Transcript: Show #289 | Nov 17, 2002

The opening sequence rolls.
Music plays as clips of politicians and demonstrations appear on an animated number 4.

Then, Steve says
THIS WEEK ON FOURTH READING.

In a clip, Ernie Eves says
WE ARE TAKING ACTION.

Steve continues says TAMING THE HYDRO HURRICANE.
IS THE NEW TORY PLAN ALL ABOUT
FREEZING RATES?
OR TURNING DOWN THE POLITICAL
TEMPERATURE?

Steve, Ruth, Richard, and Mac sit around a table in the shape of a number 4. A logo on screen reads "4th reading."

Steve is in his early forties, clean-shaven, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a dark gray coat over a gray shirt.

Ruth Grier is in her sixties, with short white hair.
Richard Mahoney is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short white hair. Mac Penney is in his sixties, clean-shaven and balding.

Steve says HI EVERYBODY.
I AM STEVE.
WELCOME TO 4TH READING NR
WEEK.
THE STRATEGY TO DISTANCE
HIMSELF FROM -- COULDN'T HAVE
MOVED FURTHER THAN HE DID THIS
PAST WEEK.
IN AN UNCONSERVATIVE MOVE, THE
REREGULATION, NO MORE WILL THE
INVISIBLE HAND OF THE MARKET
DETERMINE WHAT WE PAY FOR
ELECTRICITY AS IT HAS FOR THE
LAST SIX MONTHS.
THE PROVINCE HAS FROZEN
ELECTRICITY RATES TO CONSUMERS
UNTIL 2006, BROUGHT IN TAX
INCENTIVES AIMED AT INCREASING
THE AMOUNT OF JUICE AVAILABLE
TO US AND ASKED US ALL TO CUT
BACK POWER USE BY 10 PERCENT.
WILL ALL THIS FIX THE MESS?
OR IS IT A PLAN BORN OUT OF
PANIC BY A GOVERNMENT THAT SAW
THE LIGHTS GOING OUT ON ITS
RE-ELECTION CHANCES?

In a clip, Ernie eves sits at a table in a home kitchen as journalists take pictures and film.

Steve says ALL WEEK, THE TORIES HAVE
BEEN ROLLING OUT THEIR PLAN TO
DEAL WITH THE SKY ROCKETING
HYDRO RATES THAT HAVE PLAGUED
THE PROVINCE OVER THE PAST FEW MOBTS.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Ernie Eves. Premier of Ontario."
Eves is in his sixties, clean-shaven, with gelled gray hair.

He says THE PROBLEM REQUIRES ACTION
AND WE ARE TAKING ACTION.
NEXT WEEK, WE WILL INTRODUCE
AN ACTION PLAN TO LOWER YOUR
HYDRO BILL.

Steve says THE GOVERNMENT PLANS TO
INTRODUCE A RATE FREEZE THAT
WOULD CAP HYDRO PRICE AT 4.3
CENTS PER KILWAT HOUR EVEN FOR
PEOPLE ON FIXED CONTRACTS ALSO
GET A REFUND, RET ROW ACTIVE
TO LAST MAY TO COVER RATES
THAT WENT ABOVE THAT.
THIS WILL REMAIN IN PLACE
UNTIL 2006 OR UNTIL THE MARKET
STABILIZES.
BUT CRITICS SAY THIS JUST
ISN'T REALISTIC.

A man in his forties speaks to journalists at Queen’s Park.
A caption reads “Tom Adams. Energy Probe.”
Tom is clean-shaven, with short white hair.

He says THE POWER SYSTEM IS TOO
COMPLICATED TO OPERATE IT
WITHOUT A PLAN.
NOW IT'S VERY CLEAR GOVERNMENT
HAS NO PLAN.
THEY ARE JUST MAKING IT UP,
THE RATE FREEZE, THAT THE
MEANS BY WHICH THEY'RE GOING
TO PAY FOR THE RATE FREEZE IS
JUST ALL FABRICATED.

Steve says ONTARIO ENERGY MINISTER JOHN
BAIRD ALSO ANNOUNCED A TAX
INCENTIVE PROGRAM TO ENCOURAGE
LARGE CORP RAINGDZS TO INVEST
IN SO-CALLED GREEN ENERGY.
HE ALSO PROPOSED A
CONSERVATION PLAN ASKING
CONSUMERS AND BUSINESSES TO
REDUCE THEIR ELECTRICITY
CONSUMPTION BY 10 PERCENT.

Now another politician speaks to journalists.
A caption reads “Michael Bryant. Liberal Energy Critic.”
Michael is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair.

He says A FEW MONTHS AGO EVES CALL OUR
CONSERVATION PLAN THIS PLAN
TODAY, CALLED IT TINKER BELL
IN THE BED POST.
APPARENTLY THE PREMIER HAS
EMERGE FRIDAY NEVER NEVER LAND
AND DECIDED HE'S NOT BAY
STREET ERNIE, HE'S
BIRKENSTOCK.

The caption changes to "Marilyn Churley. NDP Energy Critic."
Marilyn is in her late forties, with short auburn hair.

She says NO WOB IS GOING TO BUY IT.
AND THE ANNOUNCEMENT YESTERDAY
AND TODAY ARE NOT GOING TO
MAKE MUCH OF A DENT IN THAT.

Steve says BUT JOHN BAIRD SAID THAT
THE GOVERNMENT'S GOALS ARE
ACHIEVABLE.

Baird speaks at a press conference.
A caption reads “John Baird. Ontario Energy Minister.”
Baird is in his late thirties, clean-shaven, with short curly brown hair.

He says THESE STEPS TOGETHER WITH THE
OTHERS WE HAVE ANNOUNCED IN
THE LAST FEW DAYS WILL BE GOOD
FOR FAMILIES, GOOD FOR
BUSINESSES AND GOOD FOR FARM
OPERATORS RIGHT ACROSS THE PROVINCE.
THEY'LL HELP KEEP HYDRO BILLS
LOW AND ENSURE A STABLE
LONG-TERM SUPPLY OF ENERGY AT
REASONABLE PRICES.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, Steve says DOES THE NEW PLAN MEAN WE ARE
NO LONGER LIVING UNDER THE
THREAT OF BROWN OUTS AND
BLACKOUTS THIS WINTER.
HERE TO SHED A THOUSAND MEGA
WATS OF LIGHT ON THE SUBJECT,
RICHARD FROM --
AND MACLEAN PENNY FROM
NATIONAL PUBLIC RELATIONS AND
RUTH, FORMER NDP CABINET
MINISTER.
MACLEAN, TO YOU FIRST, THE
CONVENTIONAL WISDOM, HE WHO
WINS THE MOST WEEKS WINS THE
NEXT ELECTION. SO WAS THIS A
GOOD WEEK FOR THE TORIES?

The caption changes to "Mac Penney. Ontario PC Advisor."

Mac says I THINK IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR
THE TORIES FROM THE POINT OF
VIEW THAT HOPEFULLY TAKING THE
STEAM OUT OF AN ISSUE THAT IS
BECOMING QUITE HOT FOR THE
THEM POLITICALLY, FOR US
POLITICALLY.
AND I THINK THAT WHETHER IT IS
GOING TO BE A GOOD WEEK FOR US
LONG-TERM WILL BE DECIDED IN
THE LONG-TERM?

Steve says GOOD OR BAD WEEK FOR THE
GOVERNMENT?

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

Richard says WHAT A MASTERFUL JOB, NOT
REALLY TAKING THE PREMISE OF
YOUR QUESTION.
ONLY BE GOOD IF THIS SOMEHOW
GETS BETTER LATER IS WHAT HE
SAID.
AND THERE IS, I CAN'T REMEMBER
WHAT MOVIE IT WAS WHEN EUGENE
LEVY SAID WHAT A WEEK I AM
HAVING.
BUT I THINK ON A SERIOUS NOTE
FOR A SECOND, NEVER SEEN A
GOVERNMENT DO THE FOLLOWING SO
MUCH IN ONE WEEK, ALIEN EIGHT
PRESUMABLY THE PEOPLE THAT
VOTED FOR IT IN THE FIRST
PLACE THAT BELIEVE IN AS YOUR
CLIP SAID, THE INVISIBLE HAND
OF THE MARKET AND THAT STUFF;
B, MORE IMPORTANTLY FOR ALL OF
US, YOUR QUESTION ABOUT BROWN
OUTS AND BLACKOUTS, IF WE'RE
PAYING FOR THIS POLICY CHANGE
THIS WEEK AS WELL AS THE LAST
TWO YEARS OF POLICY, FOUR FOR
YEARS TO COME IN HIGHER HYDRO
ELECTRIC PRICES IN SERIOUS
SUPPLY PROBLEMS; AND WE MAY OR
MAY NOT GET A BREAK BETWEEN
NOW AND THE NEXT ELECTION IN
THE SPRING.
BUT AFTER THAT, IT IS GOING TO
BE COSTLY IN ENVIRONMENTAL AND
ECONOMIC TERMS FOR EVERY
HOUSEHOLD IN THIS PROVINCE.

Steve says HOW SMUG ARE NEW DEMOCRATS
FEELING THIS WEEK?

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

Ruth says I DON'T THINK WE'RE FEELING SMUG.
I THINK WE'RE FEELING
SATISFIED THAT THE CAMPAIGN
THAT HAMPTON BEGAN TO STOP THE
DEREGULATION AND PRIVATIZATION
HAS BEEN HALF WON.
BECAUSE DON'T FORGET WE'RE
STILL THE ONLY ONE SAYING STOP
THE PRIVATIZATION AND ONE EVER
THE -- ONE OF THE IRONIES OF
WHICH THERE ARE MANY THIS WEEK,
IS THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS
DOING ALL OF THESE MOVES,
WHILE NOT ACKNOWLEDGING THE
FUNDAMENTAL FLAW IN THEIR
WHOLE PLAN WHICH IS THE
PRIVATIZATION AND
DEREGULATION.
I MEAN, THEY SAY THAT THEY
DON'T -- THEY DON'T CALL WHAT
THEY HAVE HAVE DONE
DEREGULATION. THEY SAY THEY
ARE FIXING THE PRICE, ETC.
ETC.

Steve says THEY DON'T SAY THAT, I
BEING WHAT THEY THEY SAY.
THE KEY PROBLEMS NOT SO MUCH
PRIVATIZATION AS THEY ARE NOT
ENOUGH SUPPLY.
IF YOU HAD ENOUGH SUPPLY, WE
WOULDN'T BE HAVING THIS
DISCUSSION, THAT'S THEIR POINT
OF VIEW.

Ruth says THAT CERTAINLY IS A POINT
OF VIEW BUT THE PRIVATIZATION
AND THE PROMISES OF
PRIVATIZATION THAT HAVE BEEN
OUT THERE FOR THE LAST SEVEN
YEARS HAVE DONE NOTHING TO
BRING ON NEW SUPPLY AND THE
ABSENCE OF ANY PUBLIC INVESTMENT.
I MEAN, REAL SOLID STABLE
SUPPLY HAS BEEN THIS PROVINCE
HAS ONLY COME IN THE PAST FROM
PUBLIC INVESTMENT AS HAS
CONSERVATION.

Mac says I THINK THAT ALL OF THE
CHANGES THIS WEEK HAVE
CERTAINLY SHIFTED THE RISKS TO
CONSUMERS IN AN IMMATURE
MARKET FROM CONSUMERS TO THE
GOVERNMENT.
THERE'S NO QUESTION ABOUT
THAT.

Steve says FROM CONSUMERS TO
TAXPAYERS.

Mac says FROM CONSUMERS TO THE
GOVERNMENT.

Ruth says ONLY ONE TAXPAYER?

Mac says BUT THIS IS NOT BEING
FUNDED BY THE TAXPAYER. FUNDED
BY A PROGRAM IF IT WAS IN
PLACE IN 20 VERY 0 AND 2001
AND 2001, BASED ON THE RATES
THAT YEAR, WOULD HAVE BEEN
SELF-FINANCING:
I THINK THAT IS
STATISTICALLY TRUE AND ALSO
THAT RISK BYE-BYE BORNE BY
THAT FUND.
NOT BY TAXPAYERS.

Steve says WE DON'T KNOW THAT YET.

Mac says ALL WE CAN DO -- ALL WE CAN
DO --

Steve says CLARIFY THIS.
SEARCH 00, 800 MILLION OR
MAYBE A BILLION EVEN.

Mac says SEARCH OR 800 BILLION.

Steve says SO IF AS THE GOVERNMENT
HOPES THIS TURNS OUT TO BE
REVENUE NEUTRAL, THE FUND IS
THERE TO TAKE CARE OF THINGS.
IF IT ISN'T AND COSTS 2
BILLION OR SOMETHING --

Ruth says WHO PUT THE MON NET FUND IN
THE FIRST PLACE?

Steve says THE RATE PAYERS.

Mac says A RATE PAYER OR A TAXPAYER.
I THINK IN TERMS, RUTH IS
RIGHT, THIS IS NOT A PRICING
ISSUE INSOFAR DIRECTLY RELATED
TO SUPPLY.
SO THE SUPPLY THAT'S OUT THERE
THAT WE KNOW OF IS COMING ON
STREAM IS -- AS BRUCE WILL
COME ON NEXT SPRING WITH ABOUT
1500 MEGA WATS.

Richard says WE HOPE.

Mac says PICKERING A WILL COME ON
NEXT SUMMER, PART OF IT WITH
500 MEGA WATS.
THAT IS A LOT OF POWER COMING
INTO THE SYSTEM IN THE NEXT 18
MONTHS TO A YEAR.

Richard says BUT THAT WILL --

Ruth says THAT WILL HAVE A GOOD
IMPACT ON PRICE.

Steve says RICHARD'S TURN.

Richard says JUST A COUPLE OF THINGS.
BY MAC AND THE PREMIER SAID
THIS WEEK, THERE WAS THE PLAN,
THE PLAN ALL ALONG.
WE HAVE HAD THE MONEY AND THE
REBATE FUND, IF THAT WAS THE
CASE.
WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF US
JUST WATCHING THE PREMIER IN
THE KITCHEN AND MS. HOG
ANNOUNCING THIS NEW PLAN.
THAT IS NOT -- AS YOU SAY, WE
DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH IT WILL
COST YET.
SECONDLY, ALSO RIGHT TO SAY
THE HUGE PROBLEM IS SUPPLY AT
THIS POINT.
NOTHING ACTUALLY THESE GUYS
HAVE TALK BODY PRIVATIZATION,
NOT YET.
THE PLB IS THE DEREGULATION OF
THE MARKET AND THE SUPPLY
PROBLEM, WELL, THE ONLY PEOPLE
THAT WERE IN A POSITION TO
KNOW ABOUT THE SUPPLY PROBLEMS
REALLY FACING THE PROVINCE
WERE THE PEOPLE WHO OWN THE
HYDRO ELECTRIC COMPANY IN THE
FIRST PLACE AND THAT IS THE
GOVERNMENT OF ONTARIO.
RIGHT?
AND WHEN THEY MADE THIS
DECISION ONE YEAR AGO, TWO
YEAR AGOS, THREE YEARS AGO TO
DO THIS, THEY WERE THE ONLY
ONES THAT KNEW THAT PICKERING
A, WHICH IS HUGE --

Steve says THEY SAID IN ESSENCE THEY
WERE DECEIVED.
THE PEOPLE AT ONTARIO POWER
GENERATION DIDN'T TELL THE
SHAREHOLDER, NAMELY THE
MINISTER OF ENERGY, THE
GOVERNMENT OF ONTARIO, DIDN'T
GIVE HIM THE RIGHT INFORMATION
AND THEREFORE ALL OF THESE
PREMISE WERE BASED ON FAULTY
INFORMATION.

Richard says THAT MAY BE POSSIBLE.
SAY TWO THINGS.
ONE, I KNOW THEY ANNOUNCED IN
THE “INVESTIGATION” OF ALL OF
THIS, WITHOUT BEING TOO SHARP
ON THIS, THE PEOPLE THAT RUN
ONTARIO POWER GENERATION ARE
VERY CLOSELY LINKED TO THIS
ADMINISTRATION.

Steve says DO YOU THINK?

Ruth says ANY PARTY ON THAT BOARD
THAT WAS AN INDEPENDENT OR
LIKELY TO BE CRITICAL OF THE
GOVERNMENT WAS NO LONGER THERE

Steve says PAUL GOD FREE.

Ruth says THEY WERE ALL -- THE TORIES PEOPLE.
AND I MEAN, THIS GOVERNMENT
ALWAYS LOOKING FOR SCAPEGOATS,
TRIED ALREADY TO BLAME
MUNICIPALITY AND NO NOW IT'S
OPG.
BUT THE FUNDAMENTAL COM
PLEASITY OF ENERGY, ECONOMICS
DOESN'T SEEM TO GET THROUGH TO
THEM.
YOU CAN'T PRODUCE SUPPLY
OVERNIGHT.
NO MATTER WHETHER IT IS PUBLIC
OR PRIVATE INVESTMENT, IT
TAKES A VERY LONG TIME TO
BRING NEW GENERATION ON
STREAM.
AND THE CHEAPEST AND MOST
EFFECTIVE WAY TO GENERATE NEW
POWER IS TO SAVE POWER IN THE
FIRST PLACE.

Steve says LOVELY.
CAN I RUN WITH THAT SEGUE.
YOU ARE DOING A WONDERFUL JOB.
CAN QUESTION SEARCH SAY?

He shows a sheet of paper to Ruth and Richard and says YOU CAN READ IT.

Richard says ARE THE PEOPLE OF THE
PROVINCE PREPARED TO CONSERVE?

Steve says THAT'S THE QUESTION.

Mac says WELL, I'LL TELL YOU --

Steve says THEY HAVE BOTH DONE A LOT
OF DOOR KNOCKING AND THE THE
IRONY, HE HAD IT IN ONE OF
THESE HUGE HOUSES WHICH I'M
SURE IS NOT AT ALL --
NOT ENERGY EFFICIENT AT ALL.
ARE THE PEOPLE PREPARED TO CONSERVE.
NOTHING I HAVE SEEN SUGGESTS
THAT THEY ARE.

Mac says I WOULD TEND TO -- WELL,
JUST BASED ON MY EXPERIENCE
AND BASED ON MY EXPECTATIONS,
DIDON'T THINK THEY ARE.
I AM AS GUILTY AS THE NEXT GUY.
I MEAN, I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW

Steve says YOU ARE NOT --

Mac says THIS IS THE PECULIAR THING,
THE CONSUMER PATTERNS OVER THE
SUMMER, WHEN THEY DIDN'T KNOW
WHAT THE PRICE OF ELECTRICITY
WAS GOING TO BE.
PEOPLE CON SUMD LIKE CRAZY.
NO ONE, MY EXPERIENCE, REALLY
TURNED DOWN THEIR AIR
CONDITIONING --

Steve says IT WAS A HOT SUMMER.

Mac says AND PEOPLE WANT TO BE
COMFORT SKPABL THAT REQUIRES
POWER.
SO I THINK IT IS GOING TO
REQUIRE A MASSIVE EFFORT,
PUBLIC EDUCATION TO GET PEOPLE
TO CONSERVE.

Ruth says LET ME TRY THAT QUESTION
FERMENT THE DEMAND 23R POWER
BY 17 PIERCE OF WHAT IT WOULD
HAVE BEEN WITHOUT THOSE MEASURES.
CALIFORNIA HAS REDUCED THROUGH
CORN ZR VAINGZ, ITS NEED FOR
MORE THAN WE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN
WITH ROLLING BLACKOUTS.
AND NO'RE ALSO, DO IT THAT
WAY.
THE GOVERNMENT MOVED IN TO
GIVE LEADERSHIP TO GIVE
INVESTMENT, TO GIVE INCENTIVE,
TO SET STANDARDS AND TAKE
CONSERVATION SERIOUSLY.

Richard says AND RESPECTFULY AS I ALWAYS
DO DISAGREE IN PARTY PART -- I
THINK SHE'S RIGHT ON THE
IMPORTANCE OF CONSERVATION AND
THE FACT THAT PEOPLE ARE
UNLIKELY TO DO IT ON THEIR
OWN. BUT SHE KNOWS, I THINK,
AS WELL, THAT THE REASON WHY
THE CONSERVATION WORK IN
CALIFORNIA AS A RESULT OF
DEREGULATION AND REREGULATION,
PRICES DOUBLED.
OKAY.
SO THE ONLY THING THAT WILL
IMPACT ON ALL OF OUR BEHAVIOR
PROBABLY ULTIMATELY IS HIGHER
PRICES FERMENT
AND THAT WILL -- THE
INCENTIVES, THE INCENTIVES ARE
IMPORTANT AND I THINK WE NEED
TO DO THEM.
THE SECOND POIBT AND THE ONLY
POINT I REALLY DISAGREE WITH.
I THINK WE ALSO HAVE A SUPPLY
PROBABLE.
THE TORY, LESS SUPPLY GOING
INTO THE GRID NOW AND THE DAYS
THE TORIES TOOK OFERS AND WHAT
WE NEED TO DO IS ALSO PUT
INCENTIVES NOT ONLY ON THE
CONSERVE MORE BUT ALSO PUT
INCENTIVES INTO THE MARKET FOR
PEOPLE TO BRING ON AND THEY
HAVE JUST GIVEN US A PLAN
WHICH WILL NOT ONLY NOT DO
WHAT THEY SAID IT WOULD DO IS
BRING MORE PEOPLE ON STREAM TO
GIVE US MORE POWER TO HAVE
MORE SUPPLY.
IT WILL DRIVE IT AWAY BECAUSE
THEY ARE CHANGING THE RULES
COMPLETELY.

Steve says IF YOU CONSERVE LIKE CRAZY
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BUILD
ANOTHER NUCLEAR POWER PLANT.

Mac says THIS WHOLE SUPPLY ISSUE IN
ONTARIO AND THIS SPECULATION
ABOUT BLACKOUTS AND EVERYTHING ELSE.
EVEN IF WE LOOK BACK OVER THE
LAST, SINCE THE MARKET
DEREGULATED, ONLY ONE TIME
WHEN THERE HAS BEEN A
REDUCTION IN THE AMOUNT OF
POWER CARRIED ON THE GRID, THE
20 MFERNT REDUCTION AND I
THINK IT WAS, MIDDLE OF
SEPTEMBER.
THERE WERE NO BROWN OUTS, NO
BLACKOUTS.
NOTHING THAT WAS DONE THIS
WEEK WILL CREATE A BRUIN OUT
OR BLACKOUT.

Ruth says ALL VERY EXPENSIVE POWER
FROM SOUTH OF THE BORDER.

Mac says WE ALWAYS BOUGHT POWER. AND
DIDN'T START BUYING POWER IN MAY.

Ruth says MORE THIS SUMMER THAN WE EVER
HAVE --

Steve says BECAUSE IT WAS HOT.

Mac says MORE PEOPLE HAVE AIR
CONDITIONING AND MORE PEOPLE
ARE WORKING AND EVERYTHING ELSE.
I THINK THIS IS -- PEOPLE
CONSUME POWER WHEN THEY HAVE
THE ABILITY TO DO THAT.

Ruth says COULD YOU NOT AGREE THAT
THE GREEN COMMUNITY PROGRAMS
THAT WERE IN PLACE, WHICH WERE
BEGINNING TO HAVE AN IMPACT,
THEY WERE ALL CANCELED BY THIS
GOVERNMENT.

Mac says WE DO HAVE TO GET -- AND
ONE OF THE THINGS AKOUFERNTED
FOR, EARLY 90'S, NO FAULT OF
YOUR GOVERNMENT, IT WAS A
MASSIVE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN.
I MEAN, A LOT OF POWER NOT
CONSUMED BECAUSE A LOT OF
STUFF NOT WORKING.
THEY ARE NOT BLAMING THAT ON
THE NDP.

Ruth says AND THE KEEP THE INCENTIVES
IN PLACE FOR CO GENERATION AS
THE ECONOMY BEGAN TO PICK UP.
THERE WAS HUGE INTEREST ON THE
PART OF ENERGY IN SUPPLYING
THEIR OWN POWER AND BEING ABLE
TO SELL IT TO THE GRID.

Steve says LET ME JUMP IN –

Ruth says ONE MORE
ECONOMIC POINT, YOU ARE ONLY G
GOING TO GET THAT GREEN ENERGY
AND THAT CO GENERATED ENERGY
IF YOU HAVE A PRICE INCENTIVE
FOR SELLING BACK TO OPG.

Steve says HANG ON.
HANG ON.
JUMPING IN HERE.
I AM JUMPING IN HERE, MAC.
THIS IS THE QUOTE OF THE YEAR
AND I WANT TO READ IT TO MAC
AND GET HIS KMEBT FERMENT
REBECCA MCDONALD, ENERGY
SAVING INCOME FUND THAT SAID
HER COMPANY IS HALTING ITS
ELECTRICITY RETAIL OPERATIONS.
QUOTE, WE WERE JUST STARTING
TO SELL BECAUSE I WANTED TO
MAKE SURE THE WHOLE MARKET WAS
FUNCTIONING PROPERLY.
SHE SAID THE COMPANY WOULD
SIGN UP 140,000 ELECTRICITY CUSTOMERS.
QUOTE, UNFORTUNATELY, I DIDN'T
KNOW THAT WE HAVE A PREMIER
WHO WAS A COMPLETE LUNATIC.
FOR SEARCH YEARS, THE
TORIES HAVE BEEN SENDING
SIGNALS, MAC.
A GOOD PLACE TO INVEST AND DO
BUSINESS BECAUSE WE HAVE A
PREDICTABLE INVESTMENT
CLIMATE.
DO YOU THINK THAT IS STILL THE CASE.

Mac says WELL, I THINK THAT, MAYBE 4 TO
6 MILLION CONSUMERS WHO ARE
GOING TO ENJOY THE GOVERNMENT
ABSORBING THE RISK ON THEIR
BEHALF IN THE NEXT FOUR YEARS
WOULD -- A LIMITED AGREEMENT.
IN ANY EVENT, I THINK THAT
THIS --

Ruth says THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

Mac says AND I THINK THAT, IF I WAS
ON THE RETAIL SIDE, I WOULD
SAY THAT THIS WOULD HAVE A
VERY NEGATIVE IMPACT ON ME AS
A RETAILER BECAUSE --

Steve says HIRE OUT A LAWYER --

Mac says HOW CAN I SELL A FIXED
PRICE CONTRACT FOR LESS THAN
4.3 CENTS EVEN THOUGH THIS
PLAN KEEPS THEM INVOLVED BUT
NO IMPACT ON THE WHOLESALE
SIDE SO GENERATORS STILL HAVE
AN OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST AND
BRING ON THE SUPPLY AND STILL
GET MARKET VALUE AS THEY BRING
TO THE GRID.

Richard says FIRST OF ALL, A WHOLE GROUP
OF BUSINESSES OUT THERE THAT
HAVE SIGNED ON TO THIS IN
RETAIL SELLING, THE GOVERNMENT
SAID THEY WANTED TO DO IN THE
FIRST PLACE TO GIVE US FIXED
PRICE CONTRACTS AS FAR AS I
CAN TELL, LITERALLY OUT OF BUSINESS.
I SUSPECT, 1800 LAW-ERROR-US.
WILL TRY TO SUE THEM AND I
THINK, EVEN MORE SERIOUSLY, ON
THE GENERATION SIDE, ALL OF
THE MUNICIPALLY OWNED HYDRO
ELECTRIC UTILITIES ACROSS THIS
PROVINCE, I THINK ARE PART OF
THE SOLUTION FOR NEW SOURCES
OF POWER, NEW GREEN POWER AND
SO FORTH HAVING ACCESS TO THE GRID.
THEY GOT WHACKED THIS WEEK, TOO.
BY THIS CHANGE BECAUSE THEY
ARE ESSENTIALLY.
THEY ALL COMMERCIALIZE
THEMSELVES URGED ON TO SAY WE
WANT YOU TO BE FOR PROVE SKPIT
DO THINGS RIGHT AND WANT YOU
TO GET INTO THIS FIELD AND
THEY GOT THE WRONG TICKET OUT
BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT SUPPOSE
TO DO THAT ANYMORE UNLESS THE
MUNICIPALITY PASSES A SPECIAL
RESOLUTION.

Ruth says IRONICALLY, HAMILTON
UTILITY DECIDED TO STOP ITS
CONSERVATION EFFORTS BECAUSE
THIS WAS NOT WORTH IT IN VIEW
OF WHAT THE GOVERNMENT HAD DONE.

Steve says EXIT QUESTION, WOULD LIKE
TO SAY IN THE GROUP.
TWO WAYS OF INTERPRETING THIS
PAST WEEK'S EVENT.
THEY HAVE MISMANAGED THE FILE
TERRIBLY.
IT'S A DISASTER AND DESERVED
TO BE TURFED OR THEY HAVE
LISTENED TO THE PEOPLE'S
COMPLAINTS AND THEY HAVE HAD
THE GUTS TO REPUDIATE THE
PREVIOUS POSITION TO HELP
PEOPLE OUT.
20 SECONDS TO EACH OF YOU.

Richard says WELL OBVIOUSLY, YOU KNOW
WHICH ANSWER I AM GOING TO
TAKE THERE.
AND THAT BEING SAID, I THINK
THAT DESERVE, MISMANAGED, I
THINK WE'RE GOING TO PAY FOR
THIS FOR YEARS TO COME.
THAT BEING SAID, THE JOB IS
MORE DIFFICULT BECAUSE MANY OF
THE THINGS WE HAVE ASKED THEM
TO DO, THEY ARE NOW DOING.

Ruth says FOR NEW DEMOCRATS.
IT'S EASY BECAUSE WE'RE STILL
THE ONLY ONES OPPOSING
PRIVATIZATION.
I THINK FOR THE TORY
CONSTITUENTS, AND THE FORMER
PREMISE THAT THEY ARE
MISMANAGED AND INCOMPETENT, IS
GOING TO BE THE CHIEF MESSAGE
AND THAT THE CON SIT WENSY
THAT MATTERS TO THEM.

Mac says I THINK THAT IN SIX MONLTS,
IT IS GOING TO, THIS ISSUE
WILL BE ALL BUT DEAD AND THE
GOVERNMENT WILL HAVE TAKEN A
MAJOR ISSUE OFF OF THE TABLE
FOR THE OPPOSITION PARTIES.

Ruth says YOU HOPE.

Steve says A DANGEROUS THING TO SAY ON
TELEVISION WHEN WE CAN PLAY
TAPE BACK TO YOU IN SIX MONLTS.

Mac says WE SHALL SEE.

Steve says MY THANKS TO THE THREE OF YOU.
STAND BY, ONE MORE FEATURE HERE.
EVER SINCE HE TOOK OVER, EVES
AS YOU KNOW.
THE POLITICAL TIGHT ROPE.
ON THE ONE HAND, TRIED TO
ASSOCIATE HIMSELF WITH THE
THINGS PEOPLE LIKE ABOUT THE
MIKE HARRIS GOVERNMENT, LOWER
TAXES, DEFICIT REDUCTION.
ON THE OTHER HAND, ALSO TRIED
TO DISTANCE HIMSELF FROM THE
THINGS PEOPLE GREW WEARY OF,
FOR EXAMPLE.
CONSTANT CONFRONTATION AND THE
PRIVATIZATION OF THE OLD
ONTARIO HYDRO.
HAS HIS STRATEGY BEEN WORKING.
THIS WEEK ON BACK TO 411,
ROBERT FISHER AND SUSAN KELLY
ANALYZE NEW POLLING NUMBERS
THAT ASK THE QUESTION, JUST
HOW IS EVES DOING ANYWAY.

(music plays)
A clip captioned “Backroom 411” shows very fast clips of Ernie Eaves and other politicians giving speeches and press conferences. Then, Susanna Kelley and Robert Fisher walk down a long hallway and past a glass-paned door.

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

Steve says ROBERT, SUSAN, WELCOME BACK
FOR ANOTHER EDITION.
WE HAVE NUMBERS.
WE HAVE LOTS OF NUMBERS.
WE HAVE FRESH NUMBERS AND
RESEARCH AND 4TH READING.
HAVING DONE ANOTHER POLL,
TELLING EVERYBODY OFF OF THE TOP.
THIS WAS DONE OCTOBER 10TH TO
30TH, WHEN THEY WERE IN THE FIELD.
THIS POLL IS CONSIDERED
CORRECT 19 TIMES OUT OF 20 PLUS
OR MINUS 3.1 PERCENT.
GOT ALL OF THAT OUT OF THE
WAY.
LET'S GO TO THE BOARDS.

A slate appears on screen, with the title “4th reading environics poll.”
The poll results show that 50 percent of people would vote for the liberals, 31 percent for progressive conservatives, and 14 percent for the NDP.

A second slide shows that 48 percent of people think there is some difference between the way Ernie Eves is governing the province and the way Mike Harris governed; 34 percent see little or no difference.

A third slide shows that 57 percent thing Ernie Eves is a better premier than Mike Harris.

Steve continues
ROBERT, WHAT JUMPS OUT AT YOU THERE?

A caption reads "Robert Fisher. Provincial Affairs Specialist."
Robert is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair.

He says THE GLOBAL NUMBERS, USE
THAT TERM, ARE INTERESTING BUT
HAVEN'T CHANGED REALLY A LOT.
THEY FLUCTUATE A LITTLE BIT.
AND I THINK YOU ARE CORRECT, A
LOT OF NUMBERS, THE 50 PERCENT
OF THE LIBERALS FOR EXAMPLE,
PEOPLE PARK THEIR VOTE THERE
IS AND WAITING TO SEE HOW
THINGS BREAK OUT.
THIS DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAIR
SKPIS EVES.
YOU KNOW, I THINK THERE WOULD
BE SOME WORRY THERE, MAYBE
BIGGER NUMBERS, YOU KNOW,
MR. EVES TRIED TO BE SO MUCH
DIFFERENT FROM MIKE HARRIS AND
THEY HAVE WORK TO DO IN THAT
TO GET MORE DISTANCE BETWEEN
MR. EVES AND MR. HARRIS.
AND ACTUALLY, I DON'T THINK
THE NUMBERS ARE THAT BAD.
IF YOU PUT –

The caption changes to "Susanna Kelley. Queen's Park Bureau Chief."
Susanna is in her forties, with short wavy blond hair.

She says NOT BAD FOR WHO?
IF YOU ARE THE TORIES, THE 15,
THE FIRST SET OF NUMBERS, 59
PERCENT THINK THAT THERE IS A
GREAT DEAL OF DIFFERENCE OR
SOME DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
MR. HAIR SKPIS MR. EVES.
THIS WAS THE WHOLE STRATEGY
BEHIND A CHANGING LEADERS
BEFORE THE NEXT ELECTION.
THEY KNEW THIS WAS THEIR ONLY
HOPE.
MR. HARRIS WAS QUITE UNPOPULAR
SO THE MORE DIFFERENCE THAT
SEEN BETWEEN THE TWO IN THE
GENERAL PUBLIC, THE BETTER OFF
THEY ARE, HEADING INTO AN ELECTION.

Robert says BUT ONE IN THREE, LITTLE OR
NO DIFFERENCE AND THAT IS
ZUING 95 KARNT.
I MEAN A THOUSAND PEOPLE IN
THIS SURVEY.
ONE OR THREE SAID NO
DIFFERENCE. THEY HAVE WORK TO DO.

Steve says HOWEVER PEFERN PERCENT SAID
NOT ONLY DIFFERENT BUT BETTER.
THEY GOT TO LIKE THAT PART.

Robert says THEY CAN PLAY THE NUMBERS
ALL WAYS TO SUNDAY.
YOU KNOW POLITICS AS WELL AS I DO.

Steve says AND THERE WERE TWO AREAS OF IN
THE PROVINCE IN PARTICULAR.
VERY UNPOM LAR AND VERY DIFFICULT.

A slate pops up showing that for the City of Toronto 69 percent of people think Eves is a better Premier than Harris.
Another slate shows similar figures for Northern Ontario.

Steve says THEY HAVE TO BE HAPPY WITH THAT.

Susanna says NOT SURPRISING.
OF COURSE, PEOPLE IN AN AREA
THAT DID NOT VOTE FOR MIKE
HARRIS
WHETHER THAT ACTUALLY, BREAKS
DOWN INTO TORI VOTES, ANOTHER
STORY THOUGH THAT COULD JUST
AS EASILY STILL BREAK LIBERAL
NDP BUT AN OPPORTUNITY.

Robert says MORE TORONTO THAN HE IS
THUNDER BAY.
THE OTHER WAY AROUND FOR
MR. HARRIS SO NOT REALLY
SURPRISING ANYBODY.

Steve says LET'S LOOK AT WHAT PROGRESSIVE
CONSERVATIVES.
HAVE TO SAY.
DO YOU THINK THAT EVES A
BETTER PREMIER

A slide shows that 43 percent of conservatives think Eves is a better Premier, and 31 percent think he’s not as good as Harris.

Robert says IT'S VERY CLOSE.
IN THAT PARTICULAR AREA THE
NUMBERS ARES CLOSEST. I THINK
THAT IS A PROBLEM FOR MR. EVES
BECAUSE IT SAYS TO ME, AT
LEAST, AND I HAVE BEEN WORK
WRONG, I SAID THAT BILL DAVIS
WOULD RUN FEDERAL REALLY BACK
IN 1984?
NEVER LET YOU FOR GET THAT.
I AM STILL BAYING OFF THE BETS.
THE TORY, THE ONES THAT ARE
MOST CONCERNED ABOUT HIM AND
THE SFIL OF LEADERSHIP.
THIS MAKING IT UP AS IT GOES
ALONG IS SCARING THE HELL OUST
CALK US AND THE TORIES GENERALLY.

Susanna says I THINK IT REFLECTINGS WHAT
HAS HAPPENED IN THE PARTY, THE
MAJORITY OF THAT, 43 PERCENT
VERSUS 31, I THINK IT WAS.
SAY THAT IT IS A VALIDATION OF
THE PARTY MOVING TOWARDS THE
CENTRE, THAT IS WHAT THE
STRATEGY WAS A YEAR AND A HALF AGO.
THAT'S WHAT THEY DID AND IT
LOOKS LIKE, MORE PEOPLE ARE
HAPPY WITH THAT THAN UNHAPPY.
I THINK IT ALSO DOES REFLECT
THAT THERE IS A SPLIT WITHIN
THE PARTY.
IT IS THE OLD RIGHT WING FROM
THE HARRIS DAYS WHO ARE MAYBE,
THE JIM FLA HERTY AND TONY
CLEMENT SUPPORTER AND THAT
MAKES UP THAT 31 PERCENT.

Steve says IF THE NUMBERS WERE
REVERSED AND MORE PEOPLE
THOUGHT THAT EVES WAS A LOUSY
PREMIER, THAT WOULD BE BIGGER
TROUBLE.
IT'S NOT THERE.

Susanna says THE QUESTION IS THOUGH,
WHERE -- WHO ELSE ARE THOSE
TORIES GOING TO VOTE FOR?

Steve says LET'S FIND OUT WHAT THOSE
OTHER PARTIES HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THIS.

A new slide shows that 70 percent of Liberals think Eves is better than Harris.
Another slide shows that 71 percent of New Democrats think Eves is better.

Steve says IF WE'RE TRYING TO GAUGE SOME
SENSE ABOUT THE EFFORTS TO
DISTANCE HIMSELF FROM
MR. HARRIS HAVE WORKED THESE
NUMBERS AT LEAST SUGGEST THAT
IT HAS WORKED.
FAIR TO SAY?

Robert says YES.
AND I DON'T KNOW, TAKE PART IN
THAT SURVEY, I AM NOT REALLY
SURE.
MIGHT HAVE SKEWED THE NUMBERS
BUT THE PERCEPTION IS, HE'S
DIFFERENT AND THE LIBERALS AND
DEMOCRATS SEEM TO AGREE.

Susanna says I THINK AN OPPORTUNITY
THERE THAT SHOWS THAT SOME OF
THE LIBERAL SUPPORT IS MAYBE
SOFT.
AND COULD BE, YOU KNOW, IN AN
ELECTION TO THE 15 PERCENT OF
THE SWING VOTE, ELECT THE
MAJORITY GOVERNMENTS.
THE OPPORTUNITY THERE.

Steve says THE LAST BOARD ON THE KEY
QUESTION HERE. A QUESTION OF TRUST.
WHOM DO YOU TRUST THE MOST TO
PROVIDE HONEST GOVERNMENT IN ONTARIO?

A slide shows that 32 percent say Ernie Eve’s PCs, 27 percent say Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals, and 15 percent say Howard Hampton’s NDP, whereas 25 percent say none or don’t know.

Steve says LOTS OF WIGGLE ROOM THERE.
OKAY.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN THOSE
NUMBERS?

Susanna says I THINK WHAT THE IMPORTANT
THING TO REMEMBER ABOUT THOSE
NUMBERS IS WHEN THE POLL WAS
TAKEN WHEN THE LIBERALS
DECIDED TO GO HARD ON THE
ETHICS IN GOVERNMENT.
THE TORIES HAD LOST CONTROL OF
THE AGENDA FERMENT THE LIBERAL
FORCED THE RESIGNATION OF
JACKSON OVER EXCESSIVE
EXPENSES.
THEY WERE GOING HARD ON EVES
EXPENSES.
AND, YOU KNOW WHAT, IF THE
BEST THAT THE LIBERALS COULD
GET OUT OF THAT WAS TO COME
FIVE POINTS BELOW THE TORIES
IN THE HONESTY INDEX.
I DON'T THINK THEY DID VERY
WELL OUT OF IT.

Robert says THE 25 PERCENT NUMBER SORT
OF JUMPS OUT AT ME.
IT SHOWS ME A LOT OF PEOPLE UP
THERE IN THE REAL WORLD VERY
UNHAPPY WITH ALL THREE
LEADERS.
THAT IS VERY SERIOUS FERMENT
THAT IS A GAP THEY ALL HAVE TO
ADDRESS.

Steve says LAST MINUTE AND A HALF.
IT HAS BEEN A BIG WEEK FOR THE
GOVERNMENT IN TERMS OF TRYING
TO TURN AROUNLD THE HYDRO
ISSUE.
THEY DID THREE BIG ROLL OUTS,
VARIOUS LOCATION DURING THE
COURSE OF THE WEEK.
HOW DID THEY DO?

Robert says WELL THE TORIES THINK THEY
WERE TRIFERK.
THEY ROLLED IT OUT IN THREE
DAYS AND ALL KINDS OF
COVERAGE.
MR. EVES IN A KITCHEN WITH A
TELEPROMPTER AND A WIRELESS
MIKE. BUT MY HOUSE HAS THAT
ALSO.
ALSO EQUIP WIDE THAT AND A
KITCHEN BIG ENOUGH TO HOLD 15
TELEVISION CREWS.
I DON'T THINK HE LOOKS
COMFORTABLE IN THAT SETS AND
HOPE AND WISH, THAT THIS ISSUE
IS GOING TO GO AWAY.
I THINK IT WILL CONTINUE TO
HAUNT THEM. FREEZE OR NO
FREEZE, NOT HONESTY IN
GOVERNMENT BUT WHO CAN MANAGE.
THE TORIES ALSO PRIDE
THEMSELVES AS MANAGERS AND
OCCURRENCE NOW THAT MR. EVES
IS NOT THE MANAGE THEY'RE
HARRIS WAS.

Susanna says I THINK THERE SAY LITTLE
BIT OF THAT, BUT I THINK GIVEN
SIX MONTHS, GOING INTO A NEW
ELECTION, EVERYBODY IS GOING
TO HAVE FORGOTTEN ABOUT THIS.
THEY HAVE FIXED IT.
THEY FIXED IT IN TERMS OF THE
VOTERS.
POOR VOTERS IN THE RURAL RIDING.
SMALL BUSINESSMEN WHO WERE
JUST RINGING THE EARS OFF OF
THE TORY MP ABOUT THEIR HYDRO
RATES GOING THROUGH THE ROOF.
THEY HAD TO DO THAT.
THEY DID THE CLIMB DOWN AND
DIDN'T DO IT FAST ENOUGH BUT
THEY DID IT.
DID IT LOUD SKPLEE GOT A
BEAUTIFUL HEADLINE IN THE GLON
AND MAIL.
EVEE FREEZES HYDRO RATES.
THEY MUST HAVE BEEN KISSING
THE GLOBE AND MAIL THAT
MORNING.
I THINK THAT'S WHAT THEY GOT.
EVERYBODY WILL HAVE FORGOTTEN
IT IN THE SPRING IF AN
ELECTION.

Robert says THEY ARE NOT READY AND THEY
KNOW IT.
BIG TROUBLE WITH THIS ISSUE
AND THEY ARE TOTALLY
DISORGANIZED.
THEY ARE UNPLUGGED IN THIS ONE.

Steve says THANKS FOR THE 4-11.
THANK YOU, APPRECIATE IT.

Susanna says THANK YOU.

Steve says AND THAT'S OUR PROGRAM FOR
THIS WEEK.
I AM STEVE, UNTIL NEXT SUNDAY.

Music plays and the end credits roll.

Queen's Park Bureau Chief, Susanna Kelley.

Producer, Erica Balch.

Director, Michael Smith.

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2002, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Show #289