Transcript: Show #53 | Feb 18, 1996

The opening sequence rolls.
In animation, the title "Fourth Reading" spins against a red background.
Then, snippets from the current episode play.

Steve says THIS
WEEK, TO PRIVATIZE
OR NOT TO PRIVATIZE.

A snow plow truck cleans a street.

In a clip, a man in his fifties says LET'S BE CLEAR HERE,
EVERYTHING'S ON THE TABLE.
WE'VE GOT TO LOOK AT
MAJOR CHANGE IN THE WAY
WE DELIVER SERVICES.

In another clip, a woman is her forties says THERE'S NO REAL REASON TO
PRIVATIZE IN MY VIEW
EXCEPT TO GIVE A GOOD DEAL
TO SOME OF HARRIS' FRIENDS.

Steve says THE CASE
FOR AND AGAINST
PRIVATIZATION IN
ONTARIO.

The clip ends.

(music plays)

Steve and three guests sit around a table in the shape of a number 4.
Steve is in his early forties, clean-shaven, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a checked gray suit, blue shirt and patterned tie.

Steve says WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT
PRIVATE COMPANIES
BUILDING AND RUNNING
THE JAILS OF TOMORROW
IN ONTARIO?
HOW ABOUT PARKS?
HI, EVERYBODY.
I'M STEVE PAIKIN AND
WELCOME TO ANOTHER EDITION
OF 4TH READING.
ARE THERE A WHOLE LOT OF
SERVICES THE GOVERNMENT
NOW PROVIDES WHICH
IT SHOULD NOT,
WHICH THE PRIVATE SECTOR
CAN DO OR SHOULD DO?
WELL, THE TORIES AT
QUEEN'S PARK THINK SO.
ARE THEY RIGHT?
EXACTLY WHAT KIND OF
INSTITUTIONS AND SERVICES
IS THE GOVERNMENT TALKING
ABOUT PRIVATIZING?
WELL, LET'S LOOK
INSIDE OUR FACT FILE.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Privatization."

Steve reads the information on the slate and say
YOU HAVE PROBABLY HEARD ABOUT
SOME OF THE MAJOR ONES;
FOR EXAMPLE,
ONTARIO HYDRO,
THE LIQUOR CONTROL
BOARD OF ONTARIO,
AND OF COURSE TVONTARIO,
BUT THE GOVERNMENT
IS LOOKING AT SELLING
OFF A WHOLE LOT MORE.
ITS HUGE PUBLIC HOUSING
STOCK, FOR INSTANCE,
AND A PLETHORA OF SERVICES
AND ASSETS COULD BE HEADED
FOR SOME KIND OF
PRIVATIZATION AS WELL,
FROM HEALTH SERVICES
TO THE BUS YOU TAKE
TO WORK IN THE MORNING.

In animation, the slate shuts closed as if it were a metal vault.

Steve continues SO LET US GET INTO THIS
THING WITH THREE PEOPLE
WHO ARE WATCHING THIS
PUSH FOR PRIVATIZATION
QUITE CAREFULLY.
WILL LIPSON IS AN EXPERT IN
PRIVATE-PUBLIC PARTNERSHIPS
WITH THE CONSULTING
FIRM KPMG.

Will is in his forties, clean-shaven with receding blond hair. He’s wearing glasses, a blue suit, white shirt and patterned blue and brown tie.

Steve continues THOMAS WALKOM IS A
QUEEN'S PARK COLUMNIST
WITH THE TORONTO STAR,

Thomas is in his early fifties, white gray hair and clean-shaven. He wears a beige suit, pale blue shirt, striped blue tie and glasses.

Steve continues AND TERENCE CORCORAN
IS A COLUMNIST
WITH THE GLOBE AND MAIL'S
REPORT ON BUSINESS.

Terence is in his fifties, with side-parted gray hair and clean-shaven. He’s wearing glasses, a navy suit, striped white shirt and pattered colourful tie.

Steve continues WELCOME, EVERYBODY.
THANKS FOR
BEING HERE.

Terence says
GREAT TO BE HERE.

Steve says WHY SO MUCH, WILL.
WHY SO SOME INTEREST
IN THIS NOW?

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Will Lipson. KPMG Management Consulting."

Will says I THINK THE TIMING IS BEING
DRIVEN AS MUCH AS ANYTHING
BY WHAT THE CURRENT
GOVERNMENT VIEWS
AS THE FISCAL
CRISIS IN ONTARIO.
IF WE HAD THE DEFICIT AND
THE DEBT UNDER CONTROL,
IF OTHER PROVINCES
HADN'T DEMONSTRATED
THAT THEY COULD GET THEIR
DEFICITS AND DEBT
UNDER CONTROL VIA
PRIVATIZATION INITIATIVES,
WE WOULDN'T NECESSARILY
BE GOING THROUGH
WHAT WE'RE GOING
THROUGH HERE.
WE HAVE A NEWLY
ELECTED GOVERNMENT.
IT'S GOT A MANDATE UNDER
ITS COMMON SENSE REVOLUTION
TO AT LEAST EXAMINE
PRIVATIZATION OPTIONS
AND THEY'RE
FOLLOWING THROUGH.

Steve says WHAT'S THE UNDERRIDING
PHILOSOPHY BEHIND IT ALL,
WOULD YOU SAY?

The caption changes to "Terence Corcoran. The Globe and Mail."

Terence says WELL, I WAS GOING TO SAY,
THE GOVERNMENT'S FISCAL
SITUATION IS NOT THE ONLY
REASON FOR PRIVATIZING.
IT'S SORT OF, IN A WAY,
A TANGENTIAL REASON.
THE MAIN REASON IS BECAUSE
PRIVATE COMPANIES ARE MORE
EFFICIENT, PARTICULARLY
IF THERE'S COMPETITION.
ANOTHER REASON IS THAT
UNDER PUBLIC OWNERSHIP,
A LOT OF THE INSTITUTIONS
THAT WE DO HAVE NOW,
SUCH AS ONTARIO HYDRO, THE
TTC, THE LIQUOR BOARD,
HAVE CREATED HUGE,
POORLY-RUN BOONDOGGLES
IN A COUPLE OF CASES, AT
LEAST, THAT WE NEED TO MAKE
SURE DON'T HAPPEN AGAIN
IN SUCCEEDING GENERATIONS.

Steve says PRIVATE IS
AUTOMATICALLY LEANER, MEANER,
MOST EFFICIENT, BETTER,
RIGHT, THOMAS WALKOM?

Will says IS THAT RIGHT, STEVE?

Steve says IS THAT WHAT YOU
SAY, THOMAS WALKOM?
NO, I KNOW YOU
DON'T THINK THAT.

Terence says I WOULD
SCRATCH TWO OF THOSE OUT.

They laugh.

The caption changes to "Thomas Walkom. The Toronto Star."

Thomas says NO, NOT AT ALL.
IN FACT, I THINK THE REASON
THIS GOVERNMENT IS LOOKING
AT PRIVATIZATION IS NOT
BECAUSE OF THE FISCAL CRISIS,
BECAUSE IF YOU LOOK AT
SOME OF THE AREAS
THEY'RE PLANNING TO
PRIVATIZE, FOR INSTANCE,
THE LCBO, AND EVEN
ONTARIO HYDRO,
IT'S NOT CLEAR THAT THEY
CAN MAKE ANY MORE MONEY
THAN THEY GET
FROM THEM NOW.
IN FACT, THEY MIGHT MAKE
LESS IF THEY SELL THE LCBO
THAN THEY GET
FROM THE LCBO NOW.
I THINK THE REASON THEY
WANT TO PRIVATIZE THIS STUFF,
AND WITH GREAT
RESPECT, TERRY,
I DON'T THINK IT HAS MUCH
TO DO WITH EFFICIENCY,
I THINK THEY WANT TO
PRIVATIZE IT BECAUSE
THAT'S IDEOLOGICALLY
WHERE THEY ARE.
IT'S IN THE AIR.

Steve says THEY INSIST IDEOLOGY HAS
NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS.

Thomas says WELL, I DISAGREE.
PRIVATIZATION, FIRST
OF ALL, IN THE AIR.
IT'S HAPPENED
IN THE U.S.
IT'S HAPPENED
IN BRITAIN.
IT'S HAPPENED IN OTHER
PARTS OF CANADA.
AND THIS IS A GOVERNMENT,
A PARTY WHICH CAME -
IT'S A VERY RADICAL
KIND PARTY.
IT'S A NEW KIND OF
CONSERVATIVE PARTY.
IT CAME TO POWER
THINKING, HEY,
WE'RE FINALLY GOING TO
MAKE SOME REAL CHANGES.
AND ONE OF THE CHANGES
THEY WANT TO MAKE,
BECAUSE THEY
BELIEVE IT.
I TRULY THINK THAT A
LOT OF THEM BELIEVE IT,
IS TO COMPLETELY REDUCE
THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT.
AND ONE OF THE WAYS YOU
DO THAT IS TO PRIVATIZE
EVERYTHING YOU CAN.

Steve says LET ME PURSUE THAT WITH
WILL BECAUSE, YOU KNOW,
YOUR COMPANY BASICALLY
MAKES IT MONEY, I GUESS,
ADVISING PRIVATE/PUBLIC
PARTNERSHIPS
AND FIGURING OUT WHAT
WORKS WELL TOGETHER.
ARE THERE SERVICES THAT
THE GOVERNMENT PROVIDES US
RIGHT NOW WHICH YOU BELIEVE
OUGHT NOT TO BE PRIVATIZED?
GOVERNMENT DOES IT WELL
AND WE SHOULD LET THEM
CONTINUE TO DO IT WELL.

Will says DEFINITELY.

Steve says WHAT ARE THEY?

Will says IT'S DIFFICULT TO SAY
GENERICALLY GIVING A LIST OF,
YOU KNOW, THIS IS
SOMETHING THEY SHOULD DO
AND THIS IS SOMETHING
THEY SHOULDN'T DO.
BUT WHAT YOU MIGHT WANT TO
DO IS THINK CONCEPTUALLY
ABOUT, WHAT ARE THE
CHARACTERISTICS
OF SOMETHING THAT MAKE IT
RIGHT FOR PRIVATIZATION?
IF YOU HAVEN'T GOT
THOSE CHARACTERISTICS,
THEN YOU PROBABLY ARE NOT
LOOKING AT A GOOD CANDIDATE.

Steve says WHAT ARE THOSE
CHARACTERISTICS?

Will says CHARACTERISTICS HAVE
TO INCLUDE THAT IT'S
A DEFINABLE BUSINESS.
YOU CAN'T YOU SORT OF
BE LOOSE ABOUT IT
IN THE WAY YOU CAN
WHEN IT'S PART
OF THE OVERALL
PUBLIC SERVICE.
THE BUYER OF THE BUSINESS
HAS GOT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT
IT IS HE'S GETTING, WHAT
IS HIS REVENUE STREAM.
WHAT KIND OF COST
OBLIGATIONS HE'S TAKING ON.
WHAT KIND OF RISKS IS
HE BEING ASKED TO TAKE, ETC.
IT'S GOT TO FINANCEABLE.
THE BANKS, THE FINANCIAL
INSTITUTIONS IN THE COUNTRY
HAVE GOT TO BE ABLE TO
SUPPORT THE INVESTMENT
OF DEBT AND EQUITY
INTO THE BUSINESS.
A SECOND CHARACTERISTIC,
THERE HAS TO BE
A BUSINESS CASE.
THERE HAS TO BE A REASON
WHY THE PUBLIC SECTOR
SHOULD NOT BE IN
THAT BUSINESS.
IT'S EITHER OVER TIME THEY'VE
DEVELOPED INEFFICIENCIES.
THEY'VE GOT WORK RULES THAT
ARE NO LONGER EFFICIENT.
OR JUST THAT THE
ENVIRONMENT'S CHANGE.
I MEAN, THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT IS MOVING OUT
OF THE AIR NAVIGATION
SYSTEM, ULTIMATELY
BECAUSE THE
INDUSTRY'S MATURE.
THERE'S NO LONGER -

Steve says THERE'S NO COMPELLING
REASON FOR THEM TO STAY IN?

Steve says TERRY.

Terence says I DON'T THINK THAT THE
GOVERNMENT HAS AS CLEAR AN IDEA
OF EXACTLY WHAT IT
WANTS TO ACCOMPLISH
WITH THE PRIVATIZATION AS
SOME PEOPLE SEEM TO THINK
THAT IT DOES, OR AS TOM SEEMS
TO THINK THAT IT DOES.
WE HAVE TO HAVE
COMPETITION IN THESE AREAS
FOR THEM TO BE EFFECTIVE.
IN THE CASE, FOR EXAMPLE,
OF PRIVATIZING THE LCBO,
YOU CAN'T JUST TAKE THE
LCBO AND PRIVATIZE IT AS ONE
BIG COMPANY BECAUSE
THEN YOU'VE JUST CREATED
A PRIVATE MONOPOLY, WHICH
IS NOT WHAT WE WANT.
WE WANT BROADER
DISTRIBUTION TO MAKE IT
EASIER AND CHEAPER AND A
BROADER AVAILABILITY
OF PRODUCT FOR CONSUMERS.
THAT'S THE OBJECTIVE.

Steve says BUT HE SAYS ACTUALLY LESS
MONEY COMES INTO
THE PROVINCIAL COFFERS
IF YOU DO THAT - POSSIBLY.

Terence says THAT'S POSSIBLY THE CASE.
EVEN IF THAT WERE TRUE,
I DON'T SEE THAT
THAT'S A PROBLEM.
THE OBJECTIVE HERE IS TO
IMPROVE THE LOT OF
THE PERSON USING THE
SERVICE, NOT THE UNIONS,
NOT THE COMPANY ITSELF,
NOT EVEN GOVERNMENT.

Steve says WHAT ABOUT CONTROL,
THOUGH?
WE HAVE IN OUR WISDOM OVER
YEARS DECIDED THAT THERE ARE
SOME INSTITUTIONS THAT
ARE BEST HELD IN PUBLIC HANDS
BECAUSE SOCIETY NEEDS
TO HAVE THE CONTROL OVER
THESE LEVERS OF THE ECONOMY
OR OF THE SOCIAL JUSTICE
SYSTEM, OR WHATEVER.

Terence says BUT WE HAVE FEWER OF THOSE
THAT WE CAN THINK OF
THAN WE USED TO
IN THE PAST.
WE WENT THROUGH A WHOLE
PERIOD IN THE '20s AND '30s
AND '40s, ET CETERA, WHERE
WE FELT THE GOVERNMENT
SHOULD BE DOING THIS OR
HAD TO BE DOING THIS FOR
A WHOLE BUNCH OF ECONOMIC
AND POLITICAL REASONS.
BUT THERE'S LESS OF A
SENSE OUT THERE TODAY
THAT THE GOVERNMENT
CAN RUN THESE THINGS,
AND WE HAVE THE EXAMPLE
FROM THE EXPERIENCE
OF AN ONTARIO HYDRO, A
40 BILLION DOLLAR-DEBTED COMPANY
THAT HAS JUST A HUGE DISASTER
OF A GOVERNMENT RUN COMPANY,
AND WE NOW SENSE THAT
GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT BE DOING
A LOT OF THE THINGS
THAT IT HAS BEEN DOING.

Steve says NOW YOU KNOW, THOMAS,
IN THE COMMON SENSE
REVOLUTION THERE ARE, I
THINK, THREE THINGS
IN PARTICULAR THAT ARE
MENTIONED THAT
THE GOVERNMENT SAID IT
WOULD LOOK AT PRIVATIZING:
THIS NETWORK'S
ONE OF THEM,
HYDRO'S ONE OF THEM,
AND THE LIQUOR BOARD
IS ONE OF THEM.
THEY WON A MAJORITY
GOVERNMENT.
DO WE INFER FROM THAT THAT
THE PUBLIC IS PREPARED
TO GO FOR THIS
PRIVATIZATION?
THAT THE PUBLIC
LIKES THE IDEA?

Thomas says NO, I DON'T THINK YOU INFER
THAT FROM ANY GOVERNMENT
WINNING A MAJORITY
GOVERNMENT.
THE NDP WON A MAJORITY
GOVERNMENT AND THAT DIDN'T
NECESSARILY MEAN THAT THE
PUBLIC SUPPORTED EVERY ELEMENT
OF THE NDP'S AGENDA
FOR PEOPLE PLATFORM.
IN FACT EVEN THE NDP DIDN'T
SUPPORT THEIR OWN AGENDA
FOR PEOPLE PLATFORM.
SO NO, I DON'T THINK YOU
CAN MAKE THAT KIND OF ARGUMENT.
I THINK WILL'S POINT IS
A GOOD ONE, AND THAT IS,
IF YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT
PRIVATIZING A COMPANY,
ONE OF THE THINGS YOU
HAVE TO LOOK AT IS,
WELL, WHY BOTHER?
WHY SHOULD WE DO THAT?
WHY SHOULD WE TAKE IT OUT
OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN?
TOO OFTEN THE DEBATE'S
PHRASED IN THE OTHER DIRECTION.
WELL, THE PRIVATE SECTOR
SHOULD DO EVERYTHING THAT IT
CAN DO AND GOVERNMENT
SHOULD ONLY DO WHATEVER
THE PRIVATE SECTOR
CAN'T DO.
WELL IN FACT THE PRIVATE
SECTOR CAN DO JUST ABOUT
ANYTHING AND GOVERNMENT
SECTOR CAN DO JUST ABOUT
ANYTHING, SO I DON'T THINK
THOSE ARE GOOD CRITERIA.
YOU HAVE TO DECIDE - YOU
HAVE TO BEGIN BY DECIDING
WHAT KIND OF AREAS YOU
WANT THE PUBLIC TO OWN,
TO HAVE A PUBLIC STAKE
IN, AND WHAT KIND
OF AREAS YOU WANT -

Steve says LET ME THROW SOME FOR
INSTANCES AT YOU.

Thomas says OKAY.

Steve says RIGHT NOW THE GOVERNMENT
CUTS A LOT OF CHEQUES
FOR PEOPLE WHO GET SOCIAL
ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS,
FOR WORKERS
COMPENSATION PAYMENTS,
A WHOLE RANGE OF STUFF.
SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT
BE IN THE CHEQUE
CUTTING BUSINESS?

Thomas says DOES IT BOTHER ME IF THEY
PRIVATIZE CHEQUE CUTTING?
NO, IT DOESN'T.
THERE'S A LOT OF SERVICES
THAT IF THIS WORKS IT CAN -
THE GOVERNMENT ALREADY
PRIVATIZES SNOW PLOUGHING.

Terence says THAT'S REALLY NOT
PRIVATIZING, THOUGH.
THAT'S CONTRACTING OUT A
SERVICE THAT PRESUMABLY
SOMEBODY CAN DO, WHICH IS A
COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
KETTLE OF FISH IN TERMS
OF ECONOMIC POLICY AND
SORT OF CORPORATE STRUCTURE.
PRIVATIZING MEANS YOU TAKE
AN INDUSTRY THAT YOU
NOW CONTROL VIA GOVERNMENT
MONOPOLY AND YOU TURN IT
INTO A COMPETITIVE INDUSTRY
LIKE THE FOOD SUPPLY
INDUSTRY, LIKE
THE CAR INDUSTRY,
AND LIKE THE THOUSANDS OF
OTHERS THAT WE HAVE OUT THERE.
SO THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT
STEAMS OF ACTIVITY THAT CAN
TAKE PLACE, AND WE NEED
TO KEEP THEM SEPARATE
BECAUSE IT DOES
IT CONFUSING.

Thomas says WELL THOSE ARE TWO
DIFFERENT -
CONCEPTUALLY TWO DIFFERENT
IDEAS, I THINK.
ONE IS COMPETITION AND
THE OTHER'S PRIVATIZING.
I DON'T THINK THE TWO
NECESSARILY COME TOGETHER,
AND THERE ARE CERTAIN
ACTIVITIES THAT IT
MAKES MORE SENSE NOT TO
HAVE COMPETITION.
FOR EXAMPLE, I THINK IT
MAKES SENSE TO HAVE
A MONOPOLY FIRE DEPARTMENT
RATHER THAN HAVE BIDS
IN LET'S SAY IN A REGION
RATHER THAN HAVE BIDS -

Terence says WELL WE'RE NOT
AT THAT STAGE.

Thomas says WELL LARRY SOLOMON IS.
YOU SHOULD HAVE
HIM ON YOUR SHOW.

Steve says FROM ENERGY PROBE OR
WHO'S HE WITH NOW?

Thomas says HE WORKING FOR THE DONNER
FOUNDATION NOW
AND THAT'S WHAT
HE WANTS.
YOUR HOUSE GOES ON FIRE AND
YOU START PHONING AROUND,
OKAY, WHAT WILL
YOU PAY ME TO COME.

Terence says THAT'S NOT WHAT LARRY
SOLOMON IS PROPOSING AT ALL.
HE DOES EXPLORE
THEORETICALLY HOW YOU
CAN PRIVATIZE A LOT OF
DIFFERENT THINGS THAT
TAKE PLACE IN SOCIETY, BUT
WHAT WE SHOULD BE TALKING
ABOUT POLITICALLY IS WHAT
IS PRIVATIZEABLE NOW?
I.E., THE LCBO.
THE FIRE DEPARTMENT
IS SOMETHING WAY OFF.
SO YOU GUYS DON'T
AGREE ON WHAT
THIS DISCUSSION'S
ABOUT.
I DISAGREE.
WE SHOULDN'T TALK ABOUT
IT PRIVATIZEABLE BECAUSE
I THINK EVERYTHING
IS PRIVATIZEABLE.
WE SHOULD TALK ABOUT WHAT
IS USEFUL TO PRIVATIZE.

Steve says OKAY, LET ME THROW
ONE MORE ON THE TABLE.
WILL, WANT ABOUT JAILS?
IN NEW BRUNSWICK RIGHT
NOW, I THINK, WHAT,
A COMPANY FROM FLORIDA
CALLED WACKENHUT OR
SOMETHING HAS BEEN GIVEN
THE RIGHT BY PREMIER
MCKENNA'S GOVERNMENT TO
DESIGN THE JAILS
OF THE FUTURE AND
RUN THEM.
IS THAT A GOOD IDEA?
SHOULD WE DO THAT?

Will says NOW, THAT'S ACTUALLY A GOOD
ILLUSTRATION OF I THINK
THE TWO PRINCIPLES WE'VE
JUST TALKED ABOUT HERE.
YOU RAISED THE ISSUE UP
EARLIER ABOUT CONTROL.
MY UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT'S
HAPPENING IN NEW BRUNSWICK
IS THE PROVINCE IS STILL
IN THE END CALLING ALL
THE SHOTS IN TERMS OF WHAT ARE
THE RULES AROUND THE JAIL.
YOU KNOW, WHAT ARE
OPERATING PROCEDURES
THAT THIS COMPANY HAS
GOT TO DEAL WITH.

Steve says I THINK THE PROVINCE
ACTUALLY IS GOING TO BUILD
IT AND THEY'RE
GOING TO OPERATE IT.
I THINK WACKENHUT'S
GOING TO OPERATING IT.

Will says EFFECTIVELY AND THAT
IN SOME REGARDS IS A
CONTRACTING OUT SITUATION
WHERE EFFECTIVELY YOU'RE
TRADING THE PRIVATE SECTOR
WORK RULES AND THE PRIVATE
SECTOR POTENTIAL MOTIVATION
FOR EFFICIENCIES
AND THE POTENTIAL FOR
EVEN DEVELOPING AN EXPORT
CAPABILITY WHICH ISN'T
HAPPENING IN NEW BRUNSWICK
'CAUSE IT'S COMING FROM
AN EXPORT CAPABILITY.

Steve says WHAT ABOUT THE PHILOSOPHY
OF THAT, THOUGH?
I MEAN, SENDING A LOT OF -
WHAT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING
IS A LOT OF TAX DOLLARS
FROM NEW BRUNSWICK ARE
GOING TO BE SEND DOWN TO A
COMPANY IN FLORIDA TO
DO A SERVICE FOR THE
PEOPLE OF NEW BRUNSWICK.
ANYBODY GOT A
PROBLEM WITH THAT?

Terence says ONLY THE
PROFIT WILL BE GOING DOWN.
I DON'T KNOW THAT
THAT'S A MAJOR ISSUE,
BUT IF THE PROVINCE IS
GETTING BETTER SERVICE
AT LOWER COST IN TERMS OF
PROVIDING A PRISON SYSTEM
FOR ITS CITIZENS, WHICH IS
WHAT IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE DOING,
WHERE THE PROFIT'S GOING IS
NEITHER HERE NOR THERE.

Steve says BUT THAT'S PART OF
THE JUSTICE SYSTEM.

Thomas says I WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION
THAT WACKENHUT WAS HAVING
SOME TROUBLE IN NEW
BRUNSWICK WITH THIS,
THAT THE GOVERNMENT WAS
BEGINNING TO GET
COLD FEET ABOUT THIS.

Steve says IT BECAME AN ELECTION ISSUE
DURING THE LAST ELECTION.
THERE WAS SOME
CONCERN ABOUT IT.

Thomas continues BUT EVEN MORE RECENTLY THAT
IT'S BECOME A PROBLEM.

Steve says IS THAT TRUE?
YOU'RE FOLLOWING THIS MORE
CAREFULLY THAN ALL OF US.

Will says I THINK THE WHOLE STORY
IS STILL EVOLVING.
I'M NOT QUITE SURE WHERE
IT'S GOING TO END UP,
ALTHOUGH AGAIN THAT'S SORT
OF MAYBE ONE EXAMPLE
OF THE GENERIC THING
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.
IT DOES ILLUSTRATE AT LEAST
ONE PROVINCE IS CONSIDERING
IN A MATTER OF DEALING
WITH LOCAL SECURITY,
SOMETHING THAT'S
IMPORTANT TO PEOPLE,
THEY ARE WILLING TO
CONSIDER THE PRIVATE SECTOR
IN ORDER TO GAIN THE
FINANCIAL BENEFITS,
THE OPERATIONAL BENEFITS,
AND JUST A LOWER TAX BILL
FOR THAT SERVICE
AND THAT FUNCTION,
WHILE STILL FOR THE MOST
PART TRYING TO KEEP
THE CONTROL WITHIN
THEIR MANDATE.
THE WHOLE THEORY OF
PRIVATIZATION IS,
YOU'RE STEERING, NOT
ROWING, OR THE LIKE.
YOU'RE CALLING
THE SHOTS.
IT DOESN'T MEAN
YES, OKAY.
I THINK IT HAD IT RIGHT.

Terence says
ROWING, STEERING.
YEAH.

Will says PRIVATIZATION AND
GIVING UP CONTROL
ARE QUITE
DIFFERENT MATTERS.
THE GOVERNMENT CAN STILL
BE THE REGULATORY BODY,
THE BODY THAT ESTABLISHES
THE SAFETY STANDARDS,
THE OPERATING PROCEDURES,
IN VERY MUCH THE SAME WAY
IT DOES NOW, BUT NOT
NECESSARILY HAVE TO BE
THE OPERATOR.

Steve says WE HAVE THIS EXAMPLE RIGHT
NOW IN ONTARIO HAPPENING
ALREADY WITH THE CASINO.
I MEAN, THE GOVERNMENT
TAKES THE PROFITS FROM
THE CASINO BUT A VEGAS
CONSORTIUM RUNS THE CASINO
BECAUSE THEY KNOW
HOW TO RUN CASINOS.
SO THE EXAMPLE IS
NOT ALIEN TO US.
THE NOTION OF IT HAPPENING
IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM
IS ALIEN TO US
AT THE MOMENT.

Thomas says THE DIFFICULTY WITH
PRIVATIZING JUSTICE
IS PROBABLY LESS IN THE
WACKENHUT AREA THAN
WHAT WE'RE SEEING IN
THE UNITED STATES,
WHICH IS THE DE FACTO
PRIVATIZATION OF POLICING,
AND IT'S NOT THROUGH
ANY PARTICULAR POLICY,
IT'S JUST THROUGH THE
CUTTING BACK ON BUDGETS
TO PUBLIC POLICING.

Terence says WE ALREADY HAVE PRETTY
SUBSTANTIAL SORT OF
PRIVATE POLICING FORCE
THAT EXISTS IN CANADA.

Thomas says BUT NOT TO THE EXTENT
THAT THEY DO -

Terence continues NO GRANTED, I'M JUST SAYING
IT DOES EXIST RIGHT NOW.

Thomas says THAT'S RIGHT, BUT THE
BALANCE HAS CHANGED
SUBSTANTIALLY IN THE STATES
SO THAT IF YOU LIVE IN
THE RIGHT AREA, YOU WOULD HAVE
YOUR OWN PRIVATE POLICE FORCE.
IF YOU LIVE IN THE WRONG
AREA, YOU JUST DON'T.
THOSE ARE THE KINDS OF
QUESTIONS I THINK
THAT BECOME IMPORTANT.

Steve says I WANT TO PUT A NEW ISSUE
ON THE TABLE HERE AND THAT
IS OF JOBS, WHICH EVERY
POLITICIAN CLAIMS
IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE
DRIVING HIM OR HER THESE DAYS.
LET'S TAKE COMPANIES FOR
EXAMPLE, THE LIQUOR BOARD,
TVO, HYDRO, THE BIG
COMPANIES THAT ARE OUT THERE
AND POSSIBLY PRIVATIZEABLE.
THERE IS A CONCERN RIGHT
NOW FOR THE EMPLOYEES THAT
ARE WORKING IN THESE PLACES
ABOUT SUCCESSOR RIGHTS.
IF A NEW OWNER COMES IN,
WHAT OBLIGATION DOES
THE NEW OWNER HAVE TO
EMPLOY THE PEOPLE
WHO CURRENTLY WORK
IN THESE PLACES?
UNDER THE LAW IN
ONTARIO RIGHT NOW,
THE NEW LAW BROUGHT IN
BY THE CONSERVATIVES,
THE ANSWER IS NONE.
IS THAT A GOOD IDEA?
WILL, WE'LL
START WITH YOU.

Will says WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN
WITH THOSE ORGANIZATIONS,
IN MY MIND, IS STILL A
MATTER TO BE DETERMINED.
IF, FOR EXAMPLE, WE'RE
GOING TO GO THROUGH
A REQUEST FOR
PROPOSAL PROCESS,
THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL
WILL SPECIFY WHAT
THE BIDDERS MUST DO IN THE
MATTER OF THE TRANSFER
OF THE LABOUR FORCE.
IN SOME OF THE EXAMPLES
THAT HAVE HAPPENED TO DATE,
INCLUDING THE HAMILTON-WENTWORTH
PRIVATIZATION OF THE OPERATION
OF ITS WATER AND WASTEWATER
TREATMENT PLANT,
THE TRANSFER OF THE
AIR NAVIGATION SYSTEM
TO NAV CANADA,
THE PLAN TRANSFER OF THE
EMPLOYEES THAT OPERATE
TERMINALS 1 AND 2 AT PEARSON
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.
IN ALL CASES, THE
PROPONENTS WERE ASKED
TO PUT A TRANSFER PLAN
TOGETHER ON WHAT THEIR
JOB GUARANTEES WERE
GOING TO BE,
WHAT THE COMPENSATION
SYSTEM WOULD BE,
HOW THEY WOULD REPLACE THE
FEDERAL PENSION PLAN
OR THE REGIONAL PENSION PLAN,
ETCETERA, AND THAT HAD
TO BE RESPONSIVE TO A SET OF
REQUIREMENTS IN THEIR REQUEST
FOR PROPOSAL, WHICH
IN ALL THOSE CASES
REQUIRED A MINIMUM PERIOD
OF JOB SECURITY.
AFTER THAT, THE EMPLOYEES
WERE TREATED
NO DIFFERENTLY THAN
THEY WOULD BE -

Steve says WHAT DO YOU THINK
ABOUT THAT, TERRY?

Terence says IT DEFINITELY DOESN'T
PRODUCE THE MOST EFFICIENT
OUTCOME FOR THE
OVERALL ECONOMY,
NOR FOR THE CONSUMER.
AND IF WE WENT THROUGH
THAT KIND OF A PROCESS
WITH THE LCBO WHEREBY WE TRIED
TO KEEP THE LCBO INTACT
AND JOBS PROTECTED AND
WAGE LEVELS PROTECTED,
IT IS SIMPLY NOT
GOING TO WORK.
I MEAN, THEY MIGHT ACTUALLY
DO IT BUT IT'S NOT
A TRUE PRIVATIZATION AND
IN MANY RESPECTS THE LCBO
PRIVATIZATION WILL BE
THE REAL TEST OF THE
GOVERNMENT, BECAUSE
TO DO IT PROPERLY,
AT LEAST IN MY MIND, YOU'VE
GOT TO CHANGE THE RULES
ON THE DISTRIBUTION OF LIQUOR
AND WINE AND ALCOHOLIC
PRODUCTS TO MAKE THEM
AVAILABLE ALL OVER THE PLACE,
IN SUPERMARKETS, AND EVEN
IN CORNER STORES,
AND HAVE THEM COMPETING
AGAINST WHATEVER THE LCBO
IS LEFT WITH, WHETHER
IT STARTS OFF INTACT
OR WHETHER IT'S
BROKEN UP.
AND THEN YOU'D HAVE BROAD
DISTRIBUTION AS IN
THE SAME WAY THAT YOU DO
THROUGH MUCH OF QUEBEC
FOR THE WINE AND BEER.
AND YOU COULD HAVE JUST
AS MANY TOTAL JOBS
IN THE INDUSTRY, PERHAPS EVEN
MORE JOBS IN THE INDUSTRY,
DIFFERENT JOBS,
DIFFERENT PAYING JOBS,
AND THEY WON'T BE
CONCENTRATED IN -

Steve says IN YOUR EXPERIENCE, DOES
THE NEW OWNERSHIP
WANT TO KEEP THE OLD
EMPLOYEES OR THEY WANT TO GO
A WHOLE DIFFERENT
DIRECTION?

Will says IN THE SHORT TERM, THEY
ALMOST ALWAYS WANT TO KEEP
THE CURRENT EMPLOYEES OR AT
LEAST THEY'RE HAPPY TO HAVE
THE TRANSFER COME BECAUSE
THEY WANT TO BE ABLE
TO HAVE A SEAMLESS
TRANSFER.
THE CONSUMER DOESN'T WANT
TO NOTICE THAT
THE OWNERSHIP HAS
TRANSFERRED FROM
THE PUBLIC HANDS TO
THEIR HANDS.
THEY WANT THIS THING
TO RUN SMOOTHLY.
THE PEOPLE WHO ARE OUT
THERE RUNNING THE BUSINESS
TODAY ARE THE MOST
KNOWLEDGEABLE.

Steve says WE'VE JUST GOT A COUPLE
OF MINUTES LEFT,
I WANT TO GET INTO THE
NOTION HOW YOU GET
TO BE ON THE LIST OF
COMPANIES THAT BUYS
THE RIGHT TO RUN THESE
NEW GOVERNMENT SERVICES.
OKAY, THERE IS GOING TO
BE, GIVEN THE CYNICISM
THAT THE PUBLIC FEELS
FOR POLITICS NOWADAYS,
THERE'S GOING TO BE SENSE
OUT THERE THAT IF YOU WERE
A BIG DONOR TO THE
CONSERVATIVE PARTY IN THE
LAST ELECTION CAMPAIGN, YOU
MOVE TO THE TOP OF THE LIST
OF COMPANIES THAT GETS AN
OPPORTUNITY TO BUY HYDRO
OR BUY LIQUOR BOARD
OR WHATEVER.
HOW DO YOU DEAL
WITH THAT?

Thomas says WELL YOU MEAN, IS THAT
WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN?
I THINK THE PROBLEM IS
GOING TO BE A LITTLE DIFFERENT.

Terence says IN WAY THAT WILL SATISFY
THE NDP AND THE LIBERALS.

Thomas says I THINK THE PROBLEM'S GOING
TO BE A LITTLE DIFFERENT.
LOOK AT THE WAY THAT
THE FEDERAL TORIES
TRIED TO PRIVATIZE
CN TRUCKING.
THEY DIDN'T GIVE IT TO -
THEY DIDN'T GIVE IT TO
SOMEBODY WHO'D GIVEN A LOT
OF MONEY TO THE TORIES.
THEY WERE SO DESPERATE
TO GET RID OF IT THAT
THEY SOLD IT OFF TO
SOMEBODY WHO COULDN'T
MANAGE TO GET HIS OWN
CREDIT CARD AND RAN
THE COMPANY INTO
THE GROUND.
I MEAN, THAT'S I THINK
GOING TO BE THE REAL PROBLEM,
POTENTIAL PROBLEM,
IS THAT A GOVERNMENT
IS SO ANXIOUS TO PRIVATIZE
BECAUSE THEY WANT
TO PRIVATIZE THAT THEY'LL
JUST SELL THESE THINGS OFF
TO POOR OPERATORS.
THAT'S MORE OF A
PROBLEM THAN SELLING
IT OFF TO THEIR FRIENDS.
I'LL TELL YOU WHERE
THEIR FRIENDS COME IN.
THEIR FRIENDS COME IN, AND
THEIR ASSOCIATES -
I'M NOT SURE HOW MANY OF THESE
PEOPLE ARE PERSONAL
FRIENDS - BUT IF YOU SELL
SOMETHING LIKE ONTARIO HYDRO,
IT'S GOING TO BE BIGGEST
SINGLE PRIVATIZATION
I THINK
IN NORTH AMERICA,
AND THE PEOPLE WHO ARE
GOING TO MAKE BIG MONEY
ARE THE BAY STREET INVESTMENT
HOUSES THAT ARE GOING
TO HANDLE THE ISSUES.
NOT NECESSARILY THE
POOR PEOPLE WHO BUY IT.
[laughing]

Steve says I MEAN, WHAT KIND OF
PROCESS DO YOU SET UP
TO MAKE SURE THAT IT
LOOKS LIKE IT'S A CLEAN,
KOSHER, PRIVATIZATION?

Will says WELL YEAH, THAT'S A
MATTER WE COULD SPEND
THE WHOLE SHOW
ON ACTUALLY.

Steve says YOU'VE GOT A
MINUTE AND A HALF.

[laughing]

Will says IN REALITY, THAT'S
SOME OF WHAT I DO.
A LOT OF WHAT I DO WHEN I
WORK IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR
WITH PUBLIC SECTOR CLIENTS.
FOR THE MOST PART
WHAT I'D RECOMMEND
IS YOU NEED TO SET UP A
DEDICATED TASK FORCE
OR A SECRETARIAT
OUTSIDE OF THE NORMAL
DAY-TO-DAY FUNCTIONINGS
OF THE GOVERNMENT,
OUTSIDE OF THEIR
NORMAL JOBS,
IF YOU'RE DEALING
WITH SOMETHING
AS IMPORTANT AS THIS.
PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT
THEMSELVES IN ANY WAY HAVE
A CONFLICT OF INTEREST
WITH THE SITUATION,
IT'S NOT THEIR JOBS
THAT ARE AT STAKE.
LET THOSE PEOPLE
SORT OUT, AGAIN,
WHAT IS THE BUSINESS.
WHAT'S THE BUSINESS CASE,
ET CETERA, AND THEN ONCE YOU
GET INTO THE PROCESS, YOU KNOW
WHAT IT IS THAT YOU'RE
DEALING WITH, THE BEST WAY
IN MY MIND OF DOING IT IS,
YOU RUN THROUGH A
TWO-STAGE PROCESS.
YOU ASK PEOPLE TO PUT IN
THEIR QUALIFICATIONS.
YOU DO AN EVALUATION
OF THOSE BIDS.

Steve says DOES THE PREMIER'S OFFICE
EVENTUALLY DECIDE?

Will says NO, CABINET OR THE
GOVERNMENT HAS GOT TO
IN THE END BLESS THE FINAL
DECISION IN THE WAY OUR
POLITICAL SYSTEM IS SET UP,
BUT YOU WANT AS MANY OF
THESE DECISIONS DONE BY THE
PEOPLE WHO ARE HANDS-ON
RESPONSIBLE FOR
DOING IT.
YOU WANT TO EMPOWER THE
PEOPLE WHO HAVE
THIS RESPONSIBILITY.
OTHERWISE, YOU LEAVE
YOURSELF OPEN TO COMPLAINTS
FROM THE OTHER PARTIES.

Steve says I NEED TO LEAVE MYSELF OPEN
TO RUN TO THE NEXT ITEM
HERE, BUT, GUYS,
SIT TIGHT.
I THINK YOU'RE
GOING TO ENJOY THIS.
LET'S BRING YOU SOME OF THE
LATEST BUZZ FROM QUEEN'S PARK.
MUCH TALK THESE DAYS
SURROUNDING THE LATEST
ENVIRONICS SURVEY WHICH HAD
THE GOVERNING TORIES
DROP TO THE LOW 30s
IN POPULARITY.
THAT'S A BIG FALL FROM
THE HEADY MID 50s THE
GOVERNMENT WAS ENJOYING
BACK IN EARLY DECEMBER.
WHAT'S BEHIND THE FALL?
WELL WE GOT THE LATEST
WORD FROM TWO QUEEN'S PARK
OBSERVERS: PAULINE JOHNSON
FROM THOMPSON NEWS SERVICE,
AND MARTIN MITTELSTAEDT OF
THE GLOBE AND MAIL.

A clip plays.

Steve sits in an office next to Pauline Johnson and Martin Mittelstaedt.

Steve says WELL I GUESS THE BIG NEWS
AROUND HERE THE LAST COUPLE
OF WEEKS HAS BEEN THE
PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY THAT
CAME OUT THAT SHOWED THE
TORIES HAD DROPPED
JUST ABOUT 20 POINTS IN A
RELATIVELY BRIEF
SPACE OF TIME.
THAT'S A LOT OF POINTS TO
DROP IN SUCH A SHORT SPACE
OF TIME, AND I KNOW YOU
TWO HAVE PUT YOUR HEADS
TOGETHER TO COME UP
WITH SOME THEORIES
AS TO WHY IT'S
HAPPENED.
PAULINE, SHOOT.

Pauline is in her late forties with shoulder-length blondish hair and bangs. She’s wearing a black pullover and a golden brooch.

Pauline says WELL, MY THEORY OF
WHY IT'S HAPPENING?

Steve says SURE.

Pauline says THE GOVERNMENT MESSAGE IS
GETTING OUT AND PEOPLE
DON'T LIKE IT.
THEY SAY THEY AREN'T
GETTING THEIR MESSAGE OUT.
I THINK THEY ARE GETTING
THEIR MESSAGE OUT,
PEOPLE DON'T LIKE IT.

The caption changes to "Pauline Johnson. Thomson News Service."

Pauline continues ON THE OTHER
HAND, TO BE FAIR,
IT'S ALMOST INEVITABLE,
THEY HAD TO DROP A BIT.
Steve says GOVERNMENTS
ALWAYS DROP SOMEWHAT
IN THE FIRST YEAR, BUT USUALLY
NOT THIS MUCH THIS FAST.
I THINK THAT'S
FAIR TO SAY.

Martin is in his late thirties, clean-shaven with receding brown hair. He’s wearing glasses, a blue suit, white shirt and spotted dark brown tie.

Martin says IT'S A
SURPRISING TURN.
I THINK THAT WHAT'S HAPPENED
IS THAT A LOT OF GROUPS
THAT THOUGHT THEY
WOULDN'T BE SCREWED BY
THIS GOVERNMENT OR CURRENTLY
FINDING THAT THEY'RE
IN FOR TOUGH TIMES.

The caption changes to "Martin Mittelstaedt. The Globe and Mail."

Martin continues DOCTORS, POLICE, TEACHERS.
ALL SORTS OF GROUPS THAT
THOUGHT THAT THEY WOULD BE
IMMUNE FROM THE BUDGET
SLASHING AND THE
MEAT CLEAVER GOVERNMENT
THAT HARRIS PROMISED.
NOW THEY FIND THEY'RE ON
THE CHOPPING BLOCK AND
THEY'RE TURNING NEGATIVE
AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT.
LOOK AT TEACHERS.
MOST OF THEM THOUGHT THAT
THEY WOULD BE IMMUNE
FROM EDUCATION CUTS BECAUSE
HARRIS PROMISED NOT TO CUT
CLASSROOM EDUCATION, SO
I ASSUME THEY THOUGHT
JANITORS WOULD GO AND A
COUPLE OF ADMINISTRATORS
AND A FEW TEACHING
ASSISTANTS.
NOW THEY FIND THAT
IT'S THEIR INCOMES
THAT ARE GOING TO GO
AND SOME OF THEM,
SO THEY'RE GETTING
ANGRY.
DOCTORS, POLICE, YOU
KNOW, SAME STORY.

Steve says WHAT ABOUT THE OMNIBUS BILL
AND ALL OF THE STURM
AND DRANG
SURROUNDING THAT?
DID THAT CHIP AWAY AT
THE GOVERNMENT'S
CREDIBILITY AT ALL?

Pauline says I THINK SO THERE WAS A LOT
OF IT'S A BULLY BILL
FROM THE LIBERALS
AND THINGS.
BUT IT'S LIKE MARTIN SAID,
THEN IT WAS AROUND
THE OMNIBUS BILL THESE
PEOPLE CAME FORWARD.
I MEAN, THE FIRST TIME WE
EVER SAW FIREFIGHTERS
ON THE LAWNS OF
QUEEN'S PARK.
WE SEE VERY
NON-POLITICAL PEOPLE,
AND THAT WAS QUITE
A SHOCK EVEN TO ME.
I'VE SEEN
EVERYBODY OUT HERE,
BUT NEVER PEOPLE
LIKE THAT.
AND AS THEY WORKED THEIR
WAY UP THE FOOD CHAIN,
YOU KNOW, IT'S BECOMING
APPARENT THAT PEOPLE
HADN'T REALLY THOUGHT
THIS OUT BEFORE.

Steve says ON THE OTHER HAND, I
THINK SOME OF THE SURVEYS
THAT I'VE SEEN ANYWAY,
SHOW THAT PEOPLE STILL
WHAT TO GIVE THIS
GOVERNMENT A CHANCE AND
THEY STILL BASICALLY
BELIEVE IN THE MESSAGE.
I THINK THE NUMBER I
SAW WAS ABOUT 6 OUT OF 10
STILL THINK THAT THEY'RE
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
AND THEY'RE PREPARED TO
GIVE THESE GUYS A BREAK.
SO WE'RE NOT READY TO THROW
THE TOWEL IN ON THEM YET,
I DON'T SUSPECT.

Martin says WELL I THINK THE TORIES ARE
GOING TO HAVE BIG PROBLEMS
THIS SPRING AND THAT THE
BIG PROBLEM IS THEIR TAX CUT.
THE TORIES RAN ON SOMETHING
CALLED THE COMMON SENSE
REVOLUTION, WHICH WAS
A BRILLIANT ELECTION DOCUMENT,
BUT IT'S A TOTALLY
IMBECILIC DOCUMENT
FOR RUNNING POWER.

Steve says SAYS WHO?

Martin laughs and says LOOK THEY'RE PROMISING A
30 PERCENT INCOME TAX CUT.

Steve says 15 IN THE
NEXT BUDGET.

Martin says YEAH, AND THEY'RE RUNNING
A 9.3 BILLION DOLLARS DEFICIT,
SO THEY'RE PROPOSING TO
GIVE US ALL A TAX BREAK
AND THEN BORROW MONEY ALL
THE WHILE CLAIMING
THAT THE DEFICIT IS
PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER 1.
DOES IT MAKE SENSE?

Steve says PAULINE?

Pauline says WELL ACTUALLY I THINK FROM
A POLITICAL POINT OF VIEW
IT PROBABLY
DOES MAKE SENSE.
HEAVEN FORBID I SHOULD
DEFEND THE CONSERVATIVE
GOVERNMENT; BUT THE FACT
IS THEY PROMISED IT AND
IF THEY DON'T GO AHEAD,
THEN - CRKKK, NEXT ELECTION.

Pauline gestures cutting her throat.

Steve says IT'S A RESIGNABLE
OFFENCE, TOO.

I MEAN, MISTER HARRIS SAID
HE WOULD RESIGN IF
HE DIDN'T DO A BUNCH
OF DIFFERENT THINGS,
AND I THINK THIS
IS ON THE LIST.

Pauline says OH, YOU BELIEVE
THAT, DO YOU?

Steve says I'M JUST REPORTING
THE NEWS.
THAT'S WHAT HE SAID.
THAT'S WHAT HE SAID.

Martin says HE CLAIMED THAT.
WE'LL SEE WHAT HE
DOES BUT I THINK
THEY'RE IN DEEP
TROUBLE OVER THIS.
THEY'RE REALLY
SCRAMBLING.
THEY HAVE SWEATY PALMS IN
THE FINANCE MINISTER'S OFFICE.
THEY'VE GOT A PROMISE
THAT'S GOING TO COST
BILLIONS OF DOLLARS AND
THEY DON'T HAVE THE MONEY,
SO WHAT DO THEY DO?
I THINK THAT THEY'RE UNDER
INCREDIBLE PRESSURE FROM
THEIR MORE RADICAL MPPs
AND PARTY SUPPORTERS
TO GO AHEAD WITH THIS AND
TO LET THE DEFICIT RIDE.

Steve says LET ME GO BACK TO WHAT
YOU TALKED ABOUT AT THE
BEGINNING, WHICH WAS THE
COMMUNICATIONS PROBLEMS.
THEY HAVE SAID, OUR NUMBERS
ARE FALLING BECAUSE
WE'RE HAVING PROBLEMS
COMMUNICATING OUR AGENDA
AND WHAT WE'RE
DOING RIGHT NOW.
THE GOOD THINGS
THAT WE'RE DOING.
YOU SUGGESTED IT'S
QUITE THE CONTRARY.
THAT WE'VE COTTONED ON
TO WHAT THEY'RE
ALL ABOUT AND WE
DON'T LIKE IT.
WHAT'S RIGHT?

Pauline says I THINK THEY'RE
BOTH RIGHT.
IN A WAY, THEY'RE UP
AGAINST THE TOUGHEST PRESS
GALLERY IN THE COUNTRY
PROBABLY, RIGHT?
WE'RE A VERY
CYNICAL BUNCH.
THEY KEEP SAYING THAT THE
MEDIA HERE IS BASHING THEM
UNFAIRLY AND THEY'RE NOT
GETTING THEIR MESSAGE OUT
AND THERE'S SPIN DOCTORS
FLOWING EVERYWHERE.
THERE'S EVIDENCE
OF THIS.
DAVE JOHNSON'S DONE A
MASTERFUL JOB SPINNING
THE CONTRACT TALKS
WITH OPSEU.

Steve says THIS IS THE
CHAIRMAN OF MANAGEMENT BOARD.

Pauline says YEAH, THE CHAIRMAN
OF MANAGEMENT BOARD.
WELL TODAY HE'S EVEN
BROUGHT OUT DETAILS
OF THEIR PENSION FOR US
TO READ ALMOST -

Steve says I'VE SEEN THE
ADS IN THE PAPERS.

Pauline says YEAH, 110,000 DOLLARS THIS
GOVERNMENT IS SPENDING
ON SPINNING THAT
MESSAGE.
THAT'S ABOUT A 100 YEARS
OF WELFARE DIET
AT THE DAVID TSUBOUCHI
RATE I WORKED OUT.
SO OBVIOUSLY THEY'RE
DETERMINED TO GET OUT
THE MESSAGE THEY WANT, BUT I
THINK THAT POSES A PROBLEM
FOR THE MEDIA AND THE
PUBLIC, AND THAT IS,
WE HAVE TO BE EVEN MORE
VIGILANT AS TO WHAT
THEY SAY IS REALLY
WHAT IS HAPPENING
IS REALLY THE
TRUTH THERE.
AND THAT'S GOING
TO BE DIFFICULT.
THIS GOVERNMENT'S
CLOSING DOWN
FREEDOM OF
INFORMATION LAWS.

Steve says MARTIN, LAST
WORD TO YOU.
ANYBODY PANICKING OVER THERE
IN THE PREMIER'S OFFICE?
I THINK THE PANIC
BUTTONS ARE JUST SCREAMING
RED AT THIS POINT.

Martin says I THINK THAT THEY HAVE
MORE THAN
A COMMUNICATIONS PROBLEM.
THEY HAVE A
REALITY PROBLEM.
THAT'S A REALITY PROBLEM
IS THAT THEIR CAMPAIGN
PROMISES DON'T MAKE ANY
SENSE AND THEY'RE
SADDLED WITH THEM.

Steve says OKAY, THANKS MUCH.
PAULINE JOHNSON,
MARTIN MITTELSTAEDT.
APPRECIATE IT.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, Steve says THAT'S THE LATEST WORD
FROM QUEEN'S PARK.
I HAVE TIME LEFT ONLY TO
THANK TERENCE CORCORAN,
AND WILL LIPSON FROM KPMG,
AND THOMAS WALKOM FOR
BEING HERE TODAY TO
DISCUSS PRIVATIZATION.
THANKS SO MUCH.

The three guests say THANKS, STEVE.

Steve says OKAY, WE APPRECIATE HEARING
YOUR VIEWS ON THE PROGRAM
SO PLEASE WRITE TO US AT:

A slate reads "Fourth Reading. Box 200, Station Q, Toronto, Ontario. M4T 2T1."

Steve continues OR ON THE INTERNET:

A new slate reads "Internet address, studio2@tvo.org."

Steve concludes I'M STEVE PAIKIN,
THANKS FOR WATCHING.
SEE YOU NEXT WEEK.

Music plays and the end credits roll, as Steve and the rest continue the conversation.

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 1996, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Show #53