Transcript: Health Care Funding | Feb 01, 2004

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

Steve says THIS WEEK ON "4TH
READING."

A clip shows a politician giving an interview and doctors doing a surgery.

The male politician says GOVERNMENT LEADERS
WILL DO THE RIGHT THING.

Steve says FIRST MINISTERS AND
HEALTH MINISTERS PONDER THE
NUMBER ONE PRIORITY OF
CANADIANS: OUR HEALTH CARE
SYSTEM.

Steve, three panelists and a guest 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 light brown jacket over a gray-necked sweater.

Steve says HI, EVERYBODY.
I'M STEVE PAIKIN.
WLG TO "4TH READING"
FOR THIS WEEK.
WAITING LISTS FOR NEEDED
PATIENTS AND CROWDED EMERGENCY
ROOMS.
DOCTORS, NURSESAND HOSPITALS ALL WITH
THEIR HANDS OUT WANTING MORE OF THE
SCARCE HEALTH CARE DOLLARS.
FOR ALL OF THEM, GOOD NEWS THIS
WEEK.
AFTER MEETING WITH ALL OF THE
PREMIERS, PAUL MARTIN
CONFIRMED THAT 2 BILLION DOLLARS WILL
FLOW FOR THE SERVICES.
BUT THE PREMIERS SAY THAT'S
JUST ENOUGH MONEY FOR THIS
YEAR, AND THEY NEED A LOT MORE.
WHAT'S DOWN THE LINE FOR OUR
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM?

A clip plays.

Paul Martin is in his sixties, with gray hair.

At a press conference, Paul says THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
CONFIRMED, UM, THAT THE 2
BILLION DOLLARS
CONTINGENT PAYMENT FOR THE
PROVINCES THAT HAD BEEN
PROMISED BY THE PREVIOUS
GOVERNMENT WOULD BE MADE.

Steve says BUT THE AMOUNT FALLS
SHORT OF WHAT THE PROVINCES
SAID THEY NEED TO CURE OUR
AILING HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Honourable Paul Martin. Minister of Finance."

As Steve speaks, a clip shows MMPs speaking in the Legislature and hospital workers.

Steve continues DURING THE '90'S, THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT SLASHED BILLIONS OF
HEALTH CARE DOLLARS TO THE
PROVINCES, LEADING THE
PROVINCES, SAY, TO HOSPITAL
CLOSURES, AND DEEP CUTS TO
NURSEING AND INCREASED WAIT
TIMES.
CRITICS SAY THIS WEEK
ANOUNMENT IS NOT ENOUGH TO MAKE
UP FOR YEARS OF CHRONIC UNDER
FUNDING.

The caption changes to "Shelley Martel. NDP Health Critic." Shelley is in her forties, with short brown hair and bangs.

Shelley says WHAT'S CLEAR IS
THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
HAS, HAS DRAMATICALLY CUT ITS
FUND TO GO HEALTH CARE OVER A
NUMBER OF YEARS.
WE ARE NOT WHERE WE SHOULD BE.
AND IF THEY DON'T ANTE UP SOME
MONEY VERY SOON, PROVINCES LIKE
ONTARIO WILL CONTINUE DOWN THE
ROAD OF PRIVATE HEALTH CARE.

Steve says TO CUT COSTS, THE
ONTARIO LIBERALS HAVE ALREADY
APPROVED THE BUILDING OF
SO-CALLED PUBLIC-PRIVATE
PARTNERSHIPS OR P 3 HOSPITALS.
THE BUILDING OF THESE
FACILITIES WOULD BE PRIVATELY
FINANCED, BUT THE HOSPITALS
WOULD BE PUBLICLY RUN.
BUT THERE ARE MANY DEMANDS ON
ONTARIO'S LIMITED RESOURCES.
NURSES ARE DEMANDING THAT 2,000
FULL-TIME POSITIONS BE CREATED
IMMEDIATELY.
DOCTORS AND NURSES’ CONTRACTS
EXPIRE IN MARCH AND UP FOR
NEGOTIATION.
ALSO, THE LIBERALS HAVE
PROMISED TO OVERALL ONTARIO'S
LONG-TERM CARE SYSTEM,
INCLUDING NURSING HOME.

The caption changes to "Elizabeth Witmer, PC Health Critic." Elizabeth is in her fifties, with short brown hair and bangs.

Elizabeth says WE NEED MORE DOCTORS, WE
NEED MORE NURSES.
WE HAVE A PROBLEM WITH WAIT
TIMES IN THE EMERGENCY ROOMS.
PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR MORE
HOME CARE.
LONG-TERM CARE.
DRUG COVERAGE.
AND I CAN TELL YOU THAT THERE
HAS BEEN LITTLE OR NO MOVEMENT
ON BEHALF OF THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT TO SUPPORT THE
PROVINCES FINANCIALLY.

Steve says THE MCGUINTY
GOVERNMENT IS HAMSTRUNG BY WHAT
IT SAYS IS A
5.6 BILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT AND ITS
OWN CAMPAIGN PROMISE NOT TO
RAISE TAXES.

The caption changes to "Doctor Gordon Guyatt. The Medical Reform Group." He is in his forties, clean-shaven with brown hair.

Gordon says THEY'RE FACED WITH DOCTORS
WANTING MORE MONEY, NURSING
WANTING MORE MONEY AND
FULL-TIME POSITIONS.
THESE ARE ALL THE LEGITIMATE
NEEDS.
SO, UM, SO IT IS HARD
TO SEE THE PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENT EFFECTIVELY DEALING
WITH PROBLEMS WHEN HAVING
TIED THEIR HANDS, IN TERMS OF
ROLLING BACK SOME OF THOSE TAX
CUTS, AND GETTING THE DOLLARS
THAT ARE NECESSARY TO ADDRESS
THOSE PROBLEMS .

Steve says BUT THE FEDS SAY
THEY'RE RESPONDING NOW AND IN
THE FUTURE.

The caption changes to "Pierre Pettigrew. Federal Health Minister." Pierre is in his fifties, with wavy gray hair.

At a press conference, Pierre says PRIME MINISTER MARTIN IS
DETERMINED TO SET A NEW TONE.
WE WANT A NEW PARTNERSHIP.
WE'RE DETERMINED TO
CHANGE THE WAY THINGS HAVE BEEN
GOING FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS.

Steve says ONTARIO'S HEALTH
MINISTER GEORGE SMITHERMAN SAYS THAT HE'S
OPTIMISTIC.

George is in his fifties, with receding gray hair.

George says OUR PREMIER, AND I THINK THE
COUNTRY'S PRIME MINISTER, KNOW THAT
MEDICARE, OUR SYSTEM OF PUBLIC
HEALTH CARE, IS VERY BEST
EXPRESSION OF CANADIAN VALUES.

The caption changes to "George Smitherman. Ontario Minister of Health."

George continues AND, AS A RESULT OF THAT, I'M
QUITE CONVINCED THAT GOVERNMENT
LEADERS WILL, UM, WILL DO THE
RIGHT THING.
MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE THE
RESOURCES THAT WE REQUIRE TO--
TO DELIVER A, A BETTER SYSTEM
THAN THE ONE THAT WE HAVE
TODAY.

The clip ends.

Steve says OKAY.
WHERE WILL THE PROVINCIAL USE
ALL OF THAT EXTRA MONEY COMING
FROM OTTAWA?
LET'S ASK THE MAN CHARGED WITH
HANDLING THE MOST HIGHLY
DIFFICULT POLITICAL FILE OF
THEM ALL: GEORGE
SMITHERMAN IS THE HEALTH
MINISTER IN ONTARIO,
LIBERAL MPP FOR TORONTO CENTER
ROSEDALE.
WELCOME BACK TO TVO.

George wears a blue suit, a white shirt and a red tie.

George says THANKS VERY MUCH,
HAPPY TO BE HERE.

Steve says CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR
APPOINTMENT.
AND ACROSS THE TABLE HERE, STARTING WITH
YOUR FORMER CAUCUS COLLEGUE, SEAN CONWAY.
AND JANET ECKER JUST
OFF THE PLANE,
LOOKING FANTASTIC.

Janet laughs.

Steve continues AND DAVE COOKE, FORMER NDP
CABINET MINISTER.
SO IT’S 2 BILLION DOLLAR NATIONWIDE.
HOW MUCH COMES TO ONTARIO?

George says JUST ABOUT 780 MILLION DOLLARS.

Steve says DOES THAT GET SUCKED
IN UP FIVE MINUTES IN THIS
PROVINCE?
WHAT HAPPENS WITH IT?

George says I THINK THAT THERE'S SOME
CAN CONCERN THAT MONEY THAT IS
SOMETIME DISTRIBUTED THE HEALTH
CARE SYSTEM IS SPREAD FAR AND
WIDE WITHOUT ACHIEVING
PARTICULAR RESULTS.
WE'RE WORKING ON A
VERY NEW STRATEGY, WHICH IS
DESIGNED TO CREATE SOME
INCENTIVES AND REWARD IN THE
SYSTEM THAT'S DESIGNED TO USE
US TO TARGET RESORES TOWARDS
PARTICULAR CHALLENGES.
AND I THINK THAT ACCESSIBILITY
ISSUES BEST EXPRESSED AROUND
WAIT TIMES IS REALLY WHERE I
THINK CANADIANS AND THOSE IN
ONTARIO WILL SEE, UM, MUCH MORE
FOCUS GIVEN.
THAT WE'RE GOING TO USE THESE
RESOURCES SO TARGET PARTICULAR
CHALLENGE AREAS.
AND TO USE THEM, THE MONEY TO
TRY AND, UM, BUY SOME
TRANSFORMTIVE CHANGE IN THE
SYSTEM.
JUST ONE REALLY QUICK EXAMPLE--

Steve says WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

George says TEN HOSPITALS IN EAST METRO
AND YORK AND DURHAM REGION
CONDUCTED A STUDY SAID THAT IF
THEY AMALGAMATED THEIR SERVICES
AROUND PAY REALLY ROLL AND
JOINT PURCHASINGING THAT THEY
COULD SAVE 27 MILLION DOLLARS FOR
AN INVESTMENT OF 3 MILLION DOLLARS IN
TECHNOLOGY.
A GOOD INVESTMENT IN ONTARIO IS
TO INVEST IN SOME OF THE
TECHNOLOGY TO GUY SOME
TRANSFORMTIVE CHANGE AND GET
THOSE HOSPITALS WORKING
TOGETHER FOR ONCE ON SERVICES
THAT MAKE SENSE TO AMALGAMATE.
NOTHING IN CLINICAL AREAS.
JUST ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES.
AND POUR THOSE SAVINGS INTO THE
CLINICAL AREAS.

Steve says ARE THEY GOING TO DO
IT?

George says YEAH, THIS IS THE KIND OF
THING THAT WE'RE LOOKING TO
WORK WITH
OUR PARTNERS IN HEALTH CARE.

Steve says I'M CURIOUS AS TO
WHETHER YOU SEE HEALTH CARE AS
A PARTISAN ISSUE.
WE HAVE, YOU KNOW, OVER THE
YEARS AT THIS TABLE HAD HEALTH
MINISTERS FROM ALL DIFFERENT
PARTIES, ALL ESSENTIALLY, WANTED
TO DO
MOSTLY THE SAME THINGS.
IS HEALTH CARE A PARTISAN
ISSUE?

George says I THINK I SAID THIS BEFORE,
WE WERE TALKING, I THINK THAT,
UM, THAT FOR ME,
I'M A-- YOU KNOW, I HAVE A
REPUTATION FOR BEING BE A
REASONABLY PARTISAN GUY.

Steve says NO KIDDING.

George smiles and says AND I KNOW JANET WILL WANT
TO DISAGREE .

Janet is in her forties, with short blond hair. She’s wearing a green blazer, an orange and brown striped scarf and glasses.

Janet says NEVER.

George continues BUT THE INTERESTING THING
FOR ME REALLY IS, UM, IS THAT A
LOT OF FOLKS, EVERYONE WANT YOU
TO DO WELL IN HEALTH CARE.
IT ISN'T THAT-- THAT SAID, ON
THE TAPE, IT'S A BEST
EXPRESSION OF CANADIAN VALUES.
EVEN IF THEY'RE IDEALOGICAL AND
PHILOSOPHICAL DIFFERENCES ABOUT
APPROACH, EVERYONE WANTS TO SEE
SUCCESS.
I CERTAINLY ENJOYED A GOOD
RELATIONSHIP WITH WITMER AND
OTHERS, BUT WE DON'T AGREE ON
ALL POINT.
BUT THERE'S WIDE AGREEMENT ON
MANY OF THEM.
IT'S TIME TO GET ON FRANKLY
WITH DOING SOME OF WHAT
EVERYBODY HAS SPOKEN ABOUT FOR A
LONG TIME.

Steve says IS THE HEALTH SYSTEM
SO UNMANAGEABLE THAT WITH AN
INFLUX OF 1 70 MILLION DOLLARS AS YOU
I THINK YOU SAID IT WAS, YOU
CAN'T DO THAT MUCH.

The caption changes to "Janet Ecker. Former P.C. Cabinet Minister."

Janet says YOU CAN'T REALLY.
WHEN YOU LOOK AT IT, THE HEALTH
BUDGET RIGHT NOW IS ABOUT 27 BILLION DOLLARS.
THAT'S UP FROM 17 BILLION WHEN
THE HARRIS GOVERNMENT CAME IN.
WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE
INFLATIONARY COST WITHIN THE
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, I MEAN,
JUST STANDING STILL, THAT
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM CAN GROW,
THE DRUG PLAN'S ABOUT 15 - 20 percent
ANNUAL INCREASES NOW N A GOOD
YEAR, ECONOMIC GROWTH MIGHT BE
4-5 percent.
THE HEALTH CARE BUDGET IS
BASICALLY THE-- THE MONSTER
THAT'S EATING EVERY PROVINCIAL
BUDGET.
IT IS SUCKING UPPING MONEY FROM
EVERY OTHER PROGRAM.
IT'S QUITE RIGHT THAT EVERYONE
AGREES, I THINK GEORGE HAS MADE
A GOOD POINT THAT HEALTH CARE
IS THE TOP PRIORITY FOR EVERY
GOVERNMENT OF WHATEVER
POLITICAL STRIPE.
BUT IT'S SUCKING UP REAP
SOURCES FROM EVERY OTHER
PROGRAM.
EDUCATION, SOCIAL SERVICES, AND
THAT'S NOT SUSTAINABLE .

Steve says DAVE COOKE, CAN YOU
GIVE THIS GUY SOME ADVICE AND
WHAT THE TOP PRIORITIES OUGHT
TO BE AS THE NEW MINISTER OF
HEALTH?

The caption changes to "Dave Cooke. Former NDP Cabinet Minister." He’s in his late forties, with short hair and clean-shaven. He’s wearing a gray suit, a white shirt and a diamond gray silk tie.

Dave says WELL, I THINK THAT-- THAT IN
THINKING ABOUT THIS TOPIC, UM,
IT'SL REALLY TOUGH.
I MEAN, EVERY TIME YOU WANT TO
DO-- MAKE A MAJOR REFORM,--
THERE'S A LOBBY GROUP
OUT THERE THAT IS GOING TO BE
ABLE TO ORGANIZE AND TELL YOU
WHY YOU SHOULDN'T DO IT.
UM, IT'S VERY TOUGH.
I MEAN, THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT
TRIED TO MAKE SOME CHANGES BY
CLOSING SOME HOSPITALS.
AND REDIRECTING SOME OF THOSE
DOLLARS TO THE COMMUNITY.
WE DIDN'T FISHINGLY THE WAY
THEY DID IT.
UM, BUT THAT WAS
DESTROYED.
UM, I GUESS MY ADVICE WOULD BE
FOCUS IN ON SOMETHING, UM, AND
LOOK AT SOME OF THE BIG
EXPENDITURES.
THEN YOU JUST GOT TO AHEAD WITH
IT.
YOU'VE GOT TO TRY AND GET YOUR
GROUPS BEHIND YOU.
YOU'VE GOT TO, TO GO AHEAD AND
PUT THOSE REFORS IN PLACE.
BECAUSE YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO
SEEK OR ACHIEVE A CONSENSUS.

Steve says LET ME SUGGEST ONE TO
SEAN CONWAY HERE, WHO REMEMBERS
THIS WELL BACK IN '86 I THINK,
WHEN YOU WEREN'T THE MINISTER
OF HEALTH BUT YOU WERE THE
MINISTER IN THAT GOVERNMENT.
DOCTORS.
YOU GUYS WENT AFTER THE DOCTORS
ON EXTRA BILLING BACK THEN.
ALMOST 20 YEARS AGO NOW AND THE
RESULT WAS A POLITICAL VICTORY
FOR THE GOVERNMENT.
AND A DEVASTATING DEFEAT FOR
THE DOCTORS.
NOW, HE'S BEEN TO EMBARK ON FEE SCHEDULE
NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE DOCTORS.
MY GUEST IS THAT IS NOT GOING TO BE
ALL THAT MUCH FUN.
POLITICALLY, A GOOD IDEA TO
PICK THE FIGHT WITH THE DOCS?

The caption changes to "Sean Conway. Former Liberal Cabinet Minister." Sean is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with blond hair. He’s wearing round glasses, a dark blue suit, a light blue shirt and a striped dark red and golden tie.

Sean says I GUESS MY QUESTION FOR THE
MINISTER IS, UM, WHAT-- WHAT DO
YOU HAVE TO SAY TONIGHT TO
DOCTORS AND NURSES, UM, WITH
THE NEWS OUT OF OTTAWA THAT
THERE'S AN ADDITIONAL 780
MILLION DOLLARS COMING TO ONTARIO AS
PART OF THE THIS
AGREEMENT?
WHAT SHOULD NURSES AND
DOCTORS EXPECT?
BECAUSE ONE OF THE
COMMITMENTS ABOUT PREMIER
MCGUIRE HAS MADE
IS THAT THERE'S GOING TO BE
MORE OF THIS MONEY FLOWING
TO THE FRONT-LINE DELIVERERS OF
QUALITY HEALTH CARE.

George says I THINK A COUPLE OF POINTS.
I THINK FIRSTLY WE IMMEDIATE
TO KEEP IN MIND THAT
WITH THIS MONEY, IT'S ONE TIME
SO TALKING ABOUT IT IN THE
CONTEXT OF SALARIES IS A BIT
DANGEROUS BECAUSE IT DONE GET
BUILT IN FUTURE YEARS.
ALTHOUGH THAT'S OBVIOUSLY WHERE
THE DEBATE MOVES TO.
HERE'S MY TAKE ON IT.
AT THE END OF THE DAY, UM,
HEALTH CARE HAS BECOME AN ISSUE THAT
THE MEDIA
HAS TURNED INTO, AND I THINK
GOVERNMENT SOMETIMES HAVE SAID THIS,
A SIMPLE ISSUE
AS TO IS THERE MORE MONEY OR
NOT?
IN OTHER WORDS, THAT'S
BECOME THE WHOLE DEBATING
POINT.
TALK ABOUT THE NURSE FILE FOR A
SECOND.
OF COURSE, NURSES ARE UP FOR
NEGOTIATION.
MONEY IS ONE OF THEIR ISSUES.
IF YOU LOOK AT THE STATE OF
NURSING IN THE PROVINCE OF
ONTARIO, THERE ARE MANY ISSUES
WHICH NURSING WILL TELL YOU ARE
FAR MORE SIGNIFICANT THAN JUST
MONEY.
53 percent OF NURSES WORK FULL TIME.
WHILE HOSPITALS BUY TWO MILLION
HOURS OF AGENCY HOURS AT
HEAVILLY-GROSSED UP PRICES.
QUALITY OF LIFE OPPORTUNITY,
REWARDING WORK EXPERIENCE
OPPORTUNITIES FOR NURSES, IS,
SOME OF THAT'S
POSSIBLE WITHOUT, UM, WITHOUT
MONEY BEING THE NUMBER ONE
ITEM.
SIMILARILY WITH DOCTORS.
I'M NOT INTERESTED IN, I THINK
ONE OF THE THINGS IN HEALTH
CARE IS-- WITH ALL STAKE HOLDER
GROUPS.
I TRY AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE
REALITY.
THERE WILL ALWAYS BE TENSIONS
IN THE RELATIONSHIP ABOUT
MONEY.
IT'S INEVITABLE AND WE SHOULD
ACCEPT THAT.

Dave says WITH DOCTORS, IT'S MORE THAN
A TENSION.
YOU GET TO THE NEGOTIATING
TABLE--

George says WE ARE AT THE NEGOTIATING
TABLE AND WE MET THIS
AFTERNOON AND --

Dave continues LOOK, THE PETERSON
GOVERNMENT TRIED.
THE CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT
TRIED, OUR GOVERNMENT TRIED.
TO MOVE MORE DOCTORS OFF, UM,
FEE FOR SERVICE AND ON
TO CAPTATION AND SALARY AND
OTHER MORE SUSTAINABLEABLE WAYS
OF PAYING OUR DOCTORS.
WITH NO SUCCESS.
NOW, YOU'RE GOING TO BE TESTED,
AND YOU'RE EITHER GOING TO MAKE
PROGRESS ON THAT FILE, IF
THERE'S GOING TO BE REFORM, OR
WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO
HAVE, UM TO, HAVE BILLIONS OF
DOLLARS SPENT IN THE SAME OLD
WAY.

George says WE'RE CLEAR ON WHAT OUR
OBJECTIVES ARE.
IT IS TO MAKE PRIMARY HEALTH
CARE REFORM MEANINGFUL.
THERE IS A LITTLE BIT OF
MOMENTUM IN THAT FILE.
SOME CREDIT FOR THE PAST
GOVERNMENT.
THEY WERE IN THE LATER STAGES
BEGINNING TO SIGN UP A REASONABLE
NUMBER OF DOCTORS IN THIS
PROVINCE.

Sean says WHAT PERCENTAGE?

George says WHO HAVE DECIDED-- I DON'T
HAVE THE ABSOLUTE NUMBERS.

Steve says ABOUT 15.
AND THEY WANT TO GET TO 80.

George says THEY WERE AT THREE NOT THAT
MANY YEARS AGO.
THEY DID START TO MAKE SOME
PROGRESS.
BUT THE POINT WAS THAT THERE'S
SO SOME MOMENTUM IN THAT FILE.
LISTEN, THE DOCTOR, THE, UM,
THE NEGOTIATIONS ARE--

Dave says THEY KNOW YOU'RE GOING TO
FIGHT YOU
TOOTH AND NAIL ON THAT.

George says I KNOW THE OMA HAS A LOT OF
FIGHT IN THEM.
BUT THERE'S A LOT OF
OPPORTUNITY FOR AGREEMENT AS
WELL.
ON THE
ISSUE OF HEALTH CARE REFORM
50 percent OF THE DOCTORS ARE FAMILY
DOCS.
THEY'VE FALLEN BEHIND MORE
CONSIDERABLY.
THAT'S ONE OF THE PRESSURES
AROUND PRIMARY HEALTH CARE IS
NOT THAT MANY DOCS ARE TAKING
UP, UM, FAMILY PRACTICE AND THE
LIKE SO THAT'S ONE AREA THAT
WE'RE IN AGREEMENT.
TWO DAYS AFTER I WAS APOINTED
MINISTER, I DROVE OUT TO
SCARBOROUGH, I SHARED
A DIET COKE WITH LARRY
AND WE'VE BEEN WORKING HARD
TOGETHER.
AND AT THE END OF NEXT FRIDAY'S
NEGOTIATING SESSION, LARRY AND
I WILL BRING TOGETHER BOTH
SIDES OF THE TABLE FOR CASUAL
WINE AND NIBBLY, BECAUSE WE
HAVE TO FIND THE AREAS OF
COMMON GROUND.
ACKNOWLEDGING THE FIGHT WILL BE
TOUGH.
THAT'S A GIVEN.
IT ALWAYS WOULD BE.
BUT THERE'S OPPORTUNITY FOR
COMMON GROUND.
I'M SEEKING OUT WHEREVER I CAN
FIND IT.

Steve says I DO WANT TO EXPRESS HOW IMPRESSED
I WAS WITH
SEAN CONWAY THAT SKILFULLY MANAGED TO DUCKED MY
QUESTION THERE.

They laugh.

Steve continues DO YOU THINK AS A BIT OF
POLITICAL ADVISE TO THIS GUY
THAT IT'S A
WINNER TO PICK A FIGHT WITH THE
DOCS?
BECAUSE IT WAS WITH YOU GUYS.

Sean says OUR BALLOTING WITH THE
DOCTORS WAS THE
DIRECT QUESTION OF EXTRA
BILLING AND THAT WAS AN IMPORTANT
PART OF OUR PLATFORM IN 1985--

George says AND PART OF THE ACCORD.

Sean continues IT WAS PART OF THE ACCORD AS
WELL AND MINISTER, I WOULD BE
INTERESTED IN YOUR VIEWS, HOW
CAN WE, IN FACT, HAVE THE
CHANGE THAT YOUR
GOVERNMENT HAS PROMISED,
PARTICULARLY AROUND PRIMARY
CARE, IF, IN FACT, DOCTORS AND
NURSES DON'T FEEL THAT THEY'RE
OF PART OF THAT CHANGE?
AND IF I'M A SENIOR
CITIZEN IN MID-TOWN TORONTO OR
A FARMER IN SOUTHWESTERN
ONTARIO OR A LOGER IN EASTERN
ONTARIO, WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME
TONIGHT ABOUT THOSE
WAITING LIST WHICH ARE
REALLY ANNOYING TO A LOT OF
PEOPLE?

George says WELL, THE WAITING LISTS ARE A
HUGE PROBLEM.
THESE ARE INDICATORS
OF SYSTEM FAILURE.
OUR PREMIER'S PRESS
RELEASE TODAY CLEARLY SAID THAT
THE FOCUS OF OUR GOVERNMENT
WILL BE ON MEASURABLE OUTCOME.
TARGETING THOSE WAIT
LISTS.
AND THE MESSAGE THAT
I WOULD SEND IS THAT THESE
NEGOTIATION WAS THE ONTARIO
MEDICAL ASSOCIATION ARE
IMPORTANT TO ACHIEVE OBJECTIVES
AROUND PRIMARY HEALTH CARE ARE
REFORM.
BECAUSE AT THE EN OF THE DAY IF
WE HAVE A MILLION IN ONTARIO AS
WE DO NOW THAT DON'T HAVE
ACCESS TO PRIMARY HEALTH CARE A
REFORM, THEY'LL CONTINUE TO
PLAY-- TO GO TO EMERGENCY WARDS
IN SEARCH OF PRIMARY CARE AND
THAT WILL CAUSE ENORMOUS
DISRUPTIONS.
AS AN EXAMPLE IN SURGICAL
SUITES.
WHICH CAUSES FURTHER BACK LOGS
ON MANY OF OUR WAIT TIME CHALLENGES.
LIKE HIP REPLACEMENTS AND THE
LIKE.

Janet says I THINK THE MINISTER'S RIGHT
TO FOCUS ON MEASURABLE OUTCOMES
THAT THE PUBLIC CAN SEE.
BECAUSE WHEN YOU
STAND UP AND SAY TO PEOPLE THAT
WE'RE SPENDING X AMOUNTS OF
DOLLARS ON HEALTH AND YOUR
MOTHER IS WAITING FOR THE HIP
REPLACEMENT, IT DOESN'T
COMPUTE.
THAT'S A GOOD THING TO DO.
OTHER CHALLENGE ON HEALTH, AND
I WOULD LIKE THE MINISTER'S
INPUT ON THIS OR COMMENT ON
THIS, FOR EVERY ACTION, THERE'S
AN EQUAL REACTION.
DAVE COOKE, SAID PUT MORE
DOCTORS ON SALARY.
PREVIOUS GOVERNMENTS HAVE DONE
THAT.
WHAT HAPPENS?
A DOCTOR ON SALARY SAYS WHY DO
I WANT TO GET UP AT 2 O'CLOCK
IN THE MORNING THEN AND DO A
HOUSE CALL OR DO, YOU KNOW,
SOME OTHER SERVICE WHEN I'M
GETTING THE SAME SALARY?
WHAT A THEY'VE SEEN IS THAT
DOCTORS ARE HUMAN LIKE
EVERYBODY ELSE AND LIFESTYLE
AND ALL OF THOSE THINGS START
TO IMPACT ON THEIR DECISIONS.
ONE OF THE BIG CHALLENGES,
MINISTER, IS, IS THE DOCTOR
POPULATION, IT'S AGING, UM, AND
WE'RE GETTING OLDER OR
WHATEVER.
YOU'RE HAVING DOCTORS WHO DON'T
WANT TO GO PRACTICE IN SMALL
COMMUNITIES.
I MEAN, IN THE COMMUNITY I
REPRESENTED, JUST OUTSIDE OF
TORONTO, UNDER SERVICED ISSUES.
CAN YOU USE THE NEGOTIATIONS TO
ADDRESS SOME OF THOSE
CHALLENGES?
TO GET MORE PHYSICIANS OUT
THERE WHERE WE NEED THEM?

George says I THINK YOU HAVE TO.
I THINK THAT'S A PRIORITY THAT
WE SHARE WITH THE ONTARIO
MEDICAL ASSOCIATION.
FRANKLY.
AROUND THOSE FAMILY DOCS.
THEY'RE COMING OUT OF SCHOOL
STILL WITH THE HUGE DEBT LOADS
BUT DON'T MAKE AS MUCH AS
SPECIALISTS.
DIFFERENTIAL IS A SERIOUS
PROBLEM.
BUT THERE ARE OTHER
OPPORTUNITIES, TOO, AROUND
PRIMARILY HEALTH CARE REFORM
THAT GOVERNMENTS IN ONTARIO
SINCE 1974 HAVE STARTED ON
THAT'S AROUND THE ROLE OF NURSE
PRACTITIONERS AND I'M
SEEING AMAZING STUFF AS I
TRAVELLED
AROUND THE PROVINCE ABOUT NURSE
PRACTITIONERS OPERATING IN
PRIMARY HEALTH CARE SETTINGS IN
PLACES LIKE CHARBOT LAKE AND
THE LIKE PROVIDING REALLY,
REALLY ESSENTIAL CARE.
REALLY GOOD NEWS HERE IS THAT
MEDICAL DOCTORS AND, UM, AND
NURSE PRACTITIONERS HAVE REALLY
MADE A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF
PROGRESS AT THEIR ABILITY TO
WORK IN A
COMPLIMENTARY FASHION.
SO, THE CHALLENGES
ARE ENORMOUS.
I JUST CAN'T BE, I JUST CAN'T
BE THROWN OFF BY THEM.
BECAUSE THERE'S SO MANY.
BUT THERE ARE AMAZING
OPPORTUNITIES FOR PROGRESS.
I'LL SAY FRANKLY IN
THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, THERE'S
LOTS OF LOW-HANGING
FRUIT.
THERE ARE MANY, MANY AREAS
WHERE WE'VE NOT GONE AND GOTTEN
SAVINGS.
I'LL GIVE YOU ONE MORE EXAMPLE:
IF ONTARIO HAD THE SAME BLOOD
UTILIZATION RATE AS THE
PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA,
WHICH IS 18 percent BELOW ONTARIO'S,
BLOOD UTILIZATION RATE, WE
WOULD SAVE 100 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.

Steve says HOW DO YOU DO THAT?

George says WITH REASONABLY MODEST
INVESTMENTS IN THE FORM OF
COORDINATORS WHO
DEVELOP POLICY WITHIN HOSPITALS
AROUND BLOOD USE.
RIGHT NOW, HOSPITALS DON'T PAY
FOR BLOOD.
THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH PAYS OUT
OF A CENTRAL BUDGET.
420 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.
FOR BLOOD IN THE PROVINCE OF
ONTARIO.

Sean says ON A RELATED POINT.
ONE OF THE SUGGESTIONS THAT'S
BEEN MADE BY SOME ADVISORS TO
EARLIER GOVERNMENTS, PREVIOUS
GOVERNMENTS, NOT THAT LONG AGO
IS THAT ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
SHOULD BE PUT INTO FRONT-LINE
HEALTH DELIVERY IN THIS
PROVINCE AROUND PHARMACY AND
DRUG EDUCATION, PARTICULARLY
FOR OLDER PEOPLE.
IS THERE ANY MOVEMENT IN THAT
DIRECTION?

George says I THINK ONE OF THE
REAL CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
THAT WE HAVE IN HEALTH CARE IS
AROUND WHAT PEOPLE WOULD
REFER TO AS SCOPE OF PRACTICE.
PHARMACIST ARE A GOOD
EXAMPLE F YOU GO HERE IN THE
CITY OF TORONTO AND MANY OTHER
PLACES, WE HAVE THIS HUGE NEW--
FLOOR PLATES FOR PHARMACIES ARE
HUGE.
THEY'RE BUILDING PRIVATE AREAS
THAT PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR
MORE CONSULTATION.
I'VE GONE TO SEE SOME OF THE
CLINICS THAT THEY'VE RUN.
UM, PHARMACIES HAVE BEEN
VERY, VERY INVOLVED IN OUR FLU
PROGRAM.
IN THE FLU VACCINATION PROGRAM
AS AN EXAMPLE.
PHARMACIST ARE WELL-TRAINED
PEOPLE.
AS ONE EXAMPLE IS THAT THERE'S
OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEM TO BE MORE
INVOLVED IN THE SIMILAR WAY
THAT I SPOKE ABOUT WITH NURSE
PRACTITIONERS.

Steve says WE HAVE JUST A COUPLE OF
MINUTES LEFT AND I WAN TO GET YOUR OPINIONS
ABOUT THE OTHER BIG NEWS.
THE 2 BILLION WAS BIG NEWS.
SECOND BIG NEWS WAS THE FIRST
EVER MEETING OF THIS NEW
HEALTH COUNCIL OF CANADA WHAT
ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS OF THIS
COUNCIL?

George says I'M VERY PROUD OF THE
NATIONAL HEALTH COUNCIL.
I PLAYED AN
EARLY ROLE AS A NEW MINISTER,
AS A SIGNAL OF OUR GOVERNMENT'S
COMMITMENT TO IT.
WHICH I THINK WAS A FAIRLY
SIGNIFICANT CHANGE FROM THE
PAST GOVERNMENT.

Steve says WHAT WILL IT DO
THOUGH?

George says I THINK THE NATIONAL HEALTH
COUNCIL IS GOD.
WE SPOKE A MINUTE AGO ABOUT THE
NEED TO HAVE MEASURABLE OUTCOMES
AND THE LIKE.
I THINK THE NATIONAL HEALTH
COUNCIL IS ONE IMPORTANT TOOL
THAT HELPS US TO DO THAT BETTER
TO FOCUS IN ON
WHAT'S WORKING IN OTHER PLACES.
TO SHARE INFORMATION AROUND.
IT'S NOT THE BE ALL AND END
ALL.
BUT I THINK IT'S ONE VERY, VERY
IMPORTANT PIECE OF THE PUZZLE.
AND I THINK IT WILL HELP TO
FRAME THIS NEW DEBATE IN HEALTH
CARE AROUND ACCOUNTABILITY AND
ACCOUNTABILITY IS REALLY,
REALLY DRIVING TOWARDS
MEASURABLE OUT COMES.
MAKING SURE THAT WE, THAT WE
GET WHAT WE EXPECT TO
FOR THE MONEY THAT WE INVEST IN
THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.
A LOT OF ABOUT MONEY HAS BEEN
PUT INTO THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO.
IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS.
JANET ECKER KNOWS THAT, KNOWS
THAT RATHER WELL.
THERE'S SOME PRETTY SERIOUS
QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT, WHAT WE--
WHAT WE GOT FOR IT.
ABOUT HOW IT WAS DEPLOYED AND
OUR GOVERNMENT IS INTENT ON
ADVANCING WHAT I HAVE CALLED
WITHIN HEALTH CARE A NEW ERA OF
ACCOUNTABILITY.
AND THAT MEANS TO OUR
MINISTER OF HEALTH AND
LONG-TERM CARE AS WELL.
FRANKLY IT, HAS A CULTURE-- IT
HAS NOT PLAYED THE BEST
LEADERSHIP ROLE THAT IT COULD
AND I'M VERY EXCITED ABOUT THE
OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE DYNAMIC
NEW PARTNERSHIPS.

Sean says THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
EXPECTS FOR ADDITIONAL
TRANSFER, THERE WILL BE A MUCH
GREATER ASSURANCE GIVEN TO
TAXPAYERS THAT MONIES RAISED
FOR, AND TRANSFERRED TO
PROVINCES FOR HEATH
DELIVERY WILL, IN FACT, BE
SPENT THERE.
WHAT CAN YOU SAY TO
PATIENTS TONIGHT THAT
THAT IN FACT WILL HAPPEN.

George says I SAY THAT I EMBRACE IT
FOR THAT VERY REASON.
OUR COMMITMENT, AND REPEATED
TODAY BY OUR PREMIER
IS THAT ANY NEW DOLLAR THAT
OTAWA SENDS TO THE PROVINCE
OF ONTARIO FOR HEALTH CARE WILL BE SPENT ON
HEALTH CARE.
THAT WASN’T ACHIEVED IN THE PAST.

Dave says THE FEDS ARE GOING TO WANT TO DO MORE
THAN SAY YOU HAVE TO SPEND IT IN HEALTH CARE.
THEY'LL TARGET IT TO REFORM AND
NOT LEAVING IT UP TO THE
PROVINCES.

George says YOU KNOW, THEY'RE SUPPORTING
OTHER ELEMENTS OF THE
HEALTH CARE REFORM AGENDA, AS A
RESULT OF THE HEALTH ACCORD.
IN THE PRIORITIES AREAS THEY TALKED
ABOUT: DRUGS AND HOME CARE AND
THE LIKE.

Janet says BUT NONE OF THAT IS GOING TO
EXCUSE ANY GOVERNMENT FROM
HAVING TO MAKE SOME VERY, VERY
DIFFICULT CHOICES.
BECAUSE YOU CAN FIND
LOW-HANGING FRUIT AS YOU SAY,
BUT YOU'RE STILL GOING TO--
HEALTH WILL STILL BE
INCREASING.
SO--

George says YES.

Janet continues SO IS THE GOVERNMENT
PREPARED TO SIT DOWN WITH
OTTAWA AND THE OTHER PROVINCES
AND TRY AND MAKE SOME OF THOSE
TOUGH DECISIONS?

George says IN FACT, THE PREMIERS AND
THE PRIME MINISTER TODAY
AGREED ON A PLAN, THE HEALTH
MINISTERS AND FINANCE MINISTERS
WILL WORK SOON ON CREATING
SOME SUSTAINABILITY, UM,
PROGRAM AND PREMIERS WILL MEET
WITH THE PRIME MINISTER ON THAT
IN THE SUMMER.
THIS IS ESSENTIAL FOR ALL OF
US.
MY RESPONSIBILITY AS
MINISTER OF HEALTH IN ONTARIO
ARE TO FLATTEN OUT
THAT GROWTH CURVE.
TO MAKE, UM, TO MAKE MEDICARE,
UM, SUSTAINABLE.
AND, AT THE SAME TIME, TO FIND
A SYSTEM THAT'S MORE EFFICIENT
AND MAKES ONTARIANS
HEALTHIER AND DELIVERS ON WAIT
TIME CHALLENGES SO WE CAN
DEMONSTRATE TO ONATARIANS
WHEN WE CAN WORK TOGETHER THAT
WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
I'M COMMITTED TO IT
AND ACTUALLY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT IT.

Steve says THAT'S GEORGE
SMITHERMAN,
MINISTER OF HEALTH, TORONTO
CENTER ROSALINE MPP FOR THE
LIBERALS. THANKS FOR
VISITING US IN TVO.

George says THANK YOU.

Steve says COMING UP, MORE
TO DISCUSS HERE.
JITTERS AT QUEEN'S PARK AS THE
LIBERALS MULL OVER
CANCELLING SOME TAX CREDITS,
IMPLEMENTING MEAN TESTS
FOR SENIOR RECEVING DRUG BENEFITS
AND SELLING OFF MORE
ASSETS.
BUT HOLD ON FOLKS, THE LIBERALS PLAN TO ASK
US FIRST ABOUT THE WAYS TO
WRESTLE A 5.6 BILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT
UNDER CONTROL.

A clip plays.

The caption changes to "Greg Sorbara. Ontario Finance Minister." Greg is in his sixties, with gray hair.

Talking to the press, Greg says I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE A
VERY IMPORTANT CONSULTATION.
I DON'T THINK IT’S GOING TO BE
PAINFUL AT ALL.
I THINK WHAT THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO
ARE LOOKING FOR IS FOR THIS
GOVERNMENT TO DELIVER A HIGHER QUALITY OF
PUBLIC SERVICES AND TO DO IT MORE
EFFICIENTLY.

The clip ends.

Steve says I WANT TO FIND OUT
FROM SEAN CONWAY IF IT'S WISE
TO SCARE THE YOU KNOW WHAT OUT
OF MOST ONTARIANS, EITHER
SENIORS ON DRUG PROGRAMS OR LET
THE LIST GO ON AS YOU TRY AND
WRESTLE WITH THAT DEFICIT?
BECAUSE IT SOUND LIKE WHAT THE
GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO DO.

Sean says I DON'T KNOW WHETHER IT'S
WISE OR NOT.
BUT CERTAINLY MANY A FINANCE
MINISTER HAS ENGAGED IN THIS
EXERCISE.
MY OWN ADVICE TO-- MY OWN
ADVICE TO MY FORMER COLLEAGUES
WOULD BE, UM, I THINK THAT
PERHAPS, UM, THEY'VE BEEN
ENGAGED IN JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF
THIS.
I THINK THAT IT'S TIME TO,
UM, TO START TO-- TO THINK
ABOUT PERHAPS A DIFFERENT
APPROACH.
BUT I THINK THEY DO CLEARLY
WANT TO RAISE THE SPECTER THAT
THERE ARE SOME SIGNIFICANT
FISCAL PRESSURES.
AND, UM, AND I'M REMINDED OF
LARRY GROSSMAN AND OTHERS IN MY
TIME, AT QUEEN'S PARK, WHO
WOULD PREVIOUS TO A BUDGET
BEING DELIVERED, UM, WOULD
ALWAYS BE FLOATING IDEAS ABOUT
WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN.
AND GEE WHIZ, WHEN THE BUDGET
WAS READ AND SOME OF THE REALLY
NASTY THINGS THAT
WERE FLOATED DIDN'T HAPPEN,
EVERYONE FELT A SENSE OF RELIEF.
I THINK THAT MINISTERS OF
FINANCE ACROSS THE COUNRY ARE FOR
THE NEXT FEW YEARS WILL FACE
TOUGHER TIMES THAN PERHAPS--

Steve says YOU'RE A FORMER
MINISTER OF FINANCE.
COULD YOU IMAGINE IN YOUR
WILDEST DREAMS FLOATING A TRIAL
BALLOON, SAYING, WE'LL JUST
MEANS TEST THE DRUG BENEFIT
PLAN FOR SENIORS.
IS THAT--

Janet laughs and says IT DEPENDS ON WHAT THEY
THINK THE OUTCOME WILL BE.
IF THEY ARE USING THE TIME
HONOURED TRADITION OF SCARING
THE BEJESUS OUT OF EVERYBODY--

Steve says THAT'S THE WORD I WAS
GOING TO USE.

Sean chuckles.

Janet says IS IT OKAY ON FAMILY
TELEVISION?

Steve says YOU JUST DID IT--

Janet says AND THEN STANDING BACK AND
SAYING OH, GEE, WE
DIDN'T HAVE TO DO THAT.
THEN EVERYONE THINKS THEY HAVE
A BIG VICTORY AND THAT'S A
POLITICAL TACTIC.
BUT IF THEY'RE THINKING THAT
THEY'LL BE A LITTLE TO GO OUT
AND GET A CONSENSUS FROM ALL OF
THE GROUPS IN THE HEALTH CARE
FIELD OR THE OTHER FIELD, TO DO
SOME OF THESE THINGS, I THINK,
QUITE FRANK, IT'S A GOOD
EXERCISE TO GO THROUGH.
BUT I THINK THEY'RE BEING
NAIVE.
BECAUSE IF YOU REPRESENTING THE
NURSES OR THE DOCTORS
OR THE HOSPITALS OR THE
CHIROPRACTORS.
YOUR JOB IS TO GO IN THAT DOOR
AND FIGHT TOOTH AND NAIL FOR
EVERY DOLLAR THAT YOU CAN GET.
THAT DOESN'T LEAD TO CONSENSUS.
GOVERNMENT APPEARS TO BE TRYING
TO GET IT.
BUT I DON'T THINK THEY'RE GOING
TO.
BECAUSE THE NEEDS ARE TOO GREAT
AND PEOPLE WILL PUSH TOO HARD
FOR IT.

Steve says I WONDER WHETHER YOU
SEE, SOME OBSERVERS AT QUEEN'S
PARK HAVE NOTICED THAT MISTER
MCGUINTY, MISTER SORBERA, AND THE PREMIER AND
THE FINANCE MINISTER ARE NOT
NECESSARILY SINGING OUT OF THE
SAME HYMN BOOK EXACTLY WHEN
THE ISSUE OF THE DEFICIT COMES
UP.
THE PREMIER ON MANY OCCASIONS
SAID THAT NO TAX INCREASES,
PERIOD, FULL STOP.
FINANCE MINISTER SAID THAT
EVERYTHING IS ON THE TABLE.
WHO DO WE BELIEVE?

Dave says I NOTICED THAT THE FINANCE
MINISTER WAS TALKING ABOUT
NO TAX INCREASES, BUT
THERE MIGHT BE A WHOLE BUNCH OF
NON-TAX REVENUE, UM, WHICH,
WHICHPEOPLE WOULD HAVE
DIFFICULTY DISTINGUISHING TWO.
BUT I MEAN, THE ONE THING ON
THAT THAT BOTHERS ME IS THAT
SEEMS THAT A LOT
OF WHAT IS DRIVING WHAT ABOUT
MIGHT BE RAISED, WHAT REVENUES
MIGHT BE RAISED IS THIS TAX
PAYERS' PROTECTION ACT.
THAT IF YOU RAISE CO PAYMENTS
ON THIS OR IF YOU
ELIMINATE THIS TAX CREDIT OR
WHATEVER, THAT'S NOT A TAX
INCREASE, SO WE'RE STILL IN
COMPLIANCE WITH THE TAX
PAYERS' PROTECTION ACT.
EVEN IF IT'S TERRIBLE PUBLIC
POLICY.
I DON'T THINK THAT'S THE RIGHT
WAY TO GO IF WE'RE LOOKING AT,
UM, AT A TAX BASE THAT'S GOING
TO SUPPORT THE KIND OF PUBLIC
SERVICES THAT-- BUT LET ME
JUST-- I WANT TO GO BACK TO THE
ONE THING ABOUT THE DRUG
BENEFIT PROGRAM.
WE DID FLOAT THE IDEA OF A COPAYMENT
IN OUR ONE TERM IN
OFFICE.

Steve says WHAT HAPPENED?
YOU WERE ONE TERM IN OFFICE--

Dave says I DON'T THINK IT'S BRIGHT.

Steve says YEAH--

Dave laughs.

Janet says WELL IT, STARTED A BIG
POLITICAL FIRE.
BECAUSE WHEN YOU-- WHEN A
MINISTER GOES OUT THERE AND
DOES IT, FOR THOSE IN THE LOBBY
FOLD, THIS IS A GREAT JOB
PRODUCER.
BECAUSE EVERYBODY GOES OUT AND
HIRES THEIR LOBBYIST TO COME IN
AND LOBBY THE MINISTER.
BUT IT START A LOT OF POLITICAL
BRUSH FIRES, WHICH STARTS TO
SAP THE SUPPORT THAT YOU HAVE.

Steve says I WANT TO PUT THE
QUESTION THAT DAVE COOKE WAS
AIMING TOWARDS TO YOU, WHICH
IS, SHOULDN'T THE GOVERNMENT
HAVE THE GUTS TO COME OUT AND SAY THIS TAXPAYER
PROTECTION ACT IS A FLAWED
PIECE OF LEGISLATION WHICH WE
SUPPORTED BECAUSE OUR HANDS WERE
TIED BEHIND OUR POLITICAL BACKS
BUT WE NEVER BELIEVED IT IN THE
FIRST PLACE AND WE'LL SCRAP IT.
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THEY DO
THAT?

Sean says LIBERALS TEND TO BE PRAGMATIC
CENTREISTS AND THEY DO THINGS,
THAT SOME PEOPLE MIGHT DO BY
HALVES AND THE LIBERALS
SOMETIMES DO BY QUARTERS.

Janet laughs.

He continues LISTEN, IT'S A NEW GOVERNMENT.
UM, THEY'RE GOING TO BE, UM,
FINDING SHARING
WAY.
AND I--

Dave says DODGING.

Steve says DODGE.
DODGE.
DODGE.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
YOU DON'T LIKE THIS LEGISLATION
LEGISLATION, DO YOU?

Sean says WE GOT NEWS THIS WEEK THAT
GROWTH RATES IN CANADA ARE
SLOWING DOWN.
AND, UM, SO THERE ARE GOING TO
BE SOME TOUGH CHOICES.
I DON'T ALL TOGETHER DISAGREE
WITH DAVE COOKE.
I THINK PEOPLE IN THE CENTRE
LEFT WILL HAVE TO REALIZE THAT
IF WE'RE GOING TO DELIVER THE
KIND OF PROGRAMS THAT PEOPLE
TELL US THEY WANT AND WE WON'T
HAVE THE KIND OF ROARING GROWTH
THAT WE SAW IN THE LATE '90'S,
UM, THERE IS GOING TO BE SOME
PRESSURE TO RAISE SOME
ADDITIONAL REVENUES.
YOU WON'T FOOL PEOPLE, UM, BY
CALLING SOMETHING A FEE AS
OPPOSED TO A TAX.

Janet says THE TAXPAYER PROTECTION ACT IS
GOOD-- SOMETHING HAS TO PUT A
DISCIPLINE ON GOVERNMENT
SPENDING AND GOVERNMENT
TAXATION.

Steve says HE SAYS YOU'RE
PUSHING IT FROM ONE POCKET TO
THE NEXT.
IT'S NOT A TAX INCREASE
IT BECOMES A CO PAYMENT AND YOU DON'T
YOU ACHIEVE ANYTHING NEW AT THE
END.

Janet says THE ALTERNATIVE IS NO
DISCIPLINE.
THEN YOU HAVE HIGHER SPENDING
AND HIGHER TAXES AND YOU DON'T
NECESSARILY GET BETTER OUTCOMES.
AND DON'T NECESSARILY GET
BETTER ECONOMIC GROWTH.

Dave says LOOK AT ONE OF THE THINGS
THAT WAS FLOATED.
THAT WE MIGHT GET RID OF
THE FILM TAX CREDIT.
AT THE SAME TIME, THE
CALIFORNIA IS LOOKING AT
BRINGING EVERYTHING BACK TO
CALIFORNIA.

Janet says THERE GOES THE JOBS IN THE
FILM BUSINESS.

Dave says WHAT'S DRIVING IT IS NOT
GOOD PUBLIC POLICY.
WHAT'S DRIVING IT IS THIS
SILLY TAXPAYERS' PROTECTION ACT
ACT.

Steve says WE KNOW WHERE DAVE
COOKE STANDS ON THAT.
THAT'S OUR TIME FOR THIS WEEK.
JANET, THANK YOU FOR COMING
PRACTICALLY OFF A PLANE AND
COMING TO THE STUDIOS.
DAVE COOKE AND SEAN CONWAY, UNTIL
NEXT WEEK.
AND THAT'S "4 READING" FOR THIS
WEEK.
I'M STEVE PAIKIN.
UNTIL NEXT SUNDAY, THANK YOU.

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

Queen's Park Bureau Chief, Susanna Kelley.

Producer, Erica Balch.

Director, Michael Smith.

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2004, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Health Care Funding