Transcript: A Renewed Ford Government? | Sep 04, 2019

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 spotted blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "A renewed Ford government? @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says ONE YEAR INTO HIS
MANDATE, PREMIER DOUG FORD OPTED
FOR A MUCH QUIETER SUMMER THIS
YEAR, ADJOURNING THE HOUSE UNTIL
AFTER THE FEDERAL ELECTION IN
LATE OCTOBER.
HE MIGHT ALSO HAVE BEEN HOPING
TO PUT TO REST THE CRONYISM
SCANDAL THAT, JUST DAYS AFTER
HIS FIRST CABINET SHUFFLE,
FORCED OUT HIS CHIEF OF STAFF.
A FEW POLICY REBOOTS AND SOME
GOOD NEWS ANNOUNCEMENTS LATER,
WE'RE WONDERING: HAS THE PREMIER
TURNED THE PAGE?
LET'S FIND OUT WITH:
MARTIN REGG COHN, THE TORONTO
STAR'S ONTARIO POLITICS COLUMNIST...

Martin is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He's wearing glasses, a tan suit and a white shirt.

Steve continues BRIAN LILLEY, POLITICAL
COLUMNIST AT THE TORONTO SUN...

Brian is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short blond hair shaven at the temples. He's wearing a gray suit and a white shirt.

Steve continues LAUREN McDONALD, FORMER DIRECTOR OF MARKETING IN PREMIER FORD'S
OFFICE, NOW DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND CAMPAIGN
STRATEGY AT THE COMMUNICATIONS FIRM PROOF...

Lauren is in her thirties, with shoulder-length curly blond hair. She's wearing glasses, a black cardigan and a white shirt.

Steve continues AND ALLISON SMITH, PUBLISHER OF QUEEN'S PARK TODAY AND CO-HOST
OF THE CANADALAND PROVINCIAL
POLITICS PODCAST, "WAG THE DOUG."

Allison is in her late thirties, with chin-length straight blond hair. She's wearing a black blazer and a floral print black shirt.

Steve continues WHICH IS A GREAT NAME FOR A PODCAST. THAT IS REALLY GOOD.
NICE TO HAVE EVERYBODY HERE.
YOU TWO FOR THE FIRST TIME.
GREAT TO SEE YOU.

Lauren says THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

Steve says LET'S PUT YOU,
ALLISON, TO WORK RIGHT AWAY.
HAS THE FORD GOVERNMENT SHOWED
ONTARIANS IT'S TURNED OVER A NEW LEAF?

The caption changes to "Allison Smith. Queen's Park Today."
Then, it changes again to "Nip and tuck."

Allison says I THINK THEY'VE SHOWN
ONTARIANS THEY'VE IMPROVED THEIR
COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGIES, THEY
CAN MAKE GOOD NEWS
ANNOUNCEMENTS, LIKE YOU'VE SAID,
BUT I DON'T THINK WE'VE SEEN
PROOF THAT DOUGLAS ROBERT FORD
HAS REALLY CHANGED AS A
POLITICIAN IN ANY REAL
MEANINGFUL WAY.
WE STILL SEE FORD OUT THERE
CONTRADICTING HIS MINISTERS AND
HIS POLICIES WHEN HE MAKES PRESS
CONFERENCES.
WE STILL SEE THEM PUSHING THE
ONTARIO NEWS NOW AGENDA.
AND I THINK THAT, AS HIS SORT OF
MEA CULPA SPEECH THAT PERHAPS
PREDICTED OR WILL BE THE REAL
THING THAT, YOU KNOW, MAKES IT
SEEM LIKE FORD HAS TURNED OVER A
NEW LEAF, I DON'T KNOW IF HE'S
PRESENTED ENOUGH OF A VISION FOR
ONTARIO THAT PEOPLE ARE REALLY
GOING TO BUY THAT.

Steve says LAUREN, YOUR VIEW?

The caption changes to "Lauren McDonald. Proof."

Lauren says YEAH.
I THINK THAT THE PREMIER HAS HAD
AN OPPORTUNITY, YOU KNOW, WE HAD
THE CABINET SHUFFLE AND OVER THE
COURSE OF THE SUMMER, NEW FACES
TO BE ABLE TO TAKE SOME TIME, GO
BACK INTO THEIR COMMUNITIES,
MEET WITH CONSTITUENTS, AND
START TO REALLY UNDERSTAND THEIR
PORTFOLIOS.
YOU KNOW, HE DID SAY THERE HAVE
BEEN A COUPLE OF GOOD NEWS
ANNOUNCEMENTS OVER THE SUMMER,
THERE'S BEEN SOME
INFRASTRUCTURE, THERE HAVE BEEN
SOME PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
THERE WAS A RECENT ANNOUNCEMENT
ON GUNS AND GANGS WITH THE CITY
OF TORONTO.
ALL OF THESE SHOWING THAT HE'S
WILLING TO BE A PARTNER AND
THEY'RE REALLY TAKING A NEW TONE
GOING INTO THE FALL.

Steve says MARTIN?

The caption changes to "Martin Regg Cohn. Toronto Star."

Martin says WELL,
CHANGE IS IN THE AIR.
HE'S CHANGED HIS CHIEF OF STAFF.
HE HAS CHANGED HIS CABINET.
HE HAS CHANGED THE WAY THE
GOVERNMENT APPROACHES MESSAGING
AND SOME OF ITS POLICIES, JUST
DIALING DOWN, BEER IN CORNER
STORES.
IT'S TRYING TO DIAL DOWN SOME OF
THE TEMPERATURE WITH TEACHERS,
FOR EXAMPLE.
SO THEY'VE CHANGED A LOT OF
THINGS, BUT THEY HAVEN'T CHANGED
THE PREMIER.
AND THE PREMIER IS A FORCE OF
NATURE, AND WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT
AND SEE WHETHER THAT MESSAGE...
WHETHER HE ACTUALLY CHANGES HIS
OWN STYLE AND WHETHER IT'S NOT
TOO LATE FOR THAT CHANGE TO TAKE
EFFECT WITH THE WAY VOTERS
PERCEIVE HIS BEHAVIOUR.

Steve says BRIAN?

The caption changes to "Brian Lilley. Toronto Sun."

Brian says I'M GOING TO
DISAGREE JUST SLIGHTLY WITH
MARTIN AND THAT'S ON... HAS THE
PREMIER CHANGED?
I WAS OUT AT THE GUNS AND GANGS
ANNOUNCEMENT WITH TORONTO MAYOR
JOHN TORY, AND I LOOKED AT
FORD'S STAFF AND I SAID, DID HE
NOT GET HIS COFFEE TODAY?
HE SEEMED COMPLETELY SEDATE AND
THIS GOES TO THE CHANGE OF
COMMUNICATIONS.
HAS HE CHANGED HIS POLICIES?
PROBABLY NOT.
HE'S DIED IT DOWN, AS MARTIN WAS
SAYING.
HE'S LESS COMPETITIVE.
IF YOU'VE KNOWN DOUG FORD FOR A
WHILE, HE'S ACTUALLY NOT THAT
COMBATIVE A GUY.
HE IS A BIT OF A PUSHOVER AND A
PUSSYCAT.
HE'LL HATE THAT I SAY THAT.
BUT IF YOU KNOW THE GUY, HE
DOESN'T LIKE THAT PEOPLE DON'T
LIKE HIM.
HE'S GOING TO FRET OVER THAT.
HE WORRIES ABOUT THESE THINGS.
AND THEN HIM DECIDING THAT HE'S
NOT GOING TO ENGAGE... I WROTE
ABOUT THIS A WHILE AGO... I SAID
HIS ATTEMPT IS TO PUSH BACK
AGAINST JUICE GENTLY BECAUSE
JUSTIN TRUDEAU IS OUT THERE
TRYING TO BAIT HIM INTO THE
FEDERAL ELECTION EVERY SINGLE
DAY.
THAT'S TRUE TO PLAN IN ONTARIO.
AND FORD SO FAR HASN'T TAKEN THE
BAIT, WHICH SURPRISES ME.
I WOULD HAVE THOUGHT HE'D JUMP
RIGHT IN AND BE, YOU KNOW, A
BRAWLER.
I'M AT THIS EVENT AND
JOURNALISTS ARE ASKING HIM
QUESTIONS AND HE'S KIND OF LIKE
DOUG FORD ON VALIUM.

Steve says WELL, SINCE YOU WORK
FOR HIM, I WANT TO ASK ABOUT
THAT.
HAVE YOU AND OTHER FORMER
ADVISORS OR CURRENT ADVISORS
SAID TO THE PREMIER... I THINK
IT WAS MELISSA LANCEMAN WHO ON
THIS PROGRAM SAID, HE'S A BULL
THAT BRINGS HIS OWN CHINA SHOP
WITH HIM.
HAVE YOU GUYS ALL TOLD HIM TO
TONE IT DOWN?

Lauren says I THINK THE PREMIER,
ESPECIALLY GOING INTO THE NEW
CABINET SHUFFLE GOING INTO THE
SUMMER PERIOD OF TIME, HAS TAKEN
A BIT OF A STEP BACK.
YOU KNOW, HE'S ACKNOWLEDGED THAT
THERE'S BEEN SOME CHALLENGES IN
THE FIRST YEAR OF GOVERNMENT,
AND, YOU KNOW, HE'S
INTROSPECTIVE.
HE'S ABLE TO LOOK AT HIMSELF AND
LOOK AT, YOU KNOW, WHAT HIS
PERCEPTION HAS BEEN.
AND I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW,
WHETHER IT'S HIS ADVISORS OR
WHETHER IT'S HE HIMSELF, I THINK
HE'S REALLY LOOKING TO BE ABLE
TO CONNECT WITH VOTERS.
THAT'S WHY HE WAS, YOU KNOW,
TOURING THE PROVINCE ALL SUMMER,
MEETING WITH PEOPLE AND GETTING
TO HEAR WHAT THE REAL CONCERNS
OF ONTARIANS ARE...

Steve says LET ME FOLLOW UP ON
THAT.
YOU SAID WHILE YOU WERE THERE IN
THE PREMIER'S OFFICE THAT THE
WHY, THE WHY WAS MISSING FROM A
LOT OF THE POLICY ANNOUNCEMENTS
THAT THE GOVERNMENT WAS MAKING.
WHAT DID YOU MEAN BY THAT?

The caption changes to "Passing policy."

Allison says SO I THINK WHEN IT COMES DOWN
TO SOME COMPLEX POLICIES, ONE OF
THE BIG THINGS THAT THE
PREMIER'S OFFICE, YOU KNOW,
MYSELF INCLUDED IN MY TIME
THERE, WAS, YOU KNOW, WHEN
YOU'RE ANNOUNCING COMPLEX POLICY
WITHOUT GIVING THE PUBLIC REALLY
THE REASONING BEHIND IT, WHAT IS
YOUR MOTIVE, WHY ARE YOU MAKING
THE DECISIONS THAT YOU'RE MAKING
AND, YOU KNOW, YOU AND I CAN GO
BACK AND FORTH ON THE FISCAL
POLICIES OF THIS GOVERNMENT, BUT
AT THE END OF THE DAY, WHAT WE
ARE... WHAT THEY ARE TRYING TO
FOCUS ON IS GETTING THE BOOKS
BACK IN BALANCE.
PEOPLE DIDN'T, YOU KNOW, ELECT
DOUG FORD FOR THE STATUS QUO.
THEY ELECTED HIM TO GET THINGS
BACK ON TRACK.

Martin says CAN I
JUMP IN?
I'M SORRY.

Allison says TO MY MIND, WE CAN GIVE THE
PREMIER PERHAPS CREDIT FOR BEING
INTROSPECTIVE UPON FINDING OUT
THAT HIS POLL NUMBERS HAVE
PLUMMETED AND THAT HE WAS, YOU
KNOW, GETTING BOOED AT THE
RAPTORS' VICTORY PARADE.
HOWEVER... YOU KNOW, BEING
PREMIER ON VALIUM.
HOWEVER, HOW LONG DOES THIS
LAST, RIGHT?
WE KNOW THAT THE... IF HE'S
TONING IT DOWN FOR THE FEDERAL
ELECTION CAMPAIGN, WHOEVER WINS
AND IS ABOUT TO FORM GOVERNMENT
IS GOING TO HAVE A LOT MORE TO
WORRY ABOUT THAN, YOU KNOW,
POKING THE DOUG FORD BEAR ANY
LONGER.
SO ARE THEY JUST WAITING IT OUT?
I MEAN, I KIND OF WANT TO PUSH
BACK ON WHAT YOU SAID, BRIAN,
THAT DOUG FORD'S NOT A COMBATIVE
PERSON.
WE HAVE A HISTORY OF HIM IN
POLITICS AT CITY COUNCIL.
WE SAW HIM SLASH AT CITY COUNCIL
WEEKS AFTER BEING MADE PREMIER.
I THINK THAT WE KNOW THAT HE
LIKES A FIGHT AND I DON'T REALLY
SEE THAT PART OF HIS HUMAN
NATURE REALLY CHANGING, YOU
KNOW, POST OCTOBER.

Steve says MARTIN?

Martin says CAN I TRY
TO DRAW THIS TOGETHER?
I THINK I AGREE WITH ALLISON...
EVERYBODY KNOWS HE CAN BE
COMBATIVE IN THE RING.
WHAT BRIAN WAS HINTING AT HE'S
SOMEWHAT MORE SELF AWARE THAT
PEOPLE GIVE HIM CREDIT FOR.
I'M NOT TRYING TO BE
MISCHIEVOUS.
WHEN YOU ARE BOOED AT A RAPTORS
RALLY WHEN EVERYBODY IS IN A
GOOD MOOD AND JUSTIN TRUDEAU
GETS CHEERED AND JOHN TORY GETS
CHEERED, MOST PEOPLE WOULD
FIGURE OUT YOU HAVE A PROBLEM
AND DOUG FORD IS ONE OF THOSE.
THAT'S WHAT HE IS INTROSPECTIVE
ABOUT: THE BOOING.
MICK JAGGER DROPPED HIS NAME AT
A ROLLING STONES CONCERT.
THE CROWD BOOED.
THAT HURT.
HE REALIZES HE HAS MESSED UP IN
SOME WAYS EVEN IF HE IS NOT
WILLING OR ABLE TO SAY THAT
PUBLICLY IN SO MANY WORDS.
TO WHAT LAUREN WAS SAYING ABOUT
THE WHY IS MISSING.
LAUREN'S RIGHT.
THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE WHY.
BUT I DON'T THINK THAT WAS THE
MISSING PIECE FOR MANY OF THE
POLICY PROBLEMS.

Steve says WHAT WAS THE MISSING PIECE?

Martin says WELL, FOR EXAMPLE, STICKERS.
ON 25,000 GAS PUMPS IN THE
PROVINCE.
WHY?
WELL, ACTUALLY, THE GOVERNMENT
SAID WHY.
GREG RICKFORD SAID WE WANT TO
STICK IT TO THE FEDERAL
LIBERALS.
HE SAID THAT IN THE LEGISLATURE.
THAT'S THE WHY.

Lauren says I BELIEVE HE SAID HE WANTED
TO BRING TRANSPARENCY TO THE
CARBON TAX.

Martin says THAT'S WHAT HE SAID.
HE ALSO SAID WE WANT TO STICK IT
TO THE FEDERAL LIBERALS.
WHERE'S THE TRANSPARENCY?
THE TRANSPARENCY IS THEY'RE NOT
SAYING YOU ACTUALLY GET
REBATED.
HE SAID THE CARBON TAX IS GOING
TO COST YOU WHERE THE STICKERS
SAY YOU WON'T HAVE TO PAY
EVERYTHING AS YOU'LL GET A
RECENT.

Steve says BRIAN, LET'S GET YOU
IN TO TALK ABOUT, THE GUY THAT'S
BEEN THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL
CHIEF OF STAFF AND THAT'S DEAN
FRENCH WHO OF COURSE HAS
SUBSEQUENTLY LEFT THE SCENE.
HOW MUCH OF THE GOVERNMENT'S
CONFRONTATIONAL BLUSTERY BULL IN
A CHINA SHOP APPROACH WAS
BECAUSE OF HIM VERSUS THAT'S THE
PREMIER'S NATURE?

The caption changes to "The French connection."

Brian says I THINK MORE
THAN 50 PERCENT WOULD HAVE BEEN
ON DEAN.
I DON'T DISAGREE WITH ALLISON.
THE PREMIER CAN BE COMBATIVE.
BUT WHEN... I GOT TO KNOW DOUG
FORD INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF
POLITICS OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS
COVERING HIM BOTH AS A
POLITICIAN AND JUST CHATTING
WITH HIM WHEN HE WAS OUTSIDE
POLITICS, AND HE CAN BE
INTROSPECTIVE.
YEAH, DOES HE SHOW UP FOR A
FIGHT SOMETIMES?
LIKE ANY GOOD POLITICIAN WOULD.
I'VE NEVER MET ONE THAT'S
SUCCESSFUL THAT WOULDN'T.
BUT YOU'LL SURROUND YOURSELF
WITH PEOPLE THAT WILL EITHER
TEMPER OR INFLAME THINGS WITH
YOU, AND DEAN FRENCH WAS THE
KIND OF GUY THAT WOULD INFLAME
THINGS, FOR BETTER OR WORSE, AND
I HAVE NO ILL WILL TOWARDS DEAN
FRENCH, BUT HE WASN'T A GOOD FIT
FOR THE PREMIER THAT DOUG FORD
WAS.
AND, YOU KNOW, YOU JUST HAVE TO
LOOK AT THE CABINET SHUFFLE.
THAT WAS ABOUT A RESET.
I DON'T REMEMBER IF YOU WERE
THERE, ALLISON, BUT I KNOW
MARTIN, I BELIEVE YOU WERE THERE
AND WERE DOING THE SCRUM WITH
DOUG FORD RIGHT AFTER THE
CABINET SHUFFLE IS ANNOUNCED AND
I SAID TO HIM, IS THE FACT THAT
YOU'VE PUT ALL THESE PEOPLE INTO
NEW POSITIONS WHERE YOU'VE GOT
COMMUNICATIONS PROBLEMS AND
YOU'VE TAKEN YOUR BEST
COMMUNICATORS AND PUT THEM IN,
IS IT A SIGNAL THAT YOU'VE GOT A
COMMUNICATIONS PROBLEM?
HE SAID, BRIAN, YOU'RE
100 PERCENT RIGHT.
I EXPLAINED THAT WE'VE GOT TO DO
COMMUNICATIONS BETTER.
TWO HOURS LATER, YOU'VE GOT THE
NEWS RELEASE GOING OUT ABOUT
THESE UNQUALIFIED PEOPLE GETTING
JOBS.

Steve says THE PATRONAGE SCANDAL.

Brian says IS THAT BLEW APART ANY GOOD
NEWS THAT THEY WERE GOING TO GET.
THEY HANDLED THE CABINET SHUFFLE
RELATIVELY WELL CONSIDERING WHAT
THEY WERE GOING INTO IT WITH,
AND THAT BLEW IT UP, AND SO
WITHIN 24 HOURS I'M WRITING THE
COLUMN SAYING DEAN FRENCH HAS TO
GO, AND HE WAS GONE.
THERE'S AN INCREDIBLY DIFFERENT
TONE NOW THAT HE'S NOT THERE.
FULL DISCLOSURE, BY THE WAY:
JAMIE WALLACE, WHO IS NOW THE
CHIEF OF STAFF, WAS THE GUY THAT
HIRED ME AT THE TORONTO SUN THE
SECOND TIME.

Steve says YOU'VE ANTICIPATED
MY FOLLOW-UP WHICH IS, YES, HE
RAN THE SUN NEWSPAPERS.
YOU WORK FOR THE SUN.
I PRESUME YOU KNEW HIM WELL.
HOW DO YOU SEE THINGS CHANGING
NOW THAT HE'S IN CHARGE?

The caption changes to "Brian Lilley, @brianlilley."

Brian says IT'S JUST A DIFFERENT TONE,
AND I TALK TO HIM ONCE IN A
WHILE, NO MORE THAN I TALK TO
ANY OTHER PERSON IN THAT SORT OF
POSITION, BUT IT IS A DIFFERENT
TONE.
HE'S A VERY CALM INDIVIDUAL.
TRYING TO GET JAMIE WALLACE
EXCITED IS A DIFFICULT TASK.

Steve says HOW DO YOU SEE
THINGS CHANGING, ALLISON, NOW
THAT WE HAVE A NEW CHIEF OF
STAFF IN THE PREMIER'S OFFICE?

The caption changes to "Allison Smith, @QueensParkToday."

Allison says I MEAN, TO
MY MIND, IT'S A GOOD THING, RIGHT?
THIS HAS BEEN SAID BEFORE, BUT
THE LAST THING PEOPLE WANT OR
POLITICIANS WANT IS THEIR CHIEF
OF STAFF ON THE COVER OF THE
NEWSPAPER, RIGHT?
PEOPLE BEHIND THE SCENES
SHOULDN'T BE OUT FRONT AND
CENTRE.
AND YOU KNOW BY ALL ACCOUNTS HE
WAS MAKING MPPs CRY AND, YOU
KNOW, YOU DON'T WANT THAT
EITHER.
HOWEVER, I MEAN, IF WE'RE
FRAMING THIS AROUND A RESET, HOW
MUCH CREDIT DO WE REALLY WANT TO
GIVE A GOVERNMENT OR A PREMIER
FOR, YOU KNOW, HIRING A
REASONABLE AND RESPONSIBLE TOP
MANAGER WITHIN 14 MONTHS OF
BEING ELECTED?
I MEAN, THAT'S GOOD, BUT IT KIND
OF TO ME TO SEEM A PRETTY LOW
BAR FOR CONGRATULATING SOMEBODY FOR.

Steve says LET'S STATE THE
OBVIOUS THAT DOUG FORD BECAME
THE PREMIER OF ONTARIO WITH NO
EXPERIENCE IN PROVINCIAL
POLITICS.
HE HAD AT HIS CHIEF OF STAFF
DEAN FRENCH WHO HAD NO
EXPERIENCE IN PROVINCIAL
POLITICS, OR VIRTUALLY NONE.
THESE TWO ARE RUNNING, WHAT'S
THE LATEST BUDGET, 150 BILLION dollar
CORPORATION?
YOU KNOW, MAYBE WE SHOULDN'T BE
SURPRISED, MARTIN, THAT THERE
WERE A LOT OF BUMPS ON THE ROAD
IN THE FIRST YEAR.

The caption changes to "Martin Regg Cohn, @reggcohn."

Martin says I THINK
THAT'S A FAIR POINT.
I THINK THAT'S PART OF THE
EXPLANATION, BUT IT DOESN'T
EXPLAIN AWAY ALLISON'S POINT.
I THINK IT COULD HAVE TAKEN LESS
THAN 14 MONTHS TO FIGURE OUT
THAT THEY DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THEY
WERE DOING, OR THAT DEAN FRENCH
THOUGHT HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS
DOING BY PICKING A FIGHT
EVERYWHERE.
THERE'S NO QUESTION, THEY CAME
IN... WE SAW THAT WITH THE NDP
GOVERNMENT OF BOB RAE, FOR
EXAMPLE.
THEY DIDN'T THINK THEY WERE
GOING TO WIN AND THEY WERE
FLUMMOXED IN THEIR FIRST THREE
MONTHS.
FAIR POINT.
BUT WE CAN'T IGNORE THE MESS
THAT DEAN FRENCH LEFT BEHIND.
BRIAN TALKED ABOUT THE PREMIER'S
RESPONSE TO HIS QUESTION ABOUT
COMMUNICATIONS BEING THE
PROBLEM, BUT THAT'S NOT ALL THE
PREMIER SAID THAT TIME.
RIGHT AFTER THAT, AT THAT VERY
NEWS CONFERENCE AFTER THE
SHUFFLE, YOU MAY REMEMBER HE
SAID, THE CHALLENGE IS, THE
PROBLEM IS, THE MEDIA IS THE
OPPOSITION.
YOU GUYS ARE THE OPPOSITION.
SO THE ANTAGONISM RESURFACED
RIGHT THEN AND THERE IN THAT
POST CABINET SHUFFLE.
AND THAT SCANDAL YOU TALKED
ABOUT ONLY CAME ABOUT, IF WE
BELIEVE THE PREMIER'S OFFICE,
WHEN THE MEDIA SERVED IT UP TO
HIM AND MADE HIM AWARE THAT THIS
WAS AN UNSEEMINGLY PATRONAGE
SCANDAL.

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

Steve says CAN I... YOU KNOW,
YOU WERE THERE.
YOU WORKED IN THAT OFFICE.

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

Lauren says YEAH.

Steve says SO YOU KNOW DEAN
FRENCH.
YOU WORKED WITH DEAN FRENCH.

Lauren says YES.

Steve says WE HAVE NUMEROUS
ACCOUNTS OF... WE'VE HEARD ONE
ALREADY TODAY.
DEAN FRENCH ABRADED AN MPP SO
HARSHLY IN FRONT OF HER
COLLEAGUES THAT SHE CRIED.
HE SAT AT THE CABINET TABLE,
WHICH IS ALSO UNPRECEDENTED.
I'VE HEARD EXPRESSIONS USED,
SUCH AS, HE BASICALLY HAD A
REIGN OF TERROR IN THE WAY HE
RAN THINGS.
YOU WERE THERE.
DID YOU SEE THAT?

The caption changes to "Lauren McDonald, @laurenmc_10."

Lauren says I THINK THAT'S A LITTLE OVER
THE TOP.
YOU KNOW, DEAN AND I GOT ALONG
JUST FINE.
AT THE END OF THE DAY, WHEN
WE'RE LOOKING AT WHAT THE
PREMIER IS PLANNING TO DO GOING
FORWARD, HE... YOU KNOW, HE IS
GOVERNING FOR THE PEOPLE OF
ONTARIO, HE'S MEETING WITH
PEOPLE AROUND THE PROVINCE, HE
IS NOT KNOCKING ON DOORS,
LISTENING TO PEOPLE COMPLAIN
ABOUT WHATEVER IT WAS THAT
HAPPENED WITH DEAN FRENCH.
I THINK THAT PEOPLE, YOU KNOW,
ARE TALKING ABOUT AFFORDABILITY
ISSUES AND, YOU KNOW, BALLOT BOX
ISSUES GOING INTO THE FEDERAL
ELECTION.
I DON'T THINK THAT DEAN FRENCH
IS GOING TO BE TOP OF MIND FOR
MOST PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF OUR BUBBLE.

Steve says THE NAME DEAN FRENCH
MAY NOT BE TOP OF MIND OUTSIDE THE BUBBLE.
THAT'S A FAIR POINT.
BUT, THE NOTION... BRIAN, I'LL
USE YOUR WORDS... THE NOTION
THAT UNQUALIFIED PEOPLE GOT
WELL-PAID PATRONAGE JOBS TO
WHICH THEY HAD NO BUSINESS
GETTING, THAT'S VERY OFF-BRAND
FOR DOUG FORD.
HOW DID THOSE APPOINTMENTS GET THROUGH?

Lauren says YOU KNOW, I WASN'T INVOLVED
IN THE APPOINTMENT PROCESS AT
ALL IN MY TIME IN THE PREMIER'S
OFFICE, BUT WHAT I CAN SAY IS
THE PREMIER HAS COMMITTED TO
REVIEWING THOSE APPOINTMENTS AND
THAT PROCESS IS UNDERWAY.
WHATEVER THE RESULTS OF THAT
PROCESS ARE, I GUESS WE'LL FIND
OUT LATER IN THE FALL WHEN THE
HOUSE COMES BACK OR WHENEVER IT
CONCLUDES.
BUT THE PREMIER IS REALLY
COMMITTED TO ENSURING THAT HE'S
REBUILDING THIS, YOU KNOW,
RELATIONSHIPS ACROSS, YOU KNOW,
WITH MUNICIPALITIES, YOU KNOW,
WITH... HE'S BEEN DOING
ANNOUNCEMENTS WITH THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT OVER THE COURSE OF
THE SUMMER.
SO, YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT THERE
IS... HE'S LISTENING, HE'S
LEARNING, AND THE PACE AT WHICH
THE PREMIER AND THE REST OF US
CAME INTO GOVERNMENT WAS --, YOU
KNOW,, IT WAS QUICK.
AND WE RENT RIGHT TO IT AND NOW
THAT THEY'VE TAKEN THE SUMMER
OFF TO BE ABLE TO, YOU KNOW,
RESET, LEARN A LITTLE BIT ABOUT
THEIR PORTFOLIOS...

Steve says STAY OUT OF ANDREW
SCHEER'S WAY, TO BE BLUNT ABOUT
IT.
BRIAN, I WANT TO GO TO YOU ON
THAT.
BECAUSE ONE DOES HEAR COMMENTS
SUCH AS, AND THIS IS FROM
FEDERAL CANDIDATES FOR THE
CONSERVATIVE PARTY, YOU KNOW,
FORD COULD REALLY SINK US.
AND I WANT TO KNOW WHAT EFFECT
YOU THINK PROVINCIAL POLICY AND
PROVINCIAL SHENANIGANS COULD
HAVE ON ANDREW SCHEER'S CHANCE
OF BECOMING PRIME MINISTER ON
THE 31st OF OCTOBER.

The caption changes to "Husting on the hustings?"

Brian says LESS THAN A FEW WEEKS AGO.
WE'LL SEE WHAT IT'S LIKE A FEW
WEEKS FROM NOW.
THE TEMPERATURE, AS I SAID, HAS
BEEN TONED DOWN AT QUEEN'S PARK
AND NOT JUST BECAUSE, YOU KNOW,
THEY'RE ON A BREAK UNTIL SUMMER.
IT IS A NEW TONE, A DIFFERENT
WAY OF OPERATING THE GOVERNMENT
AND LESS COMBATIVE STYLE.
SPEAKING TO A COUPLE OF
DIFFERENT CANDIDATES YESTERDAY,
A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT CAMPAIGNS,
THEY'RE HEARING MUCH LESS ABOUT
ANDREW... OR MUCH LESS ABOUT
DOUG FORD THAN THEY WERE THREE,
FOUR WEEKS AGO.
THEY SAID THEY WOULD GET IT BACK
THEN, ESPECIALLY, YOU KNOW, END
OF JUNE, EARLY JULY.
THAT WAS MORE LIKELY TO COME UP
AT THE DOOR.
NOW IT'S MORE, YOU KNOW, WHAT
THE LIBERALS ARE THROWING AT
THEM NOW, AND THAT'S THE NATURE
OF POLITICS.
WE'VE GOT... WHAT IS IT?...
FIVE WEEKS LEFT IN THE
CAMPAIGN.
THERE'S GOING TO BE A LOT MORE
MUD THROWN FROM ALL SIDES AND
IT'S GOING TO CHANGE.
SO DOUG FORD ISN'T THE FACTOR
THAT HE WAS A FEW WEEKS AGO.
HE DEFINITELY HAS BEEN A FACTOR
THAT HAS DRAWN DOWN ON THE
FEDERAL CONSERVATIVE SUPPORT.
I THINK IT'S BEEN A LITTLE
OVERBLOWN IN SOME OF THE MEDIA
COMMENTARY COMPARED TO WHAT THE
ACTUAL POLLING IS, BUT IT WAS
DEFINITELY THERE.
WE'LL SEE IF IT CONTINUES OR IF
THE PREMIER STAYS ON VALIUM LIKE
HE WAS WITH JOHN TORY.

Steve says DO YOU SEE A FORD
FACTOR IN THIS FEDERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN?

Allison says I MEAN, I THINK EVEN THE FACT
THAT THE CONSERVATIVES ARE
HAVING TO PULL BACK ON DOUG FORD
IS AN OVERALL NEGATIVE FOR HIM, RIGHT?
I MEAN, MAYBE A YEAR AGO, THEY
WERE HOPING THAT HE... THAT FORD
COULD BE A JASON KENNEY FOR
THEM, WHO RIGHT NOW IS
INCREDIBLY POPULAR IN ALBERTA
POST HIS ELECTION IN MAY.
HE'S GOING TO BE OUT THERE IN
THE GTA APPARENTLY ALSO
POTENTIALLY IN VANCOUVER
BRINGING OUT THE VOTES AND
REALLY WHAT FORD HAS BECOME FOR
THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY IS THE
ANTITHESIS OF THAT, RIGHT?

Steve says THAT'S VERY
INTERESTING.
THE PREMIER OF ALBERTA IS GOING
TO CAMPAIGN FOR THE FEDERAL
CONSERVATIVES IN ONTARIO AND
BRITISH COLUMBIA?

Allison says THAT IS WHAT WE'RE HEARING, YEAH.

Martin says AND THE 905 IN FACT WHERE
JASON KENNEY MADE SO MUCH
HEADWAY WHEN HE WAS MINISTER OF
IMMIGRATION FEDERALLY UNDER THE
HARPER GOVERNMENT.
I WOULD AGREE THAT... I'VE NEVER
BELIEVED YOU COULD SUSTAIN AN
ANTI-FORD FEDERAL ELECTION
STRATEGY BEYOND A FEW WEEKS.
I THINK THEY WERE JUST KIND OF
TRYING TO SET THE TABLE, PUT
SCHEER ON THE DEFENSIVE, PUT
FORD UNDER WRAPS, AND CLEAR A
BIT MORE RUNWAY FOR THEMSELVES.
YOU CAN'T RUN A FEDERAL CAMPAIGN
REALISTICALLY FOR SEVEN, EIGHT,
NINE WEEKS, FROM AUGUST THROUGH
LATE OCTOBER, DOUG FORD.
ALLISON MAKES A FAIR POINT THAT
DOUG FORD HAD FANTASIES A YEAR
AGO OF BEING A KENNEY-LIKE
CHARACTER.
THERE IS TENSION WITH THAT
RELATIONSHIP, ESPECIALLY WITH
DEAN FRENCH AND KENNEY.
FORD HAS BEEN PUT IN THE
SHADOWS, HE'S BEEN PUT AWAY.
TO YOUR EARLIER POINT ABOUT,
WELL, HAS FORD TURNED OVER A NEW
LEAF AND IS HE LESS OF A
LIABILITY IN THIS FEDERAL
CAMPAIGN?
WE DON'T KNOW YET.
YOU KNOW, THERE'S THIS TENDENCY
TO BLAME DEAN FRENCH FOR
EVERYTHING AND I THINK, YES,
THERE WAS A REIGN OF ERROR AND A
REIGN OF TERROR UNDER DEAN
FRENCH.
BUT DOUG FORD WAS STILL THE MAN
IN CHARGE AND THEY WERE VERY
TIGHT.
OTHER THAN PERHAPS APPOINTING
THE LACROSSE PLAYER TO NEW YORK
BY DEAN FRENCH BECAUSE DEAN
FRENCH, AS SOME OF US WOULD
KNOW, IS A LACROSSE FAN, OR
APPOINTING DEAN FRENCH
APPOINTING OR ARRANGING FOR THE
APPOINTMENT OF HIS WIFE'S COUSIN
TO LONDON, AND DEAN FRENCH... IT
WASN'T DEAN FRENCH'S
APPOINTMENT.
IT WAS A CABINET APPOINTMENT.
AN ORDER IN COUNCIL.
PEOPLE SIGN OFF ON THOSE
APPOINTMENTS.
THE PREMIER SAID HE WASN'T
AWARE...

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

Steve says MARTIN, I'M JUMPING
IN HERE.
IF YOU'RE A CABINET MINISTER AND
YOU THINK THAT YOUR FUTURE IN
THAT BODY DEPENDS ON YOU BEING
ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF DEAN
FRENCH, YOU'RE GOING TO PASS
THAT OVER...

Martin says 100 PERCENT.
ALL I'M SAYING IS YOU'RE
ACCOUNTABLE, AND THE PREMIER,
MORE IMPORTANTLY, IS
ACCOUNTABLE.

Brian says THAT YOU HAVE TO RELY ON TOP
STAFFERS AND IF THE PREMIER'S
CHIEF OF STAFF SAYS WE VETTED
THESE PEOPLE, WHICH I AM TOLD BY
CABINET MINISTERS WHO ASKED,
YES, WE VETTED, THEY'RE ALL
GOOD, YOU CAN'T SIT THERE AND
HAVE CABINET MINISTERS
GOOGLE-CHECKING AND VETTING
EVERY APPOINTMENT...

Martin says HAS ANYONE ASKED THE QUESTION
OF WHETHER WE ACTUALLY NEED A
TRADE ENVOY IN DALLAS OR A TRADE
ENVOY IN CHICAGO...

Steve says WE HAVEN'T FOR 30 YEARS.

Martin says AND WHO SHOT THAT DOWN?
THE NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

Steve says BOB RAE FIRED THEM ALL.

Martin says THAT'S RIGHT.
BECAUSE THEY WERE TRYING TO CUT
DOWN ON EXPENSES AND DOUG FORD
HAS BROUGHT BACK TRADE ENVOYS TO
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Steve says IF YOU WERE RUNNING
THE CONSERVATIVE CAMPAIGN RIGHT
NOW IN THE FEDERAL ELECTION, YOU
HAVE THE PREMIER OF ALBERTA
CAMPAIGNING APPARENTLY OVER
PLACES OUTSIDE OF HIS HOME
PROVINCE FOR YOU, WOULD YOU HAVE
DOUG FORD CAMPAIGN FOR YOU IN ONTARIO?

Lauren says YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT DOUG
FORD HAS A REALLY STRONG
PRESENCE ACROSS ONTARIO.
THERE ARE OBVIOUSLY CERTAIN
RIDINGS, YOU KNOW, IN AND AROUND
ETOBICOKE WHERE HE IS MORE
POPULAR, MORE RECOGNIZED.
THAT'S WHERE HIS FAMILY IS FROM.
I THINK WHEN IT COMES TO THE
FEDERAL CAMPAIGN, THE PREMIER
HAS REALLY BEEN FOCUSED ON
GOVERNING AND DEALING WITH
THINGS IN ONTARIO.
I CAN'T IMAGINE THAT HE'S GOING
TO PROBABLY CAMPAIGN WITH ANDREW
SCHEER GOING INTO THE FALL...

Steve says WELL, THE REASON I
ASK YOU THE QUESTION... SORRY, BRIAN.
LET ME JUST GET THIS ON THE RECORD.
THE REASON I ASK THE QUESTION IS
KATHLEEN WYNNE IN THE LAST
FEDERAL ELECTION DID 30 EVENTS
FOR JUSTIN TRUDEAU.
THAT WASN'T BY ACCIDENT.
SHE WANTED HIM TO WIN, AND THEY
WERE HAPPY TO HAVE HER ON SIDE.
SHE, YOU KNOW, ONLY JUST WON A
MAJORITY GOVERNMENT A YEAR
EARLIER, AS DOUG FORD HAS ONLY
JUST WON A MAJORITY GOVERNMENT A
YEAR EARLIER.
WE'RE SITTING ON THE 30TH
ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIGGEST
GOVERNMENT IN CANADIAN HISTORY
AND BRIAN MULRONEY WAS
CAMPAIGNED FOR.
DOESN'T HE WANT THE MAJORITY
LEADER OF THE GOVERNMENT IN
ONTARIO TO CAMPAIGN FOR HIM?

Lauren says WELL, I THINK DOUG FORD HAS
SHOWN THAT HE IS WILLING TO WORK
WITH WHOEVER IS, YOU KNOW,
LEADER FEDERALLY.
HE'S BEEN WORKING PRETTY CLOSELY
IN TERMS OF SOME ANNOUNCEMENTS...

Steve says SCHEER WON'T SAY
FORD'S NAME.
HE WON'T SAY HIS NAME.
WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU?

Lauren says YOU KNOW WHAT?
I THINK THEIR RELATIONSHIP IS
JUST FINE.
THEY'RE BOTH WORKING REALLY HARD
TO FIGHT AGAINST THE CARBON TAX
FEDERALLY AND BOTH OF THOSE
PIECES ARE THINGS THEY CAN
CONNECT ON REALLY CLOSELY, AND
WHETHER OR NOT THEY'RE
CAMPAIGNING TOGETHER IS AN
ASIDE.
THE PREMIER IS REALLY FOCUSED
ON HOW THINGS ARE WORKING IN
ONTARIO AND CONNECTING OVER THE
COURSE... HE'S COMING BACK RIGHT
AFTER THE FEDERAL ELECTION.

Brian says THE RELATIONSHIP WAS STRAINED
AFTER THAT PIECE BY CBC WHERE
CONSERVATIVES FEDERALLY WERE
TALKING ABOUT HOW DOUG FORD
COULD SINK US, AND THAT
INFURIATED THE PREMIER, BUT I
KNOW THERE HAVE BEEN BACK
CHANNEL DISCUSSIONS BACK AND
FORTH.
IF THEY WERE SMART, THE FEDERAL
CONSERVATIVES WOULD HAVE HAD
DOUG FORD CAMPAIGNING WITH LOCAL
CANDIDATES IN THE AREAS AROUND
TORONTO WHERE HE IS STRONG, IN
ETOBICOKE, IN SCARBOROUGH, IN
MARKHAM, IN VAUGHAN, IN ALL OF
THESE SUBURBAN RIDINGS THAT THE
CONSERVATIVES NEED TO WIN.
DOES THAT MEAN HE HAS TO GO OUT
WITH ANDREW SCHEER?
NOT NECESSARILY.
HE CAN GO OUT WITH LOCAL
CANDIDATES.
POLITICAL PARTY LEADERS GO UP
AND DOWN.
2011, STEPHEN HARPER COULD DO NO
WRONG FOR THE FEDERAL
CONSERVATIVES.
2015, HE BECAME TOXIC.
2015, JUSTIN TRUDEAU WAS BY THE
END OF THE CAMPAIGN THE MESSIAH
FOR THE LIBERALS.
I'M NOT SAYING HE'S TOXIC.
NOBODY HAS TEAM TRUDEAU ON THEIR
SIGNS ANYMORE.
THESE THINGS EBB AND FLOW AND
YOU HAVE TO USE YOUR KEY PLAYERS
SMARTLY, WHICH IS WHY JASON
KENNEY IS COMING INTO
MULTIETHNIC RIDINGS, TALK TO HIM
OR ANYONE AROUND HIM, HIS
NICKNAME WAS THE MINISTER OF
CURRY AND HURRY, AND HE'S GOING
TO AREAS WITH STRONG
MULTI-ETHNIC COMMUNITIES.

Steve says WHERE HE'S VERY POPULAR.

Brian says VERY POPULAR.

Steve says FROM HIS DAYS AS
MULTICULTURALISM MINISTER IN
HARPER'S GOVERNMENT.
ALLISON, LET'S READ THIS TO YOU
AND GET YOU TO COMMENT ON IT AND
GO AROUND THE TABLE ON IT.
SHELDON, I'M AT THE TOP OF PAGE 5.
THIS IS SCOTT REID, THE FORMER
PAUL MARTIN ADVISOR WRITING IN
THE GLOBE AND MAIL LAST MONTH...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Dreaming of higher office?" The quote reads "Doug Ford wants Justin Trudeau's Liberals to win the federal election.
Why? Because Mr. Ford believe he can win the federal election that will then follow -the one that will com once he replaces a vanquished Andrew Scheer, after the Conservatives stampede to Queen's Park to beg the big loud Premier of Canada's largest province to take the reins as federal leader.
I know what you're thinking: But that's nuts!
No. That's Ford nation."
Quoted from Scott Reid, The Globe and Mail.

Steve says WEIGH IN, IF YOU WOULD?
DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE?

Allison says I MEAN, THAT'S A HOT TAKE, AS THEY CALL IT.

Steve says YEAH.

Allison says I MEAN, WE HAD MENTIONED THIS
EARLIER, THAT DOUG FORD LAST
YEAR DID SEEM TO HAVE VISIONS
OF, YOU KNOW, PRIME
MINISTERSHIP, AND WE OBVIOUSLY
KNOW HE'S AN AMBITIOUS GUY WHO,
YOU KNOW, LIKES POWER AND WANTS
TO MOVE UP IN THE WORLD AND, YOU
KNOW, GRASP AND AIM AS HIGH AS
HE CAN.
HOWEVER, DOES HE WANT JUSTIN
TRUDEAU TO WIN THIS ELECTION?
I'M REALLY NOT NECESSARILY
CONVINCED THAT THAT'S THE CASE,
ALTHOUGH, HOWEVER, IF WE'RE
GOING TO GO BACK TO, YOU KNOW,
CONTRADICTORY REMARKS BY THE
PREMIER THAT I WAS MENTIONING
EARLIER, JUST THE OTHER WEEK, HE
WAS ASKED WHETHER OR NOT HIS
GOVERNMENT WOULD APPEAL JUSTIN
TRUDEAU'S CARBON BACKSTOP
PRICING TO THE SUPREME COURT.
IT'S ALREADY BEEN SHOT DOWN IN
ONTARIO, AND HE SAID, WELL,
MAYBE NOT.
I'M PARAPHRASING.
BUT, YOU KNOW, IF JUSTIN TRUDEAU
IS ELECTED, THAT'S SORT OF...
THAT'S DEMOCRACY.
WE'LL LET PEOPLE... WE'LL ABIDE
DEMOCRACY, I BELIEVE IS WHAT HE
SAID.
AND THEN FOUR DAYS LATER, I
GUESS IN A BID TO LOOK STRONG, I
BELIEVE WOULD BE MY READ OF IT,
THEY ANNOUNCED THAT THE SUPREME
COURT APPEAL... OR THE APPEAL TO
THE SUPREME COURT IS GOING
AHEAD, AHEAD OF THE ELECTION.
SO IT SEEMS LIKE, YOU KNOW, DOUG
FORD HAS TRUDEAU AS HIS
ADVERSARY AND RIGHT NOW THAT'S
WORKING FOR HIM, BUT I CAN'T SEE
HIM WANTING TO KEEP IT THAT WAY.

Steve says MARTIN, THIS IS... I
MEAN, THIS GETS VERY, VERY
BIZARRE, BECAUSE AT SOME LEVEL,
IT'S NOT A BAD THING FOR DOUG
FORD, IF JUSTIN TRUDEAU WINS.
YOU KNOW, RUNNING AGAINST THE
FEDS IS A GREAT FOIL AND YOU CAN
DO IT BETTER OBVIOUSLY WHEN THE
OTHER PARTY IS THERE.
HAVE YOU BOUGHT INTO THIS
THEORY?
YOU'RE RIGHT, THAT WAS A HOT
TAKE AROUND QUEEN'S PARK FOR A
LONG TIME LAST YEAR, THAT
SOMEHOW DOUG FORD WANTS TO BE
PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA AND
HE'S HOPING SCHEER LOSES SO
SCHEER WILL BE OUT AND HE CAN GO
FOR THAT.

Martin says I LIKE SCOTT REID VERY LIKE
AND I LIKE WHAT HE WRITES.
HE WAS RIGHT A YEAR AGO.
IT STARTED WHEN DOUG FORD WENT
TO A FEDERAL CONSERVATIVE
CONVENTION IN NOVA SCOTIA AND
PEOPLE WERE ASKING ANDREW SCHEER
TO TAKE PICTURES OF HIM WITH
DOUG FORD.
ANDREW SCHEER WAS RELEGATED TO
THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND DOUG FORD
WAS THE BIG CELEBRITY.
THAT WAS THEN.
THIS IS NOW.
IT'S MORE OBVIOUS THAN EVER THAT
DOUG FORD NOT ONLY DOESN'T SPEAK
FRENCH, HE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND
FRANCOPHONES.
HE DIDN'T KNOW UNTIL A YEAR AGO
THAT THERE WERE FRANCOPHONES IN
ONTARIO...

Allison says HE'S BASICALLY GIVEN UP ON
HIS PROMISE TO LEARN FRENCH.
HE SAID THAT...

Martin says HE HAS ANTAGONIZED QUEBECERS
BY VIRTUE OF SACRIFICING SOME
LINGUISTIC RIGHTS IN ONTARIO.
SO I THINK THOSE FEDERAL
AMBITIONS, THAT FANTASY, THAT
DREAM HAS GONE CRASHING DOWN.
DOES HE WANT TO HAVE AN
ANTAGONISTIC GOVERNMENT AS YOU
SUGGEST IN OTTAWA?
ABSOLUTELY.
I THINK EVERY PREMIER
UNDERSTANDS THAT IT IS BETTER
FOR THEM TO HAVE SOMEONE TO
PUNCH UP AGAINST AS OPPOSED TO
SOMEONE WHO MIGHT BE AN
ALBATROSS DOWN THE ROAD.
I THINK ALLISON'S POINT IS A
GOOD ONE.
IT'S CRAZY, IT'S CUCKOO POPS,
THAT ELSE RESPECT DEMOCRACY.
HE SAID THIS MANY TIMES, BY THE
WAY, THAT VOTERS WILL HAVE A
CHANCE TO VOTE ON THE CARBON TAX
PLAN.
ACTUALLY THEY DID IN THE LAST
FEDERAL ELECTION WHEN TRUDEAU
GOT A MANDATE FOR A CARBON TAX.
BUT THEN, A FEW DAYS LATER, THEY
LAUNCHED THIS APPEAL TO THE
SUPREME COURT AND THE MINISTER
SAID, WE NEED TO USE EVERYTHING,
EVERY TOOL IN OUR TOOL BOX, BY
ANY MEANS NECESSARY... I MEAN,
WHY?
YOU JUST SAID YOU WERE GOING TO
RESPECT DEMOCRACY.

Steve says HMM.
DO YOU, BRIAN, GIVEN THAT YOU
KNOW THE PREMIER SORT OF AWAY
FROM QUEEN'S PARK... YOU KNOW
HIM MORE PERSONALLY THAN MAYBE
THE REST OF US HERE, DO YOU
THINK HE'S EVER GIVEN UP ON THE
DREAM OF BEING PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA?

Brian says I'M NOT SURE HE EVER HAD THAT
DREAM.
I KNOW THERE WAS A LOT OF
SPECULATION AROUND THAT AND I
GET THE APPEAL FOR HIM AT THE
TIME.
I'VE ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT DOUG
FORD JUST WANTED TO BE MAYOR OF
TORONTO AND WAS RUNNING THE
PROVINCE... YOU KNOW, HE WAS
SOMEONE THAT JUST MOVED BACK TO
TORONTO FROM OTTAWA.
THEY WERE SITTING IN OTTAWA
SAYING, HEY, THE REST OF THE
PROVINCE IS HERE.
GIVE UP ON TORONTO.
I THINK THAT WAS HIS GREAT
AMBITION AND HE ENDED UP
BECOMING PREMIER.
HE DOESN'T SPEAK FRENCH.
HIS MAIN AREAS OF INTEREST
POLITICALLY ARE NOT AT THE
FEDERAL LEVEL.
SO I THINK IF THERE WAS A BIT OF
A TEMPTATION THERE, I AGREE WITH
MARTIN, IT'S PROBABLY GONE AT
THIS POINT.
YOU KNOW, THE IDEA OF BEING ABLE
TO PUNCH UP VERSUS HOW MUCH HE
DOES NOT LIKE JUSTIN TRUDEAU,
WHICH ONE IS GOING TO WEIGH, I
WOULD BE WILLING TO BET HE
DOESN'T WANT JUSTIN TRUDEAU TO
WIN.
THAT'S WHERE I WOULD GO WITH
THAT.
AS FAR AS THE WHOLE CARBON TAX
THING, I WAS AT THAT EVENT.
HE DID TALK ABOUT RESPECTING
DEMOCRACY.
BUT IT WAS KIND OF AN ECHO OF
WHAT HE HAS SAID BEFORE WHERE
HE'S TALKED ABOUT, WHEN VOTERS
GET A CHANCE AT THIS, THEY
REJECT IT.
AND SO HE'S RESPECTING
DEMOCRACY.
SO I WAS SITTING THERE LISTENING
AND MAYBE JUST BECAUSE THE GUY
DOESN'T ALWAYS FULLY EXPOUND ON
HIS THOUGHT AND LISTENING... YOU
KNOW, HEARING WHAT HE HAS SAID
BEFORE AND ASSUMING THAT'S WHAT
HE MEANT.
I DIDN'T TAKE THAT THEY WERE
GOING TO WALK AWAY FROM IT SO I
WASN'T SHOCKED WHEN THEY SAID
THAT THEY WERE GOING TO LAUNCH
THE APPEAL.
SASKATCHEWAN HAS LAUNCHED THEIR
APPEAL, BUT THEY WERE BOTH SPLIT
DECISIONS.
I'VE COVERED SUPREME COURTS LONG
ENOUGH NOT TO TRY AND GUESS
WHICH WAY A COURT IS GOING TO GO.

Steve says WE SHOULD TAKE A
MOMENT HERE, LAUREN, JUST TO
TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE THAT
TRANSPIRED OVER THE SUMMER THAT
MAY NOT BE THE MOST CRUSHING
ISSUE IN ONTARIO POLITICS TODAY,
BUT IT GOT A LITTLE BIT OF
ATTENTION, BECAUSE DOUG FORD...
DOUG FORD IS AN EXTREMELY
DIFFERENT PREMIER FOR MANY
REASONS, ONE OF WHICH WAS, HE
USED TO SPEND A LOT OF TIME ON
THIS AND HE'D GIVE THEM HIS
PHONE NUMBER AND HE WAS CALLED
MR. AND MRS. EVERYDAY ONTARIO
ALL THE TIME AND RESPOND TO
THEIR CONCERNS, AND IF THEY
WEREN'T THERE, HE'D LEAVE A
VOICE MAIL, HI, IT'S DOUG FORD
CALLING, THANKS FOR THE CALL,
AND DA DA DA DA.
HE SHUT THE LINE DOWN.
THAT'S NOT HAPPENING ANYMORE.
HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK HE REGRETS THAT?

The caption changes to "Answering your calls."

Lauren says YOU KNOW, I THINK... WHAT WAS
HAPPENING WITH THE PREMIER'S
CELL PHONE AND, YOU KNOW, EVERY
POLITICAL STAFFER'S NIGHTMARE IS
HAVING YOUR BOSS GO OFF AND NOT
KNOWING WHAT THEY'RE SAYING TO
PEOPLE SO YOU CAN'T KEEP TABS.
THE PREMIER HAS ALWAYS BEEN THAT
PERSON.
HIS BROTHER WAS THAT PERSON.
THEY WANT TO RESPOND AND, YOU
KNOW, THIS IS ACTUALLY
COUNTERING WHAT ALLISON HAD SAID
EARLIER WHERE YOU POINTED OUT
THAT THE PREMIER LIKES POWER AND
I WOULD ACTUALLY SAY THAT THE
PREMIER LIKES PEOPLE AND LIKES
PEOPLE TO LIKE HIM.
AND SO, YOU KNOW, WHEN THE
PREMIER WAS USING THAT DEVICE AS
A MEANS OF COMMUNICATION
BETWEEN, YOU KNOW, A DIRECT LINE
OF COMMUNICATION TO
CONSTITUENTS, I THINK HE WAS
REALLY HAPPY WITH THE WAY THAT
WAS ROLLING.
YOU KNOW, UNFORTUNATELY, IT GOT
ABUSED BY, YOU KNOW, SPECIAL
INTEREST GROUPS...

Steve says BOMBARDED HIM.

Lauren says WHO WERE BOMBARDING HIM.
AND SECOND TO THAT, SOME OF THE
MESSAGES THAT THIS... YOU KNOW,
THIS MAN WAS RECEIVING WERE
ABSOLUTELY REPULSIVE.
YOU KNOW, UNDERSTANDING THAT
SOCIAL MEDIA IS OFTEN A TOOL
THAT PEOPLE USE AND, YOU KNOW,
I'M SURE ALL OF US AROUND THE
TABLE HAVE HAD OUR FAIR SHARE OF
PEOPLE SAYING MEAN THINGS TO US
ON TWITTER.
BUT WAKING UP IN THE MIDDLE OF
THE NIGHT TO YOUR PHONE GOING
OFF WITH SOME HORRIBLY AWFUL
THINGS IS NOT, YOU KNOW,
BENEFICIAL, AND SO THE TOOL THAT
WAS BEING UTILIZED FOR, YOU
KNOW, A REALLY GREAT PURPOSE,
UNFORTUNATELY WAS NO LONGER
SERVING THAT GOAL.

Allison says I'M SORRY, BUT I REALLY... I
MEAN, I THINK OBJECTIVELY, THAT
PHONE LINE WAS ALWAYS A TERRIBLE
IDEA.
SO SHUTTING IT DOWN WAS A GOOD
IDEA.
I'LL SAY THAT...

Steve says WHAT WAS SO TERRIBLE
ABOUT IT?

Allison says WELL, IT DOES... WHY SHOULD
PEOPLE BE ABLE TO PHONE THE
PREMIER ON THE PHONE?
ALL IT DOES IS SOW CONFUSION.
IF YOU'RE A PERSON WHO REALLY
NEEDS HELP WITH ANY NUMBER OF
SERVICES OR HEALTH CARE,
ANYTHING IN THE PROVINCE, AND
YOU GET THE MOST POWERFUL GUY ON
THE PHONE ON THE LINE, HE TELLS
YOU HE'S GOING TO MAKE IT OKAY,
ARE YOU... EITHER THAT IS
PROBLEMS WITH, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE
JUMPING A LINE TO GET THINGS
FASTER THAN OTHERS, WHICH IS,
YOU KNOW, UNDEMOCRATIC AND
UNFAIR, OR THE PREMIER TELLS YOU
THAT HE'S GOING TO HELP YOU AND,
REALLY, WHY SHOULD HE EITHER BE
WASTING HIS TIME HELPING ONE
SMALL PERSON WHEN HIS JOB IS,
YOU KNOW, THE ENTIRE SYSTEM, OR
IS HE ACTUALLY GOING TO BE ABLE
TO DO THAT?
WE SAW THERE SOMEONE... I'M NOT
GOING TO REMEMBER THE
GENTLEMAN'S NAME... BUT A
RESEARCHER FOI THE PREMIER'S
OFFICE, AFTER PREMIER DOUG FORD
SAID NUMEROUS TIMES THAT IF
PEOPLE NEEDED LEGAL AID HELP, HE
SHOULD CONTACT HIS OFFICE AND HE
WILL HELP THEM.
WE SAW THE EMAILS THAT HE WAS
RESPONDING TO THESE FOLKS THAT
NEEDED HELP.
HE PAWNED THEM OFF ON THE
FEDERAL MINISTER OF IMMIGRATION.
HE PAWNED THEM OFF ON THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF ONTARIO.
HE'S NOT ACTUALLY CAPABLE OF
HELPING ANYBODY THAT WAY.
SO PRESENTING THIS PHONE LINE AS
IF IT IS A TOOL THAT PEOPLE
SHOULD BE UTILIZING TO CONTACT
HIM IS FOOLISH.

Steve says I'VE GOT 30 LEFT, MARTIN.
YOU TAKE IT.

Martin says LET'S BE HUMAN ABOUT THIS.
EVERYBODY LOVES THE IDEA OF
HUMAN CONTACT.
IT HAS SOME SPECIAL APPEAL.
BUT IT'S NOT SUSTAINABLE IN A
PROVINCE OF 13.7 MILLION PEOPLE,
AND WE SHOULDN'T BE SURPRISED IF
YOU GET HOSTILITY.
THE PREMIER KNOWS THAT.
HE HAS OPP BODYGUARDS BECAUSE
PEOPLE AREN'T ALWAYS NICE.
I DON'T CONDONE FOR A SECOND THE
KIND OF ABUSE HE PUT HIMSELF...
EXPOSED HIMSELF TO, BUT ARE WE SURPRISED?

The caption changes to "Producer: Harrison Lowman, @harrisonlowman."

Steve says I WANT TO THANK
EVERYBODY FOR COMING IN FOR
PROGRAM NO. 2 OF SEASON NO. 14
HERE ON "THE AGENDA." GREAT TO
HAVE YOU TWO BACK AGAIN AND NICE
TO HAVE YOU TWO HERE FOR THE
FIRST TIME. WE'LL SEE YOU ALL
AGAIN DOWN THE ROAD.

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

Martin says THANKS, STEVE.

Allison says THANKS, STEVE.

Watch: A Renewed Ford Government?