Transcript: Show #211 | Nov 12, 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,
42 PERCENT SOLUTION.
MIKE HARRIS DEFENDS A
MASSIVE INCOME HIKE
FOR HIMSELF AND MPPs.

Steve, Ruth, Richard 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 blue jacket over a gray shirt and a red brooch.

Steve says HI, EVERYBODY, AND
WELCOME TO 4TH READING.
I'M STEVE PAIKIN.
SO YOU HAD A
RAISE LATELY?
JUST HOW MUCH ARE YOU
REALLY WORTH, 30,000 DOLLARS?
60,000 DOLLARS?
MIKE HARRIS WANTS
TO GIVE MPPs
A 42 PERCENT WAGE
HIKE TO MORE THAN
110,000 PER YEAR.
AS FOR THE PREMIER HIMSELF,
DRAFT LEGISLATION MADE
PUBLIC THIS WEEK WOULD GIVE
THE PREMIER A SALARY
OF NEARLY 200,000 DOLLARS.
THAT'S 16,000 DOLLARS MORE THAN
THE PRIME MINISTER.
SUPPORTERS SAY IF YOU WANT
TO ATTRACT GOOD PEOPLE
INTO ELECTED LIFE,
YOU HAVE TO COMPETE
WITH THE PRIVATE
SECTOR SALARIES.
BUT COMING AT A TIME
WHEN TEACHERS, DOCTORS,
AND PUBLIC SERVANTS ARE
ALL BEING HELD TO
2 PERCENT, CRITICS CALL
THE INCREASES OBSCENE.

A video plays.

Mike Harris is in his late fifties, clean-shaven with combed gray hair.

Speaking to the press, Mike says VOTED UNANIMOUSLY THAT IT
SHOULD BE AN INDEPENDENT
COMMISSION THAT WOULD
SET A VALUE FOR THE JOB.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Peter Kormos MPP. NDP, Niagara Centre." Peter is in his fifties, with white hair and clean-shaven.

Peter says IT IS OBSCENE.
FOR HARRIS TO BE EVEN
CONTEMPLATING A 42 PERCENT
SALARY INCREASE
FOR HIS MPPs
WHEN THE LOWEST
INCOME PEOPLE,
PEOPLE ON MINIMUM
WAGE, HAVEN'T SEEN
AN INCREASE IN SALARY
FOR OVER FIVE YEARS.

The caption changes to "Phyllis Benedict. Elementary Teachers Federation." Phyllis is in her fifties with short blond hair.

Phyllis PERHAPS THE PERCENTAGES
SHOULD BE REVERSED.
INSTEAD OF THE 2 PERCENTS
OR 3 PERCENTS THAT WE'RE
SEEING COMING IN SETTLEMENTS
FOR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS,
THE DOUBLE DIGITS THAT
OUR MPPs ARE LOOKING AT
WOULD BE MOST WELCOME BY
THOSE WHO TRULY DO
PUT IN A FULL
DAY'S WORK.

The clip ends.

Steve says DO OUR MPPs DESERVE THESE
KINDS OF SALARY HIKES?
LET'S FIND OUT FROM OUR
QUEEN'S PARK ANALYSTS.
HERE THEY ARE.
RICHARD MAHONEY, A LAWYER
FROM FRASER MILNER CASGRAIN
AND A PAST PRESIDENT OF
THE ONTARIO LIBERALS.

Richard Mahoney is in his forties, clean-shaven with gray hair. He’s wearing a gray suit, blue shirt, gray tie and red brooch.

Steve continues FORMER NDP CABINET
MINISTER RUTH GRIER.

Ruth Grier is in her sixties, with short white hair. She’s wearing a purple blazer, lilac shirt and two brooches.

Steve continues AND JOINING US
TONIGHT, JAIME WATT.

Jamie Watt is in his forties, clean-shaven with brown hair. He wears a dark suit, white shirt, checked blue tie, red brooch and white pocket square.

Steve continues JAIME WORKED THE SENIOR
COMMUNICATIONS ADVISER
IN PREMIER
HARRIS' OFFICE.
HE'S NOW WITH
NAVIGATOR LIMITED,
A COMMUNICATIONS
CONSULTING FIRM.
YOU WANT TO DO THE SHOW OF
HANDS FIRST AT THE TABLE?
HOW MANY PEOPLE OF THE
THREE OF YOU
AGREE THAT MPPs
NEED A RAISE?
PERIOD.
A RAISE.
SOMETHING.

Ruth says A RAISE?

Ruth, Richard and Jaime raise their hands.

Ruth says I WOULD GO FOR
A RAISE.

Steve says YOU'RE PREPARED
TO GO FOR A RAISE.
IS 42 PERCENT
TOO MUCH, JAIME?

The caption changes to "Jaime Watt. Ontario P.C. Activist."

Jaime says I DON'T KNOW WHETHER
42 PERCENT IS TOO MUCH
OR WHETHER 42 PERCENT
IS TOO LITTLE.
I THINK THE PROBLEM WE
HAVE IS WE'VE GOT A CRUMMY
PROCESS AND WE'VE GOT A
PROCESS WHICH PUTS
THE RAISES FOR POLITICIANS
IN THEIR HANDS
AS OPPOSED IN THE HANDS
OF OUTSIDE EXPERTS.

Steve says WELL THEY DID RECEIVE
ADVICE FROM AN OUTSIDE PANEL.

Jaime says BUT THAT'S ONE
SET OF ADVICE.
THERE'S OTHER PEOPLE WHO
THINK PERHAPS IT SHOULD
BE MATCHED TO WHAT
FEDERAL MPs MAKE.
I THINK THERE'S A RANGE OF
OPTIONS AND THAT'S WHAT
PEOPLE ARE GOING TO LOOK
AT IN THE NEXT WHILE
AND PEOPLE ARE GOING TO HAVE
LOTS OF CHANCE FOR INPUT.

Steve says WHAT'S INTERESTING
ABOUT THIS, RICHARD,
IS THAT THE OUTSIDE PANEL
THAT I'VE JUST REFERENCE
ACTUALLY RECOMMENDED
30-SOMETHING PERCENT INCREASE.
THEY'VE GONE
BEYOND THAT TO 42.
HOW DO YOU SUPPOSE
THEY JUSTIFY IT?

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

Richard says YOU KNOW, I HONESTLY DO NOT
KNOW WHAT THEY'RE THINKING
BECAUSE WHATEVER THE
ARGUMENT WOULD BE THAT
WOULD SAY THAT AN MPP
SHOULD BE PAID MORE,
AND WE'VE ALL INDICATED
THAT WE HAVE SYMPATHY FOR
THAT, I DON'T KNOW FOR THE
LIFE OF ME WHAT THE PREMIER
WOULD THINK WOULD BE HIS
PUBLIC DEFENCE OF UPPING
FROM SAY 30 - WHICH IS
STILL PRETTY BIG WHEN
OTHER PEOPLE ARE GETTING
2 PERCENT RAISES -
TO 42, AND IT MUST
HAVE OCCURRED TO HIM -
IT MUST HAVE OCCURRED
IN THE PREMIER'S OFFICE
THAT SOMEONE MIGHT PICK
THAT LITTLE FACTOID UP
THAT HE IS RECOMMENDING
THAT HE GIVES HIMSELF
A RAISE TO
200,000 DOLLARS A YEAR,
WHICH IS GOOD WORK
IF YOU CAN GET IT.
AND MORE THAN THE
PRIME MINISTER MAKES,
AND I GUESS I WOULD SAY
THAT THE PREMIER WOULD BE
A BARGAIN AT ONE QUARTER OF
THE PRICE OR SOMETHING.

Steve says ALTHOUGH - ALTHOUGH NOT
MEANING TO BE MEAN SPIRITED
ABOUT THIS, BUT IF YOU
THINK ABOUT THE ONTARIO
GOVERNMENT AS FOR EXAMPLE
A 60 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR
CORPORATION, WHICH
IN SOME SENSES IT IS,
YOU KNOW PEOPLE IN THE
PRIVATE SECTOR WHO ARE PAID
TO HEAD 60 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR
CORPORATIONS ARE PAID A LOT
MORE THAN 200,000 A YEAR.

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

Ruth says YES OF COURSE THEY ARE, BUT
POLITICIANS HAVE NEVER BEEN
PAID THAT WAY AND NEITHER
SHOULD THEIR SALARIES BE
BENCHMARKED TO THAT.
THERE NEEDS TO BE A
BENCHMARK OF SOME AGREED
UPON KIND, BUT I MEAN
WHEN I WAS A MINISTER,
MY DEPUTY MINISTER, LONG
TIME PUBLIC SERVANT,
WAS MAKING LOTS
MORE THAN I WAS.
YOU DON'T GO INTO POLITICS
EXPECTING TO MAKE AS MUCH
AS YOU WOULD IF YOU
STAYED OUT OF POLITICS.
THERE'S A LOT OF
OTHER SATISFACTIONS.
ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU
CANNOT KEEP POLITICAL
SALARIES SO LOW THAT
SOMEBODY WHO'S GOT A CAREER
OR GOT A GOOD JOB OR GOT A
FAMILY ISN'T GOING
TO RUN FOR POLITICS.
SO IT'S ALWAYS A
DIFFICULT ISSUE.
BUT WHAT'S PARTICULARLY
HYPOCRITICAL ABOUT THIS
PARTICULAR MOVE BY THE
PREMIER, I THINK IS,
THE RECOMMENDATION
FOR 32 PERCENT
WAS OPPOSED BY I THINK
BOTH THE LIBERALS
AND THE NDP, AND THE
PREMIER SAID,
WE'LL GO BACK TO OUR
CONSTITUENCIES OVER
THE SUMMER AND SEE WHAT
PEOPLE THINK ABOUT IT.
NOW, IS HE GOING TO ARGUE
THAT THEY HEARD
FROM THEIR CONSTITUENTS
YOU DESERVE 42 PERCENT?
I DON'T THINK SO.
SECONDLY, HE BROUGHT IN THE
FEWER POLITICIANS ACT
WHICH REDUCED THE NUMBER
OF MPPs TO SAVE MONEY.
NOW THEY'RE
SAYING, OH, WELL,
WE HAVE THE SAME SIZE
RIDINGS AS FEDERAL MEMBERS.
WE SHOULD HAVE MORE.
AND THIRDLY, HE WAS THE
BENEFICIARY OF A REALLY
HUGE BUYOUT OF THE PREVIOUS
PENSION PLAN AND I THINK
THAT'S WHERE SOME OF THE
PRESSURE FOR AN INCREASE
IS COMING, THAT THE NEWER
ELECTED PEOPLE FROM '95
ARE REALIZING THAT BUYING
OUT THE PENSION PLAN PUTS
THEM AT A DISADVANTAGE
DOWN THE ROAD AND
SOME OF THIS EXTRA
MONEY'S NEEDED.

Jaime says I THINK WHAT'S
IMPORTANT TO LOOK AT
PREMIER HARRIS'
RECORD ON THIS ISSUE.
WHEN HE CAME TO
POWER IN 1995
HE SAID A COUPLE
OF THINGS.
ONE, HE WAS GOING TO
CREATE A TRANSPARENT
PAY SYSTEM APPROACH TO
SALARIES FOR MMPs,
SO VOTERS COULD COMPARE
WHAT KIND OF SALARIES
THAT THEY MADE WITH
WHAT MPPs MADE,
AND SORT OF END THIS
HODGEPODGE OF TAX-FREE
ALLOWANCES AND
THINGS LIKE THAT.
THE SECOND THING HE SAID
WAS THAT HE GOING TO CUT
MPPs' SALARIES BY 5 PERCENT
BECAUSE THEY WERE GOING
TO SHARE IN THE BELT
TIGHTENING THAT HE WAS
ASKING THE
PROVINCE TO DO.
THE THIRD THING HE SAID WAS
HE WASN'T GOING TO INCREASE
THOSE SALARIES UNTIL THE
BUDGET WAS BALANCED.
NOW THAT'S DONE, WE
NEED A NEW SYSTEM.
MPPs AS YOU KNOW HAVEN'T
HAD A PAY INCREASE IN OVER
10 YEARS, AND IF YOU INDEX
THEIR PAY OVER THE LAST
20 YEARS AGAINST TEACHERS
OR OPSEU WORKERS OR OTHERS,
THEY'RE WAY BEHIND.

Steve says OKAY, BUT TALK TO ME ABOUT
OPTICS FOR A SECOND NOW.
THERE ARE A COUPLE
OF SETS OF OPTICS.
NUMBER ONE, IT'S TRUE
MPPs HAVEN'T HAD
A SALARY INCREASE
IN A LONG TIME,
BUT THEN AGAIN
NEITHER HAVE TEACHERS.

Jaime says THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve continues NUMBER TWO, Mr. HARRIS WHEN
HE DID COME TO POWER DID -
I THINK IT'S
FAIR TO SAY THIS,
MAYBE DEMONIZE IS
TOO HARD A WORD,
BUT HE CERTAINLY DID PLAY THAT
KIND OF ANTI-POLITICIAN
CARD PRETTY STRENUOUSLY,
AS IF TO SAY,
THESE GUYS REALLY AREN'T
WORTH WHAT WE'RE PAYING
OR WE'RE NOT PAYING
THAT MUCH AS IT IS.
IS IT A LITTLE SWEET AT
THIS STAGE OF THE GAME TO SAY,
WELL, YOU KNOW
WHAT, WE'RE DOING
THE SAME JOB AS
FEDERAL MPs.
WE GET THE SAME RIDING
BOUNDARIES AS FEDERAL MPs.
SO THE BUDGET'S BALANCED,
OPEN THE VAULT.

Jaime says I THINK THE
REAL PROBLEM IS,
IS THAT THIS IS BEING DEALT
WITH IN TERMS OF OPTICS
INSTEAD OF BEING DEALT WITH
ON A SUBSTANTIVE BASIS.
AND WHATEVER THE
GOVERNMENT OF THE DAY IS,
THEY'RE GOING TO GET IN
TROUBLE FOR WHATEVER
PROPOSALS THEY
MAKE TO IMPROVE IT.
THE OPPOSITIONS GOING TO
PLAY POLITICS WITH IT,
SO I THINK WE NEED A NEW
PROCESS AND A NEW WAY TO -

Ruth says LET'S PICK UP ON ONE
OF THE THINGS YOU SAID.

Steve says SORRY, RICHARD WANTED
TO MAKE A POINT.

Richard says YES, YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT
JUST AN OPTICS QUESTION
WHEN YOU PHRASE IT THE WAY
YOU DID, STEVE, WHICH IS,
GRANTED ANOTHER PROCESS
MIGHT BE BETTER BECAUSE
MPPs ARE ALWAYS GOING
TO BE IN A PICKLE VOTING
THEMSELVES A PAY RAISE,
AS WOULD ANY EXECUTIVE
OR EMPLOYEE ANYWHERE.
BUT IT'S MORE THAN OPTICS
TO SAY POLITICIANS SHOULD
GET A 42 PERCENT RAISE BUT
YOU OTHER PUBLIC SERVANTS
SHOULD GET A 2
PERCENT RAISE.
THAT'S ACTUALLY
MORE THAN OPTICS.
IT'S FAIRNESS.
I MEAN, IF IT'S TRULY AS
JAIME SAYS A MATTER THAT NOW
THAT WE'RE IN SURPLUS
IN ONTARIO WE CAN AFFORD TO
PAY PEOPLE MORE,
WELL, I MEAN,
THIS IS A MATTER
OF TACTICS.
WERE I OECTA OR THE
TEACHERS' FEDERATION
I'D BE ARGUING FOR A
42 PERCENT RAISE.

Steve says I HEAR WHAT YOU'RE SAYING
BUT THE REALITY IS,
IF YOU WANT TO
PAY, WHAT IS IT,
103 POLITICIANS 42
PERCENT MORE, THAT'S NOT
GOING TO AMOUNT TO VERY
MUCH MONEY IN TOTO.
IF YOU WANT TO PAY TENS OF
THOUSANDS OF TEACHERS MORE,
EVEN TWO OR FIVE OR
TEN PER CENT MORE,
YOU'RE TALKING
SERIOUS COIN.

Richard says IT'S ABSOLUTELY GOING TO
BE A BIG AMOUNT.

Ruth says OKAY, BUT LET'S LOOK AT TWO
OF JAIME'S POINTS ABOUT
THE PROCESS, BECAUSE
THEY DID SET UP
THIS INDEPENDENT
COMMISSION.
IT WAS THE ONE THAT CAME
BACK AND RECOMMENDED 32,
SO I DON'T KNOW WHERE THIS
CURRENT FIGURE CAME FROM
OUT OF THE
PREMIER'S OFFICE.

Richard says I'VE BEEN KNOCKING ON
DOORS IN THE MUNICIPAL
AND PROVINCIAL FEDERAL
ELECTIONS,
PEOPLE ARE DEMANDING THAT
POLITICIANS PAID MORE.

Steve laughs and says BUT THE 42 COULD BE 42
MINUS THE 5, RIGHT,
BECAUSE THEY TOOK A 5 PERCENT
PAY CUT WHEN HARRIS CAME IN,
SO IN A SENSE IT'S 37.

Ruth says YOU START WITH WHAT YOU'RE
ACTUALLY GETTING BUT
THE SECOND THING THAT THEY
SAID THEY WERE GOING TO
DO WAS MAKE IT TRANSPARENT
AND REMOVE, YOU KNOW,
FEES FOR GOING TO
COMMITTEES AND ALL OF
THOSE KINDS OF THINGS,
WHICH THEY DID.
BUT FOR THE GOVERNMENT, I
THINK IT'S ALL BUT FOUR
OF THEIR BACKBENCHERS ARE
PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANTS
OR CHAIR OF A COMMITTEE AND
YET ANOTHER 10 OR 11,000 DOLLARS
ON TOP OF THAT WHICH ISN'T
AVAILABLE TO BACKBENCHERS.
SO I MEAN HYPOCRISY IS THE
ONLY WORD I COULD USE.

Richard says THIS IS A VERY
DIFFICULT SITUATION.
I MEAN, AS RUTH SAID, BOTH
LIBERALS AND NEW DEMOCRATS
HAVE OPPOSED THIS AND THEY
WEREN'T EVEN CONSULTED ON
THESE CHANGES, BUT THERE
ARE BACKBENCH MPPs IN BOTH
PARTIES, MOST OF WHOM
WORK VERY, VERY HARD
AND WHO ARE CLEARLY
UNDERPAID AT CURRENT RATES,
AND I MUST SAY, I
SYMPATHIZE WITH THEM RIGHT
NOW WHEN THEY HAVE TO STAND
UP AND SORT OF SAY THE
PRINCIPLE OF THIS 42 PERCENT IS
WRONG, ON THE OTHER HAND,
I HOPE SOMEBODY THINKS
ABOUT AT GIVING US A COST
OF LIVING ARRANGEMENT
ALLOWANCE OR RAISE
FOR MY FAMILY.

Steve says LAST MINUTE ON THIS
STORY AND, JAIME,
YOU KNOW MIKE HARRIS BETTER
THAN ANYBODY AT THIS TABLE
HAVING WORKED IN
HIS OFFICE BEFORE.
MIKE HARRIS CAME TO POWER,
I THINK PRAISED IN LARGE
MEASURE BECAUSE OF HIS
INTUITIVE UNDERSTANDING
OF WHAT THE GUY ON THE
STREET UNDERSTANDS
ABOUT PUBLIC LIFE.
ARE YOU NOT WORRIED
THAT THIS WILL OFFEND -
THAT THIS DOES OFFEND HIS BASIC
INTUITIVE UNDERSTANDING -
I MEAN, 42 PERCENT IS
JUST SORT OFF THE RADAR -
OFF THE CHARTS FOR THE
GUY ON THE STREET,
DON'T YOU THINK?

Jaime says I THINK, STEVE,
THERE'S NO QUESTION.
42 PERCENT IS AN AWFUL
LOT OF MONEY.

Steve says SO WHAT'S
GOING TO HAPPEN?

Jaime says I THINK THE AVERAGE
PERSON ON THE STREET
IS GOING TO HAVE A
LOT OF QUESTIONS.
I THINK YOU'LL HAVE
TO WATCH THE PREMIER.
HE'LL GIVE YOU AN
ANSWER TO THAT.

Steve says WHAT
DOES THAT MEAN THOUGH?
MEAN HE'LL COMPROMISE
AT THE END OF THE DAY?

Richard says LONG WALK FROM 42 PERCENT
RAISE TO THE MAN WHO PULLED
UP THAT FLATBED TRUCK
IN THE 1995 PROVINCIAL
ELECTION CAMPAIGN
ANNOUNCING
THE FEWER
POLITICIANS ACT.
AS YOU SUGGESTED EARLIER,
HE WAS KIND OF DENIGRATING
THE WHOLE FRANCHISE
OF POLITICS.
HE'S WALKED IT A LONG
WAY FROM WE WANT FEWER
POLITICIANS AND
PAY THEM LESS TO,
WE WANT TO PAY
THEM 42 PERCENT MORE.

Ruth says DO YOU WANT A
THEORY ON THAT?

Steve says GIVE ME THE
LAST WORD ON IT.

Ruth says LAST WORD ON THAT IS THAT
MIKE HARRIS MAY NOT BE HERE
A YEAR FROM NOW TO KICK
AROUND AND WOULD
LIKE A NICE GOLDEN
HANDSHAKE.

Steve says THE POTENTIAL HARRIS
RETIREMENT THEORY;
IS THAT WHAT
THIS ONE IS?

Ruth says THAT'S MY THEORY.

Steve says OKAY.
STANDBY, COMING UP,
EDUCATION UNEASE ESCALATES.

A video plays.

[children's quiet chatter]
Children sit in a classroom.

Phyllis says STRESS LEVELS ARE HIGHER
THAN EVER BEFORE.
WE HAVE MORE TEACHERS OUT
ON LONG-TERM DISABILITY
THAT ARE UNDER THE AGE OF
40 THAN EVER BEFORE IN
OUR PROFESSION, AND IT'S AN
INDICATION OF A CULMINATION
OF MANY THINGS
THAT HAVE HAPPENED,
ESPECIALLY OVER THE
LAST FIVE YEARS.

The caption changes to "Earls Manners. OSSTF President." Earl is in his mid-forties, with a short beard and white hair.

At a press conference, Earl says IT'S NOT A WORK
TO RULE CAMPAIGN.
WORK TO RULE MEANS BY
DEFINITION THAT YOU'RE
WORKING TO YOUR JOB.
THE GOVERNMENT SAID THAT
ON-CALLS WERE NO LONGER
INSTRUCTIONAL TIME,
DIDN'T COUNT AS TEACHING.
THEY SAID THAT SUPERVISION
DOES NOT COUNT AS
INSTRUCTIONAL TIME AS THERE
IS NO LONGER TEACHING,
SO WHAT WE'RE DOING IS
TRYING TO DO THE BEST JOB
WE CAN THAT WE'RE PAID TO
DO, WHICH IS TO TEACH.

The caption changes to "Janet Ecker. Minister of Education." Janet is in her late forties with short blond hair and bags.

Speaking to the press, Janet says WE'VE BEEN LETTING THE
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
PROCESS CARRY ON.
WHAT WE'RE SEEING IS, WE
ARE GETTING AGREEMENTS
IN MANY COMMUNITIES, BUT
WE ALSO RECOGNIZE THAT
STUDENTS SHOULD BE GETTING
EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
AND IF THEY'RE NOT
GOING TO BE PROVIDED,
THEN WE'RE PREPARED TO
TAKE STEPS TO HELP
BOARDS PROVIDE THEM.

The clip ends.

Back at the studio, Steve says IT MAY NOT BE WORK TO RULE
IN THE HIGH SCHOOLS BUT
3,000 ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
TEACHERS IN YORK REGION
HAVE DECIDED TO
DO JUST THAT,
AND THEIR UNION SAYS IT
MAY ESCALATE ACTIONS AFFECTING
50,000 STUDENTS IF THE
BOARD DOESN'T SWEETEN
ITS 2 PERCENT RAISE OFFER.
MANY OTHER STUDENTS ACROSS
THE PROVINCE AREN'T GETTING
EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES.
ADD TO THAT, TEST RESULTS,
THAT'RE LESS THAN STELLER
AND YOU'VE GOT A LOT
OF GRUMPY STUDENTS,
UNHAPPY PARENTS,
AND A PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENT UNDER FIRE.
WE CAN ADD TO THE YORK
REGION SITUATION THE FACT
THAT THE TEACHERS ARE
LOCKED OUT IN HAMILTON.
WE HAVE TORONTO CATHOLIC
TEACHERS IN THEIR THIRD
WEEK OF A WORK-TO-RULE
CAMPAIGN.
WE HAVE STUDENTS WALKING
OUT OF THE CLASS.
THIS IS KIND OF SITUATION
NORMAL IN ONTARIO
FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS,
IS IT NOT, JAIME?
IT'S KIND OF -
IT'S THE WAY IT IS.
IS IT THE WAY IT'S
ALWAYS GOING TO BE?

Jaime says I SURE HOPE NOT.
I THINK LOTS OF
PARENTS ARE CONCERNED.
STUDENTS ARE CONCERNED,
AND OF COURSE
THE GOVERNMENT IS
CONCERNED, TOO.
WE ALL KNOW THAT KIDS ARE
ONLY IN EACH GRADE ONCE,
SO EVERY TIME THEY MISS
THEIR ACTIVITIES OR
SOMETHING THAT TAKES PLACE
AT THAT TIME, IT'S TOO BAD,
BUT FACT IS, THE
SYSTEM HAD TO IMPROVE
AND THE SYSTEM HAD
TO CHANGE.
AND THINK MOST PARENTS,
IF YOU TALK TO THEM,
ARE PLEASED WITH THE
CHANGES THAT ARE BEING MADE.
THEY'RE PLEASED WITH THE
MORE RIGOROUS CURRICULUM.

Steve asks WHAT'S THE
EVIDENCE OF THAT?

Jaime replies TALK TO PARENTS AND TALK TO
THEM ABOUT WHAT'S
HAPPENED WITH THEIR KIDS.
WELL, I WAS TALKING TO ONE
OF MY FRIENDS LAST WEEK
WHO JUST GOT A REPORT CARD
FOR HER DAUGHTER
AND HER DAUGHTER'S NOT
DOING SO WELL,
AND THAT WAS SURPRISING
NEWS AND DISAPPOINTING NEWS.
BUT FOR THE FIRST TIME
THEY ACTUALLY GOT SOME
INFORMATION THAT THEY COULD
SIT DOWN WITH THE SCHOOL
AND WORK ON A PROGRAM AND
BUILD A PROGRAM TO SORT OF
IMPROVE HER GRADES AND THE
WAY THINGS ARE GOING FOR HER.

Steve says THERE'S BEEN CONSIDERABLY
TALK ABOUT EXTRACURRICULARS
AND THE IMPORTANT
UNDERSTANDING THAT THEY ARE
JUST AS CRUCIAL A PART OF
THE STUDENT'S UPBRINGING
AS GEOGRAPHY, MATH, AND
SCIENCES, AND ENGLISH,
AND ALL OF THE OTHER
CLASSES THAT THEY TAKE.
AND EXTRACURRICULARS
ARE VERY MUCH UP
IN THE AIR RIGHT NOW.
ONE SOLUTION COMING OUT
OF THE STATES IS TO
PAY TEACHERS FOR DOING
EXTRACURRICULARS.
IT'S NOT THE WAY WE'VE DONE
IT IN ONTARIO IN THE PAST,
BUT IS THAT A LOGICAL
ALTERNATIVE, RUTH,
TO GET IT HAPPENING?

Ruth says I THINK I'VE SAID ON THIS
SHOW BEFORE THAT THAT WAS
THE SOLUTION THAT I SAW
COMING OUT OF WHAT
THE GOVERNMENT HAD DONE IN
MAKING IT MANDATORY BECAUSE
ONCE IT'S MANDATORY, YOU
DON'T HAVE TO DO IT SO YOU
SAY IF I DO HAVE TO DO IT,
I'LL WANT TO BE PAID FOR IT,
AND I THINK THAT
WOULD BE UNFORTUNATE.
THE OTHER THING AROUND THE
EXTRACURRICULAR THAT ALWAYS
BOTHERS ME IS THAT IT'S
ALWAYS SORT OF DISCUSSED
AS THOUGH IT WERE
SOMEHOW A FRILL.

Steve says RIGHT.

She continues AND TO ME IT'S AN INTEGRAL
PART OF EDUCATION.
I WAS READING SOMETHING
WALTER PITMAN,
A WELL KNOWN EDUCATOR, HAD
READ ABOUT HOW CHOIRS
AND DRAMATIC PERFORMANCES
WERE OFTEN THE ONLY TIMES
WHEN KIDS LEARNED ABOUT
WORKING AS A TEAM, SHARING,
DOING THINGS TOGETHER, AND
SO I THINK WHEN JAIME
SAYS IT MADE THE EDUCATION
SYSTEM BETTER,
SOME THINGS ARE BETTER AND
SOME CHANGES WERE NEEDED,
BUT I THINK OVERALL IT'S
VERY HARD TO SAY
THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IS BETTER
TODAY THAN IT WAS
TWO OR THREE YEARS AGO.

Steve says WHERE ARE
YOU ON THAT?

Richard says JAIME MAY BE RIGHT TO
SAY THAT THERE WERE
IMPROVEMENTS AND CHANGES
NEEDED IN THE SYSTEM
FIVE YEARS AGO, BUT I
ACTUALLY AM A PARENT WITH
TWO KIDS IN THE SCHOOL AND
ONE ON THE WAY INTO THE
SCHOOL SYSTEM AND I TALK TO
PARENTS EVERY DAY AS I DROP
MY KIDS OFF AT SCHOOL, AND
I ACTUALLY THINK YOU'D BE
HARD PRESSED TO FIND A LOT
OF PARENTS OUT THERE
WHO BELIEVE THE SYSTEM
IS BETTER NOW.
IT'S NOT TO GIVE JAIME SOME
DUE THAT THEY DON'T SUPPORT
SOME OF THE IDEAS
THAT ARE INVOLVED,
BUT WE DID HAVE REPORT
CARDS BEFORE IN THE
LAST FIVE YEARS.
AND PARENTS DID GO
IN TO TALK ABOUT -

Steve says BUT PARENTS
DID COMPLAIN THAT
THEY WEREN'T GOOD AND
DIDN'T EXPLAIN ENOUGH.

Richard continues THAT'S RIGHT.
WITH REASON, I THINK.
ON THE ISSUE OF THE
EXTRACURRICULAR THING,
I AGREE WITH RUTH.
I THINK THAT THAT'S WHERE
WE'RE GOING TO END UP
PROBABLY IS PAYING THEM.
I THINK IT'S A BIT OF A
SHAME IN THE SENSE THAT
TEACHERS WERE HAPPILY DOING
IT BEFORE IN EVERY
OTHER DISTRICT EXCEPT
MS. ECKER'S,

Steve smiles.

Richard continues AND NOW WE ARE INTO A
SITUATION WHERE IT MAY BE
NOT ENTIRELY UNFAIRLY SO
THAT WE WILL HAVE TO PAY THEM.

Steve says CAN I READ YOU A QUOTE?

Richard continues IT IS, AS YOU SUGGESTED, A
HUGE PART OF THE EDUCATION.
I'M WATCHING THINGS
THAT MY DAUGHTER DOES
EXTRACURRICULAR RIGHT NOW
AND I'M WATCHING WHAT SHE'S
LEARNING FROM THAT, AND
BECAUSE OF THE FOCUS TIME
THEY TEND TO GET, YOU KNOW,
NOT 25 ON 1 BUT 5 ON 1,
IT'S AMAZING THE PROGRESS
THAT'S BEING MADE AND
WE PROBABLY NEED TO MAKE
THE EDUCATION SYSTEM
FOCUS ON THAT MORE.

Steve says I SAW A QUOTE FROM MOIRA
MACDONALD WHO'S EDUCATION
WRITER WITH
THE TORONTO SUN
QUOTING A TEACHER IN HER
COLUMN SAYING:
He reads I DON'T LIKE
MY UNION TELLING ME
THAT I CAN'T DO THE
EXTRACURRICULARS.
ON THE OTHER HAND, I
DON'T LIKE THE GOVERNMENT
TELLING ME THAT I
HAVE TO DO IT.
IT LOOKS LIKE
THESE - YOU KNOW,
I DON'T WANT TO
PATRONIZE THEM,
BUT IT LOOKS LIKE THESE
POOR TEACHERS ARE SORT
OF IN THE MIDDLE OF A
POLITICAL TUG OF WAR
BETWEEN UNIONS AND THE
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT.
THEY'RE STUCK.

Ruth says THEY JUST WANT TO BE WITH
THEIR KIDS AND DO THE THING
THE WAY THEY ALWAYS HAVE
DONE IT AND THEY'RE STUCK.
THERE WAS ONE STORY THIS
WEEK THAT MINISTER ECKER
HAD IN FACT CALLED TOGETHER
A GROUP OF TEACHERS,
BOARD MEMBERS,
AND EVERYTHING,
TO TALK ABOUT PROVIDING IT,
AND I THINK THAT'S A
VERY INTERESTING SIGN.
THAT AFTER MONTHS OF SAYING
EVERYTHING'S WONDERFUL,
IT WILL ALL WORK OUT,
THERE'S A RECOGNITION THAT
THERE'S A HUGE MESS OUT
THERE AND A WHOLE LOT
OF PEOPLE, TEACHERS AND
STUDENTS, ARE BEING HURT.

Steve says LET ME ASK YOU
ABOUT THAT, JAIME,
BECAUSE SHE'S CALLING
IT A SUMMIT.
A SUMMIT MEETING BETWEEN
ALL THE STAKEHOLDERS
IN EDUCATION RIGHT NOW
TO TALK ABOUT THESE
EXTRACURRICULARS AND GET
THEM BACK ON THE RAILS.
IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT
FRIDAY MORNING IN HER OFFICE.
IS THERE ANY REASON
TO SUSPECT
SOMETHING GOOD WILL
COME OUT OF THIS?

Jaime says WELL, I THINK
IT'S WORTH A TRY.
OF COURSE AT
CONTRACT NEGOTIATION
TIME THERE'S GOING
TO BE PRESSURES.
OF COURSE TEACHERS'
FEDERATIONS ARE FIGHTING
FOR THEIR MEMBERS AND
FOR THE BEST INTERESTS.
THAT'S THEIR JOB.
AND I MEAN I THINK
WE ALL AGREE,
I DON'T EVEN CALL THEM
EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES.
THEY'RE CO-CURRICULAR
ACTIVITIES.
THEY'RE JUST AS IMPORTANT
'CAUSE FOR LOTS OF KIDS
THAT'S THEIR ONLY
CHANCE TO EXCEL, RIGHT?
THEY MAY NOT DO WELL
ACADEMICALLY BUT THEY DO WELL
IN SPORTS OR THEY MAY
NEED THE DRAMA PROGRAM
TO GET A SENSE OF SELF.

Steve says DO YOU THINK THE TORY
GOVERNMENT POLICIES
PUT THOSE AT RISK?

Jaime says I DON'T THINK THE TORIES
GOVERNMENT'S POLICIES
PUT THOSE AT RISK AT ALL.

Richard says I GUESS WHAT I WOULD SAY,
THE TORY GOVERNMENT'S
POLICIES HAVE ACTUALLY PUT
THE ENTIRE THING AT RISK,
NOT JUST THE
EXTRACURRICULAR.
AT SOME POINT WE GOT TO
GET OUT OF THIS STEW
THAT OUR EDUCATION
SYSTEM HAS BECOME, AND
NOT JUST ON THE EXTRACURRICULAR
ISSUE BUT GENERALLY.
WE HAVE HAD NOW
NEARLY FIVE YEARS OF
CONFLICT AND I KNOW THAT
THINGS WERE NEVER SUNNY
BEFORE AND ALWAYS
SUNNY AND LIGHT.

Jaime says BUT, RICHARD, WE'VE HAD
CONFLICT IN EVERY GOVERNMENT.
YOUR GOVERNMENT
HAD CONFLICT.

Richard says BUT NOT
TO THIS LEVEL.
IT'S KIND OF
CRAZY OUT THERE.

Jaime says IN FAIRNESS, THOUGH, THERE
HAS BEEN LONG STANDING
TRADITION OF OPPOSITION
TO CHANGE AND
TO REFORM AND TO
IMPROVE THE SYSTEM.
IT'S BEEN TOUGH
FOR A LONG TIME.

Ruth says WHAT'S DIFFERENT NOW
IS THE DEGREE TO WHICH
PARENTS ARE ENERGIZED.
THERE ARE SOME WHO
RECOGNIZED,
AS OUR GOVERNMENT DID
WITH THE COMMISSION
ON EDUCATION, THAT SOME
CHANGES WERE REQUIRED.
BUT THE FACT THAT MANY OF
THE GROUPS THAT SPRUNG UP
WHEN THE CHANGES FIRST
CAME ARE STILL ACTIVE
ON NOMINATING CANDIDATES
FOR SCHOOL BOARD,
ARE TRYING TO
MAKE SOME CHANGES,
TO ME SPEAKS TO HOW
PROFOUNDLY DISTURBED
THEY ARE ABOUT
WHAT IS HAPPENED.

Steve says LET ME ASK ONE LAST THING
WE'VE JUST A COUPLE OF
MINUTES LEFT IN THIS SEGMENT -
ABOUT THE TEST RESULTS.
THE STANDARDIZED TEST
RESULTS FOR GRADES 3
TO 6 JUST CAME OUT.
DID YOUR KID HAVE TO DO ONE
OUT OF THESE THIS YEAR?

Richard says NOT YET.

Steve says NOT YET?

Richard says I'M NOT GETTING STRESSED
ABOUT THAT YET.

Steve laughs.

Richard says NEITHER IS SHE.

Steve says NEITHER IS SHE.
THE RESULTS WEREN'T THE
GREATEST, YOU KNOW?
PEOPLE I THINK WERE A
LITTLE UNDERWHELMED
BY WHAT THE STANDARDIZED
TEST HAD TO SAY,
AND IT MAKES ONE WONDER
WHETHER A) THE CURRICULUM
IS TOO HARD OR B) WHETHER
THE TESTS ARE JUST REALLY
NOT VERY EFFECTIVE AT
DETERMINING WHETHER
OR NOT OUR STUDENTS ARE
LEARNING ENOUGH.
ANYBODY GOT ANY
THOUGHTS ON THAT?
JAIME, CAN YOU TELL?

Jaime says STEVE, I DON'T THINK WE
SHOULD REDUCE OUR STANDARDS
AND ACCEPT THAT OUR KIDS
AREN'T GOING TO DO AS WELL
AS KIDS ANYWHERE
ELSE IN THE WORLD.
SURE THE TEST RESULTS WERE
A DOSE OF COLD WATER.
I THINK THEY WERE A DOSE OF
REALITY FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE.
WE GOTTA WORK A
LOT HARDER.
BE A LOT BETTER FOR OUR
KIDS BECAUSE AS WE LOOK
TO THE FUTURE, OUR KIDS
NEED TO BE BETTER EQUIPPED,
NOT LESS EQUIPPED.

Ruth says STANDARDIZED TEST CANNOT
BE THE ONLY MEASURE
OF EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION.
I MEAN WE GOT AWAY FROM
GRADE 13 EXAMS YEARS AGO
BECAUSE THAT BECAME
THE BENCHMARK.
THERE'S GOT TO BE A BETTER
WAY OF ASSESSING
HOW A KID IS DOING.

Richard says WE WON'T SEE THOSE RESULTS
INCREASE UNTIL TEACHERS
HAVE MORE TIME WITH
STUDENTS, NOT LESS,
AND MORE TIME FOR
EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES,
NOT LESS, AND THESE DEBATES
ON THIS ARE DISTRACTING
FROM THE REAL PROBLEMS
OF EDUCATION, I THINK.

Steve says OKAY.
ONE LAST TOPIC.
IF A CLIFFHANGER, U.S.
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION,
A CANADIAN
NATIONAL CAMPAIGN,
AND TWO LEADERS' DEBATES
IN THIS ONE WEEK AREN'T
ENOUGH, TO SEND YOU
POLITICAL JUNKIES INTO
NIRVANA COME MONDAY, WE'LL
ALL BE HEADING TO THE POLLS
TO ELECT OUR
MUNICIPAL LEADERS.
GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT,
AMALGAMATION ARE HOT BUTTON
ISSUES ACROSS THE PROVINCE,
BUT IN THE WAKE OF
WALKERTON NO ISSUE LOOMS AS
LARGE AS THE ENVIRONMENT.

A video plays.

The caption changes to "Toronto City Council. ISSUE: Toronto Waste Disposal."

People stand in a large room singing NEVER GIVE THE WATERSHED
TO BASTARDS LIKE YOU.

The caption changes to "Edmund Fowler. York University." Edmund is in his fifties, with a moustache and receding white hair.

Edmund says THE ISSUE OF BOTH WASTE
AND THE QUALITY OF WATER
SEEMS FOR ONCE TO
BE - TO UNIFY BOTH
THE BIG CITY OF TORONTO
WITH SMALL CITIES AND
TOWNS LIKE KIRKLAND
LAKE AND WALKERTON.

An ad shows a bulleted list on a computer screen.

A Male Narrator says A LOT HAS
CHANGED IN ONTARIO.
AND REMEMBER TO VOTE
IN YOUR MUNICIPAL
ELECTION ON
NOVEMBER 13.

A slate reads "www.yourlocalgovernment.com. A message from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario."

Edmund continues ISSUES OF THE HOMELESS
HAS BEEN EXCITING PEEL.
THE PEOPLE OF THE 905 AREA
ARE ANYTHING BUT INSULATED
OR ISOLATED FROM THE
VERY GUTSY ISSUES
THAT THE CITY OF TORONTO
HAS TO DEAL WITH.

The caption changes to "Mel Lastman. Toronto Mayor." Mel is in his mid-fifties, clean-shaven with receding curly gray hair.

Talking to the press, Mel says NO GOVERNMENT CAN AFFORD
PEOPLE TO GO OUT AND BLOW
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

Edmund says IF YOU HAVE AN ACCLAMATION
IN A CITY THE SIZE OF
TORONTO, THAT'S A
REAL BLACK HOLE.
SORT OF LIKE A REAL
VACANT ELECTION BECAUSE
THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST
IMPORTANT ELECTED POSTS IN THE
COUNTRY PROBABLY JUST GIVEN
THE SIZE OF THE ELECTORATE
AND THE ONE PERSON IS
PRACTICALLY ACCLAIMED.

The clip ends.

Steve says YEAH, THE PARTICIPATION
RATES HAVEN'T BEEN
THE GREATEST NOW.
RUTH, I DO WANT TO START
WITH YOU AS A FORMER
MINISTER OF THE
ENVIRONMENT.
I AM IN MY TRAVELS BETWEEN
HAMILTON AND TORONTO MOSTLY
SEEING A LOT MORE MUNICIPAL
ELECTION SIGNS THAN I AM
FEDERAL ELECTION SIGNS, AND
I DON'T THINK IT'S ONLY
BECAUSE THAT ELECTION
IS HAPPENING SOONER.
IT SEEMS TO BE MORE PEOPLE
ARE PERHAPS TUNED
INTO THAT THAN
THE FEDS.
HAVING SAID THAT, I'M NOT
HEARING AS MUCH TALK ABOUT
THE ENVIRONMENT AS YOU
WOULD THINK THERE WOULD BE
GIVEN THE ENVIRONMENTAL
DISASTERS
OF THE LAST SIX
MONTHS.

Ruth says RIGHT.
I WAS SURPRISED WITH
YOUR INTRODUCTION.
ON YOUR FIRST POINT, I
THINK THAT A LOT OF FEDERAL
CAMPAIGNS HAVE CONSCIOUSLY
HELD BACK ON SIGNS UNTIL MONDAY.
I MEAN, THERE'S JUST
SO MUCH CONFUSION.
I WAS CANVASSING FOR A
MUNICIPAL CANDIDATE
THIS WEEK AND I GOT, OH,
WHICH PARTY IS SHE WITH?
SO THAT I THINK DISCRETION
IS THE BETTER PART OF
VALOUR FOR SOME NOT WELL
KNOWN FEDERAL CANDIDATES.
I DON'T THINK THAT
THE ENVIRONMENT
IS ON PEOPLE'S MINDS.
I THINK WHAT'S ON PEOPLE'S
MINDS IS VERY VARIED
ACROSS THE PROVINCE.
FOR TORONTO, BECAUSE
OF ADAMS MINE, YES.
MAYBE IN THE GTA
BECAUSE OF SOME THINGS,
BUT IN SMALLER AREAS WHERE
WE HAVE OUR COTTAGE,
FOR EXAMPLE, AN AWFUL
LOT OF ACCLAMATIONS.
AND I THINK IN RURAL AREAS
WHERE THERE'S BEEN
AN AMALGAMATION, IF YOU'VE
SEEN A VILLAGE AMALGAMATED
WITH A TOWNSHIP, A LOT OF
THOSE POLITICIANS HAVE
DECIDED I'M NOT GOING TO
COMPETE FOR FEWER SEATS.
WE'LL JUST LET IT GO.
I DON'T THINK YOU
CAN GENERALIZE.

Steve says ALTHOUGH IN SOME OF
THE AMALGAMATIONS,
AND I THINK IT'S PROBABLY
TO A CERTAIN EXTENT
THE CASE IN OTTAWA, NOT SO
MUCH THE CASE IN SUDBURY.
DEFINITELY THE CASE IN
HAMILTON WHERE THEY HAVE
A NEW SUPERCITY THERE
AND THIS WILL BE THEIR
FIRST ELECTION THERE.
THEY HAVE GOT A FANTASTIC
MAYOR'S RACE GOING ON.
YOU GOT THE INCUMBENT BOB
MORROW AGAINST BOB WADE WHO
WAS THE MAYOR OF ONE OF THE
SUBURBAN MUNICIPALITIES
ANCASTER, AND THEN
YOU'VE JOHN MUNRO,
THE FORMER CABINET MINISTER
IN THE TRUDEAU ERA IN THERE.
AND THE SIGNS
ARE EVERYWHERE!

Ruth says BUT MAYBE I MAKE A
DISTINCTION IN URBAN AND
RURAL BECAUSE I THINK A
LOT OF THE RURAL AREAS,
IT IS NOT THAT EXCITING.

Richard says I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE
TURNOUT WILL BE ON MONDAY
IN OTTAWA, BUT THERE ARE A
LOT OF CONTESTED ELECTIONS,
EXCEPT FOR ON THE
SCHOOL TRUSTEE SIDE.
BUT ON THE MUNICIPAL SIDE,
YOU'VE GOT A CITY COMING
TOGETHER, 780,000 PEOPLE
OTTAWA'S GOING TO BE ON
NEXT JANUARY THE 1ST, AND
ALTHOUGH MAYBE - BACK TO
YOUR QUESTION WITH RUTH,
ALTHOUGH ENVIRONMENT
MAY NOT BE THE HUGEST
ISSUE IN THE CAMPAIGN,
HOW OTTAWA DEALS WITH
GROWTH, TRANSPORTATION,
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
AND ALL THAT STUFF,
WHICH I BELIEVE IS VERY
ENVIRONMENTALLY RELATED,
IS PROBABLY THE BIGGEST
ISSUE IN THE CAMPAIGN.
SO AND I WANT TO BELIEVE
AS A RESULT OF ALL
THAT INTEREST AND
ALL THOSE SIGNS,
I'VE GOT THREE ON MY LAWN.
OUR NEIGHBOURS ARE MAKING
FUN OF US ACTUALLY.

Steve says YOU'VE GOT THREE
SIGNS ON YOUR LAWN?

Richard says YEAH.
ONE LIBERAL SIGN FOR
THE FEDERAL ELECTION
AND THE MAYOR'S SIGN.

Steve says AND THEN
YOUR LOCAL COUNCILLOR.

Richard says YEAH.

Ruth says AND TOOKER GOMBERG HAS NO
SIGNS; I CAN'T GET THAT.

Steve and Richard laugh.

Jaime says I THINK ONE OF THE BIGGEST
ISSUES IN THE ELECTION IS,
WHAT'S A NON-ISSUE.
AND THAT'S HOW AMALGAMATION
IN THE CITY OF TORONTO
HAS GONE FROM BEING 76
PERCENT OF PEOPLE OPPOSED
DOWN TO 26 PERCENT.

Richard says ALTHOUGH IN EVERY MUNICIPALITY
THERE WAS A LOT OF
DOWNLOADING WHICH WAS THE
RESULT OF AMALGAMATION IS
PROBABLY DRIVING A LOT
OF THESE ISSUES WHETHER
THEY'RE GROWTH
ISSUES OR OTHERWISE,
IT IS THE CHANGE OF
MUNICIPALITIES ARE NOW MORE
IMPORTANT, RIGHT, BECAUSE
THE FEDS GAVE A LOT MORE -
THE PROVINCE GAVE A LOT
MORE POWER TO THEM.
SO IT'S A MORE
IMPORTANT ELECTION,
BUT HOW THOSE
MUNICIPALITIES DEAL WITH
THE DOWNLOADING OF SERVICES
AND COSTS IS THE BIG ISSUE.

Jaime says BUT THIS IS THAT TIME WHEN
WE'RE SUPPOSED TO BE,
IN TORONTO AT LEAST,
FALLING APART,
NOTHING WAS SUPPOSED
TO HAVE WORKED.
EVERYTHING WAS SUPPOSED
TO HAVE BEEN A DISASTER.
I THINK AT LEAST THE
PEOPLE ARE SAYING,
WHETHER WE AGREE OR NOT,
BUT THE PEOPLE ARE SAYING,
IT'S WORKING NOT
TOO BADLY.

Steve says MEL LASTMAN HAS NOT
PROMISED A TAX FREEZE
THIS TIME AS WELL.
I MEAN HE IS ALSO SAYING
THERE'S GREAT STRESSES
ON THE BUDGET.

Ruth says THE ONE THING THAT
INTERESTS ME ABOUT IT IS,
IS THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN MUNICIPALITIES
AND THE PROVINCE
AFTER THE ELECTION,
AND ONE ENVIRONMENTAL
THING THAT I FIND
IS INTERESTING IS THAT
THE MAYORS OF A WHOLE
LOT OF MUNICIPALITIES,
CAMBRIDGE, GUELPH,
WATERLOO, AROUND THE
NANTICOKE'S COAL FIRE
GENERATING STATION ARE
BEING PLEDGED TO ASK
THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT
TO CONVERT THAT TO GAS.
IT'S THE FIRST TIME
ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS
HAVE DONE THAT KIND OF A
CAMPAIGN AND I'M SURE THERE
ARE OTHER ISSUES WHERE
PEOPLE ARE RUNNING PLEDGED
TO BEAT UP ON THE PROVINCE
FOR SOMETHING OR OTHER,
WHICH I GUESS MUNICIPAL
POLITICIANS HAVE ALWAYS DONE.
SO IT'LL BE INTERESTING TO
SEE WHETHER THE DYNAMIC
BETWEEN THE MUNICIPALITIES
AND AMO AND THE PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENT CHANGES AS
A RESULT OF NEW PEOPLE
GETTING ELECTED.

Steve says I THINK IRONICALLY THE
GREATEST MAYOR'S RACE IN
THE ENTIRE PROVINCE
MAY BE TAKING PLACE
SIX-AND-A-HALF HOURS
NORTH OF US.
KIRKLAND LAKE HAS A
TERRIFIC MAYOR'S RACE
AND TO GIVE YOU A TINY
FLAVOUR OF IT.
THE INCUMBENT, OF
COURSE, WAS AGAINST
THE WHOLE DUMP THING,
RICHARD DENTON.
BILL ENOUY WAS IN
FAVOUR OF THE DEAL,
AND HE'S RUNNING
AGAINST HIM.
AND DENTON IS ENOUY'S
FAMILY DOCTOR.
He laughs and continues SO YOU'VE GOT SOME
WONDERFUL SMALL TOWN
POLITICS COMING TOGETHER
THERE IN A VERY STRANGE WAY
AND YOU WONDER HOW THAT IS
ALL GOING TO PLAY ITSELF OUT.

Ruth says VERY INTERESTINGLY
BECAUSE THAT DEAL
IS DEFINITELY NOT DEAD.
IT'S GOING TO COME BACK
TO US AND SO WHO WINS
THERE IS GOING TO HAVE
AN IMPACT ON IN
WHAT FORM IT COMES BACK.

Steve says I'VE GOT ONE LAST QUESTION
AND THAT IS FOR THE LAST
THREE YEARS I'VE HEARD
NOTHING BUT COMPLAINTS FROM
THE PUNDITS ABOUT WHAT
AN IDIOT MEL LASTMAN IS.
HOW THE GUY CAN'T RUN A
PROPER COUNCIL MEETING,
HOW HE'S ON THE WRONG
SIDE OF ALL THE ISSUES,
HOW HE'S MAKING A
FOOL OF HIMSELF.
MEL LASTMAN IS GOING
TO - YOU KNOW,
HE'S GOING TO GLIDE RIGHT
BACK INTO THE MAYOR'S CHAIR.
THERE'S NOT A - WELL, I
HESITATE TO SAY THIS BUT
AUTHORITIES TELL YOU
THERE'S NOT A SINGLE
CREDIBLE CANDIDATE WHO'S
RUNNING AGAINST HIM WHO'S
GOT A REASONABLE SHOT
OF TAKING HIM ON.
ANYBODY GOT ANY
THEORIES ABOUT THIS?

Jaime says ABSOLUTELY.
THE PEOPLE ARE
NEVER WRONG.

Steve says THE
PEOPLE ARE NEVER WRONG.

Ruth says IN A HUGE CITY, IT'S
ONE OF THE DOWNSIDES OF
AMALGAMATION, WHO COULD
MOUNT A CAMPAIGN?
I GIVE YOU THAT MEL HAS
NOT BEEN AS BAD AS SOME
OF US WHO DIDN'T
VOTE FOR HIM WORRIED,
BUT AT THE SAME TOKEN,
IT IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE
IMPOSSIBLE FOR SOMEBODY WHO
DOESN'T HAVE THE KIND
OF MONEY AND RESOURCES
THAT MEL HAS TO MOUNT
A CREDIBLE CAMPAIGN
IN TORONTO.

Steve says WELL THE ONE THING
WE CAN SAY IS,
WE URGE EVERYBODY ON
NOVEMBER 13TH TO VOTE,
AND MY HUNCH IS, UNLIKE
THE AMERICAN RACE,
WE WILL KNOW WHO WINS
THE DAY OF THE VOTE.
WE'RE NOT GOING TO BEING TO
FLORIDA TO COUNT THE VOTES.

Richard says THIS WOULD BE GOOD.

Steve says THIS WOULD BE GOOD.
JAIME, THANKS FOR
PINCH HITTING.
RUTH, RICHARD, SEE
YOU AGAIN NEXT TIME.
AND THAT'S 4TH
READING FOR THIS WEEK.
I'M STEVE PAIKIN.
HOPE TO SEE YOU NEXT
WEEKEND AT THIS TIME.
SO LONG.

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, Ian Partridge.

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

Watch: Show #211