Transcript: Hydro and Maurice Strong | Feb 04, 1994

The opening sequence rolls.
Music plays as clips of politicians and demonstrations appear on an animated number 4.

TONIGHT, POWER SURGE.
ONTARIO HYDRO'S HIGH VOLTAGE
METER CHARGES AHEAD WITH
REFORMS...

A man in his fifties appears on screen with short, thin, side-parted gay hair, clean-shaven, and wearing a black suit, white shirt, and blue tie with a caption that reads "Power Surge."

Steve continues AND ON THIN ICE.

A clip of hockey members skating on ice with a caption that reads "On Thin Ice."

Steve continues THIS IS FOURTH READING...

The opening slate appears on screen with a title that reads "4th Reading."

In the studio, Steve appears on screen. He is in his thirties, has short, dark, curly brown hair, is clean-shaven, and wears a brown blazer, white shirt, and polka dot black tie.

Steve says THERE AREN'T MANY EXECUTIVES
IN ONTARIO WHO HAVE TO TAKE A
PAY CUT TO ASSUME A JOB THAT
PAYS 425,000 DOLLARS A YEAR.
THEN AGAIN, THERE AREN'T TOO
MANY EXECUTIVESIVES LIKE
MAURICE STRONG.
STRONG HAS BEEN CHAIRMAN OF
ONTARIO HYDRO FOR A YEAR NOW,
ONE OF THE MOST ITEM ULTIMATE
WOULD YOU SAY YEARS IN HYDRO'S
HISTORY.
WITH A POSSIBLE STRIKE BY
THOUSANDS OF HYDRO WORKERS ON
THE HORIZON AND A MOUNTAIN OF
DEBT TO DIG OUT FROM, CAN
STRONG REALLY TURN AROUND THE
BIGGEST UTILITY IN THE LAND?
WE'LL ASK HIM IN A MOMENT.
THIS WEEK, FOURTH READING TOOK
A SOUNDINGS OF THINGS DONE
WRONG IN YEAR ONE.

A hydroelectric plant appears on screen and Steve says SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS
CENTURY, ONTARIO HYDRO HAS
TRIED TO BE THE ENGINE DRIVING
THE PROVINCE'S ECONOMY.
HYDRO PROMISED SAFE, RELIABLE
CHEAP POWER AND WENT ON A
BUILDING SPREE TO MAKE IT SO.
EXPENSIVE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
WERE THE CROWN JEWELS OF THIS
BURGEONING EMPIRE.
THIS IS THE PLANT AT
DARLINGTON.
COST...
14 BILLION DOLLARS.
BUT THEN SOMETHING UNEXPECTED
HAPPENED.
THE RECESSION KNOCKED THE LEGS
OUT FROM UNDER ONTARIO'S
MANUFACTURING SECTOR.
ENERGY CONSERVATION CAME INTO
VOGUE.
AND MUNICIPALITIES BEGAN
GENERATING THEIR OWN POWER.
SUDDENLY, ONTARIO WAS USING
MUCH LESS ELECTRICITY THAN
HYDRO WAS CREATING.
THE RESULT...
NOT NEARLY ENOUGH MONEY COMING
IN TO PAY OFF THE UTILITY'S UJ
DEBTS.
HYDRO WAS IN TROUBLE.
GEORGE ASHE WAS THE
CONSERVATIVE MINISTER OF
ENERGY IN THE EARLY 1980.

George Ashe appears on screen with a caption that reads "George Ashe, Former PC Energy Minister." George is in his fifties, has short, side-parted gray blond hair, is clean-shaven, and wears a brown suit, white shirt, and striped tie.

George Ashe says ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE
HAD GOING FOR US AS A PROVINCE
WERE WE WERE ABLE TO OFFER A
VERY SECURE SUPPLY OF
ELECTRICAL ENERGY AT A GOOD
RATE.

Steve says ENTER MAURICE STRONG.
HE'S TRYING TO TRANSFORM HYDRO
AS NEVER BEFORE.
STRONG HAS PROMISED TO FREEZE
RATE INCREASES FOR THE
REMAINDER OF THE DECADE, LIMIT
FUTURE INCREASES TO RATE OF
NRANATION AND REDUCE HYDRO'S
MASSIVE DEBT BY 13 BILLION DOLLARS
OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS.
HE'S ALREADY STARTED THAT
PROCESS BY CHOPPING 6,000
JOBS.

A man in his fifties with short brown hair and a short brown beard with a caption that reads "Bud Wildman, Minister of Energy" appears on screen.

Bud Wildman says MAURICE STRONG AND THE
HYDRO BOARD AND THE
CORPORATION AS A WHOLE ARE
TAKING MEASURES NOW THAT
PERHAPS SHOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN
SOMETIME AGO.
IF THEY'RE SUCCESSFUL, THEN
ALL OF THEM WILL BE JUDGED AS
GOOD MANAGERS AND WE WILL ALL
BE THE BETTER FOR IT.

Steve says HYDRO'S EVEN TAKEN OUT NEW
TOUCHY-FEELY ADS DESCRIBING A
NEW MANDATE AND A NEW
SENSITIVITY.

A man in his fifties with short, side-parted white hair, clean-shaven, and tortoise shell glasses appears on screen and says YOU TALK TO ANYONE...
PEOPLE IN INDUSTRY, CONSUMERS,
THE FACT, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT
THIS YEAR WE ARE GOING TO SEE
INCREASES, THAT JAN 1, '94,
THERE WERE NO INCREASES AT IN
TERMS OF CONSUMER RATES, THAT
WE'VE GOT A VERY STRONG
COMMITMENT TO GETTING COSTS
UNDER CONTROL AND AN
UNDERSTANDING THAT IT'S THE
CUSTOMER THAT MATTERS MOST.

Steve says SO THAT END, HYDRO IS
CONSIDERING OFFERING VOLUME
DISCOUNTS TO BIG POWER USERS
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ITS
HISTORY.
AND ANOTHER GROUND-BREAKING
MOVE MAY BE AROUND THE CORNER.
FOURTH READING HAS LEARNED
ONTARIO HYDRO IS IN THE
PROCESS OF RETAINING LEGAL AND
INVESTMENT ADVISORS IN
CONNECTION WITH SOME FORM OF
PRIVATIZATION.
IT'S A MOVE THAT DOESN'T SIT
WELL WITH HYDRO'S UNION.

A man in his fifties with medium-length, straight, light blond gray hair and a blond beard with a caption that reads "John Murphy, Power Workers’ Union" appears on screen and says EVERY COUNTRY AND EVERY
MAJOR UTILITY THAT HAVE MOVED
TOWARDS PRIVATIZATION HAVE
FOUND THEMSELVES WITH HIGHER
RATES AND DIRE ENVIRONMENTAL
CONSEQUENCES AS A RESULT.
LET'S NOT FALL INTO THE SAME
STATE.

Steve says BUT PRIVATIZATION ASIDE,
THIS MONDAY THINKS STRONG IS
ON THE RIGHT TRACK.
HUGH MacAULAY WAS CHAIRMAN OF
HYDRO IN 1979 WHEN THE JOB
PAID 65,000 DOLLARS.

Hugh Macaulay appears on screen in his office speaking with Steve. A caption reads Hugh Macauley, former Hydro Chair." Hugh is in his sixties, has short, balding, white wavy hair, wears glasses, and is clean-shaven.

Hugh Macaulay says WE'VE GOT TO CUT THE DEBT.
WE'VE GOT TO AVOID THESE
ANNUAL INCREASES IN RATES
WHICH ARE SO DIFFICULT AND
PARTICULARLY FOR YOU AND ME
AND FOR ALL CONSUMERS AND FOR
ONTARIO MOSTLY.
THE ECONOMY IS IN A PRETTY
DIFFICULT STATE AND THE
ECONOMY CAN'T STAND THESE
INCREASES.
WE'VE GOT TO DO THOSE THINGS.

Back in the studio, Steve says LIKE THE OLD SAYING ABOUT
THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA,
MANY BELIEVE THAT ONTARIO
HYDRO KNEESS, THE REST OF OUR
ECONOMY GETS A COLD.
LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT OUR FACT
FILE FOR SOME HARD DATA ON
THIS MASSIVE UTILITY.

A blue split screen appears on screen with a caption that reads "Fact File" while Steve reads from the slide.

Steve says ONTARIO HYDRO SUPPLIES
ONE-THIRD OF CANADA'S
ELECTRICITY.
IT'S ONE OF ONTARIO'S LARGEST
EMPLOYERS WITH 22,000 WORKERS.
IT HAS ASSETS OF 48 BILLION DOLLARS
AND A WHOPPING DEBT OF 34,000 DOLLARS.
58 percent OF HIS ELECTRICITY COMES
FROM NUCLEAR STATIONS.
27 percent IN HYDRO-ELECTRIC, 10 percent
FROM FOSSIL FUEL OR COAL-FIRED
PLANTS AND 5 percent FROM WHAT WE
CALL NUMBERS, NON-UTILITY
GENERATION.
AND TONIGHT, WE ARE PLEASED TO
HAVE WITH US THE MAN THAT HIS
UNION CALLS CHAIRMAN MO, THE
CHAIR OF ONTARIO HYDRO,
MAURICE STRONG.
WELCOME.

Maurice Strong appears on screen in the studio with Steve, Sally, Ian, and Janet. Maurice is in his fifties, has short, white, side-parted hair, has a small white moustache, and wears a black suit, white shirt, and patterned tie.

Maurice says THANK YOU.

Steve says AND HERE TO PARTAKE
IN THE FESTIVITIES TORONTO,
SALLY BARNES, IAN SCOTT,
FORMER ONTARIO NDP PARTY
PRESIDENT JANET SOME BERJ.
OKAY, CAN I SUGGEST TO YOU
RIGHT OFF THE TOP, YOU ARE
TRYING TO CUT YOUR MASSIVE
DEBT BY SELLING LESS OF YOUR
PRODUCT.
AND THEREFORE TAKING IN LESS
MONEY.
YOU CAN'T DO IT.
AM I WRONG?

Maurice Strong says YES, YOU ARE.
WE ARE NOT TRYING TO CUT OUR
DEBT BY SELLING LESS OF OUR
PRODUCT.

A caption reads "Maurice Strong, Chair, Ontario Hydro."

Maurice Strong continues WE ARE -- WE ARE NOT ONLY
TRYING TO CUT OUR DEBT.
WE IN FACT ARE CUTTING OUR
DEBT IN THIS DIFFICULT YEAR.
WE WILL CUT OUR DEBT BY AT
LEAST A BILLION AND A HALF.
WE'VE ALSO CUT OUR COSTS, AND
WE'RE CUTTING REVENUE ONLY IN
THE SENSE THAT REVENUE IS
GOING DOWN, AND WE'RE ALSO
HELPING OUR CUSTOMERS TO
BECOME MORE COMPETITIVE.
NOW, THAT IS DIFFICULT TO DO
WHEN YOUR REVENUE IS GOING
DOWN, BUT IT'S ESSENTIAL TO DO
BECAUSE IF YOUR CUSTOMERS
AREN'T...
YOUR ECONOMY ISN'T GOING TO BE
COMPETITIVE AND...

Steve says YOU NEED MORE MONEY COMING
IN, DON'T YOU, TO TAKE CARE OF
THIS DEBT.
BUT YOU'RE ASKING PEOPLE TO
USE LESS POWER.

Maurice Strong says WE'RE NOT ASKING THEM TO,
IN A SENSE.
WE ARE HELPING THEM TO BECAUSE
HELPING YOUR CUSTOMERS TO
BECOME MORE COMPETITIVE BY
USING MORE POWER IS GOING TO
HELP SAVE JOBS IN THIS
PURCHASE.
IT'S GOING TO HELP MAKE SURE
THAT THERE WILL CONTINUE TO BE
KMERDZ.
THAT, IN MY VIEW, IS
SELF-INTEREST.
NOW TO DO IT UNDER TODAY'S
CONDITIONS WHEN WE ARE
EXPERIENCING LESS REVENUE IN
ANY EVENT IS OF COURSE A
CHALLENGE.
WE'RE TACKLING THAT CHALLENGE
BY TACKLING OUR COSTS.
WE'RE CUTTING OUR COSTS AND WE
HAVE IN THE LAST YEAR CUT THEM
VERY, VERY SEVERELY.
WE HAVE CUT 24 BILLION DOLLARS
OFF OUR CAPITAL PROGRAMS.
WE HAVE CUT WHAT WILL AVERAGE
OVER A BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR
OFF OUR BASIC ADMINISTRATIVE
COSTS THE WE'RE NOW TRYING TO
TACKLE THE BIGGEST PART OF OUR
COST STRUCTURE WHICH IS 75 percent
THAT IS NOT CONTROLLABLE.

Steve says JANET, I WANT TO ASK YOU
SOMETHING.
THE "TORONTO STAR," AN NDP
NEWSPAPER.
A REPORTER WRITES A SOCIAL
DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY COMPLICIT...
HAS NO CREDIBILITY.
IT CAN KISS ITS ELECTORAL
CHANCES GOODBYE.
DO I ASSUME THAT THAT MEANS
YOU ARE GOING TO FIGHT THIS
GUY EVERY STEP OF THE WAY IF
HE TRIES TO PRIVATIZE ONTARIO
HYDRO?

Janet Solberg is in her forties with short, straight, side-parted brown hair cut in the shape of a bob wearing a blue sweater over a white collared shirt appears on screen with a caption that reads "Janet Solberg, Former President Ontario NDP."

Janet Solberg says I HAVEN'T HEARD FROM
MAURICE STRONG THAT HE'S
PRIVATIZING ONTARIO HYDRO.
I'D LIKE TO HEAR MORE ABOUT
THE PLANS THAT HE HAS, BUT I'M
NOT GOING TO SUMP -- JUMP SO
THAT ASSUMPTION.

Steve says HE'S NOT THE ONLY ONE.
EVERYBODY IS SAYING THAT.

Sally Barnes appears on screen. She is in her fifties with short, gray curly hair wearing a blue blazer and striped shirt with a caption that reads "Sally Barnes, Former Adviser to Conservative Premiers."

Sally Barnes says YOUR HANDS ARE TIED, AND I
THINK YOU'VE USED THE
EXPRESSION THAT YOU FEEL.
UNLESS YOU CAN GET SOME OF THE
GOVERNMENT REGULATION OFF YOUR
BACK AND BECOME COMPETITIVE,
AS YOU WOULD IN THE REAL
WORLD, YOU JUST CAN'T DO THIS,
CAN YOU?

Maurice Strong says WELL, THAT'S TRUE.
BUT LET ME SAY CONDITIONS HAVE
CHANGED VERY SIGNIFICANTLY.
HYDRO HAS TO CHANGE.
THIS GOVERNMENT INVITED ME TO
TAKE THIS JOB BECAUSE THEY
WANTED HYDRO TO CHANGE AND HAS
BEEN VERY SUPPORTIVE OF WHAT I
HAVE TO SAY IN THE CHANGES
THAT WE HAVE IN FACT MADE.

Sally Barnes says WELL, WHEN THEY DO THE BIG
STUFF FOR YOU, WILL THEY LET
YOU GET INTO PRIVATIZATION?
WILL THEY GET SOME OF THE
REGULATIONS OFF YOUR BACK,
BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT YOU NEED
FROM BOB RAE, ISN'T IT AND

Maurice Strong says WE DO NEED SIGNIFICANT
CHANGES IN AN ACT THAT IS NO
LONGER TO OUR CURRENT
CIRCUMSTANCES AND EVEN LESS TO
OUR FUTURE CHALLENGES.
AND I THINK THERE'S REAL
SYMPATHY THERE.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE OUTCOME
WILL BE.
THAT'S NOT UP TO ME TO DECIDE.
BUT IN TERMS OF PRIVATIZATION,
WE HAVE NEVER MADE
PRIVATIZATION AN OPTION.
WHAT WE'RE SAYING IS THAT THE
FINANCIAL INTEGRITY OF THIS
CORPORATION IS ESSENTIAL TO
THE FUTURE OF THIS PROVINCE.
IT'S ESSENTIAL TO THE SECURITY
OF EMPLOYMENT FOR EVERY
EMPLOYEE.
IT'S ESSENTIAL TO EVERY
CUSTOMER THAT DEPENDS ON US.
AND PART OF OUR JOB, A VERY
ESSENTIAL PART OF OUR JOB AT
THIS STAGE IT TO RESTORE THE
FINANCIAL INTEGRITY OF THIS
CORPORATION.

Ian Scott appears on screen. Ian is in his fifties with thin, short, side-parted white hair, clean-shaven, and wearing a blue suit, white shirt, and dark tie appears on screen with a caption that reads "Ian Scott, Former Liberal Attorney General."

Ian Scott says Mr. STRONG, I HAVE A
FEELING, I MAY BE STRONG, THAT
PRIVATIZATION IS A BIT OF A
RED HERRING AND THE BACK-UP
PROPOSITION THAT THAT YOU
ADVANCE IN YOUR SPRECHS IS
ENCAPSULATED IN THE PHRASE
THAT YOU WANT THE GOVERNMENT
TO GET ITS HANDCUFFS OFF HYDRO
DRO, BY WHICH HE MEAN THAT YOU
DON'T WANT IT HAVE TO SUBMIT
TO GOVERNMENT REGULATION OF
THE SAME TYPE.
AND YOU'VE SAID, FOR EXAMPLE,
THAT YOU WANT TO DO THAT
BECAUSE TO OFFER VOLUME
DISCOUNTS FOR LARGE PURCHASERS
AND SO ON.
IF YOU GOT YOUR WISH IN THAT
WAY, I TAKE IT THE PEOPLE OF
ONTARIO WOULD STILL REMAIN
LIABLE FOR YOUR DEBT AS THE
GUARANTOR OF YOUR DEBT.
AND I WANT TO ASK YOU IF THE
HANDCUFFS CAME OFF, HOW WOULD
YOU BE ACCOUNTABLE TO THE
PEOPLE OF ONTARIO?

Maurice Strong says THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT A
PUBLIC UTILITY PROVIDING A
SERVICE AS ESSENTIAL AS
ONTARIO HYDRO DOES MUST BE
ACCOUNTABLE.

Ian Scott says HOW?

Maurice Strong says WELL, THE NORMAL WAY IS
THROUGH A UTILITY REGULATORY
PROCESS.
AT THE MOMENT, WE'RE IN A
PECULIAR ANOMALY OF BEING THE
REGULATOR, YOU KNOW.

Ian Scott says YOU WANT THE HANDCUFFS, IE,
THE REGULATIONS OFF OR SOME OF
THEM OFF.
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO BE THE
ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PUBLIC WHEN
THE REGULATIONS COME OFF?

Maurice Strong says WELL, WORRY NOT TALKING
ABOUT REDUCING THE LEVEL OF
ACCOUNTABILITY.
IN FACT, I'M TALKING ABOUT
INCREASING OUR ACCOUNTABILITY,
BUT IN WAYS THAT ARE REALLY
EFFECTIVE.
I TALK ABOUT HANDCUFFS, I'M
TALKING ABOUT THE RIGID ITS
AND OUR ABILITY TO SEPARATE.
WE'RE NOT LOOKING PRIMARILY
JUST TO MAKE SPECIAL RATES FOR
SPECIAL PEOPLE.

Ian Scott says I NEVER ASKED YOU ABOUT
THAT.
EVERY OTHER ENERGY PRODUCER IN
ONTARIO HAS ITS RATES
REGULATED BY AN INDEPENDENT
ENERGY BOARD.
HYDRO DOES NOT.
THE ENERGY BOARD SIMPLY
RECOMMENDS TO THE GOVERNMENT.
IF THE HANDCUFFS CAME OFF,
WOULD YOU BE PREPARED TO
SUBMIT TO THE FIXING OF YOUR
RATES BY THE ONTARIO ENERGY
BOARD, LIKE CONSUMERS' GAS AND
EVERYBODY ELSE FACES?

Maurice Strong says WELL, THE SHORT ANSWER IS
"YES."
BUT YES IN THE SENSE OF THE
WHOLE SERIES OF THINGS THAT
NEED TO BE DONE.
IT ISN'T FEASIBLE TO JUST DEAL
WITH ONE PART OF THE PROBLEM.
IF, AS I BELIEVE, OUR
MARKETPLACE IS GOING TO BECOME
MORE AND MORE OPEN AND
COMPETITIVE, ONTARIO HYDRO HAS
GOT TO BE IN THE POSITION TO
COMPETE WITH EVERYBODY ELSE.
THAT MEANS GIVING US THE KIND
OF FLEXIBILITY THAT OTHER
BUSINESSES WHO MAY BE
COMPETING WITH US WILL HAVE.
NOW, THAT ALSO MEANS
SUBJECTING US TO THE SAME KIND
OF ACCOUNTABILITY.

Ian Scott says FOR EXAMPLE, ANOTHER ENERGY
CORPORATION THAT COMPETES WITH
YOU AS A BOARD OF DIRECTORS
MADE UP OF THEIR SHAREHOLDERS'
REPRESENTATIVES.
WOULD YOU BE PREPARED AT
HYDRO, FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU GOT
YOUR WAY ON THIS TO HAVE A
STAKEHOLDER BOARD MADE UP OF
THREE UNION REPRESENTATIVES,
THREE CONSUMERS, THREE
BUREAUCRATS AND THREE BUSINESS
PEOPLE?

Maurice Strong says WELL, THE BOARD OF ANY
CORPORATION, PUBLIC OR
PRIVATE, HAS GOT TO BE
COMMITTED TO THE GOOD OF THE
CORPORATION AS A WHOLE.
IT MAY WELL BE CHOSEN FROM THE
VARIOUS STAKEHOLDER GROUPS,
AND IN FACT, OUR BOARD IS NOW.
OUR BOARD IS CHOSEN BY THE
SHAREHOLDER, WHICH IS THE
GOVERNMENT.
BUT IN CHOOSING THE BOARD
MEMBERS, AND THEY DO THAT, NOT
ME -- IN CHOOSING THE BOARD
MEMBERS, THEY
CHARACTERISTICALLY MAKE SURE
THAT THEY'RE PRETTY BROADLY
REPRESENTED.

Ian Scott says IS THERE REGULATION YOU
WANT TO GET RID OF?

Maurice Strong says THAT'S NOT A HANDCUFF AT
ALL.
WELL, OF COURSE.
I SUGGEST NOW THAT WE DO HAVE
A STAKEHOLDER BOARD, BUT IF
YOU HAVE IT IN THE NARROW
SENSE THAT THEY SIT THERE
REPRESENTING EACH OF THEIR
STAKEHOLDER INTERESTS, IT JUST
BECOMES A NEGOTIATION TABLE.

Steve says WHICH REGULATIONS ARE THE
MOST DEMANDING FOR US FOR YOU?
WHICH WOULD YOU GET RID OF
TOMORROW TO LET YOU ACT THE
WAY YOU WANT TO?

Maurice Strong says THEY REALLY DELAY OUR
BUSINESS PROCESS AND PREVENT
US FROM DOING BUSINESSLIKE A
NORMAL CORPORATION.
NO, HAVING TO GET ORDERS IN
COUNCIL TO BUY A PIECE OF
LAND.

Steve says APPROVAL, IN OTHER WORDS?

Maurice Strong says YEAH, AND IN FACT THERE'S
REALLY NO INSTANCE THAT I CAN
RECALL, CERTAINLY NOT IN MY
REGIME, WHEN THERE WAS EVER
ANY DENIAL OF THAT.
AND ALL THE BIG DECISIONS,
OBVIOUSLY THEY WERE -- THE
DEPUTY MINISTER IS SITTING ON
THE BOARD AND THE CHAIRS.
THEY HAVE ALL THE SYSTEMS OF
ACCOUNTABILITY.
BUT THOSE ARE RITUALISTIC
THINGS THAT ARE...

Ian Scott says EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS THAT
YOU SHOULDN'T PERHAPS HAVE TO
GET AN ORDER-IN-COUNCIL, BUT
FOR EXAMPLE, AT THE MOMENT,
YOU CAN'T EITHER EXPAND OR
ABANDON NUCLEAR POWER WITHOUT
THE PERMISSION OF THE
GOVERNMENT.
IS THAT A REGULATION YOU CAN
LIVE WITH OR DO YOU WANT TO
MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS ABOUT
HOW YOU GENERATE POWER?

Maurice Strong says WELL, WE HAVE TO BE PART OF
THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS.
OBVIOUSLY YOU CAN'T EXEMPT THE
CORPORATION FROM MAKING THOSE
DECISIONS, BUT THOSE LARGER
DECISIONS OBVIOUSLY HAVE TO BE
SUBJECT TO A PUBLIC POLICY
SYSTEM OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND
REGULATION.
YOU KNOW, WHEN -- I'M NOT
TALKING ABOUT ESCAPING FROM
IT.
I'M TALKING ABOUT BRINGING THE
REGIME UP TO DATE SO THAT WE
CAN COMPETE IN A COMPETITIVE
MARKETPLACE.

Janet Solberg says LET ME JUMP IN.
ONE OF THE INNINGS THAT WE SEE
IN TERMS OF THE CHANGES THAT
YOU SUGGEST -- AND SO FAR I'M
NOT TERRIBLY COMFORTABLE THAT
YOUR STAND IS RIGHT.
I GUESS WHAT I'M MOST WORRIED
ABOUT IS THE COMPETITIVE
ECONOMY IS THE BOTTOM LINE OF
THIS OPERATION.
THEN YET IT MAKES SENSE TO
HAVE VOLUME DISCOUNTS FOR BIG
BUSINESSES OR LOWER RATES TO
ATTRACT INVESTMENT, BUT ISN'T
THAT THE SAME KIND OF THINKING
THAT BIG BUSINESS TRIED TO
TELL THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO
IN EVERY WAY AROUND WAGES,
AROUND LABOUR RELATIONS AND
PENSIONS, BENEFITS, TAXATION?
ISN'T THAT THE CONSTANT THEME
OF BUSINESS, TO MAKE THIS
PROVINCE MORE COMPETITIVE, YOU
HAVE TO OFFER US SOME SIN
SENTIVE TO INVEST, SOME
INSELF-IVE TO STAY HERE, AND I
JUST WORRY THAT WHAT YOU'RE
SUGGESTING JUST...
WELL, I'M UNFORTUNATELY
WITH IT BECAUSE...

Ian Scott says IT'S TERRIBLE FOR ONTARIO'S
SOCIAL DEFICIT.

Maurice Strong says LET ME MAKE THE POINT.
I DID NOT MAKE THE POINT THAT
THAT'S WHAT WE WANT TO DO.
THAT POINT WAS MADE BY, I
THINK...

Ian Scott says THE "TORONTO STAR" OF JANUARY
THE 30th ABOUT...
AND ABOUT OFFERING CUT RATES
TO SELECTED CUSTOMERS.
YOU WERE REPORTED AS SAYING
THAT'S ANOTHER OF THE
HANDCUFFS.

Maurice Strong says OUR RATES -- THE RIGIDITY
IN OUR RATE STRUCTURE IS -- BE
THE LAST ONE TO WANT TO SIMPLY
ENCOURAGE ENERGY -- ENERGY
INTENSIVE INDUSTRIES TO BE
ENERGY WASTEFUL BY HIGH VOLUME
DISCOUNT.
I'M AGAINST THAT, AS A MATTER
OF FACT.
THE RIGIDITY IN OUR RATE
STRUCTURE NOW, IF WE WANT TO
HELP TO ATTRACT AN INDUSTRY,
HELP TO MAINTAIN A VERY
DESIRABLE -- IN THIS PROVINCE,
THE RIGID ITS IN OUR PRESENT
STRUCTURE SIMPLY PREVENT US
FROM DOING THAT.
I AM NOT IN FAVOR OF
WHOLE-SALE INCENTIVES TO
ENERGY WASTE.
WE'VE MADE A COMMITMENT IN
EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE
DIRECTION.
WE'VE SAID OUR FUTURE LIES IN
ENERGY EFFICIENCY, TO MAKE OUR
ECONOMY MORE COMPETITIVE.

Steve says WHAT COMPANIES HAVE
THREATENED TO GENERATE THEIR
OWN ENERGY AND GO AWAY FROM
YOU IF YOU DON'T GIVE THEM A
DEAL?

Maurice Strong says I'M NOT GOING TO LIST THEM.
THERE'S QUITE A LOT, HOWEVER.
EVERY ONE OF OUR MAJOR
CUSTOMERS, DIRECT CUSTOMERS,
HAS THAT RIGHT TO GENERATE
THEIR OWN, AND SOME OF THEM
ARE EXERCISING THAT RIGHT.
EVERY MUNICIPAL UTILITY HAS
THAT RIGHT AND SOME OF THEM
ARE EXERCISING THAT RIGHT.
WHAT I'M SAYING IS THAT I
DIDN'T MAKE THE PRESENT -- I
DIDN'T CREATE -- I COULDN'T
CREATE THE PRESENT COMPETITIVE
SITUATION.
IT'S THERE.
WE CONFRONT IT.
AND WHAT I'M SAYING IS THAT IT
CREATES A NEW SITUATION FOR
HYDRO THAT WE HAVE TO ASSUME
THAT OTHERS ARE GOING TO GET
IN THERE AND COMPETE WITH US,
AND WE SHOULD BE WILLING TO
DEAL WITH THAT.
BUT WE HAVE TO ALSO BE ABLE TO
COMPETE.

Steve says YOU HAVE BEEN DESCRIBED AS
A MAN WITH A GREAT DEAL OF
STYLE.
MORE SO THAN MOST PUBLIC
SERVANTS.
I WANT TO PLAY YOU A LITTLE
PIECE OF TAPE FROM GEORGE
ASHE, A FORMER ENERGY MINISTER
OF THE GOOD OLD DAYS, WHO HAD
SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT THAT.
CAN WE SEE THIS, PLEASE?

The clip rolls with a caption that reads "Mixed Message."

George Ashe says DO WHAT I SAY AND NOT
WHAT I DO.
LOOK AT HIS SALARIES, LOOK AT
HIS EXPENSES, LOOK AT HIS
EXPENSIVE OFFICE FURNITURE, A
COUPLE HUNDRED THOUSAND
DOLLARS.
SO THAT'S A NEGATIVE, I THINK,
IN TERMS OF FEELING THROUGHOUT
THE WHOLE OPERATION.

Back in the studio, Steve says WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT?

Maurice Strong says WELL, I THINK IT'S A LOT OF
HOGWASH.
IN FACT, Mr. ASHE SHOULD BE UP
TO DATE.
FIRST OF ALL, THE GOVERNMENT
THAT HE SERVED PAID THEIR
CHAIRMAN MORE THAN 100,000 DOLLARS
MORE THAN I GET BACK THEN.
SECONDLY...

Steve says THE CHAIRMAN OF HYDRO TEN
YEARS AGO MADE 500,000 DOLLARS?

Maurice Strong says WELL SIX OR SEVEN YEARS
AGO, I FORGET THE EXACT DATE.
THE OTHER THING IS THAT IT'S
NOT TRUE.
I DIDN'T CHANGE A STICK OF
FURNITURE IN MY OFFICE.
IN TERMS OF SALARY, I GET -- I
GET A GOOD DEAL LESS THAN I
WOULD HAVE GOT IF I WOULDN'T
HAVE TAKEN THIS JOB.
MY SALARY IS A DECENT ONE, BUT
BY EVERY STANDARD, INCLUDING
THAT OF THE REPORT FROM THE
ONTARIO ENERGY BOARD, IT'S
VERY SIGNIFICANTLY LESS THAN
PEOPLE IN COMPARABLE POSITIONS
AND IT'S LESS THAN IT WAS A
FEW YEARS AGO.

Steve says YOU COLLECTIVELY WERE
SPENDING HALF A MILLION
DOLLARS ON FREE COFFEE FOR
EMPLOYEES BEFORE YOU GOT
THERE.

Maurice Strong says YES, THE CORPORATION HAS
BEEN DOING THAT.
IT'S ONE OF THE MANY THINGS
THAT WE'RE CHANGING.
WE'RE CHANGING A LOT OF
PRACTICES WHICH HAVE GROWN UP
OVER THE YEARS.
NOW IN GOOD TIMES.
YOU KNOW, WE'RE NOT THE ONLY
ORGANIZATION WHERE A BIT OF
SOFTNESS CREEPS IN GOOD
TIMES.
THAT'S NORMAL.
THAT'S NATURAL.
AND EAR IN BAD TIMES NOW.

Steve says YOU GOT IN A LOT OF TROUBLE
FOR SAYING THAT, THIS BUSINESS
ABOUT SOFTNESS.
YOU TELL ME HOW SOFT THIS JOB
IS.

Maurice Strong says THAT'S THE ONE THING I
DIDN'T SAY.
AND THE REPORTERS WHO WERE
THERE KNOW VERY WELL.
THE LAST THING I'M TALKING
ABOUT IS THE -- OF OUR HYDRO
PEOPLE OUT IN THE FIELD.
THEY'RE MAGNIFICENT PEOPLE.
LOOK WHAT THEY'VE DONE DURING
THE RECENT COLD WEATHER.
WE CAN BE DAMN PROUD OF THEM.

Steve says THE QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR
OFFICE FURNITURE, WHETHER FEW
OR FALSE I DON'T CARE LESS...

Ian Scott says AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED...
WHAT I'M CONRNED ABOUT, Mr.
STRONG, AND I WANT TO GET BACK
TO IT.
YOU HAVE 34 BILLION WORTH OF
DEBT WHICH YOU'RE DOING YOUR
BEST TO CUT, BUT WHICH IS
GOING TO BE THERE FOR A LONG
PERIOD OF TIME.
YOU'VE FROZEN RATES.
THAT'S WONDERFUL.
BUT THE REALITY IS THAT THE
PEOPLE OF ONTARIO ARE GOING TO
BEAR THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR
THAT DEBT UNTIL IT ALL
DISAPPEARS, WHICH I DON'T
THINK WILL BE IN MY LIFETIME.
AS GUARANTEETORS.
NOW, WHAT IMMATERIAL TO KNOW
IS IF YOU GET YOUR HANDS
UNTIED, HOW ARE WE GOING TO BE
SURE THAT IN THE COURSE OF
BEING COMPETITIVE, YOU'LL DO
THE THINGS THAT WE, THE PEOPLE
OF ONTARIO, WANT YOU TO DO AND
NOT THINGS THAT WE DON'T WANT
YOU TO DO?

Maurice Strong says WELL, FIRST OF ALL, ON THE
LAST POINT, THERE MUST BE A
SYSTEM OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND
CONTROL.
THERE'S NO QUESTION ABOUT
THAT.
WE'RE NOT TRYING -- WE'RE
TRYING TO CHANGE OBSOLETE AND
INEFFECTIVE METHODS.
IN TERMS OF THE DEBT, IN VERY
SIMPLE TERMS, IT'S A PROGRAM
THAT WE HAVE UNDERTAKEN, CAN
BE CARRIED FORWARD.
THE DEBT WILL GO DOWN BY SOME
13 BILLION DOLLARS OVER THE NEXT TEN
YEARS, APPROXIMATELY.
NOW, THAT'S REAL PROGRESS, BUT
IT'S NOT SUFFICIENT.
IF WE REALLY WANT TO GIVE THIS
CORPORATION THE FINANCIAL
INTEGRITY THAT'S NEEDED TO
RIDE THROUGH DIFFICULT
PERIODS, WHEN INTEREST RATES
MAY GO UP AND WHERE RATE
INCREASES MAY HAVE TO OCCUR AT
VERY BAD TIMES IN THE ECONOMY,
WE NEED A STRONGER EQUITY BASE.
THAT'S WHAT I WOULD SAY.

Steve says WE HAVE LESS THAN TWO
MINUTES LEFT, AND I WANT TO
PLAY ANOTHER TAPE.
THIS IS FROM A FORMER LIBERAL
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THIS
PROVINCE WHO SAID LESS THAN A
YEAR AGO ON THIS VERY PROGRAM
THERE'S -- WAS IT TWO MONTHS
AGO?
I THOUGHT IT WAS LONGER AGO
THAN THAT.
MAYBE.
I THOUGHT IT WAS LAST SUMMER.
ANYWAY, WE KNOW IT'S HIM.
THE FORMER LIBERAL ATTORNEY
GENERAL SAID THE FOLLOWING
ABOUT MAURICE STRONG:
ALLAN, LET'S PLAY THIS.

A clip rolls with a caption that reads "Call it quits?"

The Attorney General appears on screen. He is in his sixties, has short, gray, side-parted hair, and clean-shaven.

The Attorney General says MY PREDICTION IS THAT THE
CHAIRMAN OF ONTARIO HYDRO WILL
RESIGN OVER A POLICY DISPUTE
WITH THE PREMIER IN THE NEXT
YEAR.

Back in the studio, Ian Scott says AND I WANT TO SAY IN THE
PRESENCE OF Mr. STRONG, AND I
THINK I'M NOT WRONG YET, THAT
THE POLICY DISPUTE IS JUST
WHAT WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT,
THE QUESTION OF ACCOUNTABILITY
WHICH IS TO BE SETTLED BETWEEN
Mr. STRONG AND THE GOVERNMENT
OF THE DAY.
AND YOU DON'T -- IF HE GETS
HIS WAY, WHICH IS LIKELY,
PERHAPS HE WILL STAY.
IF HE DOESN'T GET HIS WAY, HIS
REGULAR IGNITION WILL BE ON
THE TABLE.

Maurice Strong says I'VE NEVER HAD A HISTORY OF
AIG STAYING THAT.
I DO UNTIL MY JOB IS DONE OR
UNTIL I'M CONVINCED IT CAN'T
BE DONE.
AND I'M PLANNING TO STAY.

Steve says AND YOU BOB RAE ARE GETTING
ALONG SWIMMINGLY, NO DOUBT.
OFFERED YOUR RESIGNATION YET?

Maurice Strong says NO, NOT AT ALL.
HE'S DONE WHAT HE SAID HE
WOULD DO.
HE'S BEEN VERY SUPPORTIVE.

Steve says IF YOU COME TO HIM AND SAY,
PREMIER, I WANT TO SELL SOME
ASSETS TO CHIP AWAY AT THIS
DEBT, I WANT TO PRIVATIZE THIS
COMPANY, HE'S GOING TO TELL
YOU WHAT?

Maurice Strong says I DON'T KNOW, BECAUSE IT'S
VERY UNLIKELY THAT I'D BE
TELLING HIM THAT.
I DON'T TELL HIM WHAT TO DO.
IN RUNNING THE OPERATION,
WE, OF COURSE HAVE A LARGE
DEGREE OF FREEDOM AND WE NEED
THAT FREEDOM AND HE'S GIVEN US
THAT FREEDOM.
IN THE POLICY DECISIONS,
THAT'S UP TO THE GOVERNMENT.
WE HAVE AN INPUT.
WE CAN PREPARE ANALYSIS OF
SCENARIOS AND WE DO THAT.
BUT THE DECISIONS ARE UP TO
HIM AND HIS GOVERNMENT.

Steve says Mr. STRONG, CHAIRMAN OF
ONTARIO HYDRO.
THANK YOU FOR COMING IN TODAY.

Steve says THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
HAVE BEEN HAVING A DEVIL OF A
TIME WITH INJURIES LATELY.
STICK AROUND.
YOU'LL WANT TO HEAR THIS.
TORS RECENTLY TOOK TO THE ICE
UNDER THE TEAM NAME OF THE
ONTARIO LEGISKATERS FACING OFF
AGAINST A LOCAL TEAM FROM NEW
HAMBURG JUST OUTSIDE
KITCHENER, THE TEAMS WERE OUT
TO RAISE MONEY TO RESTORE A
LOCAL HISTORICAL SITE.
POLITICIANS ON THIN ICE.
NOTHING TO DO WITH HYDRO.
IT'S ON THIS WEEK'S POSTCARDS
FROM THE LEDGE...

A TV sits in a bush outside of Queen’s Park with a title that reads "Postcard from the Leg, Fourth reading."

In a hockey rink, a man in his fifties with short gray hair, clean-shaven, and wearing a blue hockey jersey appears on screen with a caption that reads "number 69, Mike Cooper NDP, Kitchener and Wilmot."

Mike Cooper says THE LEGISKATERS -- THE WE
GET MORE BANG FOR OUR BUCK.
LET PEOPLE THAT KNOW THAT
WE'RE REAL PEOPLE.
JUST TO GET AROUND THE
PROVINCE A HAVE SOME FUN.
IT'S GOOD MORAL IN THE GROUP.
EVERYONE ENJOYS IT.
IT'S GOOD.
IT DOES WONDERS FOR STRESS.
AND AT THE SAME TIME WE'RE
DOING IT FOR MONEY FOR A
WORTHWHILE ORGANIZATIONS OR
EVENTS OR WHATEVER THE
OCCASION MIGHT BE.

The man in tortoise shell glasses appears on screen and says I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE
LEVEL OF COMPETITION WE WERE
GOING, BUT BEFORE I -- GAMES
WHERE WE LOOKED LIKE THE
PYLONS IN A PRACTICE, SO LET'S
HOPE THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN TODAY.

A man in his forties with short brown hair, clean-shaven, and wearing a hockey jersey with a caption that reads "George Mammoliti, NDP, Yorkview" says I HAVE TO KEEP MY HEAD UP.
I'LL TELL YOU THAT.
EVEN WITH MY OWN TEAM, I'M
GOING TO KEEP MY HEAD UP.

A man in his fifties with a hockey mask with big glasses and a gray moustache says I DIDN'T EXPECT THAT.
WE'RE HERE TO PLAY HOCKEY.
IT'S PRETTY GOOD WITH THE
PREMIER.
AND I GUESS...
(WHISTLE BLOWING)

The men play hockey out on the ice.

George Mammoliti says I PLAY LEFT-WING.
THAT'S GOOD FOR AN NDPER.
IT'S PRETTY HARD, THOUGH, WE
GOT A LOT OF LEFT-WINGERS IN
THIS CLUB AND IT'S REALLY
PRETTY DIFFICULT TO DO THE
CENTRE ICE WORK.

- YOU DON'T SEE THAT VERY
OFTEN, A COMMUNITY.

The men continue to play.

Back in the studio, Steve says HERE'S -- THIS IS ONE OF
THE PERKS YOU GET FOR HOSTING
THE SHOW.
LOOK AT THIS.
ALLAN, CAMERA THREE.
IS THAT FABULOUS OR WHAT?
WE HAVE AN AUTOGRAPHED PUCK BY
THE PREMIER HIMSELF.
WE'LL SEE YOU ALL NEXT WEEK
FOR ANOTHER EDITION OF FROURT
READING.
SO LONG, NOW.

As the members of queen’s park continue playing hockey, the credits roll and read.

Host, Steve Paikin.
Show Producer, Susanna Kelley.
Story Editor, Richard Martyn.
Production Manager, Shellie Rubin.
Director, Allan Myers.

A production of TVOntaro, copyright The Ontario Educational Communications Authority 1994.

Watch: Hydro and Maurice Strong