Transcript: Epilepsy, Liberal Education Plan | Mar 05, 2001

The title “More to health” appears inside the shape of a house.

The opening sequence shows a wooden table with a small lit candle as several words fly by: Nutrition, medicine, prevention, treatment and health.
Fast clips show different sets of hands performing activities on the table such as drawing a big red heart, tuning a violin, flipping through the pages of a book, cooking, and pouring a glass of red wine.
In animation, the title appears inside the shape of a house: “More to life.”

Then, Maureen Taylor appears in a studio with yellow walls and a small TV set in the background, which reads “More to life.”

Maureen is in her late thirties, with wavy auburn hair in a bob and bangs. She's wearing a blue blazer and a matching silk scarf.

She says WELCOME TO “MORE TO LIFE.”
LATER IN THE SHOW, GERARD
KENNEDY WILL OUT LINE HIS
REMEDIES FOR THE PARTY'S
EDUCATION SYSTEM.
BUT FIRST IF I SAY EPILEPSY
YOU PROBABLY PICTURE SOMEONE
DROP TOGETHER GROUND AND
SHAKING WITH CON SUMS SULGSS
AND ALTHOUGH EPILEPSY IS AS
COMMON TODAY AS IT WAS 25
YEARS AGO, THE SEIZURES CAN
BE BETTER MANAGED THANKS TO
NEW MED KAIGS.
WE'LL TAKE YOUR QUESTIONS
ABOUT IT AFTER WE TAKE A
LOOK AT A VERY RARE BUT VERY
REAL RISK FOR EPILEPTICS.
IT'S CALLED SUDEP, SUDDEN
UNEXPLAINED DEATH IN
EPILEPTICS.
HERE'S ONE FAMILY'S STORY.

A clip plays on screen.
Music plays and a sepia-tone picture of a baby girl appears on screen.

Maureen narrates JUDY FARRELL HAD A
PREMONITION THAT SHE
WOULDN'T LIVE A LONG LIFE,
EVEN BEFORE SHE WAS
DIAGNOSED WITH EPILEPSY AT
THE AGE OF 12.
BUT SHE WAS ALWAYS SPUNKY,
ACCORDING TO HER MOM.

Clips show Judy as a teenage girl, and as a woman in her twenties. She has curly auburn hair.

Then, a woman in her seventies appears on screen.
A caption reads “Ann Farrell. Judy’s mother.”
Ann has wavy white hair and wears rounded glasses.

She says JUDY WAS 32 YEARS OLD
WHEN SHE DIED, BUT MANAGED
TO LIVE 70 YEARS OF LIFE IN
THAT SHORT TIME.
SHE CAME TO ME ONE DAY SHE
SAID “MOM, I'M GOING TO
APPLY TO WORK WITH THE
POLICE IN HAMILTON.”
AND I THOUGHT “JUDY?
WITH THE POLICE?
THIS IS NOT HER BAG.”
AND I DON'T KNOW WHERE THE
IDEA CAME FROM.
WE SHALL NEVER KNOW.

A picture of Judy smoking flashes by on screen.

Ann continues SHE OFTEN WORKED NIGHTS,
WHICH SHE LOVED, WHICH WAS
VERY BAD FOR HER EPILEPSY,
BUT SHE WAS TOTALLY HAPPY
WORKING NIGHTS.
AND ON THE DAY THAT SHE DIED,
I FELT VERY, VERY UNEASY ALL
DAY.
AND I SORT OF FIDDLED ABOUT
IN THE APARTMENT, MADE MY
SUPPER, AND I THOUGHT
SOMETHING DREADFUL'S
HAPPENED.
I HAVE TO GO.
AND I JUST ABOUT RAN FROM MY
PLACE TO HER PLACE,
KNOWING -- KNOWING THAT I
WOULD FIND THIS.
I HAD A KEY, OF COURSE.
AND I GO INTO THE APARTMENT
AND SHE'S STRETCHED OUT ON
THE CHESTERFIELD, AND THE
TELEVISION WAS PLAYING, AND
THERE WAS A CHAIR BESIDE THE
CHESTERFIELD AND HER CAT WAS
SITTING UP LIKE THIS.

She mimics an alert position and continues
AND YOU KNOW, I TOUCHED HER
AND SHE WAS STIFF.
BUT STILL, YOU, YOU DON'T
ACCEPT THIS, YOU KNOW?
I KEPT SAYING HER NAME, OVER
AND OVER AGAIN, AND I WAS
GETTING ABSOLUTELY
HYSTERICAL.
SO I CALLED 911 AND SAID,
YOU KNOW, YOU'VE GOT TO COME,
MY DAUGHTER'S DIED.

A woman her thirties stands in a library.
A caption reads “Robin Rowe. Epilepsy Association.”
Robin has wavy ash-blond hair and wears a headband.

She says SUDEP IS AN ACRONYM, IT
STANDS FOR SUDDEN
UNEXPLAINED OR UNEXPECTED
DEATH IN EPILEPSY.
SO IT'S WHEN A PERSON WHO
HAS EPILEPSY DIES SUDDENLY
AND AFTER THE DEATH THE
CORONER IS UNABLE TO FIND
ANY ANATOMICAL OR
TOXICOLOGICAL, ANY REASON
FOR THAT PERSON DYING.

A male doctor examines test results.

Maureen narrates SUDEP, THIS SUDDEN
UNEXPECTED DEATH IN
EPILEPTICS IS TRULY A
MYSTERY.
EVEN TO NEUROLOGISTS.

The doctor gives an interview in an office.
A caption reads “Doctor Joseph Bruni. Neurologist.”
Joseph is in his sixties, clean-shaven and balding.

He says WE'RE NOT EXACTLY SURE
WHAT CAUSES SU DEMD P.
PATIENTS WITH EPILEPSY DIE,
SOMETIMES IT'S DIFFICULT TO
KNOW WHAT THE MECHANISM OR
WHAT THE CAUSE OF DEATH WAS.

Robin says THE THEORY IS THAT THE
BRAIN IN A PERSON WITH
EPILEPSY HAS UNUSUAL
ELECTRICITY WHICH SENDS A
MESSAGE TO THE HEART OR TO
THE LUNGS, AND THE PERSON
DIES.

Maureen says WHEN A STRANGE DEATH
OCCURS, THE CORONER IS
CALLED IN.

A man in his fifties sits in a large office.
A caption reads “Doctor James Young. Chief Coroner for Ontario.”
James is clean-shaven, with short white hair.

He says DURING THE AUTOPSY, THE
FIRST THING WE DO IS DO AN
EXTENSIVE EXTERNAL
EXAMINATION, LOOKING FOR
BRUISES, SIGNS OF -- ANY
SIGNS OF VIOLENCE, SO WE
WOULD FIND NONE OF THOSE.
WE WOULD THEN EXAMINE ALL
ORGANS AND AREAS OF THE BODY,
LOOKING FOR A LOGICAL CAUSE
OF DEATH.
A CANCER, PROBLEMS WITH THE
LUNGS, A PULMONARY EMBOLIS,
FOR EXAMPLE, SOME LOGICAL
MAJOR HEART ATTACK, BUT
ESSENTIALLY ALL OF THOSE
EXAMINATIONS AND THE HISTOLOGY
ARE THE MICROSCOPIC
EXAMINATIONS AFTERWARDS
WOULD BE NEGATIVE AS WELL SO
WHAT WE WOULD THEN LOOK AT
IS TOXICOLOGY AND WE WOULD
EXPECT IN A CASE LIKE THIS
TO FIND NEGATIVE TOXICOLOGY,
OR IN OTHER WORDS NO DRUGS
OR ALCOHOL THAT WOULD
ACCOUNT FOR DEATH, BUT WE
MAY OR MAY NOT FIND
ANTI-EPILEPTIC DRUGS, AND
THAT'S A SIGNIFICANT THING
THAT WE WOULD LOOK FOR.

Joseph says A NUMBER OF PATIENTS MAY
HAVE LOW BLOOD LEVEL,
SUGGESTING THAT THEY DID NOT
TAKE THEIR MEDICATIONS
PROPERLY.
SOME STUDIES WILL SUGGEST
IT'S MORE COMMON IN MEN.
IN YOUNGER PEOPLE.
PEEP WHO HAVE SEVERE
EPILEPSY.
PATIENTS WHO HAVE HAD
EPILEPSY FOR A VERY LONG
TIME.
THE INGEST SHUN OF ALCOHOL
MAY BE A FACTOR.
BUT IN SOME PATIENTS IT IS
TOTALLY UNEXPLAINED.

A black slate reads “SUDEP.”
Then, period pictures of women posing with children flash by on screen.

Maureen narrates DOCTORS MAY NOT
KNOW WHAT CAUSES SUDEP BUT
THEY'VE KNOWN ABOUT THE
MYSTERIOUS CONDITION FOR
OVER 100 YEARS.
YOUNG PRINCE JOHN, SON OF
GEORGE 5th HAD EPILEPSY AND
DIED QUIETLY IN HIS ANDREEP
EMILY DION OF THE FAMOUS
QUINTUPLETS MAY HAVE DIED
FROM SUDEP.

Robin says BECAUSE RESEARCHERS
DIDN'T RECOGNIZE IT,
CORONERS AND PATHOLOGISTS
WEREN'T CAT GORE RISING THE
DEATHS THAT WAY SO WE DON'T
HAVE ENOUGH DIAGNOSIS OF SUDEP.

James says IN SUDEP, WE'RE BEGINNING
TO KEEP THAT KIND OF
STATISTIC.
SO WE WENT THROUGH OUR FILES
RECENTLY, FOR EXAMPLE, AND
WE FOUND SOMEWHERE IN THE
ORDER OF ABOUT 90 CASES OVER
A TWO-YEAR PERIOD SO WE'RE
LOOKING AT A SIGNIFICANT
NUMBER OF DEATHS THAT WHEN
ALL IS SAID AND DONE ARE
ATTRIBUTED TO EPILEPSY IN
THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO.

Ann says WHEN I HEARD ABOUT SUDEP
IT MADE ME FEEL VERY
MYSTIFIED, WHAT THE HELL IS
THIS THEN I FELT VERY ANGRY.
YOU KNOW, WHY HAVE THE
DOCTORS NOT TOLD ME THIS?!
YOU FELT PARTICULARLY
BETRAYED BECAUSE MOST
DOCTORS WHEN YOU FIRST GO
WITH A PERSON WHO HAS
EPILEPSY WILL TELL YOU “WELL,
THEY MIGHT DROWN OR THEY
MIGHT HAVE A SEIZURE
CROSSING THE ROAD OR BE
KILLED IN A MOTOR ACCIDENT,
BUT YOU DON'T DIE OF SU DEMD
P.”

Joseph says I SUSPECT THAT SUDEP IS
NOT SOMETHING THAT IS
DISCUSSED WITH MOST PATIENTS
WITH EPILEPSY WITH THEIR
FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH A
NEUROLOGIST.

Robin says THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT
THINK IT'S IRRESPONSIBLE TO
TELL PEOPLE ABOUT SOMETHING
WHEN THE RISK IS SO LOW.
AND WE'VE WRESTLED WITH
THIS.
IS THIS SOMETHING THAT IS
MORE IRRESPONSIBLE TO BE
ADVISING THE PATIENT THAN IT
IS NOT?
AND WE'VE COME TO THE
CONCLUSION, ESPECIALLY WHEN
WE HEAR FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE
LOST SOMEONE TO SUDEP SCOMPMD
WERE NEVER TOLD AND FEEL SO
BETRAYED AND WERE GIVEN THE
IMPRESSION VERY CLEARLY THAT
THEIR LOVED ONE CAN'T DIVE
EPILEPSY, THAT NO, WE NEED
TO TRY TO GET THE WORD OUT,
BUT TO PUT IT IN ITS PROPER
CONTEXT, THAT THE RISK IS
LOW.
IT'S THERE, BUT IT'S LOW.

A clip shows Ann surfing the Internet.

Maureen narrates AFTER JUDY'S TRAGIC DEATH,
ANNE FARRELL BEGAN HER OWN
FINE GET THE WORD OUT ABOUT SUDEP.

Ann says WITH THE EPILEPSY
ASSOCIATION AND VARIOUS
PEOPLE, WE HAVE GOT THE
SUDEP SUPPORT GROUP GOING,
AND WE BECAME AWARE THAT NOT
ONLY WERE DOCTORS NOT
TELLING A PATIENTS OR
PATIENTS' FAMILIES ABOUT
SUDEP BUT IT WAS BEING
INACCURATELY RECORDED AS A
DEATH.

James says WELL, I THINK CORONERS
NEED TO KNOW OF THE
EXISTENCE AND ALSO LOOK FOR
THE SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES
OF THE SUDEP SO THAT WE IN
FACT CAN GET ACCURATE IDEAS
OF HOW MANY CASES.
WE CAN THEN LOOK AT THOSE
CASES AND STUDY THEM AND
HOPEFULLY LEARN PATTERNS AND
GET AN IDEA OF WHAT MIGHT BE
DONE TO HELP PREVENT IT.

Joseph says WELL, THIS IS A VERY
ACTIVE AREA OF RESEARCH, AND
I THINK THAT ONCE WE HAVE A
BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT
THE UNDERLYING MECHANISM IS,
THEN WE HAVE A BETTER WAY OF
DEALING WITH IT AND TREATING IT.

Robin says SO WHAT WE TELL PEOPLE
WHO HAVE EPILEPSY, WHO ARE
CONCERNED ABOUT SUDEP
AND WANT TO LOWER THEIR RISK,
IS TAKE YOUR MEDICATIONS.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP.
GET ENOUGH EXERCISE.
LIVE A REASONABLY
RESPONSIBLE LIFE, AND ONCE
YOU'VE TAKEN THOSE FEW
PRECAUTIONS DOING WHAT YOUR
MOTHER ALWAYS TOLD YOU TO DO,
EAT RIGHT AND GET ENOUGH
SLEEP, JUST GO OUT THERE AND
LIVE YOUR LIFE NORMALLY.

Ann says NO DOCTOR WHO HAD SEEN
JUDY HAD EVER MENTIONED THE
POSSIBILITY THAT THIS COULD
OCCUR, AND WHEN I WENT
'ROUND TO SEE HER FAMILY
DOCTOR IN HAMILTON, WHO HAD
WRITTEN THAT SHE HAD DIED OF
NATURAL CAUSES ON THE DEATH
CERTIFICATE, I SAID “DID YOU
KNOW ABOUT SUDEP?”
SHE SAID, “OH, YES.”
AND I SAID, “WELL WHY
DOESN'T SAY ANYTHING?”
LIKE SO MANY DOCTORS I THINK
THEY THINK THEY'RE HELPING
FAMILIES BY PROTECTING THEM
FROM WORRYING THE WHOLE TIME IT.
BUT THERE'S A TREMENDOUS
SENSE OF BETRAYAL WHEN YOU
HAVEN'T BEEN TOLD.
IT'S BAD ENOUGH TO...

Her voice breaks as she continues
YOU KNOW, YOU CAN'T REALLY DEAL
WITH THE DEATH WHEN IT COMES
AS SUCH A SHOCK.
YOU HAD NO TIME TO THINK
ABOUT THIS POSSIBILITY.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, Maureen says AND HERE TO
ANSWER OUR QUESTIONS ABOUT
EPILEPSY ARE Dr. RICHARD
WENBERG, A NEUROLOGIST AT
THE UNIVERSITY HEALTH
NETWORK IN TORONTO AND SARA
JANE WILSON WHO HAS EPILEPSY.

Richard is in his early forties, bald and clean-shaven. He’s wearing a gray suit and a dark gray shirt.
Jane is in her early thirties, with shoulder-length straight blond hair. She’s wearing a red sweater.

Maureen continues IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT
THOUSAND MANAGE SEIZURES OR
HOW EPILEPSY IS DIAGNOSED,
GIVE US A CALL.

A caption reads "416-484-2727. 1-888-411-1234."
Then, it changes to "moretolife@tvo.org"

Maureen continues SARA JANE AND Dr. WENBERG,
WELCOME.
HI.

Richard says THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

Maureen says FIRST OF ALL,
Dr. WENBERG, WHAT IF
ANYTHING DO YOU TEP YOUR
PATIENTS ABOUT SUDEP?

The caption changes to "Doctor Richard Wennberg. Neurologist."

Richard says WELL, AID CHANCE TO WATCH
THE CLIP AND I THINK
ACTUALLY EVERYTHING THAT'S
IN THERE IS VERY REASONABLE.
I DO NOT ALWAYS MENTION IT,
AS WAS BROUGHT UP.
BECAUSE THE ODDS ARE SO
SMALL AND THE FEAR
ENGENDERED OF KNOWING THAT
THIS COULD HAPPEN IS
PSYCHOLOGICALLY, YOU KNOW,
VERY WORRISOME TO PEOPLE.
SO TO MENTION IT IS A REAL
DIFFICULT THING.
NOW INCREASINGLY THROUGH
EDUCATION OF THE PUBLIC
THROUGH EPILEPSY
ASSOCIATIONS, IT'S BECOMING
MUCH MORE KNOWN.
AND SO PATIENTS OR THEIR
PARENTS WILL BRING IT UP,
INCREASINGLY FREQUENTLY, AND
THEN WE'LL DISCUSS IT
SERIOUSLY.
I CAN SAY THAT THE NUMBERS
MENTIONED IN THE VIDEO I
THINK WERE A BIT MISLEADING.
I BELIEVE THOSE 90 CASES
REFER TO EPILEPSY DEATHS IN
ONTARIO, NOT NECESSARILY
JUST SUDEP, BUT RELATED TO
OTHER FACTORS IN PATIENTS
WITH EPILEPSY, SO THE
NUMBERS ARE VERY LOW, FAR
LESS THAN 1 percent.
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMA IS
HIGH IN MENTIONING IT.
I SORT OF LEAVE IT TO THE
PATIENTS OR THEIR PARENTS TO
BRING IT UP, IF THEY WANT TO
DISCUSS IT.

Maureen says ARE WE ANY
CLOSER TO UNDERSTANDING WHAT
CAUSES SUDEP?

Richard says I THINK.
AND IT'S CERTAINLY A VERY,
VERY ACTIVE AREA OF
RESEARCH.
AS THE VIDEO MENTIONED, AND
AS IS RIGHT, THE MAJORITY OF
CASES DON'T SEEM TO OCCUR
DURING A BIG GENERALIZED
CONVULSION, AND THERE'S NO
EVIDENCE OF THAT ONLY SOME
CASES SEEM TO BE ASSOCIATED
WITH LOW DRUG LEVELS OF
ANTI-HE WANT LEAPT
PARTICULAR MEDICATIONS, SO
THAT'S NOT A NECESSITY.
THERE'S SOME ANIMAL STUDIES
THAT IMPLY SEIZURES CAUSING
ABNORMALITIES IN THE LUNGS
MIGHT BE THE CAUSE, BUT I
THINK MOST PEOPLE BELIEVE,
AND I'M IN THAT GROUP, WHAT
WAS MENTIONED IN THE VIDEO
AGAIN, THAT THE EFFECT OF
THE SEIZURES TO ALTER THE
HEART, AND WE DO HAVE
EVIDENCE OF THAT BOTH IN
ANIMALS AND PEOPLE WITH
EPILEPSY THAT SMALL SEIZURES,
EVEN COMPLEX PARTIAL
SEIZURES, AS WE CALL THEM,
CAN IN SOME PEOPLE CHANGE
THE RATE AT WHICH THE HEART
BEATS, EVEN STOP THE HEART.
AND IT'S NOT SOMETHING YOU
CAN PREDICT.
AND MAYBE AT SOME POINT IN
THE FUTURE WE WILL BE ABLE
TO WORK FURTHER ON THIS TO
PREVENT IT, BUT IT'S --

Maureen says IT'S STILL A
PUZZLE RIGHT NOW.

Richard says AND VERY INFREQUENT, WE
NEED TO SAY.

Maureen says LET'S TALK ABOUT
EPILEPSY IN GENERAL.
HOW DID YOU FIRST LEARN THAT
YOU HAD EPILEPSY?

The caption changes to "Sarah Jane Wilson. Suffers from Epilepsy."

Sarah says I WAS DIAGNOSED AT AGE 18
AND IT WAS TO BE HONEST THE
BIGGEST SURPRISE.
I'D BEEN WORKING AT A BANK
AND I KEPT HAVING ALL THESE
BUZZING SOUNDS IF MY EAR AND
SOMETIMES A FUNNY TASTE IN
MY MOUTH.
DIDN'T KNOW WHAT IT WAS AND
IT WAS BLAMED ON EVERYTHING
FROM, YOU KNOW, THE PAINT
FUMES IN THE ROOM TO
WHATEVER.
AND IT WAS JUST BEFORE I
STARTED AT UNIVERSITY OF
TORONTO WHEN I WENT IN TO
SEE MY G.P. FOR A REGULAR
CHECK-UP AND HE JUST
HAPPENED TO ASK, HAVE YOU
HAD ANY SORT OF DIZZY SPELLS
OR ANYTHING, AND IT REMINDED
ME OF THAT I EXPLAINED AND
HE SAID “I'LL SEND NEW FOR
AN E.E.G. JUST TO BE CAREFUL,
JUST TO BE CERTAIN.”
STARTED U. OF T., WENT
THROUGH MY FIRST WEEK AND
RIGHT AFTER FROSH WEEK GOT A
PHONE CALL, AND MY Dr. SAID
IT WASN'T Dr. WENBERG AT
THAT TIME, HE SAID SARA,
YOUR E.E.G. CAME BACK
ABNORMAL, IT'S EITHER
EPILEPSY OR A BRAIN TUMOR.

Maureen says OH, NICE!

Sarah says THAT'S HOW I FOUND OUT.

Maureen says SO THE EPILEPSY DIAGNOSIS
WOULD HAVE BEEN A BIT OF RELIEF.

Sarah says IT WAS!
IT WAS THE BEST NEWS I'VE
EVER HAD, TO BE COMPLETELY
HONEST.
AND FROM THERE I WENT FOR A
CAT SCAN IT PROGRESS FROM THERE.

Maureen says SO E.E.G.,
Dr. WENBERG IS THAT THE
FIRST DIAGNOSTIC TEST YOU DO?

Richard says YES, I WOULD SAY SO.
THE E.E.G. IS THE ONLY TEST
SPECIFIC FOR EPILEPSY.
IT IS AN ELECTRICAL DISORDER
OF THE BRAIN AND THE BRAIN
IMAGING TESTS, CAT-SCANS AND
M.R.I. SCANS ONLY SHOW
STRUCTURAL LESIONS, SO
THINGS LIKE BRAIN TUMORS,
OTHER THINGS LIKE THAT, THAT
CAN'T SHOW ABNORMAL
ELECTRICAL ACTIVITY, WHICH
AN E.E.G. CAN.
THAT MEASURES THE ELECTRICAL
CAL ACTIVITY SO CERTAINLY
THE FIRST TEST, UNLESS
THERE'S ANYTHING ELSE WRONG
NEUROLOGICALLY WOULD BE AN
E. MT G..

Maureen says WHAT ABOUT SEIZURES?
WAS SHE HAVING SEIZURES IN.

Richard says WELL IT COULD HAVE BEEN.
THOSE COULD HAVE BEEN VERY
SMALL WHAT WE WOULD CALL IN
SARA'S CASE PARTIAL SEIZURES
THAT DIDN'T CAUSE ANY FLOOR
RID SPOUT WARD
MANIFESTATIONS BUT THEY
PROBABLY WERE SEIZURE, GIVEN
THAT THE E.E.G. WAS
ABNORMAL.
I'M NOT SURE HOW ONE WOULD
SAY THAT SHE MAY HAVE A
BRAIN TUMOR, LOOKING AT THE
E.G..
I'M NOT QUITE SURE HOW THAT
HAPPENS --

Sarah says I WISH I KNEW, TOO.

Maureen says THAT PROBABLY
CAUSED YOU SOME DISTRESS.

Sarah says YEAH.

Maureen says HAVE YOU EVER
HAD THE TYPE OF CONSUMPTION
OR SEIZE YOU'RE THAT HE WE
THINK OF WHEN WE THINK OF --

Sarah says VERY MUCH SO TO BE HONEST
MY EPILEPSY GREW AND PRO
GRESD OVER THE YEARS AS.
DID I I HAVE PARTIAL COMPLEX
PARTIAL EPILEPSY IN MY RIGHT
TEMPORAL LOBE SO WHEN IT
STARTS THERE AND JUST STAYS
THERE, I GET A BUZZING IN MY
EAR, LIKE I WAS JUST
EXPLAINING, VERY SMALL
THINGS WHICH ARE MORE AURAS
THEN ANYTHING ELSE.
I'VE HAD EVERYTHING FROM
THAT AS THE KIND OF MOST
SIMPLE TO -- I'VE HAD A
SEIZURE WHERE MY ENTIRE
BRAIN BASICALLY WENT AT
ONCE.
AND I JUST WENT INTO A FULL
TONOCLONIC SEIZURE.

Maureen says THAT'S AN
INTERESTING WORD, TONOCLONIC
SEIZURE.
BOY, WHAT'S THAT, DOCTOR,
CAN YOU GIVE US A DEFINITION.

Richard says I'LL MAYBE MENTION IT NOW.
THAT'S WHAT PEOPLE
HISTORICALLY REFER TO AS A
GRAND MAL SEIZURE.
AS THOSE TERMS BECAME
INCREASINGLY CONFUSED
AMONGST BOTH DOCTORS AND
PATIENTS ALIKE, THE LARGE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
STUDIES AND WORKS WITH THE
PEOPLE OF HELP LEAPS SEE,
TRYING TO CHANGE THE
TERMINOLOGY TO A MORE
DESCRIPTIVE ONE.
TONIC IS A WORD FOR
STIFFENING AND CLONIC IS
REPETIVE JERKING MOVEMENTS
AND IN GRAND MAL SEIZURE OR
TONOCLONIC SEIZURE THERE IS
AN INITIAL PHASE WHERE THE
PERSON IN THE THROES OF THE
SEESZ YOU'RE WILL STIFFEN
AND AFTER THAT GENERALIZED
SHAKY MOVEMENTS AND THAT'S
THE CLONIC PHRASE.

Maureen says SO THERE'S
DIFFERENT TYPES OF SIRZS,
DIFFERENT TYPES OF EPILEPSY
AS WELL.
WE'RE GOING TO GET INTO THIS
A LITTLE MORE, LET'S TAKE
SOME CALLS ABOUT HELP LEPS
SEE.
MY GUEST THIS IS AFTERNOON,
SARA JANE WILSON, WHO HAS
EPILEPSY AND Dr. WENBERG.
A NEUROLOGIST.

The phone numbers and email reappear briefly.

Maureen says KEITH IS IN
TORONTO.
HI KEITH?

The Caller says YEAH, HI.
I'M ON 400 MILLIGRAMS
DIALANTIN A DAY AND I'VE
BEEN SO FOR 23 OR 24 YEARS
NOW.
AND I'M WONDERING -- I HAVE
HEPATITIS-B FROM A BLOOD
TRANSFUSION AND I'M
WONDERING IF THAT'S GOING TO
AFFECT MY LIVER.
COULD I CHANGE THE
MEDICATION, A DIFFERENT
MEDICATION NOW OR --

Richard says CAN I ASK HIM A QUESTION
BACK?
IS THE MEDICATION WORKING
FOR YOU?

The Caller says I FEEL TIRED ALL THE
TIME.
I KNOW IT'S -- I HAVE THE
HEPATITIS-C, WHICH IS ALSO
TIRING ME OUT, BUT I WAS
WONDERING IF MAYBE I COULD
CHANGE THAT MEDICATION TO
SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

Richard says I GUESS WHAT I WAS ASKING,
IS THE MEDICATION
CONTROLLING YOUR SEIZURES?

The Caller says I HAVE SEIZURE ABOUT ONCE
A MONTH NOW.

Richard says YEAH, I MEAN ONE THING I
WOULD SAY, THAT'S NOT
WHAT -- THAT'S MOTT WHAT THE
IDEAL CONTROL SHOULD BE.
YOU KNOW, WE HOPE TO BE ABLE
TO COMPLETELY CONTROL
SEIZURES IN SOMEONE, AND I
THINK YOU WOULD PROBABLY
FEEL BETTER IF THAT WERE THE
CASE.
THE RISKS TO YOUR RIVER OF
THE DIALANTIN, THERE IS A
THEORETICAL RISK, ALTHOUGH
VERY SMALL, AND THAT'S
MEASURABLE WITH STANDARD
BLOOD TESTS OF YOUR LIVER
FUNCTION AND I IMAGINE IF
YOU'RE KNOWN TO HAVE
HEPATITIS-C SOMEONE IS DOING
THAT.
COULD YOU BE ON A DIFFERENT
MEDICATION?
THAT MIGHT BE SOMETHING TO
SPEAK TO YOUR NEUROLOGIST
ABOUT, BECAUSE THERE ARE
MANY OTHER MEDICATIONS, SOME
OF WHICH HAVE NO EFFECTS ON
THE LIVER, AND IN ANY EVENT,
IT WOULD BE BETTER IF YOU
WEREN'T HAVING A SEIZURE
EVERY MONTH.
THE GOAL SHOULD BE
SEIZURE-FREE AND THAT'S
SOMETHING I THINK YOU SHOULD
WORK TOWARDS.

Maureen says SARA JANE YOU'VE
BEEN SEIZURE FREE FOR SNOUG.

Sarah says I'VE HAD ONE IN THE LAST
TWO YEARS.

Maureen says SO THAT'S PRETTY GOOD.

Sarah says IT'S GREAT, MUCH BETTER
THAN IT WAS.

Maureen says HAVE YOU BEEN ON
THE SAME MEDICATION ALL
ALONG IN.

Sarah says YES -- NOT ALL ALONG.
WHEN I WAS FIRST DIAGNOSED I
TRIED ABOUT THREE DIFFERENT
MEDICATIONS AND HAD NUMEROUS
KIND OF SMALL PROBLEMS WITH
THEM.

Maureen says RIGHT.

Sarah says AND I'M NOW ON TEGRITOL C.R.
WHICH IS JUST GREAT.

Maureen says I UNDERSTAND
DOCTOR, CORRECT ME IF I'M
WRONG, THE MEDICATIONS WORK
FOR MOST PATIENTS IT'S THE
SIDE EFFECTS THAT SOMETIMES
FORCE TO YOU TRY SOMETHING
ELSE.

Richard says YES.
I'D SAY -- AND THE NUMBERS
CHANGE A BIT, BUT PROBABLY
ABOUT 75 percent OF ADULTS AT LEAST
WITH EPILEPSY ARE COMPLETELY
CONTROLLED WITH THEIR
MEDICATIONS, WHATEVER
MEDICATIONS THAT MAY BE.
WHICH STILL LEAVES A LARGE
PROPORTION.
25 percent OF PEOPLE WHO CONTINUE
TO HAVE OCCASIONAL SEIZURES
DESPITE TAKING THE
MEDICATIONS.
AND THIS IS A VERY COMMON
DISEASE.
UP TO 1 percent OF THE POPULATION
HAS IT.
SO THAT'S, YOU KNOW,
SOMEWHERE BETWEEN HALF A
MILLION AND A MILLION PEOPLE
IN NORTH AMERICA ALONE WHO
CONTINUE TO HAVE SEIZURE,
DESPITE BEING ON MEDICATIONS,
OFTEN MANY, MANY
MEDICATIONS.
THREE OR FOUR IN THAT GROUP.
THE SIDE EFFECTS IN THOSE
CASES ARE OFTEN JUST
INTOLERABLE.
PEOPLE FEEL SLEEPY, THEY
CAN'T THINK STRAIGHT,
THEY'RE STAGGERING ON THEIR
FEET AND SO ON, AND EVEN
JUST WITH A SINGLE
MEDICATION AT A HIGH ENOUGH
DOSE TO CONTROL THE SEIZURES,
AND SARA COULD PROBABLY TALK
TO YOU ABOUT THAT, THERE CAN
BE SOME UNCOMFORTABLE SIDE
EFFECTS.
DIZZINESS, BLURRY VISION,
OTHER THINGS.

Maureen says DO YOU GET THOSE THINGS?

Sarah says I DID VERY MUCH SO.
ABOUT THIS TIME LAST YEAR I
WAS HAVING DOUBLE VISION ALL
THE TIME.
IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE!
ONCE -- YOU KNOW, ONCE A
MONTH TURNED INTO ONCE A
WEEK, TURNED INTO ONCE A DAY.
AND I WOULD BE STUMBLY, AND
IT GOT QUITE BAD IT.
GOT A POINT WHERE I
BASICALLY BECAME TOXIC ON MY
MEDICATION AND LITERALLY
JUST STARTED THROWING UP AND
THROWING UP.
AND I WAS IN A STATE WHERE I
WAS -- IT WAS ALMOST LIKE I
WAS SEIZING IT.
WASN'T, I WASN'T HAVING A
SEIZURE BUT I WAS JUST
SHAKING AND IT WASN'T A VERY
GOOD DAY.

Maureen says OKAY, GOOD.

Sarah says BUT THAT'S ALL GONE NOW,
SO --

Maureen says KEITH, GOOD LUCK.
THANKS VERY MUCH FOR YOUR CALL.
LET'S GO TO NOLA IN TORONTO.
HELLO, NOLA?

The Caller says HELLO.
I'M CALLING REGARDING THE
ISSUE OF HORMONAL CHANGES,
AND I THINK IT'S REALLY
IMPORTANT THAT OUR
NEUROLOGISTS ADVISE US ABOUT
THE FACT THAT HORMONAL
CHANGES CAN HAVE A MAJOR
AFFECT ON OUR EPILEPSY AND
OUR MEDICATION.

Maureen says DO YOU WANT HIM
TO TALK ABOUT THAT?

The Caller says WELL, I THINK --
I GUESS MY DILEMMA IS WHO
SHOULD, WHO SHOULD TELL US?
AND I'VE COME TO THE
CONCLUSION -- FOR INSTANCE,
THAT WHEN WE'RE PROCHG
TREATMENT FROM OTHER
SPECIALISTS, IT'S IMPORTANT
FOR US TO KNOW -- THE
INTERACTION BETWEEN
DIFFERENT PARTS OF OUR BODY
AND THE FACT THAT EPILEPSY
IS, SPECIFICALLY, IS
AFFECTED BY HORMONAL
CHANGES.

Maureen says OKAY.
Dr. WENBERG CAN YOU TALK
ABOUT THAT?

Richard says WELL, THE CALLER IS CORRECT.
AND AMONGST WOMEN WITH
EPILEPSY, IT'S ALMOST MORE
COMMON THAN NOT THAT SEIZURE
FREQUENCY IS INCREASED
AROUND THE TIME OF THE
MENSTRUAL CYCLE.
THAT'S MORE COMMON THAN NOT.
AND THAT'S HAD A NAME FOR
AGE, CATAMENIAL EPILEPSY SO
EXACERBATION OF SEIZURES
AROUND THE TIME OF THE
MENSTRUAL PSYCHE CATCH.
QUITE WHY THAT IS, LIKE SO
MANY OTHER THING, WE DON'T
ENTIRELY UNDERSTAND.
CERTAINLY THERE ARE
RECEPTORS FOR THE MAJOR
FEMALE HOR MOANS WITHIN THE
LIMBIC STRUCTURES OF THE
BRAIN THAT OFTEN ARE THE
SAME AREAS OF THE BRAIN
INVOLVED IN GENERATING THE
SEIZURES.
IN A VERY BROAD SENSE, WE
THINK THAT ESTROGEN IS
SOMETHING THAT MAKES IT MORE
LIKELY TO HAVE A SEETZ
YOU'RE IF YOU HAVE EPILEPSY,
WHEREAS PROGESTERONE IS MORE
LIKELY TO PREVENT A SEIZURE.
THAT'S A VAST
OVERSIMPLIFICATION.
ALONG THOSE LINES IT'S BEEN
NOTICED FOR AGES THAT DURING
PREGNANCY SOME PEOPLE WITH
UNCONTROLLED SEIZURES WILL
JUST HAVE A COMPLETE
CESSATION OF THE SEIZURES
DURING PREGNANCY.
OTHERS -- AND IT'S ABOUT A
THIRD, A THIRD, AND A THIRD,
ONE THIRD GET WORSE DURING
THE PREGNANCY AND ONE THIRD
CONTINUE ON THE SAME.
AND THAT'S UNSLAINED BUT IS
A REAL THING.
AFTER MENOPAUSE, SOME WOMEN
GET BETTER, SOME STAY THE
SAME AND SOME GET WORSE SO
THERE'S SOME CONNECTION, WE
DON'T UNDERSTAND IT.
PEOPLE HAVE TRIED TREATING
WITH PROGESTERONE VARIANT,
IN FACT WE'RE INVOLVED IN A
NEW TRIAL USING A
GENETICALLY CONSTRUCTED
ARTIFICIALLY PRODUCED
PROGESTERONE TREATING WOMEN
WITH CATALONIAL EPILEPSY
USING IT IN ADDITION TO
THEIR MEDICATION TO SEE IF
THIS WOULD WORK.
PREVIOUSLY UNCONTROLLED
TRIALS HAVE BEEN IFFY.

Maureen says IF YOU ARE
PREGNANT AND AN EPILEPTIC
CAN YOU CONTINUE TO TAKE
YOUR ANTI-SEIZURE
MEDICATIONS?

Richard says YES, YOU CAN.
THIS IS A BIG ISSUE, OF COURSE.
THE RISK OF FOETAL PROBLEMS
IN MOTHERS WHO ARE TAKING
ANTI-EPILEPTIC MED KAIGS IS
SLIGHTLY INCREASED.
BUT SLIGHTLY.
THE RISK IS GREATER IF
PEOPLE ARE ON MORE THAN ONE
ANTI-EPILEPTIC MEDICATION SO
IF POSSIBLE WE TRY TO LIMIT
THE NUMBER.
BUT THE RISK IS SMALL.
YOU KNOW, IF ANYONE HAS A
RISK OF 2 percent OF A FOETAL
PROBLEM THE RISK IS MAYBE 5 percent
IN A MOTHER WHO'S TAKING
ANTIEPILEPTIC MEDICATION.
WE THINK THAT RISK IS LOWER
THAN THE RISK OF HAVING
SEIZURES DURING PREGNANCY.
THAT'S A COMPLICATED ISSUE.
AND ONE OTHER THING, I KNOW
THE CALLER WANTED TO ASK
ABOUT THE HORMONAL
INTERACTIONS WITH THE
MEDICATIONS, YES, THAT'S --
THAT'S A REAL ISSUE, TOO.
NOW THE VAST MANNING JOE
SCHWARCZ OF TIMES, HORMONAL
CHANGES AND IF PEOPLE ARE ON
HORMONAL THERAPY FOR OTHER
REASONS ARE NOT
SIGNIFICANTLY ALTERED BY THE
ANTIEPILEPTIC MEDICATIONS
BUT THEY CAN BE AND IN WAYS
NOT ENTIRELY PREDICTABLE
DEPENDING ON SOMEONES A MAKE
TURN, LIVER, BLOODSTREAM.

Maureen says SO YOUR DOCTOR
NEEDS TO KNOW IF YOU'RE ON
H.T.P. OR EVEN THE BIRTH
CONTROL PILL, PRESUMABLY?

Richard says ALTHOUGH IT'S LIKE THE
FIRST ISSUE, IT'S THE
MINORITY THAT RUN INTO HUGE
PROBLEMS AND DO NEUROLOGISTS
MENTION IT OFF THE BAT IN
NOT NECESSARILY BUT SHOULD
PROBABLY BE NOTICED IF YOU --
MENTIONED IF YOU NOTICED
ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY OR HAVE
YOUR LEVELS CHECKED AT THE
SAME TIME.

Maureen says THANK YOU FOR
YOUR CALL.
CAROL IS IN OTTAWA.
HI CAROL?

The Caller says HI.
WE HAVE A FOUR-YEAR-OLD SON
WHO HAS EPILEPSY.
HE DEVELOPED IT TWO YEARS AGO.
HE WAS HAVING THE FULL
CONVULSION OBVIOUSLY EVERY
TWO WEEKS SO HE WAS PUT ON
PHENOBARBITOL AND HAS NOT
HAD A SEIZURE SINCE BUT
WE'RE VERY PLEASED BUT THE
PROBLEM IS IN A FEW WEEKS
WE'RE TO MEET WITH OUR SON'S
NEUROLOGIST AND THE PLAN IS
THAT HE'S GOING TO BE TAKEN
OFF HIS PHENOBARB, AS WE
UNDERSTAND IT, SO SEE IF HE
STILL HAS EPILEPSY.
WE'RE JUST WARROAD SICK
ABOUT THIS WHOLE PROSPECT OF
REMOVING HIM OFF HIS MEDS,
SO I GUESS OUR QUESTION IS
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES THAT
HE'LL START HAVING SIRZS
AGAIN AFTER HE'S OFF HIS
MEDS AND WHAT CAN WE DO,
SHOULD WE BE LOOKING OUT FOR
WHEN WE DO REMOVE HIM FROM
THE MEDS?

Richard says WELL, I CAN'T GIVE YOU
NUMBERS, OF COURSE.
MAYBE IF I COULD JUST ASK
YOU A QUESTION, WERE THESE
SEIZURES THAT HE DID HAVE
OCCURRING IN THE SETTING OF
AN ILLNESS?
WAS IT JUST WITH A FEVER
THAT HE HAD SEIZURES?

The Caller says NO, IT WASN'T.
NO.
HE STARTED WITH -- IT LOOKED
LIKE HE WAS PASSING OUT AND
THEN SHORTLY AFTER, IT WAS
ABOUT EVERY TWO WEEKS HE WAS
HAVING THE FULL CONVULSIONS.

Richard says OKAY.

The Caller says JUST OUT OF THE BLUE.
THERE DIDN'T SEEM TO BE ANY
PREDICTION.

Richard says AND IT'S BEEN HOW LONG
NOW SINCE HE'S HAD --

The Caller says SO HE'S BEEN ON
PHENOBARBITOL FOR TWO YEARS
AND HASN'T HAD A SEIZURE
SINCE HE WAS ON HIS
MEDICATION SO WE'RE JUST
REALLY PLEASED THAT HE'S
SAFE, AND YOU KNOW WE'RE NOT
WORRIED, BUT WITH THIS
APPOINTMENT COMING UP WE'RE
JUST EVEN WONDER PHYSICAL WE
SHOULD TRY TO TALK THE
NEUROLOGIST INTO LETTING HIM
STAY ON IT.

Richard says WELL, THAT'S A TOUGH ISSUE.
AND FIRST OFF, I CAN BACK
PEED DAAL A BIT BY SAYING
I'M NOT A PAEDIATRIC
NEUROLOGIST BUT THE DISEASE
EXPANSE ALL AGE GROUPS AND
SO I DO KNOW THE ISSUES.
IT'S A GENERAL RULE THAT
PEOPLE AT LEAST APPROACH THE
ISSUE OF ATTEMPTING TO COME
OFF THE MEDICATIONS IF A
YEAR OR TWO HAVE PASSED WITH
NO SEIZURES.
AND THIS WOULD HOLD IN A
CHILD AT LEAST TO DISCUSS
THIS ON PHENOBARBITOL WHICH
IS A VERY SAFE MEDICATION
WITH MINIMAL RISK OF ANY
SORT OF TOXICITY HOWEVER IT
HAS BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH
SLOWING PEOPLE DOWN AND
MAKING IT A BIT MORE
DIFFICULT FOR THEM TO GET
THROUGH SCHOOL.
AND I IMAGINE THIS MAY BE A
REASON WHY YOUR NEUROLOGIST
MIGHT WANT TO BE DISCUSSING
THIS.
HE'S GOING TO BE COMING UP
TO WANTING TO BE STARTING
SCHOOL SOON.
IF THERE'S ANY CHANCE THAT
HE DOESN'T NEED TO BE ON THE
MEDICATION ANYMORE IT WILL
LIKELY ALLOW HIM TO FUNCTION
BETTER IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM
WITHOUT IT.
IS THERE A RISK THAT HE
COULD ONCE AGAIN HAVE A
SEIZURE WITHOUT THE
MEDICATION?
WELL, YES, THERE IS.

Maureen says BUT IS THAT AS
SCARY AS SHE THINKS?
I MEAN, YOU DON'T USUALLY
DIE FROM A SEIZURE.

Richard says NO.
NO, THAT'S A GOOD POINT.
I SUPPOSE, AND MAYBE SARA
CAN TALK TO THIS MORE THAN I
CAN, BUT I THINK IT'S EASY
TO FORGET ABOUT LIFE WITH
SEIZURES ONCE THEY GO AWAY
AND WHEN TWO YEARS HAVE
PASSED YOU FORGET IT'S IN
YOUR LIFE AND YOU'RE
REMINDED OF IT BY SAYING
LET'S STOP THE MEDICATION,
IT COULD BE VERY TRAUMATIC.
YOU KNOW, IS HE GOING TO
HAVE ANOTHER SEIZURE?
AT WHAT TIME?
BUT YES, THIS IS --

Maureen says THIS IS STANDARD
SFLAKT.

Richard says STANDARD PRACTICE AND
FROM THE MEDICAL POINT OF
VIEW SAYING THE WORST THAT
COULD HAPPEN IS HE HAS A
SEIZURE AND THEN WE KNOW HE
NEEDS TO BE EITHER ON THE
PHENOBARBITOL OR ANOTHER
THING IS THERE A WAY TO
PREDICT?
I'LL JUST SAY NOT AN EASY
WAY.
IF AN E. MT G. SHOWED ON
GOING EVIDENCE OF EPILEPTIFORM
ABNORMALITIES THAT MIGHT
SHOW HE MAY HAVE MORE
TENDENCY TO HAVE A SEIZURE
OFF THE MEDICATION.
THOUGH IT MAY SHOW AND
YET...

Maureen says WHAT WOULD YOUR
ADVICE BE TO THIS MOTHER?

Sarah says THAT'S A VERY SCARY THING,
AND I'VE BEEN THROUGH IT.
I'VE GON THROUGH A STAGE
WHERE I HAD TO COME OFF ONE
MEDICATION AND I WAS
TERRIFIED AND MY FAMILY WAS
TERRIFIED ABOUT THE FACT
THAT I COULD HAVE A SEIZURE
BUT WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT
THAT'S THE WAY WE FIND OUT
WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON.
YOU KNOW, THAT'S THE WAY WE
FIND OUT DOES YOUR SON HAVE
TO LIVE ON MEDICATION OR CAN
WE BE RELIEVED OF THAT THAT
THE YOUNG AGE OF -- IT WAS
TWO OR FOUR?
IT'S A GOOD THING TO DO AND
AS SCARY AS IT MAY BE, AS
LONG AS IT'S CONTROLLED AND
HE'S COMING OFF THOSE
MEDICATIONS SLOWLY, IT'S
PROBABLY A REALLY SMART
THING TO DO.

Maureen says MOST OF US
PROBABLY WOULDN'T KNOW WHAT
TO DO IF WE DID SEE SOMEONE
SUFFERING A SEIZURE, SO WE
THOUGHT WE'D TAKE A LOOK AT
A PUBLIC SERVICE
ANNOUNCEMENT PUT OUT BY
EPILEPSY TORONTO.

A clip plays on screen in which a boy plays on a swing in a park.
Suddenly, the boy falls to the ground and stars convulsing.

Dramatic music plays.

Several children flock around the boy.

A girl yells CHESTER'S HAVING A SEIZURE.

A boy says HE CAN CHOKE.

Another girl says WE NEED TO STAY CALM.

A third girl says WE NEED TO TURN HIM ON
HIS SIDE.

A boy says HERE, I'LL HOLD ONTO HIS LEGS.

Another boy stops him and says NO, IT CAN'T BE STOPPED!

A girl says QUICK, GET ME SOMETHING
SOFT TO PUT UNDER HIS HEAD.

Another girl puts a T-shirt under Chester’s head and says HERE, USE THIS.

A girl checks her wristwatch and says WE NEED TO TIME IT AND
SEE HOW LONG THE SEIZURE
LASTS.

Another boy says IF THE SEIZURE LASTS MORE
THAN FIVE MINUTES OR HAS TWO
IN A ROW WE NEED TO CALL AN
AMBULANCE.

A boy pulls out a candy bar and says HERE, PUT THIS IN HIS MOUTH.

Another girl says NO, NEVER PUT ANYTHING IN
ANYONE'S MOUTH DURING A
SEIZURE.

Chester stops convulsing.

A boy says I THINK IT'S OVER.

A girl looks at Chester and says IT'S OKAY, YOU'VE JUST
HAD A SEIZE, YOU'RE I KNOW
YOU'RE FEELING TIRED, SO
LET'S JUST REST UNTIL YOU
FEEL LIKE YOU'RE READY TO GO HOME.

A title on screen reads “Epilepsy. Would you know what to do? Canadian epilepsy alliance. 1-866-EPILEPSY.”

The clip ends.

Maureen says OKAY, A LOT OF
BASES COVERED THERE.
Dr. WENNBERG, CAN YOU GO
BACK OVER WHAT ARE THE THINGS
WE SHOULD NOT BE DOING IT WE
SEE SOMEONE IN A SEIZURE?

Richard says WELL THAT'S THE FIRST
TIME I'VE SEEN THAT BUT IT'S
EXCELLENT SCOMPRVEGS I
COMMEND THE PEOPLE WHO MADE
IT.
TRYING TO STICK THINGS IN
PEOPLE'S MOUTH, I'M NOT SURE
HOW THAT EVER GOT STARTED
BUT THAT'S A BAD IDEA.

Maureen says YEAH, THEY WON'T
SWALLOW THEIR TONGUE?

Richard says THEY WON'T SWALLOW THEIR
TONGUE.
NO.
TO HELP SOMEONE SAFELY TO
THE GROUND TO LIE ON THE
GROUND, SOMETHING SOFT ON
THE HEAD AND OVER TO ONE
SIDE IS MORE THAN ADEQUATE.
AND I THINK THE IMPORTANT
THING TO REMEMBER IS THAT
THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF
EVEN THE GENERALIZED
TONOCLONIC SEIZURES WHICH
THAT VIDEO MEANT TO DEPICT
WILL STOP ON THEIR OWN
WITHIN 30 SECONDS TO 90
SECONDS.
AND THOUGH IT SEEMS LIKE
FIVE, TEN, FIFTEEN MINUTES
IT OFTEN TRULY IS ONLY 30 OR
60 SECONDS THAT HAVE PASSED.

Maureen says OKAY SO ARE
THERE THINGS THAT YOU'RE NOT
ALLOWED TO DO BECAUSE YOU
HAVE THIS CONDITION?
CAN YOU GET A DRIVER'S
LICENSE?
ARE YOU ALLOWED TO DISPLIVE.

Sarah says THE ONE THING I CAN'T DO
RIGHT NOW IS I CAN'T BE A
WINDOW WASHER.
BUT REALLY, THERE AREN'T A
LOT OF THINGS.
IT'S QUITE UNBELIEVABLE.
IN ONTARIO YOU HAVE TO BE
SEIZURE-FREE FOR ONE YEAR
BEFORE YOU CAN HAVE A
LICENSE.
AND ALTHOUGH WE TRIED A
COUPLE TIMES AND FAILED,
DIDN'T QUITE GET -- NOT
FAILED MY LICENSE, BUT
DIDN'T QUITE GET TO THE
ONE-YEAR PERIOD IT HAS
FINALLY HAPPENED, SO I AM
DRIVING AGAIN, WHICH IS
FABULOUS, VERY EXCITING.
AND THERE REALLY ISN'T A LOT
I CAN'T DO.
THERE REALLY ISN'T MUCH.
YOU KNOW, THERE ARE SOME
LEGAL THINGS LIKE WINDOW
WASHING AND SNORKELING,
SCUBA DIVING, BUT ASIDE FROM
THAT, THERE ISN'T MUCH.

Maureen says WELL GOOD.
I LEARNED A LOT TODAY ABOUT
THIS THANK YOU BOTH FOR
COMING IN TO DO THIS.

Sarah says YOU'RE WELCOME.

Richard says THANK YOU.

Maureen says THANKS VERY MUCH.
Dr. RICHARD WENNBERG IS THE
DIRECTOR OF THE EPILEPSY
MONITORING UNITS AT THE
UNIVERSITY HEALTH NETWORK.
HE'S ALSO AN ASSISTANT
PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY
OF TORONTO.
SARA JANE WILSON HAS HAD
EPILEPSY SINCE SHE WAS 19,
AND IF YOU'D LIKE TO FIND
OUT MORE ABOUT EPILEPSY, YOU
CAN GO TO THE CANADIAN
EPILEPSY ALLIANCE WEBSITE AT
WWW.EPILEPSYMATTERS.COM
Or you can call at 1-866-374-5377
www.epilepsytoronto.org
A CAP ON CLASSROOM SIZE AND
THE FREEDOM TO SEND YOUR
CHILD TO ANY SCHOOL.
UP NEXT, WE'LL TALK TO THE
LIBERAL EDUCATION CRITIC
ABOUT HIS PARTY'S NEW
EDUCATION POLICIES.
PLANK

(soft music plays)
Clips of children flash by as titles read “life matters, friendship matters, family matters. TVO, television that matters.”

Commercials play.

Then, the program returns.

Maureen says WELCOME BACK.
A PROVINCIAL ELECTION IS
PROBABLY STILL TWO YEARS
AWAY, BUT THE LIBERAL
OPPOSITION IS ALREADY
TALKING ABOUT WHAT IT WOULD
DO FOR EDUCATION IN ONTARIO
IF ELECTED.
HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE
LIBERALS' PLANS FOR
REFORMING EDUCATION IS
GERARD CONTENDER, THE
OPPOSITION'S EDUCATION CRITIC.

Gerard is in his early forties, clean-shaven, with wavy blond hair. He’s wearing rounded glasses, a gray suit, gray shirt, and checked tie.

Maureen continues AND WE'D LIKE TO HEAR FROM
YOU, TOO.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF A CAP
ON CLASSROOM SIZE?
AN ACTUAL CAP ON CLASSROOM
SIZE?
WHAT ISSUES DO YOU THINK THE
GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO ADDRESS
IN EDUCATION?
IN TORONTO YOU DIAL...

A caption reads "416-484-2727. 1-888-411-1234."
Then, it changes to moretolife@tvo.org

Maureen says AND WELCOME
Mr. KENNEDY.
HI.

Gerard says HI, THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

Maureen says LET'S GO OVER
THE PLANS THAT YOUR LEADER
DAULTON McGUINTY OUTLINED
LAST WEEK.
WHAT ARE THEY?

The caption changes to "Gerard Kennedy. Liberal Education Critic."

Gerard says WELL IN ESSENCE WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT A CHANGE IN
THE WAY WE APPROACH
EDUCATION.
WE SIMPLY LOOK AT THE
RESULTS EDUCATION HAS HAD
OVER THE LAST SIX YEARS AND
THEY'RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH AND
I THINK MANY PARENTS AND
EVEN PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE
SYSTEM HAVE WONDERED WHY IS
THERE SO MUCH TURMOIL.
PEOPLE NEVER SEEM TO BE
WORKING AGAINST ONE ANOTHER
RATHER THAN TOGETHER, I
THINK WHAT WE'VE IDENTIFIED
IS THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE
SUPPORT, INCENTIVES IN THE
SYSTEM.
WE'VE IDENTIFIED CLASS SIZE
AS ONE OF OUR FIRST
ANNOUNCEMENT.
WE THINK WE HAVE TO GIVE
STUDENTS MORE INDIVIDUALIZED
ATTENTION.
TEACHERS ARE A MORE
MANAGEABLE ASSIGNMENT IN THE
SENSE OF HOW IMPORTANT IT IS
TO GET THE LITERALLY --
LITERACY RIGHT AT EARLY
YEARS TO START THAT
DEVELOPMENT WE WANT TO SEE
IN EDUCATION OF WHAT AMOUNTS
TO BE IN HIGHER YEARS OF A
CITIZEN.
NOT JUST SOMEBODY WHO
LEARNING SOMETHING BY WROTE
AND THAT CAN'T BE DONE IN
SOME OF THE CLASS SIZES WE
HAVE TODAY.
MONEY HAS LEFT THE SYSTEM
AND WE'VE GOT TO FOCUS AS A
SOCIETY AND PUT SOME OF THAT
MONEY, INVEST IT WHERE IT
COULD MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE.

Maureen says SO CAP CLASS SIZE AS --

Gerard says WE'RE SUGGESTING 20 AS
THE SIZE FROM KINDERGARTEN
TO GRADE THREE, AND WITHIN
THAT THERE'D PROBABLY BE
SMALLER SIZES YET FOR THOSE
WITH SPECIAL NEEDS AND
EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS AND
BEHAVIOURAL PROBLEMS AND
WE'RE LOOKING AT THE REST OF
THE GRADES AS WELL BUT WE DO
NOTE LITERATURE, RESEARCH IS
STRONGEST.
WE KNOW RIGHT NOW WE CAN DO
THINGS FOR CHILDREN OF THAT
AGE THAT COULD BENEFIT THEM
FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES
AND CERTAINLY FOR THE REST
OF THEIR EDUCATION.
WE THINK THIS KIND OF
PROMISE, COMMITMENT WILL PAY
FOR ITSELF IN THE BENEFIT IT
WILL BRING TO THOSE YOUNG
CHILDREN.

Maureen says WHAT WE HAVE NOW
AN AVERAGE CLASS SIZE,
RIGHT?

Gerard says ANYBODY WHO IS A PARENT
OR GRANDPARENT HEARS KIDS
THAT ARE IN CLASSES OF 32
AND 35, THERE'S 09,000 KIDS
IN CLASSES OF 32 OR LARGER,
THERE'S 700,000 CHILDREN IN
CLASSES OF 25 OR MORE.
WE'RE ADDRESSING THAT VERY
DIRECTLY AND SAYING THIS
WILL CHANGE THAT VERY
SPECIFICALLY.
IT'S A BIT OF A TRICK IN A
WAY TO TALK ABOUT AVERAGE
SIZES AND ESPECIALLY
DEPENDING ON WHAT TEACHERS
YOU INCLUDE AND INCLUDE
SPECIALTY CLASSES IT.
ISN'T WHAT WE THINK THE
PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM
NEEDS TO START DOING, GIVING
PARENTS AN INSURANCE.
YOUR CHILD WILL BE REGARDED
BY HIS OR HER INDIVIDUAL
NEEDS.
AND SIZE, NOT THE WHOLE
POLICY, BUT IT IS AN
IMPORTANT ELEMENT.

Maureen says WELL, HOW MUCH
WOULD THAT COST TO HIRE THE
TEACHERS THAT YOU'RE GOING
TO NEED TO BRING THAT CLASS
SIDE DOWN TO 20?

Gerard says WE'RE BASICALLY LOOKING
AT AN ADDITIONAL 350 MILLION dollars.
IN ADDITION TO THAT THERE'S
100 MILLION dollars IN CAPITAL
BECAUSE SMALLER CLASS SIZES
WILL, ESPECIALLY IN RAPIDLY
GROWING AREAS REQUIRE MORE
SPACE.
WHAT'S VERY IMPORTANT IS
THAT THIS, WE THINK, IS A
BETTER PRIORITY THAN 4.5
BILLION DOLLARS IN TAX CUTS.
THAT'S WHAT THE GOVERNMENT
HAS YET TO IMPLEMENT OUT OF
ITEMS THAT THEY'VE PROMISED
AND THEY THINK THAT YOU
CAN'T DO THAT AT THE EXPENSE
OF CHILDREN.
WE'RE SAYING IN THIS
PARTICULAR ANNOUNCE WANT THE
EXPENSE OF YOUNG CHILDREN
BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT'S
HAPPENING.
THEY'VE LOST A LOT OF THE
THINGS THAT THEY USED TO
HAVE AVAILABLE IN THAT
SYSTEM AND WE WANT TO
FASHION THAT IN A NEW WAY
WITH PUBLIC FOCUS.
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF OTHER
IDEAS WE PUT FORTH AS WELL,
BUT WE WANT TO GET THE
RESULTS FROM THOSE CHILDREN
THEY DESERVE WECHLT CAN'T
TAKE A BACK SEAT TO IDEOLOGY
WHEN TAX CUTS IS WHAT
THEY'RE SAYING ARE MORE
IMPORTANT.

The caption changes to "Today’s topic, Liberals’ education policies."

Maureen says SO YOU SAY THIS WILL COST
HALF A BILLION BUT THE
EDUCATION MINISTRY SAYS IT'S
CLOSE TO 2 BILLION.

Gerard says THE EDUCATION MINISTRY
HAS YET TO DO THAT ME MAYBE
HAVE INCLUDED MORE GRADES OR
MADE WRONGER ASSUMPTIONS OR
MAYBE JUST BE PUTTING A
FIGURE OUT.
WE'LL BE HAPPY TO LOOK AT IT
BUT I THINK OUR POINT HERE
IS IT'S THE IDEA THAT
MATTERS.
WE HOPE THE GOVERNMENT ISN'T
GOING TO BE DISMISSIVE OF
THE IDEA IN THE SENSE THAT
WE NEED TO DO BETTER IN
TERMS OF EDUCATION.
THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF
EXPERIMENTING.
THE GOVERNMENT'S BEEN KIND
OF LIKE DRIVING THE CAR WITH
ONLY ONE GEAR, AND YOU KNOW,
SOME PEEP WE'LL SAY IT'S
REVERSE.
YOU REALLY NEED TO HAVE A
NUMBER OF THINGS GOING FOR
YOU.
ACCOUNTABILITY CAN'T BE
MINDLESS TESTING.
THERE'S A LOT OF KIDS DOING
TEST, HOMEWORK AND PARENTS
ARE HELPING THEM WITH
HOMEWORK AND WHERE DOES THIS
LEAD THEM?
IT DOESN'T NECESSARILY LEAD
THEM INTO BETTER EXPERIENCES
AND THAT'S WHAT WE WANT TO
FOLK DISCUS ON.
WHAT DOES THE SYSTEM NEED TO
ENSURE THOSE STUDENTS DO
WELL?
THE PRESENT GOVERNMENT WE
DON'T FEEL'S ANSWERED THAT
WE PUT FORWARD A NUMBER OF
IDEAS, KEPT CLASS SIZE,
HOUSE SCHOOLS, ENCOURAGING
EXCELLENCE, TEAM APPROACHES
TO DEAL WITH SCHOOLS THAT
RUN INTO PRO PROBLEMS, THESE
AREN'T THE WHOLE THING AND
WE'RE SURE THEY CAN BE
IMPROVED ON BUT WE NEED TO
START LOOKING AT THESE
IDEAS.

Maureen says “THE GLOBE and
MAIL” CALLED THE POLICIES A
PARTIAL VOUCHER SYSTEM WHERE
THE FUNDING WOULD FOLLOW A
CHILD.
SO IF A PARENT WANTS TO SEND
A CHILD TO A SCHOOL OUTSIDE
OF THEIR NEIGHBOURHOOD
BECAUSE STANDARDIZED TESTS
SHOW THOSE KIDS PERFORMED
BET, THEY CAN DO THAT.

Gerard says WELL, I THINK THAT'S
EXTRAPOLATION WITH ALL
RESPECT TO THE REPORTER AND
“THE GLOBE and MAIL,” WE'RE
NOT LOOKING AT VOUCHER,
WE'RE LOOKING AT SIMPLY
SAYING TO PEOPLE YOU DON'T
NEED VOUCHERS.
IN FACT WE'VE SAID NO TO
VOUCHERS AND CHARTER SCHOOLS
BECAUSE EXCELLENCE CAN TAKE
PLACE IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL
SYSTEM.
FOR SOME PARENTS WHO MAY BE
JUSTIFIABLY IMPATIENT, SEE
NEEDS NOT BEING MET ON THE
PART OF THEIR STUDENTS THEY
CAN LOOK WITHIN THE PUBLIC
EDUCATION SYSTEM ANYWHERE IN
THE PROVINCE.
OBVIOUSLY THAT PUTS SOME
BURDEN ON THEM BUT THOSE
SPACES IF THEY'RE THERE WILL
BE ACCESSIBLE TO THEM.
THAT'S REALLY ALL WE'RE
SAYING THERE.
WE ACCEPT THE ONUS TO GET
RESULTS AND FURTHER WE'RE
SAYING WE'RE NOT GOING TO
BLAME SCHOOL BOARDS.
WE'RE NOT GOING TO LOOK DOWN
AND CAST ASPERSIONS ABOUT
TEACHERS AND WE'RE CERTAINLY
NOT GOING TO BLAME THE
STUDENTS.
WE'RE GOING TO TAKE SOME
RESPONSIBILITY WE'RE NOT
GOING TO GIVE UP ON ANY
SCHOOLS, BUT WE DO WANT
PARENTS TO FEEL THAT
CONFIDENCE, PUBLIC EDUCATION
WILL BE THE BEST EDUCATION.

Maureen says YOU'RE AN M.P.P.
IN TORONTO.
DON'T WE ALREADY HAVE THAT SYSTEM?
CAN'T YOU IN EFFECT PUT YOUR
CHILD IN A DIFFERENT SCHOOL?

Gerard says WE DO BUT THAT'S A
MINORITY OF SCHOOL BOARDS
AND SO WE WOULD SEE THAT
HAPPENING ACROSS THE
PROVINCE AND WHAT ALSO HAS
TO BE THERE IS THAT WE WOULD
SEE EVEN A SMALL MIGRATION
OF KIDS AWAY FROM A SCHOOL
AS AN INDICATOR THAT THINGS
NEED TO BE DONE.
AND THE FIRST THING IS TO
UNDERSTAND WHAT'S HAPPENING.
WE WOULDN'T JUST USE TEST
RESULTS, WE'D LOOK AT WHAT
IS REALLY GOING NONE THAT
SCHOOL.
THERE ARE A LOT OF OTHER
MORE SENSITIVE WAYS TO
CAPTURE THE CHALLENGE THERE
IS AND PROVIDE THE SUPPORT.
BECAUSE RIGHT NOW WE HAVE
52 MILLION dollars SPENT ON TESTING
AND ALMOST NO MONEY SPENT ON
DOING ANYTHING WITH THE
RESULTS OF THOSE TESTS AND
SO THERE ARE LOTS OF WAYS
THAT WE CAN BE FOCUSED ON
DOING A BETTER JOB IN A LOT
OF NEIGHBOURHOODS IN TORONTO
BUT ELSEWHERE IN THE
PROVINCE AS WELL.

Maureen says BUT YOU WOULD
HAVE TO GIVE PREFERENCE TO
KIDS WHO LIVE IN THE
NEIGHBOURHOOD FIRST.

Gerard says YES, WE WOULD.
YES, WE WOULD SO WE'RE NOT
GOING TO HAVE PEOPLE BE
OUT-COMPETED FOR THEIR
SCHOOL AND SON AND I GUESS
IN A WAY IT'S A QUALIFIED
RIGHT TO CHOOSE BUT IT IS
THERE AND WE'RE NOT GOING TO
ACCEPT ANY EXCUSES, WE DO
BELIEVE PUBLIC EDUCATION IS
EXTREMELY GOOD, CAN BE MADE
EXCELLENT AND THERE'S NO
EXCUSE WE CAN SEE, IF WE CAN
MUSTER, WHICH WE'VE GOT TO
DO IN THE NEXT TWO YEARS,
PEOPLE'S AGREEMENT WE CAN
HAVE THE BEST EDUCATION
SYSTEM ANYWHERE IN THE
WORLD.

Maureen says HOW ARE YOU
GOING TO TRANSPORT THOSE
KIDS --

Gerard says FRANKLY THE ONUS WILL BE
TO THE PARENTS.
WE'RE NOT GOING TO SET UP
SUBSIDIARY TRANSPORTATION
STUDENTS BUT TO PARENTS
SUFFICIENTLY MOTIVATED YOU
AREN'T STUCK AND RIGHT NOW
THEY'RE STUCK.
YOU EITHER HAVE THE PUBLIC
SCHOOL SYSTEM OR PRIVATE
COOL AND A TREMENDOUS BURDEN
SO WE'RE SAYING WE WANT THE
PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM TO BE
REINFORCED AND WANT IT
TO BE ABLE TO DEMONSTRATE
WHERE THE PROBLEMS ARE AND
WE THINK PARENTS CERTAINLY
ARE PARTICIPANTS IN THAT.

Maureen says LET'S FIND OUT
HOW THIS SOUND TO THE FOLKS
OUT THERE.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT RAL
EDUCATION CRITIC GERARD
KENNEDY ABOUT HIS PARTY'S
EDUCATION PLATFORM, PARTIAL
PLATFORM WITH AN ELECTION
STILL PROBABLY TWO YEARS
AWAY BUT IT'S NOT TOO EARLY
TO TART DISCUSSING THESE
ISSUESWE WANT TO KNOW WHAT
YOU THINK.
HEALTHER IS IN SUDBURY.
HI HEATHER.

The Caller says HI.

Maureen says HI.

The Caller says MY QUESTION IS I
LIVE IN NORTHERN ONTARIO AND
I FIND THE FUNDING IS THE
SAME WHETHER IT'S SOUTHERN
ONTARIO OR NORTH, AND OUR
PROBLEMS UP HERE WITH THE
TRANSPORTATION TAKE UP A BIG
CHUNK OF OUR SCHOOL BOARD'S
BUDGET SO THERE'S NOT A LOT
OF MONEY LEFT OVER FOR OTHER
THINGS.
WOULD YOUR LIBERAL PARTY
CHANGE THE FUNDING FORMULA
SO THAT NORTHERN BOARDS --
IT WOULD REFLECT THE
DIFFERENCE?

Gerard says WE WANT TO ACCOMPLISH
RESULTS AT ALL OF THE BOARDS
AND WE UNDERSTAND -- THE BIG
POLICY THRUST HERE IS YOU
CAN'T HAVE A COOKIE CUTTER
APPROACH.
WE'RE QUOTING “THE GLOBE and
MAIL” EARLIER ERRONEOUSLY
ABOUT OUR PROGRAMME BUT THE
ONE QUOTE I WOULD LIKE TO
INTRODUCE IS THEY SAY OUR
SCHOOLS HAVE BECOME LIKE
FACTORIES WHERE THEY ALL
PRUT SAME KIND OF THINGS.
WELL IN FACT THEY CAN'T EVEN
DO THAT BECAUSE IN SUDBURY
THERE ARE DIFFERENT NEEDS
THAN THERE ARE IN DOWNTOWN
TORONTO AND THEY'RE
DIFFERENT AGAIN WHAT IT
COMES TO St. CATHARINES SO
WE HAVE TO LET GO SOME OF
THE CENTRAL CONTROL, WHAT
DALTON McGUINTY CALLED THE
OTHER NIGHT THE POLITBUREAU
THAT SAYS THIS IS EXACTLY
HOW THINGS WOULD BE.
SO WE WOULD LOOK AT MUCH
MORE SENSITIVE TUNDING
FORMULA THAT WOULD DELIVER
WHAT COMMUNITIES NEED AND
RETURN SOME CONTROL TO
PRINCIPAL, TEACHERS AND I
GUESS SCHOOL BOARDS AS WELL
TO BE ABLE TO DETERMINE HOW
TO MEET NEEDS.
AND THAT IS DEFINITELY PART
OF WHAT WE THINK IS HOLDING
CHILDREN BACK RIGHT NOW.
THERE'S A BIT OF A CONCEIT
FOR ANY OF US TO SIT AT
QUEEN'S PARK AND PUSH A
BUTTON AND THINK THINGS
THERE HAPPEN FOR 2
MILLION dollars -- FOR 2 MILLION
KIDS ALL AROUND THE PROVINCE
AND THAT'S BEEN THE STYLE
THE LAST SIX YEARS.
WE THINK DIFFERENCES HAVE TO
BE ACKNOWLEDGED.
DIVERSITY IS A GOOD THING
WITHIN PUBLIC EDUCATION.

Maureen says I NOTICED DALTON
HAS SO FAR AVOIDED THE MOST
CONTENTIOUS ISSUE IN
EDUCATION THESE DAYS, TEACHER
WORKLOAD AND, EXTRA
CURRICULAR ACTIVITY.

Gerard says WE CAME OUT DECEMBER 14th
WITH A PLAN, EDUCATION PEACE
PLAN WE CALL IT STUDENTS
FIRST.
WE SAID VERY CLEARLY THERE
WE WOULD PLEDGE BOTH TO PUT
IN PLACE -- IN FACT WE'RE
STILL ENCOURAGING AND WE'RE
STILL HOPEFUL THIS
GOVERNMENT WILL PUT IN PLACE
A DIFFERENT ADJUSTMENT TO
WORK PLAN.
A COMPROMISE.
AND WE WOULD CERTAINLY THINK
THAT THE FUNDING REQUIRED
THERE, THE 150 MILLION dollars WE
PROPOSED IS SOMETHING THAT
SHOULD HAPPEN BETWEEN NOW
AND THEN AND IF IT DOESN'T,
DEFINITELY DO THAT.

Maureen says REFRESH OUR
MEMORIES.
HOW WOULD THAT WORK.

Gerard says BASICALLY YOU HAVE A
SITUATION IN IN HIGH SCHOOLS
WHERE EXTRA CURRICULAR
ACTIVITY ISN'T HAPPENING.
1-THIRD OF HIGH SCHOOLS HAVE
LOST A FAIR BIT, SEPARATE
SYSTEM AS WELL.
THE GOVERNMENT'S GOAL IS TOO
RIGID, TOO MUCH CENTRAL
CONTROL AND THEY WANT TO SAY
EACH TEACHER IN EACH SCHOOL
WILL TEACH 6.7 CLASSES.
THERE'S NO POINT 67 OF A
CLASS SO THEY'RE EITHER
TEACHING 1100 MINUTES OR
1500 MINUTES.
WE'RE SAYING IF THEY CAN BE
FLEXIBLE, THEY CAN HAVE
THEIR GOAL.
THEY CAN HAVE THEIR
AVERAGE -- IT'S 1250
MINUTES.
THAT'S WHAT THEY'VE CHOSE
SEVEN.
HOW TO MAKE THAT WORK IS TO
ADD EIGHT MINUTES TO EACH OF
THE CLASSES TAKING PLACE
DURING THE DAY AND TO
BASICALLY HAVE THE SAME
STUDENTS WITH TEACHERS FOR
LONGER.
THE TEACHERS WILL TEACH AN
EXTRA HALF AN HOUR A DAY AND
YOU MAY REMEMBER THE PUBLIC
MONEY THAT WAS SPENT ON
ADVERTISEMENT SAYING JUST
ANOTHER 25 MINUTES.
THIS DOES THAT THIS DOES
THAT AND ALSO GIVES CHILDREN
BETTER CONTACT AND ALLOWS
THE GOVERNMENT TO HAVE ITS
GOAL.
SO IT'S A REASONABLE
COMPROMISE, IT WOULD DEAL
WITH THE WORKLODISH SHOE BY
HAVING TEACHERS TEACH THREE
CLASSES, TEACH THEM WELL,
HAVE A LITTLE BIT MORE TIME
IN CLASS DURING THE DAY, BUT
NOT ALL THE PREPARATION TIME
AND THE TESTING THAT GOES
WITH HAVING ANOTHER 30 OR 35
STUDENTS TO DEAL WITH.

Maureen says AND TEACHERS
HAVE SAID THAT THEY WOULD GO
FOR THAT PLAN.
IT'S NOT THE TEACHING THEY
MIND, IT'S THE EXTRA
STUDENTS THAT THEY MIND.

Gerard says TEACHER'S FEDERATIONS,
STUDENT ORGANIZATION,
TRUTHEES, BOARDS, IN FACT
ALMOST EVERYONE HAS COME TO
THE TABLE EXCEPT THE
GOVERNMENT.
AND WE'RE QUITE HAPPY, THEY
CAN RIP THE COVER PAGE OFF,
CALL IT THEIR OWN PLAN, BUT
WE REGRET THE FACT THAT
WE'RE 150 DAYS IN THE SCHOOL
YEAR AND KIDS STILL DON'T
HAVE EXTRA CURRICULAR.

Maureen says JESUS BEFORE WE
GO TO THE NEXT CALLER,
COMBINING CLASS SIZE
INITIATIVE AND THIS
INITIATIVE AND YOU'RE GOING
TO HIRE A WHOLE WHACK OF
TEACHERS AND IT'S MY
UNDERSTANDING THEY'RE NOT
OUT THERE ANYMORE.

Gerard says WEAVE DIVERSED TEACHERS.
WE LOST 4,400,000 TEACHERS
FOR REASONS OTHER THAN
RETIREMENT AND THEY'RE
LEAVING BECAUSE OF THE EXACT
THINGS WE'RE TRYING TO
ADDRESS.
THE CONDITIONS.
BASIC CONDITIONS OF LEARNING
AND TEACHING.
I THINK WE WOULD ALL AGREE,
DESPITE WHAT SOME PEOPLE IN
THE BACK OF THEIR MINDS
SOMETIMES FEEL ABOUT SUMMER
VACATIONS OR SOMETHING THEY
AND THEY MAY NOT REALIZE
WHAT TEACHERS DO WITH THEIR
TIME ACTUALLY, WE RESPECT
THE FACT THAT TEACHERS NEED
TO BE THERE, THEY NEED TO BE
MOTIVATED, AND I THINK
PEOPLE CAN UNDERSTAND THAT'S
NOT HAPPENING IN ONTARIO
TODAY.
PEOPLE ARE CHOOSING TO GO
ELSEWHERE.
SO WE NEED TO CREATE THE
BETTER CONDITIONS.
NOT ONLY DO WE HAVE AN
EXAGGERATED PROBLEM HERE IN
ONTARIO BECAUSE OF WHAT'S
BEEN GOING ON THERE IS A
WORLDWIDE TEACHER SHORTAGE
AND WE DON'T WANT TO BE IN A
BACKWARDS POSITION OF TRYING
TO ATTRACT TEACHERS LIKE
CALIFORNIA AND FLORIDA AND
GREAT BRITAIN WHERE THEY
HAVE SIGNING BONUSES AND
SON.
WE WANT TO BE PROACTIVE
ABOUT THIS AND SAYING ENOUGH
WITH THE TURMOIL, WHO'S
GOING TO WANT TO GO TO WORK
EVERYDAY WHEN THERE'S
TURMOIL?
MOST PEOPLE AGREE, YOU'VE
GOT TO HAVE THAT JOB
SATISFACTION.
WE'RE NOT OFFERING LARGE
WAGES IN TERMS OF TEACHERS
OVERALL.
WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT IN THIS
PLAN TO IN A MASTER TEACHER
COMPONENT AND SEE HOW THAT
CAN BE WORKED INTO THE
EXISTING CULTURE.
WE'VE ALSO TALKED ABOUT
PAYING FOR TRAINING AND
DEVELOPMENT OF TEACHERS.
IT ISN'T FAIR TO ASK THEM TO
TEACH A WHOLE NEW CURRICULUM
AND NOT ALLOW THEM THE
DEVELOPMENT TO ACTUALLY KNOW
THAT CURRICULUM.
THERE'S NOTHING MORE
FRUSTRATING THAT WOULD MAKE
THEM LEAVE SOONER THAN NO
NOT KNOWING THAT WHICH THEY
ARE ABLE TO TEACH.

Maureen says Alright, let’s go to Nancy.
She’s in Peterborough.

The Caller says FIRST OF ALL, I THINK
IT'S GREAT THAT THEY BE ABLE
TO MOVE OUT TOWARD BOUNDS
SCHOOLS AND THAT'S WHAT
WE'RE TRYING TO DO WITH OUR
CHILDREN IN KINDERGARTEN.

Maureen says WHY IS THAT?

The Caller says FOR THE SCHOOL OUR
CHILDREN WOULD GO TO,
ESPECIALLY FRENCH IMMERSION,
THERE'S A LARGE AMOUNT OF
VIOLENCE IN THE ELEMENTARY
LEVELS.
BUT WHAT I'VE PUT BEFORE
PEOPLE HERE AND THEY ALL
THINK IT'S GREAT IT BUT
NOBODY SEEMS TO WANT TO DO
IT HOW ABOUT HAVING SNACKS
AND LUNCH PROVIDED TO THE
ELEMENTARY GRADES, HELPS
GOOD NUTRITION, MOTHER WHOSE
ARE WORKING.
THEY DON'T HAVE TO WORRY
ABOUT THEIR LUNCH, I'D EVEN
PAY 5 dollars A DAY, AND HAVE IT
DONE OUTSIDE SO THE TEACHERS
DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT
AND IT ENCOURAGES NUTRITION
AND THE MOTHER WHOSE DON'T
HAVE THE INCOME OR WAYS TO
DO IT THE CHILDREN AREN'T
STARVING AND WORRIED.
EVERYTHING I'VE READ SAYS
THAT SHOULD BE DONE BUT
NOBODY SEEMS TO WANT TO DO IT.

Gerard says WELL, IT'S INTERESTING
THAT YOU RAISE THAT THERE'S
NO QUESTION, WE WANT TO LOOK
AT WHAT IT TAKES FOR KIDS TO
SUCCEED, PARTICULARLY AT
THOSE EARLY GRADES.
THEY HAVE A MILK PROGRAMME
IN QUEBEC.
SOME SKILLS DO HAVE LUNCH
PROGRAMMES, I THINK YOU
APPRECIATE IT IN SOME CENTRE,
BUT IT'S VERY HAPHAZARD AND
THE OTHER THING IS IF YOU
HAVE A LUNCH PROGRAMME TODAY
IT'S PROBABLY BECAUSE YOUR
I'D IS IN NEED OR THE SCHOOL
IS DEEMED TO BE IN NEED.
AND THAT'S STIGMA
ADVERTISING AND A LOT OF
KIDS AVOID THOSE PROGRAMMES
BECAUSE DON'T FEEL LIKE THEY
BELONG THERE.
THAT GIVES MERIT TO YOUR
IDEA.
THERE'S A QUESTION OF
PRIORITIES.
THEY WHICH THEY HAVE TO GET
THE TEACHING TO HAPPEN,
LOOSEN THE CURRICULUM, BUT I
WOULDN'T RULE THAT OUT.
I THINK WE'RE STILL
DEVELOPING OUR EDUCATION
POLICY, AND YOU MAY KNOW I
USED TO RUN FOOD BANKS IN
TORONTO A LOT OF OTHER
PEOPLE AND THERE'S NOTHING
THAT IS MORE FUNDAMENTAL
THAN MAKING SURE THE
NUTRITION HAPPENS FOR KIDS
IF THEY'RE GOING TO LEARN
PROPERLY.
SO I'D LIKE TO TALK TO YOU
FURTHER ON THAT IF YOU'D
LIKE TO CONTACT US.

Maureen says YOU'VE BEEN
TALKING ABOUT STANDARDIZED
TESTING AND STUFF AND NOBODY
KNOWS WHAT TO DO WITH THOSE
RESULTS.
WOULD YOU MAINTAIN THE
STANDARDIZED TESTING THAT'S
BEEN PUT IN PLACE IN THE
LAST SIX YEARS?

Gerard says THE MAIN WAY PEOPLE
RELATE TO THOSE TESTS IS
LOOK AT WHAT'S PUBLISHED IN
THE PAPER AND COMPARE
SCHOOLS -- THOSE AREN'T FAIR
COMPARISONS.
WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS COME
UP WITH -- THERE'S BEEN A
FAIR BIT OF WORK DONE HERE
IN ONTARIO IN WHAT WOULD
TELL A PARENT HOW WELL THEIR
SCHOOL'S DOING FOR A CHILD.
SO FOR EXAMPLE WHICH SCHOOL
WOULD BE THE BEST ONE TO
SEND MY CHILD THAT I KNOW
HAS THESE ATTRIBUTES.
I KNOW THIS COMING OUT OF
DAYCARE OR MY HOME.
I KNOW THIS COMING OUT OF
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.
WHERE WOULD IT WORKS FOR
THEM BEST?
AND THAT'S WHAT WE WANT
PEOPLE TO BE ABLE TO TELL
AND SO THERE IS -- WE WOULD
CERTAINLY MAINTAIN TEST, BUT
OUR ASSURANCE WOULD BE WE'RE
ONLY GOING TO TEST CHILDREN
WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM TAKING
IT THE TEST AND RIGHT NOW
THAT'S NOT THE CASE.
THE RESULTS AREN'T BEING
TURNED BACK.
THRL BE RESOURCES ATTACHED
TO THE RESULTS OF TESTS BUT
TO THESE OTHER INDICATORS AS
WELL, WHICH TELL US, FOR
EXAMPLE, HOW MANY SPECIAL
NEEDS KIDS THERE ARE, HOW
MANY E.S.L., HOW MANY COME
FROM BACKGROUNDS THAT MAY
NOT BE HAVING BREAKFAST?
THOSE ARE THE FACTORS THAT
HAVE COULD TO COME INTO THE
ASSESSING OF A SCHOOL NOT
FOR THE SAKE OF POINTING
FINGERS BUT SAYING DO THEY
HAVE THE RESOURCES THEY NEED
TO BE SUCCESSFUL?.
THOSE AREN'T MYSTERIOUS.
ALL OF US WORK INTO A SCHOOL
AND WITHIN 20 MINUTES OF
TALKING TO PEOPLE YOU START
COLLECTING THESE CHALLENGES.
WE'RE SAYING THE GOVERNMENT
HAS TO TAKE SOME
RESPONSIBILITY FOR MEETING
THOSE CHALLENGES.

Maureen says LET'S SQUEEZE
MARCI IN IN THORNHILL.
HI MARCI?

The Caller says HI.

Maureen says YOU'LL HAVE TO
BE QUICK.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE
IDEAS?

The Caller says I'M JUST LOOKING
AT IT FROM THE POINT OF VIEW
OF INDEPENDENT RELIGIOUS
SCHOOLS.
YOU'VE MENTIONED THE -- AM I
ON TALKING TO Mr. KENNEDY?

Maureen says YEAH, YOU ARE.

The Caller says YOU'VE MENTIONED
THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE
LOOKING AT COMMUNITY NEEDS
AND I JUST FEEL VERY
STRONGLY THAT I HOPE THAT
THE GOVERNMENT WILL LOOK AT
THE JEWISH COMMUNITY NEEDS.
THEY SET UP THEIR OWN JEWISH
PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM OVER 30
YEARS AGO AND OVER THE
LAST -- OVER 20 YEARS HAVE
BEEN FIGHTING TO GET AT
LEAST SOME KIND OF FUNDING
FOR AT LEAST THE SECULAR
PORTION, WHICH IS EQUIVALENT
TO THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM,
LIKE WHAT WE'RE REQUIRED TO
PROVIDE OUR KIDS WITH
SECULAR STUDIES.
AND IT'S VERY FINANCIALLY
STRAINING TO THOSE THAT
CHOOSE TO --

Maureen says SO YOU WANT TO
KNOW WHETHER THE LIBERAL
GOVERNMENT WOULD EXTEND
FUNDING TO OTHER RELIGIOUS
SCHOOLS --

Gerard says WE HAVE NOT CONTEMPLATED
THAT AT THIS TIME BUT WHAT
WE ARE SAYING IS WE
RECOGNIZE THE U.N. DECISION
FOR EXAMPLE WAS MADE LAST
YEAR THAT THERE IS A
FUNDAMENTAL ISSUE OF
FAIRNESS, BUT WE ARE SAYING,
IS THAT WE SEE THE PUBLIC
SCHOOL SYSTEM IN TURMOIL.
WE SEE A NEED TO RESOLVE
THAT IN ADVANCE OF
ADDRESSING WHAT HAS BEEN
MENTIONED.
IT'S A LONG-STANDING
QUESTION AND IT'S A QUESTION
THAT MOST OTHER PROVINCES
HAVE ADDRESSED ONE WAY OR
ANOTHER EITHER WITH SOME
FORM OF PARTIAL FUNDING OR
UNIFORMITY.
FOR EXAMPLE WE DO FUND THE
CATHOLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM AS A
PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM HERE
AND IT WAS INTERESTING TO
HEAR THE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL
NOTICED JEWISH TRADITION
REFERRED TO AS A PUBLIC
SCHOOL SYSTEM SO I THINK
WHAT WE'VE SAID OUT OF ALL
THE PARTIES IS THAT ONCE WE
FEEL THERE IS STABILITY FOR
THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM, WE
ARE REAPED TO LOOK AT THAT
ISSUE IN TERMS OF FAIRNESS.
I THINK AS LIBERALS WE
CERTAINLY FEEL THERE HAS TO
BE SOME WAY OF MAKING SURE
THERE'S EQUITY, BUT IN
GENERAL REALLY WE'RE SAYING
THAT AT THIS TIME OUR FOCUS
IS ON MAKING SURE THAT
PEOPLE HAVE CONFIDENCE IN
THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM AND
THAT WE'RE LOOKING PIECE BY
PIECE AT WHERE THE RESOURCES
SHOULD GO.

Maureen says FINAL QUESTION
IN LESS THAN A MINUTE IS IT
SAFE TO SAY THEN THAT A VOTE
FOR LIBERAL GOVERNMENT IS A
VOTE FOR INCREASED SPENDING
PERHAPS IN EDUCATION BUT
KISS THE TAX CUTS GOOD-BYE IN.

Gerard says WELL WHAT WE'RE SAYING SO
FAR, AND EVERYTHING WE DO
WILL BE COSTED, IS THAT 4.5
BILLION DOLLARS OF PROMISED
TAX CUTS YET TO BE
IMPLEMENTED.
AND WE'RE SAYING THAT
EDUCATION IS A BETTER
PRIORITY.
THESE THINGS SHOULD BE DONE
FIRST.
WE'RE NOT SAYING THAT TAX
CUTS CAN NEVER HAPPEN, WE'RE
SAYING UNDER CERTAIN
CONDITIONS, CERTAIN ECONOMIC
GROWTH, CERTAIN OTHER THINGS
BEING TAKEN CARE OF, THAT
THOSE TAX CUTS COULD BE
JUSTIFIABLE.
BUT THEY'RE NOT JUSTIFIABLE
TO THE EXTENT THAT WE NEED
SOME OF THESE RESOURCES FOR
EDUCATION.
THEY'RE NOT JUSTIFIABLE IF
THEY'RE ROBBING KIDS OF
THEIR FUTURE AND WE'RE
SAYING VERY CLEARLY WE
CHOOSE THIS INSTEAD.

Maureen says THANK YOU VERY
MUCH FOR DOING THIS ON SHORT
NOTICED.

Gerard says THANK YOU.

Maureen says GERARD KENNEDY A LIBERAL
M.P.P. AND THE PARTY'S
EDUCATION CRITIC.
IF YOU'D LIKE MORE
INFORMATION ON THE LIBERAL
EDUCATION PLATFORM VISIT
THEIR WEBSITE AT
www.ontarioliberal.com
AND ON TOMORROW'S SHOW,
EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO
KNOW ABOUT ART, BUT WERE
AFRAID TO ASK.
WE'LL HAVE THE ANSWERS TO
YOUR QUESTIONS AND SOME
GREAT GIVE-AWAYS.
THAT'S TOMORROW STARTING AT
ONE O'CLOCK.

A slate appears with the caption “The advice given in the preceding program is of general nature only. Viewers should consult their own medical professional for medical advice specific to their circumstances.”

Watch: Epilepsy, Liberal Education Plan