Transcript: Conrad Black | Nov 04, 2006

[Theme music plays]

The opening sequence rolls. The logo of "Big Ideas" featuring a lit lamp bulb appears against an animated green slate.
Then, Andrew Moodie appears in the studio. The walls are decorated with screens featuring lit lamp bulbs, and two signs read "Big Ideas."
Andrew is in his early forties, clean-shaven, with short curly black hair. He's wearing a gray shirt.

He says HELLO, MY
NAME IS ANDREW MOODIE, AND THIS
IS
BIG IDEAS, AND ON
TODAY'S PROGRAM, WE HAVE THE
ONE, THE ONLY LORD BLACK OF
CROSS HARBOUR, ALSO KNOWN AS
CONRAD BLACK.
HE IS A FORMER PROPRIETOR OF A
LARGE NUMBER OF NEWSPAPERS, AND
THE AUTHOR OF A FEW WEIGHTY AND
SERIOUS TOMES OF HISTORY.
IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, HE HAS
SPENT 20 MILLION DOLLARS ON LAWYERS,
TRYING TO AVOID SPENDING UP TO
40 YEARS IN PRISON ON CHARGES
RELATED TO HIS FINANCIAL
DEALINGS AS THE HEAD OF HIS
NEWSPAPER EMPIRE.
WELL, LET'S SAY, PRINCIPALITY.
HIS RECENT APPEARANCE ON TVO's
THE AGENDA
WITH STEVE
PAIKIN, CREATED HEADLINES AS
WELL AS A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF
HOSTILE MAIL.
SOME OF OUR VIEWERS CLAIMED
THAT THEY DIDN'T CARE WHAT HE
HAD TO SAY, AND COULDN'T
UNDERSTAND WHY HE WOULD BE
INVITED ON THE PROGRAM IN THE
FIRST PLACE.
WELL... IF YOU'RE ONE OF THEM,
YOU HAVE A CHOICE OF EITHER
CHANGING THE CHANNEL, OR...
YOU CAN SPEND THE NEXT 40
MINUTES OR SO TRYING TO GRAPPLE
WITH THE CONUNDRUM OF WHY
OTHERS WOULD BE SO INTERESTED
IN WHAT HE HAS TO SAY.
SO HERE'S CONRAD BLACK
ADDRESSING THE EMPIRE CLUB ON
THE SUBJECT OF HOW TO BUILD A
SINGLE CONSERVATIVE PARTY WITH
SUPPORT IN ALL REGIONS OF THE
COUNTRY, OR AT LEAST THAT'S HOW
THE TALK WAS ADVERTISED IN THE PROGRAM.

A clip plays in which Conrad Black stands behind a transparent lectern and addresses an audience. Behind him, a wall screen reads "The Empire Club" and shows a logo with a red maple leaf. Three men sit at a long table next to Conrad.
Conrad is in his sixties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair. He's wearing a black suit, white shirt, and gray tie.

Conrad continues I THINK I OWE
YOU ALL A WORD OF PRELIMINARY
EXPLANATION.
I'M...
IN WHAT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA
AT THE TIME, I FOLLOWED UP ON
AN OCCASION WHERE A NUMBER OF
US AT THIS TABLE WERE PRESENT
LAST NIGHT, AND VISITED THE
HOME OF SOMEONE AT THIS TABLE
WHO I SHALL NOT NAME, AND THE
EVENING CONTINUED TO A
PRODIGIOUS HOUR.
AND WHEN I GOT IN, AT 3:00, I
SAT DOWN TO WRITE WHAT I HAVE
IN FRONT OF ME HERE.

[Audience laughter]

Conrad continues AND MY WIFE, WHO DOES NOT
NORMALLY GO TO BED EARLY, DULY
APPEARED IN NIGHT ATTIRE, A
VERY AGREEABLE PROSPECT, I MUST
SAY, AND SAID, "WHAT ARE YOU
DOING?"
AND I TOLD HER.
AND SHE SAID, "WELL, HAVE YOU
TAKEN COMPLETE LEAVE OF YOUR
SENSES?
FORTUNATELY I WON'T BE THERE,
BUT GOOD LUCK TO THE PEOPLE WHO
ARE."

[Audience laughter]

Conrad continues ANYWAY, SHE HAD ANOTHER
ENGAGEMENT.
I'M PARTICULARLY GRATEFUL THAT
SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE COME OUT
TODAY FOR AN ADDRESS THAT IS
TITLED, UM...
WHAT I CAN ONLY DESCRIBE IN AN
UNIMAGINATIVE WAY.
I MEAN WE HAVE ALL HAD
INFLICTED UPON US COUNTLESS
OPINIONATED STATEMENTS ON THE
GENERAL THEME OF THE CHANGING
POLITICAL FACE OF CANADA, AND
THAT ANY OF YOU HAVE ACTUALLY
CONSENTED TO HEAR ANOTHER ONE
IS FLATTERING.
I PUT IT TO YOU THAT, IN FACT,
FOR ONCE THE TITLE IS NOT
MISAPPLIED, THAT THERE ARE SOME
VERY IMPORTANT CHANGES IN THIS
COUNTRY, POLITICALLY.
NOW I REMEMBER THAT BRUCE
HUTCHISON, FOR EXAMPLE, EVERY
FEW YEARS, WOULD DEVISE SOME
NEW WAY OF SAYING THAT
EVERYTHING HAD CHANGED, AND
THINGS WERE HAPPENING THAT HAD
NEVER HAPPENED IN CANADA
BEFORE, AND SO ON.
AND I MEAN, THAT WAS, I GUESS
HIS JOB, UP TO A POINT.
HE MADE A PRETTY CONVINCING
CASE FOR IT, BUT REALLY NOTHING
MUCH CHANGED.
BUT I THINK IT IS DIFFERENT
NOW, AND IF YOU'LL ALLOW ME,
I'LL TELL YOU WHY.
I MAY HAVE TO DO SOMETHING THAT
IS UNUTTERABLE IRRITATING AND
PUT ON THESE GLASSES, WHICH, I
WISH, OUT OF SHEER VANITY, TO
TELL YOU ARE NOT PRESCRIPTION.
THEY'RE GLASSES THAT COST, I
THINK 8 IN A PHARMACY.
THEY'RE JUST MAGNIFYING THINGS.

[Audience laughter]

Conrad continues I'M GOING TO MAKE A COUPLE OF
PREDICTIONS.
FIRST, I THINK WE'RE GOING TO
HAVE A STEADY RETURN TOWARD A
TWO PARTY FEDERAL SYSTEM FOR
THE FIRST TIME IN NEARLY A
CENTURY, SINCE HENRI BOURASSA
FOUNDED HIS NATIONALIST PARTY
BEFORE THE FIRST WORLD WAR.
AND SECOND, I THINK, FOR THE
FIRST TIME IN NEARLY 50 YEARS,
THE PRINCIPLE POLITICAL
OPPOSITION TO THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT IS GOING TO COME
FROM THE LEADER OF THE
OPPOSITION, AND NOT FROM THE
PREMIERS OF THE MAJOR
PROVINCES.
AND FINALLY, THERE IS A CHANGE
IN THE STATUS OF THIS COUNTRY
IN THE WORLD, WHICH WILL AFFECT
OUR POLITICIANS, AND AFFECT, I
THINK, THE EXPECTATIONS OF THE
PUBLIC OF THOSE POLITICIANS.
IF YOU'LL INDULGE ME IN A BIT
OF SKETCHY HISTORY, I THINK
ALMOST ALL CANADIANS ARE AT
LEAST GENERALLY AWARE THAT THE
COUNTRY WAS STRUNG TOGETHER AS
A RIBBON OF SETTLEMENTS ALONG
THE U.S. BORDER FOLLOWING THE
FAILURE OF LORD DURHAM'S UNITED
PROVINCE OF CANADA, WHICH WAS A
MECHANISM FOR ASSIMILATING THE
FRENCH CANADIANS, AS YOU WILL
RECALL, ASSUMING THAT THE
FRENCH CANADIANS DESPERATELY
WISHED TO CEASE TO BE FRENCH,
WHICH WAS, TO SAY THE LEAST, A
MISREADING OF THEIR AMBITIONS,
AND UM...
AND...
MOST FRENCH QUEBECERS, I THINK,
AT THE TIME OF CONFEDERATION,
INFLUENTIAL FRENCH QUEBECERS,
APPROVED OF CONFEDERATION, NOT
BECAUSE THEY HAD ANY GREAT
ENTHUSIASM FOR CANADA, BUT
BECAUSE THEY WISHED TO BE RID
OF THIS SYSTEMATIC ATTEMPT TO
ASSIMILATE THEM, AND THEY
LOOKED UPON CANADA, ENGLISH
CANADA, AS ESSENTIALLY A BUFFER
ZONE BETWEEN THEMSELVES AND
THIS HUGE ENGLISH SPEAKING
COUNTRY OF THE UNITED STATES.
A
CORDON SANITAIRE
IF
YOU WILL.
THE QUEBECERS AND THE ACADIANS
HAD BEEN ABANDONED BY THE
FRENCH FOLLOWING THEIR MILITARY
REVERSES, AND THE ORIGINAL
ONTARIANS WERE OF COURSE,
FUGITIVES FROM REVOLUTIONARY
AMERICA.
NO DISCUSSION WAS SEVERED FROM
NEW ENGLAND, AND WHEN
NEWFOUNDLAND EVENTUALLY JOINED
CANADA, IT WAS AFTER IT HAD
GONE BANKRUPT AS AN AUTONOMOUS
DOMINION.
SO IT WAS A...
IT WAS NEVER GOING TO BE EASY
TO PRODUCE A SINGLE POLITICAL
VOICE FOR SUCH A DISPARATE
GROUP OF REGIONS.
NOW SIR JOHN MacDONALD MANAGED,
OF COURSE, EXTREMELY WELL.
HE WAS A GREAT STATESMAN WITH A
TARIFF POLICY AND A RAILWAY
POLICY LINKING THESE UNITS
TOGETHER, ALL WITHIN THE
IMPERIAL FRAMEWORK THAT IS, IN
SOME RESPECTS, AS OUR PRESIDENT
OF THE CLUB SAID, CONTINUED IN
THIS ORGANISATION.
THE UM...
I-- I COMMEND TO THOSE OF YOU
WHO HAVEN'T DONE IT, THE
COMMENTS AT THE TIME OF
CONFEDERATION, WHEN RELEVANT
LEGISLATION WAS PUT IN THE
BRITISH PARLIAMENT, BY THE THEN
LEADER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS,
BENJAMIN DISRAELI, WHO COULD
NEVER, I THINK, RESIST BEING
FAIRLY CYNICAL ABOUT ALMOST
ANYTHING.
AND SOME OF HIS COMMENTS ON THE
FUTURE OF CANADA PROVED TO BE
REALLY PRESCIENT, ALTHOUGH I
DON'T IMAGINE HE SPENT A GREAT
DEAL OF TIME THINKING ABOUT
HIM.
FROM THE FIRST ELECTION AFTER
SIR JOHN MacDONALD DIED IN
1891, THE LIBERALS, THE FEDERAL
LIBERAL PARTY EFFECTIVELY
SEIZED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT,
WITH A FORMULA THAT KEPT THEM
IN OFFICE FOR 80 OF THE LAST
110 YEARS.
FROM THE FIRST ELECTION OF SIR
WILFRID LAURIER IN 1896, TO THE
ELECTION OF STEPHEN HARPER
EARLIER THIS YEAR.
AND IT WAS A SIMILAR FORMULA TO
THAT EMPLOYED BY THE DEMOCRATIC
PARTY IN THE UNITED STATES
UNDER JEFFERSON AND JACKSON,
WHICH WON 13 OF THE 15
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS BETWEEN
1800 AND 1856.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Conrad Black. The Empire Club of Canada. October 12, 2006."

Conrad continues AND IN THE ONE
CASE AND THE OTHER, WHAT IT
CONSISTED OF ESSENTIALLY, WAS
THAT SECESSION WOULD NOT BE
TOLERATED, IN THE CASE OF THE
AMERICANS BY THE SOUTH, AND IN
THIS COUNTRY, IN QUEBEC, BUT
THE REBARBATIVE REGION, THE
SOMEWHAT DISSONANT REGION,
WHILE IT WOULD NOT BE PERMITTED
TO SECEDE, IT WOULD BE WELL
SERVED, AND THE GOVERNING PARTY
WOULD BE THEIR CHAMPION,
COMPARED TO THE ALTERNATIVES.
AND ESSENTIALLY THAT IS WHAT-- I
MEAN IT'S PREPOSTEROUS FOR ME
TO TELL YOU ALL THIS, YOU KNOW
IT, BUT I'M JUST SETTING-- IF
I'M GOING TO SAY WHY I THINK
THE FACE IS CHANGING, I HAVE TO
SAY WHAT IT WAS BEFORE.
THE LIBERAL PARTY DID DELIVER
WELL FOR QUEBEC, AND IT DID
EFFECTIVELY FIGHT THE
SECESSIONIST SPIRIT IN QUEBEC.
I STOP THE COMPARISON WITH THE
UNITED STATES, BECAUSE
OBVIOUSLY THAT TOOK A DIFFERENT
ROAD AND ENDED IN A HORRIBLE
WAR, ALBEIT ONE THAT RESOLVED
THE SECESSIONIST QUESTION.
AH-HA, THERE'S AN ACOUSTIC
PROBLEM.
I'VE BEEN INVITED TO SPEAK
LOUDER.
THAT, IS A FIRST FOR ME.

[Audience laughter]
[Applause]

Conrad continues THE LIBERAL CONCENTRATION ON
QUEBEC, DID HELP CREATE WESTERN
REGIONAL PARTIES THAT FELT THAT
QUEBEC WAS OVERINDULGED, AND IT
CONTRIBUTED TO THE
FRAGMENTATION OF THE
OPPOSITION, AS WELL AS SOME
QUEBEC PARTIES THAT WANTED MORE
THAN QUEBEC WAS ALREADY
RECEIVING.
AND THERE WERE IDEOLOGICAL
PARTIES, BOTH TO THE RIGHT AND
TO THE LEFT OF THE FEDERAL
LIBERAL PARTY, AND IN GENERAL,
ALL OF THIS TENDENCY TO
FRAGMENTATION WAS TO THE
LIBERALS' ADVANTAGE.
THEY HELD OFFICE FOR MORE THAN
75 percent OF THE TIME THAT ELAPSED
FROM THE RISE OF SIR WILFRID TO
THE RETIREMENT OF PIERRE
TRUDEAU.
AND THE LIBERAL PARTY OF CANADA
WAS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL
NATIONAL POLITICAL PARTY IN THE
DEMOCRATIC WORLD.
IT WAS A TREMENDOUS SUCCESS
STORY, BASED CHIEFLY ON A
FORMULA THAT WE'RE ALL FAMILIAR
WITH, AND I'VE JUST REFERRED
TO.
AND CANADA WAS, IN EFFECT, A 1
And a half PARTY SYSTEM.
THE CONSERVATIVES, AND THERE
ARE SOME VERY DISTINGUISHED
MEMBERS OF THAT PARTY HERE
TODAY, FORMER MP AND FORMER
CANDIDATES.
YOU WILL NOT, I TRUST, BE
OFFENDED WHEN I SAY THE
CONSERVATIVE PARTY, I THINK WAS
THE FEDERAL CONSERVATIVE
PARTY, GENERALLY A FISSIPAROUS
GROUP OF MALCONTENTS WHO WERE
UNITED ONLY, AS FAR AS I COULD
EVER DISCERN, BY THE FACT THAT,
FOR SOME REASON OR ANOTHER THEY
WEREN'T LIBERALS.

[Audience laughter]

Conrad continues AND I PUT IT TO YOU THAT THESE
CONDITIONS HAVE ENDED, BECAUSE
THE STATUS OF QUEBEC NO LONGER
PREOCCUPIES THIS COUNTRY AS IT
DID.
THIS YEAR IS THE FIRST TIME IN
38 YEARS THAT WE HAVE GONE MORE
THAN A FEW MONTHS WITHOUT A
FEDERAL QUEBEC PRIME MINISTER.
MOST CANADIANS I THINK WOULD
AGREE THAT 60 YEARS AGO, FRENCH
CANADIANS DID HAVE SOME
SUBSTANTIAL GRIEVANCES.
AND I THINK, PERHAPS I'M BEING
NAIVE, BUT I THINK MOST FRENCH
CANADIANS WOULD AGREE THAT OVER
THAT TIME, ENGLISH SPEAKING
CANADA IN GENERAL, HAS MADE A
REASONABLE EFFORT TO
ACCOMMODATE THOSE GRIEVANCES.
IN THE 1930s, ONE OF QUEBEC'S
LEADING NATIONALISTS, DR.
PHILIPPE HAMEL, SAID, "CONQUER
US WITH GOOD WILL MY ENGLISH
SPEAKING COMPATRIOTS.
YOU WILL BE ASTOUNDED BY THE
EASY VICTORY THAT AWAITS YOU."
WELL IT WAS NOT AN EASY
VICTORY, IN FACT.
AND SOME OF US, AND THERE ARE A
NUMBER IN THIS CATEGORY HERE
TODAY, SOME OF US WHO TOOK THE
TROUBLE TO LEARN FRENCH, AND
LEARN SOMETHING ABOUT THE
HISTORY OF QUEBEC, WERE NOT
WELCOMED IN OUR INTEREST, AS WE
WERE ASSURED BY LE DEVOIR, AND
OTHER AUTHORITATIVE NATIONALIST
QUEBEC SOURCES OF OPINION THAT
WE WOULD BE.
IT WAS WIDELY SUGGESTED THAT
BICULTURALISM, ONCE IT WAS
OFFICIALLY EMBRACED IN ENGLISH
CANADA, WAS IN FACT AN EFFORT
AT ASSIMILATION.
AND OF COURSE THAT WAS AN
UNJUST CHARGE.
MAURICE DUPLESSIS, DESPITE THE
OBLOQUY THAT HAS BEEN HEAPED
UPON HIM BY LARGELY LIBERAL
PARTY MYTHOLOGY, WAS WITHOUT
QUESTION THE MOST TALENTED, AS
WELL AS THE LONGEST SERVING
PREMIER OF QUEBEC, SAID THAT
THE QUEBEC NATIONALISTS WERE
LIKE A TEN POUND FISH ON A FIVE
POUND LINE, AND HAD TO BE
REELED IN AND LET OUT VERY
CAREFULLY AND VERY SLOWLY.
AND HE SAID THAT HE WOULD QUIET
THE NATIONALISTS FOR TEN YEARS,
BY GIVING QUEBEC A FLAG, AND
FOR TEN YEARS AFTER THAT, BY
OPENING A DELEGATION IN PARIS,
AND FOR TEN YEARS AFTER THAT
WITH A WORLD'S FAIR IN
MONTREAL.
AND THAT IS, MORE OR LESS, WHAT
HAPPENED.
DUPLESSIS AND JEAN LESAGE, AND DANIEL JOHNSON
SENIOR, RENE LEVESQUE, JACQUES
PARIZEAU, AND LUCIEN BOUCHARD,
WERE PLAUSIBLE QUEBEC LEADERS
WHO, IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES,
COULD HAVE BEEN IMAGINABLE AS
LEADERS OF AN EMERGING
INDEPENDENT QUEBEC.
THAT IS NOT THE CASE WITH THEIR
SUCCESSORS.
THE PRESENT
POLITICAL LEADERSHIP IN QUEBEC
IS NOT BELIEVABLE IN THAT ROLE,
AND IN FACT, I DON'T THINK THAT
QUEBEC HAS ANY SERIOUS
GRIEVANCES, AND I DON'T THINK
MOST QUEBECERS THINK THAT THEY
HAVE ANY SERIOUS GRIEVANCES
WITH CANADA.
THE NEW FEDERAL GOVERNMENT,
LARGELY LED FROM ALBERTA, IS
PREPARED TO DECENTRALISE POWERS
TO SOME DEGREE, BUT NOT UNDER
THREAT.
AND THE JURISDICTIONAL
AMBITIONS OF THE MAIN
PROVINCES, IT SEEMS TO ME, ARE
NOW RELATIVELY SIMILAR AND
PURSUED WITH APPROXIMATELY
EQUIVALENT DETERMINATION.
I'M HAPPY TO SAY THAT I THINK
THE CHANCES ARE SMALL THAT WE
WILL AGAIN BE SUBJECTED TO THE
REGULAR SPECTACLE WE ALL RECALL
OF THE HEADS OF THE PROVINCIAL
AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS
CELEBRATING MORE CONCESSIONS TO
QUEBEC, IN THE OLD-- IN THE OLD
RAILWAY STATION IN OTTAWA.
AND IN SINGING, "O CANADA" TO
US AND THEN WAITING FOR THE
PROVERBIAL DECENT INTERVAL
BEFORE ALL THE OTHER PROVINCES
DEMANDED, IN THE INTEREST OF
EQUAL TREATMENT, EXACTLY WHAT
THEY HAD GRUDGINGLY SUPPOSEDLY
CONCEDED TO QUEBEC.
I DON'T THINK WE'RE GOING TO
HAVE TO GO ROUND THAT TRACK
AGAIN.
IN DAYS WHEN MY UM...
RELATIONS WITH JEAN CHRETIEN
WERE MORE CORDIAL, AND LESS
MONOSYLLABIC THAN THEY ARE
NOW...

[Audience laughter]

Conrad continues UH...
I URGED THAT THE CLARITY ACT,
AS IT WAS BEING BROUGHT
FORWARD, INCLUDE THE PROVISION
THAT, IN THE EVENT OF A YES
VOTE ON A SECESSION ISSUE IN
ANY PROVINCE, ANY COUNTY OF
THAT PROVINCE THAT VOTED NO, BE
DEEMED TO HAVE SECEDED FROM THE
PROVINCE AND REMAIN IN THE
COUNTRY.
HE WAS NOT PREPARED TO GO THAT
FAR, BUT I THINK THAT THE
CLARITY ACT, AS PASSED, HAS
MADE A TREMENDOUSLY IMPORTANT
CONTRIBUTION TO RESOLVING THIS
PROBLEM.
QUEBEC SEPARATISTS COULD NEVER
GET CLOSE TO 50 percent IN A
REFERENDUM OR ANY POLL WITHOUT
WHAT AMOUNTED TO A TRICK
QUESTION, WHERE THEY WOULD
RETAIN MOST OF THE BENEFITS OF
CONFEDERATION WHILE EXCHANGING
EMBASSIES WITH ALL THE
COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD.
IT WAS THE CONSTITUTIONAL
EQUIVALENT OF EATING THE CAKE
AND STILL HAVING IT IN FRONT OF
YOU.
IT WAS ESSENTIALLY A FRAUD, AND
THEY CAN'T DO IT AGAIN.
THE UM...
THERE'S A DEMOGRAPHIC COMPONENT
TO THIS AS WELL.
WHEN THE FIRST OVERTLY
SEPARATIST VOTES WERE CAST IN A
QUEBEC ELECTION IN 1962, FRENCH
CANADIANS COMPRISED 31 percent OF
FEDERAL MPs, AND APPROXIMATELY
THE SAME SHARE OF THE
POPULATION OF THE WHOLE
COUNTRY.
THAT COMBINATION OF THE REDUCED
BIRTH RATE IN FRENCH QUEBEC,
AND IMMIGRATION PATTERNS HAVE
REDUCED THAT FIGURE TO ABOUT
23 percent.
BECAUSE 95 percent OF CANADIANS LIVE
WITHIN 100 MILES OF THE U.S.
BORDER, AND IT IS, IN FACT VERY
DIFFICULT EVEN FOR ANY OF US,
TO DISTINGUISH A CANADIAN FROM
AN AMERICAN FROM A NORTHERN
STATE.
CANADA'S IDENTITY CRISIS HAS
BEEN A LENGTHY ONE, AND THE
AMBIVALENCE OF QUEBEC
AGGRAVATED IT.
TO MOST CANADIANS, THE BRITISH
CONNECTION DISTINGUISHED CANADA
FROM THE UNITED STATES UNTIL
AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR.
OUR CHAIRMAN OF THE CLUB
REFERRED TO THIS CLUB BEING
FOUNDED IN 1903, AND IT WAS
REPRESENTATIVE OF THAT STRONG
SENTIMENT.
THERE WAS THE BRIEF MOMENT
AROUND THE CENTENARY OF
CONFEDERATION AND THE RISE OF
TRUDEAU, WHEN IT WAS PROPOSED
THAT BICULTURALISM WAS A KEY TO
CANADA'S DISTINCTIVENESS
COMPARED TO THE U.S.
THIS PROVED NOT TO BE AS
POPULAR IN EITHER ENGLISH OR IN
FRENCH CANADA AS ITS ESPOUSERS
HAD HOPED.
AND IT SWIFTLY GAVE WAY TO THE
RELATED VIEW, INFORMALLY
PROPAGATED BY TRUDEAU HIMSELF,
THAT CANADA WAS A KINDER AND
GENTLER SOCIETY THAN THE UNITED
STATES, WHICH, IN PRACTICE,
MEANT A MORE SOCIALISTIC ONE.
IT STARTED RELATIVELY
INNOCUOUSLY WITH UNIVERSAL
MEDICAL CARE, AND UM...
RATHER RIGOROUS NOTIONS OF GUN
CONTROL, BUT IT EXTENDED WELL
BEYOND THAT QUITE QUICKLY.
THIS WAS AN EASIER IDEA TO SELL
AT THAT TIME, WHEN THE UNITED
STATES WAS ENMESHED IN THE
VIETNAM WAR, AND HAD SEVERE
RACIAL DISTURBANCES IN MANY OF
ITS CITIES.
BUT IT MASKED
THE PRINCIPLE ANTI-SEPARATIST
ACTIVITY OF THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT WHICH WAS THE
TRANSFER OF MONEY FROM THE
WEALTHIEST TO LESS WEALTHY
PARTS OF THE COUNTRY, AND
SPECIFICALLY, TO QUEBEC.
ONCE TRUDEAU CONFUSED THE
QUEBEC NATIONALISTS, WHICH HE
DID VERY ARTFULLY, BY SAYING
THAT...
THERE SHOULD
BE AN END TO THIS, AS HE
DESCRIBED IT, SQUALID DEBATE
BETWEEN POLITICIANS ABOUT THE
RIGHTS OF DIFFERENT
JURISDICTIONS, AND THE FOCUS
SHOULD BE ON THE RIGHTS OF
INDIVIDUAL CITIZENS, WHICH
DUMBFOUNDED THE QUEBEC
NATIONALISTS FOR A TIME.
IT WAS ONLY A SHORT STEP AFTER
THAT, TO REGIONAL ECONOMIC
EQUALITY AND EQUALITY OF PUBLIC
SERVICES THROUGHOUT THE
COUNTRY, WHICH ACCORDED ALL THE
COVER THAT WAS NECESSARY FOR
VAST TRANSFERS OF MONEY AROUND
THE COUNTRY.
AT A PRACTICAL LEVEL, IT
RAISED, BUT DID NOT ADMIT, THE
IMPOSSIBILITY OF BRINGING
RESOURCES TO PEOPLE, BECAUSE
OBVIOUSLY PEOPLE HAVE TO GO TO
RESOURCES.
BUT SEPARATISTS AREN'T ALWAYS
OUTWITTED BY RECOURSE TO
PRACTICALITY.
QUEBEC'S ADHERENCE TO THE
FEDERAL STATE WAS, IN SOME
CONSIDERABLE MEASURE, ACQUIRED.
BUT IT WAS NEVER OFFICIALLY
COSTED BY TRUDEAU OR BY BRIAN
MULRONEY, AND WAS MASKED BY THE
NATIONAL RAISON D'ETRE OF
INSTITUTIONALISED GENEROSITY
THAT SUPPOSEDLY HELPED TO
DISTINGUISH US FROM THE UNITED
STATES.
THIS OFFICIAL PRACTICE OF
COLLECTING LARGE AMOUNTS OF
MONEY FROM PEOPLE IN PROVINCES
WHERE THEY'RE GENERATED, AND
REDISTRIBUTING THEM TO OTHER
PEOPLE, WAS INTELLECTUALLY
JUSTIFIED AS PART OF A
CHARITABLE NATIONAL APTITUDE.
AND PRACTICALLY JUSTIFIED AS
NECESSARY TO NATIONAL UNITY.
THE POLICY TENDED TO LEGITIMISE
AND REINFORCE THE LONG-HELD
VIEW THAT POLITICAL TRENDS WERE
STEADILY TO THE LEFT.
THE PRECURSOR OF THE NDP, THE
CCF, SOME OF YOU WILL RECALL,
USED TO CALL THEMSELVES
LIBERALS IN A HURRY.
IT WAS ASSUMED THAT ALL
MOVEMENT WAS GRADUALLY AND
INEXORABLY TO THE LEFT.
AND WHENEVER MACKENZIE KING WAS
IN NEED OF A BOOST IN A TIGHT
ELECTION, HE WOULD PRODUCE SOME
NEW SOCIAL MEASURE SUCH AS THE
BABY BONUS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE
1945 ELECTION CAMPAIGN, WHICH
HELPED HIM COME BACK WITH A
MAJORITY.
BUT THE DRIFT OF WESTERN PUBLIC
POLICY HAS NOT BEEN TO THE LEFT
FOR THE LAST 25 YEARS.
IT WAS PROLONGED IN THAT
DIRECTION IN THIS COUNTRY
BECAUSE OF THE PERCEIVED NEED,
LET US BE FRANK ABOUT IT, TO
BUY THE ADHERENCE OF A LARGE
REGION OF THE COUNTRY.
IT IS NOT CLEAR TO ME THAT THE
FEDERAL LIBERAL PARTY IS STILL
MOVING LEFT, AND IF IT IS, IT
IS NOT CLEAR THAT THE COUNTRY
IS MOVING WITH IT.
AND THE NDP NO LONGER HAS ANY
CLAIM TO BE ANY BELLWETHER,
MUCH LESS A WAVE AT THE FUTURE.
I PREDICT THAT BEFORE THE NEW
DEMOCRATS CEASE TO CALL
THEMSELVES NEW, NEARLY HALF A
CENTURY AFTER THEY WERE
FOUNDED, I PREDICT THAT IT WILL
BECOME STEADILY MORE DIFFICULT
TO EXPLAIN THE PURPOSE OF THE
NDP AS A DISTINCT PARTY.
I PERSONALLY DOUBT IF BOB RAE,
WHO IS THE HIGHEST NDP OFFICE
HOLDER IN CANADA'S HISTORY, AS
PREMIER OF ONTARIO... I
PERSONALLY DOUBT THAT HE WILL
BE THE NEXT LIBERAL LEADER,
THOUGH I WISH HIM WELL,
PERSONALLY.
I LIKE HIM AS A MAN.
BUT I THINK HE WILL BE...
A REPRESENTATIVE LEADER IN
BRINGING A LARGE NUMBER OF HIS
FORMER FELLOW NEW DEMOCRATS TO
AN IMPORTANT AND INFLUENTIAL
NICHE WITHIN THE LIBERAL PARTY.
THE BLOC QUEBECOIS IS A
LEVITATION.
IT WAS ALWAYS NONSENSE TO HAVE
AN OFFICIAL OPPOSITION
DEDICATED TO SECESSION FROM A
PARLIAMENT WHERE IT SAT.
IT WAS ONE OF THE LUDICROUS
ANOMALIES OF THE ERA OF CRISIS
OF FEDERAL INSTITUTIONS IN THIS
COUNTRY.
IN THE LAST FEDERAL ELECTION,
ALL THREE NATIONAL PARTY
LEADERS SPOKE FRENCH PERFECTLY
PASSABLY.
NO SANE QUEBECER, IN MY
OPINION, BELIEVES THAT QUEBEC
REALLY WOULD BE BETTER OFF
WITHOUT CANADA, OR THAT CANADA
OPPRESSES QUEBEC, OR THAT THE
CURRENT PROVINCIAL LEADERSHIP
OF QUEBEC WOULD BE TAKEN
SERIOUSLY BY ANYONE IF IT
PURPORTED TO SECEDE.
THE FACT THAT THE CONSERVATIVE
PARTY, WITH NO QUEBEC
ORGANISATION, ROSE SO QUICKLY
DURING THE LAST CAMPAIGN, I
THINK SHOWS US THE WAY FORWARD.
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN CANADIAN
HISTORY, THE LIBERAL PARTY RAN
THIRD IN QUEBEC.
ONLY THE TRANSITORY IRRITATION
OF ADSCAM, THE FINAL
MANIFESTATION, I PUT IT TO YOU,
OF THE POLICY OF BUYING
QUEBEC'S AFFECTIONS FOR CANADA,
MAINTAINED THE BLOC VOTE.
QUEBEC DOES NOT WISH TO BE
WITHOUT INFLUENCE IN THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, AND IS
CERTAINLY NOT ACCUSTOMED TO
SUCH A DEPRIVED STATUS.
THE BLOC IS A COMPLETE
ANACHRONISM.
I REFERRED EARLIER TO MAURICE
DUPLESSIS.
HE SAID TO PAUL EMILE CARDINAL
LEGER, "IF YOU SQUEEZE A FISH
HARD ENOUGH, IT WILL GET AWAY."
HE WAS REFERRING TO CHURCH
MATTERS.
SOMETHING LIKE THAT HAPPENED TO
THE CHURCH IN QUEBEC, AND
SOMETHING SIMILAR, I THINK, MAY
HAPPEN TO THE QUEBEC LIBERAL
PARTY.
THE QUEBEC LIBERAL PARTY
SQUEEZED THAT FISH TOO HARD.
THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT QUEBEC
WAS A PRIEST RIDDEN SOCIETY IN
1960.
BUT THE QUIET REVOLUTION OF THE
LIBERALS RESULTED, PRIMARILY IN
THE SAME PEOPLE OPERATING THE
SAME SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS FOR
THE BENEFIT OF THE SAME
POPULATION AT TEN TIMES THE
COST TO THE TAXPAYERS, BECAUSE
THEY CEASED TO BE CLERICAL
PERSONNEL.
SECULARISM HAD ITS REWARDS, OF
COURSE, BUT THE QUEBEC LIBERAL
PARTY HAS OVERSOLD ITSELF FOR
TOO LONG.
AT LEAST IT REPRESENTS A VALID
SERIES OF POLICY OPTIONS AND IS
CAPABLE OF GOVERNING QUEBEC AND
CANADA.
THE BLOC QUEBECOIS, AS I SAID,
I THINK WILL NOT LAST AS LONG
NOR IS IT AS DISTINGUISHEDLY
LED AS WAS THE BLOC POPULAIRE
OF THE 1040s.
BECAUSE THE LIBERAL PARTY HAD
SUCH A RELIABLE FORMULA FOR
WINNING ELECTIONS, IT GENERATED
REGIONAL RESENTMENTS AGAINST
THIS TORONTO, OTTAWA, QUEBEC
BASIS OF THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT.
AND BECAUSE QUEBEC RARELY LIKED
TO PUT ALL ITS POLITICAL EGGS
IN ONE BASKET, IT GENERALLY
SOUGHT A STRONG PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENT.
FROM THE LAST
ELECTION OF SIR JOHN MacDONALD
TO THE ELECTION AS PARTY LEADER
OF BRIAN MULRONEY, THE FEDERAL
CONSERVATIVES HAD 17 LEADERS,
COMPARED TO 5 FOR THE FEDERAL
LIBERALS, ALL OF WHOM WERE
PRIME MINISTER AT ONE TIME OR
ANOTHER.
IN FACT... FOR
MOST OF THEIR CAREERS AS
LEADERS.
THE LIBERALS GOVERNED IN OTTAWA
FOR 71 OF THE 88 YEARS PRIOR TO
BRIAN MULRONEY'S ELECTION AS
PRIME MINISTER, AND THE REAL
LEADERS OF THE OPPOSITION MOST
OF THAT TIME, WERE USUALLY THE
PREMIERS OF ONTARIO AND QUEBEC
AND ALBERTA.
TASCHEREAU, DUPLESSIS, MITCHELL
HEPBURN, FROST, EBERHART,
MANNING, LESAGE, DANIEL JOHNSON
SENIOR, JOHN ROBARTS AND
OTHERS.
THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF
EQUALISATION PAYMENTS WAS
DEVISED BY MR. ST. LAURENT IN
1955.
WHEN DUPLESSIS TOLD HIM THAT
QUEBEC WAS GOING TO ASSERT ITS
CONCURRENT RIGHT TO DIRECT
TAXES AND IMPOSE A PROVINCIAL
INCOME TAX, AND IF THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT DID NOT CREDIT THAT,
ON FEDERAL TAX RETURNS FOR
QUEBEC CITIZENS, THAT DOUBLE
TAXATION WOULD BE THE ISSUE IN
THE COMING FEDERAL AND
PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS IN QUEBEC.
AT THAT POINT, THE FEDERAL
LIBERAL PARTY DISCOVERED THE
VIRTUE OF EQUALISATION
PAYMENTS.
THE...
THE REGIONAL IDENTIFICATION HAS
BEEN STRONG IN VARIOUS PARTS OF
THIS COUNTRY FOR A LONG TIME,
AND THE OFFICIAL OPPOSITION, AS
I'VE MENTIONED, AND AS WE ALL
KNOW, WAS, AT TIMES SEVERELY
FRAGMENTED AS A RESULT OF IT.
AND IN THOSE PERIODS, THE GIVE
AND TAKE IN A DEMOCRACY IS APT
TO BE BETWEEN JURISDICTIONS,
RATHER THAN IN THE FEDERAL
LEGISLATURE.
FOR THE REASONS I'VE MENTIONED,
I THINK THAT THE CONDITIONS
THAT GAVE RISE TO VERY POWERFUL
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS NO
LONGER OBTAIN.
I BELIEVE THAT CANADA'S SYSTEM,
AND I DO WANT TO EMPHASISE
THIS, SERVED IT WELL THROUGH
VERY DIFFICULT TIMES.
IT WAS NOT EASY TO GOVERN
CANADA.
THE HISTORIAN W.L. MORTON
REFERRED TO CANADA MANY YEARS
AGO, AS A COUNTRY STRONG ONLY
IN MODERATION AND GOVERNABLE
ONLY BY COMPROMISE.
RARELY, EVEN IN WORLD WARS, DID
ENGLISH AND FRENCH CANADA AND
EAST AND WEST SEE GREAT PUBLIC
ISSUES THE SAME WAY.
OUR SYSTEM WAS OFTEN BORING,
AND WAS OFTEN INFESTED WITH
SELF IMPORTANT AND MEDIOCRE
PEOPLE, BUT THE NEGOTIATIONS
WERE ALWAYS IN GOOD FAITH, AND
IT GOT US THROUGH A TERRIBLY
DIFFICULT TIME.
THERE'S NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED
OF.
THIS BRINGS ME TO WHAT YOU WILL
BE RELIEVED TO BE REASSURED, IS
MY LAST POINT.
MOST CANADIANS MY AGE WERE
BROUGHT UP TO BELIEVE THAT
CANADA WAS, AS MR. DIEFENBAKER
USED TO REPEAT AT EVERY
OPPORTUNITY, A MIDDLE POWER.
WE WERE CONDITIONED TO BELIEVE
THAT IT WAS OUR LOT IN THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO TUG
AT THE TROUSER LEG OF THE
UNITED STATES OR THE BRITISH,
OR EVEN THE FRENCH.
AS WHEN GENERAL DE GAUL, REPAID
OUR CONTRIBUTION OF AN ENTIRE
CANADIAN ARMY TO THE LIBERATION
OF FRANCE IN 1944, BY COMING TO
THIS COUNTRY AND URGING QUEBEC
TO SECEDE FROM CANADA IN 1967.
SOPHISTICATED ECONOMIES LIKE
OURS WERE DEEMED TO BE THOSE
WHO MANUFACTURED SUCCESSFULLY.
RESOURCE DRIVEN, ECONOMIES WERE
HEWERS OF WOOD AND DRAWERS OF
WATER.
ALL THIS HAS CHANGED.
AS THE THREAT TO CANADA'S UNITY
HAS EVAPORATED, THE STRENGTH OF
ITS ECONOMY HAS GREATLY
INCREASED, AND THERE ARE MANY
PEOPLE IN THE ROOM WHO KNOW
MORE ABOUT IT THAN I DO.
ALL BUT THE MOST TECHNICALLY
ADVANCED MANUFACTURING IS NOW
GENERALLY OUTSOURCED TO LOW
COST COUNTRIES.
AND WITH 6 percent TO 10 percent ECONOMIC
GROWTH RATES IN CHINA AND
INDIA, COVERING MORE THAN a third OF THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD, ALL
OF OUR NATURAL RESOURCES ARE IN
RELENTLESSLY INCREASING DEMAND.
AS CURRENTLY PRICED, WE HAVE
AMONG THE GREATEST OIL RESERVES
OF ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.
BUT THE ENTIRE COUNTRY IS A
TREASURE HOUSE.
BASE METALS, PRECIOUS METALS,
FOREST PRODUCTS, ENERGY,
AGRICULTURE, IT IS AN ENVIABLE
SITUATION, AND THE IMPACT OF IT
IS BECOMING CLEARER ALL THE
TIME.
THERE ARE NOW 191 MEMBER STATES
IN THE UNITED NATIONS AND
CANADA IS GEOPOLITICALLY AMONG
THE TEN MOST IMPORTANT OF THEM.
WE DON'T THINK OF OURSELVES
THAT WAY, BUT IT IS TRUE.
CANADA TODAY IS MORE IMPORTANT
TO THE WORLD, AND I SAY THIS
WITH GREAT DEFERENCE TO MY
FRIEND PATRICK LUCCIANI AT THIS
TABLE, MORE IMPORTANT TO THE
WORLD THAN ITALY.
NOW I KNOW AS YOU DO, THAT KEN
DANBY IS NOT LEONARDO DA VINCI,
BUT THAT ISN'T GEOPOLITICS.

[Audience laughter]

Conrad continues CANADA HAS THE RESOURCES TO BE
A SERIOUS INFLUENCE IN THE
WORLD, AND THE POLITICAL
STABILITY TO ENSURE THAT THAT
INFLUENCE IS POSITIVE AND
EFFECTIVE.
CANADA CAN NOW AFFORD TO BE AS
SOCIALLY GENEROUS AS IT HAS
BEEN, AND REDUCE TAXES TO A
LEVEL THAT IS COMPETITIVE WITH
THE UNITED STATES.
IT DOESN'T, ANY MORE, HAVE TO
MAKE THAT CHOICE.
THIS IS A TREMENDOUS
BREAKTHROUGH, A TREMENDOUS STEP
FORWARD FOR THIS COUNTRY.
AND THE CORRELATION OF FORCES
WITH THE TRADITIONAL GREAT
POWERS, HAS ALSO CHANGED.
MOST OF EUROPE IS EFFECTIVELY
POLITICALLY DYSPEPTIC.
IT HAS COLLAPSED BIRTHRATES AND
LARGELY STAGNANT ECONOMIES.
THE SOVIET UNION, OF COURSE HAS
CRUMBLED.
AND THE UNITED STATES IS, OF
COURSE, STILL THE GREATEST
ECONOMIC AND MILITARY AND
POPULAR CULTURAL POWER IN THE
WORLD, BUT IT HAS ALL ITS
GROUND FORCES MILITARY CAPACITY
NOW ENGAGED IN AN APPARENTLY
SOMEWHAT INTRACTABLE SITUATION
IN IRAQ, AND IT IS RUNNING A
STEADY 800 BILLION DOLLARS ANNUAL
CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT, AND IT
CAN'T GO ON LIKE THIS.
AND AS LONG AS IT DOES, AS LONG
AS BOTH THOSE FACTORS CONTINUE,
THE UNITED STATES HAS VERY
LITTLE DISPOSABLE POLITICAL
INFLUENCE IN THE WORLD,
COMPARED TO WHAT IT COULD HAVE
AND HAS HAD AND WILL DOUBTLESS
HAVE AGAIN.
STEPHEN HARPER AND THE LEADING
LIBERAL CONTENDERS ARE, I
THINK, ALL RELATIVELY
THOUGHTFUL AND IMAGINATIVE
POLITICIANS.
THE UNITED STATES IS A
SHAMBLES, NATO IS IN COMPLETE
DISARRAY, THE COALITION OF THE
WILLING IS AN ABSOLUTE FRAUD,
AND EVERYBODY KNOWS IT'S A
FRAUD.
THERE'S MUCH TO BE DONE, AND
CANADA, WITHOUT EXAGGERATING
OUR POTENTIAL, COULD BE AN
INFLUENCE IN THE WORLD.
IT COULD EXERCISE AN INFLUENCE
THAT CANADA SOUGHT BUT DID NOT
ACHIEVE IN OUR DAYS AS A
PROFESSIONAL PEACEKEEPER AND
MIDDLE POWER.
WE MUST NOT LET IT GO TO OUR
HEADS, BUT CANADA IS, BY MANY
MEASUREMENTS, AND BY IMMINENT
POTENTIAL, ONE OF THE WORLD'S
GREAT POWERS, AND I THINK WE
OUGHT TO GET USED TO IT, AND I
THINK THE PROSPECT IS VERY
AGREEABLE.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

[Applause]

The clip ends and Andrew Moodie reappears in the studio.

He says LOVE HIM OR
HATE HIM, AND IT WOULD SEEM
THAT THERE ARE VERY FEW PEOPLE
IN BETWEEN, CONRAD BLACK DOES
DELIVER A PERFORMANCE, NO
JITTERS HERE.
AND WHILE THE THEME OF A
RECONSTRUCTED CONSERVATIVE
PARTY WAS NOT REALLY ADDRESSED,
HE NATURALLY VEERED TOWARD HIS
HOME, QUEBEC, AND THE PERENNIAL
QUESTION OF IT'S RELATIONSHIP
TO CANADA.
NOW HE DISMISSES THE BLOC
QUEBECOIS AS A COMPLETE
ANACHRONISM, BUT HIS
PERSPECTIVE ON QUEBEC POLITICS
LEAVES OUT AN IMPORTANT
CONSIDERATION, ONE THAT AT
LEAST WORRIES ME.
WHAT IF ETHNIC NATIONALISM
MORPHS INTO A LINGUISTIC ONE,
OR TO PUT IT DIFFERENTLY, WHAT
WOULD HAPPEN IF
PUR LAINE
SOUVERAINISTS
TURNED
INTO
FRANCOPHONISTS
AND
TRIED TO WIN THE NEXT
REFERENDUM BY EMBRACING THE
DIVERSE FRANCOPHONE COMMUNITIES
FROM HAITI AND VIETNAM AND
AFRICA?
AND WHAT WOULD THEN HAPPEN TO
HIS IDEA OF CANADA AS ONE OF
THE GREATEST NATIONS?
UNTIL THEN, I WILL ENJOY
IMAGINING CANADA AS A COUNTRY
WHICH, TO QUOTE LORD BLACK, "IS
BY MANY MEASUREMENTS AND BY
IMMINENT POTENTIAL ONE OF THE
GREATEST WORLD POWERS."
WHO KNEW THAT HE AND I WOULD
HAVE ANYTHING IN COMMON?
AND AS IT IS ALWAYS THUS, THERE
ARE APPEARANCES AND THEN
THERE'S REALITY.
AND THE REALITY OF CANADA IS
THAT IT'S A COMPLICATED PIECE
OF INSTITUTIONAL MACHINERY THAT
IS IN CONSTANT NEED OF
GREASING.
WHAT FOLLOWS ARE EXCERPTS FROM
THE Q and A SESSION WITH THREE
PARTICIPANTS FROM THE
CONFERENCE BOARD OF CANADA
SYMPOSIUM ON CANADIAN
FEDERALISM, JANICE STEIN, A
POLITICAL SCIENTIST FROM THE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, ROGER
GIBBINS, PRESIDENT OF THE
CANADA WEST FOUNDATION, AND
ANTONIA MAIONI, PROFESSOR OF
POLITICAL SCIENCE AT McGILL
UNIVERSITY.
YOU'LL BE ABLE TO SEE THE
PRESENTATIONS WHICH GAVE RISE
TO THESE QUESTIONS TOMORROW ON
BIG IDEAS.

Now another clip shows a man and two women sitting on chairs on a small stage, in front of a small audience.

A man from the audience, in his sixties, rises and says
I MOVED TO CANADA IN
'71, AND COMING FROM FRANCE,
AND WHAT-- WHY I CHERISH THE
COUNTRY IS, I CAME FROM VERY
LOW TRUST, LOW MUTUAL TRUST
COUNTRY, IN A COUNTRY WHERE
THERE WAS LOTS OF MUTUAL TRUST.
AND I THINK ANY OF YOUR
SUGGESTIONS AND VISION REALLY
RESTS ON THE AMOUNT OF MUTUAL
TRUST CAPITAL WE'RE NURTURING
IN CANADA, AND [Inaudible] IN
CANADA AND EVERYTHING, AND WHAT
DO YOU SEE THIS AMOUNT OF
MUTUAL TRUST CAPITAL IN CANADA GOING?

Allan Gregg says ROGER, DO YOU
WANT TO START THAT?

Roger Gibbins, the man sitting on stage, leans up. He's in his late sixties, clean-shaven and balding. He's wearing glasses, a black suit, white shirt, and striped gray tie.

He says YEAH.
I'M NOT SURE THERE'S A LACK OF
MUTUAL TRUST.
POLITICS IS CONFLICTUAL, THAT'S
WHY WE HAVE A POLITICAL
PROCESS, TO RESOLVE CONFLICTS
OF INTEREST, CONFLICTS OF
VALUES.
THAT'S WHAT IT'S ABOUT.
SO I THINK WE OPERATE WITH A
REASONABLY GOOD DEGREE OF TRUST
WITHIN THIS COUNTRY.
I THINK WE HAVE A CIVILITY
WITHIN OUR POLITICS.
IT BREAKS DOWN OCCASIONALLY.
IT BREAKS DOWN IN THE HOUSE OF
COMMONS OCCASIONALLY.
IT DOESN'T BREAK DOWN THAT
BADLY IN FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL
RELATIONS, BUT SEE, POLITICS IS
CONFLICTUAL.
THAT'S WHY I GET IMPATIENT AT
THE IDEA OF PEOPLE SITTING DOWN
AT A TABLE AND CONTRIBUTING
GOOD THOUGHTS.
WE HAVE A POLITICAL SYSTEM
BECAUSE WE KNOW WHEN WE SIT
DOWN AT THAT TABLE, WE
DISAGREE.
AND WE HAVE DIFFERENT VALUES,
DIFFERENT INTERESTS AND WE TRY
TO WORK IT OUT.
SO WHAT WE WANT IS A FEDERAL
SYSTEM THAT... MY CONCERN IS,
WE WANT A FEDERAL SYSTEM THAT
DOESN'T NEGLECT CERTAIN THINGS
WE SHOULD BE DOING.
AND IT HAS A LOT OF NOISE IN
IT, BUT I'M NOT TERRIBLY
DISTRESSED AT FEDERAL-
PROVINCIAL CONFLICT OR
INTERGOVERNMENTAL CONFLICT AND
SO ON.
I THINK THAT'S JUST PART AND
PARCEL, THAT'S WHO WE ARE.

Alan Gregg says JANICE, DO YOU
WANT TO ADD TO THAT?

Janice Stein, one of the two women on the stage, answers. She's in her sixties, with short gray hair. She's wearing a white blazer over a red blouse.

She says JUST A QUICK COMMENT.
I WAS ACTUALLY STRUCK BY
EROSION OF TRUST ACROSS THE
COUNTRY.
IT WAS REALLY QUITE STRIKING TO
ME WHEN YOU TALK TO SENIOR
CIVIL SERVANTS IN PROVINCIAL
CAPITALS AND HERE IN OTTAWA.
ALL OF THEM COMMENTED,
VIRTUALLY ALL OF THEM, ABOUT
THE DETERIORATING RELATIONSHIP
THAT EXISTED, THE BREAKDOWN OF
WHAT STEPHAN DPUREE CALLED
TRUST TIES IN THE FEDERATION.
THAT HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN THE
CASE.
WE'VE HAD MUCH BETTER PERIODS
AND WE'VE HAD WORSE PERIODS.
IT DEPENDS ON THE CHALLENGES.
I THINK WE'VE GONE THROUGH A
PRETTY BAD PERIOD.
AND WHAT'S HAPPENING AS I
MENTIONED IN MY BRIEF REMARKS,
IS NOT GOING TO HELP.
I ACTUALLY THINK THIS IS A
CRUCIAL ISSUE.
YOU CAN'T LEGISLATE IT, YOU
CAN'T MANDATE IT.
YOU KNOW, TRUST COMES, FRANKLY,
FROM THE DOING IN CREDIBLE
WAYS, WHERE PEOPLE KEEP
COMMITMENTS, A MAJOR OBSTACLE
HERE IS UNILATERAL ABROGATION
OF AGREEMENTS, WHICH HAPPENS
REPEATEDLY IN THE LAST DECADE,
AND IF I WERE LOOKING FOR ONE
THING, ONE PARTICULAR POLICY
ISSUE ON WHICH I WOULD FOCUS MY
ATTENTION, I'D SAY, WHEN YOU
REACH AN AGREEMENT, WHETHER
IT'S SOCIAL POLICY OR ECONOMIC
POLICY OR PRODUCTIVITY OR
WHATEVER IT IS, ONE PARTY ALONE
DOESN'T ABROGATE WITHOUT
CONSULTING AND GETTING
AGREEMENT OF THE OTHER PARTIES.
THAT HAS NOT BEEN WHAT WE'VE
BEEN DOING OVER THE LAST
DECADE.

Alan Gregg says MICROPHONE NUMBER ONE.

Another man from the audience, in his sixties, rises and says WHO DEFINES THE NATION
SPACE AND HOW IS IT GOING TO BE
DEFINED.
I HAVE HEARD A VERY PAROCHIAL
DEFINITION FROM AT LEAST TWO OF
YOU, I THINK.
I HOPE NOT, BUT THAT'S WHAT I
HEARD.
HOW-- WHO DEFINES THE NATIONAL
SPACE AND HOW IS IT DEFINED.

Alan Gregg says ROGER, I THINK
THAT WAS DIRECTED TOWARDS YOU.

[Audience laughter]

Roger says YEAH, I THINK
IT WAS DIRECTED TOWARDS ME.
I'M TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT'S
PAROCHIAL ABOUT TALKING ABOUT A
NEW NATIONAL POLICY.
I GUESS I MISSED SOMETHING.
I THINK ULTIMATELY THE NATIONAL
GOVERNMENT PLAYS THE DOMINANT
ROLE IN DEFINING THE NATIONAL
SPACE IN WHICH WE LIVE.
THERE ARE LIMITS TO THAT.
YOU KNOW, ANTONIA HAS POINTED
OUT, THERE'S A LIMIT TO WHICH
YOU CAN IMPOSE A PAN-CANADIAN
DEFINITION ON A FEDERAL STATE.
SO THERE ARE LIMITS TO IT.
MY CONCERN HAS BEEN THAT WE'VE
TRIED TO DEFINE THAT NATIONAL
SPACE THROUGH NATIONAL
STANDARDS, THROUGH THE SOCIAL
PROGRAMMING OF PROVINCES, BUT
THAT'S THE MOST CONTENTIOUS
AREA TO DEFINE THAT NATIONAL
SPACE.
AND SO I THINK WE HAVE TO GO
BACK AND TRY TO FIND A
DIFFERENT WAY OF DOING IT
THROUGH THE ECONOMIC CONCERNS
AND INTERESTS AND ASPIRATIONS
THAT CANADIANS SERVE-- OR
CANADIANS SHARE.
NOW TO DESCRIBE THAT AS
PAROCHIAL, BAFFLES ME.
I DON'T UNDERSTAND.
I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHERE YOU'RE
GOING.

Janice says LET ME HELP
YOU OUT, ALL RIGHT?

[Audience laughter]

Janice continues LET ME HELP YOU OUT THIS WAY.
I THINK EVERY TIME YOU USED THE
WORD, NATIONAL, YOU WERE
REFERRING TO THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT.

Roger says WE'RE TALKING
ABOUT A FEDERAL-- A FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT, YEAH.

Janice says YEAH, AND
ACTUALLY, THE WAY I THINK OF
NATIONAL IS, WHAT THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT, THE PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENTS AND MUNICIPAL
GOVERNMENT TOGETHER DEFINE AS A
NATIONAL PROJECT.
THE NATIONAL IS NOT THE
EXCLUSIVE PROVINCE OF THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN THIS
COUNTRY.
PROVINCES ARE VERY MUCH A PART
OF THAT...

[Applause]

Janice continues SO ARE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENTS.
AND THAT'S, I THINK, THE REAL...
THAT'S THE POINT I'M TRYING TO
MAKE IN THIS ARGUMENT, THAT IN
A GLOBAL ECONOMY AND GLOBAL
SOCIETY, THE ONLY WAY WE'RE
GOING TO GET NATIONAL STANDARDS
IS NOT GOING TO BE THE WORK OF
ONE ORDER OF GOVERNMENT WORKING
IN ISOLATION FROM THE OTHER
TWO, EVEN THOUGH WE ONLY HAVE
TWO CONSTITUTIONAL ORDERS IN
THIS COUNTRY.

Antonia Maioni, the other woman on stage, says
WE COULD ONLY HAVE THIS DISCUSSION ABOUT
NATIONAL AND NATION IN THIS WAY
IN OTTAWA.
I DON'T THINK WE'D BE HAVING
THE SAME CONVERSATION ANYWHERE
IN QUEBEC.

Alan Gregg says WELL THERE ARE
A FEW OF US LEFT WHO ACTUALLY
BELIEVE IN STRONG CENTRAL
GOVERNMENT.
I MEAN IF YOU WANT TO DISCUSS
OFFSHORE OIL, OR OFFSHORE
RESOURCES, I MEAN THE POSITION
OF THE PROVINCES ARE GOING TO
BE DEFINED, WHETHER THEY HAVE
RESOURCES AND A SHORE, I CAN
GUARANTEE IT.

[Audience laughter]

Alan says QUESTION HERE.

A man in his fifties rises and says
THE REFERENCE TO
CITIES, PROVINCIALLY, MUNICIPAL
GOVERNMENTS, FEDERAL
GOVERNMENTS COMES DOWN TO WHAT
I SEE AS THE FAMILY UNIT.
IN THE LAST 30ish YEARS, WHERE
TECHNOLOGY HAS GONE FASTER THAN
THE FASTEST SPEEDING TRAIN IN
THE WORLD EVEN TODAY, AT A PACE
THAT WE JUST COULD NOT KEEP UP
WITH, AND AS A RESULT WE'VE
SEEN SO MUCH FAMILY UNIT, IN A
FATHER, MOTHER, SON AND
DAUGHTER UNIT BREAKDOWN TO SUCH
GREAT DEGREES, AND IF YOU
EXPAND THAT OUT TO THE VILLAGES
BEING UNABLE TO RAISE THE
CHILD, THE COMMUNITY BEING
UNABLE TO SUPPORT THAT, HOW DO
YOU SEE OUR PROSPECTIVE UNITS
BEING ABLE TO PROVIDE THAT
SUPPORT IN THE NEXT 30 YEARS
THAT WE HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO DO
SO FAR.

Janice says I'LL JUST SAY
AS AN ASIDE THAT IT'S NOT CLEAR
THAT THE TWO PARENT TWO CHILD
FAMILY WILL BE THE SOCIAL NORM.
IN MANY, MANY POST INDUSTRIAL
ECONOMIES GOING FORWARD, SO WE
SHOULD PUT A BIG QUESTION MARK
AROUND THAT, RATHER THAN ORIENT
POLICY TOWARD PRESERVING IT.
BUT IN EFFECT WHAT WE'RE
LOOKING AT IS HOW YOU SUSTAIN
WHATEVER KIND OF FAMILIES,
WHETHER THEY'RE SINGLE PARENT,
MULTIPLE PARENT, SINGLE CHILD,
MULTIPLE CHILD, IN A PRODUCTIVE
ECONOMY WHICH IS GLOBALLY
COMPETITIVE.
WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO SO THAT
WE INVEST IN KIDS, PREPARE KIDS
FOR THE KIND OF WORLD THEY'RE
MOVING INTO, WHICH IS...
REQUIRES A REALLY FIRST RATE
EDUCATION FOR EVERYBODY, THE
COST TO THIS COUNTRY OF THE
DROP OUT RATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL
FOR INSTANCE, IS ASTRONOMICAL
WHEN YOU MOVE IT FORWARD.
WHAT IS REQUIRED HERE AGAIN, IS
TO ME, IT CAN'T BE THE
PROVINCES ALONE THAT DO IT.
THEY DON'T HAVE THE RESOURCES.
IT'S CERTAINLY NOT THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT THAT CAN GET DOWN TO
THIS LEVEL OF LOCALITY AND
PROVIDE THE SUPPORT.
THERE'S GOING TO HAVE TO BE A
COMBINED RESOURCE PACKAGES,
PARTLY FEDERALLY FUNDED, WITH A
MINIMUM OF CONDITIONS, ROGER, I
WOULD SAY, WHICH MOVES IT DOWN
TO CITIES WHERE, IN FACT,
FAMILIES NEED TO INVEST IN KIDS
AND SOCIAL SUPPORT SO THAT WE
CAN HAVE A KIND OF PRODUCTIVITY
THAT WE'RE CAPABLE OF HAVING.

Now a woman from the audience rises. She's in her fifties.

She says I'M SHARON
SCHALSBERG-GREY, AND I'M
PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE
CANADIAN HEALTHCARE
ASSOCIATION.
I WANT TO MAKE ONE OR TWO
COMMENTS AND IT REALLY WILL
RELATE TO SOMETHING THAT EACH
OF THE SPEAKERS HAVE SAID.
FIRST OF ALL, I'M NOT SURE WHY
IT SHOULDN'T TURN SOMEONE'S
CRANK, WHEREVER YOU LIVE IN
THIS COUNTRY, ABOUT WHETHER OR
NOT YOU GET YOUR HIP
REPLACEMENT OR KNEE REPLACEMENT
ON TIME.
I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANYTHING
MAGICAL ABOUT THE RESOURCE BASE
IN ALBERTA THAT MAKES ALBERTANS
SUFFER LESS OR MORE WHEN THEY
HAVE THE NEED FOR ACCESS TO A
HIP REPLACEMENT.
SO ONE COULD ARGUE THAT THERE
OUGHT TO BE PAN-CANADIAN
OBJECTIVES, DON'T USE THE WORD
NATIONAL, FOR ACCESS TO THOSE
KINDS OF SERVICES WHEREVER YOU
NEED THEM IN THIS COUNTRY.
THAT'S NOT TO SAY THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT OUGHT TO MICROMANAGE
THOSE PROCESSES.
IN FACT, NEITHER SHOULD ANY
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT.
MY MEMBERS, WHO ARE THE
HOSPITALS AND REGIONAL HEALTH
AUTHORITIES IN THIS COUNTRY ARE
ALWAYS AMAZED WHEN PREMIERS
SAY, WE DELIVER HEALTH SERVICES
IN THIS COUNTRY, BECAUSE
FRANKLY THEY THINK THEY DO IT
WHEN THEY GO TO WORK EVERY DAY,
AND THAT'S A STORY PERHAPS FOR
ANOTHER MEETING.
BUT IT SEEMS TO ME, IN THE AREA
OF HEALTH, IT REALLY IS
IMPORTANT TO HAVE PAN-CANADIAN
OBJECTIVES.
CANADIANS OUGHT NOT TO WAIT
TWICE OR THREE TIMES AS LONG IN
ONE SECTION OF THE COUNTRY THAN
THE OTHER, WHICH IS A REASON
FOR THE USE OF THE FEDERAL
SPENDING POWER IN THOSE AREAS,
AND I'M ONLY USING HIP
REPLACEMENTS AS AN EXAMPLE, BUT
THERE ARE OTHER AREAS OF
HEALTH.
SECONDLY, IT WOULD BE PERFECTLY
INAPPROPRIATE, IF BECAUSE WE
DIDN'T HAVE THOSE PAN-CANADIAN
OBJECTIVES, WE DIDN'T HAVE THE
PORTABILITY THAT'S SO ESSENTIAL
FOR HEALTH INSURANCE.
I DON'T KNOW HOW OUR ECONOMY
WOULD BE ENHANCED IF PEOPLE HAD
TO BUY HEALTH INSURANCE
POLICIES AS THEY TRAVEL FOR
INSTANCE, FOR BUSINESS IN THIS
COUNTRY, AND IT WOULD BE REALLY
DIFFICULT IF WE HAD TO HAVE ALL
THESE INDIVIDUAL ARRANGEMENTS
MADE WHEN PEOPLE TRAVEL.
SUPPORTABILITY IS AN
INTERESTING ISSUE IN TERMS OF
ECONOMIC COMPETITIVENESS, AND
IF YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT
ECONOMICS, IT WOULD REALLY BE
BAD, IF IN SOME PROVINCE, THE
BUSINESSES IN THAT PROVINCE
WOULD HAVE TO PAY TWICE AS MUCH
FOR EMPLOYEE HEALTH INSURANCE
THAN IN ANOTHER PROVINCE,
BECAUSE ONE PROVINCE WOULD HAVE
ACCESS TO TWICE AS MUCH
GOVERNMENT FUNDED HEALTH CARE
AS ANOTHER, AND SO ON AND SO ON
AND SO ON.
SO THE LINK BETWEEN THE HEALTH
SYSTEM AND ECONOMIC
COMPETITIVENESS AND
PRODUCTIVITY AND ALL OF THOSE
THINGS, I THINK IS REALLY,
REALLY WELL KNOWN AND OUGHT NOT
TO BE DIMINISHED.
HEALTH IS NOT LOCAL, HEALTH IS
PAN-CANADIAN AND HEALTH IS
GLOBAL.
AND ALSO...

Alan Gregg says YES, THAT'S
GOOD, THANK YOU.

[Applause]

Allan continues ROGER, DO YOU WANT TO ADDRESS THAT?

Roger says I HAVE NO--
NO QUARREL WITH THE IDEA THAT
GOVERNMENTS ACROSS CANADA OR
REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS OR LOCAL
GOVERNMENTS SHOULD HAVE SOME
RELATIVELY EQUIVALENT FISCAL
CAPACITY TO ADDRESS THE
CONCERNS OF THEIR CITIZENS.
I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH THAT, I
HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH
PORTABILITY OF HEALTH, I AGREE
WITH YOU, OUR HEALTH CARE, IT'S
AN ECONOMIC ADVANTAGE WE HAVE.
I ALSO AGREE THAT THE PUBLICLY
FUNDED HEALTH CARE SYSTEM WE
HAVE IS, IN MOST RESPECTS AN
ECONOMIC ADVANTAGE WE HAVE IN
COMPETITION.
SO NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT.
ALL I'M SAYING-- ALL I'M SAYING
IS, THERE ARE THINGS WE SHOULD
BE DOING AS WELL, AND WE DON'T
NEED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
NECESSARILY THERE TO INSURE THE
QUALITY OF HEALTH CARE WITHIN
PROVINCES.
WE HAVE THIS...
WE'VE GONE INTO THIS BEFORE.
WE HAVE THIS KIND OF SCHIZOID
VIEW OF THE CANADIAN VOTER,
THAT WHEN I VOTE FOR MY FEDERAL
MP, I'M VIRTUOUS, I'M DEFENDING
THE PUBLIC HEALTH CARE SYSTEM,
I'M DEFENDING CANADIAN
STANDARDS, I'M DOING ALL THESE
THINGS, AND WHEN I VOTE FOR MY
LOCAL OR MY PROVINCIAL
REPRESENTATIVE, I'M VOTING FOR
SOMEONE WHO'S GOING TO PILLAGE
THE ENVIRONMENT OR DESTROY THE
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.
IT'S CRAZY, IT'S CRAZY.
CANADIANS HAVE VALUES, THEY
WILL ENFORCE THOSE VALUES
THROUGH THE ELECTORAL PROCESS
ON THEIR FEDERAL AND PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENT, THAT'S ALL.

Another woman in her fifties rises from the audience and says I'M TAKING THIS FROM
A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE, THAT
IF YOU WERE THE ARCHITECTS OF
CANADA FOR THE 21st CENTURY,
WOULD YOU DESIGN A SYSTEM WHICH
WE HAVE RIGHT NOW, WHICH IS
THREE LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT, A
COUNTRY WHERE WE HAVE OT HAVE
AGREEMENTS ON INTERNAL TRADE,
THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF
ASSOCIATIONS DO RECOGNITION OF
CREDENTIALS.
DOES THE STRUCTURE THAT WE HAVE
IN CANADA REALLY MAKE SENSE
WHEN YOU LOOK AT A POPULATION
OF 30 MILLION DOLLARS, THAT WE PUT SO
MUCH MONEY INTO JUST HAVING
GOVERNMENT.

Alan Gregg says GOOD QUESTION.

[Applause]

Alan continues A NUMBER OF YOU HAVE SAID, YOU
KNOW, THE PROVINCES DON'T HAVE
THE RESOURCES, THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT,
[Inaudible]
CANADIANS ARE TAXED half a TRILLION DOLLARS EVERY YEAR.
YOU CAN SOLVE A LOT OF PROBLEMS
WITH half a TRILLION DOLLARS.
THAT'S HOW MUCH MONEY WE HAVE
START OVER.

[Audience laughter]

Conrad continues WOULD WE HAVE THE SYSTEM WE
HAVE NOW?

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Roger Gibbins. President and CEO, Canada West Foundation."

Roger says I DON'T THINK
WE'D HAVE THE SYSTEM WE HAVE
NOW, BUT I DON'T THINK IT WOULD
BE RADICALLY, RADICALLY
DIFFERENT.
YOU KNOW, MY DREAM WORLD, POST
SECONDARY EDUCATION WOULD BE A
NATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY BECAUSE
IT ADDRESSES A MOBILE HUMAN
RESOURCE.
I DON'T THINK THE FEDERAL
SYSTEM IS OVERLY WASTEFUL BY
HAVING TOO MANY GOVERNMENTS FOR
THE SIZE OF THE POPULATION WE
HAVE, I THINK THE DIFFERENT
LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT WORK
REASONABLY WELL.
THE OPERATING COSTS OF
GOVERNMENT ARE RELATIVELY
SMALL.
SO IF I COULD START OVER, I
DON'T THINK THE SYSTEM WOULD
LOOK RADICALLY DIFFERENT FROM
WHAT IT IS RIGHT NOW, BUT I
THINK IT WOULD BE DIFFERENT AT
THE MARGINS.
THERE WOULD CERTAINLY BE A
STRONGER HAMMER FOR THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT IN TERMS OF
INTERPROVINCIAL BARRIERS TO
TRADE, AND ISSUES LIKE
CREDENTIALISATION.
ON THOSE ISSUES, AND THERE
WOULD BE A STRONGER FEDERAL
ROLE IN THINGS LIKE
TRANSPORTATION.
BUT I DON'T THINK WE'RE
REMAKING IT.
WE'VE CREATED A PRETTY
PROSPEROUS, SECURE, INTERESTING
CREATIVE, INTELLECTUALLY ALIVE
COUNTRY, BUT IT'S NOT AS I
SAID, IT'S NOT PERFECTLY
ALIGNED WITH THE ROAD THAT LIES
AHEAD, THAT'S ALL.

Alan Gregg says JANICE DO YOU
WANT TO TAKE
[Inaudible]

The caption changes to "Janice Stein. Belzberg Professor of Conflict Management, University of Toronto."

Janice says YEAH, UH, I
DON'T THINK WE WOULD HAVE THE
SYSTEM WE HAVE, BUT I AGREE
WITH ROGER, IT WOULD NOT BE
THAT RADICALLY DIFFERENT.
ROGER'S RIGHT, WHAT WE'VE BEEN
ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH IN A COUNTRY
IS REALLY RATHER EXTRAORDINARY,
AND WE OFTEN FORGET THAT.
ONE THING I WOULD CHANGE, THERE
WOULD BE A THIRD ORDER OF
GOVERNMENT, WHICH WOULD BE
CITIES, AND IT WOULD NOT BE
COMMUNITIES, IT WOULD BE
CITIES, AND WE'D DEAL WITH IT
SQUARELY IF WE'RE AT THE
BEGINNING OF THE 21st CENTURY
HERE.
WE WOULD DIFFERENTIATE, THAT'S
AN UNCANADIAN THING TO DO, BUT
WE WOULD DIFFERENTIATE, BECAUSE
IT IS OUR KEY PLATFORM FOR
MOVING FORWARD.
THAT HAVING SAID, I THINK IN
FACT, WHAT WE...
OUR TAXATION RATES ARE ALIGNED
RELATIVELY SPEAKING GLOBALLY.
YOU KNOW, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT
OUR TAXATION, I COME BACK TO
ONE QUICK ISSUE, WHAT WE SPEND
ON HEALTH CARE, TWO INTERESTING
PIECES OF INFORMATION, ALL
RIGHT?
ONE, A NEW STUDY COMING OUT IN
THE JOURNAL OF AMERICAN
MEDICINE, WE SPEND LESS,
SIGNIFICANTLY THAN THE UNITED
STATES, WE'RE MUCH HEALTHIER,
AND THEY WOULD LIKE TO KNOW
WHAT THEY CAN DO TO MOVE CLOSER
TO OURS.

Alan Gregg says BECAUSE WE
SPEND LESS ON ADMINISTRATION
THAN THEIRS.

Janice says YES, NUMBER
TWO, YOU MADE THE COMMENT,
ALLAN, AND I THINK YOU'RE
WRONG, THAT THERE'S NOTHING, NO
MANUFACTURING JOB IN ONTARIO
THAT COULD NOT BE DONE MORE
CHEAPLY SOMEWHERE ELSE.
WELL, WHAT WE HAVE NOW IS A
WORLD CLASS COMPETITIVE CAR
INDUSTRY, WHICH IS
REGENERATING.
WHY?
BECAUSE WE HAVE AMONG THE MOST
PRODUCTIVE AND COMPETITIVE
LABOUR FORCE IN ONTARIO, WHICH
ALSO GETS HEALTH CARE AS A
SUBSIDY.
THAT MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE
WHEN YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT
INVESTING.

Alan Gregg says BUT THEY'RE
GOING TO HAVE A HARD TIME
COMPETING AGAINST CHINESE AUTO
WORKERS WHO GET PAID 5 CENTS AN
HOUR...

Janice says NO THEY'RE
NOT.
NO, THEY'RE ACTUALLY...

Alan Gregg says MICHAEL
GRIMALDI TELLS ME THEY ARE.

Janice says A REALLY GOOD
STUDY DONE WHICH SAYS, IN FACT,
THAT JAPANESE MANUFACTURERS
LOOKED AT THE CHINESE LABOUR
MARKET, DID NOT FIND THE SKILLS
AND THE QUALIFICATIONS THAT
THEY FOUND HERE... LAST YEAR.

Alan Gregg says WE'LL HAVE THIS
ONE OVER DINNER.
LAST QUESTION.

[Audience laughter]

A woman in her late twenties or early thirties with a hijab rises from the audience and says
MY NAME IS FATIA AL
SAKKA, I'M A STUDENT AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA, AND MY
QUESTION IS, HOW WOULD THE
APPLICATION OF THE NOTION OF
NETWORKED FEDERALISM AFFECT
CANADA'S ABILITY TO ENGAGE IN
RIGOROUS FOREIGN POLICY,
CONSIDERING THE PROVINCES'
INCREASING ROLE IN
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS?

Janice says THAT'S A GREAT
QUESTION.

Alan Gregg says GO AHEAD.

Janice says YOU KNOW, IT'S
INTERESTING WHEN PEOPLE SAY,
WELL HOW WOULD THIS WORK?
AND I DON'T BLAME PEOPLE FOR
SOME SCEPTICISM.
IF YOU ACTUALLY THINK OF SOME
OF THE BIG SUCCESSES IN OUR
FOREIGN POLICY, THEY'VE BEEN
NETWORKED, AND THAT'S WHY WE'VE
SUCCEEDED.
TAKE ONE, THE LANDMINES TREATY,
IT WAS A NETWORKED
COLLABORATION, LED ORIGINALLY
BY THE VOLUNTARY SECTOR, AND
NETWORKED WITH OUR FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT, MOVED OUT TO OTHER
GOVERNMENTS.
TAKE THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL
COURT, A VERY, VERY SIMILAR
KIND OF PROCESS.
RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT,
WHICH IS THE ONLY, PARDON MY
ENGLISH, DAMNED REFORM THAT GOT
THROUGH THE U.N. REFORM AGENDA.
HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?
A COMMISSION, A PARALLEL
PRIVATE SECTOR COMMISSION WAS
SET UP WITH GOVERNMENT MONEY
WHILE THEY WERE LOOKING THE
OTHER WAY, AND WE WENT AROUND
THE U.N. AND WORKED WITH THE
VOLUNTARY SECTOR.
WE'RE REALLY GOOD AT THIS IN
CANADA.
WE DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND
AGAIN AND AGAIN.
IT DOESN'T SEEM TO ME BEYOND
OUR CAPACITY TO DO IT ON
FEDERAL PROVINCIAL MUNICIPAL
ISSUES AS WELL.

Alan Gregg says LAST WORD, ANTONIA?

The caption changes to "Antonia Maioni. Director, McGill Institute for the Study of Canada."

Antonia is in her thirties, with short wavy black hair. She's wearing a black blazer over a white shirt.

She says YES, JUST TO
SAY, I DON'T THINK THERE'S
ANYONE IN QUEBEC WHO SUGGESTS
THAT AS LONG... AND QUEBEC IS
PART OF CANADA, THAT IT SHOULD
HAVE A SEPARATE FOREIGN POLICY.
QUEBEC'S POSITION ON
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, COMING
OUT OF THE GENEST-LAJOIE
DOCTRINE OF THE 1960s HAS
ALWAYS BEEN THAT IF THERE IS AN
ISSUE THAT DEALS WITH QUEBEC'S
COMPETENCE, IN EDUCATION AND
CULTURE AND LANGUAGE, QUEBEC
SHOULD, COULD HAVE SOME KIND OF
A ROLE TO PLAY, SOME KIND OF A
VOICE.
THAT'S WHAT THE UNESCO DEBATE
WAS ABOUT.
IT WASN'T ABOUT QUEBEC GOING
OUT AND HAVING A POSITION ON
AFGHANISTAN OR ON ISSUES THAT
ARE BEYOND ITS REACH AS A PART
OF CANADA.
BUT I ALSO WANT TO GET BACK TO
THE COMMENT THAT WAS MADE ABOUT
HOW WE WOULD REMAKE FEDERALISM
TODAY, AND SAY THAT I
PERSONALLY, AS A QUEBECER, WANT
TO HAVE MORE THAN ONE LEVEL OF
GOVERNMENT.
I DON'T CARE HOW COMPLICATED IT
IS.
I THINK THAT'S THE WAY THAT YOU
ENGAGE CITIZENS, AND THE MORE
COMPLEX IT IS, AND IF IT'S
CONFLICTUAL, THEN THAT'S THE
WAY YOU BRING CONFLICTS TO THE
SURFACE, AND RESOLVE THEM.
MY HOPE IS THAT WE CAN FIND
SOME KIND OF A BETTER FEDERAL
ARRANGEMENT TO BE ABLE TO DO
THAT, AND SO THAT WE CAN
ACTUALLY GET SOME KIND OF-- NOT
NECESSARILY SOME CLOSURE, BUT
SOME CLARITY ON WHAT THE RULES
ARE, AND WHO SHOULD BE PLAYING
BY THAT RULES.
THE LAST TEN YEARS HAVE BEEN
TEN LOST YEARS IN CANADIAN
FEDERALISM, AND NOT SO MUCH
BECAUSE OF PROVINCES DEALING
WITH ONE ANOTHER, BUT PROVINCES
DEALING WITH THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, Andrew says SO THIS IS IT
FOR TODAY.
MOST OF
BIG IDEAS
TALKS
AND LECTURES ARE AVAILABLE TO
YOU AS PODCASTS.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO
TO tvo.org/bigideas, AND IF YOU
WANT TO RECEIVE INFORMATION
ABOUT UPCOMING BIG IDEAS
PROGRAMS, PLEASE WRITE TO US AT
bigideas@tvo.org.
I'M ANDREW MOODIE, AND I'LL SEE
YOU NEXT TIME.

[Theme music plays]

The end credits roll.

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416-484-2746

Big Ideas. Producer, Wodek Szemberg.

Producers, Lara Hindle, Mike Miner, Gregg Thurlbeck.

Logos: Unifor, Canadian Media Guild.

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2006, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Conrad Black