Transcript: Show #55 | Mar 03, 1996

The opening sequence rolls.
In animation, the title "Fourth Reading" spins against a red background.

A clip plays.

Steve says THE BILL DAVIS STORY.
FROM THE PUBLIC TRIUMPHS
TO THE PRIVATE MOMENTS.
AN INTIMATE PORTRAIT
OF ONTARIO'S MOST
SUCCESSFUL POLITICIAN.

Bill Davis sits in a room. He’s in his late sixties, clean-shaven with receding white hair. He’s wearing a navy suit, white shirt and patterned tie.

In a clip, Bill says I'M NOT AT LIBERTY -- I AM
AT LIBERTY, BUT I SHAN'T.
I WOULDN'T COMMENT ON THAT.
ONCE AGAIN, I HAVE TO BE
CAREFUL HOW I PHRASE THIS.
THAT'S PART OF CONJECTURE
I CAN'T INDULGE IN.
BECAUSE IF I THINK THERE'S
SOMETHING YOU DON'T KNOW
ABOUT ME, I'M NOT
PREPARED TO DIVULGE IT.

Steve says THROUGH THE EYES
OF HIS FAMILY, AND HIS
COLLEAGUES, THE LIFE AND
SOMETIMES OF BILL DAVIS.

A clip shows Bill Davis in a political meeting and doing leisure activities.

The clip ends.

(music plays)

Steve sits in a studio. He’s is in his early forties, clean-shaven, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a checked gray jacket over a gray shirt.

Steve says GOOD AFTERNOON EVERYONE, I'M
STEVE PAIKIN, AND WELCOME
TO A SPECIAL EDITION
OF 4th READING.
YOU DON'T SEE HIS NAME
IN THE NEWSPAPERS MUCH
ANYMORE, BUT HE MAY VERY
WELL BE THE MOST IMPORTANT
POLITICAL FIGURE
IN ONTARIO HISTORY.
25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK,
WILLIAM GRENVILLE DAVIS
BECAME THE 18th
PREMIER OF ONTARIO.
AND ALTHOUGH HE COULD
NOT AND WOULD NOT HAVE
PREDICTED IT AT THE TIME,
BILL DAVIS WOULD GO ON TO
BECOME THE LONGEST SERVING
PREMIER OF ONTARIO
IN THIS CENTURY.
THIS AFTERNOON, WE LOOK BACK
AT DAVIS' QUARTER CENTURY
IN POLITICS, TO THE TIMES
HE KEPT THE TORY DYNASTY
ALIVE AND WELL, AND TO THE
TIMES HE ALMOST LOST IT ALL.
AND FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE
HE RETIRED FROM PUBLIC LIFE
IN 1985, YOU WILL HEAR
FROM THE MAN HIMSELF.
THE FORMER PREMIER HAS
AVOIDED THE TELEVISION
CAMERAS UNTIL TODAY.
WELL, WE NOW PRESENT A
PERSONAL PORTRAIT OF A
POLITICAL MAN.
HERE IS BILL DAVIS,
A MAIN STREET MAN.

A clip plays.

A Male Announcer says BILL DAVIS!

[cheering]

Bob Rae says HE'S A
VERY DECENT MAN.

(music plays)

A Male News Reporter says THE NEW LEADER OF THE
PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE
PARTY AND PRIME MINISTER
OF ONTARIO, THE HONOURABLE
BILL DAVIS.

A committee receives Bill with honours.

A man says HE'S A PRIVATE MAN.

In another clip, a young Bill says I CAN'T DESCRIBE MYSELF AS
DYNAMIC BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW
WHAT DYNAMIC MEANS.
I BELIEVE THAT I
GET THINGS DONE.

Rae says VERY PERSONABLE,
VERY SHREWD.

Giving a conference, Bill says I HOPE THERE IS SOME
UNDERSTANDING THAT LEADERS
OF GOVERNMENT ARE FACED
WITH COMPLEX ISSUES,
WHERE DECISIONS ARE MADE
IN SPITE OF THE CYNICS
ON THE BASIS OF A
LEVEL OF CONSCIENCE OF
REALLY TRYING TO DETERMINE
IN ESSENCE WHAT THEY
BELIEVE IS THE
RIGHT THING TO DO.

A man says I CAN'T THINK OF ANYONE
THAT I MET IN ALL THOSE
YEARS IN POLITICS WHO FELT
THREATENED BY BILL DAVIS.

(jazz music plays)
The title of the show reads "Bill Davis. A Main Street Man."

At a press conference, Bill says I HAVE WRITTEN TODAY TO THE
PRESIDENT OF THE ONTARIO
PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE
ASSOCIATION, MISTER DAVID
MCFADYEN,
He sighs and continues AND I INFORMED
HIM OF MY DECISION, A VERY
DIFFICULT DECISION, TO STEP
DOWN AS LEADER OF OUR PARTY.

Steve says THANKSGIVING
DAY 1984.
IT WAS PROBABLY THE LAST
TIME MOST OF US REMEMBER
SEEING WILLIAM DAVIS ON TV.
HE WAS AT THE HEIGHT
OF HIS POPULARITY.
HE WAS ALSO QUITTING.

Bill says THERE IS NO GOOD TIME.
I DON'T THINK THERE
IS ANY RIGHT TIME.
I'M LEAVING WHEN THERE ARE
SOME THINGS I STILL WOULD
LIKE TO SEE DONE.

Steve says A QUARTER CENTURY
AGO, BILL DAVIS WAS JUST
BEGINNING HIS REIGN AS
PREMIER OF ONTARIO.

In a another clip, a man interviews a young Bill Davis.

The Male Interviewer says PLACE
OF BUSINESS?

Bill says QUEEN'S PARK.

The Male Interviewer says NAME.

Bill says THE HONOURABLE WILLIAM
GRENVILLE DAVIS, PRIME MINISTER.
VERY OFFICIAL.
THAT'S WHAT THEY PUT
ON THE LEGISLATION.
THE MEMBERS OF THE
OPPOSITION CALL ME THE
MEMBER FROM PEEL NORTH,
AMONGST OTHER THINGS.
I LIKE BILL.
IT'S A LOT EASIER.

Steve says CALL WILLIAM
GRENVILLE DAVIS BILL?
IT'S SOMETHING
FEW PEOPLE DO.
NOT LAIRD SAUNDERSSON WHO
HAS WORKED FOR DAVIS ALMOST
NON-STOP FOR A
QUARTER CENTURY.

Steve and Davis approach Laird Saundersson, who sits at a desk. She is in her late forties with short hair. She’s wearing a black blazer.

Steve says LAIRD, I'M GOING TO
EMBARRASS YOU A BIT HERE.

Laird says OKAY.

Steve says WHAT DO YOU CALL HIM?

Laird says UM, PREMIER,
SIR, OR MISTER D.

Steve says HAVE YOU EVER
CALLED HIM BILL?

Laird says I DON'T THINK SO.
WHEN I'M AROUND.

Laird and Bill laugh.

Steve says YOU'VE WORKED FOR HIM
FOR 24 YEARS, YOU'VE NEVER
CALLED HIM BILL?

Laird says NO, NO, NEVER.
I WOULD NEVER
THINK TO DO THAT.

Steve says NOT LARRY GROSSMAN,
DAVIS' FORMER TREASURER.

Now, Steve sits next to Larry Grossman in a living room.

Steve says YOU NEVER CALLED HIM BILL?

Larry is in his late forties, clean-shaven with receding gray hair. He’s wearing round glasses and a gray shirt over a black T-shirt.

Larry says NEVER.

Steve says NEVER ONCE?

Larry says NEVER ONCE.
NEVER ONCE.
HUGH SEGAL WAS OVER AT THE
PREMIER'S HOUSE ONE NIGHT
FOR DINNER OR SOMETHING,
AND DECIDED, HE HAD
ACTUALLY THOUGHT ABOUT IT
IN ADVANCE, AND IN THAT
ATMOSPHERE CALLED HIM BILL.
HE SAID AND IT JUST FELL
LIKE A BRICK TO THE FLOOR.
THE WORDS CAME OUT, BILL,
CLUNK, FELL TO THE FLOOR.

Steve says NEVER DID IT AGAIN.

Larry says NEVER DID IT AGAIN.

Steve says BUT ACCORDING TO HIS
SON NEIL, IT'S DIFFERENT
IN BRAMPTON.

Neil is in his mid-thirties, clean-shaven with light brown hair. He’s wearing a checked beige shirt.

Neil says BUT OUT HERE THERE ARE
MANY WHO CALL HIM BILL.
IN FACT, MANY WHO CALL HIM
UNCLE BILL BECAUSE THEY
BELIEVE THEY ARE SOME
DISTANT RELATIVE OF HIS.
I DON'T THINK THEY REALLY
ARE, BUT THEY PROFESS TO BE.

Steve says IN FACT, THERE MAY
ONLY BE ONE QUEEN'S PARK
COLLEAGUE WHO
CALLS HIM BILL.
FORMER ONTARIO
PREMIER BOB RAE.

In an office, Steve says WHAT DO YOU CALL
HIM WHEN YOU SPEAK TO HIM?

Bob Rae is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short white hair. He's wearing glasses, a white shirt, blue and black tie and suspenders.

Bob says BILL.

Steve says NO.

Bob says YES.

Steve says DO YOU REALLY?

Bob says YES.

Steve says YOU'RE THE ONLY PERSON,
BESIDES HIS WIFE,
I KNOW WHO CALLS HIM BILL.
ARE YOU SERIOUS?

Bob laughs.

Bob says ABSOLUTELY.

Steve says AND THAT FEELS
COMFORTABLE?

Bob says NOW WE DO.
NOW I CALL HIM BILL.
LIKE I USED TO
CALL HIM PREMIER.
HE CALLED ME PREMIER.
WE'D JOKE AROUND, CALL EACH
OTHER EX-PREMIER, PREMIER
EMERITUS, BUT NOW WE CALL
EACH OTHER BILL AND BOB,
VERY DIRECT.

In another clip, Steve says WAS IT AUTOMATIC YOUR
FATHER WOULD BE A TORY?

Neil says WELL, I GUESS IT SEEMS LIKE
IT'S PREORDAINED IN THIS
FAMILY THAT YOU SHOULD BE.

A slate reads "A Pre-Ordained Tory."

Steve says BILL DAVIS WAS BORN
IN PEEL COUNTY ALMOST
67
YEARS AGO.
AND HE KNEW VERY SOON
AFTER THAT HE'D BE A TORY.
HIS FATHER ALBERT WAS A
CROWN ATTORNEY FOR MORE
THAN 30 YEARS, AND WOULD
HAVE RUN FOR THE TORIES
HIMSELF HAD IT NOT
BEEN FOR ILL HEALTH.
COINCIDENTALLY, HIS LONG
TIME LOCAL MPP WAS ALSO A
FORMER TORY PREMIER.
TOM KENNEDY, SEEN HERE
IN THE MIDDLE ALONGSIDE
PREMIER LESLIE FROST.

Black and white pictures show a baby boy, a boy standing next to a middle-aged man and three men standing one next to the other.

Steve continues IT WAS IN 1959 THAT DAVIS
WON HIS FIRST ELECTION TO
QUEEN'S PARK.
LESS THAN THREE YEARS LATER,
PREMIER JOHN ROBARTS PUT
HIM IN CABINET.
IT SHOULD HAVE
BEEN A JOYOUS TIME.
THE BEGINNING OF A
REMARKABLE CAREER IN POLITICS.
INSTEAD, DAVIS' FIRST WIFE
HELEN DIED OF CANCER AT AGE 33.

Bill says I HAD A PERSONAL
SITUATION AT HOME.
MY FIRST WIFE PASSED
ON AT THAT POINT.
WE HAD FOUR CHILDREN
AT THE TIME.
AND MISTER ROBARTS KEPT THE
EDUCATION PORTFOLIO.
I DIDN'T REALIZE AT THE
TIME, AND HE ASKED ME TO
GO TO ONTARIO HYDRO
AS VICE CHAIRMAN.
SO I WAS AT ONTARIO HYDRO
FOR, OH, NINE OR TEN MONTHS.
AND THEN IN THE FALL OF '62,
MISTER ROBARTS ASKED ME IF
I WOULD LIKE TO BE
MINISTER OF EDUCATION.
I THINK IT TOOK ME PROBABLY A
TENTH OF A SECOND TO SAY YES.

Bill laughs.

Steve says DAVIS IMMERSED
HIMSELF IN HIS NEW JOB,
IN PART TO HELP DEAL WITH
THE DEATH OF HIS WIFE.

Neil says I'M NOT SURE DAD WILL EVER
COMPLETELY TALK ABOUT THAT
PART OF HIS LIFE.

Steve says NEIL DAVIS WAS ALMOST
SEVEN WHEN HIS MOTHER DIED.

A black and white photograph of Bill, his wife and 3 children appears.

Neil says I REMEMBER SOME OF IT.
I REMEMBER IT WAS A
VERY DIFFICULT TIME FOR,
I GUESS, ALL OF THE FAMILY.
MY GRANDPARENTS
ON BOTH SIDES.
I LIVED WITH MY GRANDMOTHER
AND GRAND FATHER
FOR A PERIOD OF TIME.
I CAN'T RECALL HOW LONG IT
WAS, BUT IT WAS A NUMBER
OF MONTHS.
AND MY SISTERS LIVED IN
OUR HOUSE WITH A NANNY.
AND MY BROTHER WENT TO
WINDSOR AND LIVED WITH MY
MOTHER AND THEN AFTER
SHE PASSED AWAY, WITH MY
MATERNAL GRANDPARENTS FOR A
NUMBER OF MONTHS, AND THEY
RAISED HIM FOR A WHILE.
AND THEN WE WERE ABLE TO
ALL COLLECT BACK TOGETHER.

Steve says DAVIS' SECOND WIFE
KATHLEEN WAS AN AMERICAN.
HER FAMILY SPENT THEIR
SUMMERS NEAR THE DAVIS'
FAMILY COTTAGE, SO SHE HAD
ACTUALLY KNOWN BILL DAVIS
MOST OF HER LIFE.

Now, Steve and Kathleen sit in a cozy living room.

Steve says AND THIS MAN'S A
WIDOWER WITH FOUR KIDS.
HOW IN HEAVEN'S NAME DID
HE GET THROUGH ALL THAT?

Kathleen is in her mid-sixties with short curly gray hair. She’s wearing a white blouse under a colourful vest and a brooch.

Kathleen says WELL,
She pauses and continues IT'S HARD TO ANSWER
BECAUSE I DON'T REALLY
KNOW THE ANSWER.
THAT REMAINS WITH
HIM TO SOME DEGREE.
BUT I THINK THE REASON THAT
WE WERE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH
WHAT WE DID, STEVE, IS
BECAUSE I HAD KNOWN HIM
FOR SO MANY YEARS.
I'D REALLY KNOWN HIM MOST OF
MY CHILDHOOD, AND ALL OF
MY ADULT LIFE.

Neil says FOR DAD, HE JUST HAD NO TIME
IN HIS LIFE TO, AND I THINK
IT'S HIS WAY IN ANY EVENT,
THAT HE HAD TO DO SOMETHING
IN ORDER TO TRY
AND DEAL WITH IT.
IT WAS JUST SO TRAGIC TO
HAVE FOUR YOUNG CHILDREN
AND LOSE HIS WIFE.
HE THREW HIMSELF INTO
POLITICS, AND I GUESS TRIED
TO DEAL WITH IT THAT WAY.

Against a black background, a new slate reads "44 Votes."

Steve says DAVIS REMAINED
EDUCATION MINISTER UNTIL
ROBARTS ANNOUNCED HE WOULD
RETIRE AFTER TEN YEARS
AS PREMIER.

Bill says IT WAS AN INTERESTING PERIOD
FOR ME BECAUSE THERE WERE
SOME WHO KNEW JOHN
WAS GOING TO RETIRE.
THEY DIDN'T KNOW WHEN.
I HAD SOME SENSE
THAT HE MIGHT.
AND THERE WERE SOME WHO WERE
URGING US TO QUIETLY START
GETTING READY AND
INDULGE IN SOME QUIET
ORGANIZING ACTIVITIES.

Steve says DID YOU?

Bill says NO, I DECLINED.
AND SOME OF THOSE WHO WERE
URGING US, THEY WERE, YOU
KNOW, VITALLY INTERESTED
IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS.
AND THEY ENDED UP SUPPORTING
AND ORGANIZING ONE OR TWO
CAMPAIGNS FOR THOSE THAT WE
OPPOSED AT THE CONVENTION.

In a clip, people sing FOR HE'S A JOLLY
GOOD FELLOW --

Steve says DAVIS' UNWILLINGNESS TO
START ORGANIZING BEFORE ROBARTS
MADE IT OFFICIAL, MAY HAVE
BEEN CLASSY POLITICS, BUT
IT ALSO MAY HAVE NEARLY
COST HIM THE LEADERSHIP.

Supporters celebrate in a political convention.

Back in the interview, Steve says WHAT WAS IT, 44 VOTES YOU
WON THAT CONVENTION BY?

Bill says 44 VOTES.

Steve says 44 VOTES.
WHICH IS PRETTY CLOSE
IN HINDSIGHT, YOU KNOW?

Bill says IN FORESIGHT, IT
WAS PRETTY CLOSE.

They laugh.

Bill continues IN ANY SIGHT IT
WAS QUITE CLOSE.

The Male Announcer says LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
WILL YOU PLEASE LET OUR NEW
PREMIER AND HIS WIFE THROUGH,
COME UP TO THE PODIUM.

At the convention, a male politician says I HAVE ACHIEVED
MY OBJECTIVE.
I'M A HAS BEEN.

[laughter]

Steve says ON MARCH 1st, 1971,
WILLIAM GRENVILLE DAVIS WAS
SWORN IN AS ONTARIO'S
18th PREMIER.
HE'D BEEN HANDED THE KEYS TO
ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL
DEMOCRATIC VEHICLES
IN THE WORLD.
ONTARIO'S BIG BLUE MACHINE.
HE'D CONVINCED MOST TORIES
HE WAS THE BEST MAN FOR THE
JOB, BUT CONVINCING THE
REST OF ONTARIO WAS
ANOTHER THING.

Fast clips show Bill shaking hands with citizens.

A song plays LEADERSHIP TO
SHOW THE WAY
WE'LL KEEP THE PROVINCE
GROWING STRONG.

Now, Steve interviews Hugh Segal.
A caption appears on screen. It reads "Hugh Segal. Former Davis Advisor."

Hugh is in his forties, clean-shaven with side-parted blond hair. He’s wearing glasses, gray suit, blue shirt and brown tie.

Hugh says THE GENIUS IN THE ONTARIO
CONSERVATIVE PARTY FROM
MISTER DREW IN 1943, RIGHT UP
UNTIL 1971 HAD BEEN ALMOST
BEFORE THE POLITICAL MINDSET
OF THE PROVINCE CHANGED,
THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY
CHANGED ITS LEADERSHIP, ITS
ORIENTATION AND ITS
STYLE TO REPRESENT A NEW
DIRECTION IN PUBLIC
POLICY IN THE PROVINCE.
THERE WAS ALWAYS THE
QUESTION WOULD WE EVER FAIL?

The slate changes to "Learning To Be Leader."

(music plays)

The Male Announcer says PREMIER WILLIAM
DAVIS THE PUBLIC LEADER.
HE'S RECOGNIZED AS A
POLITICIAN OF DECISIVENESS
AND ACTION.

Steve says MAYBE.
BUT BILL DAVIS WAS A LONG
WAY FROM THE LEADER MANY
ONTARIANS REMEMBER NEAR THE
END OF HIS POLITICAL CAREER.
HE WAS NOT YET SEEN AS
THE POPULAR, CONFIDENT,
AVUNCULAR, PIPE-SMOKING
FAMILY MAN.

In an old clip, The Male Interviewer says MY SECRETARY
SAM MET YOU THE OTHER DAY,
AND SHE THINKS
YOU'RE CUDDLY.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT?

A caption reads "70’s media training tape."

Bill says IF YOUR SECRETARY SAM THINKS
I'M CUDDLY, I'D LIKE TO
MEET YOUR SECRETARY SAM
AGAIN SOME TIME SOON.
[laughing]
I DON'T WANT TO
SEE THAT ON THERE.
[laughing]

Steve says AND SO AT AGE 41,
AFTER BEING HANDED THE
REINS OF POWER, DAVIS TRIED
SOMETHING PRETTY NEW FOR
CANADIAN POLITICS, HE
IMPORTED AN IMAGE MAKER
FROM THE UNITED STATES.

The Male Interviewer says YOU
SMOKE CIGARS.
ISN'T THAT DANGEROUS
TO YOUR IMAGE?
AREN'T PEOPLE GOING TO THINK
OF YOU AS A BIG FAT TORY
FROM BAY STREET?

Bill says WELL, I HOPE THE FAT -- NO,
YOU WANT ME TO START OUT
BY TALKING ABOUT CIGARS.
I SMOKE CIGARS
NOT TOO OFTEN.
I REALLY DON'T THINK IT
AFFECTS PEOPLES THOUGHTS AS
IT RELATES TO ME.
I DON'T SEE ANY RELATIONSHIP
WITH BACK ROOMS OR BAY
STREET OR ANYWHERE ELSE.
A LOT OF VERY GOOD
PEOPLE SMOKE CIGARS.

Steve says AND THE IMAGE
MAKERS WENT TO WORK.
TRYING TO GET DAVIS
TO BE A LITTLE LESS SHY,
A LITTLE MORE PERSONAL,
AND TO BOAST ABOUT HIS
POLITICAL ACHIEVEMENTS.
BUT THAT RAN COUNTER TO
DAVIS' PROPER METHODIST
UPBRINGING WHERE
MODESTY WAS STRESSED.

Bill plays with a rugby ball in a garden.

Sitting in front of Steve, Bill says YEAH, I FOUND THAT
PART VERY DIFFICULT.
I ALWAYS FOUND IT EASIER TO
CAMPAIGN FOR ANOTHER CANDIDATE.
I ALWAYS FOUND IT EASIER TO
EXTOL THE VIRTUES OF OTHER
PEOPLE, THAN TO SORT OF SAY I
DID THIS, I DID THAT, ETC., ETC.
I HAD NEVER BEEN
COMFORTABLE WITH THAT,
EITHER WHEN I WAS IN
POLITICS, OR EVEN NOW THAT
I'VE RETIRED FROM POLITICS.

The caption changes to "Neil Davis."

Neil says HE WASN'T TIED BY A
PHILOSOPHY OR A DOGMA.
BUT BY PRAGMATISM AND
GETTING EACH DECISION
RIGHT, AND, YOU KNOW, TO
GET FROM HERE TO HERE.
HE DIDN'T ALWAYS GO
FROM HERE TO HERE.
HE WOULD GO SIDEWAYS AND
AROUND TO GET THERE.
BUT HE KNEW WHERE HE
HAD TO GET EVENTUALLY.

The slate changes to "Getting There Sideways."

Talking to Steve, Bill says WHEN JOHN GAVE ME A FEW
WORDS OF ADVICE WHEN I
ASSUMED RESPONSIBILITY, HE
SAID WITH A SMILE, I'VE
ONLY LEFT YOU WITH A
COUPLE OF PROBLEMS.
SPADINA AND THE
SEPARATE SCHOOLS.

Steve says SMALL PROBLEMS.
IN 1971, ONTARIO'S
BURGEONING CATHOLIC
POPULATION HAD HIGH
HOPES FOR BILL DAVIS.
THEY WANTED HIM TO EXTEND
FULL PUBLIC FUNDING TO
SEPARATE SCHOOLS.
AT THE TIME, THOSE SCHOOLS
WERE FUNDED ONLY TO GRADE 8.

A clip shows Bill meeting people in the street.

The caption changes to "Robert Nixon. Ontario Liberal Leader 1967-76."

Robert sits in a couch. He’s in his sixties, clean-shaven with receding gray hair. He’s wearing glasses, a gray jacket and a light green and gray shirt.

Robert says THE ONLY WAY
IT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE
WITHOUT BEING UNBELIEVABLY
DESTRUCTIVE WAS FOR ALL THREE
PARTIES TO MOVE
TOGETHER TO DO IT.
WHICH EVENTUALLY HAPPENED.
AND, FRANKLY, I WAS NAIVE
ENOUGH TO THINK IN 1971 THAT
THAT WAS HAPPENING.
AND IT WAS MY EXPECTATION,
FRANKLY, THAT IT WOULD NOT
BECOME A POLITICAL ISSUE
BECAUSE IT WOULD LEAD TO
MORE ACRIMONY
THAN WAS SENSIBLE.

In the old clip, The Male Interviewer says HERE'S ONE FOR
YOU, THE SEPARATE SCHOOL THING.
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

Bill remains silent.

Robert says BILL DAVIS MADE A STATEMENT
THAT THEY WERE NOT GOING TO
EXTEND ANY ADDITIONAL
FUNDING TO SEPARATE
SCHOOLS, AND HE DIDN'T WANT
IT TO BE AN ELECTION ISSUE,
BUT BY THE WAY, WE'RE GOING
TO HAVE AN ELECTION RIGHT AWAY.

The caption changes to "Stephen Lewis. Ontario NDP Leader 1970-78."

Stephen is in his fifties, clean-shaven with brown hair. He’s wearing a black sweater over a white shirt and a pair of glasses.

Stephen says BILL DAVIS PULLED THE PLUG
FOR POLITICAL REASONS.
WE DON'T LIVE IN A WORLD
OF NAIVETE AND INNOCENCE.
THIS WAS A PRETTY
TOUGH ELECTION.
BUT IT WAS A VERY
ADROIT ELECTION.
AND DAVIS KNEW IF HE PULLED
THE PLUG ON THE EXTENSION
OF DOLLARS TO THE CATHOLIC
SCHOOLS ON THE ONE HAND,
AND RAN ON THE SPADINA
SUBWAY ON THE OTHER, WHICH
WAS ALSO A REAL VOLTE-FACE
FOR THE CONSERVATIVES,
THAT HE WOULD CREATE
ENOUGH EXCITEMENT AND
ANTICIPATION, THAT HE MIGHT
RIDE TO VICTORY ON IT.

Steve says DAVIS' CRITICS
ACCUSED HIM OF RENEGING ON
THE CATHOLIC FUNDING ISSUE
TO SOLIDIFY HIS ELECTORAL
BASE IN WHITE
ANGLO-SAXON ONTARIO.
DAVIS ADMITS THERE WERE
PLENTY OF DISCUSSIONS WITH
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ABOUT
THE SEPARATE SCHOOL'S
ISSUE, BUT TO THIS DAY HE
REJECTS THE OTHER CHARGES.

Bill says IF ANYONE THINKS THERE
WAS ANY INDICATION TO THE
BISHOPS OF ONTARIO THAT IN
FACT THE GOVERNMENT WAS
GOING TO CHANGE ITS POLICY, THAT
WOULD BE TOTALLY INACCURATE.

Hugh says HE ALWAYS FELT A LITTLE
BIT GUILTY ABOUT THE '71
VICTORY BEING A BIT ON
THE BACKS OF THE SEPARATE
SCHOOL ISSUE.
AND YOU KNOW WHEN YOU'RE
THE PREMIER OF ONTARIO, AND
WHEN YOU'RE A METHODIST
AND WHEN YOU ARE TRYING TO
RESPOND TO THE NEW POLYGLOT
NATURE OF THE PROVINCE,
WHEN THE BISHOP WANTS TO
SEE YOU, YOU WANT TO SEE
THE BISHOP.
YOU HAVE TO MAINTAIN LINES
OF COMMUNICATION THAT ARE
OPEN THROUGH ALL
COMMUNITIES, AND I THINK
THAT HAD WORN DOWN HIS
RESISTANCE ON THE ISSUE.

Giving a conference, Bill says IF SOMEBODY WANTS TO SAY
THAT I CHANGED MY MIND,
MISTER CHAIRMAN,
THEY'RE RIGHT.
THEY'RE RIGHT.

Steve says AND SO DAVIS
ANNOUNCED FULL PUBLIC
FUNDING FOR ROMAN
CATHOLIC SCHOOLS.

At the Legislature, Bill says THEREFORE, MISTER SPEAKER, IT'S
THE GOVERNMENT'S INTENTION...

Back at Steve’s interview, Bill says I GIVE YOU ONE VERY
SIMPLE EXAMPLE THAT I USE
WHICH DOESN'T, YOU KNOW,
COVER THE WHOLE SITUATION,
BUT I WAS CUTTING
THE GRASS.
I HAVE BEEN KNOWN
TO CUT MY OWN LAWN.

Steve says ON MAIN STREET
IN BRAMPTON.

Bill says ON MAIN
STREET IN BRAMPTON.
AND TWO OR THREE STUDENTS
FROM CARDINAL LEGERE SCHOOL,
WHICH IS A VERY LARGE SCHOOL
ABOUT TWO BLOCKS FROM
OUR HOUSE WERE CUTTING
ACROSS MY LAWN,
AND THEY STOPPED
TO SPEAK TO ME.
I THINK SUBCONSCIOUSLY
I WAS VERY CLOSE ANYWAY.
BUT THEY SAID TO ME, MISTER
DAVIS, CAN YOU EXPLAIN
SOMETHING TO US.
AND THESE YOUNGSTERS, I
THINK I'M RIGHT IN THIS,
WERE ALL CHILDREN OF
FAIRLY NEW CANADIANS.
THEY SAID TO ME, MISTER DAVIS,
CAN YOU TELL US, WE'VE JUST
BEEN TOLD IF WE WANT TO GO
INTO GRADE 11 IN CARDINAL
LEGERE, AND STAY WITH OUR
TEACHERS AND OTHER KIDS
WE'VE COME TO KNOW, THAT
IT'S GOING TO COST OUR
PARENTS A SUBSTANTIAL FEE.
BUT IF WE GO TO BRAMPTON
CENTENNIAL, WHICH ONCE AGAIN
IS A FEW BLOCKS FURTHER AWAY
FROM OUR HOUSE, WE DON'T
HAVE TO PAY ANYTHING.
AND THEY SAY CAN YOU
EXPLAIN IT TO US?
I THINK I HAD COME TO THE
CONCLUSION THAT IN TERMS OF
EQUITY, IN TERMS OF FAIRNESS,
WHATEVER WAY YOU WISH TO
DESCRIBE IT, STEVE, THAT IT
WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

Steve says IT WAS ALSO
CONTROVERSIAL AS HELL WITHIN
THE TORY CAUCUS AND CABINET.

The caption changes to "Larry Grossman. Former P. C. Treasurer."

Larry says IN A DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENT,
WITH A LESS KIND LEADER,
WITH A MORE ERROR-PRONE
LEADER, I THINK IT'S SAFE
TO SAY THREE OR FOUR
MINISTERS, I COULD BUT
WON'T NAME THEM, WOULD HAVE
GONE TO THE WALL ON THIS.
WOULD HAVE SAID I CAN'T LIVE
WITH THIS DECISION BEFORE
IT WAS MADE.
AND IF YOU WANT TO DO THIS,
I CAN'T BE IN THIS CABINET.
NOW I CAN SAY THAT BECAUSE
I KNOW HOW STRONGLY SOME OF
THEM FELT.
NOW, I'VE SEEN GOVERNMENTS
WHERE YOU WOULDN'T DO THAT
BECAUSE YOUR CAREER WAS OVER
BECAUSE THE PARTY AND THE
PARTICULAR LEADER
WOULD BE SO RESENTFUL.
BUT THIS WAS A CIRCUMSTANCE
WHERE YOU WOULDN'T DO THAT
TO BILL DAVIS.
YOU LIKE HIM TOO MUCH.
YOU RESPECT HIM TOO MUCH.
YOU WOULDN'T WOUND
HIM LIKE THAT.
IT'S LIKE DOING IT
TO YOUR BROTHER.
YOU WOULDN'T DO
THAT TO BILL DAVIS.
AND THAT MILITATED AGAINST
THE KIND OF GO TO THE WALL
SCENARIO THAT MIGHT HAVE
STOPPED A DECISION CANDIDLY.

Steve says IN 1971, YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN
THE GOVERNMENT SINCE 1943.
THE PRESSURE IS ON YOU
TO KEEP THIS MAJORITY
GOVERNMENT DYNASTY ALIVE.
HOW NERVOUS DID THAT
RESPONSIBILITY MAKE YOU?

Bill says I DON'T KNOW WHETHER
IT MADE ME NERVOUS.
I MEAN IT CERTAINLY
WAS A PRESSURE.

The caption changes to "Keeping The Dynasty Alive."

A clip shows a young Bill Davis watching the election on TV next to a group of people.

A Male News Reporter says A FEW WORDS WITH
THE PARTY FAITHFUL THAT MANY
AROUND THESE...

A man says WE WON!

Bill claps his hands.

The clip ends.

Bill says IT'S LIKE SOME ASPECTS, SAY,
OF PROFESSIONAL SPORT, OR
EVEN AMATEUR SPORT.
YOU JOIN A TEAM THAT HAS WON
THREE GREY CUPS IN A ROW
AND YOU HAPPEN TO BE
THE QUARTER BACK AT THE
FOURTH GREY CUP.
YOU'D LIKE TO WIN.
I USE THE GREY CUP BECAUSE
I'M STILL A GREAT SUPPORTER
OF THE CFL AS A NATIONAL
INSTITUTION, AND I HOPE YOU
DON'T EDIT THAT PART
OUT OF THIS INTERVIEW.
NO, I'M TEASING A BIT.
SURE THE PRESSURE
WAS THERE.

The caption changes to "Kathleen Davis."

Kathleen says HE IS THIS
ETERNAL OPTIMIST.
HE HAS VERY LITTLE
PESSIMISM IN HIS SOUL.
HE'S VERY
FORTUNATE IN THAT.

The slate changes to "The Eternal Optimist."

Steve says DAVIS' HONEYMOON
DID NOT LAST LONG.
SOUTH OF THE BORDER,
WATERGATE WAS IN THE AIR.

In a clip, Richard Nixon says I SHALL RESIGN THE
PRESIDENCY EFFECTIVE AT
NOON TOMORROW.

Steve says IN ONTARIO,
UNPRECEDENTED MEDIA
SCRUTINY, SCANDALS AND
CABINET RESIGNATIONS
WEAKENED DAVIS'
ADMINISTRATION.

Speaking to Larry, Steve says YOUR FIRST
ELECTION WAS 1975.

Larry says YES.

Steve says COINCIDENTALLY,
DAVIS' WORST ELECTION.

Larry says WITHOUT QUESTION.

A Male Reporter says THE MOST RECENT
PUBLIC OPINION POLL SHOW MORE
THAN 40 PERCENT OF THE VOTERS
ARE UNDECIDED, OR WON'T
SAY WHICH PARTY
THEY'LL SUPPORT.

Steve says ACTUALLY, THE POLLS
INDICATED DAVIS WAS HEADED
FOR CERTAIN
ELECTORAL DEFEAT.

The caption changes to "1975 Leadership Debate."

In a clip, Bob Nixon says AS MISTER DAVIS AND MISTER MCHUGH
CAN'T SEEM TO MAKE UP THEIR
MINDS ABOUT THIS.

Bill says THAT
IS VERY UNTRUE.
MISTER NIXON...

A Male TV Presenter says MISTER NIXON, I THINK YOU
SHOULD LET MISTER DAVIS RESPOND.

Bill says NO, IT IS
AN UNTRUTH.

The clip ends.

Steve says WHAT HAPPENED
IN THAT DEBATE?
BOB NIXON MUST HAVE PUSHED
YOUR BUTTONS IN SOME WAY
BECAUSE YOU SAID THE
CAMPAIGN WAS GROSS.
AND FOR YOU TO USE THAT
WORD, WHAT WAS GOING ON?

Bill says WELL, I THOUGHT IN SOME
RESPECTS IT WAS GROSS.
AND I WOULD SAY THIS TO BOB
IN A VERY PERSONAL WAY.
I THINK HIS CHANCES OF
SUCCESS MIGHT HAVE BEEN
BETTER SERVED IF THE
CAMPAIGN -- I'M NOT
REFERRING TO BOB HIMSELF,
IF THEIR CAMPAIGN HAD BEEN
SOMEWHAT MORE POSITIVE IN
TERMS OF WHAT THEY WERE
GOING TO DO, WHAT THEIR
PLANS WERE, RATHER THAN
TRYING TO MAKE MY
LIFE DIFFICULT.

Steve says LARRY GROSSMAN
SAW DAVIS IMMEDIATELY
AFTER THE DEBATE.

Larry says BUT HE WAS SHAKEN.
HE WAS RATTLED BY WHAT
HAD JUST HAPPENED.
NOW, AS IT TURNED OUT, HE
WASN'T RATTLED BECAUSE
HE THOUGHT HE HAD
LOST THE DEBATE.
HE WAS CLEARLY RATTLED BY
THE UNKINDNESS AND THE
MEANNESS THAT HAD BEEN
SHOWN TO HIM BY ROBERT NIXON.
ULTIMATELY, IT HURT NIXON
BADLY AT THE POLLS
AND WAS I THINK THE SINGLE
REASON WE HELD ON.
BUT, BOY, I REMEMBER A VERY
RATTLED, UPSET BILL DAVIS.

In another clip, a Male TV Host says WE HAVE BEEN WAITING ALL
EVENING TO HEAR FROM PREMIER
WILLIAM DAVIS.
WE'RE NOW GOING TO HIS
HEADQUARTERS IN BRAMPTON
WHERE HE IS ENTERING WITH
WIFE KATHLEEN, AND WE'RE
GOING TO HEAR WHAT PREMIER
DAVIS HAS TO SAY ABOUT THIS
DISAPPOINTMENT FOR THE
PROVINCIAL CONSERVATIVE PARTY.

Steve says DAVIS SAVED THE
DYNASTY, BUT THE TORIES WERE
REDUCED TO A MINORITY FOR
THE FIRST TIME IN 30 YEARS.

People cheer and hold posters in a meeting.

The clip ends.

Steve says HOW DEPRESSED WERE YOU ON
COLLECTION NIGHT IN 1975?

Bill says OH, I WASN'T
DEPRESSED AT ALL.

Steve says EXCUSE ME?

Bill says I WASN'T
DEPRESSED AT ALL.
I WAS QUITE ELATED.

Speaking to Larry, Steve says WAS HE NOT SO DEPRESSED
ABOUT THE '75 ELECTION
RESULTS AND THE WAY THINGS
HAD TURNED THAT HE THOUGHT
ABOUT QUITTING?

Larry says YES, ABSOLUTELY.
AFTER '75, HE WAS VERY
UPSET AND DEPRESSED.
MORE FOR THE PARTY THAN
FOR HIMSELF, I THINK.
AND FELT THAT HE PERHAPS
COULDN'T SAVE THIS,
COULDN'T STOP THE DECLINE.
AND KNEW HE HAD BEEN
RESPONSIBLE, OR AT LEAST THE
PERCEPTIONS OF HIS
ADMINISTRATION HAD BEEN
RESPONSIBLE, AND WAS VERY
CLOSE TO QUITTING AFTER
THE '75 ELECTION,
AND INTO EARLY '76.

Steve says THE NDP UNDER STEPHEN
LEWIS BECAME THE OFFICIAL
OPPOSITION IN 1975.

Stephen says I REMEMBER, GOD, TALKING
ABOUT TELLING TALES OUT OF
SCHOOL, I CAN REMEMBER
MEETING WITH THE PREMIER
EITHER THE MORNING AFTER
THE ELECTION IN '75,
OR A FEW DAYS LATER.
He laughs and continues AND REASSURING HIM THAT
HE'D PROBABLY BE PREMIER
FOR A GOOD LONG TIME.
AND HE DIDN'T HAVE TO WORRY
UNDULY ABOUT THE RISE
OF SOCIALISM.
THAT IT WASN'T
EXACTLY A JUGGERNAUT.

Larry says I DON'T REMEMBER WHAT THE
OCCASION WAS, BUT WE WERE
ALL SITTING AROUND
AND ONCE HE SAID 'DAMN'.
AND IT WAS THE CLOSEST I
EVER SAW HIM TO THINKING
ABOUT LOSING HIS
TEMPER, YOU KNOW?
AND HE SAID 'DAMN'.
AND IT WAS A FAIRLY TENSE
MOMENT, AND THE PLACE
EXPLODED IN LAUGHTER.

In a clip, Robert speaks to the press and says I JUST DON'T HAVE
ANY REGRETS AT ALL.

Steve says FOR ROBERT NIXON, IT
WAS HIS SECOND CONSECUTIVE
ELECTION LOSS AS
LIBERAL LEADER.
AND HE KNEW HE WOULD NEVER
FOLLOW IN HIS FATHER'S
FOOTSTEPS BY
BECOMING PREMIER.

Interviewing Bill, Steve says IS THERE A PART OF YOU THAT
GENUINELY FEELS SOME SORROW
FOR BOB NIXON THAT HE
NEVER GOT TO BE PREMIER
OF ONTARIO?

Bill says NO, I DON'T FEEL SORRY
FOR HIM THAT HE NEVER GOT
TO BE PREMIER.
HE WAS COMPETING IN AN
ENVIRONMENT WHERE HE,
DAY AFTER DAY, TRIED TO
TERMINATE MY POLITICAL CAREER.
SO I DON'T FEEL SORRY FOR
HIM IN TERMS OF HIS NEVER
BECOMING PREMIER.
THAT WOULD BE HYPOCRITICAL.
BUT AS A PERSON, I FELT
BADLY, NOT BADLY, BUT I
HAVE SOME EMPATHY FOR THE
FRUSTRATION THAT HE MUST
HAVE FELT.

Larry says SOMEWHERE DURING 1976,
HE TOOK SOME DRAMATIC
DECISIONS TO BRING SOME
NEW PEOPLE IN, AND SHUFFLE
SOME PEOPLE, AND HE GOT
HIS SECOND WIND, AND TOOK
CONTROL OF THE GOVERNMENT
AND OF HIMSELF.
THE CIGAR DISAPPEARED,
THE PIPE APPEARED.
A SHY BILL DAVIS WAS
REPLACED NOT BY AN
EXUBERANT BILL DAVIS, BUT A
MORE COMFORTABLE BILL DAVIS.
HE SEEMED TO FEEL MORE IN
CHARGE, AND MORE COMFORTABLE
WITH WHATEVER THE NEXT
COUPLE OF MONTHS, COUPLE
OF YEARS WOULD BRING.
AND THAT'S THE BILL DAVIS WE
SAW FOR THE REST OF HIS TIME.

The slate changes to "Brampton Billy."

In an old clip, Bill gives a press conference and says THE ANSWER IS VERY SIMPLE,
AND YET AT THE SAME TIME
VERY COMPLICATED.

Steve says AFTER WINNING A
MAJORITY GOVERNMENT IN 1981,
DAVIS BECOMES HIS
ENIGMATIC BEST.
HE REDEFINES THE
WORD CIRCUMLOCUTION.

Standing behind a lectern, Bill says I HAVE NO PLANS, AND MY
PLAN IS TO HAVE NO PLANS.
THOSE PLANS HAVEN'T ALTERED
BECAUSE THE PLANS I HAVE
HAD ARE NOT THOSE THAT SOME
PEOPLE HAVE -- ANYWAY, YOU
KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING.

The audience laughs.

Steve says AND HE'S STILL AT IT.

In different clips, Bill says I'M NOT AT LIBERTY -- I AM
AT LIBERTY, BUT I SHAN'T.
I COULDN'T
COMMENT ON THAT.
ONCE AGAIN, I HAVE TO BE VERY
CAREFUL HOW I PHRASE THIS.
THAT'S PART OF A CONJECTURE
THAT I CAN'T INDULGE IN.
BECAUSE I THINK IF THERE'S
SOMETHING YOU DON'T KNOW
ABOUT ME, I'M NOT
PREPARED TO DIVULGE IT.

Bob says HE DOES ALL THAT
FOR A PURPOSE.
THERE'S STUFF HE DOESN'T
WANT YOU TO KNOW.

Steve says NO KIDDING.

Bob continues AND HE'S GOING TO CREATE A
SERIES PATHS BACK AND FORTH.
THAT'S VERY MUCH -- IT'S
ALL DONE DELIBERATELY.
IT'S NO ACCIDENT.

In the clip where Bob stands behind a lectern, he says ALL RIGHT, I'M GOING TO TELL
A TALE ON YOU BECAUSE
YOU WRITE ABOUT ME
EVERY SECOND DAY.
[laughter]

The caption changes to "Bob Rae. Premier of Ontario 1990-95."

Bob says THERE ARE TWO DAVISES
IN THE SPEECH.
THE PART THAT WASN'T
WRITTEN DOWN, THAT
WAS ALWAYS GREAT STAND
UP STUFF, GOOD, TIMING
PERFECT, POINTING TO THE
PEOPLE IN THE AUDIENCE,
MAKING FUN OF EVERYBODY
IN THE AUDIENCE, AND THEN
TURNING TO THE TEXT WHICH
WAS JUST TOTAL DEATH, JUST
UNBELIEVABLY BAD STUFF.

Steve says DID YOU EVER SEE HIM
LET HIS HAIR DOWN?

Larry says I REMEMBER BEING
IN THE LEGISLATURE.
THERE WAS A SPORTING EVENT,
I GUESS THIS WAS BEFORE THE
WORLD SERIES
WENT NIGHT TIME.
AND I WAS SITTING NEXT TO HIM,
AND HE WAS ASKED A QUESTION.
AND HE LISTENED TO THE
FULL QUESTION, AND THEN HE
HANDED ME AN EARPHONE THAT
WAS PLUGGED INTO A WALKMAN
IN HIS DESK LISTENING
TO THE BASEBALL GAME.
AND SAID HERE, YOU FOLLOW THIS
WHILE I ANSWER THE QUESTION.
I SAID, NOT
ME, PREMIER.
YOU GET CAUGHT,
IT'S ONE THING.
I GET CAUGHT IT'S
A DIFFERENT STORY.

Larry laughs.

Neil says I DON'T THINK THERE'S
A HIDDEN BILL DAVIS.
MANY CALLED HIM
BLAND AND DULL.
I THINK THAT WAS A
MISCHARACTERIZATION.
EVEN OF HIS PUBLIC LIFE,
I THINK HE WAS QUITE A
DELIGHT TO WATCH.

Steve says THE DELIGHT DAVIS
TOOK FROM COTTAGE LIFE
WAS LEGENDARY.
IT WAS NOT UNUSUAL FOR SOME
NATURAL DISASTER TO TAKE
PLACE MONDAY MORNINGS TO
PREVENT HIS RETURNING
TO QUEEN'S PACK.

A clip shows Bill and a young woman looking at a boat sailing.

Steve says THE EXCUSES THAT YOUR HUSBAND
LIES, LET'S FACE IT,
LIES HE WOULD COME UP WITH,
NOT VERY GOOD ONES AT THAT...

Kathleen says I KNOW.

Steve continues TO SORT OF SKIP OUT
OF THAT PLANE TRIP HOME
FOR THE MONDAY CAUCUS
MEETING OR WHATEVER.
DO YOU WANT TO FILL US IN ON
SOME OF THOSE LITTLE FIBS?

Kathleen says WELL, NO, I CAN'T.

She laughs.

Steve says STATE SECRET?

Kathleen says LISTEN, I HAVE TO GO BACK TO
BEING HIS WIFE AFTER YOU GO.
I CAN'T
SAY TOO MUCH.
BUT HE NEVER DID
WANT TO LEAVE.
NEVER WANTED TO LEAVE.
BUT THEN NONE OF US
EVER WANTED TO LEAVE.

Steve says LOT OF FOG UP
THERE, I HEAR.

Kathleen says THERE WERE LOTS OF FOGGY
DAYS, AND RAGING STORMS AND
TORNADOS AND HURRICANES AND
BLIZZARDS, AND ALL SORTS OF
THINGS THAT KEPT HIM AWAY
FROM THOSE MONDAY MORNINGS.

Steve says BLIZZARDS IN THE
MIDDLE OF THE SUMMER.

Kathleen says SURE.

Steve says LOST SHOES, I
HEAR TOO WAS USED ONCE.

Kathleen says LOST SHOES?
WELL, THAT COULD BE.
I DON'T REMEMBER THAT ONE.

They laugh.

Steve says LARRY GROSSMAN
REMEMBERS TAKING THE PREMIER
TO SEE A WALL STREET
BOND RATING AGENCY.
THAT AGENCY WAS THREATENING
TO LOWER ONTARIO'S
CHERISHED AAA CREDIT RATING
AFTER GROSSMAN'S FIRST BUDGET.

Larry says THE DEAL WAS I WAS TO BRIEF
MISTER DAVIS IN THE LIMOUSINE
ON THE WAY IN FROM THE
AIRPORT IN NEWARK TO
STANDARD and POOR'S.
SO I PICK UP MISTER DAVIS AT
THE AIRPORT AND, STEVE,
I AM SWEATING.
I KNOW THERE'S A FAIR CHANCE
MISTER DAVIS IS GOING TO
RESIGN, WHICH HE DID,
TWO MONTHS LATER.
THAT IF HE DOES I'LL BE
RUNNING FOR THE LEADERSHIP.
I BROUGHT IN ONE BUDGET AS
TREASURER, AND IT WASN'T
GOING TO BE TOO GOOD FOR
MY CANDIDACY IF I LOST
THE CREDIT RATING.
I PICK HIM UP AT
THE NEWARK AIRPORT.
AND WE'RE DRIVING IN
THE BACK OF THE CAR,
AND MY PAPERS ARE FLYING
ALL OVER THE PLACE.
MISTER DAVIS, HERE'S WHERE WE
ARE IN EDUCATION, HERE'S
WHERE WE ARE ON HEALTHCARE,
AND HERE'S THE COMMITMENTS
THEY NEED.
SO I'M GIVING HIM
THE PAPERS QUICKLY.
MUST HAVE BEEN 30-35 MINUTES
IN THE BACK OF THE CAR.
AND HE HASN'T
SAID A WORD TO ME.
HE HASN'T SAID
A WORD TO ME.
FINALLY, HE TURNS TO ME,
HE'S GOT HIS PIPE, HE TURNS
TO ME AND SAYS, ARE THE
PHILLIES AND THE METS
PLAYING THIS EVENING
HERE IN NEW YORK?
LIKE THIS IS ONE OF THOSE
CASES WHERE YOUR WHOLE
LIFE GOES BEFORE YOU.

Steve says DAVIS EVENTUALLY
ASKED FOR SOME BACKGROUND
INFORMATION ON THE PEOPLE
HE WOULD BE MEETING.
INFORMATION HE APPARENTLY
USED QUITE SKILLFULLY
DURING HIS PRESENTATION.

Larry says THEN HE TURNS TO NEXT PERSON
AND SAYS, I THINK YOU'RE
A GRADUATE OF
SYRACUSE, AREN'T YOU?
AND THE GUY BRIGHTENS
UP SIGNIFICANTLY.
HE SAYS, YOU'VE GOT THAT
GREAT YOUNG CENTRE ON
THE BASKETBALL TEAM.
AND THE PREMIER
KNOWS HIS NAME.
LIKE THE PREMIER KNEW WHO
THE STARTING CENTRE WAS FOR
THE SYRACUSE ORANGEMEN, I
THINK IT IS, BASKETBALL TEAM.
AND, REMEMBER, HE DIDN'T
KNOW WHO HE WAS SEEING
UNTIL FIVE MINUTES BEFORE.
IT'S NOT LIKE
HE LOOKED IT UP.
HE JUST HAPPENED TO KNOW
BECAUSE HE WATCHES
A LOT OF COLLEGE HOOPS.
SO HERE I AM, AND THIS GUY
IS EATING RIGHT OUT OF
DAVIS' HANDS.
HE'S LOVING THIS GUY, DAVIS,
WHO KNOWS THE ORANGEMEN'S
STARTING CENTRE, AND THEY
SPEND TEN MINUTES TALKING
ABOUT SYRACUSE, THE TEAM,
AND ALL OF THAT STUFF.
I'M SITTING THERE, I SWEAR
TO YOU, STEVE, I'M ROLLING
MY EYES SAYING MY
CAREER IS GONE, DONE.
SO WE'RE IN THE ELEVATOR
ON THE WAY DOWN.
AND HE SAYS, SO HOW
DO YOU THINK WE DID?
[chuckling]
FINE, PREMIER.
I WOULD HAVE LIKED IT IF YOU
HAD SPENT A LITTLE BIT MORE
TIME ON THE NUMBERS, BUT
I'M SURE WE'LL BE OKAY.
I SAID, NOW, WHAT WOULD
YOU LIKE TO DO, SIR?
HE SAID, WHAT TIME
IS THAT BALL GAME?
ANYWAY, ENDED UP WE DIDN'T
GO TO THE BALL GAME,
AND ENDED UP WE KEPT
THE CREDIT RATING.

Steve says YOU KEPT YOUR AAA.

Larry says WE KEPT THE AAA
CREDIT RATING.

Steve says CONGRATULATIONS.

Larry says IT WAS EASY, STEVE.

Steve and Larry laugh.

Bill says THE ONLY REGRET I'VE HAD IN
PUBLIC LIFE, I SAY THIS IN
A VERY PERSONAL WAY, I
HAVEN'T EXPRESSED THIS TO
MANY PEOPLE, I NEVER
REGRETTED ANY ECONOMICAL
DIFFERENCES THERE MIGHT
HAVE BEEN, AND I THINK
THERE WERE SOME, BUT I DID
REGRET THEN, IT HAS BECOME
MORE EVIDENT SINCE, THE
SACRIFICE, AND IT IS A
SACRIFICE YOU MAKE WITH
RESPECT TO YOUR FAMILY.
I'M SEEING MORE OF MY
GRANDCHILDREN NOW, IN SOME
RESPECTS, THAN I
SAW OF MY CHILDREN.

The slate changes to "Regrets."

Steve says HE WAS, BY THE
STANDARDS OF TODAY'S
FATHERS, NOT PULLING HIS
WEIGHT THIS HOUSE, WAS HE?

Laughing, Kathleen says NO.

Steve says HE BRAGS ABOUT THE
FACT HE'S NEVER CHANGED A
DIAPER IN HIS LIFE.

Kathleen says HE WAS DEFINITELY
AN ABSENTEE FATHER.

Neil says HE WAS A TERRIFIC FATHER,
BUT HE DIDN'T HAVE THE TIME
TO DEVOTE TO US THAT
OTHER FATHERS HAD.
AND HE HAS
MORE TIME NOW.
SO HE SPENDS QUITE A BIT OF
TIME WITH HIS GRANDCHILDREN.
I THINK, MAKING UP A LITTLE
BIT FOR THE TIME HE MISSED
WITH US.

A clip plays.

Bill, Kathleen and their children have breakfast.

A little girl says CAN YOU GET ME SOME
MORE PEANUT BUTTER?

The clip ends.

Kathleen says WE DID HAVE A RULE
THAT THE KIDS WOULD BE AT
THE BREAKFAST TABLE, AND HE
WOULD APPEAR EVERY MORNING,
AND HE DID.
AND WE HAD BREAKFAST
TOGETHER BECAUSE WE NEVER
HAD EVENING MEALS TOGETHER.
SO THAT WAS, WE SORT
OF TURNED THAT AROUND.
OTHER FAMILIES DON'T EAT
BREAKFAST TOGETHER,
BUT HAVE SUPPER TOGETHER.
SO WE SORT OF
TURNED THAT AROUND.
AND THAT WAS HELPFUL.
THERE WAS A PERIOD OF TIME
EVERY DAY WHEN THEY HAD
ACCESS TO BILL.

Neil says CERTAINLY ANYBODY WHO GROWS
UP IN THE FAMILY WE DID,
I WAS ONLY 3 YEARS OF AGE
WHEN HE GOT INTO POLITICS,
1959, SO WE DIDN'T
KNOW ANYTHING ELSE.
WHAT WAS NORMAL WAS TO HAVE
A FATHER WHO WAS A PROMINENT
EITHER CABINET
MINISTER OR PREMIER.
THAT'S HOW YOU GREW UP.
SO TO SAY WHY DIDN'T
YOU GIVE US MORE TIME?
WE NEVER HAD IT.
SO I'M NOT SURE WE
COMPLETELY KNEW WHAT
WE WERE MISSING.

The caption changes to "24 Sussex?"

Steve says YOU'RE IN FLORIDA,
THE TWO OF YOU TOGETHER,
DOES HE SAY, SHOULD I RUN?

Neil says HE NEVER PUTS
ANYTHING THAT BLUNTLY.
I THINK HE JUST, YOU KNOW,
TALKS ABOUT HOW OTHERS ARE
ENCOURAGING HIM, AND WE
TALKED ABOUT IT AND THE
DIFFICULTIES OF DOING IT.

Steve says DAVIS IS AT THE
HEIGHT OF HIS POPULARITY WHEN
IN 1983, JOE CLARK STEPS
DOWN AS FEDERAL TORY LEADER.

Steve says YOU FLIRTED WITH THE NOTION
OF RUNNING FOR THE FEDERAL
CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP.

Bill says I DON'T LIKE THE
WORD FLIRTED.

Bill laughs.

Steve says YOU CONSIDERED IT,
AS A POSSIBILITY.

Bill says I'M JUST TRYING
TO HELP YOU.

Steve says APPRECIATE IT.
YOU CONSIDERED THE
POSSIBILITY OF RUNNING
FOR THE JOB THAT BRIAN
MULRONEY EVENTUALLY GOT.
THERE WAS INTENSE PRESSURE
ON YOU TO GO FOR IT,
WASN'T THERE?

Bill says THERE WAS A
LOT OF PRESSURE.
SOME FROM... SOME FRIENDS,
SOME FRIENDS WHO THOUGHT
THEY HAD MY BEST INTEREST
AT HEART WHO ADVISED ME
TO THE CONTRARY.

Steve says WHICH FRIENDS?
WHO WAS LINING
UP WHICH WAYS?

Bill says STEVE, IF I EVER WRITE A
BOOK, I SHALL TELL YOU WHO
LINED UP, WHO WAS DEFENSIVE
TACKLE, AND WHO WAS THIS
THAT AND THE OTHER THING,
BUT I DON'T THINK I SHOULD
DISCLOSE IT TO YOU BECAUSE
PEOPLE WOULDN'T BUY THE
BOOK IF I EVER WRITE IT.

Steve laughs and says LET'S TEASE THEM
A LITTLE BIT.
HUGH SEGAL SAID?

Bill says HUGH SEGAL SAID, GOSH,
WHATEVER YOU DECIDE,
PREMIER, I WILL SUPPORT.

Steve says OF COURSE.
CLARE WESTCOTT SAID?

Bill says WHATEVER YOU DECIDE,
PREMIER, I WILL SUPPORT.

Steve says AND EDDIE
GOODMAN SAID?

Bill says WHATEVER YOU DECIDE,
PREMIER, I WILL SUPPORT.

Bill chuckles.

Steve says OH, MAN.
IT'S GOING TO BE ONE OF
THOSE INTERVIEWS, EH?

Bill says IT'S GOING TO BE ONE
OF THOSE INTERVIEWS.
SURE, THERE WERE
PRESSURES TO CONSIDER IT.
I GUESS THE TIME I DIDN'T
FEEL THE PRESSURE, BUT
WHERE I WAS REALLY QUITE
MOVED BY IT, AND I REFER TO
A MEETING WE HAD AT THE
PARK PLAZA WHERE A NUMBER
OF PEOPLE WHO WOULD BE
DELEGATES TO THE CONVENTION
FROM THE PROVINCE OF
QUEBEC CAME TO SEE ME.
MOST OF THEM FRANCOPHONES.
SOME ANGLOPHONES, BUT A
NUMBER OF FRANCOPHONES.
SOME OF THEM VERY EMOTIONAL.
AND IT CAME AS A GREAT SHOCK
TO ME BECAUSE I FELT IF
I WERE TO BE INTERESTED,
QUEBEC WOULD POSE A MAJOR
PROBLEM AT THE CONVENTION.
AND I WAS REALLY QUITE
INTRIGUED -- WHEN I SAY
INTRIGUED, THAT'S
PERHAPS THE WRONG WORD.
I WAS QUITE MOVED BY
THEIR PRESENTATION.

Steve says THEY SAID GO FOR IT.

Bill says YES, AND THAT MADE ME
THINK FOR A DAY OR TWO.

Bob says I THINK HE REALLY WANTED
TO RUN FOR THE LEADERSHIP
OF THE NATIONAL PARTY.

Steve says AND HE DIDN'T.

Bob says AND HE DIDN'T
BECAUSE HE COULDN'T.
HE DIDN'T BECAUSE HE WASN'T
SURE HE WAS GOING TO WIN,
AND BECAUSE IN FACT A LOT
OF PEOPLE TOLD HIM HE
WOULDN'T WIN.
AND I THINK HE HAS SOME
REGRETS ABOUT THAT.
I THINK HE WOULD HAVE LIKED
TO HAVE BEEN PRIME MINISTER.

Steve says DO YOU EVER THINK
ABOUT THAT ANYMORE?

Bill says NO I DON'T.
I HAVE LEARNED ONE THING,
AND IT'S SOME ADVICE I
WOULD PASS ON TO YOU.
ONCE YOU MAKE A DECISION,
YOU CAN REFLECT, ETC.,
WE ALL DO, YOU SHOULD ACCEPT
THAT DECISION AND NOT
SECOND GUESS
YOURSELF LATER ON.

In the old interview, Bill says MY CHILDREN, THE ELDEST OF
THEM IN PARTICULAR, NOT ONLY
DISCUSS POLITICS WITH ME,
THEY TELL ME WHEN THE
GOVERNMENT HAS GOOFED,
WHICH IS VERY RARELY.

Neil says I THINK HE NEEDED, FOR ONE
OF THE FEW TIMES IN HIS
LIFE, SOME COUNSEL
ON WHAT HE MIGHT DO.
AND I DON'T KNOW WHY HE FELT
WE SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN
THE DECISION, BUT
HE CLEARLY DID.

The slate changes to "Decisions, Decisions."

Steve says AUTUMN 1984, THE
PREMIER AND HIS CLOSEST
ASSOCIATES QUIETLY BEGIN
DEBATING WHAT WOULD BE
DAVIS' ULTIMATE
POLITICAL DECISION:
CALL AN ELECTION
OR RETIRE.

An old clip features Bill speaking to a man and a woman.

Bill says I DON'T THINK I AM BETRAYING
ANY CONFIDENCES THAT I MADE
SURE THERE WAS AN ASSESSMENT
OF PUBLIC OPINION MADE IN
EARLY SEPTEMBER, WHICH WAS
NOT DISCLOSED TO VERY MANY
PEOPLE.
AND THAT ASSESSMENT WAS
EXTREMELY ENCOURAGING WITH
RESPECT TO THE PARTY'S
POSITION WITH THE PUBLIC,
MY OWN, AND I THINK ANY
JUDGMENT MADE BASED ON THAT
INFORMATION, ANY PERSON
WOULD BE COMFORTABLE THAT
THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE
PARTY TO CONTINUE WERE AS
GREAT AS THEY
EVER COULD BE.
SO I WAS COMFORTABLE
WITH THAT.

Larry says THE CABINET MEETING THE WEEK
BEFORE WAS AN EMOTIONALLY...
IT WAS AN INCREDIBLE
CABINET MEETING.
MINISTER AFTER MINISTER MADE
VERY EMOTIONAL STATEMENTS
TO THE PREMIER, PERSONAL
STATEMENTS, WHICH WAS
UNHEARD OF IN OUR CABINET,
TALKING ABOUT HIS LIFE, AND
BASICALLY I WOULD SUMMARIZE
THEM BY SAYING IF YOU NEED
TO RETIRE, YOU HAVE EVERY
RIGHT TO, AND WE ALL
RESPECT THAT, AND
SUPPORT YOU IN THAT.
WE DESPERATELY
NEED YOU TO STAY.

Steve nods.

Larry continues AND THEN AFTER THE CABINET
MEETING, I FOLLOWED HIM
INTO HIS OFFICE.
AND THE TWO OF US SAT THERE
FOR A WHILE, AND I SAID TO
HIM, I SAID, PREMIER, WE
REALLY NEED YOU TO TAKE US
THROUGH THIS ELECTION.
AND HE SAID, WELL, YOU KNOW,
YOU GET TO A STAGE OF DEJA VU.
HE SAID, I'VE JUST SEEN
IT ALL, AND IT DOESN'T
STIMULATE ME AS IT USED TO, AND
THAT'S WHEN IT'S TIME TO GO.
TO ME, THAT HOUR WE SPENT IN
HIS OFFICE, OR HALF HOUR WE
SPENT IN HIS
OFFICE WAS THE END.
IT WAS THE
FINAL CHAPTER.
THERE WERE THINGS THAT WOULD
UNFOLD IN THE NEXT SIX OR
EIGHT MONTHS, BUT THAT
WAS THE DAY THE DAVIS
ADMINISTRATION
FINISHED FOR ME.

Bill says AND SOME PEOPLE SAID TO
ME, LISTEN, RUN AGAIN,
STAY TWO YEARS, RETIRE.
AND I SAID, SOME JOURNALISTS
WILL ASK, THE PUBLIC WILL
ASK, IS MISTER DAVIS RUNNING
TO STAY THE FULL TERM?
AND THE FULL TERM TO ME
IS AT LEAST THREE YEARS.
AND I'D HAVE TO
BE VERY HONEST.
AND I WOULD NOT HAVE RUN
AGAIN WITHOUT SAYING TO
MYSELF AND TO THE PUBLIC YES,
I'M HERE FOR THE DURATION.

Larry says HE WOULDN'T DO WHAT JUST
ABOUT ANY OTHER POLITICAL
LEADER WOULD DO, WHICH IS
CON THE PUBLIC BY GOING FOR
ONE MORE, AND THEN NOT
SERVING OUT THE TERM.

Steve says DAVIS GATHERED HIS
FAMILY AT HIS COTTAGE DURING
THE THANKSGIVING
HOLIDAY WEEKEND.

Neil says AND WE'RE JUST SITTING
AROUND THE TABLE,
AND HE SAID I'M THINKING
ABOUT NOT RUNNING.
I DON'T THINK I'M
GOING TO DO IT.
AND THERE WERE TEARS OF
JOY FROM CERTAIN PEOPLE
IN THE ROOM.
SOME OF THE OTHERS, I GUESS,
WERE JUST QUITE SURPRISED
BY IT ALL.
BUT I THINK EVERYBODY
QUITE COMFORTABLE.

Bill says IT WAS A VERY PERSONAL
MOMENT FOR THE FAMILY.
AS I SAY THERE
WERE A FEW TEARS.
NEIL, OF COURSE, BROKE THAT
BY SAYING "GOOD HEAVENS,
YOU'LL DRIVE
YOUR OWN CAR NOW.
WHAT WILL THE OTHER DRIVERS
OF ONTARIO BE FACED WITH?"

Neil says HE HAD HAD A DRIVER, I
GUESS, SINCE 1963, SO FOR
21 YEARS HE HAD SOMEBODY
ELSE DRIVING HIM AROUND.
AND I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE
PERHAPS NOT KIND TO ONTARIO
MOTORISTS TO SET HIM OUT
WITHOUT SOME KIND OF PROGRAM.

At a press conference, Bill says FOR KATHLEEN AND FOR ME, WE
NOW LOOK FORWARD TO MORE
TIME TOGETHER.

Bob says HE WAS AT HIS PEAK THEN.
HE REALLY UNDERSTAYED HIS
WELCOME IN REALLY QUITE
A SUBSTANTIAL WAY.
IF HE'D RUN AGAIN IN '85, HE
WOULD HAVE WIPED THE FLOOR
WITH PETERSON AND ME.
ABSOLUTELY WIPED
THE FLOOR WITH US.

Steve says DAVIS RETIRED AFTER
A QUARTER CENTURY AT
QUEEN'S PARK, AND 14
YEARS AS PREMIER.
HE GOES INTO THE HISTORY
BOOKS SECOND ONLY TO
OLIVER MOWAT AS THE
LONGEST-SERVING PREMIER
OF ONTARIO.
I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW
WHO DAVIS VOTED FOR AT THE
LEADERSHIP CONVENTION
REPLACING HIM.
FRANK MILLER, LARRY
GROSSMAN, DENNIS TIMBRELL
OR ROY MCMURTRY.

In a clip, Bill shakes hand with a man in his sixties.

The man in his sixties says WELCOME, MISTER MINISTER.

The clip ends.

Steve says I'M STILL WONDERING.

The slate changes to "I Couldn’t Possibly Comment."

Steve says DO YOU KNOW WHO
HE VOTED FOR AT THE
'85 LEADERSHIP CONVENTION
TO REPLACE HIM?

Kathleen says NO.

Kathleen laughs.

Steve says HAVE YOU
EVER ASKED HIM?

Kathleen says I THINK ABOUT
8,000 TIMES.

Steve says AND HE'S
NEVER TOLD YOU?

Kathleen says NO.

Steve says YOU'RE KIDDING.
HE WON'T TELL HIS WIFE?

Kathleen says I DIDN'T ASK HIM 8,000
TIMES, BUT I THINK I DID
ASK HIM A FEW TIMES AND TRIED
TO TICKLE IT OUT OF HIM.
BUT HE DIDN'T.

Steve says YOU'RE KIDDING.
HE WON'T TELL YOU?

Kathleen says NO.

Larry says HE WOULD DENY IT, BUT I CAN
TELL YOU THE WAY IT IS.
AND THAT IS HE VOTED FOR
ROY ON THE FIRST BALLOT,
AND FOR ME ON THE
SUBSEQUENT BALLOTS.

Steve says HOW DO
YOU KNOW THAT?

Larry says BECAUSE HE DID.

Steve says DID HE EVER
TELL YOU THAT?

Larry says NO, ARE YOU KIDDING?

Steve says SO THEN
HOW DO YOU KNOW?

Larry thinks and says THERE'S NO CHANCE IT
WAS ANY OTHER WAY.
THERE JUST ISN'T.

Steve says DO YOU KNOW WHO HE
VOTED FOR AT THE CONVENTION
TO SUCCEED HIM?

Neil says NO.

Steve says HAVE YOU
EVER ASKED HIM?

Neil says NO.

Steve says DON'T YOU
WANT TO KNOW?

Neil says WELL, IT WOULD
BE INTRIGUING.
BUT I KNOW HE
WOULDN'T TELL ME.

Steve laughs and says REALLY?
HE WOULDN'T TELL YOU?

Neil says I DON'T THINK
HE'D TELL ME.
BECAUSE THEN I COULDN'T
ANSWER THIS QUESTION
HONESTLY TO YOU.

Steve says SO THIS IS A LITTLE
BIT OF PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY.

Neil says YES.

Steve says SO WHO DID
DAVIS VOTE FOR?

Bill shows a portrait and says THIS IS A PICTURE AGAIN
OF THE PRIME MINISTER.

Steve says YOU SEEM TO
GET ALONG WITH HIM.

Bill says LISTEN, I GET ALONG
WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE.

Steve says I KNOW YOU GET ALONG
WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE.

Bill says AND I'M A LOYALIST.
AND I'M A LOYALIST.

Steve says IN OTHER WORDS, HE'S
A TORY, YOU'RE A TORY...

Bill says AND I'M A LOYALIST.

The slate changes to "A Main Street Man."

Steve says BILL DAVIS HAS
SETTLED NICELY INTO THE
LIFE OF A FORMER PREMIER.
HE PRACTICES LAW WITH A
PRESTIGIOUS TORONTO FIRM.
HE SITS ON 16
BOARDS OF DIRECTORS.
HE'S GONE FROM QUEEN'S PARK,
BUT APPARENTLY NOT FORGOTTEN.

Bob says WHEN I BECAME PREMIER,
HE WAS VERY HELPFUL.
I MEAN, INFORMALLY HE WOULD
SAY, THIS IS A PROBLEM,
THIS IS A PROBLEM, AND
DON'T WORRY ABOUT THAT,
WORRY ABOUT THIS.
THE SORT OF THINGS THAT
EVERY PREMIER GOES THROUGH
ABOUT TIME, ABOUT MANAGING
YOUR LIFE, ABOUT THE
PRESSURES THAT YOU'RE
UNDER, ABOUT DEALING WITH
THE THINGS YOU
HAVE TO DEAL WITH.

Steve says CORPORATE LIFE
IS MORE LUCRATIVE FOR
DAVIS, ALTHOUGH HE ADMITS
NOT NEARLY AS EXCITING.

Bill says IT'S NOT THE SAME.
I MEAN THE TENSIONS, THE
PRESSURES, THE FACT YOU HAVE
TO BE AT QUESTION PERIOD
EVERY DAY AT 2:00, OR
PARTICULARLY DURING THE
MINORITY WHEN IN THEORY YOU
COULD BE DEFEATED ANY DAY
AT 6:00, OR WHATEVER HOUR.
I MEAN, THAT'S NOT THERE.
IT'S NOT THERE.
I DON'T SAY BEING IN
POLITICS IS UNIQUE, BUT
I HAVEN'T FOUND ANYTHING
THAT'S QUITE COMPARABLE TO IT.

Now, Steve and Bill stand in an office.

Steve says I'M READING AS YOU
CAN SEE, RICHARD NIXON'S
MEMOIRS RIGHT NOW, AND
NOT TO MAKE TOO MANY
COMPARISONS HERE, BUT THE
MAN, I'LL GIVE HIM THIS,
HE HAD A FLAIR FOR HIS
PLACE IN HISTORY, AND AN
UNDERSTANDING OF HIS PLACE
IN HISTORY, WHICH YOU SEEM
TO MINIMIZE
ALL THE TIME.

Bill says I LEAVE THAT
UP TO OTHERS.

SERIOUSLY.

Steve says I WOULD THINK YOU'D
BE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT
HOW HISTORY IS
GOING TO PAINT YOU.

Bill says NO.

Steve says WHY NOT?

Bill says BECAUSE IT'S NOT THAT
IMPORTANT TO ME.
WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO ME,
STEVE, IS MY OWN SENSE
OF WHAT I DID, ETC.
TO TRY AND PROMOTE MY
OWN PLACE IN HISTORY
DOESN'T ENTER MY MIND.
IT REALLY DOESN'T.

Steve says HE PROFESSES NOT
TO CARE AT ALL ABOUT HOW
HISTORY WILL PAINT HIM.
IS HE BEING ON THE LEVEL
WITH ME WHEN HE SAYS THAT?

Neil says NO, I DON'T
THINK SO.
I THINK HE CAN SAY THAT
BECAUSE HE'S COMFORTABLE
THAT IT WILL PAINT HIM THE
WAY HE WAS, WHICH I THINK
WAS SOMEBODY WHO...
APPEARANCES ARE WHAT THEY ARE.
HE WAS A DECENT,
HONEST, CONSISTENT,
OBJECTIVE POLITICIAN.
AND I THINK HE'S COMFORTABLE
THAT IT WILL TREAT HIM
KINDLY SO HE CAN SAY THAT.

Bob says I THINK HE SERVED WELL.
I THINK HE SERVED THE PEOPLE
OF THE PROVINCE WELL.

Steve says COULD WE HAVE
DONE BETTER, THOUGH?
YOU KNOW, THAT WAS ALWAYS
THE ALLEGATION AGAINST HIM.
HE ALWAYS MOVED TOO SLOWLY,
AND THOUGHT ABOUT THINGS
TOO LONG.

Bob says WELL, YEAH, THERE WAS AN
ELEMENT OF CAUTION THERE.
BUT AGAIN, THESE THINGS
ALL WORK THEMSELVES OUT
IN A DEMOCRACY.
EVENTUALLY, PEOPLE GOT
ANOTHER KIND OF GOVERNMENT,
AND THEN THEY GOT ANOTHER,
AND NOW THEY'VE GOT ANOTHER.
VERY DIFFERENT.
YOU COULD ALSO SAY, COULD
THEY HAVE DONE BETTER?
MAYBE.
BUT THEY COULD ALSO
HAVE DONE A LOT WORSE.

Bill says I HAVE NEVER GIVEN AN
INTERVIEW OR MADE COMMENTS
ON WHAT HAPPENED AFTER
I LEFT QUEEN'S PARK.

Steve says HOW COME?

Bill says HOW COME?
BECAUSE I GUESS IT WAS A
BIT OF A -- NO, IT'S NOT
A TRADITION AT ALL.
MISTER FROST, FOR WHOM I HAD
GREAT RESPECT AS WELL, NEVER
COMMENTED PUBLICLY OR
SECOND GUESSED MISTER ROBARTS.
MISTER ROBARTS NEVER
SECOND GUESSED ME.
AND I GUESS I JUST HAVE FELT
THAT WHEN YOU LEAVE PUBLIC
LIFE, IT IS UP TO OTHERS,
AND IT'S TOO EASY.
THEY DON'T NEED ANY MORE.

Steve says EVEN AFTER
INTERVIEWING BILL DAVIS FOR
TWO HOURS THERE IS STILL
PLENTY ABOUT THE MAN
WE DO NOT KNOW.
HOWEVER, WE HAVE MANAGED TO
GET HIM TO REVEAL ONE THING.
HE IS NOT A VERY
GOOD PIANO PLAYER.

Bill plays the piano and says
THAT ISN'T IN THE MOOD.

(piano music plays)

Bob says I THINK HIS GREAT SKILL WAS
IN KEEPING PEOPLE TOGETHER,
AND KEEPING
THINGS TOGETHER.
AND THEN AT CERTAIN KEY
POINTS, MAKING MAJOR DECISIONS.

Steve says WILLIAM DAVIS SAYS
THE SECRET TO HIS SUCCESS
WAS FOLLOWING THE ADVICE
GIVEN HIM BY FORMER
PREMIER TOM KENNEDY.

Bill says ALWAYS REMAIN HUMBLE,
EVEN IF YOU DON'T ALWAYS
FEEL HUMBLE.
AND I NEVER FORGOT THAT.
AND THE OTHER WAS SOMETHING
PERHAPS I DID FORGET ON
OCCASION, AND THAT WAS YOU
NEVER GET INTO TROUBLE
FOR THE SPEECHES
YOU DON'T MAKE.
OR PERHAPS THE ANSWERS
YOU DON'T GIVE.

Bill chuckles.

Back in the studio, Steve says BILL DAVIS ACHIEVED MUCH
DURING HIS QUARTER CENTURY
IN POLITICS.
HE WON FOUR ELECTIONS.
HE PUT IN PLACE THE
COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM
ONTARIO NOW ENJOYS.
HE MADE THE DECISION
TO BUILD THE SKY DOME.
AND PERHAPS WHAT HISTORIANS
WOULD CALL HIS MOST
IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION...
HE WAS A MAJOR PLAYER IN
THE REPATRIATION OF THE
CANADIAN CONSTITUTION
IN THE EARLY 1980s.
INTERESTINGLY, IF YOU
ASK DAVIS HIMSELF WHAT
ACHIEVEMENT TOUCHED HIM THE
MOST, IT IS NONE OF THE ABOVE.
A MODEST CHANGE WHILE HE WAS
EDUCATION MINISTER IN HOW
THE MENTALLY HANDICAPPED
WOULD BE TAUGHT TOPS HIS LIST.
THAT MIGHT NOT IMPRESS YOU,
DAVIS, SAYS, BUT IT MADE
LIFE BETTER FOR
MANY STUDENTS.
WILLIAM DAVIS CONFOUNDED THE
HELL OUT OF MANY ONTARIANS.
SOME CONSERVATIVES THOUGHT
HIM TOO PROGRESSIVE FOR
BRINGING IN RENT CONTROLS
OR BUYING THE OIL COMPANY
SUNCOR, OTHERS THOUGHT HIM
TOO CONSERVATIVES, NEVER
SPENDING ENOUGH ON HOUSING OR
EDUCATION OR THE ENVIRONMENT.
ON THIS THE 25th ANNIVERSARY
OF HIS SWEARING IN AS
PREMIER, WHAT IS DAVIS
HIMSELF DOING TO OBSERVE
THE OCCASION?
A BIG BASH WITH HUNDREDS
OF TORY COLLEAGUES?
NOPE, JUST A SMALL GET
TOGETHER WITH THE FAMILY
IN BRAMPTON TO CELEBRATE
THE BIRTH OF GRANDCHILD
NUMBER NINE.
I'M STEVE PAIKIN.
WE'LL SEE YOU AGAIN NEXT
WEEK FOR ANOTHER EDITION OF
4th READING.
SO LONG.

(jazz music plays)

A painting of Bill Davis appears.

The end credits roll.

Produced and Written by Steve Paikin and Sally Ritchie.

Executive Producer, Doug Grant.

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

Watch: Show #55