSE TWO THINGS REALLY
IMPORTANT.
I WILL GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE OF
WHAT HAPPENED.
QUEBEC HAD AN ALL-PARTY MEETING
WITH THE SPEAKER.
THE SPEAKER'S A FRIEND OF MINE.
AND HE SAID I'M GOING TO TRY
THIS.
THEY VOTED THEMSELVES TO STOP
DOING THE CLAPPING AND THE DESK
THUMPING.
THEY DIDN'T DO IT.
THEY GOT MORE QUESTIONS.

Janet says YEAH.

The caption changes to "Henry's helpful hints."

Dave says YOU GOAT MORE QUESTIONS THEN
THE SPEAKER DOESN'T HAVE TO STOP
THE CLOCK TO PUNISH.
IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE TO ME.
IT REALLY DOESN'T.
NOW, IF THERE'S A VERY IMPORTANT
POINT THAT'S MADE ON BEHALF OF
ONTARIO OR SOMETHING WORLDWIDE
HAPPENS, AN A.
[APPLAUSE]
FOR SOMEBODY THAT DOES SOMETHING
GOOD, NO PROBLEM.
BUT THIS ROBOTIC, THIS ROBOTIC I
GOT TO STAND AND APPLAUD.
NO MATTER WHAT OR WHO SAYS IT.
I EVEN CAUGHT PEOPLE BEHIND THE
DYE AS TELLING EVERYBODY TO
STAND UP AND APPLAUD.
THEY HAD TO BE TOLD TO DO IT.
SO GET RID OF IT.

Steve says THEY WERE
ORCHESTRATING THE CHOREOGRAPHY.

Dave says YEAH.

The caption changes to "David Warner. Former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly."

David is in his seventies, clean-shaven, with short-cropped white hair. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit, blue shirt, and dark blue tie.

He says EARLIER DAYS, A STANDING
OVATION WAS FOR NELSON MANDELA.
IT WAS FOR ARCHBISHOP TUTU.
IT WAS ON THE EVENING OF THE
BUDGET PRESENTATION.
AND LASTLY, WHEN A MEMBER HAD
ANNOUNCED THAT HE OR SHE WAS
RETIRING.

Steve says SO A RARE SPECIAL
OCCASION.

David says RARE SPECIAL OCCASION.

The caption changes to "For more on this story visit: tvo.org/theagenda."

Janet says IT WAS SUPPOSED TO MEAN
SOMETHING.

Dave says THAT'S RIGHT IT MEANS NOTHING NOW.

Laura says IT CHEAPENS THE MOMENT NOW BECAUSE IT HAPPENS SO FREQUENTLY.

Now music plays as an animated slate reads "The week in review."

Steve sits with different guests.
A caption on screen reads "The future of unions. Time for a checkup."

Steve says PART OF THE UNION
AGENDA AS WELL FOR MANY UNIONS
ANY WAY IS A KIND OF SOCIAL
JUSTICE AGENDA THAT IS MORE THAN
JUST LOCAL.
IN FACT IT EMBRACES GLOBAL
ISSUES.
WHAT'S YOUR VIEW ON THAT?

The caption changes to "Dan Kelly. Canadian Federation of Independent Business. @CFIB."

Dan is in his late fifties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit, white shirt, and spotted blue tie.

He says WELL, LOOK, IF UNIONS IN
CANADA WERE VOLUNTARY LIKE THEY
ARE IN ALMOST EVERY OTHER
COUNTRY IN THE WORLD I WOULD
TAKE NO ISSUE WITH THE UNIONS
BEING HEAVILY INVOLVED IN THE
SOCIAL POLICY AGENDA.
I WOULDN'T CERTAINLY DARE TO
SPEAK AS TO WHAT A UNION OR A
GROUP OF MEMBERS WISH TO DO.
THEY CAN SPEND AS MUCH TIME OR
AS LITTLE TIME ON WHATEVER IT
HAPPENS TO BE.
BUT I DO BELIEVE THAT ONE OF THE
REASONS WHY THE UNION DENSITY
RATE HAS DECLINED IN CANADA IS
BECAUSE UNIONS ARE INCREASINGLY
FOCUSING ON ISSUES THAT DON'T
BEAR A LOT OF RESEMBLANCE TO THE
CONCERNS OF THEIR MEMBERS ON A
DAY-TO-DAY BASIS.
AND I THINK THAT THAT... IF I
WERE GIVING SOME ADVICE TO
UNIONS, IT MIGHT BE TO STICK TO
THE... STICK TO THE MAIN JOB OF
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING ON BEHALF
OF THEIR MEMBERS AS OPPOSED TO
GETTING INVOLVED IN ANTI ISRAEL
B.S. AT INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNALS.

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

Steve says I THINK YOU MEAN DBS.

Dan says ACTUALLY DID I MEAN B.S.
BUT THESE ARE THE KINDS OF
THINGS THAT I THINK ALIENATE A
LOT OF POTENTIAL UNION MEMBERS
FROM BELONGING TO OR SUPPORTING
THEIR INDIVIDUAL UNIONS.

Steve says STEPHANIE IS DOING A
GREAT JOB OF PREVENTING THE
STEAM FROM COMING OUT OF HER
EARS.
GO AHEAD.

The caption changes to "Stephanie Ross. McMaster University."

Stephanie is in her forties, with chin-length wavy brown hair. She's wearing a black blazer and a green blouse.

She says IF I COULD, I THINK THE
EVIDENCE THAT WE HAVE SHOWS THAT
THAT'S NOT ACTUALLY CORRECT.
THAT CANADIANS ACTUALLY SEE THE
LABOUR MOVEMENT PLAYING A REALLY
IMPORTANT SOCIAL JUSTICE ROLE.
THEY SUPPORT THAT ROLE FOR
UNIONS.
AND, IN FACT, I THINK AS A
CONTRADICTORY POSITION BECAUSE
OFTEN UNIONS ARE CRITICIZED FOR
ONLY LOOKING OUT FOR THEIR OWN
MEMBERS.
FOR FOCUSING ONLY ON COLLECTIVE
BARGAINING.
MANY PEOPLE CRITICIZE UNIONS
FOR, QUOTE-UNQUOTE, PUTTING
THEIR OWN SELFISH ECONOMIC
INTERESTS AHEAD OF CUSTOMERS OR
RECIPIENTS OF SERVICES.
AND SO I THINK THAT IN IN LOGIC,
THEY'RE KIND OF TRAPPED.
EITHER THEY ONLY FOCUS ON THE
NARROW BREAD AND BUTTER ISSUES
OR THEY HAVE A BROADER SOCIAL
JUSTICE ROLE THAT IS IN THE
PUBLIC INTEREST.
AND I JUST THINK IT'S NOT AN
ACCURATE REFLECTION OF WHAT
CANADIANS EXPECT AND WANT IN THE
LABOUR MOVEMENT.
WHAT MOTIVATES PEOPLE TO
UNIONIZE WHICH ACTUALLY
INCREASINGLY IS ABOUT DIGNITY
AND IT IS ABOUT RESPECT.
AND IT IS ABOUT THE
TRANSFORMATION OF THE BROADER
SOCIETY.
AS WELL AS THEIR OWN ECONOMIC
SITUATIONS.

The caption changes to "The Week in Review. @theagenda. Tvo.org."

Steve says LET'S FIND OUT FROM A
GUY WHO'S TRIED TO DO THAT TRIED
TO UNIONIZE.
THANKS FOR YOUR PATIENCE.

The caption changes to "Ivan Ostos. Union Organizer."
Then, it changes again to "Here comes the gig economy."

Ivan is in his twenties, shaven-headed, with a trimmed mustache. He's wearing a pink T-shirt with a legend that reads "Justice."

He says SO WHAT I WOULD SAY, FOR
EXAMPLE, I'M AN ORGANIZER JUST
ORGANIZING BIKE COURIERS IN
TORONTO.
CUPW IS SUPPORTING US.
THEY HAD A HUGE RALLY WHERE I
WAS SHOWN SO MUCH SUPPORT FROM
THESE POSTAL WORKERS WHOSE JOBS
IN A SENSE DON'T REALLY HAVE
ANYTHING TO DO WITH MY STRUGGLE.
SO REALLY WHAT THAT SHOWS ME IS
THAT PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT
THESE ISSUES GO ACROSS CANADIAN
SOCIETY.
AND THEY SEE THAT, YOU KNOW,
WHEN OTHER WORKERS ARE BEING
TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF, THAT BRINGS
EVERYONE DOWN.
SO IT'S ACTUALLY ADVANTAGEOUS
FOR EVERYONE TO SUPPORT OTHER
WORKERS IN THEIR PRECARIOUS
CONDITIONS REGARDLESS OF HOW
CLOSE TOGETHER THEY ARE.
GOING BACK TO SOMETHING YOU SAID
EARLIER, DAN, SOMETHING LIKE MY
JOB, YOU KNOW, I FEEL LIKE I'M
ALMOST BACK IN 1919.
THAT'S WHY, LIKE THIS IS SO
IMPORTANT TO SOMEONE LIKE ME,
YOU KNOW.
I MEET BIKE COURIERS EVERY DAY
WHO ARE INJURED ON THE JOB OR
THEY HAVE CLOSE CALLS OR THEIR
BIKES GET STOLEN.
THERE ARE SO MANY ISSUES OF
VIOLENCE.

Steve says IVAN, CAN WE
UNDERSTAND THAT BETTER?
HOW MANY HOURS A DAY ARE YOU ON
THE BIKE?

Ivan says I WORK 40 HOURS A WEEK SO A GOOD PORTION OF THAT, 30-ISH IS
ON THE BIKE.
AND I RIDE EVERYWHERE ANY WAY.

Steve says DO YOU WEAR A HELMET?

Ivan says YES.

Steve says HOW DANGEROUS IS YOUR
JOB?

Ivan says REALLY DANGEROUS.
I THINK IT'S MORE DANGEROUS THAN
BEING A POLICE OFFICER, A
CONSTRUCTION WORKER OR A FIREMAN
BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE ANY
PROTECTIONS OR RESPECT THAT
THOSE PROFESSIONS GET.

Steve says WHAT'S HAPPENED TO YOU
ON THE ROADS?

Ivan says FOR ME I BROKE MY ARM IN
SEPTEMBER.

Steve says HOW?

Ivan says I WAS CYCLING ON THE BIKE
PATH, BELIEVE IT OR NOT.
AND I JUST GOT IN A COLLISION
WITH ANOTHER CYCLIST.

Steve says WITH ANOTHER CYCLIST.

Ivan says YEAH, WITH ANOTHER CYCLIST.

Steve says I WAS WAITING FOR YOU
TO TELL A STORY ABOUT HOW
SOMEONE OPENED A DOOR ON YOU.

Ivan says THAT'S HAPPENED TO ME, TOO.
That DIDN'T BREAK MY ARM
THOSE TIMES.

The caption changes to "For more on this story visit: tvo.org/theagenda."

Steve says WERE YOU ON THE JOB
WHEN YOU BROKE YOUR ARM?

Ivan says YEAH.

Steve says COULD YOU FILE A WSIB
CLAIM?

Ivan says I DID.
AND IT WAS AWFUL.
YOU KNOW, I ENDED UP GETTING
200 AND SOME DOLLARS A WEEK.

Steve says HOW HELPFUL WAS YOUR
EMPLOYER IN THAT.

Ivan says REALLY MINIMUM.
BARE BONES.
THEY HAVE TO HELP ME.
FEDORUK HAS TO GIVE THEM THE
INFORMATION BUT THEY DIDN'T DO
ANYTHING MORE THAN THEY HAD TO
OTHER THAN LIKE A COUPLE OF
E-MAILS.

Now music plays as an animated slate reads "The week in review."

Nam sits with a male guest.
A caption on screen reads "A critic's take on cultural criticism. You're cancelled!"

Nam says WHEN WE TALK ABOUT CANCER
CULTURE WHAT DO WE LOSE AS A
SOCIETY WHEN WE DO CANCEL
CERTAIN PEOPLE OUT?

The caption changes to "Wesley Morris. The New York Times."

Wesley is in his twenties, with short curly black hair and a full beard. He's wearing a brown and beige leather jacket and a striped white tee.

He says THAT'S A REALLY INTERESTING
QUESTION.
AND I DON'T ACTUALLY KNOW.
BECAUSE I... ONE THING YOU WOULD
LOSE IS THE VOICE OF THE PERSON
WHO IS... DEPENDING ON THE THING
THEY'RE CALLED ON FOR BEING...
LET'S SAY THE REASON THEY ARE
BEING ASKED TO BE CANCELLED, I
MEAN THAT MATTERS.
I THINK THAT THE ARTIST, HIM OR
HERSELF MATTERS.
BUT I DON'T... WHEN YOU LOSE THE
VOICE AND THE WORK OF THAT
PERSON.
I AM TRYING TO THINK OF A
MORE... LIKE LET'S SAY THAT...
WELL, I DON'T KNOW.
IT'S REALLY EASY.
LIKE BILL COSBY.
THE FALL OUT OF THE ACCUSATIONS
AGAINST HIM BASICALLY AMOUNT
TOED TO HAVING HIS ENTIRE...
AMOUNTED TO HAVING HIS AT LEAST
THE TELEVISION WORK REMOVED FROM
STREAMING SERVICES.
SO THESE COMPANIES DECIDED FOR
US WHETHER OR NOT THIS IS A
PERSON WE WANTED TO CHOOSE TO
HAVE IN OUR LIVES.
AND I THINK THAT... I DON'T
KNOW.
THERE IS A PART OF ME THAT
REALLY WOULD HAVE LIKED TO HAVE
BEEN ABLE TO MAKE THAT CHOICE
FOR MYSELF AS OPPOSED TO HAVING
NETFLIX OR HULU OR WHOEVER TELL
ME IT'S GOOD FOR ME THAT I DON'T
HAVE TO WATCH THIS PERSON.
WHEREAS I ACTUALLY THINK THAT IN
THE CASE OF THE COSBY SHOW, THAT
SHOW'S VALUE AND IMPORTANCE IS
SO MUCH BIGGER AND GREATER AND
MORE SIGNIFICANT THAN BILL
COSBY.

The caption changes to "The Week in Review. @theagenda. Tvo.org."

Nam says BECAUSE ALL THOSE
ACTORS, THE PEOPLE WHO WORKED ON
THE SHOW, BECAUSE THE SHOW IS
NOT BEING SHOWN ANY MORE.

Wesley says RIGHT.
IT HURTS THEM FINANCIALLY.

Nam says BUT ALSO WHAT WE CAME TO
BELIEVE... THEY SHOWED US A
DIFFERENT SIDE OF WHAT IT IS TO
A BLACK FAMILY... A SUCCESSFUL
BLACK FAMILY.
I THINK WE ALL GREW UP WATCHING
IT.
AND I NOTICE THAT ALL THE PEOPLE
THAT I NAMED ARE BLACK.
DO YOU THINK THAT MORE BLACK
PEOPLE ARE TARGETED WHEN IT
COMES TO CANCEL CULTURE?

The caption changes to "Wesley Morris. Co-Host, 'Still processing.'"

Wesley says NO.
BUT I DO THINK THAT A LOT OF THE
PEOPLE WHO ARE ACCUSED OF THESE
SORTS OF THINGS HAPPEN TO BE
BLACK.
I HAVE NOT REALLY SUCCESSFULLY
WORKED OUT THE DEGREE TO WHICH
I'M UNCOMFORTABLE WITH...
BECAUSE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT IN
SOME CASES CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE MORALITY
OF PEOPLE WHO MAKE ART THAT WE
LOVE.

The caption changes to "For more on this story visit: tvo.org/theagenda."

Wesley continues TO THE DEGREE THAT RACE MATTERS,
I THINK IT MATTERS ONLY IF WHAT
YOU'RE SEEING IS BLACK PEOPLE
BEING PERSECUTED... BLACK PEOPLE
BEING PROSECUTED MORE THAN WHITE
PEOPLE.

The clips end and Nam stands in the studio alone.

She says THAT IS "THE AGENDA'S."
WEEK IN REVIEW FOR THIS FRIDAY,
JUNE 7, 2019.
YOU CAN SEE ALL OF THOSE
CONVERSATIONS IN FULL AT
tvo.org.
ON OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL AT
YOUTUBE.COM/THEAGENDA
youtube.com/theagenda.
AND OUR TWITTER FEED
twitter.com/TheAgenda.

Watch: The Agenda's Week in Review