Transcript: Show #166 "Tough Love" | Sep 12, 1999

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

Fast clips show students in their classrooms.

Steve says THIS WEEK ON 4th
READING, NEW SCHOOL YEAR,
OLD SCHOOL VALUES.
STUDENTS GET SOME OLD TIME
DISCIPLINE AS THEY HEAD BACK
TO CLASS.

Steve, Ruth, Richard, Mac and a guest sit around a table in the shape of a number 4. A logo on screen reads "4th reading."

Steve is in his early forties, clean-shaven, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a dark gray suit over a blue shirt.

Steve says HI, EVERYBODY, I'M STEVE
PAIKIN, AND WELCOME TO OUR
FIRST EDITION OF
4th
READING
FOR THE NEW SEASON.
2 MILLION EXCITED AND
NERVOUS STUDENTS POPPED
BACK INTO ONTARIO'S
CLASSROOMS THIS WEEK.
AND WHILE THERE IS MOSTLY
LABOUR PEACE IN THE
EDUCATIONAL WORLD THIS FALL
FOR A CHANGE, STUDENTS ARE
STILL IN FOR SOME
MAJOR UPHEAVAL.
THERE'S NOT ONLY A NEW HIGH
SCHOOL CURRICULUM, BUT ALSO
SCHOOL DISCIPLINE IS ABOUT TO
UNDERGO SOME RADICAL SURGERY.
FROM A CODE OF CONDUCT TO
STRICT DISCIPLINE PROGRAMS
FOR PROBLEM STUDENTS, THE
CONSERVATIVES AT QUEEN'S
PARK ARE GETTING READY TO
BRING THEIR PARTICULAR
BRAND OF TOUGH LOVE
TO A SCHOOL NEAR YOU.

A clip shows students walking into a school.

Steve says IT WAS BACK TO SCHOOL THIS
WEEK FOR 2 MILLION STUDENTS
IN ONTARIO, FACING THE
CHALLENGES OF A NEW YEAR,
AND FOR MOST STUDENTS,
A NEW CURRICULUM.
A CURRICULUM THAT THE NEW
EDUCATION MINISTER HAS
ALREADY BEEN OUT SELLING
AND DEFENDING AGAINST
TEACHER ACCUSATIONS THAT
IT'S NOT FULLY READY YET.

A clip shows a woman in her forties surrounded by journalists. She has short blond hair, and is wearing a beige blazer and glasses.

A caption on screen reads "Janet Ecker. Education Minister."

She says THE CURRICULUM HAS BEEN OUT
SINCE MARCH, AND THERE'S
BEEN TRAINING SESSIONS, AND
MANY TEACHERS HAVE SPENT AN
INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF TIME
GETTING READY AND ARE READY
FOR THIS FALL FOR
THEIR STUDENTS.

Steve says TEACHER UNION LEADERS
SAY ONLY 40 PERCENT OF THE
NEW HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM
IS ACTUALLY READY
FOR THE CLASSROOM.

A man in his fifties sits at his desk. He has short brown hair, a brown moustache, and is wearing a plaid brown suit, white shirt, and green tie.

A caption reads "Jim Smith. Catholic Teachers."

He says IT'S TOO QUICKLY WITH TOO FEW
RESOURCES FOR IMPLEMENTATION.
AND I THINK THAT'S
BEEN OUR CONCERN.
WE'RE NOT AT ALL OPPOSED TO
NECESSARY CURRICULUM REFORM
BY ANY STRETCH OF
THE IMAGINATION.
BUT WHAT WE ARE CONCERNED
ABOUT IS THE APPARENT LACK
OF RESOURCES TO SUPPORT IT.

Steve says BUT THERE'S A LOT
MORE THAN CURRICULUM
CHANGES ON THE HORIZON.
TORY CAMPAIGN PROMISES LAST
SPRING POINT TO A MAJOR
CHANGE IN PHILOSOPHY,
BACK TO OLD-TIME VALUES.
FOR INSTANCE, THE TORIES
WANT TO INTRODUCE THE
TEACHING OF RESPECT AND
RESPONSIBILITY TO CHILDREN.
AND THEY WANT TO INTRODUCE
A PROVINCE WIDE CODE OF
CONDUCT AND IMPLEMENT
STRICT DISCIPLINE PROGRAMS
FOR TROUBLED YOUTH.
TORY MPP DAN NEWMAN
IS A BIG SUPPORTER OF
SUCH MEASURES.
LAST YEAR, HE INTRODUCED
A PRIVATE MEMBERS BILL TO
TIGHTEN UP SCHOOL
DISCIPLINE.

A man in his forties walks out of an office. He is clean-shaven, has very short gray hair, and is wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and patterned brown tie.

A caption reads "Dan Newman, MPP. PC, Scarborough Southwest."

He says I THINK ONE ONLY NEEDS TO
LOOK RIGHT ACROSS NORTH
AMERICA WITH THE VIOLENCE
THAT'S HAPPENED IN SCHOOLS.
WE'VE HAD VIOLENCE IN
ONTARIO SCHOOLS WAY BACK
IN THE EARLY '70s I BELIEVE
THERE WAS A SHOOTING IN
AN ONTARIO SCHOOL.
I THINK WE NEED LEGISLATION
THAT BRINGS FORWARD A VERY
STRONG MESSAGE THAT ONTARIO
SCHOOLS ARE NOT GOING TO
TOLERATE THE VIOLENCE THAT
HAS HAPPENED, BUT ALSO THAT
WE ARE GOING TO SAY IT'S
NOT GOING TO HAPPEN
IN THE FUTURE AGAIN.

Steve says BUT OPPOSITION
CRITICS SAY THE GOVERNMENT
ISN'T ATTACKING THE
ROOTS OF THE PROBLEMS.

A man in his forties sits at a table. He is clean-shaven, has short curly blond hair, and is wearing a brown suit, white shirt, and spotted black tie.

A caption reads "Gerard Kennedy, MPP. Liberal, Parkdale High Park."

He says WHAT WE NEED ARE RESOURCES,
WHAT WE NEED IS TARGETING.
IF WE ARE GOING TO HAVE
A REAL CODE OF CONDUCT,
WE NEED TO BACK IT UP.
WE NEED TO HAVE SCHOOLS
WITH GUIDANCE COUNSELLORS.
WE NEED TO HAVE, IF POLICE
ARE GOING TO BE INVOLVED,
SOME LIAISON WITH THE
SCHOOL BOARDS, SOME ABILITY
TO IDENTIFY PROBLEM KIDS AS
EARLY AS POSSIBLE, AND GIVE
THEM THE RESOURCES
THEY NEED.
WHICH WE KNOW RIGHT NOW
AREN'T IN MOST OF THE
SCHOOL BOARDS.

Back in the studio, Steve says WILL THOSE RESOURCES
BE AVAILABLE?
HERE TO TELL US IS THE WOMAN
WHOSE JOB IT IS TO BRING
THAT AMBITIOUS DISCIPLINARY
AGENDA TO THE STUDENTS
OF OUR PROVINCE.
HERE'S JANET ECKER.
SHE'S THE NEW MINISTER OF
EDUCATION, AND THE MPP FOR
PICKERING, AJAX, UXBRIDGE.
WELCOME.

Janet says VERY PLEASED
TO BE HERE.

Steve says NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE FOR
OUR FIRST PROGRAM OF THE
NEW SEASON.
CAN WE INTRODUCE THIS GANG
OVER HERE, WHOM YOU KNOW AND
LOVE AS IF THEY WERE FAMILY.

Janet says ABSOLUTELY.

Steve says THE FORMER PRESIDENT
OF THE ONTARIO LIBERAL
PARTY FROM THE OTTAWA LAW
FIRM FRASER MILNER, THERE'S
RICHARD MAHONEY.

Richard Mahoney is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short white hair.

Steve says AND FROM, WELL, NO, THERE'S
RUTH GRIER, FORMER NDP
CABINET MINISTER.

Ruth Grier is in her seventies, with short white hair.

Steve continues AND LEST I GET TO IT
TOO HASTILY, FROM GPC,
GOVERNMENT POLICY
CONSULTANTS, THERE'S TORY
ACTIVIST, MAC PENNEY.

Mac Penney is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with very short gray hair.

Steve says LET ME TELL YOU WHAT I'M
HEARING, AND YOU TELL ME
IF THIS JIVES WITH
WHAT YOU'RE HEARING.
EVERYTHING I'M HEARING
OFF THE TOP IS YOU ARE
PRESENTING A SORT OF
KINDER, GENTLER FACE TO NOT
ONLY THE PUBLIC, BUT
ALSO TO TEACHER UNIONS.
YOU ARE WILLING TO LISTEN.
THAT'S WHAT THEY
ARE TELLING ME.
YOU ARE LESS COMBATIVE.
BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY,
YOU REPRESENT THE SAME
POLICIES THAT THEY RAISED
HELL ABOUT A YEAR OR TWO AGO.
SO AT THE END OF THE DAY, IS
ANYTHING REALLY GOING TO
BE DIFFERENT AND MORE
PEACEFUL OUT THERE?
BECAUSE PARENTS WANT PEACE.
THEY WANT TO GET
IT DONE, RIGHT?
YOU TELL ME.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Janet Ecker. Minister of Education."

Janet says PARENTS AND STUDENTS DO WANT
A LITTLE BIT OF PEACE IN
THEIR TIME.
AND I THINK MOST STUDENTS
ARE GOING TO TRY AND LEARN,
AND MOST PARENTS
WANT THEM TO LEARN.
AND I THINK ONE OF THE
THINGS THAT I'VE TRIED TO
SAY SINCE I BECAME MINISTER
WAS THAT WE WERE ELECTED
HAVING MADE A NUMBER OF
SIGNIFICANT COMMITMENTS TO
THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO THAT WE
WANTED TO DO IN EDUCATION,
CODE OF CONDUCT, FOR
EXAMPLE, CONTINUING TO
IMPROVE THE CURRICULUM,
BRINGING BACK MORE RESPECT
INTO THE CLASSROOM, THOSE
ARE ALL THINGS THAT TEACHERS,
STUDENTS, PARENTS, TOLD
US NEEDED TO BE DONE,
AND WE SAID WE WERE
GOING TO DO THAT.
SO THAT'S BEEN LAID OUT.

Steve says SO IT'S A NEW
CONSENSUS YOU FEEL AMONG
TEACHERS, PARENTS,
STUDENTS, EDUCRATS, AS THEY
ARE SOMETIMES UNFORTUNATELY
CALLED, POLITICIANS.
YOU SEE THIS NEW
CONSENSUS DEVELOPING?

Janet says WELL, WE'LL SEE HOW FAR
IT GOES, BUT SO FAR...

Steve says THAT'S WHAT
I WANT TO KNOW.

Janet says WELL, BUT SO FAR I THINK
THERE'S A LOT OF COMMON
GROUND IN TERMS OF THE GOAL
OF EDUCATION AND WANTING
TO HAVE A BETTER
EDUCATION SYSTEM.
AND I'VE SAID TO ALL OF THE
DIFFERENT GROUPS IN THE
SECTORS THAT I AM PREPARED
TO TAKE ADVICE AND INPUT
BECAUSE I KNOW AT THE END
OF THE DAY, IMPLEMENTING
THESE CHANGES WILL WORK A
LOT BETTER IF I HAVE THAT
ADVICE AND INPUT.
AND SO FAR, EVERYONE HAS
SAID YES, THEY AGREE,
AND WE'LL SEE HOW
FAR IT TAKES US.
I HOPE IT TAKES
US A LONG WAY.

Steve asks YOU'RE REALLY GOING TO
EXPEL STUDENTS WHO ARE
BEHAVIOUR PROBLEMS?
AND IF YOU DO, WHERE ARE
YOU GOING TO PUT THEM?

Janet says WELL, I THINK WE NEED TO
HAVE CONSEQUENCES FOR
BEHAVIOUR IN THE CLASSROOM
THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Steve says INCLUDING EXPULSION.

Janet says IN SOME CASES, YES.
IT'S NOT FAIR TO THE TEACHER
OR THE OTHER STUDENTS IF
YOU HAVE A STUDENT THERE
THAT IS CREATING A PROBLEM.
AND WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE
THE TEACHERS HAVE THE
AUTHORITY, WITHIN THEIR
CLASSROOM, THAT THEY NEED,
THAT PRINCIPALS HAVE THE
AUTHORITY THEY NEED, TO
TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION.
TO MAKE SURE THAT CLASS
GETS THE EDUCATION
THEY'RE THERE FOR.
BUT ALSO, TOO, THAT YOUNG
PERSON WHO HAS A PROBLEM HAS
TO BE DEALT WITH AS WELL.
YOU CAN'T SIMPLY REMOVE THEM
FROM THE CLASS AND SAY,
HAVE A NICE DAY.

Steve says WHERE DO THEY
GO AFTER THAT?

Janet continues THERE HAVE TO BE PROGRAMS
AND SUPPORTS FOR THAT
PARTICULAR STUDENT.

Steve says OKAY, RUTH, THIS IS A NEW
TOUGH LOVE APPROACH WHICH
THE POLLS ARE TELLING THEM,
PARENTS ARE TELLING THEM,
PEOPLE WANT.

The caption changes to "Ruth Grier. Former NDP Cabinet Minister."

Ruth says WELL, I THINK EVERYBODY
WANTS TRUST, DISCIPLINE,
RESPECT WITHIN SCHOOLS.
I DON'T THINK ANYBODY EVER
SAID THEY WERE OPPOSED TO THAT.
AND FRANKLY, TO SAY THEY ARE
INTRODUCING THIS INTO THE
SCHOOLS, IT'S BEEN
IN THE SCHOOLS.
FOR MOST TEACHERS,
INSTILLING RESPECT FOR
AUTHORITY AND FOR THE
TEACHER HAS BEEN VERY MUCH
WHAT TEACHING
HAS BEEN ABOUT.
BUT I THINK AT THE END OF
YOUR CONVERSATION WITH THE
MINISTER, YOU
HIT ON THE CRUX.
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE KIDS
WHO, IN FACT, HAVE PROBLEMS?
I WAS TALKING TO A VICE
PRINCIPAL OF A HIGH SCHOOL,
1200 STUDENTS.
LAST YEAR FOUR AND A HALF
COUNSELLORS, THIS YEAR THREE.
SO IN THE CLASSROOM THEY GET
TOUGH WITH THE KID WHO HAS
PROBLEMS, THERE IS NOBODY
THERE, PROBABLY, TO TALK
ABOUT WHY THAT KID'S HAVING
PROBLEMS, WHAT'S HAPPENING
AT HOME.
THERE PROBABLY IS NO
OPPORTUNITY TO INVOLVE THE
PARENTS IN THAT?
EVERY PARENT WANTS THEIR KID
TO DO WELL AT SCHOOL AND TO
BEHAVE PROPERLY AT SCHOOL.

Steve says I JUST WONDER IF IN THIS
DAY AND AGE IT'S REALLY,
I DON'T KNOW, IS IT
REASONABLE TO EXPECT THAT
SCHOOLS ARE GOING TO BE THE
SAFE VIOLENCE-FREE PLACES
WE ALL WANT THEM TO BE?
IT'S NOT LIKE IN THE OLD
DAYS WHERE THE WORST THING
THAT WOULD HAPPEN WAS A
RUMBLE BEHIND THE BUSH.
YOU KNOW, KIDS BRING KNIVES
TO SCHOOL AND WORSE NOWADAYS.
MAYBE THERE'S NOTHING
YOU CAN DO ABOUT THIS.
IS THAT POSSIBLE?

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

Richard says WELL, I HOPE NOT.
I THINK THE OTHER
INTERESTING QUESTION THERE
IS IF THOSE ISSUES ARE OUT
THERE, THE VIOLENCE IN
SCHOOL YOU TALK ABOUT,
STEVE, IS WILL THE
GOVERNMENT GIVE, AND WILL
PARENTS GIVE, FRANKLY, TEACHERS
AUTHORITY TO DEAL WITH
THOSE DISCIPLINE PROBLEMS?
WHEN YOU AND I WENT TO
SCHOOL BACK IN THE 1900s,
THE ISSUE HAS CHANGED.
PARENTS AREN'T WILLING TO
GIVE TO TEACHERS THE KIND
OF FREE REIGN TO DISCIPLINE
STUDENTS THAT MIGHT HAVE
BEEN GIVEN 40 OR 50
YEARS AGO, NUMBER ONE.
NUMBER TWO, PART OF THIS
IS A RESPONSE TO A REAL
CONCERN AMONG PEOPLE
ABOUT FEAR OF VIOLENCE
IN SCHOOLS.
BUT THE GOVERNMENT, I THINK,
HAS MADE GREAT POLITICAL
ADVANTAGE OF THIS.
THEY CAMPAIGNED ON
THE CODE OF CONDUCT.
MOST OF THESE CODES OF
CONDUCT HAVE BEEN IN PLACE
FOR YEARS IN SCHOOL BOARDS.
IN FACT, I THINK THEY WERE
MADE MANDATORY BY THE NDP
GOVERNMENT IN 1994.
SO THE CHANGE IN THE CODE IS
REALLY, WE'RE JUST GOING TO
MAKE IT UNIFORM.
BUT SCHOOL BOARDS HAVE
HAD CODES IN PLACE.
WHAT THE CHANGES WILL
BE, I DON'T KNOW.

Steve says WELL, LET ME BRING
THAT UP WITH MAC BECAUSE
YOU TEND TO TRY TO LOOK
AT THESE THINGS A LITTLE
STRATEGICALLY, AND
OBVIOUSLY, POLLS ARE SAYING
PARENTS ARE SCARED YOU KNOW
WHAT ABOUT VIOLENCE IN
SCHOOLS, SO LET'S REALLY
HIT THIS AS A HOT BUTTON.
IT WAS A BIG TIME THING IN
THE BLUEPRINT, AND THAT'S
WHY IT'S HERE.
CAN WE LOOK AT IT
THAT CYNICALLY?
THIS IS A RESPONSE TO WHAT
THE POLLS ARE TELLING YOU?

The caption changes to "Mac Penney. Ontario PC Advisor."

Mac says I THINK, STEVE, I'M NOT SURE
IF IT'S A GOOD PROGRAM,
IT'S A GOOD PROGRAM FOR
EXECUTION AND IMPLEMENTATION.
YOU MAY QUESTION MOTIVE.
I'M NOT SURE THAT I CARE IF
THE GOVERNMENT WAS PURE OF
HEART WHEN IT BROUGHT
THIS PROGRAM IN.
THIS PROGRAM DOES SPEAK TO A
NEED IN THE COMMUNITY WHICH
RICHARD IDENTIFIED
AND RUTH AGREES TO.
I THINK THE QUESTION FOR THE
MINISTER IS GOING TO BE ON
THE IMPLEMENTATION SIDE.
THE DANGER OF THIS SORT OF
PROGRAM IS IT CREATES
EXPECTATIONS AMONG
PARENTS, AMONG TEACHERS,
AMONG PRINCIPALS.
AND IF THE PROGRAM ISN'T
PROPERLY IMPLEMENTED OR
PROPERLY RESOURCED, THOSE
EXPECTATIONS ARE GOING
TO BE DISAPPOINTED.
YOU THEREFORE CREATE
CYNICISM AMONG A GROUP OF
SAY, WHAT WE WOULD CALL,
JUVENILE DELINQUENTS,
I GUESS, IN THE 1880s, WHEN
YOU WENT TO SCHOOL, RICHARD.

Richard says BACK TO THE
LAST CENTURY NOW.

Mac says BACK TO THE LAST CENTURY,
PICKING UP COAL AND WHATNOT.
WHO THINK, WELL, THE
GOVERNMENT IS BRINGING IN
THE CODE OF CONDUCT WHICH
THEY'RE NOT ENFORCING,
THERE'S SOMETHING
ELSE WE CAN FLAUNT.

Steve says LET'S FIND OUT.
MINISTER, WHAT CAN
YOU GET AWAY WITH NOW?
STUDENTS NEED TO KNOW, THEY
WILL BE EXPELLED IF, WHAT,
PRESUMABLY THEY
STRIKE A TEACHER?
IF THEY BRING A
WEAPON TO CLASS?
WHAT'S THE NEW LAW NOW?

Janet says FIRST OF ALL, THE CODE OF
CONDUCT PROVINCE-WIDE WILL
BE COMING IN AFTER WE'VE
HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO
DISCUSS AND CONSULT WITH
BOARDS AND PARENTS AND TEACHERS.
BECAUSE, OF COURSE, THERE ARE
CERTAIN KINDS OF CODES AND
THINGS THAT ARE OUT THERE
NOW, BUT WE ALSO HEARD VERY
LOUDLY AND CLEARLY, DESPITE
WHAT'S THERE NOW, WE NEED
TO DO A BETTER JOB.
AND WE NEED TO STOP
SITUATIONS WHERE, AND I
THINK WE'VE ALL HEARD THEM,
I'VE CERTAINLY TALKED TO
TEACHERS, PARENTS,
CHILDREN, WHO ARE AFRAID TO
GO TO SCHOOL BECAUSE
OF BULLYING BECAUSE OF
STUDENTS WHO HAVE BROUGHT
WEAPONS OR ALCOHOL,
OR WHO HARASS TEACHERS.
SO THAT IS THE KIND OF
BEHAVIOUR THAT I THINK
WE NEED TO STOP.
BECAUSE TEACHERS CAN'T
TEACH, AND STUDENTS CAN'T
LEARN IF PEOPLE ARE IN A
CLASSROOM WHERE THEY ARE
AFRAID FOR THEIR
PHYSICAL SAFETY.

Steve says AND YOU INTEND TO
SPEND HOW MANY HUNDREDS OF
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS MORE TO
ENSURE THAT, I DON'T KNOW
WHAT, POLICE ARE AT ENOUGH
SCHOOLS TO ENSURE STUDENTS
WHO ARE ARMED HAVE THOSE
WEAPONS TAKEN AWAY?

Janet says WELL, CERTAINLY, IF THERE
ARE NEW PROGRAMS, AND NEW
THINGS THAT ARE BEING
IMPLEMENTED, RESOURCES MUST
BE PART OF THAT.
BUT I WILL SAY...

Steve asks YOU'VE GOT NO NEW MONEY
FOR THAT THOUGH, DO YOU?

Richard says AND THE LAST
GOVERNMENT CANCELLED, NOT
WHEN YOU WERE MINISTER, THE
OFFICE FOR PREVENTION OF
VIOLENCE IN SCHOOLS.
SO THAT WAS ONE OF THE
RESOURCE CENTRES THAT YOU
COULD HAVE USED,
FRANKLY, TO STOP THAT.

Janet says LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT THE
DOLLAR QUESTION HERE.
BECAUSE EVERYBODY, YOU KNOW,
IT COMES DOWN TO MONEY.
NO MATTER HOW MUCH MORE
MONEY HAS BEEN PUT INTO
EDUCATION, AND THERE IS
MORE MONEY TODAY THAN THERE
WAS, EVERYBODY SAYS IT'S STILL NOT ENOUGH.
AND I WILL BET YOU WE WOULD
PUT IN 3 MORE BILLION
DOLLARS AND THEY WOULD
STILL SAY IT'S NOT ENOUGH.
SO THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT
WE'RE SPENDING IS NOT THE
ISSUE BECAUSE WE COULD BE
SPENDING LOTS OF MONEY, AND
WE ARE, THE QUESTION IS,
WHAT ARE THE RESULTS?
WHAT ARE THE RESULTS THAT
WE'RE GETTING IN CLASSROOMS?
AND IN TERMS OF BEHAVIOUR,
AND SAFETY, PARENTS SAY
THAT IT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
AND THAT'S WHY WE'VE SAID
WE ARE GOING TO BRING IN
THE PROVINCE-WIDE
CODE OF CONDUCT.
HAVE STRICTER PENALTIES
FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE
BRINGING DRUGS OR ALCOHOL
INTO SCHOOLS, HAVING
TRESPASS LAWS THAT MAKES
SURE THAT A PRINCIPAL HAS
THE AUTHORITY TO REMOVE
STRANGERS FROM SCHOOL PROPERTY.
ALL OF THOSE THINGS I THINK
ARE GOING TO HELP MAKE
SAFER CLASSROOMS.

Ruth says ALL OF THIS, NOBODY IS GOING
TO DISAGREE WITH ANYTHING
THE MINISTER SAID.

Janet says SEE, WE HAVE A
CONSENSUS HERE ALREADY.

Ruth says OKAY.
MANY SCHOOLS HAVE
HAD ALL OF THOSE.
THE WHOLE TRESPASS ISSUE HAS
BEEN DEALT WITH IN SCHOOLS
OVER THE LAST
NUMBER OF YEARS.
THE QUESTION COMES HOW ARE
YOU GOING TO ACHIEVE THAT?
AND JUST BY SAYING THERE'LL
BE A STRICTER CODE OF CONDUCT,
OR SAYING YOU WILL BE
EXPELLED IF YOU DO SOMETHING,
ISN'T GOING TO DEAL WITH
THE FACT THERE IS A CHILD
WHO BEHAVES THAT WAY
AND WHO IS NOT GOING TO
BE EDUCATED AS LONG AS
THEY BEHAVE THAT WAY.
AND YOU HAVE TO GO BACK
PROBABLY A COUPLE OF YEARS
TO FIND OUT WHAT, IN FACT,
CAUSED THAT CHILD TO BEHAVE
THAT WAY.
AND ALL OF THOSE RESOURCES
ARE BEING DIMINISHED.
SO HOW DO YOU
INTEND TO DO IT?

Janet says WITH DUE RESPECT, THERE ARE
MANY AREAS, YOU CAN POINT
TO THE INCREASED RESOURCES.
FOR EXAMPLE, WE ARE SPENDING
MORE ON CHILD CARE THAN HAS
EVER BEEN SPENT
IN THIS PROVINCE.
WE'RE SPENDING MORE ON
EDUCATION THAN HAS EVER
BEEN SPENT.
WE HAVE THE FRASER MUSTARD
REPORT THAT TALKS ABOUT
EARLY LEARNING BECAUSE RUTH
IS QUITE RIGHT THAT GETTING
YOUNG PEOPLE...

Ruth says BUT YOU CANCELLED
MOST OF THOSE THINGS.

Janet says WELL, NO WE DIDN'T.
GETTING A CHILD OFF TO A
GOOD START, GETTING THEM
INTO SCHOOL, GETTING THEM
READY TO LEARN, THOSE ARE
VERY, VERY
IMPORTANT THINGS.
AND THE EARLY LEARNING
INITIATIVE IS I THINK
SOMETHING WE'RE ALL
VERY EXCITED ABOUT.
THERE'S A GREAT DEAL OF
CONSENSUS, AGAIN, AROUND THE
NEED TO HAVE THOSE SUPPORTS,
AND THE NEED TO HAVE THOSE
PROGRAMS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
SO WHEN THEY ENTER SCHOOL
THEY'RE READY TO LEARN
AND THEY CAN LEARN.

Ruth says BUT THEY WON'T
BE THERE FOR DECADES.
WE HAVE A NEW MINISTER

Richard says HERE WHO SAYS, AS RUTH SAYS,
IS SAYING ALL THE RIGHT THINGS
IN TERMS OF THESE ISSUES,
BUT WE DON'T KNOW
WHETHER ANY OF THE IDEAS
IN THE FRASER MUSTARD
REPORT WILL TRULY BE
IMPLEMENTED ON A
PROVINCE-WIDE BASIS.
THEY ARE ONLY BEING
DONE ON A PILOT BASIS.
FRASER MUSTARD RECOMMENDED
EARLY CHILDHOOD,
PRE-SCHOOL INVESTMENT.
AND AS RUTH SUGGESTS, THAT'S
WHERE SOME OF THE PROBLEMS
MIGHT EVEN START.
SECONDLY, PART OF THIS HAS
TO BE INSTILLING THAT KIND
OF RESPECT THE CODES
OF CONDUCT BRING OUT.
AND YOU'VE GOT TO INSTILL
RESPECT IN TEACHERS.
I WOULD SUGGEST ONE SMALL
THING YOU COULD DO, RATHER
THAN HAVING A PREMIER SAY
THE TEACHERS ARE A PROBLEM,
OR ARE AN OPPONENT OF
QUALITY OF EDUCATION, IS
BUILD UP THE
AUTHORITY OF TEACHERS.
ONE OF THE INSTITUTIONS
PEOPLE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO
RESPECT IS THEIR TEACHER
BECAUSE THAT'S WHO IS GOING
TO BE DELIVERING
MOST OF THIS STUFF.
AND FINALLY, RUTH
BRINGS UP A GOOD POINT.
HOW ARE WE GOING TO DEAL
WITH ALL THESE PROBLEMS,
CHILDREN WHO ARE EXPELLED,
OR DISCIPLINED BY TEACHERS
OR PRINCIPALS, IF THE
RESOURCES IN SPECIAL
EDUCATION, IN COMMUNITY
POLICING, IN SOCIAL WORK,
AREN'T THERE TO TAKE THAT
KID WHEN HE OR SHE FALLS
OFF THE WAGON?

Steve says PERHAPS IT RAISES A BIGGER
QUESTION ABOUT WHAT ARE THE
BEST CONDITIONS UNDER
WHICH CHILDREN LEARN?
ARE THEY THE CONDITIONS OF
TOUGH LOVE, OR ARE THEY
CONDITIONS OF SORT OF
CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT OF
KINDNESS IN WHICH TO LIVE?
CLEARLY, YOUR GOVERNMENT
SEEMS TO THINK THAT A TOUGH
LOVE AGENDA IS WHAT'S
NECESSARY BECAUSE WE'VE
GOTTEN TOO FAR AWAY FROM
THE BASIC PRINCIPLES.
AM I RIGHT IN
SAYING THAT?

Janet says WELL, I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU
MIGHT WANT TO CHARACTERIZE
IT BUT WHAT WE DO KNOW, WE
NEED IN SCHOOL, AGAIN A
MESSAGE WE'VE HEARD LOUDLY
AND CLEARLY, IS WE NEED A
STRONGER CURRICULUM.
WE NEED HIGHER STANDARDS,
WHICH IS WHAT WE ARE PUTTING
IN PLACE.
WE NEED TO MAKE SURE BY
TESTING THAT WE ARE MEETING
THOSE STANDARDS.
AND IF WE ARE NOT MEETING
THOSE STANDARDS, TO FIND OUT
WHY AND TO FIX THE PROBLEM.

Steve says OKAY, BUT HOW WILL
YOU KNOW, AND WHEN WILL YOU
KNOW WHETHER ANY OF THESE
NEW REFORMS HAVE DONE THE JOB?

Janet says WELL, FIRST OF ALL, THE
FEEDBACK WE'RE GETTING WITH
THE ELEMENTARY CURRICULUM
FROM PARENTS, FROM TEACHERS,
IS THAT IT'S GOOD.
AND THE REASON WE'RE HAVING
PROVINCE-WIDE TESTS AND
STANDARDIZED TESTING IS THAT
AS THOSE RESULTS COME IN,
WE CAN SAY, OKAY, ARE
WE GETTING BETTER?
ARE WE RAISING THE BAR, IF
YOU WILL, FOR ALL OF OUR
CHILDREN, AND IS THE SYSTEM
CONSTANTLY GETTING BETTER?
THAT'S WHY WE TEST.
AND IT ASKS TOUGH QUESTIONS
OF THE SYSTEM, AS IT SHOULD.

Richard says WE NEED A DEBATE ON
THIS PROVINCE-WIDE TESTING
THING THOUGH BECAUSE I
THINK, AS SUPPORTABLE AS
THAT IS AS A NOTION...

Steve asks ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT
TESTING FOR STUDENTS OR
TEACHERS RIGHT NOW?

Richard says FOR STUDENTS.
WHAT MOST OF THOSE REFORMS
ARE DRIVING TOWARDS IS
LITERACY AND DEVELOPING A
BASIC LEVEL OF LITERACY.
THAT WILL BE FINE FOR
AVERAGE STUDENTS AND
GIFTED STUDENTS.
BUT IT WON'T BE GOOD FOR
THOSE WHO MIGHT NORMALLY
HAVE HEADED INTO
VOCATIONAL.
50 YEARS AGO, HALF THE
PEOPLE WHO WERE IN SCHOOL
RIGHT NOW, IN HIGH SCHOOL
RIGHT NOW, WOULDN'T BE
THERE BECAUSE THEY JUST
WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN ABLE TO
KEEP UP WITH THE ENGLISH,
MATH, AND SO FORTH.
AND WE PUT THOSE PEOPLE INTO
VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS AND SO FORTH.
WE NEED TO HAVE A DEBATE
BEFORE WE START PUSHING
THOSE PEOPLE OUT OF SCHOOL
BECAUSE THEY DON'T MAKE THE
TEST, WHETHER THAT'S
THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
AREN'T WE TRYING TO BUILD
CITIZENS HERE, NOT EXPERTS?

Janet says FIRST OF ALL, JUST
BECAUSE SOMEONE IS HEADING
INTO A TRADE OR A VOCATION
DOESN'T MEAN THAT THEY
SHOULDN'T OR AREN'T ABLE
TO MEET APPROPRIATE
LITERACY LEVELS?

Richard asks BUT WHAT DO YOU
DO WITH THEM IF THEY DON'T
MAKE THAT, JANET?
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE ONES
THAT DON'T PASS THAT TEST?

Janet says THAT'S WHAT THE SCHOOL SYSTEM
IS THERE FOR TO MAKE SURE
THAT YOUNG PERSON CAN
MEET THOSE STANDARDS.
AND IF THEY DON'T?
WELL, THEY NEED
THE HELP TO GET...

Richard says THEY'RE NOT
GOING TO BE LEFT BEHIND?

Steve says YOU'RE GOING TO
FAIL KIDS NOW, RIGHT?

Janet says YES.

Steve says YOU'VE TOLD TEACHERS TO FAIL
KIDS, WHICH'D BE A NEW THING.

Janet says WELL, IF KIDS ARE NOT
MEETING THOSE STANDARDS,
THERE NEEDS TO BE FAILURE.
BUT THERE ALSO NEEDS TO BE,
LET US HELP THAT CHILD GET
THAT STANDARD.

Ruth asks HOW DO YOU HELP THEM?

Janet says TAKING THAT CHILD AND
SAYING, OH, WELL, PATTING
THEM ON THE HEAD AND
HANDING THEM A PIECE OF
PAPER AND SENDING THEM OUT
INTO THE WORLD AND SAYING
YOU'VE GOT YOUR HIGH SCHOOL
DEGREE, TERRIFIC, WHEN DO
YOU WANT THAT YOUNG PERSON
TO DISCOVER THE SYSTEM HAS
FAILED THEM?

Steve says IS THERE A COMMITMENT TO
SOME KIND OF REMEDIAL
TEACHING AFTER SCHOOL
THAT YOUR GOVERNMENT IS
ANNOUNCING TODAY?
BECAUSE I HAVEN'T HEARD
THAT, IF THAT'S THE CASE.

Janet says OF COURSE THAT'S
PART OF IT, STEVE.
IT'S ALWAYS BEEN PART OF IT.
THERE'S REMEDIAL THERE NOW.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT IN
SECONDARY, HAVING TRANSFER
COURSES, TRANSITION COURSES,
IF STUDENTS ARE MOVING FROM
ONE STREAM TO ANOTHER.
THAT'S PART OF THE
CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT.

Steve says MINUTE TO GO.
RUTH, COME ON IN HERE.

Ruth says MINISTER, YOU'RE
TALKING ABOUT THIS,
THERE'S GOING TO BE, THERE WILL
BE, I MEAN, THIS IS ANOTHER
PROGRAM WHERE THERE IS
A HUGE GAP BETWEEN THE
RHETORIC AND THE REALITY.
WORKFARE WAS ONE EXAMPLE.
GREAT DISCUSSION ABOUT
WORKFARE, IN FACT, NOT
VERY MANY PEOPLE.
THE SCHOOLS, YOU TALK TO THE
TEACHERS, THEY DON'T HAVE
THE RESOURCES TO
DO THE REMEDIAL.
YOU CAN NO LONGER PASS BY
PUTTING OUT A LOT OF EFFORT
AND BEING A GOOD, SLOW,
METHODICAL STUDENT.
YOU HAVE TO REACH
A CERTAIN STANDARD.
THAT'S OKAY, WE WANT
EVERYONE TO REACH
STANDARDS, BUT THERE'S
ALSO GOT TO BE SOME
ENCOURAGEMENT AND SOME
SUPPORT FOR THOSE WHO
WORK MORE SLOWLY.
THAT'S NOT THERE.

Steve says LET'S GIVE THE
MINISTER THE LAST 20
SECONDS TO TELL US
WHAT YOUR PLANS ARE.

Janet says THERE IS SUPPORT, AND THERE
NEEDS TO BE MORE SUPPORT IN
THE CURRICULUM, AND THAT IS
PART OF WHAT WE ARE DOING.
BECAUSE THE GOAL HERE IS
TO MAKE SURE THAT THAT YOUNG
PERSON, WHEN THEY WALK OUT
OF THAT SCHOOL, HAS GOT NOT
ONLY THE PIECE OF PAPER,
BUT THE KNOWLEDGE AND
THE SKILLS TO BACK IT
UP SO THEY CAN BE
SUCCESSFUL INDIVIDUALS.

Steve says AND I SUSPECT THERE
IS CONSENSUS AROUND THIS
TABLE ON THAT GOAL.
MINISTER OF EDUCATION, JANET
ECKER, THANKS FOR JOINING
US TONIGHT.

Janet says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
VERY PLEASED TO BE HERE.

Steve says NOW, WE KNOW WHAT'S COMING
UP IN THE SCHOOLS THIS
FALL, BUT WHAT ELSE DO THE
TORIES HAVE IN STORE FOR US?
PREMIER HARRIS MADE IT
CLEAR AT A RECENT PC CAUCUS
RETREAT, HIS GOVERNMENT
WILL STILL MAKE TAX CUTS
A MAJOR PRIORITY.

A clip shows Mike Harris talking to a microphone.

He says WHEN I HEAR FEDERAL LIBERAL
MPs SAY IT'S EITHER TAX CUTS
OR
SPENDING,
IT'S NONSENSE.
IT'S BOTH.

Back in the studio, Steve says MIKE HARRIS ON HIS
FAVOURITE TOPIC, TAX CUTS.
HAVING SAID THAT, MAC, WE
HEAR THAT TAX CUTS MAY NOT
ACTUALLY BE
THE TOP
PRIORITY AS THE SESSION
OPENS UP IN A
FEW WEEKS TIME.
WE HEAR AN
ACCOUNTABILITY PACKAGE.
REFERENDUM LEGISLATION THAT
WAS PROMISED IN THE COMMON
SENSE REVOLUTION, BUT
NOT BROUGHT FORWARD,
THAT'S TOP OF THE AGENDA.
IS THAT RIGHT?

Mac says IT WOULD BE THE FOURTH
TIME IT'S BEEN TOP OF THE
AGENDA, SO SOONER OR
LATER, WE'LL BE RIGHT.
IT IS A HOLDOVER FROM THE LAST
MANDATE THAT DIDN'T GET DONE.
WHETHER OR NOT IT'S GOING
TO BE TOP OF THE AGENDA,
I THINK TOP OF THE AGENDA
INSIDE THE GOVERNMENT IS
GOING TO BE HOW ARE YOU
GOING TO GET ANOTHER 900
MILLION DOLLARS OUT TO BALANCE
THE BUDGET ON SCHEDULE.
THAT, I THINK, WILL
REALLY TOP THE AGENDA.
I THINK IN THE LEGISLATIVE
AGENDA, YOU MAY SEE THE
ACCOUNTABILITY PACKAGE.

Steve says WE HEAR A GREAT DEAL,
FEDERALLY, ABOUT HOW ALL OF
THE AGENDA IS MOTIVATED BY
WHETHER THE PRIME MINISTER
IS STAYING OR IS HE GOING?
AND WE HEAR VERY LITTLE
ABOUT THE FACT THAT THAT
SAME QUESTION IS BEING ASKED
AT QUEEN'S PARK THESE DAYS.
HOW LONG IS MIKE
HARRIS AROUND FOR?
DOES HE WANT TO FIGHT
ANOTHER ELECTION, OR IS HE
HERE FOR A FEW YEARS, AND
THEN WILL GO ON AND DO
SOMETHING ELSE?
IF THAT'S TRUE, HOW DOES
THAT INFLUENCE THE AGENDA?

Mac says IF IT'S TRUE, IF THE
SPECULATION IS Mr. HARRIS
WOULD DO ABOUT TWO YEARS IN
THE CURRENT MANDATE, THEN
CONSIDER OTHER OPTIONS, I
THINK IT WOULD INFLUENCE THE
AGENDA IN SO FAR AS HE WOULD
HAVE TO SIT BACK AND SAY
WHAT DOES HE WANT THE MIKE
HARRIS LEGACY TO BE IN ONTARIO?
WHAT DOES HE WANT REMEMBERED
AS THE LAST ACT OF THE
MIKE HARRIS GOVERNMENT?
IN TERMS OF IT BEING THE
MIKE HARRIS GOVERNMENT
UNDER HIS LEADERSHIP.

Steve asks WHAT DO YOU THINK THE
ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION IS?

Mac says WELL, I THINK IT'S GOING
TO BE THE TAX CUT, THE
BALANCED BUDGET, AND I
THINK HE WOULD BE VERY
PROUD AND UNDERSTANDLY SO
IF WE CAN ACTUALLY PAY DOWN
SOME OF THE DEBT.

Ruth says I WOULD THINK IF MIKE HARRIS
WERE TO GO, AND I THINK
IT'S PREMATURE SPECULATION,
THERE'D BE LESS A SHIFT
IN DIRECTION THAN YOU MIGHT
EXPECT TO HAVE FEDERALLY
BECAUSE OF THEIR CLEAR
COMMITMENT TO WHAT THEY RAN
ON IN THE LAST ELECTION.
PRESUMABLY, A NEW LEADER
WOULD HAVE TO FOLLOW THAT
SAME AGENDA.

Steve asks YOU THINK SO?
NEW LEADER HAS TO FOLLOW
THE SAME BLUEPRINT?

Ruth says I THINK IN THIS MANDATE,
YOU WOULD NOT SEE A
SIGNIFICANT CHANGE.

Steve says ONE OF THE MAJOR THINGS THE
CONSERVATIVES HAVE HAD TO
EAT CROW ABOUT HAS
BEEN WORKFARE.
THE NEW MINISTER IN CHARGE
OF WORKFARE, JOHN BAIRD,
HAD WHAT BY ALL ACCOUNTS
WAS A FAIRLY DISASTROUS
NEWS CONFERENCE ABOUT
THIS IN THE SUMMERTIME.
WE HAVE DISCOVERED... EVEN
THE TORONTO SUN,
FOR
GOODNESS SAKES, LAURIE
GOLDSTEIN, HAS WRITTEN
SCATHING THINGS ABOUT HOW
THIS WORKFARE PROGRAM
ISN'T WORKING.
BUT THE LIBERALS ARE IN A
BIT OF A TOUGH POSITION ON
THIS AS WELL BECAUSE A FEW
YEARS AGO, IN THE LAST
ELECTION CAMPAIGN, THEY
KIND OF ENDORSED MANDATORY
OPPORTUNITY, I THINK
THEY WERE CALLING IT.

Richard says WHICH IS WHAT ESSENTIALLY IS
NOW, IF YOU MAKE SENSE OF
THE WORKFARE PROGRAM,
THAT'S WHAT IT IS.
YOU HAVE YOUR CHOICE.
YOU CAN EITHER WORK,
OR TAKE TRAINING.
WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT
WE WERE TALKING ABOUT.

Steve says BUT IT'S A HOT BUTTON THING
THE PUBLIC WANTS, BUT SO
FAR, NO ONE'S HAD ANY LUCK,
AFTER FOUR YEARS PLUS,
GETTING THIS UP
AND GOING, RIGHT?

Ruth says BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T
BUILT IN... THE JOBS ONTARIO
PROGRAM THAT WE HAD, THAT
HAD CHILDCARE, THAT HAD
EDUCATION, THAT HAD PEOPLE
IN JOBS, MANY OF THEM
CREATED BY THE PRIVATE
SECTOR, IT DIDN'T HAVE THE
WHOLE SORT OF PUNITIVE
APPROACH THAT THIS
GOVERNMENT WOULD.
OUR DISCUSSION ON EDUCATION.
YOU WONDER WHETHER THE LAW
AND ORDER AGENDA ISN'T
MOVING OVER INTO THE
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION.
AND THE WORKFARE
WAS THE SAME THING.
IT'S ALL ABOUT PUSHING THE
HOT BUTTONS THAT THERE ARE
SOME PEOPLE IN SOCIETY WHO
DON'T PULL THEIR WEIGHT
AND WHO HAVE TO BE
FORCED TO DO THINGS.
THAT DOESN'T CREATE
JOBS OR TRAINING.

Richard says THE REAL ISSUES IN EDUCATION
IS MAKING THESE LAW AND
ORDER ISSUES.
AND MOST PARENTS, THAT'S NOT
WHAT THEY WAKE UP WORRIED ABOUT
WITH THEIR KID GOING
TO SCHOOL EVERY MORNING,
ISN'T THE LAW AND ORDER
ISSUE... ALTHOUGH THAT'S
A REAL CONCERN.

Steve says SAFETY'S A BIG THING.

Richard says SAFETY'S AN ISSUE, BUT IT'S
MORE THE QUALITY OF THE
EDUCATION THEY'RE GETTING IN
THE CLASSROOM, CAN I KEEP
MY KID IN THAT
KIND OF SCHOOL.

Mac says IN FAIRNESS TO THE
GOVERNMENT, THE TOUGH LOVE...

Richard says THERE'S NO NEED TO
BE FAIR TO THE GOVERNMENT.

Mac says OKAY, I HAD TO BE FAIR
TO THE GOVERNMENT.
THE TOUGH LOVE IS ONE PART
OF A MUCH BROADER EDUCATION
REFORM AGENDA.
WITH RESPECT TO RUTH'S POINT
ON WELFARE, I DON'T THINK
IT'S A MATTER OF... WORKFARE,
IT'S NOT NECESSARILY
A MATTER OF HITTING HOT
BUTTONS, I THINK IT'S A
MATTER OF, AND HAVING BEEN
THERE AT THE TIME, I TAKE
SOME RESPONSIBILITY FOR IT,
IS BADLY UNDERESTIMATING HOW
DIFFICULT IT WOULD BE TO
IMPLEMENT THAT TYPE OF PROGRAM.
AND I THINK, YOU WOULD BE
INCREDIBLY DISINGENUOUS AT
THIS POINT TO STAND BACK
AND SAY THAT PROGRAM IS
NOT DIFFICULT...

Richard says WOULD COST
A LOT OF MONEY, MAC,
TO MAKE THAT
PROBLEM WORK.

Mac says IT WOULD COST A LOT OF
MONEY TO MAKE IT WORK,
AND I THINK
THAT'S VERY TRUE.
I THINK THE EXPERIENCE IN
OTHER JURISDICTIONS HAS BEEN
ON A MUCH SMALLER SCALE.

Steve says I WANT TO GIVE THE LAST HALF
MINUTE HERE TO RICHARD.
WE HAVE AN
UNDERSTANDING OF...

Mac asks WHY?

Steve says BECAUSE I LIKE
HIM SO MUCH.
WE HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING
OF WHAT THE CONSERVATIVES
ARE UP TO.
WHAT ARE THE LIBERALS
GOING TO BE UP TO NOW?

Mac says HE WON'T NEED
HALF A MINUTE FOR THAT.

[laughing]

Steve says THEY GOT A LOT MORE
SUPPORT IN THE LAST ELECTION
THAN PEOPLE THOUGHT THEY WOULD,
AND I GUESS, YOU'VE GOT TO
FIGURE OUT SOME KIND OF
POLICY FOR HANGING ON TO
ALL THOSE NDP-ERS WHO
CAME OVER TO GO FOR YOU
IN THE LAST TIME?

Ruth says I DON'T THINK
THEY SHOULD DO THAT.

Richard says I THINK THAT'S RIGHT, AND
OBVIOUSLY THE FIRST JOB IS
TO POINT OUT THE
SHORTCOMINGS IN THE
GOVERNMENT'S AGENDA, AND
I HOPE THE FOCUS IS ON
EDUCATION A LOT, I ACTUALLY
THINK, RATHER THAN THE HOT
BUTTON ISSUES OF LAW AND
ORDER, BUT RATHER THE
QUALITY OF EDUCATION,
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN OUR
SCHOOLS, KEEPING SCHOOLS IN
THE COMMUNITIES THEY NEED
TO BE IN.

Steve says OKAY.
THAT'S THE POLITICAL SCENE
AROUND QUEEN'S PARK THIS FALL.
BUT ONE MORE ITEM OF
BUSINESS HERE, AND THAT IS
THE LEGISLATURE IS, OF
COURSE, MORE THAN THE DAILY
CUT AND THRUST OF POLITICS,
IT IS ABOUT, WHICH WE
CELEBRATE EVERY WEEK AROUND
THIS TABLE, THE GRAND
TRADITIONS OF DEMOCRACY,
JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SERVICE.
AND THE POWERS THAT BE ARE
TAKING THOSE VERY SERIOUSLY
THIS SUMMER.
THE LEGISLATURE IS
UNDERGOING A 100 MILLION DOLLARS
RENOVATION, THE MOST AMBITIOUS
IN ITS 105-YEAR HISTORY.
HERE'S A TASTE OF WHAT
YOU'LL SEE IF YOU VISIT THE
PINK PALACE THIS FALL.

Several clips show the legislature before and after the renovation.

Dennis Clark says WHEN WE HAD
THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOME
RENOVATIONS IN THE CHAMBER,
WE DECIDED TO GO BACK TO
THE TRADITIONAL
PARLIAMENTARY GREEN, WHICH
DATES BACK TO THE HISTORIC
BRITISH PARLIAMENT.
WE MODEL OURSELVES ON
THE BRITISH TRADITION.
AND AS SUCH, WE FOLLOW
BASICALLY IN THEIR FOOTSTEPS.

Dennis Clark appears on screen. He is in his late forties, has a short brown moustache, short brown hair combed back, and is wearing a dark gray suit, white shirt, patterned brown tie, and glasses.

A caption reads "Dennis Clark. Sergeant-at-arms."

Dennis continues AND WHAT WAS HAPPENING OVER
THE YEARS, IT WAS BECOMING
ALMOST A HODGEPODGE
OF COLOURS IN HERE.
THERE WAS RED, THERE WAS
BLUE, THERE WAS WHITE, AND
DURING THE '60s THEY WENT
TO A LOT OF WHAT THEY
THOUGHT ANTIQUE COLOURS.
WE DECIDED BECAUSE WE HAD A
GOOD WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY,
WITH THE ELECTION, THAT
WE WOULD DO IT RIGHT.

Several clips show paintings on the walls.

Dennis says THERE'S FOUR ALLEGORICAL
FIGURES THAT WE'VE SPENT A
LOT OF TIME LOOKING
AT UNCOVERING.
IT'S HAD APPROXIMATELY EIGHT
COATS OF PAINT SINCE THE
ARTIST PAINTED IT IN 1893.
IT COST IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
OF 300,000 DOLLARS FOR THE
RESTORATION OF THE CHAMBER.
MORE IMPORTANTLY, WE HAD THE
OPPORTUNITY THIS YEAR TO DO
IT PROPERLY.
YOU'VE GOT TO REALIZE WE
HAD TO PUT SCAFFOLDING
THROUGHOUT THE
CHAMBER HERE.
THAT'S NOT ONLY EXPENSIVE,
BUT VERY TIME-CONSUMING.
AND TO DO A RENOVATION OF
THIS MAGNITUDE, WE WERE
LUCKY THIS YEAR
TO HAVE THAT.
I'M MORE THAN HAPPY
WITH THE OUTCOME.
TO ME, IT'S MORE OF A
SOMBRE PLACE, YET STILL HAS
THE RICHNESS.
WHEREAS BEFORE, WITH THE
RED AND BLUE, THERE WAS
SOMETHING ABOUT IT THAT
JUST DIDN'T SIT RIGHT.
NOW, IT'S THE WAY A CHAMBER,
IN MY ESTIMATION, SHOULD BE,
YET HAS THE RICHNESS AND
HISTORICAL FABRIC OF
ITS ORIGINALITY.

Back in the studio, Steve says LOOKS GREAT.
LOOKS GOOD.
I HAVE TIME LEFT, ONLY, TO
THANK THE THREE OF YOU FOR
BEING BACK WITH
US THIS SEASON.
WE HOPE YOU HAD
A GREAT SUMMER.
AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO
YOUR CONTINUING INSIGHTS,
ANALYSIS, AND MAC, LOUSY
JOKES, AS WE CONTINUE
THROUGH ANOTHER
SEASON HERE.

Mac says RATHER LOUSY JOKES
THAN LOUSY ANALYSIS.

Richard says DON'T LAUGH AT HIM.

Steve says MAC PENNEY, RUTH
GRIER, RICHARD MAHONEY,
MANY THANKS TO
THE THREE OF YOU.
WE'LL SEE YOU
AGAIN NEXT WEEK.
AND THAT ENDS OUR FIRST
EDITION OF
4th READING
FOR THIS, OUR EIGHTH
SEASON ON TVO.
HOPE YOU'LL BE WITH US
EVERY WEEK AT THIS TIME.
I'M STEVE PAIKIN.
SO LONG, EVERYONE.

Music plays and the end credits roll.

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 1995, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Show #166 "Tough Love"