Transcript: Reading into Ontario's Throne Speech | Oct 08, 2021

Jeyan Jeganathan and Steve Paikin sit at opposite ends of the Agenda news desk. A monitor reads “the agenda with Steve Paikin”. Jeyan wears his dress shirt sleeves rolled up to his elbows. The top button of the shirt is unbuttoned and his purple tie hangs loosely from his neck. Paikin interlocks his fingers as he rests his hands on the desk. His blue suit jacket lays on the back of his chair. A microphone hangs from Paikin’s patterned blue tie.

Text reads, “Reading into Ontario’s Throne Speech”

Jeyan asks,
HEY, STEVE. SO YOU KNOW
QUEEN'S PARK BACKWARDS AND
FORWARDS. I'M HOPING CAN YOU
BREAK SOME STUFF DOWN FOR ME.

Paikin replies,
I'VE BEEN THERE A COUPLE OF
TIMES I DON'T KNOW ABOUT
BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS.

Jeyan continues,
THIS WEEK THE THRONE
SPEECH HAS READ AT QUEEN'S PARK.
CAN YOU TRANSLATE THAT INTO
NON-POLITICAL TERMS?
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Paikin answers,
WELL THE THRONE SPEECH IS
REALLY A WAY OF KICK STARTING OR
REBOOTING A GOVERNMENT MANDATE,
A GOVERNMENT SESSION. AND
THIS IS ONLY THE SECOND ONE THAT
THE FORD GOVERNMENT HAS HAD.
THEY HAD THEIR FIRST ONE
OBVIOUSLY WHEN THEY FIRST GOT
ELECTED BACK IN THE SUMMER OF
2018. SO THE IDEA IS TO SORT OF
2019. TO SAY, YOU KNOW WHAT?
LET'S CLEAR THE DECKS.
LET'S GET A RESTART TO OUR
AGENDA -- IF I CAN USE THAT WORD
HERE IN THE STUDIO -- AND THAT'S
WHAT A SUBPOENA SPEECH FROM THE
THRONE IS ALL ABOUT.

Jeyan asks,
YOU SAID IT'S THE SECOND IN MORE THAN
THREE YEARS. IS THAT UNUSUAL?

Paikin responds,
IT IS UNUSUAL. GOVERNMENTS
LIKE TO UPDATE THEIR MANDATES
MORE OFTEN AS THEY GO ALONG.
FOR WHATEVER REASON THE FORD
GOVERNMENT HAS DECIDED THIS IS
THE FIRST TIME THEY’VE WANTED
TO DO IT SINCE THE BEGINNING SO
YEAH, THERE'S USUALLY THERE ARE
TWO AT THIS STAGE OF A
GOVERNMENT'S MANDATE.

Jeyan says,
A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T
GET A CHANCE TO SEE A THRONE
SPEECH IN PERSON, WHY IS CALLED
A THRONE SPEECH? IS THERE A
THRONE INVOLVED?

Paikin replies,
AH, WELL, NOT NECESSARILY
HERE BUT THERE WAS BACK IN THE
MOTHER OF ALL PARLIAMENTS.
YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER WE'RE
THE BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY
SYSTEM AND IN THE UNITED
KINGDOM, THE QUEEN, QUEEN
ELIZABETH II READS THE SPEECH
FROM THE THRONE. AND OF
COURSE, SHE BEING A QUEEN SHE
DOES SIT ON A THRONE WHEN SHE
GIVES THE SPEECH FROM THE
THRONE. IN THE JUNIOR COUNTRIES,
IF I CAN PUT IT THAT WAY, THE
QUEEN'S REPRESENTATIVE GIVES
THE SPEECH FROM THE THRONE.
SO, OF COURSE, IN OTTAWA, IT'S
THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL.
IN ALL THE PROVINCES IT'S THE
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR.
AND SO THE QUEEN'S
REPRESENTATIVE, ELIZABETH
DOWDESWELL STILL GIVES THE
SPEECH FROM THE THRONE EVEN
THOUGH SHE'S REALLY JUST SITTING
IN THE SPEAKER'S CHAIR.

Jeyan adds,
AND I WANT TO MAKE SURE I'VE GOT
THIS RIGHT. IT IS NOT ELIZABETH
DOWDESWELL’S SCRIPT, THIS IS FROM
THE GOVERNMENT.

Paikin answers,
THAT IS EXACTLY RIGHT. AND IT’S A
GOOD THING TO REMEMBER BECAUSE
WE WOULD NOT WANT PEOPLE
WATCHING THE SPEECH FROM THE
THRONE TO THINK WHY IS THE
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR BEING SO
PARTISAN IN WHAT SHE'S ADVOCATING.
WELL, SHE'S NOT. THE GOVERNMENT
WRITES THE SPEECH.
THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR DELIVERS
THE SPEECH.
SHE MAY HAVE THE ODD
SUGGESTION THAT GOES IN THERE TO
MAKE SURE IT'S IN HER VOICE.
BUT THE FACT IS SHE'S READING
THE SPEECH ON BEHALF OF THE
GOVERNMENT AS THE GOVERNMENT
OUTLINES ITS ASPIRATIONS FOR THE
COMING TERM.

Jeyan says,
UNDERWHELMING, UNINSPIRING IS SORT
OF SOME OF THE WORDS THAT HAVE
BEEN THROWN OUT TO DESCRIBE THIS
YEAR'S THRONE SPEECH.
IS THIS MORE A POLICY STATEMENT
OR A POLITICAL STATEMENT?

Text reads, “Steve Paikin @spaikin”

Paikin responds,
WELL, IT DEPENDS WHO YOU ARE.
IF YOU ARE THE GOVERNMENT OF THE
DAY -- AND I DON'T KNOW HOW MANY
I HAVE SEEN BUT PROBABLY DOZENS
OF THEM. YOU CAN ALMOST WRITE
THE SCRIPT AHEAD OF TIME, RIGHT?
THE GOVERNMENT WILL SPEAK IN
LOFTY ASPIRATIONAL TONE.
THEY'RE NOT NECESSARILY GOING
TO BE VERY SPECIFIC ABOUT WHAT
THEY INTEND TO TO AND WHEN
THEY INTEND TO DO IT BY.
THE OPPOSITION CONVERSELY YOU
COULD WRITE THEIR SCRIPT AHEAD
OF TIME AS WELL.
THEY'LL SAY NOT SPECIFIC ENOUGH,
NO TARGETS, NO DEADLINES, NO
NOTHING. WHAT A WASTE OF TIME.
THEY WERE SAYING IT BACK WHEN I
WAS COVERING BILL DAVIS' THRONE
SPEECHES ALMOST FORTY YEARS AGO
AND THEY'RE SAYING IT AGAIN TODAY.
BUT THAT'S WHAT IT IS.
IT IS THEATRE OF POLITICS, RIGHT?
THE IDEA IS JUST TO GET THE
ASPIRATIONS AND THE IDEAS OUT
THERE AND THEN PRESUMABLY IT'S A
BIT OF A ROAD MAP FOR WHAT YOU
INTEND TO DO DURING THE REST OF
THE SESSION.

Jeyan replies,
YOU TALKED ABOUT THEATRE.
THERE IS SOME ETIQUETTE THAT'S
INVOLVED IN THEATRE AND SOME
INTERESTING STUFF YOU WROTE
ABOUT EARLIER THIS WEEK ABOUT
HOW THIS THRONE SPEECH WAS QUITE
DIFFERENT FROM 2018. HOW SO?

Paikin answers,
IT WAS VERY DIFFERENT
INASMUCH AS -- AND CAN I PUT IT
THIS WAY -- IN AS MUCH AS THE
WAY THE GOVERNMENT MEMBERS
WHO ATTENDED, BEHAVED.
PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER BUT
THREE-PLUS YEARS AGO WHEN THE
GOVERNMENT BROUGHT IN ITS FIRST
THRONE SPEECH, YOU KNOW, THE
FORD GOVERNMENT THOUGHT IT
GOT ELECTED TO COME IN AND BE
AS DISRUPTIVE AS POSSIBLE TO
THE STATUS QUO POLITICALLY AS
IT RELATED TO EVERYTHING.
AND THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR READ
THE THRONE SPEECH THREE-PLUS
YEARS AGO.
AND WHEN BACKBENCH MEMBERS OF
THE GOVERNMENT HEARD THINGS THAT
THEY LIKED THEY STARTED HOOTING
AND HOLLERING AND CLAPPING.
OK, YOU DON'T DO THAT DURING A
THRONE SPEECH.

Jeyan adds,
WELL, SHE GAVE THE STARE DOWN.

Paikin continues,
SHE SURE DID. AT ONE POINT SHE
LIFTED HER EYES FROM THE TEXT
AND SHE LOOKED AT THE GOVERNMENT
MEMBERS AND SHE LITERALLY
STARED.
NOT LITERALLY BUT STARED DAGGERS
AT THEM AS IF TO SAY WOULD YOU
PLEASE ALL SHUT UP WHILE I READ
THIS THING. WE'RE NOT CONDUCTING
A CIRCUS HERE.
THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A BIT OF
AN AUGUST EVENT WITH SOME GRACE
AND DIGNITY INVOLVED.
THEY NEVER GOT THAT MESSAGE
THEN. THEY DID THIS TIME.
THEY WERE MUCH MORE SOBER AND
APPROPRIATELY BEHAVED.
AND AS A RESULT, I THOUGHT IT DID
COME OFF WITH A LOT MORE GRACE
AND ETIQUETTE.

Text reads, “Jeyan Jeganathan @JeyanTVO”

Jeyan says,
YOU TALKED ABOUT DISRUPTION. I
WANT TO PULL UP A QUOTE. I WANT TO
MAKE SURE I GOT THIS RIGHT. YOU
WROTE IN YOUR ARTICLE:
DETERMINED TO DISRUPT
EVERYTHING THAT WAS NORMAL ABOUT
PUBLIC LIFE IN ONTARIO.
I WAS TALKING ABOUT THE
CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT WHEN
THEY CAME INTO POWER IN 2018.
IS IT UNUSUAL FOR THE
PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVES SIDE
OF THE LEGISLATURE TO BE SORT OF
TAKING THAT STANCE?

Paikin replies,
WELL, IF YOU COMPARE
THIS INCARNATION OF THE
PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE PARTY
UNDER DOUG FORD TO PREVIOUS
ONES, SAY MIKE HARRIS GOING BACK
BEFORE THAT, FRANK MILLER GOING
BACK BEFORE THAT BILL DAVIS,
JOHN ROBARTS, LESLIE FROST,
DON'T MATTER HOW FAR BACK YOU
WANT TO GO. YES.
THIS GROUP OF PROGRESSIVE
CONSERVATIVES BELIEVES THEY GOT
ELECTED TO BE DISRUPTIVE TO THE
STATUS QUO. AND WITH VERY MUCH
A POPULIST TINGE TO IT ALL. BUT I
THINK ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING
STORIES THAT HAS DEVELOPED
OVER THE LAST THREE YEARS IS THE
FACT THAT WHATEVER IT WAS THAT
DOUG FORD WANTED TO BE WHEN
HE CAME INTO OFFICE HE'S CHANGED.
HE HAS TAKEN ADVICE FROM PEOPLE
WHO HAVE TOLD HIM, YOU KNOW
WHAT?
THAT WHOLE CIRCUS ROUTINE YOU
WERE DOING THREE YEARS AGO
WASN'T REALLY WORKING AND YOU
BECAME VERY UNPOPULAR VERY
QUICKLY AND IF YOU WANT TO BE
RE-ELECTED YOU MIGHT WANT TO
START ACTING IN A MORE NORMAL
FASHION.
AND THE FORD GOVERNMENT, YOU
COULD SAY TO ITS CREDIT HAS DONE
THAT. NOW WE'LL FIND OUT NEXT
JUNE IF THE PUBLIC SIGNS OFF ON IT.
BUT CLEARLY, THEY HAVE DECIDED TO
ACT IN A MORE NORMAL FASHION THE
CLOSER WE GET TO THE NEXT
ELECTION.

Jeyan adds,
VERY INTERESTING STUFF AND MAYBE
A TOPIC FOR NEXT TIME. THANK YOU
SO MUCH.

Paikin responds,
WE SHALL SEE. GOOD TO SEE YOU,
JEYAN, THIS IS KIND OF NEAT, THIS
CASUAL INFORMAL CHIT CHAT WE
HAVE HERE.

Jeyan chuckles.

He says, I LIKE IT.

Watch: Reading into Ontario's Throne Speech