Transcript: Show #94 Pre-Election Budget | May 11, 1997

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

(music plays)

Steve Paikin says THIS WEEK,
THE ONTARIO BUDGET.

A clip shows Ernie Eves giving a speech.

He says SOME OF YOU MAY THINK THAT
THIS IS A GOOD NEWS BUDGET
TWO YEARS BEFORE ITS TIME.
BUT I THINK IT DOES REFLECT
THE FACT THAT INDEED OUR
PLAN IS WORKING IN THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO.

A clip shows a woman in her forties sitting at a desk.

She says IT IS A VERY
POLITICAL BUDGET.
I THINK IT WAS WRITTEN TO
PERHAPS DEAL WITH SOME OF
THE CONCERNS THAT PEOPLE
HAVE ABOUT THIS GOVERNMENT.

Steve says THE TORIES MOVE
INTO GOOD NEWS MODE.

Steve and 3 guests sit around a table in the shape of a number 4.

Steve is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a green suit, over a striped beige shirt.

He says GOOD AFTERNOON,
EVERYBODY.
I'M STEVE PAIKIN AND
WELCOME TO THIS EDITION
OF
4th READING.
THE ONTARIO TORIES BROUGHT
DOWN THEIR SECOND BUDGET
THIS WEEK.
THERE WAS A LITTLE SOMETHING
THERE FOR EVERYONE.
SPENDING FOR JOB CREATION,
HEALTH CARE, ANOTHER TAX CUT.
HARDLY THE SLASH AND BURN
DOCUMENT CRITICS AND SOME
PUNDITS WERE PREDICTING.
INSTEAD, IT APPEARS THE
CONSERVATIVES ARE MOVING
INTO PHASE TWO
OF THEIR MANDATE.
IS THIS THE SO-CALLED GOOD
NEWS ERA TORY INSIDERS HAVE
ADVISED MIKE HARRIS TO
PROVIDE IN THE LAST
TWO PRE-ELECTION
YEARS OF HIS TERM?

A clip shows Ernie Eves standing behind a podium. He is in his late fifties, has short side parted gray hair, and is wearing a black suit, pale blue shirt, and plaid brown tie.

He says WE ARE DELIVERING ON OUR 30
PERCENT PROMISED TAX CUT.
WE ARE PROTECTING AND
INVESTING IN HEALTH CARE.

Steve says FINANCE MINISTER
ERNIE EVES' BUDGET HIT ALL
THE RIGHT PUBLIC RELATIONS
NOTES, AND THOSE BUDGET
NOTES SOUND LIKE A
GOVERNMENT SHIFTING GEARS
FROM A BAD NEWS TO A
PRE-ELECTION GOOD NEWS
AGENDA, A STRATEGY SCRIPTED
BY PARTY INSIDERS FOR THE
LAST TWO YEARS OF THE
GOVERNMENT'S MANDATE.
NDP LEADER HOWARD HAMPTON
GOES EVEN FURTHER.

A clip shows Howard Hampton talking with a journalist. He is in his forties, has short dark blond hair, and is wearing a black suit, pale blue shirt, and colourful tie.

He says THE GOVERNMENT IS
POSITIONING ITSELF TO FULLY
IMPLEMENT ITS TAX SCHEME BY
THE SUMMER OF 1998 AND THEN
CALL AN ELECTION, BECAUSE IF
YOU LOOK AT THE HEALTH CARE
NUMBERS, THE HEALTH CARE
NUMBERS ARE GOING TO GET WORSE.
THE JOBS NUMBERS
AREN'T THERE.

A clip shows a woman in her forties sitting at a desk. She has short brown hair, and is wearing a plaid black and white blazer, and glasses.

Steve says ENVIRONICS POLLSTER
JANE ARMSTRONG SAYS THE
GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO SPEND
THE REST OF ITS TERM
SOFTENING ITS IMAGE WITH
SOME SO-CALLED GOOD NEWS.

Jane says IT IS A VERY
POLITICAL BUDGET.
I THINK IT WAS WRITTEN TO
PERHAPS DEAL WITH SOME OF
THE CONCERNS THAT PEOPLE
HAVE ABOUT THIS GOVERNMENT.

A clip shows people carrying signs in a demonstration.

Steve says THOSE CONCERNS COME
FROM TWO YEARS OF SO-CALLED
BAD NEWS.
8 BILLION DOLLARS IN SPENDING
CUTS, 24 HOSPITALS
SLATED FOR CLOSURE.

Ernie Eves says SOME OF YOU MAY THINK THAT
THIS IS A GOOD NEWS BUDGET
TWO YEARS BEFORE ITS TIME.
BUT I THINK IT DOES REFLECT
THE FACT THAT INDEED OUR
PLAN IS WORKING IN THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO.

Steve says BUT THE UNEMPLOYMENT
RATE HAS BEEN STUCK AT
9 PERCENT SINCE THE GOVERNMENT
TOOK OFFICE AND THE TORIES'
OWN PREDICTIONS CALL FOR
ONLY A SLIGHT DECREASE.

Jane Armstrong says WE KNOW THAT WHEN WE ASK
PEOPLE WHAT'S THE SINGLE
MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE FACING
ONTARIO TODAY, A PLURALITY
OF PEOPLE SAY IT
IS UNEMPLOYMENT.

A clip shows Howard Hampton showing graphics and talking to an audience.

Steve says IT'S A FACT THAT'S
NOT LOST ON NDP STRATEGISTS.
THEIR BUDGET NEWS CONFERENCE
WENT STRAIGHT FOR THIS
GOVERNMENT'S
POLITICAL JUGULAR.
JOBS.

Howard says THIS IS A BRE-X BUDGET.
A CONFIDENCE GAME SALTED
WITH FOOLS' GOLD.
THE FINANCE MINISTER MAKES
IT LOOK BRIGHT AND SHINY
BUT IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS,
THERE IS A BIG REALITY GAP
ON JOBS.

A short clip shows Ernie Eves at the legislature.

He says THE BEST JOB CREATION
PROGRAM IS A TAX CUT.

Steve says THAT'S THE MESSAGE
THE GOVERNMENT WANTS TO GET
OUT, BUT IT DOESN'T APPEAR TO
BE WORKING AS WELL AS THE
GOVERNMENT WOULD LIKE.
THE COMMON SENSE REVOLUTION
PROMISED 725,000 JOBS.
ONTARIO'S ONLY GAINED
107,000 NET NEW JOBS SO FAR.

A clip shows a man in his fifties in an office. He is clean-shaven, has short brown hair, and is wearing a dark gray suit, white shirt, and patterned red tie.
A caption appears on screen. It reads "Gerry Phillips. Liberal Finance Critic."

He says WE, IN ONTARIO, HAVE LOST
11,000 JOBS IN THE LAST
SEVEN MONTHS.
THE REST OF CANADA'S
GAINED 88,000 JOBS.
WE BETTER HAVE A LOT OF TALK
ABOUT JOBS IN THE BUDGET.
I PREDICTED BEFORE THE
BUDGET THEY WOULD MENTION
JOBS A HUNDRED TIMES.
TURNS OUT THEY
MENTIONED IT 71 TIMES.

Steve says MANY OF THOSE
MENTIONS COME IN THE
GOVERNMENT'S ATTEMPT TO
CREATE JOBS DIRECTLY, AN
APPROACH IT APPEARED TO
REJECT IN ITS FIRST TWO YEARS.
LIBERAL LEADER DALTON
MCGUINTY USED THE BUDGET
NEWS CONFERENCE TO START
WHAT COULD BE THE LIBERALS'
OWN PRE-ELECTION
MESSAGE TRACK.

A clip shows Dalton McGuinty standing behind a podium, talking to an audience.
He is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short side-parted brown hair, and is wearing a black suit, white shirt, and checkered black and gold tie.

He says IN HIS MAD RUSH TO GIVE A
TAX CUT TO PEOPLE WHO NEED
IT THE LEAST, MIKE HARRIS
HAS CREATED A HUMAN DEFICIT.

Jane Armstrong says ABOUT SEVEN IN TEN OR HIGHER
SAY THAT THEY DISAPPROVE OF
THE HANDLING OF HEALTH CARE.

Several clips show doctors and nurses working at a hospital.

Steve says TO SHORE UP ITS
VULNERABILITY ON HEALTH
CARE, THE BUDGET SHOWS A
SLIGHT INCREASE IN THE
HEALTH BUDGET BY ONE MILLION
DOLLARS, TO 17.8 BILLION DOLLARS FOR
PROGRAMS NEXT YEAR, AND IT
POSTPONES A 500 MILLION DOLLARS CUT
TO HOSPITAL BUDGETS, ALSO
SLATED FOR NEXT YEAR.
WHILE THAT MAY HAVE THE
HEALTH MINISTER AND THE
PRESIDENT OF THE ONTARIO
HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION SMILING
THE LIBERALS' HEALTH CRITIC
ZEROED IN ON THE TORIES'
WEAK SPOT.

A clip shows a man in his thirties talking with the press. He is clean-shaven, has short curly blond hair, and is wearing a black suit, white shirt, and brown tie.
A caption reads "Gerard Kennedy. Liberal Health Critic."

He says THE CHOICE THEY MADE TODAY
WAS TO DEAL WITH IT THROUGH
PUBLIC RELATIONS RATHER THAN
ANY SUBSTANTIVE INVESTMENT
IN THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.

Several clips show a crowded room, with people giving interviews.

Steve says IN THE DAYS AFTER A
BUDGET, ALL EYES ARE ON HOW
THE MEDIA WILL PORTRAY THE
GOVERNMENT'S EFFORTS.
HERE'S THE FINANCE
MINISTER'S PRESS SECRETARY
LISTENING INTENTLY TO
POST-BUDGET MEDIA INTERVIEWS
AND WHAT ABOUT A POSSIBLE
EARLY ELECTION CALL?

A clip shows a woman in her forties with long blond hair, and wearing an orange blazer.

Steve continues WELL, ONE OF PREMIER HARRIS'
CLOSEST ADVISORS, LESLIE
NOBLE, INTERESTINGLY LEAVES
THE DOOR OPEN A CRACK.

Leslie says I CAN'T IMAGINE THAT
HE'LL GO TO THE POLLS.
NOW, IF EVERYTHING IS DONE
BY NEXT YEAR AND, YOU KNOW,
WE NEED A MANDATE FOR, YOU
KNOW, FUTURE CHANGES, THEN
ANYTHING'S POSSIBLE.

A clip shows Steve sitting at the table, in the studio.

Steve says SO JUST WHAT INFORMATION IS
THE GOVERNMENT LOOKING AT
WHEN IT DECIDED TO MAKE JOB
CREATION, HEALTH CARE AND
EDUCATION THE FOCUS
OF THIS BUDGET?
WELL, LET US LOOK INSIDE OUR
FACT FILE AT SOME POLLING
RESEARCH WE OBTAINED, THE
SAME POLL THAT WAS IN THE
HANDS OF THE TORY CABINET IN
THE WEEKS JUST BEFORE THE
BUDGET CAME DOWN.
SO LET'S CHECK OUT WHAT'S
INSIDE THE FACT FILE.

A red slate with the logo of 4th Reading and under the title "Fact files. Budget Priorities, Pollara Poll" appears on screen. It reads "Scale of 1 to 10. Health Care 8.5, Education 8.4, Balanced Budget 7.1, Tax Cut 5.3."
The slate changes and reads "Government Performance, not impressed. Unemployment 64 percent, Health Care 63 percent, Hospital Care 63 percent, Education 62 percent."

Steve says A THOUSAND ONTARIANS
INTERVIEWED BY POLLARA,
THAT IS FORMERLY INSIDE
CANADA RESEARCH.
THIS IS MICHAEL
MARSOLINI'S FIRM.
BETWEEN APRIL 7th AND 14th
WHEN ASKED TO GIVE A ONE IN
TEN RATING ON HOW MUCH OF A
PRIORITY SHOULD BE GIVEN TO
THESE POLICIES IN THE
BUDGET, HEALTH CARE AT THE
TOP, 8.5 OUT OF TEN.
EDUCATION FUNDING
CAME NEXT, 8.4.
BALANCING THE
BUDGET RATED AT 7.1.
THE TAX CUT?
ONLY 5.3.
AS FOR WHERE THE PUBLIC
THINKS THE GOVERNMENT'S
PERFORMANCE HAS BEEN WEAK,
64 PERCENT SAID THEY WEREN'T
IMPRESSED WITH THE TORY'S
ATTEMPTS ON UNEMPLOYMENT, AN
ISSUE THEY ALSO RATED AS THE
MOST IMPORTANT FACING ONTARIO.
63 PERCENT SAID NOT
IMPRESSED ON HEALTH CARE.
63 PERCENT AGAIN ON
ACCESS TO HOSPITAL CARE.
62 PERCENT ON EDUCATION.
AND WE SHOULD JUST STRESS
HERE THAT WE ACTUALLY DIDN'T
GET THOSE NUMBERS
FROM POLLARA.
THEY DIDN'T WANT US TO HAVE
THEM, BUT WE GOT THEM LEAKED
TO US FROM SOMEONE ELSE.
JUST FOR THE RECORD.
WITH US TO TALK ABOUT THE
STORY BEHIND THE BUDGET,
EASTERN ONTARIO'S FINEST.
HERE'S KINGSTON'S HUGH
SEGAL, ALSO A SENIOR
CONSERVATIVE PARTY ADVISOR.

Hugh Segal is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short side parted brown hair, and is wearing a black suit, striped white shirt, and patterned brown tie.

Steve continues HERE'S RICHARD MAHONEY, FROM
THE OTTAWA LAW FIRM FRASER
AND BEATTY AND THE
PAST PRESIDENT OF THE
ONTARIO LIBERALS.

Richard Mahoney is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair, and is wearing a striped black suit over a purple sweater.

Steve continues AND FROM DESERONTO, WHERE HE
IS PRESIDENT OF THE FIRST
NATION'S TECHNICAL
INSTITUTE, THERE'S FORMER
NEW DEMOCRAT MEMBER OF THE
LEGISLATURE, RICHARD JOHNSTON.

Richard Johnston is in his sixties, has white curly hair, a gray moustache, and is wearing a gray suit, pale blue shirt, and gray tie.

Steve says WELCOME TO EVERYBODY.
LET US JUST START WITH THIS
SORT OF STORY BEHIND THE
STORY THAT I ALLUDED TO IN
THE BACKGROUND PIECE, AND
THAT IS ARE WE AT THE TWO
YEAR MIDPOINT WHERE THE
TORIES HAVE MADE A CONSCIOUS
DECISION TO DISPENSE WITH
THE SO-CALLED BAD NEWS,
CUT, CUT, CUT, CUT, CUT,
SLASH, BURN.
AND GET INTO A SORT
OF A GOOD NEWS MODE.
SPENDING FOR JOBS.
SUBSIDIES FOR JOBS.
MORE FOR HEALTH CARE.
BATTERED WOMEN'S
SHELTERS AND SO ON.
HUGH.

A caption on screen reads "Hugh Segal. Progressive Conservative Advisor."

Hugh says NO, ACTUALLY.
I DON'T THINK
WE'RE THERE AT ALL.
I THINK YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT
THE BUDGET AS A NARROW POINT
OF COMMUNICATIONS IN TERMS
OF OVERALL FISCAL AND
ECONOMIC STRATEGY AND YOU
HAVE TO LOOK AT WHO THE
MINISTER OF FINANCE IS.
IN ALL THE STORIES AFTER
THE ELECTION OF THE HARRIS
GOVERNMENT IN 1995,
JOURNALISTS WERE ASKING
VARIOUS MINISTERS
WHO'S YOUR HERO?
IS IT NEWT GINGRICH?
IS IT Mr. KLINE?
IS IT RONALD REAGAN?
AND THEY ASKED ERNIE EVES
THAT QUESTION AND ERNIE
SAID, NO, ACTUALLY I'M A
STANFIELD CONSERVATIVE.
THAT'S HOW HE DESCRIBED
HIMSELF, AND LOOK AT BOTH
OF HIS BUDGETS.
ON THEIR OWN, INDEPENDENT OF
OTHER GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES
AND ACTIONS, THEY ARE
STANFIELD CONSERVATIVE BUDGETS.

Steve asks WHAT DOES
THAT MEAN?

Hugh continues THEY ARE VERY HUMANE
IN TERMS OF THE BALANCE.
THEY ARE LOOKING TO ENSURE
THAT GOVERNMENT IS SEEN TO
BE AN APPROPRIATE SOURCE
OF, I GUESS, ECONOMIC
STIMULATION, FISCALLY
PRUDENT, AS THEY SHOULD BE,
BUT SOCIALLY QUITE
PROGRESSIVE.
I THINK IT'S QUITE
CONSISTENT WITH THE KIND OF
POLITICIAN ERNIE'S BEEN
IN FACT SINCE BEING
IN THE LEGISLATURE.

Richard Johnston says BOTH BUDGETS?

Hugh says BUT EVEN THE FIRST -- NO, BUT
IF YOU LOOK AT THE FIRST
BUDGET, AND YOU LOOK AT THE
PRESS REACTION TO THE FIRST
BUDGET, IT WAS NOT SEEN AS
PART OF THE CUT AND SLASH
RENDITION OF DECISIONS THAT WERE
MADE PRIOR TO AND THEREAFTER.

Steve says THAT'S BECAUSE HE'D
ALREADY DONE THE HEAVY CUTTING.

Hugh says THAT'S FAIR ENOUGH.
BUT I'M SAYING LOOKING AT
THE BUDGET, WHICH IS WHAT
WE'RE DISCUSSING

Richard Johnston says AS A
COMMUNICATION DEVICE.

Hugh says AS A COMMUNICATION DEVICE
FOR OVERALL STRATEGY,
I DON'T THINK ERNIE EVES HAS
EVER ENGAGED IN THAT KIND
OF IDEOLOGICAL WARFARE.

Steve says RICK, BACK TO THE
ORIGINAL THESIS THEN.
ARE WE AT A HALFWAY
POINT WHERE THE TORIES ARE
NOW STARTING TO CHANGE THE
SO-CALLED BAD NEWS INTO A
SO-CALLED GOOD NEWS MODE?

The caption changes to "Richard Mahoney. Ontario Liberal Advisor."

Richard Mahoney says WELL, I THINK FIRST OF ALL
YOU'RE SEEING SOME REACTION
TO THE KIND OF INFORMATION
THAT WAS IN THE POLLARA
POLL, AS WELL AS OTHER
INFORMATION THAT'S BEEN
PUBLICLY AVAILABLE TO USE
FOR A WHILE, THAT ONTARIANS
ARE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT
THE QUALITY OF THEIR HEALTH
CARE, THE QUALITY OF THE
EDUCATION AND THE CUTS
THEY'VE MADE.
I THOUGHT HUGH GAVE IT A
GOOD TRY IN TERMS OF CASTING
THESE BUDGETS AS HUMANE AND
PROGRESSIVE AND SO FORTH.
I THINK HE IS RIGHT -- AND HE
KNOWS MORE ABOUT THIS THAN
I DO -- THAT EVES ISN'T CUT
FROM THE SAME CLOTH AS A LOT
OF THE OTHER
REVOLUTIONARIES, BUT HE IS
THE FINANCE MINISTER IN A
GOVERNMENT THAT HAS HAD TO
ALREADY CUT MASSIVELY FROM
A LOT OF PROGRAMS ONTARIANS
CARE ABOUT.
HE'S CUT MASSIVELY AND YET
IN THOSE TWO YEARS, HE'S
ONLY MADE ABOUT 2.5 BILLION DOLLARS
PROGRESS IN THE DEFICIENT.
WE STILL HAVE A DEFICIT
OF ABOUT 7.5 BILLION DOLLARS.
SO GOT A LONG WAYS TO GO.
SO YES, THEY ARE TELECASTING
THAT THEY MAY BE TRYING TO
MOVE TO A MORE
GOOD NEWS AGENDA.
THIS BUDGET IS PROBABLY
PART OF THAT TELECASTING.
BUT THEY'RE STILL -- THEY
HAVE TO FUND THE REST OF THE
TAX CUT WHICH IS
ABOUT 1.8 BILLION DOLLARS.
THEY'VE GOT SEVEN AND A
HALF BILLION THIS YEAR.
6.6 BILLION
DEFICIT NEXT YEAR.
THERE'S A LOT OF WORK
STILL TO BE DONE.

Steve says RICHARD, LET
ME GET YOUR TAKE.

The caption changes to "Richard Johnston. Former NDP MPP."

Richard Johnston says I THINK ABSOLUTELY
THAT THEY CHANGED TACK,
AND I THINK BECAUSE THEY
REALIZED HOW VULNERABLE THEY
WERE STARTING TO BECOME ON
THE CUTTING TOO FAST ISSUE,
WHICH I DIDN'T SEE IN THE
POLL, BUT I THINK THAT
FEELING OUT THERE, THAT TOO
MUCH WAS DONE TOO QUICKLY BY
THE FEDERAL LIBERALS AS WELL
AS BY THIS GOVERNMENT IS
REALLY VERY PREDOMINANT
OUT THERE AT THE MOMENT.
AND WHEN YOU'RE GOING TO
SHOW GREATER REVENUES THAN
WERE ANTICIPATED, YOU'VE GOT
TO TRY TO HUMANIZE IT, AND
AGAIN, I THINK WE'RE SEEING
THAT BOTH AT THE NATIONAL
LEVEL AND AT THIS LEVEL.
SO YES, I THINK THEY ARE
TRYING TO DO DAMAGE CONTROL
BEFORE THE DEEP SEATED IDEA
GETS IN THAT THESE GUYS ARE
TOO ROUGH.

Steve says I MUST TELL YOU, THE
ONE THING THAT SURPRISED ME
THE MOST ABOUT THIS BUDGET
WAS -- AND YOU HEARD ERNIE SAY
IT AGAIN IN THE BACKGROUND
PIECE -- AND HE'S BEEN SAYING
IT FOR TWO YEARS.
THE BEST JOB CREATION
PROGRAM IN THE WORLD IS A
TAX CUT AND A GOVERNMENT
THAT GETS OUT OF THE WAY
AND LETS THE PRIVATE
SECTOR WORK ITS MAGIC.
AND YET THIS BUDGET IS
CHOCK-FULL OF SUBSIDIES,
AND DIRECT GOVERNMENT
INTERVENTION INTO THE
MARKETPLACE TO HELP CREATE
JOBS, IN PARTICULAR
FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.

Hugh says I SAY THERE'S TWO ELEMENTS
TO WHAT YOU CALL SUBSIDIES,
WHAT I CALL SOME
KIND OF INCENTIVE.
IN ALMOST EVERY CASE –

Steve asks WELL, WHAT'S
THE DIFFERENCE?

Hugh says WELL, I'LL TELL YOU
WHAT THE DIFFERENCE IS.
THE DIFFERENCE IS IF THE
PRIVATE SECTOR SPENDS SOME
MONEY TO DO SOMETHING, THE
GOVERNMENT WILL PROVIDE SOME
MATCHING TAX SUPPORT.
IF A UNIVERSITY RAISES A LOT
OF MONEY FOR RESEARCH AND
DEVELOPMENT, THE GOVERNMENT
WILL DOUBLE THE AMOUNT
THAT'S RAISED.
THAT'S VERY DIFFERENT FROM
CLASSIC PROGRAM EXPENDITURES
WHERE YOU SAY
HERE'S A BUNCH OF –

Steve says BUT THOSE
ARE HERE, TOO.
YOU'RE RIGHT
ABOUT THOSE BUT –

Hugh says HE'S RIGHT WHEN
HE SAYS, IF I MAY SAY SO,
THAT THE BEST JOB
CREATION PROGRAM IS
A TAX CUT, AND
I'LL TELL YOU WHY.
61 PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE WHO
WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS TAX
CUT ARE EARNING LESS THAN
30,000 DOLLARS A YEAR, NUMBER ONE.
AND NUMBER TWO, IF YOU LOOK
AT THE PROBLEM BETWEEN OUR
ECONOMY AND OUR FRIENDS IN
THE UNITED STATES, AND WHY
THEIRS IS MORE ROBUST AND
OURS IS NOT, IT IS BECAUSE
THE AVERAGE MIDDLE CLASS
AMERICAN FAMILY HAS
MORE LIQUIDITY.
AND THEY HAVE MORTGAGE
INTEREST DEDUCTIBILITY AND
A HOST OF SUBSIDIES
THAT HELP THEM.

Steve says AND FEWER GOVERNMENT
SERVICES WHICH WE KNOW, TOO.

Hugh says ABSOLUTELY.
BUT WE DON'T HAVE THE SAME
ENGINE OF DOMESTIC DEMAND
AND PUTTING MONEY IN THE
HANDS OF MIDDLE INCOME
PEOPLE, THEIR OWN MONEY,
GIVING IT BACK TO THEM IS,
IN FACT, A CONSTRUCTIVE
THING TO DO.

Richard Johnston says BUT THERE'S NO
EVIDENCE AT ALL THAT THE
TAX CUTS THAT HAVE
ALREADY BEEN DONE
HAVE HAD ANY IMPACT
ON THE ECONOMY.
LOOK AT THE FAILURE OF THE
JOB CREATION IN TERMS OF THE
ANTICIPATED RACE THAT THE
GOVERNMENT HAVE BEEN LOOKING AT.
COMPARE IT WITH OTHER
GOVERNMENTS IN CANADA WHICH
HAVE NOT HAD THE TAX CUTS
AND THERE'S NO MEASURABLE
GAIN IN ONTARIO AND JOB CREATION
OVER THOSE OTHER PLACES.
AND YET THEY
MAINTAIN PROGRAMS,
IF I WERE TO LOOK
AT SASKATCHEWAN.

Hugh says BUT THE NATIONAL
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE HAS NOT
MOVED DESPITE OTTAWA'S
APPROACH, WHICH HAS BEEN TO
CUT SPENDING AND NOT PROVIDE
ANY TAX INCENTIVES BACK TO
PEOPLE, WHICH HAS BEEN
THEIR APPROACH TO BE FAIR.

Richard Mahoney says WELL, ACTUALLY
THAT'S NOT RIGHT.
THE NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
IS DOWN ABOUT TWO POINTS
OVER THE LAST THREE
OR FOUR YEARS.
THAT'S NOT
ENOUGH OBVIOUSLY.
THERE IS NO EVIDENCE IN ANY
JURISDICTION THAT A TAX CUT
WOULD WORK IN TERMS
OF JOB CREATION.
SECONDLY, IN THIS PROVINCE
ALONE WE'VE HAD A NET LOSS
OF 11,000 JOBS
IN THE LAST YEAR.
THIRDLY, THERE IS -- YOU
KNOW, IT'S FINE TO TALK
ABOUT A TAX CUT.
THE CUT THAT THEY ANNOUNCED
IN THIS BUDGET WILL ACTUALLY
BE FOR MOST ONTARIANS ABOUT
A ONE PERCENT CUT IN THE
OVERALL TAX BITE OVER
THE COURSE OF THIS YEAR.
SO WE'RE NOT TALKING
ABOUT A LOT OF MONEY HERE.
THERE REALLY ISN'T
A LOT OF DOLLARS –

Richard Johnston says TWO DOLLARS,
THAT'S NOT A LOT.

Richard Mahoney says THAT'S RIGHT.
AND THERE IS A COST, AND
ONTARIANS KNOW THIS, THAT
THAT ONE PERCENT IN OVERALL
TAX BITE WILL COST US IN
TERMS OF EDUCATION.
THERE'S AN EXTRA 300 MILLION
COMING OUT OF EDUCATION
THIS BUDGET.
IT'S GOING TO COST US IN
TERMS OF HEALTH CARE.
THERE'S A FEW MORE DOLLARS
IN THIS BUDGET FOR HEALTH
CARE BUT WHERE IS IT GOING?
IT'S GOING TO HELP
RESTRUCTURE THE
RESTRUCTURING COSTS OF
CLOSING HOSPITALS AND LAYING
OFF NURSES.
THAT ISN'T GOING TO GET
US BETTER HEALTH CARE.
THAT'S GOING TO KEEP
US IN THE STATUS QUO.

Steve says AND ACTUALLY, IF
YOU LIVE IN THE NORTH,
THERE'S A TAX INCREASE
IN THIS BUDGET.
YOU KNOW, IF YOU'RE -- FOR
A VEHICLE -- WHAT IS IT?
VEHICLE REGISTRATION?
IT'S GOING FROM ZERO
TO 37 DOLLARS, I GUESS.
AND I ALWAYS THOUGHT THIS
WAS A GOVERNMENT THAT DIDN'T
LIKE INCREASING TAXES.
THAT'S A TAX INCREASE.

Hugh says I THINK THAT'S
FAIR ENOUGH.
IF YOU LOOK IN THIS BUDGET,
IT IS FAIR TO SAY THAT WHERE
THERE ARE TAX CUTS, THERE
ARE ALSO SOME EFFICIENCIES
BEING BROUGHT TO THE TAX
COLLECTION PROCESS SO AS TO
MAKE THE YIELD MORE
SUBSTANTIAL, AND THE TRUTH
OF THE MATTER IS THAT
ONE OF THE GREAT BENEFITS
OF CUTTING TAXES HAS BEEN
THAT ALMOST EVERY EXISTING
TAX YIELD IN ONTARIO HAS
GONE UP BECAUSE OF THE
ECONOMIC STIMULATION.
YOU CAN HAVE -- I MEAN
IT'S THE OLD PRINCIPLE.
WHEN SOCIALISTS AND LEFT
WING LIBERALS RAISE TAXES,
WHAT HAPPENS IS THEY DON'T
GET ANY MORE MONEY BECAUSE
ECONOMIC ACTIVITY DRIES UP.

Steve says GOES UNDERGROUND.

Hugh continues BUT WHEN YOU REDUCE TAXES,
AS ERNIE EVES HAS DONE, IN
FACT YOU SEE YOUR TAX YIELDS
BEGIN TO INCREASE BECAUSE
THERE'S MORE ACTIVITY
IN THE MARKETPLACE.

Richard Johnston says THERE'S NO
EVIDENCE OF THAT.
THAT'S THE KIND
OF SHAKE –

Hugh says WELL THE NUMBERS ARE
CLEAR IN THE BUDGET.

Richard Johnston says NO, THEY'RE NOT.

Hugh says THERE NUMBERS ARE ABSOLUTELY
CLEAR IN THE BUDGET.

Richard Johnston says COMPARE IT WITH OTHER
JURISDICTIONS WHERE THERE
WAS NOT THAT TAX BREAK -- AND
YOU STILL SEE THAT INCREASE
IN THE ECONOMY.
AND THERE'S NO DIFFERENCE.
THERE'S A FALSE LOGIC
IN WHAT HE'S SAYING.

Hugh asks BUT DO YOU ALSO SEE A
REDUCTION IN THE DEFICIT?
DO YOU ALSO SEE A
REDUCTION IN THE –

Richard Johnston says YES, SASKATCHEWAN'S A
GREAT EXAMPLE OF THAT.

Hugh continues A BORROWING AND FOREIGN
BORROWING WHICH IS WHAT
WE'VE SEEN IN THIS BUDGET.
IT'S A VERY FISCALLY
RESPONSIBLE PROPOSITION.

Richard Mahoney says IN SASKATCHEWAN, AN
INDEPENDENT GOVERNMENT
ROY ROMANOW, YOU'VE NOT
HAD TAX CUTS, BUT YOU
HAVE AN ECONOMY BOOMING, WAY
AHEAD OF WHAT SASKATCHEWAN
HAS DONE IN YEARS.

Hugh says BUT YOU ALSO HAVE 52
HEALTH CARE FACILITIES CLOSED,
TO HIS CREDIT, BECAUSE
OF HIS COURAGE.
SO THE PROBLEMS ARE NOT
VERY DIFFERENT IN DIFFERENT
JURISDICTIONS, BUT DIFFERENT
GOVERNMENTS APPROACH THEM
IN DIFFERENT WAYS.

Richard Mahoney says THAT'S RIGHT.
VERY TRUE.
AND THERE ARE A LOT OF
REPORTS OUT THIS WEEK ABOUT
HOW THE CANADIAN ECONOMY'S
DOING WELL AND SO FORTH.
MOST OF THE ONES THAT TALK
ABOUT HOW WELL THE ONTARIO
ECONOMY'S DOING SUGGEST THAT
THERE ARE TWO CAUSES OF
THAT, AND NEITHER OF THOSE
TWO CAUSES IS THE TAX CUT.
ONE IS LOW INTEREST RATES
WHICH ALLOWS PEOPLE TO
BORROW MONEY TO
INVEST TO CREATE JOBS.
AND THE SECOND IS THE FACT
THAT WE HAVE A LOW DOLLAR SO
PEOPLE OUTSIDE THIS
JURISDICTION, OUTSIDE OF
CANADA, CAN ACTUALLY BUY
ONTARIO GOODS FOR CHEAPER.
I WOULD SUGGEST THAT THOSE
REPORTS ARE RIGHT, THAT
THAT IS WHY WE ARE
WELL POSITIONED.
WE'VE GOT CHEAP MONEY
AVAILABLE, CHEAP INTEREST RATES.
PEOPLE CAN AFFORD TO BUY
HOUSES AND SO FORTH.

Hugh says BUT SURELY YOU
CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS.
YOU CAN'T ON THE ONE HAND
SAY THAT THERE IS NO NET
BENEFIT FOR ANY OF THE
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT'S
FISCAL ACTIONS ON THE ONE
HAND, AND THEN SAY ALL THE
THINGS THAT ARE GOING WELL
HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH
THEIR ACTIVITY.
YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS.

Richard Mahoney says WHAT YOU CAN SAY
IS THAT THE –

Richard Johnston says YOU'RE TALKING
ABOUT TAX CUTS.

Richard Mahoney says YEAH, YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT
TAX CUTS CREATING JOBS.
BUT WHAT I'M SAYING IS THE
THING THAT'S CREATING THE
MOST JOBS AND THE MOST
INVESTMENT IN CANADA, AND IN
ONTARIO FOR THAT MATTER,
IS LOW INTEREST RATES.

Hugh says ONE OF THE REASONS, IF I MAY
SAY SO, THAT INTEREST RATES
ARE DOWN, IS BECAUSE WE
DON'T HAVE AN ONTARIO
GOVERNMENT AS WE DID,
IF I MAY SAY SO, UNDER
Mr. PETERSON, NOT Mr.
RAE, THAT SPENT AT SUCH
INFLATIONARY LEVELS THAT IT
DROVE INTEREST RATES UP.

Richard Mahoney says NOW,
THAT'S GOOD SPIN.
THAT BOB RAE DIDN'T DRIVE
INTEREST RATES –

Steve says I'M ACTUALLY GOING TO GET INTO
THE MIDDLE OF THIS BECAUSE I
DO WANT TO ASK WHAT HUGH
INFERS FROM THE FACT...
WE SAW IN THE POLLARA
NUMBERS EARLIER...
THAT THE TWO ISSUES THAT I
SUSPECT THE TORIES WERE MOST
CLEARLY AND RESIDENTLY IN
THE PUBLIC'S MIND WERE
DEFICIT REDUCTION AND TAX
CUT, AND THOSE APPEAR TO BE
LESS IMPORTANT TO PEOPLE
THAN CONCERNS ABOUT HEALTH
CARE AND CONCERNS
ABOUT EDUCATION.
WHAT DO YOU INFER
FROM THAT?

Hugh says WELL, I THINK -- I'VE NEVER
SEEN PRIOR POLLARA NUMBERS
SO I DON'T KNOW
HOW THESE COMPARE.
I DON'T KNOW IF THIS
REPRESENTS AN IMPROVEMENT OR...
MY GUT FEELING IS THAT
WHEN YOU GO THROUGH
SIGNIFICANT TRANSITION IN
SOMETHING AS SACRED IN THIS
COUNTRY AS THE HEALTH CARE
SYSTEM, YOU GET PEOPLE VERY
ANXIOUS AND PEOPLE ARE
MORE PRONE TO BE CRITICAL.
THEY PREFER TO SEE NO CHANGE
AT ALL, AND I UNDERSTAND THAT.
I THINK THIS BUDGET TRIED TO
ADDRESS THE QUESTION OF HOW
YOU ACHIEVE YOUR FISCAL
GOALS AND HAVE A MORE
EFFICIENT SOCIAL ECONOMY IN
ONTARIO ON THE ONE HAND,
WHILE MAKING SURE THAT YOU
KEEP THE SPENDING COMMITMENT
TO THE LEVEL WHERE PEOPLE
FEEL COMFORTABLE THAT YOU'RE
NOT DESERTING THE CORE
VALUES OF THIS PROVINCE.

Steve says IT SEEMS AS IF THE
THINGS THE TORIES ARE HOTTEST
ON ARE THE THINGS
THE PUBLIC ISN'T.

Hugh says BUT YOU'RE ASSUMING THAT
THE PEOPLE WHO CARE ABOUT
HOSPITALS ARE THE PEOPLE WHO
ARE OPPOSED, IF I MAY SAY
SO, TO TAX CUTS.
THAT REALLY DOESN'T EMERGE
FROM THAT DATA YET.
IT'S A CROSS-TABULATION
THAT DOESN'T ADD UP.

Richard Johnston says THIS ALL GOES BACK TO
STEVE'S POINT THOUGH, THAT
THIS IS THE TIME
OF THE CHANGE.
THEY ARE NOW MOVING
AWAY FROM –

Steve says HE REJECTS
THAT POINT.

Richard Johnston says I KNOW HE DOES, BUT YOU
LISTEN TO THE LANGUAGE –

Richard Mahoney says WE DON'T
BELIEVE HIM.

Richard Johnston continues IN THIS THING AND YOU LISTEN
TO THE AMOUNT OF TALK ABOUT
JOB CREATION AND ALL THAT
KIND OF THING, THE NUMBER OF
TIMES IT'S LISTED, AS WAS
MENTIONED BY THE LIBERAL
CRITIC THERE, THEY'VE
CHANGED THE RHETORIC.
THEY ARE NOW ACCEPTING THESE
NEW PRIORITIES AND THEY NEED
TO AS THEY'RE ABSOLUTELY
DESPERATE TO DO THAT.

Steve says SOFTEN THE EDGES.

Richard Johnston continues BUT EVEN WHILE THEY'RE DONE
IT, THEY'VE DONE IT IN A
REACTIVE FASHION, A
NON-THINKING FASHION LIKE
THEY BROUGHT IN
THE REVOLUTION.
SO YOU'VE GOT THESE TERRIBLE
ANOMALIES OF THESE CHANGES
IN STUDENT AID, FOR
INSTANCE, WHICH ARE GOING TO
RUIN THE CHANCES FOR
PART-TIME STUDENTS.
AS SOMEBODY ON THE BOARD AT
TRENT UNIVERSITY KNOWING HOW
WE WERE HIT LAST YEARS
IN TERMS OF THE DROP IN
PART-TIME STUDENTS, THIS
SCARES THE DEVIL OUT OF ME
IN TERMS OF THE IMPACT ON
OUR BUDGET IN THIS COMING
YEAR AT THAT INSTITUTION,
AND I LOOK AT WHAT'S
HAPPENING ON THE LAYOFF, THE
ADJUSTMENT FOR WORKERS IN
THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM,
AND THEY'RE WIPING OUT THE
ADJUSTMENT BOARD TO ALLOW
THE HOSPITALS TO LOOK AFTER
THIS STUFF WITH NOTHING PUT
IN PLACE, AND TO LET THE
THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE
COMING OFF -- OUT OF WORK
THERE AT THE MOMENT...
LEAVING THEM HIGH AND DRY
AS THEY MAKE THE SHIFTS.
SO I DON'T THINK THEY'RE
ANY MORE COMPASSIONATE
OR CARING.
THEY'RE JUST REACTIVE
TO THESE POLLS.

Richard Mahoney says IF EVES CREATED A JOB
FOR EVERY TIME HE MENTIONED THE
WORD JOB IN THE BUDGET,
WE'D ACTUALLY BE DOING OKAY
IN THE PROVINCE.
THE SECOND THING IS, RICHARD
BRINGS UP A GOOD POINT.
THERE IS -- HUGH MENTIONED
OFF THE TOP THAT THIS WAS...
THE BUDGET IS AN INTERESTING
THING TO DISSECT AS A
COMMUNICATIONS EXERCISE.
AS A COMMUNICATIONS
EXERCISE, THERE IS A LOT OF
MOVING AROUND OF MONEY TO
MAKE IT LOOK LIKE THERE IS
SOME REINVESTMENT AND THE
VERY GOOD EXAMPLE RICHARD
BROUGHT UP.
WE'RE PUTTING NEW MONEY INTO
READJUSTMENT FOR HEALTH
CARE, BUT IT'S ACTUALLY
GOING AWAY FROM THE PEOPLE
WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO BE
TRAINING THAT AND INTO
HOSPITALS FOR THEIR
READJUSTMENT COSTS.
TO ANSWER STEVE'S POINT,
THOUGH, ABOUT -- THERE IS
SUPPORT OUT THERE IN
POLLS FOR A TAX CUT.
NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT.
I'LL ADMIT THAT.
EVERY VOTE, VOTERS WHO
SUPPORT EVERY PARTY SUPPORT
A TAX CUT.
BUT WHAT ACTUALLY VOTERS WHO
SUPPORT EVERY PARTY SUPPORT
MORE THAN A TAX CUT IS
INVESTMENT IN HEALTH CARE
AND EDUCATION.
IF THEY THINK THAT
GOVERNMENT IS GOING TO SPEND
MONEY ON IRRELEVANT THINGS,
ON SUBSIDIES TO BUSINESS AND
SO FORTH, THEN THEY DON'T...
THEN THEY'RE ALL FOR A TAX CUT.
IF THEY THINK IT'S GOING TO
SPEND ON SMART STUFF, LIKE
HEALTH CARE AND EDUCATION,
THEN THEY PREFER THAT TO
A TAX CUT.

Steve says BUT GOING BACK TO THE
INITIAL POINT THAT HUGH
REJECTED AT THE BEGINNING OF
THE PROGRAM, WHICH IS TWO
TOUGH YEARS WE'RE COMING
OUT OF, TWO GOOD NEWS YEARS
WE'RE GOING INTO.
IF THAT'S TRUE, ISN'T THAT
A REALLY SMART THING TO DO?
I MEAN IF YOU'RE GOING INTO
AN ELECTION IN A COUPLE OF
YEARS, WOULDN'T YOU WANT TO
HAVE... SURELY YOU WANT ALL
THE BAD STUFF BEHIND YOU
AND THE GOOD STUFF TO COME?

Richard Mahoney says YES, IT
IS A SMART THING.
YOU SAW EVES IN YOUR OPENING
CLIP SAID MANY PEOPLE SAY
THIS IS A GOOD NEWS BUDGET
TWO YEARS TOO SOON.
HE'S EVEN TELECASTING TO US.
YEAH, BY THE WAY,
THIS IS A GOOD NEWS
BUDGET, FOLKS.
GET READY.
IT'S NOW ALL TIME
FOR GOOD NEWS.

Hugh says WE'VE SAT AROUND THIS TABLE
AND LOOKED AT ISSUES WHICH
PEOPLE OPPOSED TO THE
GOVERNMENT SAW AS ABSOLUTELY
CATASTROPHIC, SUCH AS THE
DOWNLOADING QUESTION, AND NO
ONE COULD EVER SEE HOW YOU'D
EVER WORK YOUR WAY THROUGH IT
AND NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN
BASED ON CONSULTATION WITH
MUNICIPALITIES WE'RE NOW
GOING BACK TO A 80/20 SPLIT
ON WELFARE.
WE'RE GOING TO –

Richard Mahoney says BACK TO WHAT
WE SAID IT SHOULD BE.
WE SAID ON THIS
SHOW IT SHOULD BE.

Steve says BUT HUGH'S POINT IS THAT
IT IS RESOLVING ITSELF.
THAT IS TRUE.

Richard Mahoney says AND GOOD FOR THEM.

Hugh continues AND I THINK, YOU KNOW, ERNIE
EVES DIDN'T GET TO BECOME
MINISTER OF FINANCE BECAUSE
HE SHOWED UP ONE DAY AND THE
JOB WAS VACANT.
MICHAEL HARRIS MADE HIM
MINISTER OF FINANCE KNOWING
HIS VIEWS AND WANTING TO
HAVE THAT FUNDAMENTAL
BALANCE AT THE CORE OF THE
GOVERNMENT, AND I THINK
PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT
TO EXPECT THAT FROM ANY
ADMINISTRATION THAT THAT
BALANCE BE THERE AND THEY
DON'T GET TAKEN AWAY WITH
THEIR OWN IDEOLOGY AT ANY
TIME, AND I THINK THIS
GOVERNMENT IS BEGINNING TO
SHOW, QUITE FRANKLY, THAT
WHILE THEY HAVE TO PULL HARD
RIGHT TO PULL THE GOVERNMENT
BACK FROM WHERE THEY THOUGHT
THEY FOUND IT IN FISCAL
TERMS, AND NOW THEY'RE
REBALANCING TOWARDS THE
CENTRE, AND I THINK THAT'S
A GOOD THING.

Steve asks WOULD YOU AGREE THOUGH,
HUGH, THAT IN ORDER TO GET
TO THE BALANCED BUDGET BY
THE YEAR 2001, WHICH IS
STILL THE PLAN, THERE'S
STILL AN AWFUL LOT OF
CUTTING TO GO.
WE ASKED Mr. EVES THIS AT
THE NEWS CONFERENCE, AND HE
WAS FOND OF TELLING US FOR
THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS
THAT THE GOVERNMENT WAS
SPENDING A MILLION DOLLARS
MORE AN HOUR THAN IT WAS
TAKING IN IN REVENUES.
SOMEBODY -- I THINK CHRIS
BLIZZARD FROM THE SUN
SAID SO, OKAY.
WHERE IS IT NOW?
TWO YEARS OF TOUGH DEFICIT
REDUCTION MEASURES.
WHERE ARE WE NOW?
AND HE SAID, WELL,
WE'RE ABOUT 750,000.
THAT DOESN'T SOUND
LIKE MUCH PROGRESS.
IT SOUNDS LIKE WE'RE STILL
GOT AN AWFULLY LONG WAY TO GO.

Hugh says WELL, I DON'T -- I'M NOT
ONE OF THOSE WHO THINKS WE
SHOULD BE HAVING A DEBATE AS
I THINK SOME SUGGEST IN A
FEDERAL CAMPAIGN...
ABOUT HOW TO SPEND THE
SOCIAL DIVIDEND OF SOLVING
OUR FISCAL PROBLEMS.
ONTARIO HAS A HUGE
MOTHER LODE OF DEBT.
SO DOES THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT.
SO DO MANY OF OUR PROVINCES.
THE DEFICIT IS UNDER
CONTROL IN MANY OF
THESE JURISDICTIONS.
BUT THE DEBT IS VERY HIGH
AND IF Mr. GREENSPAN GETS A
BAD COLD, OR INTEREST RATES
BEGIN TO HEAD UP –

Steve says CHAIRMAN OF
THE FED IN THE STATES.

Hugh continues CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL
RESERVE IN THE UNITED STATES.
WE COULD FIND OURSELVES WITH
DEBT SERVICING COSTS THAT
DESTROY SOME OF THE BEST LAID
PLANS OF MICE, MEN AND WOMEN.
AND THAT'S WHY IT'S
CRITICAL, IN MY VIEW, THAT
WE DON'T ASSUME THAT
THIS BATTLE IS OVER.
ON THE OTHER HAND, WHERE THE
CONSERVATIVES IN ONTARIO
DIFFER FROM OTHER POLITICAL
PARTIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY
IS THEY SAY YOU'VE
GOT TO DOUBLE TRACK.
YOU'VE GOT TO MAKE THE
APPROPRIATE CUTS, BUT YOU
ALSO HAVE TO GIVE PEOPLE
SOME HOPE THROUGH SOME
MEASURE OF TAX CUTS.
NOW THAT'S A POLITICAL
GAMBLE, BUT IT'S SOMETHING
THAT CONSERVATIVES IN
ONTARIO BELIEVE VERY
SINCERELY, AND CHAREST'S
SAYING THE SAME THING
FEDERALLY, AND OTHERS ARE
BEING OPPOSED FOR WHAT THEY
CONSIDER TO BE VERY
SUBSTANTIVE REASONS.
SO THAT IS THE DEBATE.

Steve says LIBERALS IN OTTAWA, FOR
EXAMPLE, DON'T BELIEVE IN
TAX CUTS.

Richard Mahoney says THAT'S RIGHT.

Hugh says AND EVEN THE REFORM
PARTY IS OPPOSED TO A
TAX CUT BEFORE THE
DEFICIT IS GONE.
SO THAT IS A
DIFFERENT APPROACH.

Richard Mahoney says THAT'S RIGHT.
AND IT IS, I THINK, ONE OF
THE THINGS THAT WILL MAKE IT
TOUGH FOR EVES OVER THE NEXT
LITTLE WHILE IS THAT IN
SPITE OF THE FACT THAT MUCH
OF THIS PROVINCE HAS BEEN
TURNED UPSIDE DOWN -- WE'VE
HAD A LOT OF CUTTING.
WE'VE HAD, YOU KNOW, SOME
PRETTY INTENSE POLITICAL
DECISIONS MADE IN THE
LAST COUPLE OF YEARS.
WE'VE STILL GOT A 7.5
BILLION DOLLARS DEFICIT TO GET RID OF.
SO THERE'S MORE
CUTTING TO HAPPEN.

Steve says LONG
WAY TO GO STILL.

Richard continues AND THERE'S GOING TO
BE SOME PAIN THERE.
THE OTHER THING IS THAT THE
INTERESTING THING ABOUT THIS
BUDGET, SOME OF THE STUFF THAT
YOU CALLED SUBSIDY AND
HUGH CALLED -- WHAT
DID YOU CALL IT?
INVESTMENT?

Steve says INCENTIVE.

Hugh says MATCHING INCENTIVE.

Richard continues MATCHING INCENTIVE, RIGHT.
IS STUFF THAT ACTUALLY
HAS BEEN DRIVEN BY THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
FOR EXAMPLE, THE
INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM.
SECONDLY, THE VERY GOOD
PROGRAM THAT THE HARRIS
CONSERVATIVES ARE BRINGING
OUT TO MATCH THE FEDERAL
CANADA FUND, WHICH IS
INVESTING IN RESEARCH AND
TECHNOLOGY IN OUR
UNIVERSITIES AND SO FORTH.
BUT THEY'RE DOING THAT SO
THEY CAN BE AVAILABLE FOR
THE FEDERAL PROGRAM.
IT'S A SMART MOVE.
AND CHILD AND POVERTY STUFF
IS IN RESPONSE TO THE
CHILD TAX BENEFIT.

Richard Johnston says AGAIN, IT'S NOT
LIKE THIS IS BRAND NEW.
THIS HAS BEEN -- THE CHANGE
IN THIS HAS BEEN HAPPENING
OVER THE LAST, OH, NINE OR
TEN YEARS, IN TERMS OF NOT
THE STRAIGHT GIVE BUT LET'S
TRY TO GET MATCHING AND THAT
SORT OF APPROACH.
AND IT IS WISE.
AND TO GIVE CREDIT HERE,
I THINK THAT ALTHOUGH I'M
CYNICAL ABOUT THE CHANGE IN
MIDSTREAM AND THEY'RE HAVING
TO DO IT EARLIER THAN THEY
WOULD HAVE LIKED TO, BUT
IT'S A VERY WISE THING FOR
THEM TO HAVE DONE, AND IT'S
QUITE A CLEVER POLITICAL
BUDGET, AND THE MESSAGE
THAT'S BEING PUT FORWARD I
THINK IS A GOOD MESSAGE, AND
I THINK IT HAS THE INTEGRITY
THAT HUGH SPEAKS OF.
THAT IS TO SAY THE TORIES
ACTUALLY BELIEVE THIS
BUSINESS OF GIVING THE TAX
CUT AS THE ADDED SORT OF
CARROT HERE TO US ALL.

Steve asks WHEN YOU SAY WISE, DO YOU
MEAN GOOD POLICY-WISE OR
GOOD GETTING
RE-ELECTED-WISE?

Richard Johnston says WELL, I THINK IN MY OWN
VIEW, IT'S WISE TO GO BACK
AND UNDERSTAND A
RANGE OF THINGS.
IF THE FINALLY LISTENED ON
SOCIAL ASSISTANCE NOT BEING
DUMPED ON THE MUNICIPALITIES
IN THE WAY THEY THOUGHT,
THANK GOODNESS THAT IT GOT
THROUGH AND THAT THEY DID
HEAR THAT.
AND ANY GOVERNMENT THAT HAS
THE CAPACITY TO LISTEN,
I'M HAPPY.
I THINK THAT'S A REALLY
POSITIVE THING FOR ANY
GOVERNMENT TO BE ABLE TO DO.

Steve says IN OUR LAST COUPLE OF
MINUTES HERE, I WANT TO TALK
SOME MORE POLLING NUMBERS
AND PART OF THE POLLARA POLL
WHICH WE DIDN'T PUT UP ON
THE SCREEN THERE, BUT WHICH
I'M GOING TO TELL YOU ABOUT
RIGHT NOW, IS THAT THE
LIBERALS AND THE
CONSERVATIVES IN ONTARIO
RIGHT NOW ARE PRETTY MUCH
TIED IN POPULAR SUPPORT.
THE NDP'S SOMEWHERE
BETWEEN 15 AND 17.

Hugh asks THIS IS PROVINCIALLY?

Steve says PROVINCIALLY, YES.
YES, PROVINCIALLY.
AND IN THE...
WHERE ARE WE HERE?

Hugh says SORRY, I WAS
GETTING A LITTLE EXCITED.
[laughing]

Steve says I'M SORRY.

Hugh says THAT'S OKAY.
I'LL BE ALL RIGHT.

Steve says THOSE OF YOU WORKING ON
THE CHAREST CAMPAIGN –

Richard Mahoney says NOT YET.

Steve says DOES NOT APPLY
TO YOU YET, YEAH.

Hugh says GIVE IT A WEEK.

Steve says WISHFUL THINKING,
BUT WE'LL SEE.
IN THE BELT OF RIDINGS
AROUND METROPOLITAN TORONTO,
THE TORIES ARE AT 62 PERCENT
ACCORDING TO POLLARA.
THAT'S HUGE.
AND IN CENTRAL ONTARIO,
THEY'RE STILL NUMBER ONE
WITH A BULLET.
YOU OBVIOUSLY FEEL
GREAT ABOUT THIS.
WHAT DOES IT SAY TO THESE
TWO OPPOSITION PARTIES WHO
HAVE SEEN THE HARRIS TORIES
TAKE A KICKING IN SO MANY
DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS AND
YET IN THE AREA OF THE
PROVINCE WHERE THEY WON
EVERY SEAT LAST TIME,
THEY'RE STILL SOLID.
WE GOT A MINUTE LEFT.
GO.

Richard Mahoney says WELL, IT MEANS THAT THE
STRATEGY THAT THEY FOLLOWED
IN THE CAMPAIGN AND FOR THE
FIRST TWO YEARS OF THEIR
GOVERNMENT IS STILL BEING
FOLLOWED, WHICH IS NARROW
CASTING TO THEIR CORE.
MOST GOVERNMENTS IN THIS
PROVINCE, BILL DAVIS, BOB
RAE, DAVID PETERSON, GET
ELECTED AND THEN GOVERN
FOR ALL ONTARIANS.
THAT'S NOT THE
HARRIS STYLE.
THE HARRIS STYLE IS TO TRY AND
KEEP YOUR CONSTITUENCY HAPPY.
IF THE POLLARA NUMBERS SAY
THAT, SO FAR IT MEANS,
YOU KNOW, THAT'S WORKING.
ON THE OTHER HAND, A
REASONABLY UNKNOWN NEW
LIBERAL LEADER IS EQUAL TO
THEM IN SUPPORT ACROSS
THE PROVINCE.
THAT MUST GIVE
THEM SOME CONCERN.

Steve says LAST 20 TO YOU.

Richard Johnston says WELL, I THINK THAT IT'S NOT
SURPRISING THE GREATER GTA
PEOPLE ARE STILL
VERY MUCH IN FAVOUR.
THEY FELT DISENFRANCHISED
FOR A LONG TIME.
THEY RESENTED THE CITY AND
THE NETHER REACHES GETTING
EVERYTHING, AND I THINK
THEY'RE HAPPY WITH THE
MEGACITY FIGHT.
I THINK THEY'RE HAPPY WITH A
NUMBER OF THINGS THAT OTHER
PEOPLE ARE QUITE
UNHAPPY ABOUT.

Steve says OKAY, FOLKS.
THE SHUTTLE FOR EASTERN
ONTARIO LEAVES IN FIVE MINUTES.
WE'LL ALL BE ON BOARD.
RICHARD, RICHARD, HUGH.
THANKS VERY MUCH.
WE'LL SEE NEXT TIME.
WELL WE ALWAYS ENJOY YOUR
FEEDBACK ON OUR PROGRAM,
SO WRITE TO US IF
YOU WOULD AT

A slate with the logo of 4th Reading appears on screen. It reads "4th Reading Box 200, Station Q Toronto, Ontario M4T 2T1."

Steve says OR IN CYBERSPACE AT

The slate changes to "Internet Address. 4th_Reading at tvo.org."

Steve says I'M STEVE PAIKIN.
THANKS FOR WATCHING.
WE'LL SEE YOU NEXT WEEK.

(music plays)

A production of TVOntario. The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Show #94 Pre-Election Budget