Transcript: The Agenda's Week in Review | Sep 20, 2019

Steve stands in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a blue suit, white shirt, and spotted blue tie.
A wall screen behind him reads "The week in review."

Steve says THE AGENDA THIS WEEK
ASSESSED THE SIGNIFICANCE OF
FLOODING ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES
AND LOOKED INTO CHALLENGES
FACING FRENCH LANGUAGE EDUCATION
IN THE PROVINCE.

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

Steve sits with four guests in the studio.
A caption reads "Great lakes, great problems. Money money, money."
Then, it changes to "Gord Miller. Eco Strategy."

Gord is in his late fifties, with receding gray hair and a mustache. He's wearing a gray suit, burgundy shirt, and striped burgundy tie.

He says IT HASN'T SUNK IN HOW
IMPORTANT THE GREAT LAKES ARE TO
OUR ECONOMY.
IT REALLY HASN'T.
BECAUSE IF THE GOVERNMENT HAS
BEEN STEPPING AWAY AND GETTING
AWAY WITH AND NOT JUST THE
RECENT GOVERNMENT, I'M TALKING
GOVERNMENTS ALL THE WAY BACK TO
THE '80s AND '90s, HAVE BEEN
STEPPING AWAY AND GETTING AWAY
WITH IT.
BUT AS THE DAMAGE IS
ACCUMULATING, THE PROBLEMS
ACCUMULATE.
WE HAVE TO WAKE UP AND TURN OUR
ATTENTION TO THE GREAT LAKES.
IT'S ONE OF THE HUGEST... HUGE
ENVIRONMENTAL, ECOLOGICAL AND
ECONOMIC DIODES THAT WE HAVE IN
THIS PART OF NORTH AMERICA.

Steve says IS THERE A ROLE FOR,
I DON'T KNOW, INNOVATION, NEW
TECHNOLOGY TO HELP US OUT OF
THIS?

Gord says YES.

Steve says FOR EXAMPLE...

The caption changes to "Gord Miller. Former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario."

Gord says FOR EXAMPLE, SOMETHING AS
SIMPLE AS BEACHES.
WE LOOKED AT... THE PROBLEM WITH
SO MANY BEACHES BEING CLOSED.
50 percent OF THE BEACHES ARE UNUSABLE
ON THE UPPER GREAT LAKES.
WHY IS THAT?
WELL, PART OF THE REASON IS THE
TECHNOLOGY ASSOCIATED WITH THE
WATER TESTING, IT TAKES TOO
LONG.
THERE ARE BETTER TECHNIQUES AND
THEY COULD BE IMPLEMENTED AND
GIVE US MUCH FASTER RESPONSES,
AND IN TERMS OF... OH, ANOTHER
EXAMPLE OF TECHNOLOGY IN TERMS
OF THE NUTRIENT PROBLEM.
WE HAVE... THE UNITED STATES HAS
PIONEERED WONDERFUL TECHNOLOGIES
OF TRACKING AND IDENTIFYING WITH
ALL THE DATA THAT'S AVAILABLE TO
US NOW WITH SATELLITE AND
AGRICULTURAL DATABASES, WE CAN
ACTUALLY PINPOINT WHERE THE
PROBLEMS, WHERE THE PHOSPHORUS
IS COMING FROM, AND WE CAN MUCH
BETTER TARGET THE KIND OF
RESPONSES.
SO THERE ARE TECHNOLOGIES THAT
ARE READILY AVAILABLE AND
IMPLEMENTED.
WE JUST HAVE TO TURN OUR
ATTENTION TO IT.
AS TERRY SAYS, LET'S SET SOME
OBJECTIVES AND ASSIGN SOME
MONEY.

The caption changes to "Damaging waters."

Steve says I KNOW WHEN YOU WERE
HERE I THINK FOR THE PROGRAM IN
WHICH WE DISCUSSED THIS, THIS IS
SEVERAL MONTHS AGO, THERE WAS
CONSIDERABLE FEAR THAT IN
TRUMP'S AMERICA, THIS WAS GOING
TO BE A MUCH LOWER PRIORITY.
FOR EXAMPLE, THE EPA WAS BEING
DEFUNDED AND ALL THIS KIND OF
STUFF.

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

Steve continues HOWEVER, I AM HEARING IN THIS
DISCUSSION THAT THE AMERICANS
ARE DOING SOME THINGS BETTER
THAN US.
IS THAT RIGHT, NICOLA?

The caption changes to "Nicola Crawhall. Westbrook Public Affairs."

Nicola is in her late forties, with straight auburn hair in a short bob. She's wearing blue-framed glasses, a sleeveless black blouse and a beaded necklace.

She says IT'S FASCINATING.
IT WAS AN ABSOLUTE COINCIDENCE.
I WAS IN WASHINGTON THE DAY THAT
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION
ANNOUNCED ITS CUTS, ITS PROPOSED
CUTS TO GLRI.

Steve says GLRI?

Nicola says GREAT LAKES RESTORATION
INITIATIVE.
THAT'S A 300 MILLION dollar FUND.
IT'S BEEN GOING ON FOR NINE
YEARS.
STARTED UNDER GEORGE W. BUSH,
IMPLEMENTED BY BARACK OBAMA.
HAS STRONG BIPARTISAN SUPPORT.
AND I WATCHED AT THIS
LEGISLATIVE BREAKFAST ONE BY
ONE, A DEMOCRAT AND A
REPUBLICAN, SENATOR OR
REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE HOUSE,
COMING UP AND LAMBASTING THE
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION'S PROPOSAL.
I WAS... I WAS JUST AMAZED.
THAT SOMEHOW THE GREAT LAKES
REGION ON THE U.S. SIDE CAME
TOGETHER IN A BIPARTISAN WAY TO
SAY, "WE WANT THE KIND OF MONEY
THAT THE EVERGLADES IS GETTING."
THE EVERGLADES ARE GETTING A LOT
OF MONEY.
AND THEY LOBBIED FOR YEARS.
THEY HAD MAYORS.
THEY HAD TRIBES.
THEY HAD STATES ALL COMING
TOGETHER.

Steve says DID IT WORK?

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

Nicola says AND IT WORKED.
THEY HAVE HAD OVER 2 BILLION dollars IN
SPENDING, FEDERAL SPENDING, ON
GREAT LAKES PROJECTS.
RESTORATION PROJECTS.
WATERFRONT PROJECTS.
WETLANDS PROJECTS.
AREAS OF CONCERN CLEANED UP.
WE HAVEN'T SEEN THAT KIND OF MONEY.

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

Steve sits with two guests in the studio.
A caption on screen reads "Securing French language education in Ontario. Division in the system."

Steve says IF YOU'RE THE
MINISTER OF EDUCATION, AS YOU
ONCE WERE, AND YOU'RE TRYING TO
FIND THE SWEET SPOT BETWEEN
MAKING SURE THAT THE FRENCH
LANGUAGE SYSTEM IS TRULY FRENCH
VERSUS THE FACT THAT A LOT OF
ANGLOPHONES WHO ARE CAPABLE OF
SPEAKING FRENCH WANT TO GO
THERE, BUT THAT MAY AFFECT THE
ACTUAL FRENCHNESS OF THE SCHOOL
SYSTEM, HOW DO YOU FIND THAT
SWEET SPOT THAT'S GOING TO
SATISFY EVERYBODY?

The caption changes to "Janet Ecker. Former Ontario Education Minister."

Janet is in her sixties, with short wavy blond hair. She's wearing glasses, a purple blazer and a printed black blouse, as well as a golden choker necklace.

She says WELL, I THINK THAT'S A BIG
CHALLENGE, ACTUALLY, AND I DON'T
KNOW WHAT THE MAGICAL SOLUTION
IS, BECAUSE YOU HAVE ONE OF
THOSE WONDERFUL THINGS THAT
HAPPENS IN PUBLIC POLICY WHERE
YOU'VE GOT THIS PERSON'S RIGHTS
ARE CLASHING WITH THAT PERSON'S
RIGHTS.
AND I THINK WHEN THE SYSTEM WAS
ORIGINALLY SET UP, I THINK THERE
WAS A SENSE THAT HAVING THE
PANELS DECIDE WHO SHOULD BE
ALLOWED INTO THE SCHOOL...
BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T WANT TO SORT
OF SAY TO THE SCHOOL BOARDS, NO,
YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE NO AUTHORITY
IN TERMS OF WHO WALKS INTO YOUR
SCHOOL... I THINK AT THE TIME
SEEMED TO BE THE RIGHT WAY TO DO
THIS.
THE CHALLENGE THAT THE SYSTEM,
THE WHOLE GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE
OF THE SYSTEM HAS HAD I THINK
SINCE DAY ONE IS BECAUSE, AGAIN,
THE GEOGRAPHIC DISTANCES THAT
HAVE BEEN MENTIONED, THE
CRITICAL MASS THAT JUST HASN'T
BEEN THERE, TRYING TO MAINTAIN
AND BUILD QUALITY IN THE TWO
FRENCH SYSTEMS HAS BEEN A
CHALLENGE SINCE DAY ONE, AND I'M
HOPING THAT ONE OF THE SOLUTIONS
MIGHT BE TO TRY AND DO MORE TO
GET MORE FRENCH LANGUAGE
INSTRUCTION, MORE TEACHERS WHO
ARE CAPABLE OF... EITHER ARE
FRANCOPHONES WHO CAN GO INTO
TEACHING OR ANGLOPHONES WHO CAN
LEARN HOW TO BE VERY, VERY GOOD
FRENCH INSTRUCTION, AND I GET
VERY MUCH THAT THERE'S A BIG
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING ABLE TO
JUST SPEAK A LANGUAGE AND
UNDERSTAND AND CULTURALLY, YOU
KNOW, HAVE THAT LANGUAGE...
THERE'S A BIG DIFFERENCE.

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

Steve says THE PROBLEM THAT
I'VE HEARD PEOPLE DISCUSS IS
THAT WITH 45 percent OF THE KIDS IN THE
FRENCH LANGUAGE SCHOOL SYSTEM
BEING ANGLOPHONE...

Janet says YEAH.

Steve says IF YOU GO OUTSIDE
AT RECESS, THOSE KIDS ARE
SPEAKING ENGLISH.

Janet says YEAH.

Steve says AND THAT DOESN'T
KEEP THE FRENCH CHARACTER OF THE SCHOOL SYSTEM.

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

Janet says ONE OF THE THINGS... AND I
DON'T KNOW IF THIS WOULD EVER
HAPPEN, BUT I THINK ONE OF THE
PROBLEMS IS THAT EVERYONE IS SO
CONCERNED ABOUT... AND I
UNDERSTAND THAT, PROTECTING
RIGHTS... YOU KIND OF NEED TO
SAY, OKAY, CAN WE JUST HAVE A
CONVERSATION AMONGST ALL THE
PLAYERS.
LET'S SET THE CONSTITUTIONAL
STUFF OUTSIDE THE DOOR FOR A
MINUTE, AND ARE THERE SOME
PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS THAT MIGHT
HELP?
I DON'T KNOW.
BUT ONE OF THE PROBLEMS IN THIS
AREA IS YOU KEEP TRIPPING OVER,
IF I CAN PUT IT THAT WAY,
CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS THAT THE
DIFFERENT GROUPS HAVE.
THE OTHER CHALLENGE, OF COURSE
THESE DAYS, WHICH DIDN'T EXIST
AS MUCH IN THE '90s BUT
CERTAINLY IS A MAJOR CHALLENGE
TODAY, IS JUST THE MULTICULTURAL
DIVERSITY OF ONTARIO SOCIETY,
BECAUSE THERE ARE MANY PARENTS
WHO ARE SAYING, EXCUSE ME, I
MEAN, THIS IS COOL, FRENCH,
ENGLISH, WHATEVER, BUT THEY WANT
A SCHOOL SYSTEM THAT IS MORE
RESPECTFUL OF THEIR PARTICULAR
LANGUAGE OR THEIR PARTICULAR
MULTICULTURAL BACKGROUND.
SO THAT...

Steve says WHICH IS NOT
CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED,
HOWEVER.

Janet says YES, THAT'S QUITE RIGHT, BUT I MUST SAY...

Steve says BUT MAY HAVE GREATER
NUMBERS.

Janet says BUT POLITICAL PRESSURE...

Steve says WE GET THAT.

Janet says ABSOLUTELY.

The clips end and Steve stands in the studio alone.

He says THAT'S JUST SOME OF
WHAT WE COVERED THIS WEEK ON
THE AGENDA.
FOR MORE, INCLUDING THE FULL
CONVERSATIONS, YOU CAN VISIT OUR
WEBSITE, THAT'S tvo.org, OUR
YouTube CHANNEL AT
youtube.com/theagenda, OR OUR
TWITTER FEED, THAT'S:
twitter.com/TheAgenda.

Watch: The Agenda's Week in Review