Transcript: Fourth Reading - Show 238 | Jun 10, 2001

The opening sequence rolls.

Music plays as clips of politicians and demonstrations appear on an animated number 4.

A clip shows images of politicians at the Legislature.

Steve says THIS
WEEK ON 4TH READING,
PRIVATE SCHOOLS,
PUBLIC SPLITS.
POLITICAL FAULT LINES OPEN
UP IN TWO PARTIES FOR THE
TAX CREDIT FOR
INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS.

Steve, Ruth, Richard, Mac sit with a guest 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 blue blazer over a white T-shirt.

Mac is in his fifties, clean-shaven and with very short white hair. He wears a light gray suit, white shirt and burgundy tie.

Richard is in his fifties, clean-shaven and with short wavy gray hair. He wears a gray suit, blue shirt and dotted gold tie.

Ruth is in her mid-sixties, with short straight white hair. She wears a multi-coloured patch work blouse.

Steve says HI, EVERYBODY,
I'M STEVE PAIKIN,
AND WELCOME TO 4TH
READING FOR THIS WEEK.
IT'S THE ISSUE THAT
JUST WON'T GO AWAY
AT QUEEN'S PARK.
THE PROPOSED 3,500 DOLLAR
TAX CREDIT FOR PARENTS
WITH CHILDREN
IN PRIVATE SCHOOLS
APPEARS TO HAVE FORGED
MAJOR SPLITS IN BOTH
THE CONSERVATIVE AND
LIBERAL CAUCUSES,
AND AS MPPs BREAK RANKS
FOR REASONS OF POLITICS
AND CONSCIENCE, IT'S
GETTING SO YOU CAN'T
TELL THE PLAYERS
WITHOUT A PROGRAM
AT QUEEN'S PARK
THESE DAYS.

A clip of a session at the Legislature rolls.

A caption reads to “Janet Ecker. Minister of Education”

Janet is in her late forties, with short straight blond hair. She wears glasses, a gray blazer and an orange and gray scarf.

She says AND IF HE HAS ANY DOUBTS
ABOUT THE SUPPORT
THAT THE PUBLIC HAS
FOR PARENTAL CHOICE,
HE NEED TO GO NO FURTHER
THAN HIS OWN CAUCUS
AND TO ASK MICHAEL BRYANT,
TO ASK MONTE KWINTER,
TO ASK OTHER MEMBERS OF HIS
CAUCUS WHO HAVE SUPPORTED
RECOGNIZING AND
RESPECTING PARENTAL
CHOICE ON THIS ISSUE.

The caption changes to “Honourable Dalton McGuinty. Leader of the Opposition”
Dalton is in his mid-forties, clean-shaven and with short straight brown hair. He wears a blue suit, purple shirt and blue tie.
He says I WANT TO ASSURE THE
MINISTER THAT MY CAUCUS
IS FIRMLY UNITED AGAINST
PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS.
[Applause]

Janet says HE SAID ON THE ONE HAND,
HE DOESN'T DISAGREE
WITH SENDING MONEY TO
INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS.HIS EDUCATION
CRITIC AGREES.HE HAS MEMBERS
WHO AGREE.HIS NEW CANDIDATE,
HIS NEW CANDIDATE
UP IN THE BY-ELECTION HAS
CLEARLY GONE ON RECORD
AS SAYING, WHETHER BY
GOVERNMENT DECREE
OR COURT ORDER, ONTARIO'S
JEWISH DAY SCHOOLS
WILL BE PUBLICLY FUNDED
BY THE YEAR 2000.
[members shouting]

Dalton says MADAM MINISTER, SEEMS TO
ME YOU'VE GOT THREE
FULL-TIME JOBS NOW:
YOU'RE MINISTER
OF EDUCATION,
YOU'RE HEALTH LEADER,
AND THE OTHER FULL-TIME JOB
FOR WHICH YOU'VE ASSUMED
RESPONSIBILITY IS BAILING
OUT THE FINANCE MINISTER
DAY IN AND DAY OUT.
[Applause]

Steve says IT'S BEEN
BACK AND FORTH FOR WEEKS.EACH PARTY TRYING TO
PORTRAY A UNITED FRONT,
BUT DISSENTING OPINIONS
ABOUND ON THIS ISSUE
WITHIN BOTH THE PC AND
LIBERAL PARTIES.GOVERNMENT BACKBENCHERS TED
ARNOTT AND BILL MURDOCH
AREN'T HAPPY WITH
THE TAX CREDIT AS IS.

The caption changes to “Ted Arnott. MPP. PC, Waterloo-Wellington.”

Ted is in his late thirties, clean-shaven and with short straight red hair. He wears a blue suit, blue shirt and striped blue tie.

He says IF THEY'RE INTENT ON
GOING AHEAD WITH THIS,
THAT THEY SHOULD MEANS
TEST IT IN ESSENCE,
THEY SHOULD HAVE A
GRADUATED TAX CREDIT
WITH AN UPPER INCOME
THRESHOLD AT WHICH PEOPLE
WOULD NOT BE
ELIGIBLE FOR IT.THAT WOULD MEAN THAT RICH
FAMILIES WOULDN'T BE ELIGIBLE
FOR A TAX CREDIT
TO SEND THEIR KIDS
TO PRIVATE SCHOOL.

The caption changes to “Bill Murdoch. MPP. PC, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.”

Bill is in his mid-fifties, with short straight brown hair and a graying beard. He wears a blue suit, white shirt and printed tie.

He says IT WAS IN MY VIEW WAS
NEVER MEANT SORT OF
TO SUPPORT THE REAL
RICH IF YOU TALK ABOUT.NOW, HOW ARE THE
REAL RICH?
THAT'S OUR PROBLEM.I CERTAINLY DON'T
THINK IT'S 60,000 DOLLARS.I THINK IT COULD BE A
LITTLE HIGHER THAN THAT.

The caption changes to “Jim Flaherty. Minister of Finance.”

Jim is in his late forties, clean-shaven and with short wavy brown hair. He wears a blue suit, white shirt and blue and orange striped tie.

He says PERSONALLY, I'M NOT
INCLINED TO THAT KIND
OF CONCLUSION THAT WE WOULD
DISCRIMINATE AGAINST PEOPLE
ON THE BASIS OF INCOME FOR
THE SIMPLE REASON
THAT WE ALREADY DO THAT.WE ALREADY ASK PEOPLE
WITH HIGHER INCOMES
TO PAY MORE INCOME TAX.

Steve says THE LIBERALS
SAY THE TAX CREDIT WILL
HURT PUBLIC EDUCATION BY
PROVIDING PARENTS WITH
AN INCENTIVE TO LEAVE
THE PUBLIC SYSTEM.BUT MPPs MONTE KWINTER AND
MICHAEL BRYANT HAVE COME
OUT IN FAVOUR OF THE
TAX CREDIT IN THE PAST.SO HAS GREG SORBARA, THE
LIBERAL CANDIDATE RUNNING
IN THE VAUGHAN-KING-AURORA
BY-ELECTION.BUT DALTON MCGUINTY INSISTS
THE SUPPORT FOR THE PARTY
POSITION IS SOLID.

Dalton says POLITICS IS THE ART
OF THE POSSIBLE.YOU'VE GOT TO MAKE SOME
TOUGH DECISIONS
AND OUR SHARED NUMBER ONE
PRIORITY IS TO IMPROVE
PUBLIC EDUCATION, TO
RESTORE CONFIDENCE
IN AND VITALITY TO
PUBLIC EDUCATION.AND WE ARE FIRMLY
COMMITTED TO THAT,
ALL MEMBERS OF
OUR CAUCUS.

Steve says SO WHY HAS THIS ISSUE BECOME
SO FRACTIOUS FOR MPPs?
HERE TO HELP US ANSWER THAT
TODAY IS MONTE KWINTER,
LIBERAL MPP FOR YORK CENTRE
WHO'S LONG SUPPORTED
FUNDING FOR
RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS,

Monte is in his early seventies, clean-shaven and with short wavy white hair. He wears a blue suit with a pin on his lapel, a white shirt and a blue and red striped tie.

Steve says AND OUR QUEEN'S PARK
EXPERTS ARE HERE AS WELL.HERE THEY ARE, MAC
PENNEY FROM GPC,
GOVERNMENT POLICY
CONSULTANTS.FROM THE LAW FIRM FRASER
MILNER CASGRAIN
THERE'S RICHARD MAHONEY.AND FORMER NDP CABINET
MINISTER RUTH GRIER,
AND THERE'S RUTH.MONTE, YOU SUPPORT THIS
TAX CREDIT EVEN THOUGH
YOUR PARTY'S AGAINST IT.HOW COME?

The caption changes to “Monte Kwinter. MPP. Liberal, York Centre.”

Monte says AS A MATTER OF FACT, I'VE
ADVOCATED IT FOR 16 YEARS.
JUST BEFORE THE
LAST ELECTION,
I SPONSORED A RALLY
OUTSIDE OF QUEEN'S PARK.
WE HAD 5,000 PEOPLE IN
SUPPORT OF THE POSITION
THAT THERE IS A REAL
ISSUE OF DISCRIMINATION.

Steve says YOUR LEADER AND THREE
QUARTERS OF YOUR CAUCUS
SAY THIS WILL LEAD TO AN
EXODUS FROM THE PUBLIC
EDUCATION SYSTEM AND THAT
RESOURCES AND PEOPLE POWER
AND MONEY WILL BE TAKEN
AWAY FROM THE PUBLIC
EDUCATION SYSTEM, AND THAT THE
RESULT AT THE END OF THE DAY
WILL BE A WORSE PUBLIC
EDUCATION SYSTEM.
YOUR THOUGHT?

Monte says WELL, I DON'T THINK
THAT THESE ARE MUTUALLY
EXCLUSIVE POSITIONS.
I REALLY DON'T, AND I
THINK IT'S UNFORTUNATE
THAT IT HAS BEEN DRAWN INTO
THAT SORT OF A BATTLE.
I THINK THAT THERE IS
ABSOLUTELY NO QUESTION
THAT THE PRESENT GOVERNMENT
IS UNDERFUNDING PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
AND I THINK THAT
HAS TO BE ADDRESSED.
ON THE OTHER HAND, THIS
ISSUE OF FAIRNESS,
DISCRIMINATION, AND
EQUITY IS ONE THAT
HAS BEEN AROUND
FOR A LONG TIME.
AS A MATTER OF FACT, BILL
DAVIS INITIATED THE SHAPIRO
REPORT THAT BROUGHT OUT
RECOMMENDATIONS
AS TO HOW TO ADDRESS IT.

Steve says THEY RECOMMENDED FULL
FUNDING FOR RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS.

Monte says ABSOLUTELY, AND AS
A MATTER OF FACT,
THE COMMUNITIES THAT
ARE AFFECTED BY THIS
SEE THIS AS A FIRST
STEP, THIS TAX CREDIT.
WHAT THEY WOULD PREFER
IS INSTEAD OF IT GOING
TO THE PEOPLE, THE
TAXPAYERS, THEY WOULD PREFER
THAT IT GO TO PROVIDING FULL
FUNDING FOR THESE SCHOOLS.
NOW IF THEY
CAN'T GET THAT,
THEY'RE SAYING THIS
IS A GOOD FIRST STEP.
A FOOT IN THE DOOR.

Steve says BY OPPOSING THE TAX
CREDIT, DALTON MCGUINTY,
YOUR PARTY LEADER, IS
OBVIOUSLY TRYING TO POSITION
THE LIBERALS AS
THE CHAMPIONS
OF THE PUBLIC
SCHOOL SYSTEM.
ARE YOU CONCERNED THAT
INSTEAD THE LIBERALS
ARE LOOKING AS IF THEY
ARE, ON THE OTHER HAND,
AGAINST RELIGIOUS
EQUALITY?

Monte says I DON'T THINK SO.
I THINK THAT THE PROBLEM
THAT WE HAVE IS THAT WE'VE
REALLY BEEN PUT INTO A BIT
OF A BOX BY THE GOVERNMENT.
THAT'S JUST SO
THAT WE UNDERSTAND.
YOU KNOW, THE UNITED
NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS
COMMITTEE CAME FORWARD
AND SAID THERE'S
ACTUAL DISCRIMINATION.
YOU CAN'T JUST FUND THE
ROMAN CATHOLIC SYSTEM
WITHOUT FUNDING OTHER
RELIGIOUS GROUPS.
NOW THE MINISTER OF
EDUCATION, PREMIER,
IMMEDIATELY
REJECTED THAT.
AND THE REASON THEY
REJECTED IT IS BECAUSE
THEY SAID IT WOULD WEAKEN
THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM.
NOW WE HAVE A
TOTAL ABOUT FACE.

Steve says WHICH YOU SUPPORT.

Monte says I SUPPORT THE IDEA OF DEALING
WITH THIS FAIRNESS ISSUE.
I DON'T SUPPORT THE IDEA
THAT PARENTS WHO SEND THEIR
CHILDREN TO ELITE SCHOOLS
SHOULD GET FUNDING,
BUT WHAT I RESENT IS
THAT IT'S BEEN COUPLED.
SO THAT WHAT YOU DO IS,
YOU GET PEOPLE TRYING
TO EQUATE ONE WITH
THE OTHER AND
THEY SHOULD BE
TOTALLY SEPARATE.
IT ISN'T A
COUPLED ISSUE.

Steve says DID YOU DISCUSS THIS
IN CAUCUS, INCIDENTALLY,
THE LIBERAL PARTY,
BEFORE YOU CAME OUT
WITH A POSITION ON THIS?

Monte says WE HAVE BEEN TALKING
ABOUT THIS FOR SOME TIME,
AND YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT
SINCE THE TIME THAT
I'VE BEEN IN ELECTED
OFFICE, SINCE 1985,
I'VE ALWAYS BEEN A
SUPPORTER OF FUNDING
FOR RELIGIOUS BASED SCHOOLS
BECAUSE OF THE EQUITY ISSUE.
I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN, IF
YOU WANT TO CALL IT,
OFFSIDE WITH THE PARTY.
I GOT IN TO A LOT OF
TROUBLE WHEN I WAS
THE MINISTER AND I WAS
APPROACHED BY THE CANADIAN
JEWISH NEWS AND
THEY SAID TO ME,
DOES YOUR GOVERNMENT
SUPPORT FUNDING
FOR JEWISH DAY
SCHOOLS?
AND I SAID, NO.
THE NEXT WEEK, PICTURES
ON THE FRONT PAGE,
KWINTER DOESN'T SUPPORT
FUNDING FOR JEWISH DAY SCHOOLS.
I THEN HAD TO CALL
THEM AND SAY, NO,
YOU DIDN'T ASK
ME THAT.
YOU ASKED ME WHAT THE
GOVERNMENT POSITION WAS.
IF YOU'D ASKED
ME MY POSITION,
MY POSITION HAS
BEEN CONSTANT.
I'VE ALWAYS
SUPPORTED THIS.
I THINK THERE IS A
BASIC INEQUITY
THAT HAS TO BE
ADDRESSED.

Steve says OKAY, LET ME GET YOUR
CONFRERE OVER HERE,
MISTER MAHONEY, TO SAY,
WOULD A SMARTER POLITICAL
POSITION NOT HAVE
BEEN FOR YOUR PARTY,
SO THAT IT CAN'T BE TARRED
WITH THIS POTENTIAL BRUSH
OF SAYING YOU'RE SOMEHOW
AGAINST RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS
GETTING FUNDING, WHY DIDN'T
YOU TAKE MONTE'S POSITION
AND SAY, OKAY, WE SUPPORT
RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS GETTING IT
BECAUSE IT IS AN ISSUE
OF FAIRNESS AND EQUITY.
BUT YOU KNOW WHAT, LOWER
CLASS PEOPLE IN DOWNTOWN
TORONTO SUPPORTING UPPER
CLASS PEOPLE SENDING THEIR
KIDS TO UCC, THAT WE'RE
NOT GOING TO STAND FOR.
WHY DIDN'T YOU TAKE THAT
POSITION AS A PARTY?

The caption changes to “Richard Mahoney. Ontario Liberal Advisor.”

Richard says WELL FIRST OF ALL BECAUSE
THAT'S NOT THE ISSUE
IN FRONT OF US.
I ACCEPT MONTE'S POINTS
ABOUT THERE IS NO QUESTION,
AS WE'VE TALKED ABOUT ON
THIS PROGRAM BEFORE,
WHAT I CALL THE ANOMALY OF
FUNDING CATHOLIC SCHOOLS
IN THIS PROVINCE,
WAS HAS DEVELOPED BECAUSE
OF OUR CONSTITUTION
AND OUR HISTORY,
CREATES AN UNFAIRNESS,
NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT.
THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION
THOUGH IS THE REASON WHY
WE DIDN'T DO THAT IS BECAUSE
THE CHOICE IN FRONT OF US
IS THE TAX CREDIT OPTION AS
PUT TO THE LEGISLATURE AND
THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO VIA
MISTER FLAHERTY'S BUDGET.
SO THAT'S THE ANSWER.
SECONDLY, AND PERHAPS
MORE IMPORTANTLY,
IS THE SUBSTANCE
OF THE ISSUE.
AT THIS POINT IN OUR TIME,
WHERE I PROBABLY DISAGREE
WITH MONTE, THERE ARE A
LIMITED AMOUNT OF RESOURCES
GOING AROUND FOR ALL
THE IMPORTANT THINGS
THAT WE WISH TO
FUND AS A PROVINCE.
ONE OF THE MOST, IF NOT
THE MOST IMPORTANT
OF THOSE ISSUES
IS EDUCATION.
WE ARE GOING TO TAKE,
DEPENDING ON WHOSE ESTIMATE
YOU BELIEVE, 300 MILLION DOLLARS,
500 MILLION DOLLARS, 700 MILLION DOLLARS,
SOMEWHERE IN THAT
RANGE, OF RESOURCES,
OF PUBLIC RESOURCES, AND
WE'RE GOING TO PUT THEM
INTO DENOMINATIONAL
SCHOOLS AND ALSO,
AS MONTE SAYS,
ELITE SCHOOLS.

Steve says BUT HE SAYS YOU
CAN DO BOTH.

Richard says THE POINT HE BRINGS UP,
WHICH IS A FAIR ONE,
IN OTHER PROVINCES,
IT'S NOT DONE THIS WAY.
IT'S DONE BY GRANTS TO
DENOMINATIONAL
SCHOOLS DIRECTLY.
AND I WOULD ARGUE THAT I
SUSPECT ONE OF THE REASONS
WHY THE CONSERVATIVES CHOSE
TO PROCEED AS THE WAY THEY DO
IS TO FORCE US TO MAKE
A CALL WHICH WE'VE DONE.

Steve says TRUE OR FALSE?

The caption changes to “Mac Penney. Ontario PC Advisor.”

Mac says WELL, FIRST OF ALL I DON'T
THINK THAT RICHARD ANSWERED
YOUR QUESTION AT ALL BUT
DID A MARVELLOUS JOB
DANCING AROUND IT.

Richard says AS A MATTER OF PRIORITY, I
WOULD TAKE THAT 500 MILLION
THAT YOU'RE WASTING ON
PRIVATE SCHOOLS
AND I WOULD PUT
INTO PUBLIC EDUCATION.
PERIOD.
END OF STORY.
FULL STOP.
THAT'S WHAT I SAID.

Mac says IN ANSWER TO
STEVE'S QUESTION,
WHAT I HEARD YOU SAY
WAS, IT'S THE TAX CREDIT
MECHANISM THAT YOU
FIND OBJECTIONABLE.
NO, NO, YOU SAID, SO IF
IT WAS A DIRECT GRANT,
IT WOULDN'T BE AS
OBJECTIONABLE, I ASSUME.
I THINK THE REAL ANSWER -

Richard says YOU'RE RIGHT,
IT WOULD NOT BE
AS OBJECTIONABLE,
THAT'S CORRECT.

Mac says SO MAYBE DALTON COULD
LIVE WITH A DIRECT
GRANT APPROACH.

Richard says NO, I DIDN'T SAY THAT AND
DON'T PUT WORDS IN MY MOUTH.

Steve says FOR THE RECORD, I THINK HE
HAS SAID - MCGUINTY HAS
SAID, WE CAN ENTERTAIN IDEAS
ABOUT DIRECT FUNDING
FOR THE RELIGIOUS SCHOOL
SYSTEM, ONCE THE PUBLIC
SCHOOL SYSTEM, IN HIS
VIEW, WAS FIXED.
THAT'S BEEN HIS
POSITION.
BUT THE QUESTION
I ASKED IS -

Mac says IS THAT 20 BILLION DOLLARS -

Steve says THE QUESTION I ASKED IS,
DID THE TORIES BRING THIS IN
INTENTIONALLY TO DROP A
BOMB ON THE LIBERAL PARTY
AND SPLIT IT, WHICH
APPEARS TO HAVE HAPPENED
TO SOME EXTENT?

Mac says NO, I DON'T THINK
THAT THE TORIES
HAD THAT IN
MIND AT ALL.

Steve says NICE BYPRODUCT,
THOUGH?

Mac says I THINK IT'S A HAPPY
OUTCOME FOR THE TORIES AND
I THINK THE SIMPLE QUESTION
TO DALTON MCGUINTY IS,
WHO'S GOING TO LOSE ANY
CORE VOTE OVER THIS ISSUE?

Steve says THAT'S A
GOOD QUESTION.
WHAT'S GOING TO
HAPPEN - CAN I ASK -

Mac says I DON'T THINK IT'S GOING TO
BE THE TORY CORE VOTE
THAT MIKE HARRIS LOSES
OVER THIS ISSUE.
I DON'T KNOW IF
DALTON RISKS LOSING
CORE LIBERAL VOTE
OVER THE ISSUE.

Steve says MAC, HOW ABOUT
IN RURAL ONTARIO?
HOW'S THIS GOING TO
SIT IN RURAL ONTARIO?

Mac says I'VE TALKED TO SOME OF OUR
PEOPLE FROM - MEMBERS -
I HAVEN'T CANVASSED
EVERY TORY MEMBER,
FROM RURAL ONTARIO.
BUT WE'VE BEEN LOOKING
AT IT KIND OF ACROSS
THE PROVINCE AND REALLY THE
FURTHER YOU GET FROM THE 416
AND THE 905 AREA CODES,
THE LESS OF AN ISSUE
THIS IS BECOMING, AND I
THINK IN THE OTTAWA AREA,
THE OTTAWA CITIZEN
HAS
WRITTEN SOME PRETTY
FORCEFUL EDITORIALS
ON IT.

Richard says YES.

Mac says IN FACT, TOTALLY CONTRARY
TO THE POSITION TAKEN
BY
THE TORONTO STAR
, I
BELIEVE, IN SOME CASES.

Ruth says OKAY, MAC, IT'S
TWO OF YOUR RURAL MEMBERS
WHO HAVE NOW COME OUT
IN OPPOSITION TO IT.

Mac says ONE OF THE PEOPLE I SPOKE WITH
SAID THAT HE IS GETTING
SOME OPPOSITION IN
KIND OF A RURAL RIDING,
SEMI-URBAN RURAL RIDING.
HE'S GETTING IT FROM
WHAT HE CALLS THE TINY-C
CONSERVATIVES, THE
GUYS WHO STILL
HAVEN'T FORGIVEN
BILL DAVIS.

Steve says WELL, THAT COULD
VERY WELL BE.
THIS MAY BE THE
1984 FULL FUNDING
OF SEPARATE SCHOOLS
DECISION REVISITED.
HERE'S THE QUESTION.
I WOULD GUESS, AND
YOU'RE GOING TO HELP ME
WITH SOME POLITICAL
ANALYSIS HERE.
I WOULD THINK THIS HURTS
LIBERAL CHANCES IN PLACES
LIKE THORNHILL AND
EGLINTON LAWRENCE AND
SAINT PAUL'S WHERE THERE ARE
CONSIDERABLE RELIGIOUS
COMMUNITIES, MOSTLY JEWISH
COMMUNITY IN THAT CASE.
THAT'S GOING TO HURT
LIBERAL EFFORTS THERE.
BY THE SAME TOKEN, AND
I'M HEARING THIS TOO,
RUTH, AS I THINK
YOU ARE, AND MAC.
IF YOU GO FURTHER AFIELD
INTO RURAL ONTARIO,
IT'S GOING TO HURT
CONSERVATIVE FORTUNES THERE
AND IMPROVE LIBERAL
FORTUNES THERE.
THAT'S WHAT
I'M HEARING.

The caption changes to “Ruth Grier. Former NDP Cabinet Minister.”

Ruth says BUT, STEVE, YOU'RE ALSO
ASSUMING THAT ALL OF THE PEOPLE
WITH A RELIGIOUS
BACKGROUND, BE IT JEWISH
OR CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE
OR WHATEVER ARE IN FAVOUR
OF IT AND I THINK THAT
CERTAINLY YOU'VE HEARD
FROM SOME VOICES IN THE
JEWISH COMMUNITY
OR INDIVIDUALS WHO
DON'T, SO -

Steve says DO YOU
SUPPORT THIS, RUTH?

Ruth says I DO NOT SUPPORT IT AND
I'M PROUD TO SPEAK AND BE
A MEMBER OF THE ONLY
PARTY THAT IS UNITED
IN THE LEGISLATURE
OPPOSING THIS.

Steve says HAVE YOU TALKED
TO PETER KORMOS?
I'M NOT SURE YOU'RE
100 PERCENT UNITED ON THIS.

Ruth says I THINK WE ARE 100
PERCENT IN OPPOSITION.

Steve says WHAT IF
THEY MEANS TEST IT?

Richard says CAN I SAY ONE THING ABOUT
THE SUPPORT ISSUE, THOUGH?
I DON'T THINK IT IS SUCH
A BAD THING IN LIFE,
IF I CAN JUST
TAKE A STEP BACK,
THAT THERE ARE MEMBERS OF,
IN THIS CASE THE GOVERNMENT
CAUCUS, THE TORY CAUCUS,
WHO HAPPEN TO OPPOSE
A PARTICULAR INITIATIVE
OF THE GOVERNMENT.
I SAID THAT LAST WEEK WHEN
WE WERE TALKING ABOUT WHETHER
OR NOT THIS WAS EMBARRASSING
TO MISTER FLAHERTY.
NOR DO I THINK IT'S A BAD
THING - AND MONTE POINTS OUT,
HE'S BEEN ON THIS
ISSUE AND CONSISTENT
ON IT SINCE 1985.
I DON'T THINK IT'S A BAD
THING THAT THERE ARE CERTAIN
MEMBERS OF THE PROVINCIAL
LIBERAL CAUCUS
WHO DON'T SUPPORT -

Steve says HAVE YOU BEEN SANCTIONED
BY YOUR LEADER?

Monte says NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Steve says DALTON MCGUINTY
HAS NOT SANCTIONED YOU
IN ANY WAY?

Monte says NO, NO.
NOT ONLY HAS HE
NOT SANCTIONED ME,
BUT HE ABSOLUTELY
UNDERSTANDS AND APPRECIATES
THAT IN ANY POLITICAL PARTY
THAT IS WORTHY OF BEING CALLED
A POLITICAL PARTY,
YOU HAVE DIVERSITY.
AND I'M CERTAINLY NOT GOING
TO SUBJUGATE MY BELIEFS
AND MY CONSCIENCE FOR
THE POLITICAL PARTY.
IT WOULD BE A SIMILAR THING
IF WE WERE TALKING ABOUT
PRO-LIFE OR
WHATEVER IT IS.
YOU EITHER BELIEVE
OR YOU DON'T BELIEVE
AND IT ISN'T A
MATTER OF BEING SWAYED
ONE WAY OR THE OTHER.
SO WHEN I WAS LISTENING
TO YOUR OPENING REMARK,
THAT IT HAS DIVIDED THE
PARTY; WE ARE NOT DIVIDED.
I WANT YOU TO
UNDERSTAND THAT.
WE ARE ABSOLUTELY
NOT DIVIDED.
I VOTED AGAINST THE BUDGET
BILL AT SECOND READING.
I WILL VOTE AGAINST IT
AGAIN AT THIRD READING.

Steve says RE YOU HEARING FROM PEOPLE
IN THE JEWISH COMMUNITY
WHO ARE SAYING, WE ARE
NOT GOING TO VOTE
LIBERAL NEXT TIME, WE'RE
NOT GOING TO SUPPORT
THE LIBERAL
PARTY NEXT TIME,
WE ARE NOT GOING TO GIVE
MONEY TO THE LIBERAL PARTY
NEXT TIME BECAUSE IT
OBJECTS TO THIS
TAX CREDIT PROVISION?

Monte says I HAVE HEARD
FROM SOME, YES.

Steve says DO YOU WANT
TO NAME NAMES?

Monte says NO.

Steve says IS IT
SIGNIFICANT?

Monte says WHAT?

Steve says DOES IT POSE A SIGNIFICANT
BLOW TO YOUR PARTY'S PROSPECTS
IN THE NEXT ELECTION WHAT
YOU'RE HEARING SO FAR?

Monte says WELL, WHAT I THINK IS THAT
IN ALL OF THE YEARS THAT
I HAVE BEEN A PROPONENT AND
A SUPPORTER AND A VERY,
VERY VISIBLE SUPPORTER OF
ABSOLUTELY HAVING FAIRNESS
AND EQUITY IN THE FUNDING
OF RELIGIOUS BASED SCHOOLS.
IT MAKES NO SENSE FOR
ME THAT ONE FAMILY
HAS CATHOLIC CHILDREN.
THEIR SCHOOL FUNDING IS
PAID FOR IN ITS ENTIRETY
OTHER THAN THEY PAY
THEIR SCHOOL TAXES.

Steve says I UNDERSTAND
YOUR POSITION.

Monte says AND THEIR NEXT
DOOR NEIGHBOUR -

Steve says DOES THIS POSE A
PROBLEM FOR YOU GUYS
IN THE NEXT ELECTION?

Monte says JEWISH CHILDREN AND
THEY DON'T GET IT
AND THEY STILL PAY THEIR
PUBLIC SCHOOL TAXES.

Richard says WHAT ABOUT THE
OPPOSITION QUESTION, THOUGH?

Ruth says LET ME GET A WORD IN
HERE, GUYS, SOMEWHERE
BECAUSE I THINK THAT IT IS
UNFORTUNATE AT THIS POINT
TO POSITION THE ISSUE
AS ONE OF FAIRNESS
AND EQUITY, AND I KNOW
THAT'S BEEN YOUR POSITION.

Monte says THAT'S THE ONLY ISSUE!

Ruth says OKAY, BUT LET ME
MAKE MY DISTINCTION.
THAT'S A RESPECTABLE
ISSUE AND I ADMIRE YOU
FOR WHAT YOU'RE
DOING ON IT.
BUT FOR ME AS A SUPPORTER
OF PUBLIC EDUCATION
AND SOMEONE WHO SEES PUBLIC
EDUCATION AS BEING
MORE ABOUT THE KIND OF
COMMUNITY WE BUILD
AND MULTICULTURALISM
AND ALL OF THAT.
FOR ME THIS IS ABOUT WHAT
THIS GOVERNMENT HAS DONE
TO PUBLIC EDUCATION AND WE GO
BACK TO SNOBELEN'S SPEECH
IN THE EARLY DAYS SAYING TO
CHANGE SOMETHING YOU HAVE
TO DESTROY IT, AND THIS
GOVERNMENT FUNDAMENTALLY
BELIEVES THAT THINGS ARE
BETTER DONE PRIVATELY
THAN PUBLICLY.
AND THIS IS ALL
PART OF A CAMPAIGN,
AS THEY HAVE
WITH HEALTHCARE,
TO UNDERMINE THE
PUBLIC SYSTEM.
AND I THINK WE LOSE SIGHT
OF THAT WHEN WE RESPECT,
AS WE OUGHT TO, AND
FOCUS IT TOTALLY
ON THE KINDS OF ISSUES
THAT MONTE'S MAKING.

Richard says AND THEY
WRAPPED IT UP A BIT.
THE GOVERNMENT HAS - I
THINK RUTH'S - THAT'S A
VERY GOOD POINT, AND THEY
HAVE WRAPPED THIS UP
IN THE RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONAL
SCHOOLS WHERE ADMITTEDLY
THERE IS A FAIRNESS, A VERY
SERIOUS FAIRNESS ISSUE.
BUT WHAT THEY'VE REALLY
DONE, AS RUTH SAYS,
IS ALSO MAKE IT - AS
WELL AT LEAST EQUALLY
ABOUT PRIVATE SCHOOLS.
YOU WON'T SEE THEM TRYING
TO SELL IT ON THOSE GROUNDS.
AND I WOULD SAY
YOUR QUESTION,
WILL THIS CREATE A PROBLEM
FOR THE LIBERAL PARTY?
MY SORT OF READING OF THIS
OVER THE LAST LITTLE WHILE
IS IF ANYTHING IT'S
CREATING A PROBLEM
FOR THE GOVERNMENT.
THE GOVERNMENT IS UNDER
FIRE FOR ONLY ONE ITEM
IN ITS BUDGET
AND THAT IS -

Steve says EARLY POLLS HAVE BEEN
VERY POSITIVE ON THIS.

Richard says EARLY POLLS,
ADMITTEDLY EARLY.
PUBLIC OPINION POLLS,
DEPENDING OF COURSE
HOW YOU PUT THE
QUESTION TO PEOPLE,
ARE SORT OF
DIVIDED ON IT.
IF YOU PITCH IT TO BE
PUBLIC SIMPLY AS A QUESTION
OF FAIRNESS FOR RELIGIOUS
AND DENOMINATIONAL SCHOOLS,
YOU'LL DO VERY WELL.

Steve says RIGHT.

Richard says IF IT'S SEEN AS SOMETHING
TO HELP FUND PRIVATE SCHOOLS,
YOU'LL DO VERY POORLY.

Ruth says HERE'S OVER 100,000
STUDENTS IN PRIVATE SCHOOLS
IN THE PROVINCE, AND
60 PERCENT OF THEM
ARE IN NON-FAITH
BASED SCHOOLS.
SO, FAITH IS THE SMALLER
PROPORTION OF THE NUMBER
OF PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING
TO BENEFIT FROM THIS.

Mac says I THINK THERE ARE A COUPLE
OF POINTS QUITE QUICKLY.
THERE'S NO DIRECT
LINK BETWEEN PRIVATE
AND FOR PROFIT.
A LOT OF THESE
SCHOOLS ARE PRIVATE.
THEY'RE INDEPENDENT.
BUT THEY ARE RUN ON A
NON-PROFIT BASIS
AND THEY'RE RUN BY
FOUNDATIONS.
THEY'RE RUN BY
NON-PROFIT BOARDS.
IT'S NOT ENTIRELY A PROFIT,
FOR PROFIT DRIVEN SYSTEM.

Ruth says THEY'RE
NOT ACCOUNTABLE.
THEY'RE NOT
TRANSPARENT IN -

Mac says THEY'RE MORE ACCOUNTABLE
THEY'RE CERTAINLY
ACCOUNTABLE TO THE
PARENTS WHO PAID
TO SEND THEIR
CHILDREN THERE.

Ruth says THEY'RE DIRECTLY ACCOUNTABLE
TO THEIR CONSTITUENCY.

Mac says PARDON ME?

Ruth says THEY'RE NOW GOING TO
GET MY TAX DOLLARS.
THEY'RE NOT REQUIRED TO
MEET THE STANDARDS
THIS GOVERNMENT HAS PUT ON
EVERY OTHER SCHOOL -

Mac says TAX DOLLARS TO A SYSTEM
WHICH THEY DIDN'T
FOR EITHER FAITH REASONS
OR OTHER REASONS
DIDN'T BELIEVE THAT
THEY COULD EDUCATE
THEIR CHILDREN
APPROPRIATELY.

Steve says MONTE, LAST 20
SECONDS TO MONTE.

Monte says THE LAST WORD, I WANT TO
PICK UP ON THAT POINT.
WHEN YOU SAY FOR
YEARS THEY USED TO -
THEY'RE STILL DOING IT.
YOU KNOW, I'VE GOT
FIVE GRANDCHILDREN
WHO ARE IN THE JEWISH
DAYCARE SYSTEM.
JEWISH DAY SCHOOL SYSTEM
AND THEY PAY THEIR REGULAR
SCHOOL TAXES WITH TAX
DEDUCTIBLE DOLLARS AND
THEN THEY PAY THEIR
TUITION TO THEIR SCHOOLS
WITH AFTER-TAX DOLLARS.
THERE IS AN INEQUITY THERE
THAT HAS TO BE ADDRESSED.

Steve says OKAY, MONTE KWINTER, YORK
CENTRE, LIBERAL MPP,
THANKS FOR COMING IN FOR
THIS DISCUSSION TODAY.
WE REALLY APPRECIATE IT.
COMING UP, TWO TOUGH TOPICS
BACK TO HAUNT MIKE HARRIS.
THE JUDGE PRESIDING OVER
THE PUBLIC INQUIRY
INTO THE WALKERTON WATER
TRAGEDY HAS CALLED ON
THE PREMIER TO TESTIFY.
THE FIRST PREMIER IN 55
YEARS TO BE REQUIRED TO DO SO,
AND HARRIS WAS FORCED
TO APOLOGIZE AFTER
OPPOSITION MEMBERS SAY
THEY OVERHEAD HIM CALLING
LIBERAL MPP GERRY PHILLIPS
AN ASSHOLE IN THE LEGISLATURE.
WATCH.

A clip rolls.

The caption changes to “Gerry Phillips. MPP. Liberal, Scarborough-Agincourt.”

Gerry is in his sixties, clean-shaven and with short wavy gray hair. He wears a blue suit, white shirt and light blue tie.

Gerry says PREMIER, YOU ARE TRYING TO
BANKRUPT THE GEORGE FAMILY.
I WILL READ FROM
THEIR LETTER.

Steve says IT'S BEEN A LONG
WEEK FOR PREMIER HARRIS.
TWO OF HIS GOVERNMENT'S
MOST DIFFICULT ISSUES
HAVE TAKEN CENTRE STAGE.
FIRST THE NAME CALLING.
AFTER LIBERAL MPP GERRY
PHILLIPS LAUNCHED MORE
QUESTIONS AT THE PREMIER
OVER THE 1995 SHOOTING DEATH
OF NATIVE PROTESTER
DUDLEY GEORGE.

Gerry says WILL YOU, PREMIER, AGREE
TO DO THE DECENT THING
AND FINALLY CALL A PUBLIC
INQUIRY SO WE CAN
GET TO THE BOTTOM OF WHAT
HAPPENED AT IPPERWASH
AND STOP BANKRUPTING
THE GEORGE FAMILY?
[applause]

The speaker says ATTORNEY GENERAL.
[applause]

Premier Harris says PRIVATE CONVERSATION
INDICATED THAT.
I CAN SAY IT, ANYBODY TAKES
OFFENCE TO ANYTHING
THEY THINK THEY
HEARD, I SAID IT.
OBVIOUSLY I APOLOGIZE.
I RESPECT THE LEGISLATURE
AND I DON'T KNOW WHY
YOU'RE MAKING SUCH A BIG
HASSLE OUT OF THIS.

Gerry says I GUARANTEE YOU, THIS WAS
NO PRIVATE CONVERSATION
HE WAS HAVING WITH
CHRIS HODGSON.
HE WAS ALL THIS TIME
LOOKING AT ME AND HE LOOKED
STRAIGHT AT ME AND SAID,
YOU'RE AN A--
YOU KNOW, THE WORD.

Steve says LATER IN
THE WEEK,
THE PREMIER LEARNED HE
WOULD HAVE TO TAKE
THE STAND AT THE
WALKERTON INQUIRY.

Harris says AND I LOOK FORWARD
THEN OF COURSE TO FULLY
CO-OPERATING AND TESTIFYING
AT THE INQUIRY
AND ASSISTING
MISTER JUSTICE O'CONNOR
IN ANY WAY
THAT I CAN.
I THINK I'VE MADE
THAT VERY CLEAR.

Dalton says THE PREMIER ALSO AGREED
TO A FULL APPEARANCE,
MEANING HE'LL BE SUBJECTED
TO ALL OF THE USUAL
CROSS-EXAMINATION FROM ALL OF
THE COUNSEL THAT ARE PRESENT
AND THAT HE WON'T
IN ANY WAY TRY TO LIMIT
THE LENGTH OF HIS APPEARANCE,
THE KINDS OF QUESTIONS
THAT COULD BE PUT TO HIM,
AND THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE
IN FACT GOING TO BE PUTTING
THOSE QUESTIONS TO HIM.

Steve says AN UNFORTUNATE COMMENT
AND THE WALKERTON INQUIRY,
30 SECONDS TO
EACH OF YOU.
GO, MAC.

Mac says GO WHERE, STEVE?
WELL, I THINK IN TERMS OF
THE WALKERTON INQUIRY,
THE PREMIER'S ALWAYS
SAID HE WOULD TESTIFY.
HE SAID THAT FROM
DAY ONE.
IN TERMS OF THE A-WORD,
WHICH I GUESS IS GETTING
QUITE A WORKOUT IN NORTH
AMERICAN POLITICS THESE DAYS,
YOU KNOW, THE PREMIER
I UNDERSTAND APOLOGIZED
IN THE HOUSE.
IT'S UNFORTUNATE.
WE CAN ALL THINK OF
INCIDENTS WHERE PRIME
MINISTERS HAVE SAID
THINGS IN THE HOUSE.

Steve says THIS IS HIS
FUDDLE DUDDLE, ISN'T IT?

Mac says THIS IS THE
FUDDLE DUDDLE.

Steve says RUTH?

Ruth says WELL HE SAID HE WAS
HAPPY TO APPEAR.
HE DIDN'T LOOK LIKE A MAN
WHO'S HAPPY AND I DON'T THINK
HE LOOKS PARTICULARLY
HAPPY THESE DAYS.
BUT IF YOU LISTEN TO
THE WALKERTON INQUIRY,
WHICH I MUST CONFESS I STAY
UP LATE AT NIGHT TO DO,
IT IS JUST SO CLEAR AS
THOSE UNFORTUNATE PUBLIC
SERVANTS TESTIFY THAT THEIR
LINES WERE ALL CHANGED
IN 1996, LATE 1995, AND
THE PREMIER IS THE PERSON
RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT.
ON THE OTHER, I GUESS, I
DON'T EXPECT MUCH MORE FROM
SOME OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE
SITTING ON THE GOVERNMENT
BENCHES THESE DAYS.
IT'S UNFORTUNATE.
IT'S HAPPENED BEFORE.
YOU GOT TO RESPECT SOMEONE
TO BE CONCERNED WHEN THEY
SPEAK LIKE THAT AND I
DON'T THINK PARTICULARLY
RESPECT THE PREMIER.

Steve says I DON'T HAVE TO DO
MUCH READING BETWEEN
THE LINES TO SEE WHERE
YOU'RE COMING FROM ON THAT ONE.
RICHARD.

Richard says WELL, ON THE NAME CALLING,
I GUESS THE ONLY THING
THAT WAS - I MEAN, IT'S
SURPRISING HE WOULD USE
THAT LANGUAGE AND A BIT
SHOCKING WAS HE INITIALLY
OF COURSE DENIED IT AND ONLY
APOLOGIZED WHEN SIX MEMBERS
OF THE LEGISLATURE, ONE
NEW DEMOCRAT AND FIVE LIBERALS
SAID, I HEARD HIM CALL
HIM THE A-WORD.
SO THAT'S QUITE
DISAPPOINTING,
I THINK, IN TERMS
OF HIS CONDUCT.
ON WALKERTON I THOUGHT JOHN
IBBITSON'S COLUMN
IN
THE GLOBE
THIS WEEK
PUT IT THE BEST.
HOW IS IT GOING TO GO OVER
WHEN THE PREMIER TESTIFIES
AND ANSWERS THE QUESTION
FROM COMMISSION COUNSEL,
MISTER PREMIER, DON'T YOU IN
RETROSPECT REGRET YOUR
HASTE TO CUT ENFORCEMENT OF
TRANSFER OF THE POWERS
OF MUNICIPALITY AND
ENFORCEMENT -
ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT
NOW THAT YOU'VE SEEN WHAT
THAT LACK OF ENFORCEMENT
MAY WELL HAVE BEGOT?

Steve says JOHN DID PUT THE KEY
QUESTION IN THE PAPER
THIS PAST WEEK,
DID HE NOT?

Richard says WE AWAIT HIS
ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION.

Steve says YEAH, WHICH HE
HASN'T YET ANSWERED.
ARE YOU CONCERNED
ABOUT HOW MIKE HARRIS
MIGHT ANSWER
THAT QUESTION?

Mac says NO, I'M NOT.

Steve says BECAUSE?

Mac says WELL, I THINK THAT IT WAS
A DECISION MADE IN 1995.
I THINK IT WAS MADE WITH
THE FULL FACTS THAT WERE
AVAILABLE AT THE TIME AND
I THINK THERE ARE UNIQUE
SITUATIONS AT WALKERTON
THAT PLAYED A FAR MORE
IMPORTANT ROLE THAN
PROVINCIAL POLITICS.

Ruth says YOU HOPE.

Steve says THAT IS TO BE DETERMINED
BY THE INQUIRY.
FINALLY, ONE LAST THING,
FOLKS, AND THAT IS,
SOME FAIRLY DRAMATIC
DEVELOPMENTS WITH SOME OF
THE BIGGER NAMES ON MIKE
HARRIS' EXECUTIVE COUNCIL.
WE CONVENE VETERAN
BROADCASTER ROBERT FISHER
AND 4TH READING'S BUREAU
CHIEF, SUSANNA KELLEY,
OUTSIDE THE CABINET OFFICE
TO GET YOU THE LATEST
FROM THAT MOST
EXCLUSIVE OF BACKROOMS.
IT'S ALL PART OF THIS
WEEK'S INSTALLMENT
OF BACKROOM 411.

(music plays)

A clip captioned shows Susanna Kelley and Robert Fisher entering the Premier’s office and then entering a room with a sign that reads “Backroom 411 with Robert Fisher and Susanna Kelley.”

The clip ends, and Susanna and Robert sit in the studio with Steve.

Steve says OKAY, SUE, GET
US STARTED.
YOU'VE GOT SOME NEWS ON THE
FUTURE OF JOHN SNOBELEN,
THE NATURAL
RESOURCES MINISTER.
WHAT ARE YOU HEARING?

The caption changes to "Susanna Kelley. Queen’s Park Bureau Chief."
Susanna is in her forties, with short strawberry blond hair with bangs. She’s wearing a pale gray blouse and a black pencil skirt.

She says I'M HEARING THAT WE MAY
HAVE A CABINET RESIGNATION
COMING IN THE NOT
TOO DISTANT FUTURE.
HE MAY QUIT
THE CABINET.
HE MAY QUIT
THE CABINET.
HE IS GOING TO TAKE
APPARENTLY THE MONTH
OF JULY TO MULL
OVER HIS OPTIONS.
HE IS UNHAPPY OVER
THREE THINGS.
FIRST, THAT HE WAS NOT
MOVED OUT OF NATURAL
RESOURCES IN THE LAST
CABINET SHUFFLE.
HE'S BEEN THERE
FOR FOUR YEARS.

Steve says HE WANTED A
PROMOTION.

Susanna says HE WANTED A
PROMOTION.
SECONDLY, WHEN THE POLICY
ON THE OAK RIDGES MORAINE
DEVELOPMENT FREEZE WAS
BEING IMPLEMENTED,
THERE WAS THOUGHT THAT HE
WOULD TAKE THE LEAD
ON DEVELOPING A LANDS
FOR LIFE CONSERVATION
SCENARIO FOR THE
MORAINE, BUT THAT WAS -
THE PREMIER'S OFFICE
PUT THE KIBOSH ON IT.

Steve says THEY DIDN'T WANT
HIM ON THE FILE.

Susanna says THEY DIDN'T WANT
HIM ON THE FILE.
THEY WANTED CHRIS
HODGSON TO DO IT,
WHICH I DON'T THINK IS A
PROBLEM BETWEEN HIM
AND CHRIS HODGSON.
THEY'RE CABINET ALLIES.
BUT IT ESSENTIALLY
LEAVES SNOBELEN
WITH VERY
LITTLE TO DO.
I'M ALSO TOLD THAT HE WAS
TAKEN OUT TO DINNER
BY JOHN WEIR IN THE
PREMIER'S OFFICE AND SAID
THAT HIS IRREVERENT STYLE OF
WEARING JEANS AND COWBOY BOOTS
INTO THE LEGISLATURE AND
DOODLING CARTOONS
IN THE LEGISLATURE AND
IN CABINET IS PERHAPS
CAREER LIMITING AND THAT HE
SHOULD BE TAKING THE JOB
A LITTLE MORE SERIOUSLY,
OR AT LEAST APPEARING TO.

The caption changes to "Robert Fisher. Provincial Affairs Specialist."
Robert is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair.
He’s wearing a beige suit, white shirt and polka dotted blue tie.

Robert says HE'S KIND OF THE PETER
KORMOS OF THE TORY CAUCUS.
JOHN HAS BEEN UNHAPPY
FOR A LONG TIME,
BUT I THINK MOST PEOPLE
WILL REMEMBER HIM, STEVE,
FROM HIS COMMENT ABOUT
CREATING A CRISIS IN EDUCATION.
AND THAT UNFORTUNATELY, FOR
HIM, WILL BE HIS LIVING
LEGACY FROM THAT
PARTICULAR PORTFOLIO.
AND YET YOU TAKE A LOOK
AT CURRICULUM CHANGES
AND TESTING AND SO
FORTH IN SCHOOLS,
ACCOMPLISHED A LOT AS
EDUCATION MINISTER,
DID A LOT IN
NATURAL RESOURCES,
AND MOST PEOPLE I THINK
THOUGHT SNOBELEN WAS OWED
A CHANGE OF CABINET
PORTFOLIO TO PERHAPS
RESTART THE JUICES.
DIDN'T HAPPEN AND SO
IT'S NOT A SURPRISE
THAT HE'S THINKING
ABOUT WANTED TO WALK.

Steve says OKAY.
SUE, TELL US ABOUT THE ENERGY
MINISTER, JIM WILSON.
WHAT ARE YOU
HEARING ABOUT HIM?

Susanna says WELL, IT'S ALL OVER THE
PLACE THAT HE'S OUT
LOOKING FOR A JOB
AT THIS POINT.

Steve says IN THE PRIVATE
SECTOR?

Susanna says IN THE PRIVATE
SECTOR.
I THINK IT'S WELL
KNOWN THAT THE ENERGY
DEREGULATION FILE IS
EXTREMELY STRESSFUL FOR HIM
AND I DON'T THINK HE'S VERY
HAPPY CARRYING THAT FILE.
ALSO THAT HE JUST WANTS TO
MAKE A LITTLE MORE MONEY
IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR.
HE LOOKS AT PEOPLE WITH
LESS EXPERIENCE
THAN HIM OUT THERE
MAKING A LOT MORE MONEY.

Steve says SPEAKING OF MONEY, THE GUY
WHO'S RESPONSIBLE FOR SPENDING
60 OR SO BILLION
OF IT, JIM FLAHERTY,
THE FINANCE MINISTER, WHAT
ARE YOU HEARING ABOUT HIM?

Robert says MAKING SOME
ENEMIES, STEVE.
I THINK TO CONTINUE
THE THEME HERE,
THINGS ARE NOT ALL THAT
HAPPY IN CAMELOT
IN THE CABINET.
A LOT OF TORIES I TALK TO
ARE CONCERNED ABOUT HOW MUCH
MISTER FLAHERTY SEEMS TO
BE INJECTING HIMSELF INTO
THEIR PORTFOLIOS, KIND OF
A BRIAN TOBIN APPROACH.
I KNOW EVERYTHING
ABOUT EVERYTHING
SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO TALK,
I'LL DO THE TALKING.
A LOT OF PEOPLE SUGGEST

I DON'T WANT TO ATTACK
PEOPLE WHO ARE VERTICALLY
CHALLENGED HERE - BUT
MISTER FLAHERTY'S NOT A TALL
GENTLEMAN AND THERE'S SOME
SUGGESTION, SOME PARALLELS
BETWEEN HE AND NAPOLEON
BONAPARTE AND

Steve says PEOPLE
DON'T LIKE IT.
HE'S ABOUT TO
INVADE RUSSIA,
IS THAT WHAT
YOU MEAN?

Robert says WELL NO, NOT INVADE RUSSIA,
BUT EVERYBODY ELSE'S
PORTFOLIO AND A LOT
OF PEOPLE ARE SAYING,
STAY OUT OF MY TURF, AND
IT'S BECOMING A PROBLEM
FOR HARRIS TO DEAL WITH.

Steve says THE EDUCATION TAX
CREDIT BEING, I GUESS,
THE MOST NOTABLE
EXAMPLE.

Robert says ABSOLUTELY.
I MEAN, HE'S BEEN
ALL OVER THAT.
BUT HE'S BEEN MOVING
IN THIS DIRECTION
WITH CHRIS HODGSON AND
OTHER PEOPLE AND SO FORTH
AND A LOT OF PEOPLE
ARE SAYING, YOU KNOW,
STAY OUT OF HERE.

Steve says OKAY.
WHAT ARE YOU HEARING
RUMBLINGS COMING OUT OF THE
PREMIER'S OFFICE IN TERMS
OF STAFF CHANGES THERE?

Susanna says I'M HEARING THERE MAY
BE TWO RESIGNATIONS
COMING THERE, ONE
BEING JOHN WEIR,
ONE OF THE TOP AIDES
IN THERE GOING TO
THE NEWLY-TO-BE-EXPANDED
DURHAM COLLEGE.
AND ALSO THAT
PERHAPS DENISE COLE
IS LEAVING AS WELL.

Steve says OKAY, AND JANET ECKER, YOU
GOT A STORY ABOUT HER.
JANET'S BEEN POPULAR IN THE
NEWS LATELY BECAUSE -

Robert says CARRYING THE CAN ABOUT THE
TAX CREDIT STUFF AS
JIM FLAHERTY GOES OUT TAKING
CARE OF THE TRIPLETS
OR WHATEVER HE WAS SUPPOSING
TO BE DOING FOR TWO WEEKS
AND NOT DEFENDING
ALL THESE CHANGES.
MISS ECKER VERY
MUCH I THINK COOL
TO THIS TAX
CREDIT POLICY.
GOOD EXAMPLE OF THAT, THIS
WEEK CBC'S THE NATIONAL
WANTED TO DO A MAJOR
STORY ABOUT THIS ISSUE
TO REFLECT THE STORY
TO THE COUNTRY.
THEY CALLED MISS ECKER'S
OFFICE AND THEY SAID,
NO, NO, SHE DOESN'T
DO INTERVIEWS
ON THIS TAX
CREDIT ISSUE.
YOU HAVE TO TALK
TO JIM FLAHERTY.
WHAT PROVINCIAL POLITICIAN
DO YOU KNOW IN THIS COUNTRY
WOULD TURN DOWN AN
OPPORTUNITY TO BE
ON NATIONAL TELEVISION?
MISS ECKER DID.
DID NOT WANT
TO DO IT.
JIM FLAHERTY DID AND IN
FACT DID THE INTERVIEW.

Steve says AND THE THINKING BEHIND
HER TURNING DOWN
THAT OPPORTUNITY IS?

Robert says WELL I THINK SHE WANTS TO
PUT SOME DISTANCE BETWEEN
HERSELF AND THAT PARTICULAR
POLICY AND LET MISTER FLAHERTY
CARRY THE CAN BECAUSE HE
MAY HAVE TO CARRY THAT INTO
THE NEXT ELECTION, INTO THE
NEXT LEADERSHIP CAMPAIGN.

Susanna says AND I MIGHT JUST ADD THAT
SHE HAS BEEN STUCK IN THE
LEGISLATURE CARRYING THE
CAN ON THIS WHILE FLAHERTY
ABSENTED HIMSELF FOR TWO
WEEKS AND SHE CAN'T LEAVE.
SHE'S THE GOVERNMENT
HOUSE LEADER.
SHE HAS TO BE THERE AND
I'M SURE MISTER FLAHERTY
KNEW THAT TOO.

Steve says OKAY, ROBERT, SUSANNA,
THANKS FOR THE 411
FROM THE BACKROOM.
SO SEE YOU IN A
FEW WEEKS.

Robert says OKAY.

Susanna says PLEASURE.

Steve says JUST A COUPLE OF
UPDATES ON THAT.
4TH READING HAS ALSO
LEARNED THAT SNOBELEN,
WHO IS INDEPENDENTLY
WEALTHY, HAS PUT AN OFFER IN
ON A HORSE RANCH
IN OKLAHOMA.
AND LET US NEVER BE ACCUSED
OF FAILING TO GO TO THE SOURCE
FOR CONFIRMATION; WE HAVE
HEARD FROM SEVERAL SOURCES
THAT PREMIER'S OFFICE
STAFFER JOHN WEIR
WILL SOON BE LEAVING FOR
A JOB AT DURHAM COLLEGE.
FOR THE RECORD, MISTER WEIR
DENIES THAT JOB
IS IN THE OFFING.
STAYED TUNED.
MAC PENNEY, RUTH GRIER,
RICHARD MAHONEY,
THANK YOU FOR THIS.
WE'LL DO IT
AGAINST NEXT WEEK.

Richard says THANKS, STEVE.

Steve says AND THAT'S 4TH
READING FOR THIS WEEK.
HOPE TO SEE YOU
AGAIN NEXT WEEKEND.
I'M STEVE PAIKIN.
SO LONG, EVERYONE.

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

Queen's Park Bureau Chief, Susanna Kelley.

Producer, Peter Harris.

Editor, Ted Ambrose.

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2001, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Fourth Reading - Show 238