Transcript: Bob Rae on Future Challenges | Jun 03, 2006

Bob Rae stands in front of an audience at an auditorium. He’s in his mid-fifties, clean-shaven and with short slightly wavy white hair. He wears a blue suit, a striped blue shirt and a patterned terracotta tie.

A caption reads "Bob Rae. Former Ontario Premier. ‘Future Challenges.’ University of Toronto at Mississauga. May 11, 2006."

Bob says I HAD OCCASION LAST
WEEK IN COLLINGWOOD, TO GIVE A
LECTURE TO A GROUP OF ABOUT
SEVERAL HUNDRED PEOPLE,
ACTUALLY, WHO ATTEND SOMETHING
CALLED THE GEORGIAN TRIANGLE
LIFE-LONG LEARNING INSTITUTE,
WHICH IS REALLY JUST A GROUP OF
FOLKS WHO GET AROUND AND BRING
SPEAKERS IN AND WE ENGAGE IN A
DIALOGUE ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENING
IN CANADA AND THE CHALLENGES
THAT WE'RE FACING.
THE GREAT THING
ABOUT NOT HAVING A SPEECH,
WHICH I'VE LEARNED HOW TO DO,
IS THAT YOU NEVER QUITE KNOW
WHETHER WHAT YOU SAY TODAY IS
GOING TO BE THE SAME AS WHAT
YOU SAID LAST WEEK, OR WHETHER
IT'S GOING TO HAVE SOME
VARIATIONS.
BUT I DO JUST WANT TO START
WITH A TRUE STORY THAT PUTS
LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE.
I GUESS I'LL TELL TWO MODEST
POLITICAL STORIES.
THE FIRST ONE, OF COURSE, IS
VERY MUCH ABOUT MY POLITICAL
EXPERIENCES WHEN I WAS IN
GOVERNMENT, AND HOW YOU KNOW,
OVER TIME, YOU COME TO BELIEVE
THAT, AS PREMIER, YOU DESERVE
SOME, SOME ATTENTION IN YOUR
OFFICE.
AND I WAS IN THE COURSE OF MY
LIFE THEN, AS IT TURNS OUT NOW,
AGAIN, DOING A LOT OF JUST
DRIVING ON THE ROAD AND GETTING
TO A PLACE, AND THEN EITHER
HAVING DINNER OR LUNCH OR
SOMETHING, AND YOU KNOW,
CARRYING ON A CONVERSATION.
AND I ARRIVED VERY LATE AT
NIGHT IN OWEN SOUND, ON A
FRIDAY EVENING, AND LATE FOR
THE SUPPER THAT I WAS SUPPOSED
TO BE SPEAKING AT.
I WAS THE GUEST SPEAKER.
AND AS I SAT DOWN, A PIECE OF
CHICKEN APPEARED ON MY PLATE.
AND THE LADY COMING BY WITH THE
CHICKEN, AND I SAID, "EXCUSE
ME, YOU KNOW, I'VE JUST DRIVEN
2 AND A HALF HOURS FROM TORONTO, I'M
REALLY QUITE TIRED.
I WONDER IF I COULD HAVE TWO
PIECES OF CHICKEN."
[Audience Laughter]... "BECAUSE I'M ACTUALLY QUITE
HUNGRY."
AND SHE SAID, "NO SIR, I'M
SORRY, YOU CAN'T.
YOU CAN ONLY HAVE ONE PIECE OF
CHICKEN."
[Audience Laughter]
AND I SAID, "BUT PERHAPS YOU
DON'T KNOW WHO I AM.
I'M BOB RAE, I'M THE PREMIER OF
THE PROVINCE.
AND I'M THE GUEST SPEAKER
TONIGHT, AND I'M REALLY QUITE
HUNGRY.
I WONDER IF YOU COULD JUST MAKE
AN EXCEPTION TO THE RULE, AND
GIVE ME TWO PIECES OF CHICKEN."
AND SHE SAID, "NO SIR, I'M
SORRY, THERE'S ONLY ONE PIECE
PER PERSON."
AND I SAID, "WELL I'M REALLY
SORRY TO HEAR THAT."
AND SHE SAID, "MISTER RAE, PERHAPS
YOU DON'T KNOW WHO I AM."
AND I SAID, "WELL, NO, I
DON'T."
AND SHE SAID, "I'M THE LADY IN
CHARGE OF THE CHICKEN."
[Laughter]
SO YOU KNOW, IT ALL DEPENDS ON
WHERE YOU ARE IN LIFE, YOU
KNOW, THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS
BEING THE ULTIMATE AUTHORITY ON
ANYTHING.
MY WIFE ARLENE, UH...
ONCE DESCRIBED, ABOUT TWO WEEKS
AFTER I WAS DEFEATED, THE
GOVERNMENT WAS DEFEATED AND I
WAS NO LONGER THE PREMIER, AND
SHE WAS ASKED BY A FRIEND TO
FIND OUT, YOU KNOW, TO SAY WELL
HOW IS HE DOING?
AND SHE SAID, "WELL LET ME GIVE
YOU THE DEFINITION OF A
DEFEATED PREMIER.
IT'S SOMEBODY WHO GETS INTO THE
BACK SEAT OF A CAR AND NOTHING
HAPPENS."
[Audience Laughter]
SO THESE THINGS COME AND IT, I
DO THINK.
WHAT I WANTED TO TALK TO YOU
ABOUT TODAY IS SOMETHING THAT'S
BEEN PREOCCUPYING ME IN MY
UH...
IN THE WORK THAT I'VE BEEN
DOING AROUND, ALL OVER CANADA
AND THE LECTURES AND TALKS THAT
I'VE BEEN GIVING ABOUT PUBLIC
POLICY.
AND I WANT TO TRY AND DRAW A
DISTINCTION BETWEEN WHAT I CALL
PUBLIC POLICY, AND POLITICS,
AND SOMETIMES THE TENSION
BETWEEN THOSE TWO THINGS,
BECAUSE IT'S WORTH REALLY
REFLECTING ON WHERE ARE WE AS A
COUNTRY, WHERE DO WE WANT TO BE
AS A COUNTRY, AND WHERE DO WE
FIT INTO THE CHANGES THAT ARE
GOING ON, AND DRAMATICALLY
UNDERWAY IN THE WORLD TODAY.
SO LET ME START WITH A SIMPLE
PROPOSITION, AND THAT IS THAT
THERE IS THIS REALITY CALLED
GLOBALIZATION, WHICH IS
SOMETHING WE CAN'T GET AROUND
OR AVOID OR GET AWAY FROM.
WE LIVE IN AN INCREASINGLY
COMPETITIVE WORLD, IN WHICH NOT
ONLY OUR NEIGHBOUR TO THE
SOUTH, BUT GREAT NEW ECONOMIES
IN CHINA AND INDIA ARE GROWING
AT AN INCREDIBLE PACE, AND WHEN
WE TALK ABOUT GLOBALIZATION,
WE'RE REALLY TALKING ABOUT TWO
OR THREE THINGS WHICH GO
TOGETHER.
ONE IS THE FACT THAT THE WORLD
IS SIMPLY GETTING SMALLER, THAT
THE COMMUNICATION LINKS, THE
TRANSPORTATION LINKS IN THE
WORLD ARE BRINGING US MUCH,
MUCH CLOSER TOGETHER, AND THEY
ARE SPEEDING UP THE PACE OF
CHANGE AND THE PACE AT WHICH
ECONOMIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL
CHANGE SIMPLY HAPPENS.
IF YOU THINK ABOUT
IN OUR LIFETIME HOW MUCH HAS
ALREADY HAPPENED, AND HOW
DRAMATIC IT IS, SOMETHING AS
ABSOLUTELY FUNDAMENTAL AS THE
INTERNET, WASN'T A FACTOR IN
OUR LIVES 20 YEARS GO.
30 YEARS AGO, I
MEAN, NOBODY HAD EVEN HEARD OF
IT, PERHAPS BECAUSE AL GORE
HADN'T INVENTED IT YET.
BUT FOR WHATEVER REASON, BUT
THAT'S JUST AN EXAMPLE.
SOMETHING THAT OUR KIDS AND OUR
GRANDCHILDREN TAKE FOR GRANTED
AND JUST ASSUME AS PART OF THE
WORLD AROUND THEM, IS SOMETHING
AS WE WERE GROWING UP AND AS WE
WERE GOING THROUGH LIFE, IS...
WAS NOT THERE.
I MENTION THIS, BECAUSE THERE'S
TWO QUOTATIONS THAT I OFTEN
POINT TO AS A WAY OF TRYING TO
SUM UP WHERE WE ARE.
MARSHALL McLUHAN, WHO WAS A
GREAT THINKER, AND A GREAT
THINKER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
TORONTO, HAD ONE WONDERFUL
EXPRESSION THAT I'VE ALWAYS
CARRIED WITH ME, SINCE I HEARD
HIM SAY IT, DARE I SAY IT, 40
YEARS AGO.
AND THAT IS, THAT WE GO THROUGH
LIFE LOOKING THROUGH A REAR-
VIEW MIRROR.
THAT IS TO SAY, WE ARE ALWAYS
CARRYING WITH US, THE PICTURES
AND THE IMAGES OF THE WAY
THINGS USED TO BE, RATHER THAN
THE WAY THINGS WILL BE IN THE
FUTURE.
AND THIS IS HUMAN NATURE, IN
MANY RESPECTS, BECAUSE WE CAN'T
AVOID CARRYING OUR MEMORIES
AROUND WITH US, AND THE WAY WE
THOUGHT THINGS WERE, THE WAY WE
WERE USED TO THINGS GROWING UP.
AND AT THE SAME TIME, WE HAVE
TO BE THINKING ALL THE TIME
ABOUT WHAT REALLY DOES LIE
AHEAD, AND THAT REQUIRES AN
EXTRA EFFORT, AN EXTRA BIT OF
ATTENTION PAID TO WHERE WE'RE
GOING, AS OPPOSED TO WHERE
WE'VE BEEN.
ONE OF THE CHALLENGES OF
POLITICS, IS THAT PEOPLE ARE
ALWAYS... THEIR OPINION...
WALTER LIPMAN, THE SECOND
QUOTATION I'LL USE, USED TO
DESCRIBE PUBLIC OPINION AS THE
PICTURE IN PEOPLE'S HEADS.
I THINK THAT'S WHAT PUBLIC
OPINION IS, WHAT IS THE PICTURE
IN YOUR HEADS.
AND IF YOU PUT LIPMAN AND
McLUHAN TOGETHER, A LITTLE
FORMULA, WHAT YOU GET IS THAT
THE PICTURE IN OUR HEADS,
PUBLIC OPINION, ALWAYS REFLECTS
ON WHAT WAS, RATHER THAN WHAT
WILL BE.
AND THAT'S ONE OF THE REASONS
WHY, WHENEVER I'M CONFRONTED
WITH A POLL, AND WHENEVER I
USED TO BE CONFRONTED WITH A
POLL, WHENEVER I AM NOW
CONFRONTED WITH A POLL, YOU
ALWAYS HAVE TO REFLECT ON THE
FACT THAT IT INEVITABLY
REFLECTS THE WAY THINGS WERE,
RATHER THAN THE WAY THINGS WILL
BE.
BECAUSE THE PUBLIC IS NOT
NECESSARILY, IN AN
UNANTICIPATED WAY, THINKING
ABOUT WHAT MIGHT BE.
THEY ARE THINKING ABOUT EITHER
WHAT IS, OR WHAT WAS.
AND SO THAT SNAPSHOT YOU SEE IN
POLLS, AND CONSTANTLY IN THE
WORLD WE LIVE IN, PEOPLE LOOK
AT THESE THINGS AS GODS, AS IF,
OH, SOMEHOW THE ICON... THERE'S
AN ICON CALLED PUBLIC OPINION,
NOT RECOGNISING, OF COURSE,
THAT ONE OF THE THINGS WE
REALLY KNOW ABOUT PUBLIC
OPINION IS THAT IT CHANGES.
ONE OF THE REASONS THAT I'M
HERE AS A PRIVATE CITIZEN IS
THAT PUBLIC OPINION IS BECAUSE
PUBLIC OPINION CHANGED....
[Audience Laughter]
IN 1995, AND IT WILL CHANGE
AGAIN.
AND IF YOU DON'T THINK IT'S
GOING TO CHANGE, YOU'RE IN
FOR...
YOU'RE IN FOR TROUBLE.
AND I THINK THAT'S ONE OF THE
THINGS WE REALLY HAVE TO
REFLECT ON AS WE LOOK AT THE
CHANGES THAT ARE UNDERWAY IN
THE WORLD.
SO THE DRAMATIC IMPACT OF
GLOBALIZATION, IS SOMETHING
THAT WE CAN ONLY IMAGINE
BECOMING EVEN FASTER, MORE
RAPID, MORE DRAMATIC, IN THE
FUTURE, THAN IT WAS IN THE
PAST.
PUBLIC SPEAKERS WOULD NOT
LIKELY HAVE SPOKEN TO YOU TEN
YEARS AGO ABOUT THE IMPACT OF
INDUSTRIALISATION TECHNOLOGICAL
DEVELOPMENT AND IN INDIA AS A
FACTOR THAT WE HAVE TO CONSIDER
AS WE LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENS TO
OUR ECONOMY AND OUR SOCIETY IN
THE FUTURE.
BUT NEVERTHELESS, THAT'S A
REALITY WE HAVE TO CONTEND WITH
TODAY.
AND WHEREAS THERE MIGHT HAVE
BEEN A TIME IN OUR OWN PAST,
WHEN WE COULD SAY, WELL, WE CAN
PUT UP TARIFF WALLS, OR WE CAN
SOMEHOW PROTECT OURSELVES FROM
THESE CHANGES, OR WE CAN
SOMEHOW ALLY OURSELVES TO
FORCES THAT WILL, IN FACT, SLOW
THESE CHANGES DOWN AND MAKE US
IMMUNE FROM THEM.
THE REALITY IS THAT CANADA
CAN'T REALLY DO THAT, THAT
WE'RE MUCH TOO INTERCONNECTED
AS PART OF THIS WORLD.
WE CAN'T SORT OF STOP THE WORLD
AND TRY TO GET OFF.
IN EFFECT WE ARE BOUND AND
LINKED BY VIRTUE OF WHO WE ARE.
ONE OF THE THINGS WE HAVE TO
RECOGNISE AS CANADIANS, IS THAT
UNLIKE OUR NEIGHBOURS TO THE
UNITED-- OUR NEIGHBOURS TO THE
SOUTH, AND UNLIKE SOME OTHER
PLACES, OUR ECONOMY IS HUGELY
TIED TO WHAT GOES ON IN THE
WORLD.
FAR MORE OF OUR
WEALTH, OF WHAT THE ECONOMISTS
CALL OUR GROSS DOMESTIC
PRODUCT, IS DIRECTLY LINKED TO
THE GOODS THAT WE TRADE, THE
GOODS AND SERVICES THAT WE
TRADE IN THE WORLD, RATHER THAN
THE ONES WE SELL TO EACH OTHER.
MORE THAN HALF OF
OUR ECONOMY IS BASED ON WHAT WE
TRADE OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY,
RATHER THAN SIMPLY WHAT WE
EXCHANGE BETWEEN OURSELVES IN
CANADA.
SO THE IDEA, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT
WE COULD BE OBLIVIOUS TO, OR
NOT BE FOCUSSED ON, OR NOT BE
AWARE OF THE DRAMATIC EFFECT OF
THESE CHANGES, IS NONSENSE.
LET'S TAKE, FOR EXAMPLE, THE
INDUSTRY THAT IS QUITE
FUNDAMENTAL TO ONTARIO AND TO
CANADA, AS A MANUFACTURING
INDUSTRY.
I'M SPEAKING, OF COURSE, OF THE
CAR INDUSTRY.
WE ARE A HUGE MANUFACTURER OF
CARS IN THIS PROVINCE, IN WORLD
TERMS.
WE'VE NOW SURPASSED MICHIGAN AS
A MANUFACTURER OF CARS.
WE HAVE VIRTUALLY EVERY MAJOR
SUPPLIER IN THE WORLD, THAT IS
USING ONTARIO IN PART, AS A
BASE FOR ITS PRODUCTION.
BUT THINK FOR A MOMENT, HOW
DRAMATIC THE CHANGES IN THAT
INDUSTRY ARE GOING TO BE WHEN
INDIA AND CHINA START PRODUCING
CARS FOR THE WORLD MARKET.
THEY HAVEN'T DONE IT YET,
REALLY.
THEY'RE PRODUCING CARS FOR
THEIR OWN MARKET, AND JUST THIS
YEAR, AT THE DETROIT AUTO SHOW,
WAS THE FIRST YEAR THAT THERE
WAS, IN FACT, A CHINESE CAR ON
EXHIBIT.
BUT WE WILL ALL REMEMBER,
CERTAINLY IN THE 1970s, THE
DRAMATIC IMPACT THAT THE
PRODUCTION OF JAPANESE CARS HAD
ON US, AND ON OUR INDUSTRY, AND
YOU ALSO RECOGNISE YOU KNOW,
WHAT HAPPENED WHEN THERE WERE
THE CHEAPER CARS FROM EASTERN
EUROPE STARTED COMING IN, AND
SOME OF THEM LASTED AND SOME OF
THEM DIDN'T LAST.
BUT THAT HAS TRANSFORMED OUR
INDUSTRY.
WE'RE ABOUT TO GO THROUGH
ANOTHER MAJOR CHANGE, ANOTHER
MAJOR REVOLUTION.
AND THAT'S WITHOUT EVEN TALKING
ABOUT THE ISSUE OF HOW THE CAR
FITS INTO THE WORLD OF CLIMATE
CHANGE AND GLOBAL WARMING,
WHICH IS A SUBJECT I WANT TO
COME TO IN A MOMENT.
MY POINT IS THIS... WHETHER YOU
TAKE THE CAR INDUSTRY, WHETHER
YOU TAKE GARMENT INDUSTRY,
WHETHER YOU TAKE THE PRODUCTION
OF COMPUTERS, WHETHER YOU TAKE
THE PRODUCTION OF SOFTWARE AND
SERVICES, AND WHATEVER...
WHATEVER IT MAY BE, WE DO NOT
EXIST IN ISOLATION FROM OTHER
COUNTRIES, WE EXIST VERY MUCH
AS PART OF A WORLD THAT IS
CHANGING VERY, VERY QUICKLY,
AND INEVITABLY, THIS MAKES US A
LITTLE INSECURE, AND WONDERING
WELL, EXACTLY HOW ARE WE GOING
TO MAKE OUR WAY IN THE WORLD.
WE CAN'T EXPECT OUR INDUSTRIAL
WORKERS TO WORK FOR THE SAME
WAGE THAT PEOPLE MAKE IN CHINA
OR THE SAME WAGE THAT PEOPLE
MAKE IN INDIA.
WE CAN'T COMPETE... WE CAN'T
EVEN COMPETE IN SOME CASES,
WITH STATES, SOME STATES IN THE
U.S., OR CERTAINLY WITH MEXICO,
IN TERMS OF WHEN WE LOOK AT
THOSE BASIC ISSUES.
SO WHAT, THEN, DO WE DO?
I READ LAST YEAR, A WONDERFUL
BOOK, WHICH I RECOMMEND
HEARTILY TO ANYBODY AND
EVERYBODY, BY A MAN CALLED
ARTHUR HERMAN.
AND THE BOOK IS CALLED, "HOW
THE SCOTS INVENTED THE MODERN
WORLD."
NOW IT'S A SOMEWHAT UM...
PROPAGANDISTIC WORK IN SOME
SENSE.
[Audience Laughter]
BUT REALLY NOT, I'M ONLY
KIDDING, IT'S NOT.
IT'S REALLY A REMARKABLE BOOK,
BECAUSE WHAT IT'S REALLY ABOUT
IS THE POWER OF THE WORD.
AND WHAT DOCTOR HERMAN DOES, WHO
WORKS AT THE SMITHSONIAN
INSTITUTE IN WASHINGTON, IS
DESCRIBE HOW THIS VERY POOR
COUNTRY WITH A VERY ILLITERATE
POPULATION AT THE END OF THE
MIDDLE AGES, WHOSE PEOPLE LIVED
IN DEEP POVERTY, HARDLY A
GEOGRAPHICAL SHANGRI-LA, SHALL
WE SAY, SCRABBLE ROCK, BAD FOR
AGRICULTURE, VERY TOUGH
CIRCUMSTANCES, HOW THAT COUNTRY
LITERALLY TRANSFORMED ITSELF
INTO THE EDUCATION AND LITERACY
CAPITAL OF THE INDUSTRIAL
WORLD.
THAT OVER TWO-- THREE CENTURIES
REALLY, FROM THE 1400s TO THE
1700s, SCOTLAND BECAME-- WENT
FROM BEING ONE OF THE LEAST
LITERATE PARTS OF THE WORLD TO
THE MOST LITERATE PARTS OF THE
WORLD, AND THEN HAD A DRAMATIC
IMPACT ON THE WORLD SINCE THAT
TIME.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
WELL, A COUPLE OF REVOLUTIONS.
ONE, GUTENBERG, WHICH, AGAIN,
McLUHAN TALKS ABOUT, AND THE
SECOND, THE REFORMATION, WHICH
McLUHAN CONNECTS TO THE
GUTENBERG-- WHAT HE CALLS THE
GUTENBERG GALAXY, THE GUTENBERG
REVOLUTION.
THE INVENTION OF THE PRINTING
PRESS McLUHAN REMINDS US, WAS A
HUGELY DRAMATIC DEVELOPMENT,
BECAUSE WHAT IT DID, WAS ALLOW
FOR THE MOST POPULAR AND WIDELY
UNDERSTOOD TEXT OF THE TIME, TO
BE LITERALLY DISTRIBUTED IN THE
MILLIONS.
I'M REFERRING, OF COURSE, TO
THE BIBLE.
AND WHAT THE
DISTRIBUTION OF THE BIBLE
MEANT, WAS THAT INDIVIDUALS NO
LONGER HAD TO GO THROUGH THE
PRIEST OF THE BISHOP TO HAVE
THEIR COMMUNION OR THEIR
RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
THEY COULD HAVE A
DIRECT RELATIONSHIP BY READING
THE BOOK, AND BY BECOMING
PEOPLE OF THE BOOK, AND THEY
COULD HAVE THAT DIRECT
RELATIONSHIP WITHOUT AN
INTERMEDIARY.
SO ALL SORTS OF THINGS
HAPPENED.
AUTHORITY WAS CHALLENGED,
HIERARCHY WAS CHALLENGED, ALL
SORTS OF OLD DISCIPLINES WERE
CHALLENGED, AND IT BROUGHT
ABOUT THE REFORMATION, IT
FORCED THE REFORM OF THE
CATHOLIC CHURCH THROUGH THE
COUNCIL OF TRENT, AND ALL THE
OTHER DEVELOPMENTS THAT TOOK...
THAT TOOK PLACE.
SO SCOTLAND BECAME, AS WE ALL
KNOW, WENT FROM BEING A LARGELY
CATHOLIC COUNTRY, TO BEING
PRINCIPALLY A PROTESTANT
COUNTRY, THOUGH THERE ARE STILL
LARGE ELEMENTS OF CATHOLIC
POPULATION IN SCOTLAND STILL
TODAY.
BUT ESSENTIALLY WHAT HAPPENED
IS, IT WENT FROM BEING A HIGHLY
ILLITERATE CULTURE TO BEING A
HIGHLY LITERATE ONE, AND WHERE
EDUCATION QUICKLY BECAME THE
PREDOMINANT ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL
POLICY OF ITS GOVERNMENT.
THE GOVERNMENT DETERMINED THAT
THE ONE THING THEY WERE GOING
TO DO, WAS TO ENSURE THAT THE
PEOPLE COULD READ AND WRITE,
AND THAT THAT WAS GOING TO BE A
BASIC TEST AND TOOL FOR THE
PEOPLE OF SCOTLAND.
AND SO IT'S NO ACCIDENT THAT IN
EFFECT, SCOTLAND BECAME ONE OF
THE GREAT CENTRES OF WORLD
LEARNING, AT THE END OF THE...
IN THE 18th CENTURY, THAT, IN
FACT, THE ENGINEERS AND
SCIENTISTS WHO CONTRIBUTED SO
MUCH TO THE BREAKTHROUGHS OF
THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, TO A
REMARKABLE DEGREE CAME FROM
SCOTLAND.
NOT EXCLUSIVELY, NOT ONLY, BUT
CERTAINLY MADE A HUGE
CONTRIBUTION, WAY ABOVE AND
BEYOND WHAT ONE WOULD EXPECT
FROM A POPULATION OF THIS SIZE.
AND THEN, OF COURSE, WE HAD ALL
THE GREAT EXPLORERS AND
GEOGRAPHERS, AND ALL THE OTHER
ELEMENTS, AND NATURALLY THE
GREAT CANADIANS WHO CAME HERE
AND WERE SUCH A KEY PART OF THE
EARLY PIONEER DAYS OF CANADA.
NOW I DON'T SAY THIS BECAUSE MY
NAME IS RAE, AND I'M SIMPLY
TRYING TO ENGAGE IN A LONG
EXERCISE OF ETHNIC SELF-
IMPORTANCE, NOT FOR AN INSTANT.
BUT I SAY IT BECAUSE I BELIEVE
THAT CANADA HAS TO MAKE
EDUCATION AND LITERACY ITS
PRIMARY SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC
POLICY OF THE 21st CENTURY.
AND THIS REQUIRES A CHANGE,
BECAUSE, IN A SENSE, WE'VE
TAKEN EDUCATION FOR GRANTED.
WHAT WE THINK OF AS EDUCATION,
IS THAT PUBLIC EDUCATION WAS A
GREAT BREAKTHROUGH OF THE 19th
CENTURY, RIGHT?
EGERTON RYERSON, WE THINK OF AS
BEING ONE OF THE GREAT PIONEERS
OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IN CANADA,
HORACE MANN, THE GREAT PIONEER
OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IN THE
UNITED STATES.
PRIMARY EDUCATION BEING SPREAD
BY THE END OF THE 19th CENTURY,
EVERYBODY WENT TO SOME KIND OF
PRIMARY SCHOOL.
SO WE'VE SORT OF, IN A WAY,
WE'VE KIND OF TAKEN EDUCATION
FOR GRANTED AS SOMETHING, WELL,
WE'VE ALL-- WHY WOULD YOU MAKE
IT SUCH A BIG DEAL, WHY WOULD
YOU WORRY ABOUT IT?
WELL I WORRY ABOUT IT BECAUSE I
BELIEVE STRONGLY THAT THE WAY
IN WHICH WE WILL PARTICIPATE
MOST EFFECTIVELY IN THE GLOBAL
ECONOMY, IS IF WE REACH HIGHER
AND HIGHER LEVELS OF LEARNING
AND LITERACY AS A COUNTRY.
AND BY LITERACY, I DON'T SIMPLY
MEAN LEARNING HOW TO READ, AND
WRITE, BUT I MEAN BECOMING
LITERATE IN THE WAYS OF THE
WORLD, AND THESE BECOME MORE
COMPLEX.
70 PERCENT OF THE NEW JOBS THAT ARE
BEING CREATED IN CANADA TODAY
REQUIRE SOME KIND OF HIGHER
EDUCATION.
SOME KIND OF POST SECONDARY
TRAINING.
NOW THAT INCLUDES
APPRENTICESHIP, LET ME BE VERY
CLEAR.
I'M NOT SIMPLY TALKING ABOUT
CLASSROOM LEARNING.
I'M TALKING ABOUT SOME KIND OF
POST HIGH SCHOOL TRAINING,
WHETHER IT'S APPRENTICESHIP,
WHETHER IT'S THE SKILLED
TRADES, WHETHER IT'S COMPUTER
SCIENCE, WHETHER IT'S SCIENCE,
WHETHER IT'S ARTS, WHATEVER IT
MAY BE, SOME KIND OF POST
SECONDARY TRAINING IS REQUIRED.
RIGHT NOW, ABOUT 50 PERCENT, BETWEEN
45 AND 50 PERCENT OF OUR STUDENTS IN
CANADA ARE ENGAGED IN SOME KIND
OF THAT ACTIVITY.
SO THERE'S A GAP IN TERMS OF
WHAT NEW JOBS ARE BEING
CREATED, AND WHERE WE ARE.
AND WE HAVE A WAYS TO GO, WE
DEFINITELY HAVE A WAYS TO GO.
NOW I STAND BEFORE YOU AS A
MEMBER OF THE BABY BOOM
GENERATION, AND I CAN TELL YOU
THAT WHEN I FIRST BECAME
PREMIER, THERE'S A VERY NICE
EVENT WE HAVE EVERY YEAR, THE
ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARTY FOR
DEPUTY MINISTERS AND RETIRED
DEPUTY MINISTERS.
SO THE FIRST
CHRISTMAS PART I WENT TO AS
PREMIER, I MET SOME
GENTLEMEN... AND THEY WERE
GENTLEMEN, IN THEIR 80s AND
90s, WHO HAD BEEN DEPUTY
MINISTERS UNDER LESLEY FROST
AND UNDER JOHN ROBARTS.
AND ONE OF THEM
SAID TO ME, "MISTER RAE, WHAT WAS
THE BIGGEST ITEM OF PUBLIC
EXPENDITURE AT THE END OF THE
SECOND WORLD WAR?"
I SAID, "I DON'T KNOW," WHICH
IS ALWAYS A GOOD THING TO SAY
TO A PERSON WHO ASKS YOU A
QUESTION, WHEN HE KNOWS THE
ANSWER, AND YOU DON'T KNOW THE
ANSWER.
[Audience Laughter]
IT'S A GOOD GUIDE FOR LIFE,
I'VE LEARNED THAT... I DON'T
KNOW.
HE SAID, "TRANSPORTATION."
I SAID, "OH."
HE SAID, "LOOK, WE BUILT THE
401, WE STARTED BUILDING, YOU
KNOW, STARTED EXTENDING THE
HIGHWAY SYSTEM, AND WE BUILT
THE SUBWAY SYSTEM."
THOSE ARE THE BIG ITEMS OF
EXPENDITURE IN THE LATE '40s
EARLY '50s.
AND THEN HE SAID, "WHAT WAS THE
BIG ITEM OF EXPENDITURE IN THE
MID '50s?"
AND I SAID, "I THINK I KNOW THE
ANSWER TO THAT, I GUESS IT
WOULD BE EDUCATION."
AND HE SAID, "THAT'S RIGHT," HE
SAID, "AND IT'S BECAUSE OF
YOU."
I SAID, "WHAT DO YOU MEAN?"
AND HE SAID, "WELL, BABY
BOOMERS.
YOU WENT THROUGH THE MILL.
YOU WENT THROUGH--" AND HE
LOOKED AT ME, AND I STARTED
GRADE ONE IN 1954, I GUESS, AND
SORT OF WORKED HIS WAY THROUGH
THE MATH.
AND HE SAID, "AND WHAT WAS THE
BIG ITEM OF EXPENDITURE IN THE
1960s?"
I SAID, "OKAY, COLLEGES AND
UNIVERSITIES."
HE SAID, "THAT'S RIGHT.
WE BUILT ERINDALE"... I MEAN
IT'S HARD TO RECOGNISE ERINDALE
IN THIS GREAT CAMPUS WE SEE
NOW, BUT ERINDALE COLLEGE AND
ALL THE NEW UNIVERSITIES AND
COLLEGES.
WE BUILT 24 COMMUNITY COLLEGES
IN THE 1960s.
24 NEW INSTITUTIONS, BRAND NEW,
NOW ALL EXPANDING LIKE CRAZY,
ALL ACROSS THE PROVINCE IN
TERMS OF THESE CAMPUSES, AND WE
HAVE A TREMENDOUS
INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE PROVINCE.
BUT IT ALL STARTED THEN.
I MEAN-- THAT'S WHEN THE GREAT
EXPANSION STARTED.
THEN, WHAT HAPPENED IN THE
EARLY 1970s?
HEALTH CARE.
WHAT'S HAPPENED SINCE THEN?
WELL, AS PREMIER McGUINTY HAS
POINTED OUT, WHEN I WAS
PREMIER, YOU KNOW, 10 YEARS
AGO, 15 YEARS AGO, HEALTH WAS
THE LARGEST EXPENDITURE, AND IT
TOOK UP ABOUT 32 PERCENT OF PUBLIC
EXPENDITURE IN THE PROVINCE.
WE SPENT ABOUT 1 THIRD OF ALL THE
BUDGET WENT TO HEALTH CARE.
NOW IT'S ABOUT 42 PERCENT.
AND YOU MAY HAVE SEEN AN ITEM
IN THE PAPER TODAY WHICH SAID
THAT THE COST OF PHARMACEUTICAL
DRUGS ROSE 11 PERCENT LAST YEAR IN THE
COUNTRY, 11PERCENT.
AND THE COST OF PHARMACEUTICAL
DRUGS IS THE FASTEST GROWING
AREA OF THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.
NOW I HESITATE TO SAY THIS TO A
UNIVERSITY AUDIENCE, BUT I
SUSPECT MOST OF US IN THIS ROOM
ARE ON DRUGS...
[Audience Laughter]... OF SOME KIND OR ANOTHER.
I PUT MY HAND UP.
I'M NOT ASKING ANYBODY TO
IDENTIFY THEMSELVES, BUT IT'S
TRUE, AND IT'S-- IT HAS
PERMITTED US TO TURN THE GREAT
MIRACLE OF MEDICINE, THE GREAT
MIRACLE OF HEALTH CARE IS THAT
WHAT WE'VE MANAGED TO DO IS
TURN CATASTROPHIC ILLNESSES
INTO CHRONIC ILLNESSES.
AND SO EVENTS THAT WOULD HAVE
BEEN CATASTROPHIC EVENTS IN THE
LIVES OF OUR PARENTS AND
GRANDPARENTS, BECOME CHRONIC
ILLNESSES IN OUR CASE.
AND SO WE MANAGE THROUGH THEM
AND WE MANAGE WITH THEM.
AND WE LIVE LONGER, FAR LONGER,
AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO LIVE
LONGER.
AND WE'RE GOING TO BE PUSHING
BACK THE FRONTIER OF AGING ALL
THE TIME, WHICH IS GREAT.
BUT WE SHOULD BE UNDER NO
ILLUSIONS AS TO WHAT A
CHALLENGE THIS POSES TO US AS
CANADIANS.
MY POINT IS THIS.
IF IT GOES FROM 32 PERCENT TO 42 PERCENT IN
THE SPACE OF A TEN YEAR PERIOD,
WHAT IS THE NEXT JUMP GOING TO
BE LIKE?
AND THEN THE QUESTION BECOMES,
HOW DO WE MANAGE, WHEN IN FACT
THERE ARE OTHER ISSUES AND
OTHER PRIORITIES, WHICH ARE, I
WOULD ARGUE, OF EQUAL OR
PERHAPS EVEN GREATER,
POTENTIALLY GREATER IMPORTANCE
AS WE GO FORWARD.
IF I'M RIGHT, THAT IN FACT WE
HAVE TO MAKE A GREATER PRIORITY
FOR EDUCATION THAN WE'VE BEEN
ABLE TO MAKE AS A COUNTRY OVER
THE LAST 15 TO 20 YEARS, AND
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I'VE
FOUND IN THE REVIEW THAT I DID
FOR PREMIER McGUINTY, IS THAT
WE'VE BEEN LAGGING BEHIND IN
EDUCATION.
ONTARIO, WHEN I MADE MY
RECOMMENDATIONS, ONTARIO WAS IN
LAST PLACE IN TERMS OF FUNDING
PER STUDENT FOR POST SECONDARY
EDUCATION.
SO WE'RE HARDLY THE SCOTLAND OF
NORTH AMERICA AT THE MOMENT,
WHEN WE LOOK AT WHERE WE NEED
TO BE AND WHERE WE WANT TO BE.
ONE OF THE GREAT LESSONS THAT I
LEARNED IN GOVERNMENT, WAS THAT
THERE ARE FAR MORE GOOD IDEAS
THAN THERE IS MONEY.
[Audience Laughter]
AND WHEN YOU HEAR PEOPLE, YOU
KNOW, TALK ABOUT POLICY... YOU
KNOW, THIS WOULD BE A GOOD
IDEA, WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT IF,
WOULDN'T IT BE WONDERFUL IF...
I'M CONSTANTLY THINKING ABOUT
IT, BECAUSE I REMEMBER, I MEAN
I GOVERNED AT A TIME WHEN YOU
KNOW, WE DIDN'T HAVE BIG
SURPLUSES TO WORRY ABOUT HOW
ARE WE GOING TO DISTRIBUTE THE
SURPLUS.
IN FACT, WHEN I-- I FEEL A
LITTLE BIT LIKE JACK NICHLAUS
FEELS IN DESCRIBING TIGER
WOODS' GOLF GAME, WHEN HE SAID,
"HE PLAYS A GAME WITH WHICH I'M
NOT ENTIRELY FAMILIAR."
[Audience Laughter]
BUT NEVERTHELESS, I'M SURE I
CAN GET USED TO IT FOR A WHILE.
BUT WE DO HAVE TO RECOGNISE
THAT THERE ARE GOING TO BE
PRIORITIES TO BE SET AND
CHOICES TO BE MADE AS WE GO
FORWARD.
SO IN SHORT, THE
FIRST PRIORITY THAT I WANT TO
MENTION TO YOU AND EMPHASISE TO
YOU, IS THE IMPORTANCE OF
EDUCATION, THE PRIORITY OF
EDUCATION, AND HOW IT WILL
REQUIRE AN ADJUSTMENT FOR ALL
OF US. AS WE REFLECT ON THE
JUDGEMENTS WE'RE MAKING.
IT ALSO RAISES
ISSUES FOR ME, AS A FATHER OF
THREE DAUGHTERS WHO HAVE-- ARE
JUST GOING THROUGH UNIVERSITY
AND COMPLETING IT, OF WHAT I
CALL INTERGENERATIONAL JUSTICE.
NOW I CAN RECALL IN THE LAST...
NOT THIS LAST ELECTION, BUT THE
ELECTION BEFORE, SOMEBODY SAID

- I THINK IT WAS MISTER MARTIN,
IT DOESN'T MATTER, SAID, THE
BIGGEST ISSUE IN THE ELECTION
IS WAITING LISTS, HOSPITAL
WAITING LISTS.
AND ONE OF MY DAUGHTERS SAID TO
ME, WATCHING IT, AND SHE SAID,
"DAD," AND LOOKED AT ME, YOU
KNOW, WITH MY WHITE LOCKS,
KNOWINGLY, SHE SAID, "THAT MAY
BE A BIG ISSUE FOR YOU, BUT I
WONDER IF YOU THINK IT'S A BIG
ISSUE FOR EVERYONE?
DOES MISTER MARTIN THINK IT'S A
BIG ISSUE FOR ALL PEOPLE?"
IS IT THE BIGGEST ISSUE?
AND I DON'T THINK SHE WAS
PUTTING FORWARD A NARROW VIEW,
I THINK SHE WAS JUST SAYING,
YOU KNOW, FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE,
THERE MIGHT BE OTHER ISSUES
THAT WOULD BE A GREAT CONCERN.
STUDENT DEBT MIGHT BE A BIGGER
ISSUE, OR ACCESS TO UNIVERSITY
AND COLLEGE MIGHT BE A BIGGER
ISSUE, OR YOU KNOW, WHATEVER...
AND I THINK WE-- THE BABY
BOOMERS TEND TO EAT UP A LOT OF
AIR IN THE ROOM, AS WE REFLECT
ON YOU KNOW, THE THINGS THAT WE
NEED.
AND I THINK WE REALLY NEED TO
REFLECT ON THAT AS A COUNTRY.
AGAIN, THESE ARE NOT EASY,
THEY'RE NOT POLITICALLY EASY TO
DEAL WITH.
AND PERHAPS SOMEBODY WHO
ASPIRES TO HIGHER OFFICE
SHOULDN'T EVEN BEN DISCUSSING
THEM, BUT THEY HAVE TO BE
DISCUSSED BECAUSE WE DO HAVE TO
FIND A WAY OF GETTING TO THESE
BALANCES.
I WANT TO TOUCH NOW ON TWO
OTHER ISSUES THAT I THINK ARE
GOING TO BE EQUALLY CRITICAL
FOR US AS WE GO FORWARD.
I'VE TALKED A LITTLE BIT ABOUT
THE IMPACT OF AGING ON US.
I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE
REVERSE AS IT RELATES TO THE
ABORIGINAL PEOPLE OF THE
COUNTRY, THE FIRST NATIONS, THE
INUIT, AND METIS POPULATION.
THE PATTERN OF POPULATION THAT
YOU SEE THERE IS THE OPPOSITE.
IT'S NOT THAT THE POPULATION IS
AGING, IT'S IF YOU GO ON A
RESERVE TODAY IN NORTHERN
ONTARIO, IF YOU TRAVEL NORTH
FROM TIMMINS OR NORTH FROM
THUNDER BAY, AND GET TO A
RESERVE, OR EVEN GO TO THE SIX
NATIONS BAND IN BRANTFORD, WHAT
WILL YOU FIND?
YOU WILL FIND THAT A MAJORITY
OF THE POPULATION IS UNDER THE
AGE OF 18.
IT'S A HUGE
POPULATION EXPLOSION.
AND THAT GENERATION ISN'T-- IS
GOING TO BE QUITE DIFFERENT
FROM WHAT THE GENERATIONS
BEFORE.
BECAUSE THEY'RE
GOING TO BE BETTER EDUCATED,
THEY'RE GOING TO BE MORE
ATTUNED TO THE CHANGES THAT ARE
UNDERWAY IN THE WORLD, THEY
WILL HAVE, THROUGH THE
INTERNET, EVEN IN THE MOST
REMOTE COMMUNITIES, IN THE FAR

- I MEAN THERE ARE COMMUNITIES
THAT ARE RIGHT ON THE SHORES OF
HUDSON'S BAY, THAT ARE AS FAR
AWAY FROM TORONTO AS FLORIDA IS
SOUTH, NORTH.
AND IF YOU GO THERE, YOU WILL
FIND KIDS WHO WILL BE SITTING
AT A COMPUTER IN A CLASSROOM...
AND WHO WILL BE LOOKING AT A
WORLD THAT IS COMPLETELY
DIFFERENT FROM THE WORLD THAT
THEY SEE IMMEDIATELY AROUND
THEM.
AND THIS WILL RAISE REAL ISSUES
OF CHALLENGE.
MANY OF THEM WILL LEAVE THE
RESERVE, MANY OF THEM WILL COME
INTO COMMUNITIES AND TOWNS.
MANY OF THEM WILL GO ON TO
FURTHER EDUCATION, WANT TO GO
TO COMMUNITY COLLEGE, WANT TO
GO TO UNIVERSITY.
WE HAVE FAR MORE ATTENDING
COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY THAN
EVER BEFORE, BUT WE STILL HAVE
A DROP OUT RATE FROM HIGH
SCHOOL THAT IS MORE THAN 50 PERCENT.
OUR-- THE DROP OUT RATE IN
TORONTO FROM HIGH SCHOOL IS
25 PERCENT.
THE DROP OUT RATE ON AN
ABORIGINAL RESERVE IS MORE THAN
TWICE AS HIGH AS THAT FOR HIGH
SCHOOL.
NOW WHEN YOU PUT TOGETHER ALL
THE NUMBERS THAT I'VE BEEN
THROWING AT YOU, AND PUT THEM
TOGETHER IN-- SIDE BY SIDE,
WHAT DO YOU GET?
WELL I SAID THAT 70 PERCENT OF THE NEW
JOBS REQUIRE SOME KIND OF POST
SECONDARY EDUCATION.
WE KNOW THAT IF YOU DON'T HAVE
A HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION, THE
CHANCES OF YOUR GETTING A GOOD
JOB ARE REALLY QUITE MINIMAL IN
TODAY'S ECONOMY.
QUITE DIFFERENT FROM THE WAY
THINGS WERE IN THE '40s AND
'50s, AND THAT'S THE WAY IT'S
GOING TO BE.
AND THERE'S NOTHING ANYBODY,
ANY POLITICIAN CAN DO TO CHANGE
IT, NO MATTER WHAT THEY PRETEND
THEY CAN DO, THEY CAN'T.
AND SO FOR CANADIANS, THIS IS
GOING TO BE A KEY ISSUE FOR US,
AND IF YOU-- IF YOU LOOK AT THE
CONDITION OF THE INNER CITIES,
IN WINNIPEG AND SASKATOON AND
REGINA, AND YOU TALK TO LEADERS
OF THOSE COMMUNITIES, AND YOU
TALK TO THE ABORIGINAL
LEADERSHIP OF THE COUNTRY, YOU
FIND THE SAME THING OVER AND
OVER AGAIN.
THE ISSUE IS EDUCATION, THE
ISSUE IS TRAINING, THE ISSUE IS
ACCESS, THE ISSUE IS CULTURAL
SENSITIVITY, THE ISSUE IS
CANADIANS COMING TO TERMS WITH
WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON IN OUR
CITIES AND IN OUR TOWNS TODAY.
AND UNDERSTANDING
HOW IT'S A WHOLE SERIES OF
CHANGES THAT WE IN FACT HAVE TO
RESPOND TO IN A VERY, IN A VERY
THOUGHTFUL AND IN A VERY DEEP
SEATED MANNER.
THERE ARE HOUSING
ISSUES, THERE ARE JOB ISSUES,
THERE ARE TRAINING ISSUES, ALL
THESE THINGS ARE UPON US.
AND WHEREAS IN THE '60s, THE
'50s AND '60s, WE MIGHT HAVE
LOOKED TO THE UNITED STATES,
AND SAID, GOSH, THEY HAVE A
HUGE PROBLEM WITH THEIR
MINORITIES, YOU KNOW, GOSH, AND
YOU KNOW, A GOOD THING WE DON'T
HAVE THOSE PROBLEMS.
WELL, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE
HAVE MAJOR CHALLENGES OF URBAN
POVERTY, OF GAPS BETWEEN THE
CONDITIONS OF PEOPLE IN OUR
CITIES, WE HAVE MAJOR
CHALLENGES OF RURAL POVERTY AND
PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN LEFT OUT
AND NOT BEEN PROVIDED WITH
ASSISTANCE, NOT ABLE TO GET
ONBOARD, AND WHILE WE'VE DONE A
VERY GOOD JOB IN THE LAST 10 OR
12 YEARS IN GETTING OUR PUBLIC
FINANCES RIGHT, WE'VE DONE A
VERY GOOD JOB OF BALANCING THE
BOOKS, AND WE'VE CREATED A
GREAT DEAL OF PROSPERITY FOR A
GREAT MANY PEOPLE, A LOT OF
FOLKS FEEL THAT THEY HAVE BEEN
LEFT OUT OF THAT.
AND THAT IS AN AGENDA THAT WE
ALL HAVE TO PAY A LOT OF
ATTENTION TO, A GREAT DEAL OF
ATTENTION TO AS WE GO FORWARD.
I TALKED ABOUT THE IMPACT OF
GLOBALIZATION.
THERE'S TWO OTHER THINGS I WANT
TO JUST MENTION IN THAT CONTEXT
ABOUT WHERE CANADA FITS IN THE
WORLD, BECAUSE IT IS A BIG
QUESTION FOR US.
THE FIRST ONE IS CLIMATE
CHANGE, AND THE SECOND ONE HAS
TO DO WITH CANADA'S ROLE IN THE
WORLD.
CLIMATE CHANGE... SEEMS LIKE AN
ABSTRACTION, SEEMS LIKE, YOU
KNOW SOME SCIENTISTS ARE
TELLING US SOMETHING THAT SEEMS
QUITE FAR OFF.
YOU KNOW, WE READ ABOUT
SOMETHING THAT MIGHT OR MIGHT
NOT HAPPEN IN THE FAR DISTANT
FUTURE.
BUT IN FACT, I MEAN-- AND ONE
OF THE GREAT CHALLENGES WE FACE
IN THIS GENERATION, IS HOW DO
WE MAKE CLIMATE CHANGE A
POLITICAL ISSUE THAT ACTUALLY
HAS SOME TRACTION, AS WE SAY,
FOR PEOPLE.
BECAUSE IT IS NOT AN
ABSTRACTION.
IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THE
SCIENTIFIC DEBATE IS PRETTY
WELL OVER.
WHEN-- I MEAN MY SIMPLE TEST IS
THE TIME MAGAZINE TEST.
WHEN TIME MAGAZINE SAYS THE
DEBATE IS OVER, THE DEBATE IS
OVER.
IT WAS PROBABLY OVER A LONG,
LONG TIME AGO, BUT YOU KNOW,
THERE IT IS, AND THERE WE ARE,
AS HAVING TO SAY TO OURSELVES.
WHAT IS IT, WHAT IS THE IMPACT
OF IT, AND HOW DO WE DEAL WITH
IT.
AND FOR ME, THE SIMPLEST WAY OF
LOOKING AT IT, BECAUSE I'M NOT
A SCIENTIST, AND AS MY YOU
KNOW, MY TRANSCRIPTS FROM HIGH
SCHOOL, WHICH WILL NO DOUBT
APPEAR SOMEWHERE ON THE FRONT
PAGE OF A NEWSPAPER AT SOME
POINT IN TIME WILL DEMONSTRATE,
SCIENCE WAS NOT MY BEST
SUBJECT.
[Audience Laughter]
IN FACT PHYSICS WAS DEFINITELY
NOT MY BEST SUBJECT, AS MISTER
PHILLIPS WILL TESTIFY, ALTHOUGH
I'M NOT SURE WHERE HE IS NOW,
BUT HOPEFULLY HE'S TAKEN A VOW
OF SILENCE IN WHATEVER RETREAT
HE'S GONE TO.
[Audience Laughter]
BUT IT SEEMS TO ME, THE-- THE
EVIDENCE IS PRETTY CLEAR THAT
THE IMPACT OF CO2 EMISSIONS IS
HAVING A DRASTIC EFFECT, LONG
TERM BUILD UP IN THE AIR, IN
THE OCEAN, AND IS CHANGING THE
CLIMATE IN WAYS THAT ARE QUITE
DRAMATIC.
AGAIN, I FEEL A LITTLE BIT LIKE
A BOOK GUIDE, BUT THE BOOK THAT
I'VE BEEN READING THAT SOMEBODY
GAVE TO ME LAST WEEK, AND SAID,
"YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK."
THIS IS A FRIEND OF MINE IN
THUNDER BAY, WHO WENT TO LAW
SCHOOL WITH ME.
HE SAID, "NOBODY SHOULD ASPIRE
TO BE PRIME MINISTER WITHOUT
HAVING READ THIS BOOK, SO I
PICKED READ THE BOOK ON THE
PLANE BACK, AND I'VE BEEN
READING IT EVER SINCE, BUT A
GUY CALLED TIM FLANNERY WHO IS
AN AUSTRALIAN SCIENTIST, WHO IS
THE CHAIRMAN OF THE SOUTH
AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM IN ADELAIDE,
AND HE'S WRITTEN A BOOK CALLED,
"THE WEATHER MAKERS."
AND IT'S REALLY THE BEST
ACCOUNT THAT I'VE BEEN ABLE TO
READ ABOUT WHAT THIS IS ALL
ABOUT AND WHAT THE IMPACT IS.
WE ARE ALREADY BEING AFFECTED
AS CANADIANS, BECAUSE THE
PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN THE NORTH,
AS THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN THE
DEEP SOUTH, IN SOUTHERN SOUTH
AMERICA, ARE THE ONES THAT ARE
IMMEDIATELY BEING AFFECTED BY
IT.
THE EFFECT OF THE WARMING OF
THE CLIMATE, WHICH HAS BEEN
GRADUAL OVER THE LAST WHILE,
BUT IS NEVERTHELESS CLEARLY
TAKING PLACE, HAS STARTED TO
HAVE A SERIOUS EFFECT ON THE
ECO-STRUCTURE OF THE ARCTIC,
IT'S AFFECTING PLANT LIFE, IT'S
AFFECTING ANIMAL LIFE, AND THE
HABITS AND WHERE THEY GO, AND
WHERE PEOPLE EAT, AND WHAT THEY
CAN GET.
IT'S AFFECTING OUR FISHING
INDUSTRY, IT'S AFFECTING THE...
ON BOTH THE EAST COAST AND THE
WEST COAST, AND THE EFFECT WILL
ONLY GROW, BECAUSE IT'S ONE
THING TO DESCRIBE A PROBLEM,
BUT IT'S ANOTHER TO CHANGE IT.
ACTUALLY REDUCING THE AMOUNT OF
CO2 EMISSIONS IS GOING TO BE A
CHALLENGE.
NOW CANADA WAS PART
OF THE WORLD AGREEMENT, THE
KYOTO AGREEMENT, WHERE, IN FACT
THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY
MANAGED TO PERSUADE GOVERNMENTS
OF THE WORLD THAT, IN FACT,
THIS PROCESS OF WARMING WAS
TAKING PLACE, THAT CLIMATE
CHANGE DID POSE A RISK TO THE
WORLD, BECAUSE OF THE DRAMATIC
IMPACT IT WOULD HAVE ON THE
LEVEL OF THE OCEANS, THE
FERTILITY OF THE EARTH, THE
BIODIVERSITY, THE EXISTENCE OF
CERTAIN SPECIES.
THERE'S A WHOLE
SERIES OF CHANGES WHICH ARE
TAKING PLACE, AND WHICH-- WHOSE
PACE WILL ACCELERATE IF WE
DON'T DO SOMETHING TO DEAL WITH
THE PROBLEM.
NOW CANADA SIGNED ONTO KYOTO,
BUT THE PROBLEM IS, WE HAVEN'T
DONE ENOUGH TO KEEP UP WITH
KYOTO, BECAUSE KYOTO REQUIRED
US TO IN FACT REDUCE OUR
EMISSION LEVELS, AND CANADA HAS
NOT BEEN DOING THAT.
NOW THERE ARE TWO POSSIBLE
RESPONSES TO THIS, AND HERE,
I'M JUST GOING TO SLIGHTLY
WANDER INTO THE REALM OF THE
POLITICAL, JUST FOR THE MOMENT.
AND I SUPPOSE THERE ARE TWO
RESPONSES TO THIS, AND THERE
WAS ONE-- IT WAS DISCUSSED ON
THE FRONT PAGE OF THE GLOBE
TODAY.
YOU MAY HAVE SEEN THE FRONT
PAGE OF THE GLOBE, THE PICTURE
OF CANADA AND HOW WE'RE GOING
TO HAVE A WARMER SUMMER, AND
YOU KNOW, AND WARMER MEANS
DROUGHT CONDITIONS IN SOME
PARTS OF THE COUNTRY, AND YOU
KNOW, OBVIOUSLY THIS HAS A
MAJOR IMPACT.
AND THE TWO RESPONSES SEEM TO
BE THIS.
ONE, FROM THE CONSERVATIVE
SIDE, IS TO SAY, LOOK, WE
HAVEN'T DONE ENOUGH, SO WE
SHOULD TRY TO FIND SOME OTHER
CLUB THAT HAS EASIER RULES.
AND IF THE AUSTRALIANS AND THE
AMERICANS DON'T LIKE IT EITHER,
WELL MAYBE WE'LL JOIN UP WITH
THEM, AND WE'LL HAVE OUR OWN
LITTLE CLUB.
IT WON'T BE CALLED KYOTO, WE'LL
CALL IT SOMETHING ELSE, AND IF
THE RULES ARE LESS STRINGENT,
THEN WE'LL BE HAPPY WITH THAT.
I'M NOT SURE THAT'S THE RIGHT
ANSWER.
IN FACT I KNOW IT'S NOT THE
RIGHT ANSWER.
THE RIGHT ANSWER IS TO SAY, ALL
RIGHT, WE HAVEN'T DONE ENOUGH,
LET'S START.
I MEAN LET'S START NOW.
LET'S START NOW WITH A PLAN.
LET'S CREATE A PLAN IN WHICH WE
HAVE A CARBON BUDGET.
BECAUSE I USE A SIMPLE TEST.
WHAT KYOTO MEANS TO ME, AND
WHAT THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS
MEANS TO ME IS, IN EFFECT, WE
HAVE A DEFICIT.
WE'RE TAKING MORE OUT FROM THE
EARTH THAN WE'RE PUTTING BACK
IN, IF YOU LIKE, IN SIMPLE
TERMS.
WE'RE USING UP MORE OF THE
WORLD'S RESOURCES THAN WE'RE
CREATING, AND SO WE'RE GOING
INTO A DEFICIT POSITION ON THE
ENVIRONMENT, AND WE CAN DO THAT
FOR FUTURE...
BECAUSE IN EFFECT, WE'RE
BORROWING FROM FUTURE
GENERATIONS.
AND IN 25 YEARS, IN 50 YEARS,
WHEN KIDS COME TO US AND SAY,
WELL WHAT ABOUT THAT SPECIES OR
WHAT ABOUT THAT, OR, CAN YOU
REMEMBER A TIME WHEN THERE WAS
REALLY... WAS THERE REALLY ICE
AT THE ARCTIC CIRCLE, AND DA-
DA-DA-DA...
WE'VE GOT TO-- YOU KNOW, WE
CAN'T JUST SIT BACK AND SAY,
WELL, YOU KNOW, WE COULDN'T
REALLY DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT,
THERE WAS NOTHING TO BE DONE.
BECAUSE WE KNOW THERE ARE
THINGS TO BE DONE, BUT THEY
REQUIRE CHANGE.
THEY REQUIRE US TO TAKE A
LIGHTER ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTSTEP
THAN THE ONE WE'VE BEEN TAKING.
AND IT MEANS THAT EVERYTHING WE
DO, IN TERMS OF INDUSTRIAL
PRODUCTION, IN TERMS OF THE
CARS WE DRIVE, HOW WE BEHAVE,
OUR CONSUMPTION PATTERNS AS
INDIVIDUALS, THE KINDS OF
REFRIGERATORS WE BUY, THE SORTS
OF THINGS THAT WE DO.
ALL THOSE THINGS ARE EFFECTED...
ARE GOING TO HAVE AN EFFECT ON
THE ENVIRONMENT, AND IF WE
CHANGE COLLECTIVELY HOW WE DO
THINGS, TOGETHER WITH EVERYBODY
ELSE IN THE WORLD, WHO'S ALSO
GOING TO HAVE TO DO IT, AND
ALSO WILL BE DOING IT, THEN WE
CAN SLOW DOWN THE PROCESS AND
PERHAPS MAKE A DIFFERENCE, AND
SAY, IN FACT, WE HAVE SAVED
SOME THINGS THAT OTHERWISE
WOULD HAVE BEEN KILLED OFF
BECAUSE OF THE IMPACT OF GLOBAL
WARMING.
THE TROUBLE IS, IT'S VERY HARD
TO GET POLITICIANS AND THE
PUBLIC REALLY ENGAGED IN
SOMETHING THAT'S GOING TO TAKE
A LONG TIME TO ACHIEVE.
YOU KNOW, I MEAN IT'S ONE THING
TO SAY, HERE'S A CHEQUE.
WE ALL UNDERSTAND THAT, YOU
KNOW?
HERE'S YOUR REFUND, HERE'S YOUR
CHEQUE, HERE'S YOUR MONEY,
HERE'S YOUR POLICY, HERE'S YOUR
BRIDGE, YOU KNOW, THINGS
POLITICIANS LIKE TO DO, STAND
AT A BRIDGE, I BUILT THIS
BRIDGE.
WELL ACTUALLY, NO, SIR, YOU
DIDN'T REALLY BUILD IT, BUT
WELL, I HELPED TO PAY FOR IT.
WELL NO, YOU JUST RAISED THE
TAXES THAT PAID FOR IT.
BUT ANYWAY, TAKE CREDIT FOR IT,
IF IT MAKES YOU FEEL A WHOLE
LOT BETTER.
SO THIS IS HARD, THIS IS GOING
TO BE A POLITICAL CHALLENGE,
AND IT'S GOING TO BE A TEST, I
THINK, FOR OUR POLITICAL
LEADERSHIP AS THE EXTENT TO
WHICH WE CAN MAKE THIS AN ISSUE
THAT ACTUALLY MEANS SOMETHING
TO CANADIANS AND ISN'T JUST A
DIFFICULT ABSTRACTION IN WHICH
WE'RE ALL OF A SUDDEN REQUIRED
TO DO THINGS THAT WE DIDN'T
THINK WE'D HAVE TO DO.
I HAPPEN TO THINK, THOUGH, THAT
THE CANADIAN PUBLIC IS PROBABLY
READY FOR THIS, BECAUSE I THINK
THAT IN FACT, THE CANADIAN
PUBLIC IS THOUGHTFUL AND CAN
HAVE VIEWS AND HAS STRONG
VIEWS, AND IT'S IN A SENSE
ALMOST A CASE OF WHERE
POLITICIANS AND INDUSTRY HAVE
BEEN FOLLOWING OPINION RATHER
THAN LEADING OPINION, AND
RESPONDING TO OPINION IN A WAY
THAT WE SHOULD.
BUT I DO THINK IT'S
A CHALLENGE WE HAVE TO-- WE
HAVE TO MEET.
FINALLY, CANADA'S POSITION IN
THE WORLD.
LOOKING OUT AT THE AUDIENCE,
THIS GENERATION AND MY
GENERATION, WE'VE GONE THROUGH
SOME DRAMATIC CHANGES.
AND WE'VE LIVED
THROUGH SOME OF THE MOST
TELLING AND TRYING MOMENTS IN
WORLD HISTORY.
THE 20th CENTURY WAS ACTUALLY
THE MOST VIOLENT AND MOST
DESTRUCTIVE CENTURY IN WORLD
HISTORY.
YOU KNOW, WHEN I WAS A HISTORY
STUDENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
TORONTO, WE USED TO GET...
WE USED TO HAVE LECTURES ON
WHAT WAS CALLED THE WHIG VIEW
OF HISTORY, THE LIBERAL VIEW OF
HISTORY, WHICH WAS THAT
EVERYTHING IS GETTING BETTER.
AND BY LIBERAL, I'M NOT TALKING
ABOUT A LARGE "L" HERE, I'M
JUST TALKING ABOUT, THINGS ARE
IMPROVING, SCIENCE IS
IMPROVING.
AND THAT WAS REALLY THE VIEW
THAT PERTAINED UNTIL-- THAT
TOOK LIGHT IN THE 19th CENTURY,
AND JOHN STUART MILL, AND EVEN
KARL MARX, THEY ALL HAD THE
VIEW THAT THINGS ARE JUST GOING
TO GET BETTER AND BETTER AND
BETTER.
WHATEVER FORM THAT, BETTER
TOOK, WOULD BE A SOURCE OF
DIFFERENCES OF OPINION, BUT
THINGS WOULD JUST GET BETTER
AND BETTER.
WHAT WE DISCOVERED IN THE 20th
CENTURY, WAS, THAT'S NOT
ACTUALLY-- DIDN'T ACTUALLY
HAPPEN, THINGS DIDN'T GET
BETTER, IN FACT, POPULATIONS
WERE CAPTURED BY TERRIBLE
IDEOLOGIES, WITH HORRENDOUS
VALUES.
INCREDIBLY POWERFUL
DICTATORSHIPS TOOK OVER,
ENSLAVED PEOPLE, MURDERED
PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, TENS OF
MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WERE KILLED
IN CONFLICTS IN THE FIRST AND
SECOND WORLD WAR.
POST 1945, WHAT'S REALLY QUITE
COMPELLING IS THAT MOST OF THE
BATTLES IN THE WORLD TOOK
PLACE, NOT BETWEEN COUNTRIES,
BUT WITHIN COUNTRIES.
IT DOESN'T MAKE THEM ANY NICER.
IN FACT IN SOME CASES IT MAKES
THEM EVEN MORE DIFFICULT, BUT
IT'S REALLY QUITE DRAMATIC.
SO, FOR EXAMPLE, THE CIVIL WAR
IN SUDAN, WHICH WE HARDLY EVER
HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT, EXCEPT
NOW WE'RE JUST HEARING ABOUT
DARFOUR, AND STARTING TO
UNDERSTAND A LITTLE BIT MORE
ABOUT IT, BUT BEFORE DARFOUR,
THERE WAS A CIVIL WAR BETWEEN
THE NORTH AND THE SOUTH, IN
WHICH 2 MILLION PEOPLE WERE
KILLED, MAINLY IN THE SOUTH.
THE AFRICAN POPULATION IN THE
SOUTH WITH AN ANIMIST AND
CHRISTIAN RELIGION, DIFFERENT
FROM THE MUSLIM AND ISLAMIC
CAPITAL OF KHARTOUM, AND THE
BATTLE TAKING PLACE, AND THE
DESTRUCTION BEING ABSOLUTELY
HORRENDOUS.
WE KNOW NOW THAT IN CENTRAL
AFRICA, JUST SOUTH OF THAT
SCENE, AGAIN, ENORMOUS
DESTRUCTION, BATTLES.
CIVIL WAR WITHIN THE CONGO,
ESTIMATED AT LEAST A MILLION
PEOPLE KILLED.
NEARLY A MILLION PEOPLE KILLED
IN THE HOLOCAUST BETWEEN THE
UH...
THE TRIBES IN RWANDA.
IN SRI LANKA, WHERE I SPENT A
BIT OF TIME, TAMILS AND
SINHALESE IN CIVIL WAR, KILLING
AT LEAST 100,000, CREATING
NEARLY A MILLION REFUGEES, OF
WHOM 250,000 CAME TO TORONTO
AND CANADA, BUT LARGELY TO
TORONTO, OVER THE LAST 20
YEARS.
YOU KNOW, EASTERN EUROPE, THE
BALKANS, ONE COULD GO DOWN THE
LIST, AND DESCRIBE THE
DESTRUCTION AND THE EXTENT OF
THE WAR.
SO THAT'S, IN PART, THE NATURE
OF THE CONFLICT WHICH WE'RE
FACING IN THE WORLD TODAY.
WE'RE ALSO FACING A WORLD IN
WHICH, JUST AS I DESCRIBED THE
POPULATION EXPLOSION IN THE
ABORIGINAL POPULATION IN
CANADA, IF YOU LOOK AT THE
ENTIRE ISLAMIC WORLD, YOU HAVE
A SIMILAR SITUATION, WHERE A
MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION ARE
UNDER THE AGE OF 18, AND WHERE
UNEMPLOYMENT RATES AMONG AN
ENTIRE POPULATION ARE AS HIGH
AS 15 PERCENT OR 20 PERCENT, AND WHERE
UNEMPLOYMENT AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE
IS AS HIGH AS 50 PERCENT, 60 PERCENT, 70 PERCENT.
SO IN A SENSE, THAT BECOMES THE
DRY GRASS IN WHICH THESE CRAZY
FUNDAMENTALIST IDEAS TAKE HOLD.
AND SEIZE A POPULATION, JUST
THE WAY EUROPE WAS SEIZED BY
THESE CRAZY IDEOLOGIES IN THE
DEPRESSION, BUT NAZISM AND BY
STALINISM.
WE SEE THE SAME FORCES AT WORK
TODAY.
NOW THIS IS A DIFFICULT WORLD
THAT WE LIVE IN, IT'S NOT AN
EASY WORLD WE LIVE IN.
IT'S NOT A WORLD IN WHICH
EVERYONE IS THE SAME, IT'S NOT
A WORLD IN WHICH OUR VALUES ARE
THE SAME, IT'S NOT A WORLD IN
WHICH ALL OUR STANDARD OF
LIVING IS THE SAME.
IT'S THE WORLD IN WHICH WE PRAY
DIFFERENTLY, WE WORSHIP
DIFFERENTLY, WE SPEAK DIFFERENT
LANGUAGES, WE HAVE DIFFERENT
RELIGIONS, AND IT'S A VERY
DIFFICULT WORLD IN WHICH TO
MANAGE.
NOW, PRIOR TO 1989, THE MAIN
PREOCCUPATION THAT WE HAD AS
CANADIANS, IN TERMS OF OUR
SECURITY, WAS THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN THE WEST AND THE EAST,
THE EAST BEING THE SOVIET BLOC.
AND THE COLD WAR LASTED FROM
'45 TO '90, IT LASTED FOR 45
YEARS, AND IT WAS THE UNIVERSE
IN WHICH WE LIVED FOR A LONG
TIME.
AND I SUSPECT MOST OF US IN THE
'50s AND '60s AND '70s AND
'80s, FULLY EXPECTED AND
ANTICIPATED THAT THAT WOULD BE
THE WORLD IN WHICH WE WOULD
SIMPLY LIVE FOR THE REST OF OUR
LIVES.
SUDDENLY THAT WORLD ENDED.
AND THEN WE WERE CONFRONTED,
NOT WITH A HUGE PEACE DIVIDEND,
AS WE THOUGHT WE MIGHT BE...
BUT IN FACT, WITH A
WORLD THAT WAS-- THAT IS EVERY
BIT AS INSECURE, BUT INSECURE
IN A DIFFERENT WAY.
AND RATHER THAN TALKING AS THE
NUCLEAR EXPERTS TALKED ABOUT A
SO-CALLED BALANCE OF TERROR
BETWEEN THE WEST AND THE EAST,
WHERE THERE WAS SUCH A HUGE
ARMOURY ON BOTH SIDES BEING
BUILT UP IN RELATIVE BALANCE,
THAT IT WOULD BE INCONCEIVABLE
THAT ANYONE WOULD BE THE FIRST
TO PULL THE TRIGGER.
WHICH WAS THE WORLD
IN WHICH WE ALL GREW UP IN THE
COLD WAR.
WE NOW LIVE IN A WORLD IN WHICH
WE REALLY DON'T KNOW, BECAUSE
THE SOURCES OF INSTABILITY ARE
SO GREAT.
WELL WHAT SHOULD CANADA BE
DOING IN THIS SITUATION?
WE'RE A SMALL COUNTRY, WE'RE 30
MILLION PEOPLE, WE'RE NOT A
HUGE SUPERPOWER.
I GUESS I HAVE A VERY SIMPLE
VIEW.
I MEAN, NOT SIMPLE, BUT I HOPE
VERY DIRECT VIEW.
THE FIRST IS, WE ARE IMPLICATED
IN THIS WORLD.
WHATEVER SORT OF LATENT DESIRE
THERE MAY BE INSIDE OURSELVES
TO SAY, LET'S NOT GET INVOLVED,
IN FACT WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT
TO GET INVOLVED, BECAUSE WE ARE
INVOLVED.
FIRST OF ALL, BECAUSE CANADA
HAS BECOME THE WORLD.
WITH GREAT RESPECT TO THIS
AUDIENCE, THIS AUDIENCE IS NOT
TYPICAL OF THE TORONTO THAT I
SEE ON THE SUBWAY.
IT'S A VERY DIFFERENT WORLD.
AND WE HAVE BECOME A MULTI-
NATIONAL, MULTICULTURAL,
MULTIRACIAL COMMUNITY, AND
THAT'S WHAT WE ARE AND WHO WE
ARE.
WE ACCEPT MORE IMMIGRANTS PER
CAPITA THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY
IN THE WORLD.
WE ACCEPT MORE THAN THE
AUSTRALIANS, MORE THAN THE
AMERICANS, EVERY YEAR.
AND WE DO SO AS A REPLENISHING
STREAM FOR OUR ECONOMY AND FOR
OUR LIVES.
AND IT IS WHAT WE ARE AND WHO
WE ARE.
THAT'S WHAT AND WHO WE ARE, AS
A COUNTRY, THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE
BECOME.
AND I PERSONALLY DON'T THINK
THAT THERE'S ANY POLITICAL
PARTY THAT'S GOING TO SAY, STOP
THAT, WE WANT TO STOP THAT FOR
ALL TIME.
IT'S NOT DOABLE, IT'S NOT
VIABLE.
SO WE'RE PART OF THIS WORLD.
WE, IT SEEMS TO ME, ARE PART OF
IT IN ANOTHER WAY.
OUR NEIGHBOUR TO THE SOUTH WAS
ATTACKED IN 2001.
NO OTHER WAY TO DESCRIBE IT.
THAT'S WHAT 9-11 REPRESENTED.
SO I HAVE A SIMPLE VIEW, AS I
SAID.
WE HAVE TO BE PREPARED TO BE
TOUGH ON TERRORISM, BECAUSE OF
THE THREAT THAT IT POSES TO THE
SECURITY OF OUR COUNTRY.
WE ALSO HAVE TO BE TOUGH ON THE
CAUSES OF TERRORISM AS WE
UNDERSTAND THEM, AND AS WE COME
TO UNDERSTAND THEM.
AND WE HAVE TO BE PREPARED TO
PARTICIPATE IN THE WORLD,
PRIMARILY, OUR ROLE BEING THAT
OF PEACEKEEPER AND PEACEMAKER.
AND WE HAVE TO TAKE OUR ROLE IN
MEDIATION SERIOUSLY IF WE ARE
GOING TO SUCCEED.
SO...
THIS IS A DIFFICULT TASK.
I THINK PRIME MINISTER CHRETIEN
WAS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT WHEN HE
SAID THAT CANADA WOULD NOT
PARTICIPATE IN THE INVASION OF
IRAQ.
I THINK THAT WAS A SOUND
DECISION.
IT WAS A COURAGEOUS DECISION.
PEOPLE, I THINK SOMETIMES
UNDERESTIMATE HOW DIFFICULT
THAT DECISION WAS, AND HOW MUCH
PRESSURE HE WAS UNDER TO DO
SOMETHING ELSE.
AND HE DIDN'T WANT TO DO
SOMETHING ELSE, BECAUSE, AS I
DISCUSSED IT WITH HIM ON MANY
OCCASIONS, HE FELT THAT IT WAS
ILLEGAL, AND THAT IT WAS
INAPPROPRIATE, AND THAT IT
WOULD-- AND THAT IT WOULD...
AND BECAUSE IT WAS ILLEGAL, AND
IN THAT SENSE ILLEGITIMATE, IT
WOULD END UP NOT BEING
SUCCESSFUL IN THE WAY IN WHICH
PEOPLE WHO WERE CARRYING IT
OUT, THOUGHT IT COULD BE
SUCCESSFUL, AND I THINK HE WAS
RIGHT.
HOWEVER, WE ARE-- WE ARE IN
AFGHANISTAN.
DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES, WE'RE
THERE AT THE INVITATION OF THE
GOVERNMENT OF AFGHANISTAN,
WE'RE THERE, TOGETHER WITH OUR
ALLIES IN NATO, AND WE'RE THERE
BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT OF
AFGHANISTAN SAYS IT NEEDS HELP
IN EXTENDING THE RULE OF LAW TO
THE ENTIRE COUNTRY.
AND I THINK THAT'S
A MISSION THAT CANADIANS NEED
TO UNDERSTAND, AND I THINK ALL
OF US ALSO NEED TO SAY TO
OURSELVES, LET'S BE VERY CLEAR
ABOUT WHAT THAT MISSION IS, ON
HOW WE CAN ACCOMPLISH IT, AND
HOW WE SHOULDN'T DELUDE
OURSELVES INTO THINKING THAT
WE'RE GOING TO SOMEHOW SINGLE-
HANDEDLY, ALONE, BE ABLE TO
CARRY ON SOME KIND OF UH...
FIGHT OR WAR AGAINST THE
TALIBAN IN AFGHANISTAN.
THIS IS SOMETHING
WHERE WE NEED TO REFLECT A
GREAT DEAL AS A COUNTRY, ON
MAKING SURE THAT THE MISSION IS
SOMETHING THAT WE ALL
UNDERSTAND, THAT WE AS
CANADIANS UNDERSTAND WHY IT'S
IMPORTANT FOR US TO BE PART OF
THE ATTEMPT TO CREATE STABILITY
IN COUNTRIES THROUGHOUT THE
WORLD, BUT WE SHOULD ALSO BE
FOCUSSING OVER AND OVER AND
OVER AGAIN ON OUR CAPACITY AS
MEDIATORS AND ON OUR CAPACITY
AS PEACEKEEPERS.
SO FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN THE
MINISTER OF DEFENCE SAID
YESTERDAY, WELL, WE CAN DO
THAT, BUT WE CAN'T DO ANYTHING
ELSE, I'M NOT SURE THAT'S WHAT
CANADIANS REALLY WANT TO HEAR.
I THINK WHAT
CANADIANS WANT TO SEE IS, THIS
MISSION IS IN PERSPECTIVE, IT'S
A DIFFICULT MISSION, THE LIVES
OF OUR TROOPS ARE AT RISK, AND
WE HAVE TO SUPPORT THEM IN
EVERY WAY THAT WE CAN.
WE ALSO HAVE TO BE
WORKING WITH OUR ALLIES TO
ENSURE THAT THE OBJECTIVES OF
THE MISSION ARE CONSTANTLY
BEING ASSESSED, AS WE TRY TO
MEET THEM IN A REALISTIC
FASHION.

Watch: Bob Rae on Future Challenges