Transcript: Mike Harris | Jan 13, 1994

(Theme music plays)

A fast clip shows predominantly blue geometrical shapes flashing across the screen. A vertical blue slate reads "Slow but Steady" as Mike Harris approaches the camera along a corridor.

Allan Myers's voice says TONIGHT, SLOW BUT STEADY.
MIKE HARRIS READIES THE
TORIES FOR AN ELECTION.

In a clip, Harris gestures and says
IT'S STAKES FROM THE TOP ON DOWN.

In another clip, Harris says YOUR TOTALITARIAN ORWELLIAN.
IF THAT ISN'T AN ABUSE OF POWER,
I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS.

In yet another, he says IT'S CASH-GRAB LEGISLATION.

The "4th Reading" logo assembles, with its blue number four.

STEVE says THIS IS "FOURTH READING."

Steve Paikin stands in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his forties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a blue suit over a white shirt and a wide gray tie. Behind him, a logo reads "4th Reading."

Steve says WELL IT SEEMS LIKE WE JUST
FINISHED VOTING IN ONE NEW
GROUP OF POLITICIANS IN THE
FEDERAL ELECTION, BUT POLITICS
LIKE NATURE ABHORS A VACUUM, AND THERE IS
NOTHING OUR REPRESENTATIVES
LIKE BETTER THAN A GOOD FIGHT
OUT ON THE STEPS.
GOOD EVENING, EVERYBODY.
I'M STEVE PAIKIN.
THE GANG DOWN AT QUEENS PARK
IS ALREADY GEARING UP FOR THE
NEXT PROVINCIAL ELECTION
EXPECTED IN 1995.
LIBERAL LEADER LYNN McLEOD HAS
JUST LIFTED THE FREEZE ON
NOMINATIONS FOR RIDINGS ACROSS
THE PROVINCE.
THE NDP IS OF COURSE ATTEMPTING
TO CLEAN UP ITS IMAGE IN
ANTICIPATION OF THE VOTE.
AND TORY LEADER MIKE HARRIS
HAS BEEN DOGGEDLY WORKING ON HIS
PROFILE FOR SOME TIME.
TONIGHT WE'LL TALK TO HARRIS,
THE MAN SOME HAVE CALLED "THE
ONE TO WATCH."
BUT FIRST, SOME BACKGROUND.

Harris approaches the camera along the Parliament corridor

Steve continues FOUR YEARS AGO, POLITICAL LIFE
LOOKED PRETTY BLEAK FOR MIKE HARRIS.
HE WAS AN UNKNOWN TORY MPP
FROM NORTH BAY.
HIS PARTY WAS THE BUBONIC
PLAGUE OF ONTARIO POLITICS.
VOTERS WERE AVOIDING IT LIKE
NEVER BEFORE.

Talking to the media, Harris says EVERY DAY THAT GOES BY...

Steve continues THEN SOMETHING UNEXPECTED HAPPENED.
HARRIS STARTED TO IMPROVE HIS IMAGE.
HE ALSO HAD THE RIGHT TOUGH ON
GOVERNMENT SPENDING MESSAGE
FOR THE TIMES.

Harris sits talking for the press. He is in his fifties, clean-shaven with neatly combed short gray hair. A caption reads "Mike Harris, Ontario PC Leader."

Harris says THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT
ONLY THE PRIVATE SECTOR CAN
LEAD ONTARIO'S RECOVERY.
THAT ONLY THE UPSIZING OF THE
PRIVATE SECTOR WILL CREATE
JOBS IN THIS PROVINCE.

STEVE says HARRIS'S TORIES HAVE
ALSO LED THE WAY IN BEING THE
OPPOSITION PARTY WITH CONCRETE
ALTERNATIVES TO THE GOVERNMENT.
MORE THAN A YEAR AGO, THE PCS
BEGAN SETTING UP THEIR OWN
TASK FORCES ON ISSUES SUCH AS
ECONOMIC RENEWAL AND EDUCATION.
THEY TOOK SUBMISSIONS FROM THE
PUBLIC, THEN WROTE REPORTS
CHOCK FULL OF RECOMMENDATIONS.

Two of the reports appear, titled "A Blueprint for Economic Renewal and Prosperity in Ontario" and "A Blueprint for Learning in Ontario."

Steve continues WHEN HARRIS FIRST WON THE TORY
LEADERSHIP, HE WAS ACCUSED OF
BEING LACKLUSTRE, SORT OF A
"NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME."
PLAYER AT THE LEGISLATURE.
BUT FOUR YEARS AND ONE
ELECTION CAMPAIGN LATER,
HARRIS HAS BECOME THE
PITBULL OF QUESTION PERIOD.
HE'S LEARNED HOW TO SHARPEN
HIS ATTACKS TO GET THOSE ALL-IMPORTANT
SOUND BITES ON THE EVENING NEWS.

Gesturing forcefully, Harris says IT WOULD SEEM THE ENTIRE
SELECTION PROCESS STINKS.

In another clip, he says YOUR TOTALITARIAN, ORWELLIAN, PHOTO RADAR
CASH GRAB LEGISLATION.

In another, he says NOW, IF THAT ISN'T AN ABUSE OF POWER,
I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS!

Steve continues BUT HARRIS HAS NEVER BEEN
ABLE TO RUN AWAY FROM
ACCUSATIONS THAT HE'S TOO
CONSERVATIVE FOR ONTARIO POLITICS.

A clean-shaven man in his forties with short dark hair talks for the camera. A caption reads "Dave Cooke, Minister of Education."

Cooke says I THINK THE REAL STORY IS
THE FACT THAT HERE WE HAVE A
LEADER WHO IS TAKING THE
CONSERVATIVE PARTY IN ONTARIO
IN THE MOST RIGHT-WING
DIRECTION IN THE HISTORY OF
THE PROVINCE.
AND WE HAVE NEVER HAD A
MAINSTREAM POLITICAL PARTY
THAT'S AS RIGHT-WING AS THE
CURRENT ONTARIO PROGRESSIVE
CONSERVATIVE PARTY.

A clip shows Steve talking to a young man with short blond hair. A caption reads Julian Pope, former Reform Candidate."

Steve continues IN FACT THIS REFORM PARTY
CANDIDATE IN THE LAST FEDERAL
ELECTION SAYS HARRIS HAS
ALREADY BEEN KNOCKING ON HIS DOOR.

Pope says I'VE WRITTEN A LOT OF THE
EX-CANDIDATES FOR THEIR
SUPPORT TRYING TO GET US ON
THESE TEAMS TO TRY AND DECIDE POLICY.
I THINK HE REALLY WANTS TO...
HE SEES THE REFORM MOVEMENT AS
DEFINITELY A WAY IN WHICH
POLITICS IS GOING IN CANADA, AND SO HE
WANTED TO GET SOME INPUT FROM US.

A man in his forties with thinning hair speaks. A caption reads "Tim Murphy, Saint George, Saint David."

Murphy says I KNOW A NUMBER OF
CONSERVATIVES AND I KNOW THERE
IS SOME DOUBT IN THE
CONSERVATIVE RANKS ABOUT
WHETHER HE'S THE PERSON TO
CARRY THE BANNER, AND AGAIN
IT'S A LOT OF THE IDEOLOGICAL
SPLIT IN THE CONSERVATIVE
PARTY BETWEEN THE CENTRISTS
AND THE RIGHT-WINGERS, AND
THERE ARE LOTS OF PEOPLE WHO
WERE PART OF -- THAT WE NEED TO
HAVE A BALANCED APPROACH WHO
ARE NOT VERY HAPPY WITH MIKE HARRIS.

Steve continues HARRIS' PREDECESSOR AS TORY
LEADER HAS ALSO HEARD THOSE COMPLAINTS.

A man in his sixties with longish graying hair appears. A caption reads "Larry Grossman, former Ontario PC Leader."

Grossman says ONE OF MY CHALLENGES OVER
THE NEXT YEAR AND A HALF IS TO
KIND OF ADDRESS THE OTHER SIDE
OF THE COALITION THAT'S
NECESSARY TO FORM A GOVERNMENT
WHICH IS THE SOCIAL ISSUE SIDE.
AND IT'S THE ECONOMIC GROWTH SIDE,
IT'S THE CARING SIDE.

Steve continues BUT WHATEVER HARRIS IS
DOING, IT APPEARS TO HAVE SOME
NEW DEMOCRATS CONCERNED.
CONSIDER THIS FROM ONE OF THE
GOVERNMENT'S TOP CABINET
MINISTERS.

Cooke says I DEFINITELY THINK THAT THE
CONSERVATIVE PARTY HAS THE
POTENTIAL IN ONTARIO TO BE A
FORMIDABLE OPPONENT TO THE
GOVERNMENT AND TO THE NDP.

STEVE says WELL LET'S FIND OUT
MORE ABOUT THE MAN THAT
APPEARS TO HAVE DAVE COOKE AND
THE NDP LOOKING OVER THEIR
SHOULDERS JUST A BIT.
HERE'S TONIGHT'S FACT FILE.
MIKE HARRIS SERVED AS A
TRUSTEE ON THE NIPISSING BOARD
OF EDUCATION.

A vertical blue slate reads "Fact File." Steve reads off it.

Steve continues FOUR OF THOSE YEARS AS CHAIR.
HE WAS ELECTED TO THE
LEGISLATURE IN 1981 BRIEFLY
HEADING UP TWO MINISTRIES IN
1985, NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY.
HE WAS ELECTED LEADER OF THE
ONTARIO PCS IN 1990 AND WE
WELCOME HIM HERE TONIGHT.
MIKE HARRIS, WELCOME.

HARRIS says THANK YOU,
STEVE. HAPPY NEW YEAR.

STEVE says HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU TOO.
WE HAVE A WHOLE GANG HERE
READY TO GET AT YOU.

A vertical blue slate captioned "Sally Barnes" shows a photo of a woman in her fifties with red hair in a bob. Another vertical slate captioned "Ian Scott" shows a man in his sixties with thinning gray hair. Another, captioned "Janet Solberg" shows a woman in her forties with blond hair in a bob.

Steve continues SALLY BARNES, FORMER COLUMNIST
AND COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT TODAY.
SALLY'S A FORMER ADVISOR TO BILL
DAVIS AND FRANK MILLER.
IAN SCOTT IS BACK AGAIN
PRACTICING THE LAW TODAY WITH
DAVID PETERSON'S ATTORNEY
GENERAL IN THE LIBERAL GOVERNMENT.
AND JANET SOLBERG, CONSULTANT,
RESEARCHER, FORMER PARTY
PRESIDENT OF THE ONTARIO NDP.
OKAY, LET'S FIND OUT FIRST OF
ALL ABOUT THIS REACHING OUT
THAT WE SEE YOU DOING TO
FORMER MEMBERS OF THE REFORM
PARTY, CURRENT MEMBERS OF THE
REFORM PARTY.
IT'S A DIFFERENT THING FOR TORIES.
USUALLY IT'S A RED TORY THING
VERSUS A RIGHT-WING TORY THING.
NOW YOU'RE GOING FOR THE
RIGHT-WINGERS, AREN'T YOU?

HARRIS says I THINK WHAT
WE'RE GOING FOR, STEVE, IS NEW
COALITIONS THAT ARE FORMING.
I DON'T THINK IT'S RIGHT-WING
LEFT-WING ANYMORE.
WE'RE LOOKING FOR COALITIONS
OF DISSATISFIED NDP, FORMER
NDP SUPPORTERS ALONG WITH OTHERS.
I THINK THE NEW LINES ARE MORE
WHAT WORKS THAN WHAT DOESN'T
AS OPPOSED TO RIGHT-WING -- LEFT-WING.
I THINK THE NEW DYNAMIC THAT
WE WOULD DIFFERENTIATE IS
PROBABLY LOOKING FOR MORE
MARKETPLACE SOLUTIONS AS
OPPOSED TO GOVERNMENT SOLUTIONS.
STEVE SOME MIGHT CALL THAT
RIGHT-WING, LEFT-WING, BUT I DO NOT.
I CALL IT WHAT WORKS AND WHAT DOESN'T.

STEVE says WHY DO I GET THE
SENSE THAT YOU'RE FAR MORE
CONCERNED ABOUT ATTRACTING THE
JULIAN POPES, THE FOUR OUT OF
TEN VOTERS THAT VOTED FOR THE
REFORM PARTY IN THE LAST
FEDERAL ELECTION RATHER THAN
THE SALLY BARNES' OF THE WORLD
THAT ARE THE RED TORIES OF THE PROVINCE?
AM I WRONG ABOUT THAT?

HARRIS says WELL, YOU ARE
WRONG BECAUSE WE ARE VERY
INTERESTED IN THE NEW
COALITION OF ATTRACTING BOTH.
BUT CLEARLY, I THINK YOU WOULD
SAY THAT OUR PARTY WOULD BE
FOOLISH IF WE DIDN'T RECOGNIZE
THE SUCCESS OF REFORM.
THEY MET THEIR GOAL IN
ONTARIO, IT WAS TO DESTROY THE PC
PARTY IN THE FEDERAL ELECTION.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
THEY WERE ABLE TO SPLIT THE
VOTE IN SUCH A WAY TO DO THAT.
SO WHEN WE'RE LOOKING FOR
MARKETPLACE SOLUTIONS, WHICH
SOME WILL CALL LEFT-WING OR
RIGHT-WING,DEPENDING ON HOW
THEY USED TO BE DEFINED,
PERHAPS, I DON'T KNOW.
WE CLEARLY WOULD LIKE TO NOT
HAVE TWO OR THREE OR FOUR
PARTIES OUT THERE TRYING TO
ARTICULATE A MARKETPLACE
VISION THAT IS SIMILAR TO OURS.

STEVE says TO THAT END LET ME
PLAY YOU SOMETHING.
ALLAN LET'S ROLL THIS CLIP.
THIS IS SOMETHING YOU SHOULD
BE VERY PLEASED ABOUT, MIKE HARRIS.
ALLAN...

Pope says WE DECIDED AT THE
CONVENTION '94 WHEN WE DECIDED
TO RUN PROVINCIALLY, THEN SOME
PEOPLE MIGHT AND SOME PEOPLE WON'T.
AS IT STANDS RIGHT NOW WE'RE
NOT RUNNING THE PROVINCIAL PARTY.

Steve asks AND YOU AGREE HE WITH THAT
DECISION?

Pope says RIGHT NOW I DO, YES.

Steve says AND YOU KNOW HE DOES TOO?

Pope says SURE HE DOES BECAUSE
OTHERWISE WE WOULD TAKE VOTES
AWAY FROM HIM AND THE LIBERALS
WOULD COME UP THE MIDDLE AS IN
THE FEDERAL ELECTION.
I THINK THAT'S
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN.

Steve continues YOU'RE A HAPPY GUY THE
REFORM ISN'T RUNNING.

HARRIS says I THINK THE
REASON REFORM ISN'T RUNNING IS
BECAUSE A LOT OF THE ISSUES
THAT THEY WERE CONCERNED ABOUT
ON MARKETPLACE, ON BALANCED
BUDGET, ON TAXATION ON
REFORMING THE SYSTEM, ON ONE
MEMBER-ONE VOTE IN THE
LEADERSHIP, ON A MOVE TOWARDS
REFERENDUM AND GIVING PEOPLE
MORE DIRECT DEMOCRACY.
I'VE BEEN FIGHTING TO REFORM
MY OWN PARTY AND THE PROVINCE
OF ONTARIO FOR QUITE SOME TIME.
ACTUALLY PROBAB BEFORE SOME
OF THEM BECAME WHAT THEY CALL
"REFORMERS."
SO I THINK THAT'S THE REASON
AS MUCH AS ANYTHING ELSE.

STEVE says JANET LET ME ASK YOU THIS.
YOU SAW DAVE COOKE IN THE
BACKGROUND REPEATS.
IS HE BEING MISCHIEVOUS
WHEN HE'S SAYING I'M MORE
CONCERNED ABOUT HARRIS THAN
THE LIBERALS, OR IS HE GENUINE?

JANET says I THINK IT'S
A TRIBUTE TO MIKE HARRIS'
CONCRETE PROPSALS MUCH AS I
DON'T LIKE THEM AT ALL, BUT THE
CONCRETE PROPOSALS HE'S
BROUGHT FORWARD.
AND SO I GUESS...

Harris says JANET WHICH ONE DO YOU
THINK IS UNFAIR?
WHICH...

JANET says I THINK THEY
TALK ABOUT THE CONSERVATIVES
AS A MARKET PLACE PARTY WHEN
WE'VE HAD OUR CONSERVATIVE
GOVERNMENT IN POWER FEDERALLY
FOR TEN YEARS, WHICH INCREASED
THE DEFICIT, WHICH CREATED
MASS UNEMPLOYMENT, WHICH
SIGNED TRADE DEALS WHICH
IMPOVERISHED MANY PARTS OF
THIS COUNTRY, AND TO ACT AS THOUGH
YOU NOW HAVE A SOLUTION THAT
THEY DIDN'T HAVE FOR TEN YEARS
I FIND INCREDIBLE.

HARRIS says THEY'RE NOT ME
AND THEY GOT WHAT THEY DESERVED.
IF THEY LISTENED TO HE ME THEY
MIGHT HAVE BEEN REELECTED.

JANET says YOU'RE RUNNING
UNDER THE CONSERVATIVE BANNER.

HARRIS says I'M RUNNING
UNDER THE ONTARIO CONSERVATIVE
PARTY PROUD OF DAVIS, PART OF
THE MARKETPLACE SOLUTIONS AND
THE BALANCE IN TAXATION AND
REGULATION THAT THEY PROVIDED.
AND WE'RE SEEKING TO FIND THAT
IN THE NEW ECONOMY THAT'S THERE.
AND WE GENUINELY HAVE BEEN
LISTENING AND PUTTING FORWARD PROPOSALS.

JANET says HAVEN'T WE
HEARD THIS FROM THE FEDERAL
CONSERVATIVE PARTY NATIONALLY?

HARRIS says THE TRADE DEAL
WHICH THEY...
70 PERCENT OF CANADIANS SUPPORTED.

JANET says THEY
DEREGULATED ALL KINDS OF THINGS
FEDERALLY, JUST AS YOU ASKED.

IAN says IT'S REALLY THE
POLICIES THAT WOULD HAVE
ATTRACTED BILL DAVIS AND JOHN
ROBARDS AND THE OTHER TORIES
OF WHOM YOU'RE SO PROUD AND
YOU SHOULD BE SO PROUD OF.
THEY DIDN'T FAVOUR USER FEES
IN THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.
THEY WEREN'T OPPOSED TO PAY EQUITY.
THEY INTRODUCED RENT CONTROL TO ONTARIO.
THEY DID A NUMBER OF THINGS
THAT YOU'VE INDICATED IN YOUR
STATEMENTS YOU'RE GOING TO UNDO.
AND I THINK THAT'S WHAT
CREATES THE SENSE THAT YOU MAY BE A REFORM
PARTY MEMBER AT HEART.

HARRIS says THEY LED THE PARTY THAT
WAY AND I'M PROUD THAT THEY
DID AT EVERY STAGE OF
ADVANCING A RESPONSIBLE SOCIAL
POLICY IN ONTARIO.
IT'S A PROUD HISTORY AND LEGACY.
THEY HAD USER FEES IN THE
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.
THEY HAD PREMIUMS, THEY HAD
EXTRA BILLING, SO-CALLED.
NONE OF MY PREDECESSORS FELT
THAT EVERYTHING SHOULD BE
UNIVERSAL 100 PERCENT FREE.
THEY BROUGHT IN RENT REVIEW,
NOT RENT CONTROLS.
AND BILL DAVIS IS TO THIS DAY
AS IS MISTER GROSSMAN KEY ADVISORS.
AND WANTING TO PLAY A
SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN OUR
RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN.
SO I THINK THEY'RE PROUD OF ME.

STEVE says LET ME...

IAN says LET ME ASK YOU THIS.
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GET
SOMEONE LIKE JULIAN POPE, A
DEDICATED REFORMER WHO THINKS
YOU'RE TERRIFIC.
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GET HIM
TO WORK WITH SOMEONE LIKE
SALLY BARNES WHO IS A RED TORY
OR SHE WAS BEFORE CHRISTMAS?

SALLY says NOTHING
HAPPENED TO THAT.

HARRIS says SALLY BARNES
SHOULD SPEAK FOR HERSELF.
WITH SALLY I CONSULT ON A
REGULAR BASIS AS WELL. I THINK...

STEVE says IS THAT TRUE? WE HAVE THE SOURCE HERE.

HARRIS smiles and says REGULARLY OR NOT I DOUBT SHE WILL SAY.

IAN says THE PROBLEM IS NOT ONLY
CONSULTING SALLY, WHICH IS A
GOOD CENTRIST THING TO DO THAT
BILL DAVIS WOULD HAVE BEEN
PROUD OF, BUT HE'S CONSULTING
JULIAN POPE OF THE REFORM PARTY.
THAT'S THE PROBLEM I HAVE ABOUT THIS.

HARRIS says WELL CLEARLY
WE ARE, AS CLIFFORD TOKEY FROM
THE LABOUR MOVEMENT,
AND WE ARE CONSULTING A BROAD
BASE OF ONTARIANS BECAUSE YOU
KNOW WHAT IAN?
I THINK THAT THE OLD POLITICS
OF LEFT-RIGHT, OF WHAT WAS
PERCEIVED IS QUITE FRANKLY OUT
THE WINDOW AND I THINK THERE
ARE NEW COALITIONS FORMING.
I GET A SENSE -- MANY PEOPLE
IN THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY TELL
ME THAT THE LIBERALS ARE OUT
TO LUNCH BUT BOB RAE IS STARTING
TO MAKE SOME SENSE.
AND HE'S TRYING TO FORGE NEW COALITIONS.
MANY IN THE LABOUR MOVEMENT
ARE SAYING "I LIKE WHAT HARRIS SAYS."
AND SO THERE ARE NEW
COALITIONS FORMING, AND
ANYBODY THAT STAND UP AND SAYS
I'M NOT INTERESTED IN ANYBODY
OR ANY OF YOU I THINK IS
MAKING A MISTAKE.

To Sally, STEVE says WHEN MIKE HARRIS
CALLED YOU TO CONSULT YOU
BEFORE HE APPOINTED TOM LONG,
THE PRESIDENT OF THE...
FORGIVE ME, THE CAMPAIGN CHAIR
FOR THE UPCOMING ELECTION
CAMPAIGN, YOUR ADVICE TO HIM
WAS WHAT?
FORMER PARTY PRESIDENT, RATHER
WELL-KNOWN TO BE ON THE RIGHT
SIDE OF THE SPECTRUM.

IAN says RIGHT SIDE OF
THE REFORM PARTY.

Sally says I MUST SAY I HAVE NOT
TALKED TO TOM LONG IN AT LEAST
TWO YEARS AND I GIVE HIM THE
BENEFIT THAT MAYBE HE HAS MATURED
AND MELLOWED AND IS NO LONGER
AS RIGHT-WING AS WHEN I KNEW HIM.
BUT SERIOUSLY, IT IS A MATTER
OF CONCERN.
EVERYWHERE I GO THESE DAYS, MY
FRIENDS WHO VIEW HIM TO BE RED
TORIES AND THE REST OF THE
SPECTRUM ARE CONCERNED THAT
THE PERCEPTION IS THAT YOU'RE
MOVING TOO FAR TO THE RIGHT.
NOW I CAN'T COMMENT ON THAT
BECAUSE I HAVEN'T SEEN YOU DO
ANYTHING THAT WOULD SUGGEST
THAT TO ME, BUT IT'S THE
PERCEPTION THAT'S THERE.
IS IT BECAUSE OF THE
APPOINTMENT OF...

HARRIS says I THINK IT'S
BECAUSE I LED THE WAY IN
ANTICIPATING THE CRISIS THAT
WE WERE IN, AND I SAID RENT
REVIEW WORKED AS LONG AS IT
HAD SOME SUNSET PROVISION AND
COMMON SENSE.
BUT RENT CONTROL IS NOT WORKING.
WHEN I SAID THAT FOUR YEARS
AGO, PEOPLE SAID "BOY, THAT'S
REALLY RIGHT-WING."
NOW THE NDP PREMIER OF
SASKATCHEWAN SCRAPPED RENT
CONTROLS ALONG WITH THE
LIBERAL PREMIER OF NOVA SCOTIA
SCRAPPED RENT CONTROLS AND
LEADING TO MORE MARKETPLACE SOLUTIONS.
SO, PERHAPS I WAS AHEAD OF TIME IN
TALKING ABOUT THE CRISIS THAT
WAS COMING WHEN I SAID WE'RE
NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD
UNIVERSAL FREE EVERYTHING ON DEMAND.
NOW PAUL MARTIN AND JEAN
CHRETIEN ARE SAYING WE HAVE TO
SLASH THE SPENDING ON SOCIAL
PROGRAMS.

Sally says OUR TAXES PAY IT, IT'S NOT
FREE, MR. HARRIS.

HARRIS says WELL, I'M GLAD TO HEAR YOU SAY IT --
THE FIRST SOCIALIST THAT'S COME FORWARD
AND ADMITTED IT -- MAYBE
THAT'S PART OF THE NEW
COALITION THAT THE NDP ARE
TRYING FOR.

Sally says ANOTHER POINT THAT SHOULD BE
MADE IS YOU'RE NOT ACTING AS
DID BILL DAVIS.
BILL DAVIS WAS THERE IN THE
SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES WHEN
THEY LITERALLY HAD MORE MONEY
THAN THEY KNEW WHAT TO DO WITH.
SO I THINK THAT...

HARRIS says HE HAD A DEFICIT EVERY YEAR...

Janet says I THINK YOU HAVE TO SAY TO YOURSELF
MIKE HARRIS IS HERE AT A
DIFFERENT TIME.
HE DOES NOT HAVE THE MONEY TO
DO WHAT BILL DAVIS HAD.

STEVE says IS THAT WHY YOU CAN
FEEL COMFORTABLE AS YOU DID IN THE EARLY
EIGHTIES WHERE YOU WERE ABLE
TO VOTE FOR MEASURES THAT
RAISED TAXES BY MILLIONS AND
BILLIONS AND TODAY YOU CALL
YOURSELF A TAX CUTTER.

HARRIS says STEVEN, LET'S
BE CLEAR ABOUT SOMETHING.
WE HAD TAX INCREASES IN THE
PERIOD I WAS HERE FROM '81 TO
'85 AND I SUPPORTED THOSE TAX INCREASES.
AND AFTER WE HAD INCREASED
THEM, WE WERE STILL VERY
COMPETITIVE WITH EVERY OTHER
PROVINCE AND COUNTRY WE DID
BUSINESS WITH.
BUT THOSE INCREASES WEREN'T
ENOUGH FOR THE LIBERALS.
THEY WANTED THAT AND MORE AND
THE NDP WANTED THAT AND MORE.
SO IT'S LIKE TAKING A LIFEBOAT AND SAYING WE PUT 50
PEOPLE IN THE LIFEBOAT THAT
HANDLES 40 AND IT SUNK.
DO YOU BLAME THE PERSON THAT
SAID I HAVE A LIFEBOAT FOR 40
AND I'M GOING TO PUT 20 PEOPLE
IN IT?
THAT'S WHAT WE DID, THEN THE
LIBERALS PUT 20 MORE IN IT AND
THEN THE NDP TEN, AND IT SANK.
IT IS A DIFFERENT TIME.

IAN says CAN I ASK MISTER
HARRIS THERE.
LEAVING THE IDEOLOGICAL
COMPONENT OF THE ALLEGED
POLICIES OUT OF IT FOR A
MOMENT AND JUST LOOKING AT IT
AS A POLITICAL RESPONSE TO THE
PROBLEM OF YOUR ASSERTION THAT
YOU SHOULD BE IN GOVERNMENT.
YOU WANT TO BUILD A CONSENSUS.
HAS THERE EVER BEEN IN CANADA
IN ANY PROVINCE IN CANADA
ALMOST A CONSENSUS THAT IS
SKEWERED AS FAR IN THE DIRECTION OF THE REFORM
PARTY AS THE CONSENSUS YOU'RE
TRYING TO BUILD?

HARRIS says I BELIEVE THE
POLICIES THAT WE HAVE
ARTICULATED, GOT ON THE RECORD,
ARE AND WILL BE WHEN THE NEXT
ELECTION COMES ALONG VIEWED AS
CENTRE OF WHAT THE ONTARIANS
ARE LOOKING FOR.
AND WILL BE VERY COMMON SENSE,
WE'LL BE VERY...

IAN says APART FROM
SOCIAL CREDIT IN ALBERTA, HAS
THERE EVER BEEN A CONSENSUS
BUILDING OPERATION AS FAR TO THE

- FORGIVE ME FOR USING THE WORD
RIGHT -- AS YOU'RE TRYING TO
CONSTRUCT THAT HAS SUCCEEDED?

HARRIS says YOU SAY I AM
THAT FAR TO THE RIGHT.
I DON'T THINK THAT I HAVE BEEN
NEAR AS RIGHT-WING AS I'VE
HEARD CHRETIEN AND MARTIN
SPEAK ABOUT OR AS I'VE HEARD
BOB RAE IN SLASHING
RETROACTIVELY CONTRACTS FOR
WORKERS THAT I STOOD UP AND
DEFENDED IN THE LEGISLATURE
AND SAID WHAT A DISASTER.
SO YOU SEE, YOU WOULD LIKE TO,
AS A LIBERAL, PORTRAY ME AS RIGHT.
I THINK THAT I AM MARKETPLACE,
I AM VERY CENTRIST IN WHAT'S
GOING TO WORK FOR THIS
PROVINCE IN THE FUTURE, AND WE
STAND WITH THOSE POLICIES.

STEVE says WE HAVE A COUPLE
OF MINUTES LEFT.
WHEN LYNN McLEOD WAS HERE WE
ASKED HER ABOUT HER POLITICAL
JUDGEMENT AND I WANT TO ASK
YOU THE SAME QUESTION.
AND YOU KNOW WHAT'S COMING.
HILDA HELL GUARD.
YOUR RESEARCHERS HAD HEARD
FROM HER THAT SHE WOULD MAKE A
LOT MORE MONEY IF SHE WENT ON WELFARE THAN
IF SHE QUIT HER 40,000-PLUS
DOLLAR A YEAR JOB.
AS A MAN WITH A LOT OF
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE, AS A MAN
WHO A COME A LONG WAY AS EVEN
YOUR POLITICAL OPPONENTS SAY
YOU HAVE, WHY DIDN'T YOUR
POLITICAL ANTENNA GO UP AND
SAY THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT
THIS THAT ISN'T RIGHT AND I
SHOULDN'T BE TRYING TO EXPLOIT
IT FOR MY PURPOSES?

HARRIS says I GUESS
CERTAINLY IN HINDSIGHT WE
WOULD HAVE WANTED TO CHECK THE
FIGURES ALTHOUGH I WOULD LIKE
YOU TO REFERENCE THE MAJOR
ARTICLE THAT WAS DONE IN THE
HAMILTON SPECTATOR JUST BEFORE
CHRISTMAS THAT SAYS HILDA WAS
RIGHT, SHE WAS WITHIN 1,000 DOLLARS A
YEAR OF BEING BETTER OFF ON
WELFARE THAN THE NUMBERS SHE SAID.
I GUESS BECAUSE I DIDN'T THINK
THE ISSUE WAS WHETHER SHE WAS
THE SAME AS 41,000 OR NOT AND
NEITHER DID SHE.
THE ISSUE TO ME WAS "WHAT DROVE
A WOMAN TO QUIT HER JOB?
AND THINK THAT WELFARE WOULD
BE BETTER."
THAT WAS HER ISSUE THAT SHE
FELT FRUSTRATED ABOUT.
I FELT WHAT KIND OF A SILLY
SYSTEM WOULD ALLOW HER TO DO
IT, AND THAT NEEDED TO BE EXPOSED.
BOTH OF US PERHAPS USED EACH
OTHER IN WANTING TO GET OUR
MESSAGES OUT, AND AS IT TURNED
OUT, POLITICAL JUDGEMENT ERROR
ON BOTH OUR PARTS, AND ME
SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER, THE
MEDIA WERE MORE INTERESTED IN
CRUCIFYING THIS WOMAN WHO
MAYBE HAD MADE AN ERROR ON THE NUMBERS.
AND -- BUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER
IS SHE'S NOW ON WELFARE, WITHIN
A FEW HUNDRED DOLLARS OF THE
SAME AS IF SHE WAS MAKING
41,000 DOLLARS A YEAR AND THAT IS A
TRAGEDY. MAYBE IN THE EXPOSITION
SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN, I HOPE.

IAN says BUT WASN'T IT
GILL HARDY IN HIS COLUMN THAT
SAID YOU INDICATED UNACCEPTABLY POOR
POLITICAL JUDGEMENT.
HOW DO YOU ANSWER A CRITIC
LIKE THAT?

HARRIS says I WOULD SAY
THAT I WILL HAVE MADE MANY
MISTAKES THAT I'M SURE
ANALYSTS WILL SAY ARE POOR
POLITICAL JUDGEMENT.
MANY OF THEM ARE CORRECT AT
THE TIME AND I WILL MAKE MANY
MORE MISTAKES IN THE FUTURE.
BUT IT WILL NOT DETER ME
FROM WANTING TO LEARN FROM
THAT IN TRYING TO ADVANCE THE
AGENDA THAT I BELIEVE SO
STRONGLY IN AND THE VISION FOR
THIS PROVINCE THAT I BELIEVE
SO STRONGLY IN.

STEVE says I AM I'M AFRAID THE
CLOCK CANNOT DETER ME FROM
SAYING WE'VE GOT TO GO.
MIKE HARRIS, THANK YOU FOR COMING IN.
COMING UP NEXT, THE BATTLE FOR
BIG BASKETBALL BUCKS IS ON AT
QUEENS PARK. STICK AROUND.

A blue slate shows the "4th Reading" logo.

In the studio, Steve says DEAR FANS,
THE FIGHT OVER WHETHER TORONTO
WILL END UP WITH AN NBA FRANCHISE.
AS USUAL COMES DOWN TO DOUGH, AND
A LOT OF IT.
THE NBA A HAS GIVEN BOB RAE
UNTIL MID-FEBRUARY TO PULL
BASKETBALL OUT OF THE PRO-LINE
LOTTERY IF HE WANTS THE FRANCHISE.
NOW THE PROVINCE IS SQUAWKING
ABOUT LOSING MILLIONS FROM THE
BETTING, BUT THE LATEST
SCUTTLEBUTT HAS THE RAE
GOVERNMENT ALSO CONSIDERING
WAYS TO SAVE THE DEAL.
WORD IS, THE GOVERNMENT HAS
MADE AN OFFER BUT THE TWO
SIDES ARE FAR APART, AND NOBODY
IS OPTIMISTIC.
I GUESS MY QUESTION FOR THIS
GANG IS SHOULD THE PROVINCE BE
HANGING TOUGH, STICKING TO ITS
"WE NEED THE 50, 60 MILLION" OR
SHOULD THEY BE LOOKING FOR
SOME WAY OUT OF THIS FOR A COMPROMISE.
SALLY?

SALLY says MARK THIS DOWN.
I AM SAYING ON THIS DATE BOB
RAE IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT ON THIS ONE.
AND IT'S ABOUT TIME HE WAS
RIGHT ON SOMETHING.
I THINK HE IS THERE IS NO WAY
WE SHOULD BE PUSHED AROUND BY
THESE GUYS SOUTH OF THE
BORDER, BUT AT THE SAME TIME I
THINK I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR
YOUR COMMENT ON THIS, IAN.
BUT I'M AMAZED THAT SOMEONE
LIKE DAVID PETERSON WHO'S ONE
OF THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THE
FRANCHISE BEING SO STUPID AS
TO BACK RAE IN A CORNER ON THIS.
WHY DIDN'T THEY ANTICIPATE
THIS AND WHY DIDN'T THEY OFFER
HIM A LITTLE WIGGLE-ROOM.
IT'S ONE OF THOSE BASIC RULES.

STEVE says ARE THEY DENYING HIM
THE WIGGLE-ROOM OR HAS HE
DENIED IT TO HIMSELF?

SALLY says I THINK THEY
SAID IF WE GO TO THE MEDIA AND
TELL THE PUBLIC THAT HE WE
COULD LOSE A FRANCHISE AND SAY
GIVE UP THE PRO LINE, THAT
ISN'T WHAT THE PUBLIC WANTS.

IAN says I THINK THE
FASCINATING THING ABOUT THIS
ISSUE IS THAT IT'S A CONTEST
BETWEEN DEVELOPMENT DOLLARS ON
THE ONE HAND COMING INTO THE
COMMUNITY, AND TAXATION DOLLARS
COMING OUT OF THE PRO LINE.
OUR WHOLE ATTITUDE AND THE
NDP'S ATTITUDE PARTICULARLY TO
GAMBLING IN ONTARIO HAS BEEN "IT'S A
KIND OF BENIGN THING.
IT GOES ON AND GOVERNMENT
SHOULD GET ITS SHARE OF IT."
IT'S NEVER HAD A CASE WHERE
GAMBLING AND THE TAXATION OF
IT HAS RUN INTO THE
DEVELOPMENT INDUSTRY OR THE
NUMBER OF TOURIST PROJECTS.
AND THAT'S WHY THIS IS A REAL
CHALLENGE FOR THEM.
THEY MAY HAVE TO MAKE A VERY
DIFFICULT CHOICE.
NOW, THE THING THAT CAN BE SAID
IS THAT BASKETBALL FANS AS A
CLASS ARE NOT YET MAD AT THE
RAE GOVERNMENT AND THIS MAY BE
BOB'S CHANCE.

To Janet, STEVE says OKAY, WE'RE GOING TO
GET THE REAL DOPE FROM YOU
HERE BECAUSE YOU HAD DINNER
WITH DAVID REVEL LAST NIGHT
WHO HAS BEEN THE THREE-YEAR NEGOTIATOR ON
THIS THING, AND OVER A COUPLE OF BRISKIES HE TOLD YOU WHAT?

Janet says WHAT I LEARNED FROM DAVID
REVEL IS YOU DON'T DO YOUR
NEGOTIATIONS IN PUBLIC, WHICH
IS WHY I'M NOT SAYING ANYTHING
ON THE AIR.

Ian says BUT YOU'RE THE BIGGEST
BASKETBALL FAN ON THE SHOW.
WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN?

JANET says I'M A BIG BASKETBALL
FAN, BUT I'M WITH SALLY ON THIS.
IT MYSTIFIES ME WHY THE NBA IS
TAKING THIS STAND.
I THINK IT'S SO RIDICULOUS.

STEVE says BECAUSE THEY'VE
MANAGED TO GET GAMBLING OUT
OF TWO OTHER AMERICAN JURISDICTIONS ON
THE PROMISE OF FRANCHISES AND
THEY DON'T WANT TO SET A
PRECEDENT.

JANET says WE HAVE A
VIABLE HOCKEY AND BASEBALL TEAM HERE.
THEY'RE BOTH ON PRO LINE.
IT HASN'T CORRUPTED THE
POPULATION OR THE SPECTATORS. WHAT'S THE WORRY?

IAN says YOU WEREN'T IN
CHICAGO IN 1919. THE SCANDAL.

JANET says I FIND IT ABSURD.
I DON'T THINK THE GOVERNMENT
SHOULD CAVE IN ON THIS.

STEVE says AREN'T YOU WORRIED
ABOUT WHAT THE PUBLIC IN
METROPOLITAN TORONTO WOULD
THINK OF THIS PREMIER IF WE
"DON'T GET OUR BASKETBALL TEAM?"

JANET says SURE I'M WORRIED.

SALLY says BUT HE CAN'T WIN, BECAUSE YES, I'M GOING TO
BE UPSET ABOUT THAT AND SO ARE A LOT OF OTHER
PEOPLE IF HE PUTS UP THE WHITE
FLAG, AND THEN IF THE OTHER SPORTS

- ISN'T THAT THE PROBLEM?
NOT JUST LOSING BASKETBALL, BUT
HOCKEY AND WHATEVER OTHER
SPORT YOU'RE INVOLVED IN.

STEVE says WHY WOULD THEY LOSE HOCKEY?
WHAT LEVERAGE DOES THE
NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE HAVE
OVER THE LOTTERY CORPORATION?

Janet says IF YOU GIVE AN EXEMPTION TO
ONE SPORT, THEN WHY WOULDN'T YOU DO
IT FOR THE OTHER?

Steve says BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT GOING
TO PULL THEIR TEAM OUT.

IAN says THE BAD NEWS IN
ONTARIO IS WE MAY NOT BE ABLE
TO HAVE A PRO BASKETBALL
FRANCHISE IN ONTARIO BECAUSE
OF THE INTRANSIGENCE OF THE
GOVERNMENT, BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS...

Janet says THEY'LL GO TO B.C.

IAN says NO, THE GOOD NEWS IS I READ THE
PREMIER HAS A NEW SONG OUT THIS WEEK.

STEVE says WE'RE GOING TO HEAR
MORE ON THAT IN ABOUT 30 SECONDS.
CAN I ASK A TRICKY POLITICAL
QUESTION HERE WHICH IS THE
LEADER OF THIS GOVERNMENT IS
BOB RAE.
ONE OF THE LEADERS OF THE
BASKETBALL SITUATION IS DAVID PETERSON.
WE KNOW THESE TWO DON'T GET ALONG.
I DON'T THINK THAT'S TOO TOUGH TO SAY.
HOW MUCH OF THESE
PERSONALITIES ARE HOLDING UP
THE SOLUTION RIGHT NOW?
ANYBODY?

IAN says I DON'T THINK IT
HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT ON
EITHER SIDE.

SALLY says I'M NOT AWARE.

JANET says DAVID
PETERSON, HAVING BEEN PREMIER,
KNOWING HOW GOVERNMENTS WORK, I
STILL THINK SHOULD HAVE
FORESEEN WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN.

SALLY says PETERSON GAVE
US THE SKYDOME THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

IAN says TO HIS EVERLASTING CREDIT.
THE NEWS THIS WEEK IS THAT THE
NDP, WHICH DUMPED ON THE
SKYDOME, IS NOW GOING TO MAKE
SO MUCH MONEY OUT OF IT THAT
THEY DON'T WANT TO SELL IT ANYMORE.

STEVE says THEY DENY IT.
HOWEVER, YOU HAD A NOTION A
SECOND AGO TO TALK ABOUT THE
PREMIER'S SINGING CAREER AND
LET'S DO THAT NOW T LOOKS LIKE
THE SHOWBIZ BUG HAS BITTEN OUR
ILLUSTRIOUS PREMIER ONCE AGAIN.
NOW BOB RAE IS TRYING TO SCALE
EVEN GREATER HEIGHTS AS WE SEE
ON THIS WEEK'S POSTCARD FROM THE LEDGE.

(Theme music plays)
On the grass in front of the Parliament Building, a TV
screen shows the "4th Reading logo. A caption assembles
over the image and reads "Postcard from the Leg."
In a clip, the P.M. sits at a piano and sings.

He says GO TO THE SCHOOLYARD AND
LOOK AROUND,
FACES ARE YELLOW, BLACK, WHITE
AND BROWN...

Steve says IT SEEMS THAT BOB RAE IS KEEPING HIS EYES
PEELED FOR A FUTURE CAREER.

The P.M. sings and says WE'RE IN THE SAME BOAT
NOW...

Steve continues AFTER ALL, THE CANADIAN
PRESS REPORTED THIS WEEK THAT
RAE HAS APPROACHED SONY MUSIC
CANADA FOR AN APPRAISAL OF HIS
SONG WRITING ABILITIES.
THE PREMIER HAS ALREADY
SECURED SOLID SUPPORT IN
CABINET FOR THE IDEA.

A man in his sixties with a prominent nose and hair cut short in a fringe speaks for the camera. A caption reads "Gilles Pouliot, Minister for Transportation."

Pouliot says WHEN IT COMES TO THE
TALENTS OF THE PREMIER, I HAVE
LISTENED TO ONE OR TWO OF HIS
PERFORMANCES AND I FIND HIM TO
BE FLAWLESS, EVEN IN MUSIC.

White-haired Ruth Grier, Minister of Health, says MY MUSICAL TALENT WAS
CONFINED IN SING-SONGS TO
USUALLY BEING ABLE TO REMEMBER
THE WORDS SO I'M GOOD AT THE
WORDS AND I USUALLY SING OFF
KEY, SO I DON'T THINK THE
PREMIER WILL BE LOOKING TO ME
AS A BACKUP.

Steve says ALL THIS TALK PROVOKED TORY
LEADER MIKE HARRIS TO PONDER
HIS OPTIONS ALSO.

Harris says I WAS A PROFESSIONAL SKIIER
BEFORE I WAS A PROFESSIONAL
SCHOOL TEACHER OR GOLFER AS WELL.
AND ACTUALLY PROBABLY MY GREATEST STRENGTH IN POLITICS
MIGHT BE IN INTRODUCING A SKI VIDEO.
AND I THINK IT MIGHT SELL.

STEVE says COMMENTS?

All three panelists say DON'T GIVE UP YOUR DAY JOB.

Steve says GOOD ENOUGH.
THAT'S IT FOR US.
THANKS EVERYBODY.
WE'LL SEE YOU AGAIN NEXT WEEK
FOR ANOTHER EDITION OF "FOURTH
READING."

(Theme music plays)

Against Parliament Building, The End Credits roll.

Host, Steve Paikin.

Show Producer, Susanna Kelley.

Story Editor, Richard Martyn.

Production Assistant, Tatiana Kober.

Production Manager, Shellie Rubin.

Opening Sequence, Allan Myers.

Set Designer, Jennifer Carroll.

Director, Allan Myers.

Consulting Producer, Janice Neil.

A production of TVOntario. 1994.

Watch: Mike Harris