Transcript: Show #210 | Nov 05, 2000

(music plays)

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

Steve says THIS WEEK ON 4th
READING, SEE NO EVIL.
ONTARIO'S ENVIRONMENTAL
COMMISSIONER WARNS NO ONE IS
WATCHING THE STORE WHEN IT
COMES TO ENVIRONMENTAL DANGERS.

A clip shows two ducks swimming in a lake and an aerial view of the countryside.

Steve, Ruth, Richard, Mac and a guest sit around a table in the shape of a number 4.

Steve is in his mid-thirties, clean-shaven, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a black jacket over a matching shirt.

Steve says HI EVERYBODY, I'M STEVE
PAIKIN, AND WELCOME TO THIS
WEEK'S EDITION
OF
4th READING.
REMEMBER THOSE TOURISM ADS,
ONTARIO, YOURS TO DISCOVER?
MANY OF US GREW UP WITH
AN IMAGE OF A PROVINCE
BRIMMING WITH SPARKLING
WATER, CLEAN AIR AND
PRISTINE PARKS.
AND WE EXPECTED OUR
GOVERNMENT TO KEEP IT THAT WAY.
BUT A SCATHING REPORT
RELEASED BY ONTARIO'S
ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSIONER
THIS WEEK SAYS ALL IS FAR
FROM PRISTINE ON THE
ENVIRONMENTAL FRONT.

Gord Miller is in his late forties, with a moustache and receding combed hair. He wears a blue suit, white shirt, red brooch and checked blue and white tie.

Steve continues GORD MILLER LAYS THE BLAME
FOR MOST OF THOSE PROBLEMS
SQUARELY AT THE FEET OF THE
MIKE HARRIS GOVERNMENT.
AND WORSE, HE SAYS, NO ONE
IS MINDING THE STORE TO
PREVENT MORE TRAGEDIES
SUCH AS WALKERTON FROM
HAPPENING AGAIN.

A clip plays.

At a conference, Gord says THE REPORT IS ENTITLED,
CHANGING PERSPECTIVES.

Steve says HE MAY BE AN OLD
FRIEND OF PREMIER HARRIS',
BUT THAT DIDN'T STOP GORD
MILLER FROM PANNING THE
GOVERNMENT'S RECORD
ON THE ENVIRONMENT.
THIS WAS MILLER'S FIRST
REPORT SINCE BEING
APPOINTED ENVIRONMENT
COMMISSIONER, AND HIS
MESSAGE WAS CLEAR.
THE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T
HAVE THE POLICIES OR THE
SAFEGUARDS IN PLACE TO DEAL
WITH ENVIRONMENTAL WARNINGS
BEFORE THEY BLOW UP.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Gord Miller. Ontario Environmental Commissioner."

Gord says IT OCCURRED TO ME THAT THE
MINISTRIES CANNOT SEE AND
CANNOT DEAL WITH THESE
PROBLEMS BECAUSE THEY HAVE
THE WRONG PERSPECTIVE.
THEY HAVE A NARROW FOCUS ON
THEIR OWN MANDATES, AND A
SET OF REGULATORY TOOLS
THAT WERE DESIGNED FOR
ANOTHER TIME, WITH A
DIFFERENT SET OF PROBLEMS.

Steve says AND THERE ARE A LOT
OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS
FACING THIS GOVERNMENT.
AT THE TOP OF THE LIST IS A
DROP OF CLOSE TO 50 PERCENT
IN THE ENVIRONMENT
MINISTRY'S FUNDING.
A 120 MILLION DOLLAR
DROP SINCE 1995.

Gord says WHEN THEY LOST A LOT
OF STAFF AT THE MINISTRY OF
THE ENVIRONMENT, THEY LOST
THEIR COLLECTIVE, CORPORATE
MEMORY, AND A LOT OF THEIR
EXPERTISE, AND THEIR MORAL
IS VERY LOW.
SO THESE FACTORS
ALL COMBINE.

Steve says ENVIRONMENT MINISTER DAN
NEWMAN WAS QUICK TO RESPOND.

The caption changes to "Dan Newman. Minister of Environment." Dan is in his mid-forties, clean-shaven with dark hair.

Dan says THERE'S ALWAYS ROOM
FOR IMPROVEMENT.
I THINK THAT'S WHAT
REPORTS LIKE THIS DO.
WITH THE CRITICISMS THAT THE
ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSIONER
HAS BROUGHT FORWARD, I
THINK WE HAVE TO TAKE
THOSE, REVIEW THEM,
LOOK HOW WE CAN MAKE
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
EVEN BETTER IN THIS PROVINCE.

Steve says THE REPORT SAYS THE GOVERNMENT FAILS TO
ADEQUATELY PROTECT
OUR DRINKING WATER.

Gord says THERE IS AN INCREASING
COMPETITION FOR GROUND WATER
RESOURCES, AND THERE IS
LITTLE RECOGNITION THAT
THESE RESOURCES
MAY BE LIMITED.

Standing behind a lectern, Dan says ONTARIO HAS MADE STRONG
PROGRESS TO PROTECT
ONTARIO'S DRINKING WATER.
OPERATION CLEAN WATER WHICH
WAS LAUNCHED ON AUGUST 8th
2000 INCLUDES THE DRINKING
WATER PROTECTION REGULATION.

Steve says MILLER SAYS THE
GOVERNMENT HAS FAILED TO
PROPERLY STUDY THE
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF THE
SALE OF PUBLIC LANDS BY THE
ONTARIO REALTY CORPORATION.

Gord says ONE OF THE THINGS THEY
DIDN'T DO WAS FILE THE
NECESSARY REPORT TO THE
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT ON
ITS ACTIVITIES OF SELLING
LAND, WHICH WOULD HAVE
LISTED ALL THE PROPERTIES
AND GIVEN THE DETAIL.
WE DON'T HAVE THE
REPORT, SO WE DON'T KNOW.

The caption changes to "Chris Hodgson. Minister Responsible for ORC." Chris is in his early forties, clean-shaven with short hair.

Talking to the press, Chris says I EXPECT, AND I KNOW PEOPLE
OF ONTARIO WOULD EXPECT
THAT ONTARIO REALTY
CORPORATION WOULD BE ACTING
ACCORDING TO THE LAWS AND
PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT.

The caption changes to "Tony Miele. CEO, Ontario Realty Corporation." Tony is in his mid-forties, with black hair and clean-shaven.

Tony says DURING THIS REPORTING
PERIOD, THE CORPORATION HAS
NOT SOLD ANY PROPERTY
THAT WAS ENVIRONMENTALLY
SENSITIVE AT ALL.

Steve says THE REPORT ALSO
POINTS OUT THAT THE
MINISTRY OF NATURAL
RESOURCES HAS FAILED TO
PROTECT ENDANGERED SPECIES.

Gord says IN THE REPORTING PERIOD, MY
OFFICE RECEIVED A REQUEST
FOR REVIEW FOR HOW THE
GOVERNMENT HANDLES
ENDANGERED SPECIES UNDER
THE ABR, AND THAT REQUEST
FOR REVIEW WAS TURNED DOWN
BY MANY MINISTRY OF NATURAL
RESOURCES ON GROUNDS THAT I
DIDN'T THINK WERE SUBSTANTIVE.

Steve says MILLER ALSO WARNS
OF THE ENORMOUS IMPACT OF
UNREGULATED LAND
DEVELOPMENT, PARTICULARLY
IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO, AS
THE POPULATION BOOMS.

A man drives a tractor across a field.

Gord says AND NO ONE IS LOOKING
AT THE ACCUMULATIVE IMPACTS
OF THOSE LOSSES.
IT IS OUR ANALYSIS THAT THE
PRESENT PUBLIC POLICY IS
INADEQUATE TO PROTECT THE
FUNCTIONING OF OUR FOREST
ECOSYSTEMS IN
SOUTHERN ONTARIO.
I HAVE GREAT CONCERN
THERE COULD BE SERIOUS
CONSEQUENCES IF THIS PROBLEM
CONTINUES TO BE NEGLECTED.

The caption changes to "Jim Bradley MPP. Liberal Environment Critic." Jim is in his late forties, clean-shaven with blond hair.

Jim says YOU HAVE TO HAVE RESOURCES, AND
YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE WILLPOWER.
THIS GOVERNMENT HAS NEVER
DEMONSTRATED THE WILLPOWER
TO DEAL WITH ENVIRONMENTAL
PROBLEMS UNTIL THEY'RE
EMBARRASSED, AS THEY
WERE BY THE UNFORTUNATE
CIRCUMSTANCES IN WALKERTON.

The caption changes to "Marilyn Churley MPP. NDP Environment Critic." Marilyn is in her early fifties with short dark hair and bangs.

Marilyn says WE'VE GOT TO PREVENT
THE POLLUTION.
WE'VE GOT TO PREVENT
WALKERTONS FROM HAPPENING,
AND NOT TRY TO FIND THE
RESOURCES AFTER PEOPLE DIE
TO CLEAN UP.
I'M AFRAID IF THE GOVERNMENT
DOESN'T PUT THE RESOURCES
BACK IN, WE'RE GOING TO
HAVE MORE WALKERTONS.

The clip ends.

At the studio, Steve says SO ARE THERE MORE
WALKERTONS JUST WAITING
TO HAPPEN OUT THERE?
LET'S FIND OUT.
GORD MILLER IS ONTARIO'S
ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSIONER,
WORKED AS AN OFFICIAL OF THE
MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT
FOR 14 YEARS, AND HIS REPORT,
CHANGING PERSPECTIVES,
WAS RELEASED THIS WEEK.
WELCOME, GORD.
NICE TO HAVE
YOU HERE AT TVO.

Gord says THANK YOU.

Steve says AND YOU KNOW OUR
PANEL OVER HERE.
THERE'S FORMER NDP ENVIRONMENT
MINISTER RUTH GRIER.

Ruth Grier is in her sixties, with short white hair. She’s wearing a gray blazer over a pink shirt, two brooches and glasses.

Steve continues FROM GOVERNMENT POLICY
CONSULTANTS, THERE'S MAC
PENNEY, TORY ACTIVIST.

Mac Penney is in his early fifties, clean-shaven with white hair. He’s wearing a black shirt, gray silk tie and red brooch.

Steve continues AND FORMER PRESIDENT OF
THE ONTARIO LIBERAL PARTY,
RICHARD MAHONEY, A LAWYER
FROM FRASER MILNER CASGRAIN.

Richard Mahoney is in his forties, clean-shaven with gray hair. He’s wearing a dark gray suit, white shirt and patterned purple tie.

Steve continues I'M GOING TO ASK ABOUT
DRINKING WATER OFF THE TOP.
IT SEEMS TO ME THE MOST
IMPORTANT ENVIRONMENTAL
ISSUE FACING US TODAY
IN LIGHT OF WALKERTON.
YOU SAY THE MINISTRY OF THE
ENVIRONMENT CAN'T DO ITS
MOST BASIC JOB, WHICH IS TO
MAKE SURE, FOR THE PEOPLE
OF THIS PROVINCE THAT
THEIR DRINKING WATER'S SAFE.
WHY CAN'T THEY
DO IT ANYMORE?

Gord says I'M NOT SURE THEY CAN'T DO.
IT'S A QUESTION, ARE THEY
DOING IT, I THINK IS
PROBABLY A MORE APPROPRIATE
WAY OF PUTTING IT.
THE BIG QUESTION, THE BIG
THING THAT'S HAPPENING IS
WE'RE NOT LOOKING AT THE
WHOLE WATER ISSUE IN A
BROAD ENOUGH PERSPECTIVE.
THE REPORT RECOMMENDS AN
ECOSYSTEM PERSPECTIVE.
IF YOU TAKE THE WALKERTON
EXAMPLE, FOR INSTANCE, VERY
TRAGIC, BUT REALLY, WHAT
HAPPENED WAS THERE WAS A
WELLHEAD THAT WAS
CONNECTED TO THE SURFACE,
AND CATTLE WERE GRAZING,
WE KNOW THAT NOW, AND THE
CATTLE MANURE CONTAINED
BACTERIA THAT GOT INTO
THE WELLHEAD.
WELL, THE CORRECT
PERSPECTIVE IS TO SAY WHY
DO WE HAVE CATTLE GRAZING
WHERE OUR MUNICIPAL
WELLHEADS ARE?
WHY DON'T OUR LAND PLANNING
MECHANISMS, WHEN WE LOOK AT
SITING THESE THINGS, WE
LOOK AT APPROVING OUR LAND
USES, WHY AREN'T WE TAKING
THAT INTO CONSIDERATION?

Steve says AND WHAT'S
THE ANSWER?
WHY AREN'T WE?

Gord says WELL, THE ANSWER IS
WE'VE LOST THE PERSPECTIVE.

Steve says WHO'S WE?

Gord says WELL, I GUESS WE
COLLECTIVELY, BUT LET'S
LOOK AT THIS, THE MINISTRY
OF THE ENVIRONMENT LOOKS AT
WATER SYSTEMS.
THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE
PROMOTES AND HELPS FARMERS
ON THE LAND.
THE MINISTRY OF MUNICIPAL
AFFAIRS AND HOUSING SETS THE
GENERAL PARAMETERS AND
POLICY AND RULES FOR
LAND DEVELOPMENT.
BUT NONE OF THEM LOOK AT
THESE ISSUES COLLECTIVELY
AND SAY WHAT IS THE
IMPACT ON THE LANDSCAPE.

Steve says A FEW MONTHS AGO, YOU
SAID WALKERTON, YOU DIDN'T
THINK, REPRESENTED ANY
WIDESPREAD SYSTEMIC PROBLEM
FOR DRINKING WATER
AT THIS TIME.
DO YOU STILL
BELIEVE THAT?

Gord says THAT WAS THE DAY AFTER WHEN
ALL WE HAD WAS EVIDENCE OF
NON-REPORTING OF A HAZARD.
NOW WE KNOW THE FACTS.
AND I THINK I LEFT THE
DOOR OPEN AT THIS TIME.
AND CERTAINLY WHEN I
RELEASED THE SPECIAL REPORT
IN JULY, IT PUT TO REST THE
FACT THAT I NOW REALIZED
THAT THE PICTURE
WAS MUCH BROADER.
THE MINISTRY PERFORMANCE WAS
NOT UP TO THE STANDARDS
WE WOULD EXPECT, AND THE
ISSUES WERE WIDE RANGING.

Steve says ONE MORE BEFORE I GET THE
PANEL IN, AND THAT IS
DAN NEWMAN, THE ENVIRONMENT
MINISTER, SAYS HE WELCOMES
YOUR REPORT.
DO YOU BELIEVE THAT?

Gord chuckles and says WELL, IT'S A HARD
QUESTION TO ANSWER.

Steve says THAT'S
WHY I ASKED IT.

[laughing]

Steve says IT'S POLITICAL OVERTONES,
AND OF COURSE I'M NOT
SUPPOSED TO BE POLITICAL.
I WOULD TAKE HIM
AT FACE VALUE.
HERE'S A RELATIVELY
NEW MINISTER.
HE HAS BIG CHALLENGES.
WE'VE HELPED HIM IDENTIFY
THOSE CHALLENGES.
AND IF IT HELPS HIM SET THE
AGENDA AND PERHAPS GET MORE
RESOURCES OUT OF CABINET,
I GUESS MAYBE THAT'S WHY
HE WELCOMES IT.

Steve says ONE OF THE THINGS, RUTH,
GORD ALSO SAYS IN HIS
REPORT IS WE CAN'T KEEP
TAKING RURAL LAND AND
TURNING IT INTO GOLF
COURSES OR HIGHWAYS OR
INTENSIVE AGRICULTURAL FARMS
OR HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS,
AND SO ON, WITHOUT
UNDERSTANDING WHAT THE
CONSEQUENCES ARE THAT
COME ALONG WITH THAT.
DO YOU THINK THAT WE, YET,
AS A PROVINCE, UNDERSTAND
THE CONSEQUENCES THAT COME
WITH THIS MASSIVE EXPANSION
THAT WE'RE GOING
THROUGH RIGHT NOW?

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

Ruth says NO, BUT WE DID.
DON'T FORGET THE JOHN SEWELL
COMMISSION WHICH BROUGHT
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS
AND LAND USE PLANNING
TOGETHER THAT RESULTED IN
AMENDMENTS TO THE PLANNING
ACT THAT DID PRECISELY THE
KIND OF INTEGRATION THAT
THE COMMISSIONER HAS
TALKED ABOUT, AND THAT
WAS ABOLISHED BY
THIS GOVERNMENT.

Steve says SO WHY ARE
WE FALLING SHORT?

Ruth says BECAUSE THIS GOVERNMENT
HAS UNDONE ALL OF THE
PROTECTIONS THAT WERE
SLOWLY AND PAINFULLY BUILT
OVER 15 YEARS, TO BRING
MINISTRIES TOGETHER.
BECAUSE I AGREE WITH
THE COMMISSIONER.
MINISTRIES HAVE THEIR OWN
PERSPECTIVE, AND IT'S VERY
HARD TO GET THEM
TO WORK TOGETHER.
BUT UNDER OUR GOVERNMENT,
THAT WAS BEGINNING TO HAPPEN.
THERE WAS SOMEBODY IN
CABINET OFFICE WHOSE JOB IT
WAS TO LOOK AT CABINET
SUBMISSIONS AND SAY HAVE
THE ENVIRONMENTAL
CONSIDERATIONS BEEN TAKEN
INTO ACCOUNT?
THE MINISTRY OF THE
ENVIRONMENT CANNOT BE THE
WATCHDOG FOR ALL THE
OTHER MINISTRIES.
IT'S AN OPERATIONAL
MINISTRY.

Steve says MAC, IN FACT I WENT BACK
AND READ THE FIRST EVER
PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE
GOVERNMENT THRONE SPEECH OF
THIS MIKE HARRIS
ERA FROM 1995.
I WENT BACK AND READ
IT EARLIER TODAY.
AND IN QUOTES IT SAYS, THEY
PROMISE TO BALANCE ECONOMIC
AND ENVIRONMENTAL INTERESTS.
HOW WELL, HONESTLY, DO YOU
THINK THIS GOVERNMENT HAS
BALANCED ECONOMIC AND
ENVIRONMENTAL INTERESTS?

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

Mac says WELL, I THINK THE GOVERNMENT
ITSELF WOULD ADMIT, AND THE
MINISTER ACKNOWLEDGED
YESTERDAY THAT THERE'S ALWAYS
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT.
AND THIS IS ONE AREA
IN WHICH I THINK THE
GOVERNMENT DOES
HAVE TO IMPROVE.
I THINK THEY'RE MAKING
AN EFFORT TO IMPROVE.
I THINK RUTH HAS
A VERY GOOD POINT.
THERE WOULD PROBABLY BE A
ROLE INSIDE GOVERNMENT FOR
AN INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSE
TO THESE SORTS OF ISSUES
WHICH WERE RAISED BY THE
COMMISSIONER IN HIS REPORT
TO PROVIDE FOR GREATER
COORDINATION ACROSS GOVERNMENT.
AND THAT IS SOMETHING THAT
PROBABLY Mr. NEWMAN WILL
PROBABLY BE
TAKING A LOOK AT.
I TEND TO DISAGREE ARE
RUTH'S RATHER BLANKET
CONDEMNATION OF THE
GOVERNMENT IN TERMS OF
DISMANTLING EVERY INITIATIVE
THAT WAS EVER IMPLEMENTED.
WE HAD...

Ruth says NAME ONE THEY HAVEN'T.

Mac says WE CAN NAME ONES
THEY'VE INTRODUCED.
CLEARLY THEY'RE COMMITTED
TO SOUND MUNICIPAL
WASTE POLICIES.
THEY'VE INTRODUCE VOX, NOX
CONTROLS ON ANTI-SMOG.
I KNOW, RUTH, THEY'RE
NOT PERHAPS UP TO YOUR
STANDARDS, BUT THERE ARE
INITIATIVES WHICH HAVE BEEN
TAKEN BY THIS ADMINISTRATION
TO ADDRESS PRESSING
PROBLEMS IN THE
ENVIRONMENT.

Ruth says BUT THE POINT I WAS TRYING
TO MAKE WAS SO MANY OF THEM
ARE REPLACING THINGS THAT
WERE THERE IN '95, AND THAT
WERE ABOLISHED IN THE FIRST
FLOOD OF CUTTING RED TAPE.

Mac says AGAIN, I TAKE SOME
ISSUE WITH THAT.
THERE'S NO, FOR EXAMPLE,
THE RECYCLING PROGRAMS
WERE THERE IN '95.
THEY'RE THERE TODAY.

Ruth says THEY CERTAINLY ARE.
AND THE REGULATIONS.

Mac continues AND THE ANTI-SMOG PROGRAMS
WERE THERE IN '95,
THEY'RE THERE TODAY.
THE VOX AND NOX LEVELS
HAVE BEEN ADJUSTED.
THOSE ARE CONTINUING PROGRAMS
WITH CONTINUING INITIATIVES.

Steve says LET'S GET
RICHARD IN HERE.
GO AHEAD.

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

Richard says FIRST OF ALL, I
GENERALLY AGREE WITH RUTH
ON THIS NOT
SURPRISINGLY, PERHAPS.
I THINK FIRST OF ALL IT
IS IMPORTANT THAT WE HAVE
SOMEONE LIKE THE
ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSIONER
WHO I HOPE YOU DON'T MIND
ME SAYING, WHEN HE WAS
APPOINTED, THERE WAS MUCH
COMMENT ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCE
IN THE ENVIRONMENT, AND
THERE WAS ALSO SOME
COMMENT, IN FAIRNESS, ABOUT
THE FACT HE WAS A FORMER,
I THINK, PRESIDENT OF
A RIDING ASSOCIATION.

Steve says CAN I JUST CLARIFY
THIS, AND WE'LL GET IT ON
THE TABLE BECAUSE IT SHOULD
BEAR SOME DISCUSSION AT
SOME POINT IN THE PROGRAM.
YOU HAD PREVIOUSLY RUN
FOR THE CONSERVATIVES
PROVINCIALLY IN YOUR
HOMETOWN OF TIMMINS, I THINK.
YOU WERE PREVIOUSLY A RIDING
ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT FOR
THE FEDERAL RIDING
IN NORTH BAY, RIGHT?
NIPISSING.
OKAY.
SO THAT WAS BROUGHT
TO THE TABLE.
HE'S ALSO HAD A HELL OF A
LOT OF EXPERIENCE DEALING
WITH THE
ENVIRONMENT, AS WELL.
WHICH IS ALSO
PART OF THE MIX.

Richard says AND I RAISE THIS
TO NOTE FOR THE PUBLIC
RECORD THAT OBVIOUSLY, AT
LEAST AT FIRST BRUSH, THE
COMMISSIONER, I THINK, IS
DOING EXACTLY WHAT WE THE
PEOPLE OF ONTARIO NEED HIM
TO DO, WHICH IS HE DOESN'T
WORK FOR THE MINISTER
OF THE ENVIRONMENT.
HE'S THERE TO PROTECT OUR
INTEREST, TO GIVE US A SENSE
OF WHAT'S HAPPENING AND
WHAT'S NOT HAPPENING.
SO FIRST OF ALL,
CONGRATULATIONS FOR THAT.
SECONDLY, THE POINT THAT HE
MADE ABOUT, THAT SOMEHOW WE
NEED TO HAVE A GLOBAL
PERSPECTIVE ON THIS, THAT WE
NEED TO LOOK AT LAND
USE POLICIES, I THINK
INSTINCTIVELY, RUTH MAY BE
RIGHT THIS GOVERNMENT HAS
TAKEN A LOT OF STEPS BACK
IN TERMS OF FUNDING THE
ENVIRONMENT, BUT I THINK
INSTINCTIVELY, MOST
ONTARIANS DO SORT OF
REALIZE THAT THERE IS A
COST TO THE URBAN SPRAWL,
TO THE GROWTH OF THESE HUGE
SORT OF INDUSTRIAL FARMS.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO PAY THAT
MUCH ATTENTION TO REALIZE
EVENTUALLY THERE IS GOING
TO BE A COST TO THIS.
AND IF THERE IS NOT SOME
OVERRIDING PRINCIPLE THAT
SAYS, AS THE COMMISSIONER
SAID, THAT MAYBE WE OUGHT
NOT TO HAVE WELL WATER,
OR WE SHOULDN'T HAVE A
COMMERCIAL FARM AUTHORIZED
FOR USE BESIDE AN OPEN
WELL, I NOTED IN STUFF I
WAS READING THIS WEEK, AS
FAR BACK AS THE '70s, THERE
WERE OFFICIALS POINTING TO
THAT VERY FACT IN WALKERTON
SAYING MAYBE SOMEBODY OUGHT
TO BUY THAT LAND
AND KEEP IT AWAY FROM...

Steve says GORD, LET ME ASK YOU,
WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE?
YOU'VE BEEN STUDYING
THIS NOW FOR A YEAR.
WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE THAT
YOU WOULD POINT TO THAT
SHOWS THE GOVERNMENT IS
SERIOUS ABOUT IMPROVING ITS
RECORD ON THE ENVIRONMENT?

Gord says WELL, IT'S NOT REALLY MY
ROLE TO APOLOGIZE FOR
THE GOVERNMENT OR...

Steve says NOT APOLOGIZE.

Gord continues OR TO SUGGEST THEY
ARE IMPROVING OR NOT.
MY ROLE IS TO PROTECT THE
ENVIRONMENT AND TO SPEAK
FOR THE ENVIRONMENT.
I THINK THERE HAVE
BEEN SOME MOVEMENTS.
WE DID THE SPECIAL REPORT
ON JULY 27th ON INTENSIVE
AGRICULTURE AND GROUND
WATER, AND WE'VE HAD SOME
MONEY ALLOCATED
FOR GROUND WATER.

Steve asks HOW MUCH?

Gord replies 6 MILLION.

Steve asks IS THAT OKAY?

Gord replies ONE COMPONENT OF
WHAT WE ASKED FOR.
OH, NO, IT'S NOT THE
WHOLE PACKAGE FOR SURE.

Ruth says OVER THREE YEARS.

Gord continues BUT IT'S THE GROUND
WATER MONITORING.
I WELCOME THAT.
I DON'T WANT TO BE HARD
ON THEM BECAUSE IT IS A
MOVEMENT TO PUT IN PLACE
GROUND WATER MONITORS, WHICH
WE HAVEN'T HAD IN THE PROVINCE,
AND THAT'S A GOOD THING.

Steve says MAY I ADD, THE
RECOMMENDATION TO DO
THAT CAME DOWN IN 1997.
YOU SUGGESTED IT, THEY, WHAT
WAS IT, THREE DAYS BEFORE
YOUR REPORT CAME OUT,
THEY ANNOUNCED IT?
I DON'T WANT TO BE
SKEPTICAL, BUT THAT SEEMS
LIKE A HECK OF
A COINCIDENCE.

Richard says SOME MIGHT SUGGEST
THEY WERE TRYING TO GET OUT
IN FRONT OF Mr.
MILLER'S REPORT.
I DON'T WANT TO BE
UNFAIR IN ANY WAY.

Mac says I'M SURE YOU WOULDN'T
WANT TO BE UNFAIR, BUT I
MEAN THE GROUND WATER
POLICY WAS ANNOUNCED SEVERAL
MONTHS BEFORE THE
REPORT CAME OUT.
IT WAS CLEAR AT THE TIME IT
WAS GOING TO BE A SERIES OF
CONTINUING INITIATIVES
OVER YEARS.

Richard says SO IT WAS NOT A
REANNOUNCEMENT THIS WEEK.

Mac says NO, IT WAS NOT A
REANNOUNCEMENT,
IT WAS REALLY
NEW MONEY.

Richard says OKAY, YOU SAID IT WAS
ANNOUNCED A FEW MONTHS AGO.
I'M CONFUSED NOW.

Mac says NO, THE POLICY WAS
ANNOUNCED, A SERIES OF
INITIATIVES CONSISTENT WITH
THAT POLICY ARE GOING TO
COME OUT OVER A
NUMBER OF MONTHS.
THAT WAS CLEAR.

Ruth says 2 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR FOR
THREE YEARS IS PEANUTS.

Steve says RUTH HAS THE FLOOR.

Ruth says THERE WERE 900 MONITORING
STATIONS IN '95.
THERE AREN'T ANYMORE.
THIS IS 2 MILLION DOLLARS A
YEAR FOR THREE YEARS.
IT IS A PEANUT IN
WHAT'S REQUIRED.
AND IF YOU DON'T DO SOME
PREVENTION, AS WELL AS SOME
MONITORING, THEN THE
MONITORING IS USELESS.

Mac says THE GROUND WATER
POLICY, CLEARLY THE
GOVERNMENT IS COMMITTED TO
IT, AND IT'S JUST NOT
THE 6 MILLION DOLLARS.
THERE'S THE O STAR PROGRAM
WHICH IS INTENDED TO HELP
SMALL MUNICIPALITIES, RURAL
MUNICIPALITIES IMPROVE WATER.

Richard says THE CONSERVATION
AUTHORITIES THAT YOU'VE
GUTTED SINCE YOU'VE
BEEN IN POWER.
CONSERVATION AUTHORITIES
ESSENTIALLY OPERATE
REGIONALLY ACROSS THE
PROVINCE AND WORRY ABOUT
THINGS LIKE THE
QUALITY OF OUR WATER.
THEY'VE BEEN
ESSENTIALLY GUTTED.
50 PERCENT BUDGET
CUTS UNDER THE TORIES.
THEY'RE STILL OPERATING.

Richard says THEY'VE
BEEN EMASCULATED.

[all talking at once]

Ruth says IT WAS THIS GOVERNMENT
IN 1998 THAT BROUGHT IN THE
FARM PRACTICES ACT WHICH
IN FACT INTRODUCED AND
LEGITIMIZED THESE
BIG FACTORY FARMS.
ALL OF THE AMENDMENTS THAT
ENVIRONMENTALISTS SUGGESTED
TO THAT GOVERNMENT
LEGISLATION, WHICH WOULD
HAVE PREVENTED MORE
WALKERTONS, WERE TURNED
DOWN BY THE GOVERNMENT.

Steve says BUT LET ME ASK THE
OVERARCHING PHILOSOPHICAL
QUESTION HERE BECAUSE THERE
IS CERTAINLY A STRAIN
WITHIN THIS PROGRESSIVE
CONSERVATIVE PARTY THAT
RULES ONTARIO TODAY THAT
THE GOVERNMENT REALLY
SHOULDN'T BE DRAMATICALLY
INVOLVED IN PROTECTING
THE ENVIRONMENT.
AND THERE IS ANOTHER SIDE OF
THE COIN, OBVIOUSLY, WHICH
SAYS YES YOU DO NEED
GOVERNMENT IN THERE MAKING
SURE THAT
EVERYTHING IS OKAY.
SIGNIFICANT PORTION, I THINK
IT'S FAIR TO SAY, OF THE
CONSERVATIVE PARTY THINKS
THE PRIVATE SECTOR CAN
HANDLE THIS JUST FINE, AND
THEY CAN BE RESPONSIBLE,
AND THEY CAN DO THE JOB.
WHICH DO YOU BELIEVE?

Gord says WELL, WHAT I BELIEVE IS
GOVERNMENT HAS LEGISLATION
IT HAS TO OPERATE
WITH UNDER.
AND THE OBJECTIVES
HAVE TO BE MET.
SO THE FINAL OBLIGATION TO
PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT
RESTS WITH THE
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT.
NOW, THERE ARE MANY
MECHANISMS THEY CAN CHOOSE
IN ANY INSTANCE TO
PURSUE THAT END.
BUT I'M GOING TO BE THERE
AND LOOKING AT THE LEVEL OF
PROTECTION GIVEN
TO THE ENVIRONMENT.
IF THEY WANT TO DO A PRIVATE
SECTOR MODEL, OR PUBLIC
SECTOR MODEL, WHATEVER,
TO ME WHAT MATTERS IS THE
ENVIRONMENT IS
PROTECTED AND IT WORKS.
SO EVEN IF YOU GO TO A
PRIVATE SECTOR MODEL ON SOME
OF THESE MECHANISMS, THERE'S
STILL GOT TO BE AUDITING.
THERE'S STILL GOT TO BE
QUALITY CONTROL, AND THEY
HAVE TO ACHIEVE
THE RESULTS.

Steve says ROBERT F. KENNEDY Jr.,
WHO I'M SURE WE ALL KNOW
AT THIS TABLE.

Mac says A GOOD TORY.

Steve smiles and says NO, I DON'T THINK SO.
HE WAS UP HERE
A FEW WEEKS AGO.
AND HE SAID...

Mac says A LIBERAL
FUNDRAISER.

Steve continues THAT'S TRUE, ACTUALLY.
WE CAN'T TRUST GOVERNMENT,
AND WE CAN'T TRUST THE
PRIVATE SECTOR TO KEEP
THE ENVIRONMENT CLEAN.
THE ONLY PEOPLE WE CAN TRUST
IS OUR RIGHT TO SUE PEOPLE
TO KEEP IT CLEAN.
NOW, WE DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT
IN ONTARIO, AS INDIVIDUAL
CITIZENS TO SUE POLLUTERS.

Gord says WELL, WE DO.

Steve says WE HAVE THE RIGHT
TO TRY TO CONVINCE THE
ENVIRONMENTAL BILL OF RIGHTS
PEOPLE TO LAUNCH A LAWSUIT,
DON'T WE?

Gord says UNDER THE ENVIRONMENTAL BILL
OF RIGHTS, RUTH KNOWS VERY
WELL, SHE PUT IT THROUGH,
IT WAS HER PIECE OF
LEGISLATION IS THAT WE HAVE
THE RIGHTS TO SUE FOR HARM
TO A PUBLIC RESOURCE.
WE DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT, WE
CAN'T GET RICH DOING IT.
IT'S A PURE LAWSUIT IN THAT
PEOPLE CAN LAUNCH A LAWSUIT
AND SEEK RETRIBUTION BEFORE
THE COURTS, BUT THEY CAN'T
PROFIT PERSONALLY BY THAT.

Richard says A PUBLIC
CITIZEN SORT OF PROCESS.

Gord says YES, AND THAT EXISTS.
NOW, IT HASN'T
REALLY BEEN USED.
THERE HAVE BEEN TWO
LAUNCHED, NONE CONCLUDED,
BUT THAT RIGHT EXISTS.

Ruth says THE PHILOSOPHICAL
DIFFERENCE, AND THE CORE OF
THE BILL OF RIGHTS WHICH THE
COMMISSIONER HAS MENTIONED IS
THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS
THE RESPONSIBILITY TO
PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT.
SO I THINK I WOULD AGREE
WITH GORD THAT THE
MECHANISMS ARE NOT REALLY
HIS ISSUE, IT'S HOLDING THE
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE.
AND ONE OF THE WORRIES I
HAVE IN LOOKING AT THIS
REPORT IS, AND I'M GLAD
THAT YOU WERE CRITICAL
OF THE GOVERNMENT.
ON THE OTHER HAND I'M
TERRIFIED EVEN SOMEBODY WHO
IS SEEN AS A FRIEND OF THE
GOVERNMENT FOUND SO MUCH
TO CRITICIZE, IT
REALLY IS AWFUL.
BUT THERE'S A LOT OF
GENERALIZATIONS, AND SOME
ISSUES ARE NOT NEW IN HERE.
AND MY WORRY IS THAT THE
ACTUAL DATA THAT WILL ENABLE
YOU TO DRAW HARD AND FAST
CONCLUSIONS IN THE FUTURE IS
LESS AND LESS EACH YEAR
BECAUSE OF THE CUTBACKS
IN DATA COLLECTION.
SO THE ABILITY OF THIS
OFFICE TO HOLD THE
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE IS
DIMINISHING AND WILL OVER TIME.

Steve says DID YOU
WANT A WORD HERE?

Richard says IF THERE'S ONE SORT OF
SWEEPING THING THAT I
THINK WE'VE TALKED ABOUT ON
THIS PROGRAM BEFORE IN THE
ENVIRONMENT, AND CERTAINLY
THE COMMISSIONER HAS
POINTED OUT AGAIN IN HIS
REPORT, IT'S NOT JUST ON
THE GROUND WATER, BUT
GENERALLY THERE IS A LAXNESS
OR A FAILURE TO ENFORCE
ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS
AND LAWS THAT EXIST NOW.
IT'S THAT ALMOST FRONTIER
LAWLESSNESS THAT NO ONE'S
ACTUALLY MINDING THE STORE
THAT WE ALREADY HAVE.
THE STORE WE HAVE ISN'T BAD.
THERE ARE LOTS OF LAWS
IN PLACE TO PROTECT US.
AND SOME WHICH GIVE US
RIGHTS AS CITIZENS.
BUT SOMEBODY'S GOT TO
ENFORCE THOSE LAWS AND MAKE
SURE THEY HAPPEN, OTHERWISE
WE'RE ALL IN DEEP TROUBLE.

Steve says YOU RAISE THIS, AND IT LEADS
ME TO A QUESTION ABOUT THE
ONTARIO REALTY CORPORATION.
WE SAW IN THE BACKGROUND
PIECE YOU CERTAINLY CALLED
IT A GARAGE CLUTTER, THE
WAY LANDS ARE BEING SOLD
OFF WITHOUT ANY REGARD TO
WHETHER OR NOT THEY'RE
ENVIRONMENTALLY
APPROPRIATE TO DO SO.
TONY MIELE, WHO IS THE HEAD
OF ORC SAYS THERE HAS BEEN
NO LAND SOLD THAT HAS BEEN
OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEM.
ENVIRONMENT SIGNIFICANCE.

Gord says THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve says IS HE
RIGHT ABOUT THAT?

Gord says WELL, WE'LL HAVE TO
DISAGREE ON THAT.
I STAND BY OUR REPORT
AND OUR ANALYSIS AND
INFORMATION THAT WE HAVE.
OBVIOUSLY, HE HAS MORE
INFORMATION, BUT THE KEY BIT
OF INFORMATION, WHICH IS THE
ANNUAL REPORT WHICH SHOULD
HAVE BEEN FILED WITH THE
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT,
WHICH WOULD LAY OUT ALL
THE DETAIL OF ALL THE LAND
TRANSACTIONS OF THE
ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW
CONDUCTED IN EACH
CASE WAS NOT FILED.

Steve says CAN YOU GIVE US A FOR
INSTANCE ON THAT?
WHAT KIND OF LAND MIGHT HAVE
BEEN SOLD THAT WAS UNDER
THE AUSPICES OF THE ORC
THAT WAS ENVIRONMENTAL...

Gord says THERE MIGHT HAVE BEEN LAND
SOLD ON THE OAKRIDGES MORAINE.
IT IS THEIR OPINION, BY THE
REMARKS, THAT THAT'S NOT
ENVIRONMENTALLY SIGNIFICANT.
I'M NOT SURE THAT POINT
OF VIEW IS SHARED BY MANY
PEOPLE ON THE
OAKRIDGES MORAINE.
CERTAINLY, WE'RE AWARE
OF A LOT OF ENVIRONMENTAL
CONCERNS ON THE
OAKRIDGES MORAINE.
AND ANY PIECE OF LAND SOLD
THERE SHOULD RECEIVE SOME
SERIOUS REVIEW.

Mac says I THINK IN FAIRNESS TO
THE AGENCY, AND FOLLOWING UP
ON A POINT THAT RUTH MADE,
SOME OF THE REPORT IS
FAIRLY GENERAL.
AND I THINK THE LACK
OF SPECIFIC EXAMPLES.
IF YOU LOOK AT THE '98
REPORT, WHICH WAS ALSO
CRITICAL OF THAT SAME
AGENCY, THERE WERE SPECIFIC
EXAMPLES OF TRANSACTIONS
WHICH THE AGENCY COULD ADDRESS.
NOW, HAVING LOOKED AT THE
SALES IN THE LAST YEAR, THE
STUFF THAT WAS POSTED FOR
SALE, THERE WERE LANDS THAT
WERE TRANSFERRED TO THE
TORONTO CONSERVATION
AUTHORITY THAT WERE, I
WOULD SUGGEST BECAUSE IT
WENT TO THE AUTHORITY, WERE
ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE.
BUT AS I UNDERSTAND THE
CLASS E.A. PROCESS THAT THE
AGENCY HAS TO FOLLOW.

Steve says YOU'RE GETTING
ABOVE ME HERE.
WHAT ARE YOU
TALKING ABOUT NOW?

[all talking at once]

Mac says NO, NO, IT'S NOT SPLITTING
HAIRS AT ALL BECAUSE THE
AGENCY IS SUBJECT TO A CLASS
ENVIRONMENTAL E.A. PROCESS.

Steve and Ruth say ENVIRONMENTAL
ASSESSMENT.

Mac continues WHICH REQUIRES THEM TO MAKE
ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTS WHEN
CERTAIN TRANSACTIONS OCCUR
INVOLVING CERTAIN TYPES
OF LANDS.
ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE
LANDS TRANSFERRED TO PARTIES
OTHER THAN A CONSERVATION
AUTHORITY REQUIRE AN
ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT.
AND I THINK WHAT THE AGENCY
WAS SAYING YESTERDAY WAS
THAT IN THE REPORTING
PERIOD COVERED BY THE
COMMISSIONER'S REPORT, NO
LANDS ENVIRONMENTALLY
SENSITIVE IN NATURE WERE
TRANSFERRED TO PARTIES
WHICH WOULD HAVE REQUIRED THEM
TO FILE THAT TYPE OF REPORT.

Ruth says OKAY, BUT THE WHOLE ISSUE
OF THE OAKRIDGES MORAINE IS
THAT NOBODY REALLY HAS
DONE THE EVALUATION AND
DESIGNATED WHAT IS
ENVIRONMENTALLY SIGNIFICANT
AND ISN'T.
IT'S STILL UNDER
CONSIDERATION.
SO I'M SURE YOU'RE GOING
TO FIND, THIS IS WHERE THE
HAIR SPLITTING COMES IN,
THAT THERE'S GOING TO BE A
PARCEL OF LAND THAT MANY
PEOPLE THINK OUGHT TO BE
DESIGNATED ENVIRONMENTALLY
SIGNIFICANT, THAT HASN'T
LEGALLY BEEN DESIGNATED,
AND HAS BEEN SOLD OFF
IN THE GARAGE SALE.

Mac says WHAT PIECE OF LAND IS THAT?
THERE'S ONE PIECE OF LAND
THAT'S CURRENTLY SUBJECT TO
LITIGATION THAT WAS
IDENTIFIED BY THE AGENCY ITSELF.
AND THAT'S THE ONLY PIECE
OF LAND I'M AWARE OF.
I THINK IN TERMS OF THE
REPORT THAT SHOULD HAVE
BEEN FILED WITH THE
MINISTRY, AND I THINK THAT
SHOULD BE FILED.

Steve says LET ME GET
GORD BACK IN HERE.
NOW THAT YOU'VE HAD A
CHANCE, YOU'VE HAD A YEAR
TO LOOK AT EVERYTHING, AIR,
WATER, LAND, WHAT'S THE
WORST PROBLEM WE'RE
FACING RIGHT NOW?

Gord says I THINK THE WORST PROBLEM
IS THE COLLECTIVE IMPACT OF
THE INTENSIFICATION OF THE USE
OF LAND IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO.
IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO, NOT
JUST THE URBAN SPRAWL,
URBAN SPRAWL IS CERTAINLY A
BIG FACTOR, BUT WE'RE USING
OUR RURAL LANDS MORE
INTENSIVELY THAN WE EVER
HAVE BEFORE, AND
WE'RE AT THE LIMITS.
EVERY TIME WE USE, TAKE
ANOTHER PIECE OF LAND TO A
DIFFERENT USE NOW IN
SOUTHERN ONTARIO, WE ARE
MAKING A SACRIFICE.
WE'RE SACRIFICING SOMETHING
IN QUALITY THAT OUR
GRANDCHILDREN AND GREAT
GRANDCHILDREN WILL NOT HAVE.
I RAISE IN THE REPORT THINGS
LIKE ECOSYSTEM FRAGMENTATION.
I KNOW THOSE ARE TOUGH
CONCEPTS FOR THE PUBLIC
TO DEAL WITH.

Steve says WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Gord says THINK OF SOUTHERN ONTARIO,
IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE A
FORESTED LANDSCAPE.
IT'S A FORESTED ECOSYSTEM.
AND WE STILL ENJOY IN MANY
AREAS FOREST-LIKE FLORA
AND FAUNA.
BUT HOW DOES IT SURVIVE?
BECAUSE THERE'S LITTLE
ISLANDS OF FOREST SCATTERED
AROUND THE LANDSCAPE, AND
SOMEHOW THE PLANTS AND
ANIMALS AND CREATURES LIVE OUT
THEIR LIFE IN THESE ISLANDS.
BUT WE'RE WIPING OUT
THOSE ISLANDS WITHOUT
CONSIDERATION OF THE
ACCUMULATIVE EFFECT.

Steve says BUT HOW DO YOU BALANCE
THE NEED FOR... WE GOT TO
FIND PLACES FOR 100,000 NEW
PEOPLE TO LIVE EVERY YEAR
THAT KEEP COMING
INTO THIS AREA.
WHAT DO YOU DO?

Gord says WELL, I MEAN THERE'S
OTHER OPTIONS.
FIRST OF ALL, YOU DO IT
IN THE PUBLIC FORUM.
FIRST OF ALL, YOU CREATE A
MECHANISM WHERE WE LOOK AT
THESE ISSUES.
IF THE PEOPLE OF SOUTHERN
ONTARIO, OR ONTARIO, WANT TO
DECIDE TO CHANGE THIS LAND
USE INTO AN URBAN SPRAWL,
THAT'S THEIR
PUBLIC DECISION.
WE'RE IN A DEMOCRACY, AND
THAT'S WHAT WE MUST DO.
BUT TO IGNORE THIS AND JUST
WAKE UP ONE MORNING TEN
YEARS FROM NOW, AND WE FIND
WE LOST ALL THIS AND NOBODY
MADE THE DECISION TO
SACRIFICE IT, I THINK WOULD
BE A REAL TRAGEDY.

Ruth says THE
DECISION WAS MADE.
THE DECISION TO ABOLISH AN
ECOSYSTEM KIND OF PLANNING
WAS MADE WHEN THE PLANNING
ACT WAS REPEALED, AND IT
WAS OPEN SEASON
FOR DEVELOPERS.
A LOT OF THAT IS TOO LATE TO
REVERSE BECAUSE THE LAND IS
UNDER OPTION, AND THE
SUBDIVISIONS THAT ARE BEING
BUILT ARE CAR INTENSIVE,
LAND INTENSIVE, INSTEAD OF
THE KIND OF MORE CONCISE...
THAT'S THE WRONG WORD...
DEVELOPMENT THAT OCCURS IN
EUROPE AND IN OTHER PARTS
OF THE WORLD.

Richard says WHICH DEPENDS MORE
UPON PUBLIC TRANSIT WHICH ARE
ECOLOGICALLY A
LOT MORE FRIENDLY.

Steve says INTENSIFICATION.

Richard says WE'VE NEVER DONE THAT
HERE BECAUSE PEOPLE...

Steve says PEOPLE
LOVE URBAN SPRAWL.

Richard says BECAUSE WE'RE
SO BIG THOUGH.

Mac says I'M NOT SURE WE
HAVEN'T DONE THAT HERE.
I THINK THE ORC HAS BEEN
FREQUENTLY EXCORIATED IN MANY
FORUMS, BUT THEY WERE
INVOLVED IN A NEW URBANISM
PROJECT IN MARKHAM.

Ruth says YOU'RE GOING
TO TALK ABOUT THAT.
THE ONLY EXAMPLE THERE IS,
AND IT'S A GOOD ONE,
AND IT OUGHT TO HAVE
BEEN CONSIDERED.

Mac continues IT WAS ADVANCED BY THE ORC.

Ruth says AND THE NDP.

Mac continues TO SAY IT HASN'T
BEEN DONE ISN'T TRUE.
IT HASN'T BEEN DONE WIDELY
OR BROADLY, BUT IT HAS
BEEN DONE.

Steve says I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE
TALKING ABOUT, BUT ANYWAY.

Mac laughs.

Mac says NEW URBANISM, STEVE.

Steve says CAN YOU DO BOTH?
CAN YOU SAY YES WE CAN
PROTECT THE WATER SYSTEM,
BUT YES WE CAN STILL, YOU
KNOW, FIGURE OUT NEW PLACES
TO PUT ALL THESE
NEW PEOPLE?

Ruth says YES, YOU CAN.
BUT IT MAY MEAN NOT
EVERYBODY CAN BUY A LARGE
HALF ACRE ESTATE EVERYWHERE
THEY WANT TO IN THE PROVINCE.
THAT WE, IN FACT, DEVELOP
NEW FORMS OF LIFE THAT ARE
JUST AS QUALITY OF
LIFE, THAT HAVE PUBLIC
TRANSPORTATION, THAT HAVE
SERVICES THERE, THAT ARE IN
CONCISE AREAS AS OPPOSED
TO SPRAWLING ALL OVER GOOD
AGRICULTURAL LAND.
WE'VE LOST A LOT OF IT,
BUT THERE'S STILL ROOM
FOR IMPROVEMENT.

Steve says LET ME IN MY LAST COUPLE OF
MINUTES HERE ASK YOU A BIT
OF A PERSONAL QUESTION, WHICH
RICHARD REFERRED TO EARLIER.
WHEN YOU WERE HIRED, THERE
WAS A BIT OF AN UPROAR.
WELL, THERE WAS A LOT OF AN
UPROAR ACTUALLY ABOUT YOUR
PREVIOUS CONSERVATIVE
PARTY ACTIVISM.
AND I WONDER WHETHER YOU
HAVE BEEN TOUGHER ON THE
HARRIS GOVERNMENT IN THIS
REPORT
He shows a blue handout and says IN ORDER TO PROVE TO
ALL THOSE CRITICS THAT
YOU'RE NOT MIKE'S LAP DOG,
WHICH WAS THE ALLEGATION
WHEN YOU GOT THE GIG IN THE
FIRST PLACE.

Gord says OF COURSE, NOT ACCORDING TO
THE TORONTO STAR
TODAY.

[laughing]

Gord continues I DON'T THINK IT HAS
ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT.
SURE, I'VE HAD POLITICAL
ACTIVITY IN MY LIFE, ALL OF
US HAVE, BUT I'VE BEEN AN
ECOLOGIST, I WAS TRAINED
AS AN ECOLOGIST
25 YEARS AGO.
I'VE WORKED MY ENTIRE LIFE
IN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION.
MY LOYALTIES AND MY
COMMITMENT ARE TO THE
PROTECTION OF THE
ENVIRONMENT OF ONTARIO.
AND THIS REFLECTS FROM THE
WORKLOAD WE COULD PULL
TOGETHER IN THE REPORTING
PERIOD, THIS REFLECTS, I
THINK, A VERY FAIR AND VERY
CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE, WHAT
THE PRIORITIES ARE, AND
THAT'S WHAT I'M GOING TO
DELIVER EACH AND EVERY YEAR
TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY.

Steve says I KNOW YOU'RE NOT ONE OF
MIKE HARRIS' BEST BUDDIES.
YOU'RE NOT TODAY, THAT'S
FOR SURE, BUT EVEN SEVERAL
YEARS AGO,
YOU WEREN'T.
YOU KNEW EACH OTHER, BUT
YOU WEREN'T BEST FRIENDS.
HAVE YOU TALKED SINCE
THIS REPORT CAME OUT?

Gord says OH, NO.
I HAVEN'T TALKED TO THE
PREMIER IN SOME TIME.

Steve says ARE YOU NOT PERMITTED
TO IN YOUR OFFICE?

Gord says WELL, YOU KNOW,
IT'S TO BE AVOIDED.

Ruth says SERVANT OF THE
LEGISLATURE, ARMS LENGTH.

Steve says I UNDERSTAND THAT.
BUT THEY HAVE A PERSONAL
HISTORY, SO I WAS JUST...

Gord says NO, THE MOST LIKELY SCENARIO
IS TO RUN INTO HIM IN NORTH
BAY IN THE CANADIAN TIRE
ON A SATURDAY MORNING.

Steve says AND THAT HASN'T HAPPENED.
THAT HASN'T HAPPENED.
BUT NEXT TIME YOU DO, WOULD
YOU EXPECT HIM TO SAY, YOU
KNOW, BOY, CAN YOU CUT ME
A LITTLE SLACK NEXT TIME?
YOU SURE HIT
ME ON THE HEAD.

Gord smiles and says I'VE NO IDEA.
I'LL CERTAINLY BE IMPRESSED
IF THAT'S WHAT HE SAYS.

Steve says DO YOU THINK YOU'RE
ENTITLED TO AN APOLOGY FROM,
FOR EXAMPLE, THE
NEW DEMOCRATS?
DO YOU THINK YOU'RE ENTITLED
TO AN APOLOGY FROM, FOR
EXAMPLE, THE NEW DEMOCRATS WHO
REALLY GAVE YOU A ROUGH TIME?

Ruth says STEVE, LET'S NOT GO
OVERBOARD ON THIS REPORT.

[laughing]

Steve says JUST ASKING.

Mac says I THINK THEY
OWE YOU AN APOLOGY.

Gord says THE MEMBERS IN THE
LEGISLATURE ARE DOING
THEIR JOB, WHICH IS TO
QUESTION AND BE CRITICAL,
AND I RESPECT THAT.

Steve says OKAY, GOOD ENOUGH.
WE'RE GLAD YOU COULD COME
TO TVO TODAY AND TALK TO US
ABOUT IT.
GORD MILLER, THE ENVIRONMENTAL
COMMISSIONER FOR ONTARIO,
AND OUR 4th REIGNING GANG
OVER HERE, RUTH, MAC, RICH,
SEE YOU NEXT TIME.
RICHARD.
He smiles and concludes AND THAT'S IT FOR THIS
EDITION OF
4th READING.
I'M STEVE PAIKIN.
SEE YOU NEXT WEEK
AT THIS TIME.

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

Queen's Park Bureau Chief, Susanna Kelley.

Researcher, Peter Harris.

Editor, Dean Henry.

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2000, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Show #210