Transcript: Energy Crisis | Apr 18, 2004

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


A clip shows a gavel banging against a desk, and MPPs voting in the Legislature.


Steve says THIS WEEK ON
"FOURTH READING".
BRIGHT LIGHT OR
DIM BULK?
A NEW LIBERAL ENERGY POLICY
GETS MIXED REVIEWS.


Steve, Ruth, Richard, and another panelist sit with two guests 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 brown suit over a pale yellow shirt.


Steve says HI EVERYBODY I AM
STEVE PAIKIN AND THIS IS
"FOURTH READING" FOR THIS
WEEK THE LIBERAL GOVERNMENT
UNVEILED PARTS OF NEW ENERGY
POLICY THIS WEEK IT IS
PROMISING STABLE PRICES
FOREST TENSION AND HALF
SMALL BUSINESS CONSUMERS BUT
WOULDN'T SAY WHAT HE WILL
BE.
FACED WITH WHAT ENERGY
MINISTER DWIGHT DUNCAN CALLS
AN ENERGY CRISIS THE
GOVERNMENT ALSO CREATING NEW
AGENCY THAT WILL SIGN
AGREEMENTS WITH PRIVATE
COMPANIES TO GENERATE MORE
ELECTRICITY.
BUT, WHETHER WE WILL BE
USING JUICE PROVIDED BY
PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SECTOR ONE
THEN IS FOR CERTAIN OUR
HYDRO BILLS ARE GOING TO GO
UP.


A clip plays on screen. It shows Duncan at a press conference. A caption reads “Dwight Duncan. Ontario Energy Minister.” He’s in his fifties with short dark hair and wearing a black suit.


Dwight says TODAY, I WILL OUTLINE A
PLAN FOR THE ELECTRICITY
SECTOR.
THAT WILL ENCOURAGE THE
DEVELOPMENT OF NEW RELIABLE
SUPPLIES.


The caption changes to “Tom Adams. Energy Probe.” He’s in his late forties- He has short grey hair and wears a black suit.


Tom says
WE GOT NEW CALLED ONTARIO
POWER AUTHORITY.
THIS IS BACK TO THE FUTURE.
THIS IS A RETURN TO THIS
STRUCTURE OF THE OLD ONTARIO
HYDRO THIS STRUCTURE THAT
CAUSED OUR POWER SYSTEM TO
GO BANKRUPT.


The caption changes to “John O’Toole. PC Energy Critic.” He’s in his fifties. He has short grey hair and wears a brown plaid suit.


John says I HEARD A LOT OF GOOD
WORDS.
A NEW LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT
AND PROBABLY MORE RED TAPE.
AND REALLY NO PLAN TO CREATE
MORE GENERATION IN THE
SHORT-TERM.


The caption changes to “Marilyn Churley, MPP. NDP Ontario Danforth.” She’s in her fifties with short red hair and wearing an orange shirt.


Marilyn says
THERE SEEMS TO BE A MIX
OF REGULATION AND NOT
REGULATION FOR DIFFERENT
SIZED BUSINESSES THERE IS NO
GUARANTEES THAT CONSUMER
RATES WOULDN'T BOUNCE ALL
OVER THE PLACE.


The clip ends.


Steve says OKAY.
SHE IS TALKING ABOUT
INDUSTRIAL CUSTOMER THERE.
LET'S LOOK INSIDE OF OUR
FACT FILE TO FIND OUT HOW
THE NEW POLICY WILL AFFECT ALL OF
US.


A slate appears on screen with the title “LIBERAL ELECTRICITY POLICY.” It reads “Ratepayers to pay true cost of electricity. Residential and small business prices set once a year. Medium and large businesses pay market price. Ontario Power Authority. Develop plan for more electricity. Agreements with private sector for new supply. Conservation Secretariat. Develop conservation programs. ”


Steve says OKAY.
LET'S TAKE THIS UP WITH OUR
QUEEN'S PARK POLITICAL ANALYSTS.
HERE THEY ARE SEAN CONWAY
AND.
SEAN IS HERE THE POLICY
CONSUMER TO PAY THE TRUTH
COST OF ELECTRICITY OVER
TIME BUT PRICES TO REMAIN
STABLE OVER THE COURSE AFTER
YEAR.
WHAT DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT
TO MEAN IN EFFECT?


The caption changes to “Sean Conway. Former Liberal Cabinet Minister.” He’s in his fifties. He has short dark blond hair in a neat cut and is clean-shaven. He wears glasses, a dark suit, light blue shirt and a contrasting tie.


Sean says WELL THINK THE MINISTER
TOOK A SENSIBLE AND
BALANCED APPROACH.
AS FAR AS HE WENT AND THERE
ARE MEAN DETAILS YET TO BE
WORKED OUT.
BUT LET'S BE CLEAR.
WE HAVE NOT BEEN PAYING THE
FULL COST OF ELECTRICITY FOR
DECADES.
WE HAVE A MULTIBILLION
DOLLAR DEBT THAT REPRESENTS
THAT PART OF THE PAST COST
THAT HAS BEEN PARKED ON THE
SIDELINES.
AND I THINK THE GOVERNMENT
IS WISE TO SAY WE ARE GOING
TO PASS THROUGH FULL COST
BUT WE ARE GOING TO TRY TO
LEAVE THAT VAST MAJORITY OF
ELECTRICITY CONSUMERS THE
RESIDENTIAL FARM AND SMALL
BUSINESS CONSUMERS IN A
SITUATION WHERE THEY ARE NOT
GOING TO BE OVER 12-MONTH
PERIOD FACED WITH LOT OF
VOLATILITY.
THE PRICE WILL BE GOING UP
BUT THEY ARE GOING TO CENTRE
A REGULATE THE MECHANISM SO
THERE WILL BE SOME
STABILITY.
BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT
IT.
AND I THINK HERE IS REMEMBER
RUBBER WILL HIT ROAD.
PRICES ARE GOING GO UP AND
THEY WILL GO UP CONSIDERABLY
FOUR ALL CLASSES OF SKUS AND
THAT WILL REPRESENT A
SIGNIFICANT POLITICAL AND
ECONOMIC CHALLENGE.


Steve says WHICH MEANS HOW
MUCH?


Sean says I THINK THERE WAS A
REPORT THIS WEEK THAT
PROBABLY 15-20 PERCENT.
AND I THINK IN THE FIRST
INSTANCE OVER THE NEXT YEAR
O TWO THAT'S VERY LIKELY AND
REMEMBER THIS.
50 PERCENT OF YOUR COST OF
ELECTRICITY IS THE COST OF
PRODUCING THE JUICE.
AND SO, THAT IS BIG THE
ISSUE AND THAT'S WHAT WAS
NOT ADDRESSED.
IF THE HERE AND NOW WE HAVE
FOUR WAYS PROEF DUESING
ELECTRICITY.
HYDRO ELECTRIC.
FOSSIL WHICH IS NATURAL GAS
OR COAL NUCLEAR AND SOME OF
THE OTHER RENEWABLES AND LET
ME TELL YOU NONE OF THOSE
COSTS IS GOING DOWN.
SO, THAT'S THE REAL RUB.


Steve says LET ME GET YOU IN.
YOU HERE THE HIM SAY WE NEAT
25-40 BILLION DOLLARS IN NEW
INVESTMENT SO WE CAN BUILD
NEW GENERATION.
HE IS PROPOSING A KIND AFTER
BLENDED SYSTEM.
FULLY REGULATED ON ONE HAND
AND YET COMPETITION ON THE
OTHER HAND.
HE WOULD STATE BEST OF BOTH
WORLD AND MY QUESTION IS
BASED UPON YOUR EXPERIENCE
WITH THIS FILE, THAT THIS
WILL OFFER ENOUGH INCENTIVE
TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO GET
IN THERE AND INVEST MULTI
MILLIONS WE NEED TO GET THAT
NEW GENERATION IN PLACE?


The caption changes to “Janet Ecker. Former PC Cabinet Minister.” She’s in her fifties. She has short dark brown hair and wears glasses, and green blazer over a black turtleneck.


Janet says WELL, WHEN THE MINISTER
TRYING TO TAKE A BALANCED
APPROACH.
AND YOU HAVE GOT TO GIVE HIM
SOME POINTS FOR TRYING TO
TAKE THAT.
THAT APPROACH AND DOING
THIS.
BUT WHEN YOU TRY AND BE
HALFWAY THERE, I MEAN HE IS
KIND OF GOT ONE FOOT ON THE
DOCK AND ONE FOOT ON THE
BOAT AND HE KIND IN
REGULATED MARKET AND KIND OF
NOT.
AND THAT CAN SOMETIMES
CREATE A LOT OF POLICY
PROBLEMS.
THE OTHER THING IS THAT THE
PRIVATE SECTOR HAS TO
BELIEVE THEM.
THEY HAVE TO FEEL
COMFORTABLE WITH THEM AS A
PARTNER AND GIVEN SOME DEATH
OF SHRUBS THEY HAVE BEEN
MADE IN OTHER SECTORS,
THAT'S AN OPEN QUESTION BUT
THE MOST SIGNIFICANT LACK,
IF YOU WILL, IN WHAT THE
MINISTER SAID YESTERDAY WAS
HE STILL NOT ANSWERING THE
QUESTION ON THE FUTURE OF
NUCLEAR.
HE STILL NOT ANSWERING THE
QUESTION AROUND PHASING OUT
THE COAL PLANTS.
BECAUSE, EVERY ONE SAYING
GIVEN THE IS YOU BLUE CRUNCH
WE ARE GOING INTO, HOW CAN
YOU TAKE COAL OUT OF THE
SYSTEM WITHIN THAT TIME
FRAME.


Steve says WHICH IS THEIR
PLAN.


Janet continues
THAT'S WHAT THEY KEEP
SAYING.
I THINK WE SUIT FIRST CRACK
WHERE THE MINISTER SAID
SOMETHING TO AFFECT HE
WOULDN'T LEAVE CONSUMERS
WITHOUT POWER.
WHICH IS SOME RECOGNITION OF
THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF THE
PROMISE THEY HAVE HAD MADE.
BUT THE OTHER CAUTION ABOUT
WHAT HE IS DOING IN THE
ATTEMPT TO GIVE USERS
STABILITY AND THERE
CERTAINLY POLITICAL REASON
FOR THAT, IF LOOKS LIKE THE
FLIP SIDE OF IT IS BUSINESS
GOING HAVE TO CARRY THE
RISKS OF THE VOLATILITY ON A
MARKET PRICE.
AND THAT MEANS RISKS TO JOBS
AND THAT'S ANOTHER HIT AS
SEAN SAID ON THE ECONOMY.


Steve says THE NDP EVEN
CAMPAIGNED ON MOVING TO A
MARKET RATE PEOPLE HAVE TO
PAY MORE THERE IS VECK
ANYTHING I GUESS BY ALL
PARTIES THAT PEOPLE HAVE GOT
TO PAY MORE.
DOES HE GET CREDITED FOR
TRYING TO STOP FOOLING THE
PUBLIC?


The caption changes to “Dave Cooke. Former NDP Cabinet Minister.” He’s in his mid-forties. He has short dark hair in a neat cut and is clean-shaven. He wears a brown suit over a black T-shirt.


Dave says
WELL, I MEAN HE HAS NOT TOLD
US YET.
THE SPEECH YESTERDAY I THINK
MADE A VERY REASONABLE
COMMENT AND THAT IS THAT IN
ORDER FOR ANY POLICY TO WORK
IN THIS PROVINCE, YOU HAVE
TO HAVE THE SUPPORT OF THE
CONSUMER.
AND NOT JUST THE BIG
CONSUMER BUT ORDINARY
CONSUME HER AND THAT IS
WHERE THE REAL TEST WILL BE.
BECAUSE, IF THE PRIVATE
SECTOR AND I WOULD LIKE AT
YESTERDAY'S SPEECH REALLY
BEING A SPEECH TO THE
PRIVATE SECTOR BEGGING THEM
TO INVEST IN ONTARIO AND
CREATE GENERATION.
IF WE ARE LOOKING AT THE
COST PRODUCING WITH NATURAL
GAS WHICH I AM ASSUMING
WOULD BE THE BIGGEST OPTION
FOR THE PRIVATE SECTOR
15-20 PERCENT INCREASE IN PRICES IS
REALLY OPTIMISTIC.


Steve says YOU THINK IT WILL
BE MORE?


Dave says
I THINK IT HAS GOT TO BE.
WE MOVE TO A GREATER SPLIT
BETWEEN PUBLIC SECTOR
GENERATION AND PRIVATE
SECTOR GENERATION THE
BLENDED PRICE GOING TO GO UP
MORE AND EVEN IF IT IS SET
IN STABLE FOR A YEAR IT IS
STILL GOING TO BE ADJUSTED
OVER A YEAR.


Steve says LET'S GET INTO THE
POLITICS THEN.
I WANT TO PICK UP ON THIS.
BECAUSE THE LAST GOVERNMENT
COULD NOT TAKE THE HEAT WHEN
IT CAME FROM CONSUMERS WHO
WERE SAYING WE CAN'T AFFORD
THESE HIGHER PRICES DO YOU
THINK THE GOVERNMENT CAN
WITHSTAND THE HEAT?


Sean says
I THINK THE DUNCAN WAS
VERY SENSIBLE YESTERDAY IN
ADDRESSING PART OF THAT
PROBLEM.
IF YOU REMEMBER 2002 AND
CERTAINLY A ECONOMIC AND --
JANET ECKER AND I WILL
REMEMBER IT.
IN THE SUMMER AND JULY
AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER OF 2002
BEFORE PREMIER EAVES SLAPPED
ON THE RATE FREEZE WHAT WAS
DRIVING EVERYBODY TO AT THE
WAS THE FACT THAT RATES WERE
NOT ONLY SKYROCKETING BUT
THEY WERE ALL OVER THE PLACE
AT THE SAME TIME.
AND SO I THINK THE DECISION
YESTERDAY TO SAY LISTEN WE
ARE PRICES ARE GOING TO GO
UP.
BUT WE ARE GOING TO GIVE THE
VAST MAJORITY OF RESIDENTIAL
AND SMALL BUSINESS CONSUMERS
SOME PREDICTABILITY AS THOSE
PRICES GO UP.
IT IS NOT GOING TO BE EASY.
BUT I THINK THAT'S VERY WISE
DECISION THE AND OTHER POINT
I WANT TO MAKE FOR NOT JUST
EVERYBODY WATCHING THIS HAS
TO UNDERSTAND THAT IT DOES
NOT MATTER WHETHER IT IS THE
PUBLIC OR THE PRIVATE SECTOR
PRODUCING THE ELECTRICITY
YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT YOUR
FEEDSTOCK.
YOU ARE RIGHT.
THE PRICE OF NATURAL GAS HAS
MORE THAN DOUBLED IN LAST
FOUR YEARS.
AND IF THE PRICE OF THE
FEEDSTOCK IS 50 PERCENT COST OF THE
END PRODUCT, THEN, THE
MINISTERS ALSO RIGHT.
DWIGHT DUNCAN RIGHT AND THE
PREMIER WILL SPEAK ABOUT
THIS LATER NEXT WEEK I GUESS
OR THE WEEK AFTER THAT WE
WILL HAVE TO USE WHAT WE
PRODUCE FAR MORE CAREFULLY.
CONSERVATION IS GOING TO --.


Janet says
THE POLITICAL TEST CAN HE
GET CONSUMERS TO CONTINUE TO
GO WITH HIM DOWN THIS ROAD.
AND THAT MEANS WHAT THEY
HAVE TO SHOW IS PROGRESS.
PEOPLE I STAND YOU HAVE GOT
TO PAY A PRICE.
THERE IS NO QUESTION.
I MEAN WE HAVE A FALSE
ECONOMY IF NULL PRICE FOR
MANY YEARS UNDER DIFFERENT
TYPES BUT HE WILL HAVE
TO SHOW AN INCREASE IN
THE PRICE.
YOU KNOW IF COMPETITION
GOING TO HELP THERE THIS AND
PROGRESS ON DEBT.
LIKE THERE IS WHOLE RANGE OF
THINGS IF THEY CAN SHOW THAT
CONSISTENCY AND THEY KNOW
WHERE THEY ARE GOING HE
MIGHT GET CONSUME FORCE BUY
IN.


Dave says
BUT I THINK THAT ONE OF
THE POINTS THAT HAS TO BE
MADE IS THAT PEOPLE WILL PAY
HIGHER IN ORDER TO OBVIOUSLY
TO GUARANTEE THEY WILL HAVE
SUPPLY WE KNOW THAT.
BUT I DON'T THINK WE SHOULD
UNDERSTATE AT ALL WHAT COST
GOING TO BE.
BECAUSE, AT SOME POINT WE
WILL LOSE EVERYBODY.
AND IF YOU WANT BUY IN THE
MINISTER HAS GOT TO BE MORE
UPFRONT WITH WHAT HE THINKS
THE COST GOING TO BE.


Steve says
ONE LAST SERIES OF
QUESTION ON THIS.
AND THAT IS SUPPLY.
LIBERALS HAVE BEEN IN FOR
SEVEN MONTHS THERE AND NOON
DECISION TAKEN, SEAN, ON
WHAT JOHN MANLEY SUGGESTED.
WHERE ARE THE NUCLEARS?


Sean says
THAT'S A BIG UNANSWERED
QUESTION.
I SUSPECT WE WILL HEAR
SOMETHING FAIRLY SOON AND
ONE OF THE POINTS ABOUT THE
ANNOUNCEMENT YESTERDAY OF
THE CREATION OF SOMETHING
CALLED ONTARIO POWER
AUTHORITY THAT'S A VERY
IMPORTANT DECISION IT IS NOT
JUST THAT. THERE WILL BE
NOBODY BUILDING NEW
GENERATION IN THIS PROVINCE
IF THERE IS NOT A CREDIT
WORTHY PARTNER ON THE OTHER
SIDE WITH WHOM TO MAKE A
DEAL.
THESE ARE GOING TO BE
MULTIBILLION DOLLAR
COMMITMENT OVER A LONG
PERIOD OF TIME.
SO THE ONTARIO POWER
AUTHORITY HAS TO BE
UNDERSTOOD AS THE NECESSARY
PARTNER FOR ANYBODY IN THE
PUBLIC OR PRIVATE --
PARTICULARLY THE PRIVATE VAT
BUT SOME OF THE
MUNICIPALITIES MAY BE VERY
INTERESTED IN DOING THIS
THEY HAVE TO SOMEONE WITH
WHOM TO MAKE A DEAL AND WITH
TO SIGN A CONTRACT THIS WILL
BE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OR
BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OVER
MEAN YEARS.
DAVE COOK IS RIGHT.
THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE
EASY.
PRICES ARE GOING TO GO UP
AND I REMIND YOU.
YOU HAVE GOT THREE OR FOUR
WAYS PROEF DUESING.
YOU CAN DO WITH IT MORE NUCS
WITH NATURAL GAS. WITH
APPARENTLY NOT GOING TO DO
COAL.
AND I REMIND YOU THAT IN THE
FIR EXPERIENCE STANCE WIND
POWER, WHICH IS VERY
IMPORTANT PART OF OUR FUTURE;
KNOW COMING INTO THE GRID AT
ABOUT TWICE THE CAPPED PRICE
AT 4.7.


Janet says
WE WILL NOT BE RUNNING ON
TAR INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX ON
WIND POWER.


Sean says ABSOLUTELY NOT.
BUT IT IS A PIECE OF IT.


Janet continues YES.
BUT I MEAN THINK TOM ADAMS
HAD A VERY GOOD POINT.
WE HAVE GOT THIS KNEW THAT
WE ARE CREATED KIND OF BACK
TO THE FUTURE.
THERE IS NO QUESTION THERE
WAS A GAP IN THE POLICY THAT
OUR GOVERNMENT BROUGHT IN IN
TERMS HOOF WAS RESPONSIBLE.
FOR ENSURING NEW SUPPLY.
AND AT LEAST WE GOT SOMEONE
WHO IS NOW SUPPOSED TO BE
THE ORGANIZATION ACCOUNTABLE
FOR NEW SUPPLY.
BUT LET'S BRING BACK ONTARIO
HYDRO.


Steve says JUMPING IN FOR A
SECOND TO SAY OUR NEXT TOPIC
COMING UP NEW TAX ON MEALS
UNDER 4 DOLLARS THAT
ARE ALREADY CIRCULATING.


A new clip plays.


The caption changes to “Howard Hampton. Ontario NDP Leader.” He’s in his late forties. He has short dark hair and wears a black suit.


Howard says
PEOPLE WHO GO FOR 3.99
BREAKFAST OR SUPER AND SALAD
LUNCH ARE OVERWHELMING
SENIORS LIVING ON FIXED
INCOME STUDENTS.
OR THEY ARE OTHER PEOPLE WHO
HAVE VERY MODEST INCOMES.
SO THIS IS A 200 MILLION
DOLLAR TAX DIRECTED AT THE
LOWEST PAID THE LOWEST
INCOME PEOPLE IN THE
PROVINCE.


The caption changes to “Jim Flaherty, MPP. PC, Whitby-Ajax.” He’s in his fifties. He has short dark hair and wears a black suit.


jim says
THEY WILL INCREASE TAXES
ON ALL KINDS OF SERVICES.
FOR PEOPLE AT ANY VINCE OF
ONTARIO DESPITE THE FACT
THAT DALTON MCGUINTY MADE A
BIG DEAL A BIG PRODUCTION OF
THE SIGNING OF TAXPAYER
PROTECTION PLEDGE DURING THE
ELECTION CAMPAIGN IT IS
SHAMEFUL AND VERY CYNICAL
FOR THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO TO
SEE THIS HAPPENING.
IT WAS NOT TO RAISE PERSONAL
INCOME TAX.
SO YOU WILLING TO RAEUS ALL
SORTS OF TAX.


The caption changes to “Greg Sorbara. Ontario Finance Minister.” He’s in his fifties. He’s balding, with short grey hair to the back and wears a black suit.


Greg says
I HAVE SAID ON NUMBER
OCCASION WE ARE LOOKING
MEASURES.


The clip ends.


Steve says LET'S BE CLEAR AT
THE TOP.
THIS TAX DOES NOT YET EXIST.
WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT
I KNOW THE OPPOSITION MAKES
IT SOUND FAST IT IN.
THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT
POSSIBILITY THAT GREG
SORBARA MIGHT REMOVE THE
EXCEPTION ON THE RETAIL
SALES TAX FOR MEALS UNDER
4 DOLLARS.
HAVING SAID THAT YOUR
GOVERNMENT, SEAN BACK IN
LATE 80S WAS GOVERNMENT THAT
CREATED IT IN THE FIRST
PLACE.
WHY DO YOU DO IT?


Sean says WELL, IT WAS A BIG
CONTROVERSY IN THE EARLY 80S
WHEN FRANK MILLER BROUGHT IN
A BUDGET IN 81 OR 82 WHERE
HE BEGAN TO TAX PREPARED
MEALS AT CERTAIN LOW RATE.
AND THAT BUDGET DAVE COOK
WILL REMEMBER JANET WAS
PROBABLY AROUND, WAS VERY
CONTROVERSIAL.
AND THAT WAS 20 YEARS AGO
AND CERTAINLY THIS PROPOSAL
I GUESS, WHICH HAS APPEARED
IN SOME KIND OF BUDGET
DISCUSSION PAPER HAS
GENERATE A LOT OF
DISCUSSION.
CLEARLY, THE ARGUMENT FOR
DOING THIS APPARENTLY IS WE
WANT TO GET PEOPLE AWAY FROM
WHAT WE -- WHAT WORLD WE USE
JUNK FOOD.


Steve says THAT'S NOT
ARGUMENT.


Janet says THAT'S DECEPTIVE.


Sean continues
THAT'S THE POSITION
THAT'S BEING PUT.
I WOULD BE PREPARED TO WAGER
A SMALL AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT
THIS -- I CERTAINLY DON'T
HAVE YOUR KIND OF BANK
ACCOUNT.
I WOULD BE PREPARED TO WAGER
A BIT OF A BET THAT THIS IS
A PROPOSAL THAT IS EITHER
NOT GOING TO SHOW UP IN THE
BUDGET OR WILL APPEAR IN A
VERY, VERY AMENDED FORM.


Steve says OKAY HOW MANY
LOONIES DO YOU WANT TO PUT
ON THE TABLE?


Sean says LET ME THINK ABOUT IT.


Janet says WHAT'S GOING ON HERE.
FIRST ALL, THINGS ALWAYS GET
THROWN OUT IN PRE BUDGET CON
SAUL STATION AND GOOD STAKE
HOLDERS JUMP ON THEM AND GO
OUT THERE AND DO THE
CAMPAIGN.
SO THERE IS NO QUESTION
THERE IS A BIT OF THIS.
BUT AND IT IS INTERESTING TO
HEAR THE HEALTH MINISTER WEIGH
IN AS HEALTH MINISTERS
FREQUENTLY DO LET'S DO THIS
FOR HEALTHY REASONS BUT THAT
IS CREATIVE.
THEY ARE DOING IT IF
SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS
FOR THE REVENUE.
BUT THE THING THAT I FOUND
THE MOST INTERESTING ABOUT
THIS IS THE REACTION OF THE
FINANCE MINISTER THE
REACTION OF THE PREMIER TO
THOSE WHO ARE OBJECTING TO A
TAX INCREASE AND LET'S BE
CLEAR THIS IS TAX INCREASE SO YOU DOES
BREAK PROMISE THEY MADE
ABOUT NOT RAISING TAXES.
BUT, THE DISDAIN THAT
FINANCE MINISTER THE
PREMIER WERE GIVING TO
PEOPLE WHO ONED TO IT AND
THE CONCERN I HAVE THAT ANY
KIND OF TAX INCREASE LIKE
THAT IN THAT SECTOR HAS A
DIRECT IMPACT ON YOUR
ECONOMIC ACTIVITY.


Steve says IS THAT TRUE?
WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE --
MEAL UNDER 4 DOLLARS WE ARE TALKING
ABOUT 32 CENTS --


Janet continues THERE IS A
PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT IN
TERMS OF WHAT PEOPLE BUY
THINGS.
NIXON MADE THIS MISTAKE WHEN
HE PUT UP THE PINT OF BEER
UP.
BUT THIS IS ALSO YOU KNOW A
LOT OF THOSE SMALL
BUSINESSES, YOU KNOW SELL
COFFEE LOCAL STORE AND
WHATEVER THAT HAVE BIG
IMPACT ON THE ECONOMY.
AND ON THOSE JOBS.
WHEN YOU ADD WHAT THIS
GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN DOING,
WITH THE BUSINESS INCREASE
THE TAX INCREASE IN
BUSINESS.
AND THE INCREASE IN ENERGY.
AND IT IS HITTING OUR
ECONOMIC ACTIVITY AND THAT
IS A CONCERN.


Steve says DAVE LET ME ASK
YOU WHEN WHETHER YOU AGREE
WITH GREG SORBARA WHEN HE
SAYS IF I ELIMINATE AN
EXCEPTION THAT'S NOT A TAX
INCREASE.
THAT'S THE WAY HE IS
CHARACTERIZED THIS.


Dave says WELL, I MEAN IF THEY
GOING TO PUT A ON THE MEALS
IT IS AN INCREASE AND THAT'S
HOW IT WILL SPUN.
I MEAN, I GUESS -- THINK
WE -- IT IS HARD TO MAKE A
JUDGE MEANT ABOUT THIS TAX.
BECAUSE I CERTAINLY THINK
THAT TAX BASE NEEDS TO BE
EXPANDED IN ORDER TO PAY FOR
OUR SERVICES.
I AM DISAPPOINTED THAT
GOVERNMENT SAYS WE ARE
LOOKING AT EVERYTHING EXCEPT
THE ONE PROGRESSIVE TAX AND
THAT'S INCOME TAX.
BUT LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT THE
WHOLE BUDGET.
I MEAN IF THEY PUT A TAX ON
MEALS AND COMBINE THAT WITH
SOME TAX CREDITS WITH LOW
INCOME FAMILIES YOU MIGHT BE
ABLE TO MAKE CASE IT IS NOT
PARTICULARLY REGRESSIVE.
THEN WOULDN'T BE 200 MILLION
IF IT WAS FULLY FOR HEALTH
REASONS I WOULD SHALL EXPECT
HOME SAY HOW MUCH THAT 200
MILLION WILL BE SPENT ON
DOING HEALTHY THINGS.
BUT I AM -- THINK WE GOT TO
LOOK AT THE WHOLE THING
BEFORE WE START DUMPING ON
IT AND I HOPE THAT THEY DO
EXPAND THE TAX BASE SO WE
CAN AFFORD PUBLIC SERVICES
WE NEED IN THIS PROVINCE.


Steve says DO YOU THINK THEY
SHOULD DO THIS, THOUGH?


Dave continues
I WOULD NOT BE UPSET IF
THEY REMOVED IF IF THEY
COMBINED IT WITH SOME TAX
CREDITS SO IT WAS NOT JUST
HITTING LOW INCOME PEOPLE
AND IF THEY LOOKED AT
PROGRESSIVE TAX AS WELL.


Sean says
YOU KNOW FEEL SORRY A BIT
FOR GREG SORBARA THERE HE
SAID FEW WEEKS FROM HIS
BUDGET AND YOU KNOW HE HAS
GOT A MULTIBILLION DOLLAR
GAP BETWEEN THE EXPENDITURES
AND THE REVENUES AND THERE
WAS A PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT,
NOT JUST ON THE MAIN FISCAL
PICTURE BUT ON THINGS LIKE
HYDRO ACCOUNT OUR HYDRO DEBT
HAS GONE UP A BILLION
DOLLARS IN LAST COUPLE
YEARS.
SO THERE ARE SOME TOUGH
DECISIONS.
BUT, MINISTER GREG SORBARA AND
HIS COLLEAGUES WILL HAVE TO
MAKE SOME DECISIONS AROUND
SOME COMMITMENT THEY MADE
DURING THE ELECTION BUT IN
LIGHT AFTER FISCAL PICTURE
WHICH MAY NOT BE AS BAD AS
THEY WANT TO BELIEVE.
BUT CERTAINLY NOT VERY
PRETTY.


Steve says
WHEN THEY SAID DURING THE
ELECTION CAMPAIGN WE
WOULDN'T CUT YOUR TAX BUT WE
WOULDN'T RAISE THEM EITHER
IF THEY DO REMOVE THE
EXCEPTION, WILL THAT VIOLATE
CAMPAIGN PROMISE?


Sean says WELL, NOW THAT'S A
HYPOTHETICAL QUESTION.


Janet says
IT IS A TAX INCREASE.
THE TAX IS NOT THERE NOW
IF THEY PUT -- THERE IS A
TAX INCREASE.


Sean continues
MY POINT IS THEY DO HAVE
SOME TOUGH DECISIONS TO
MAKE.
AND THEY ARE LEFT WITH
MULTIBILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT
NOT OF THEIR CREATING I
DON'T THINK BY THE WAY THIS
EXCEPTION GOING TO BE PART
OF THE BUDGET.
I MAY BE WRONG.
THERE WILL BE SOME OTHER
DESUN THAT WILL BE QUITE
CONTROVERSIAL I AM SURE.


Steve says ONE MORE THING WE
WANT YOU TO WATCH WITH THE
SUDDEN AND TRAGIC DEATH LAST
MONTH OF LIBERAL MP THE
PEOPLE IN HAMILTON HAVE BEEN
WONDERING WHO WILL REPLACE
THE IT EAST ENDER DID WHEN.
OUR CHIEF PURE JOE CHIEF --
WE HAVE BACK ROOM 411.
(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 OKAY WITHOUT
FURTHER ADO LET'S GO RIGHT
TO HAMILTON EAST WHERE THEY
DECIDED TO CALL BUY ELECTION
FOR THE SECOND OF
MAY WHAT CAN YOU TELL US
ABOUT THE CANDIDATE WHO WILL
REPLACE HIM?


The caption changes to "Susanna Kelley. Queen’s Park Bureau Chief."
Susanna is in her forties, with short blond hair in a
Bob and bangs. She’s wearing a red cardigan over a black blouse.


She says
WELL IT IS THE LIBERAL
CANDIDATE IS HIS BROTHER
HRAL RALPH.
ON THE SCHOOL BOARD THERE.
AND I THINK THERE IS A --
THERE QUITE A BIT OF
CONTROVERSY ABOUT HIM
RUNNING THERE.
OF COURSE, IT WAS VERY GOOD
FOR THE LIBERALS.
NAME RECOGNITION AND ALL OF
THAT.
BUT, A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK
IT HAS BEEN CALLED WAY TOO
QUICKLY.
AND THE REASON IT HAS BEEN
CALLED QUICKLY IS TO --
BECAUSE THE NDP WHO ARE THE
THREAT IN THAT RIDING ARE --
ARE NO WHERE NEAR BEING
READY.
THEY DON'T HAVE A NOMINATED
CANDIDATE AND THIS GIVES
THEM AT LIBERALS LIKE A WEAK
HEAD START IN THE CAMPAIGN.


Steve says WHAT DO YOU THINK?


The caption changes to "Robert Fisher. Provincial Affairs Specialist."
Robert is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair.
He’s wearing glasses, a black suit, light blue shirt, and contrasting tie.


He says
THERE IS A LOT OF ANGST
AT QUEEN'S PARK.
THE MORNING PERIOD FOR
HIM -- THE MOURNING PERIOD
STILL IN THEORY ON.
AND YET YOU HAVE AN ELECT
COMING SO CLOSE.
I CAN UNDERSTAND HER POINTS
ARE ABSOLUTELY BANG ON YOU
HAVE CANDIDATE THAT HAS GOT
NAME RECOGNITION AND THE
NAME AND HAMILTON EAST MAGIC
AND SO WHY NOT GO AFTER THE
BROTHER.
BUT CERTAINLY PUTS THE NDP
IN TORIES AT BIG ADVANCE.


Steve says IT IS -- YOU KNOW ON THE
OTHER HAND IF GOVERNMENT HAD
WADE LONGER SOME PEOPLE
WOULD SAY HERE AREA UNRESTED
AND WHEN GOVERNMENT IN PAST
BECAUSE THEY ARE UNPOPULAR
DO WAIT A LONG TIME BEFORE
CALLING THEY ARE CITE SIZED.


Robert says WHEN YOU ASK OFFICIALLY, I
THEY WILL TELL YOU IT IS ISSUE OF
REPRESENTATION WE HAVE TO
SOMEONE REPRESENT THIS VERY
FINE RIDING IN LEGISLATURE.
BUT IT IS CERTAINLY PUTS THE
OPPOSITION AT BIG
DISADVANTAGE.
AND I WOULD THINK THAT
UNLESS THE NEW DEMOCRATS
AND TORIES COME UP WITH
REALLY BIG NAME CANDIDATES
THERE, THAT IT PROBABLY
SHOULD BE KIND OF CAKE WALK
FOR HIS BROTHER.


Steve says LET'S MOVE FROM
LIBERALS TO THE
CONSERVATIVES STILL MORE
SCUTTLEBUTT IN BACK ROOMS.
ABOUT THE UPCOMING
LEADERSHIP CAMPAIGN.
JOHN TORY HAS NOT GOT IN
YET EVERYBODY WIDELY
SPECULATE THAT HE WILL GET
IN WHAT'S LATEST ON THAT?


Susanna says
WELL I THINK IT IS VERY
CLEAR AND SOURCE TELL ME
THAT DECISION HAS BEEN MADE
HE IS IN.
AND HE IS IN.
WE ARE JUST WATCHING AND
THIS GOING BE VERY
INTERESTING FOR OUR AUDIENCE
TO WATCH.
WATCH THE DANCE.
THAT'S ABOUT TO HAPPEN.


Steve says THE DANCE?


Susanna continues
CAMPAIGN MANAGER IS JOHN A
VERY WELL-RESPECTED AND VERY
MUCH VETERAN AT THESE
THINGS.
AND DOES IT IN A VERY
CLASSIC WAY.
AND YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE AND
WE ARE ALREADY SEEING, THE
JOHN CLASSIC ROLLOUT.


Steve says MEANING WHAT?


Susanna continues
GOING TO CANDIDATE LAUNCH
OWE STARTS WITH, TOURING.
SO, MISTER TORRY HAS BEEN MUST
RURAL AND NORTHERN RIDINGS
AND DOWN IN EASTERN ONTARIO
AND AROUND STARTING TO BUILD
SUPPORT.
THEN YOU ARE STARTING TO SEE
NOW IN THE LAST WEEK OR TWO,
THE MEDIA BUILD UP.
YOU ARE STARTING TO SEE SOME
STORIES IN THE NEWSPAPERS
ABOUT MOW.


Steve says GET THE MOMENTUM
GOING.


Susanna continues
THIS IS CLASSIC JOHN.
AND THEN, AND IT IS JUST
BEGUN, YOU WILL SEE SOME
HIGH PROFILE TORRIES COMING
OUT AND SAYING THAT THEY ARE
GOING TO SUPPORT HIM.
JUST IN THE LAST WEEK CHRIS
HODGSON HAS COME OUT.
AND SAID THAT HE WOULD
SUPPORT HIM.
FORMER MPP AND CABINET
MINISTER.
NEXT, YOU ARE GOING TO --
AND WILL YOU PROBABLY SEE
FEW HIGH PROFILE PEOPLE BUT
NEXT WATCH FOR THE POLE.
THE FAMOUS POLL.


Steve says WHICH WILL SHOW
WHAT?


Susanna continues
IT WILL BE -- WELL FIRST
OF ALL IT WILL BE NORTH STAR
BY ACROBAT BOTH OF HIS
COMPANIES OR MAYBE ANOTHER
ONE.
BUT THERE SHOW THAT YOU KNOW
EITHER JOHN TORY IS GOING
TO WIN OVER JIM FLAHERTY AND
MISTER KLEES FOR YOU RAN HIM
AGAINST AGAIN GAIN -- DALTON
MCGUINTY HE WOULD HAVE.


Robert says
THE HE HAS MUCH BETTER
CANDIDATE TO WORK THIS THAN
WITH BELINDA STRONACH.
TORRY DOES NOT HAVE THE
MONEY BUT HE CERTAINLY GOT
THE EXPERIENCE AND I WOULD
THINK THAT JIM FLAHERTY,
OUGHT TO BE PRETTY WORRIED
ABOUT TORIES ENTRY INTO THE
RACE.
BUT IT IS INTERESTING AS
WELL, THAT THE PEOPLE THAT
WE THINK WOULD OBVIOUSLY
HAVE AFFINITY POLITICALLY
SPEAKING TO TORRY WOULD BE
SIGNING ON FOR THE CAMPAIGN
I AM TOLD BY PEOPLE TO WATCH
FOR JANET ECKER TO SUPPORT
JIM FLAHERTY IN THE
LEADERSHIP BID.
WHICH WOULD BE CONSIDERING
THEIR PAST HISTORY AT
QUEEN'S PARK.
BUT THERE SOME POLITICAL
LOCAL CONSIDERATIONS HERE
AND IN TERMS OF SUPPORT THE
LOCAL GUY AND FLAHERTY
CERTAINLY THAT.
BUT THERE WILL BE A LOT OF
TORRIES UP THE TO SEE JANET
ECKER ON THE FLAHERTY TEAM.


Steve says
I THINK WHAT YOU ARE
SUGGESTING IS THAT JANET
ECKER MORE IF WITH JOHN
TORY.
BUT, JANET ECKER ALSO
REPRESENTS WHEN SHE WAS AN
MP MP PART THE PROVINCE
RIGHT NEXT DOOR.


Robert says YOU GOT TO SUPPORT THE
LOCAL GUY BECAUSE SHE HAS
POLITICAL FUTURE AHEAD OF
HER AND YOU GOT TO BE
CAREFUL WHERE YOU GO.
IT IS STILL GOING UPSET A
LOT OF PEOPLE AND WILL
SURPRISE SOME FOLKS.


Susanna says AND REALLY
INTERESTING TEAM COMING
TOGETHER THEY HAVE BEEN
HAVING MEETING AND HEAR
THERE MAY BE ANOTHER ONE
THIS WEEKEND.
VERY FORMIDABLE TEAM.
HE IS AT THE TOP WITH TWO
OTHERS.
WHICH IS JEFF BANGS AND
ANDREW HODGSON WHEN YOU
PUT HIM TOGETHER WITH CHRIS
ON THAT CAMPAIGN BROTHERS
WHAT YOU HAVE GOT IS A LOT
OF SUPPORT THAT THEY CAN
BRING IN RURAL AND
NORTHERN RIDINGS WHICH IS
WHERE TORIES IS WEAK.
SO GETTING THEM ON BOARD WAS
REALLY CRUCIAL.
AND I THINK THAT'S A HUGE
LOST TO FLAHERTY AND
MISTER FLAHERTY AND HIS PEOPLE
WERE TRYING VERY HARD TO GET
THOSE PEOPLE TO COME TO HIM
AND WAS NOT ABLE TO.
SO, AND WATCH MISTER FLAHERTY'S
CAMPAIGN FOR WHO MIGHT --
FOR WHO WOULDN'T BE ON TO.
I BELIEVE.
I DON'T THINK YOU ARE GOING
SEE MANY OF THEM WAS KIDS ON
IT FORMALLY KNOWN AT WHIZ
KIDS THERE IS NOBODY ON IT
SO FAR.
AND WHEN I HAVE ASKED, YOU
KNOW DO YOU WANT SOME OF
THESE PEOPLE ON, THE WORD IS
NO.


Robert says THEY ARE TOXIC.
HARD TO BELIEVE THAT
PEOPLE CREATED BACK TO BACK
MAJORITY GOVERNMENT ARE
PEOPLE THAT NOBODY WANTS TO
EVEN ADMIT THEY KNOW.
HAVE I HEARD OF PAUL RHOADS?
NO NEVER MET THEM.
THAT'S WHAT YOU ARE GETTING
FROM TORIES.


Susanna says
TO THE POINT WHERE I AM
TOLD MISTER FLAHERTY WHEN HE IS
HAS BEEN PHONING AROUND
ASKING FOR SUPPORT, HAD A
BEEN SAYING, HAS BEEN
INFERRING THAT WE ARE GOING
TO PUT -- HE WILL PUT NEW
FACE UPFRONT ON THE
CAMPAIGN.
AND BUT, OF COURSE N
INFERRING THAT TOM LONG, AND
WILL BE STILL IN BACK ROOM
RUNNINGING THE CAMPAIGN.
AND RON, NOW, THOSE -- ARE
TWO THAT HAVE BEEN RUNNING
PRE CAMPAIGN AND THEY HAVE
BEEN VERY ACTIVE IN TWISTING
A LOT OF THE ARMS SO THEY
ARE DEFINITELY WORKING IN
THERE.


Steve says MORE SCUTTLEBUTT
FROM THE BACK ROOMS.
THANK YOU FOR THE 411.
WE WILL DO AGAIN IN A FEW
MORE WEEKS.


Back in the studio, Steve talks to the panel.


He says
WELL I GUESS IN INTEREST
OF EQUAL TIME WE SHOULD ASK,
HAVE YOU MADE ANY DECISIONS
YET ABOUT WHO YOU ARE
SUPPORTING?


Janet says NO, I HAVE NOT AND I
THINK THOSE THREE
INDIVIDUALS WILL BE GREAT
CANDIDATES.
I THINK THEY WILL GIVE
TESTIMONY THEY ARE ALL THERE
THEY WILL GIVE.


Steve says
AND ROBERT RIGHT OR WRONG?


Janet says WHICH POINT?


Steve continues HE IS SAYING HE HAS
SOURCES WHICH SAY THAT YOU
ARE FEELING AND INCREDIBLE
PRESSURE TO SUPPORT LOATHE
CAL GUY THE FLAHERTY.


Janet says
WELL THERE IS NO QUESTION
THAT BOTH JOHN AND JIM AND
FRANK ARE DOING WHAT THEY
SHOULD BE GOING A LOT OF US
PUTTING PRESSURE ON.


Steve says NO QUESTION.


Sean says
NOT SINCE RICHARD NIXON
HAVE I SEEN REMARKABLE
DEVELOPMENT -- THEY STANDS
TOGETHER AND WE WILL SEE.
BUT JANET I THINK IS ABOUT
TO MAKE A SHARP TURN HERE.


Steve says IN WHICH
DIRECTION?


Sean continues
I THINK SHE WILL SUPPORT
JIM FLAHERTY AND I CAN
UNDERSTAND WHY.


Janet says
MAYBE WE SHOULD BRING
BACK BELINDA STRONACH WE
COULD RUN BELINDA STRONACH
YOU SEE.


Steve says
WE GOT TO RUN IS INTO THE
WEEKEND BECAUSE WE ARE DONE
RIGHT NOW.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH TO THE
THREE OF YOU.
WE WILL DO IT AGAIN NEXT
TIME AND THAT'S "FOURTH
READING" I AM 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.

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