Transcript: Walkerton | May 29, 2005

The opening sequence rolls.

Music plays as clips of politicians and demonstrations appear on an animated number 4.

Steve says THIS WEEK ON "FOURTH
READING," THE WALKERTON WATER
DISASTER.

A fast clip shows images of a funeral.

Murray McQuigge is in his early fifties, clean-shaven and with short straight gray hair. He wears a gray suit, a white shirt and a gray tie.

He says WHAT MORE CAN I SAY?
THIS WAS PREVENTABLE.

Steve says FIVE YEARS LATER, IS OUR
WATER ANY SAFER?

Steve sits in the studio 4 guests.

Steve is in his mid-forties, clean-shaven, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit and a gray polo T-shirt.

Steve says HEY, EVERYBODY.
I'M STEVE PAIKIN AND WELCOME TO
"FOURTH READING."
I WAS FIVE YEARS AGO THIS WEEK
THAT ONTARIO WOKE UP TO THE
WORST DRINKING DISASTER IN THE
PROVINCE'S HISTORY.
SEVEN PEOPLE DIED AS A RESULT
OF DRINKING E.COLI-LACED WATER
IN ONTARIO.
A INQUIRY LATER CONCLUDED THAT
THE TRAGEDY WAS ENTIRELY
PREVENTABLE.
HOW FAR HAVE WE COME IN MAKING
SURE SUCH A THING NEVER HAPPENS
AGAIN?
IN A MOMENT, WE'LL TALK TO
LEONA DUMBBROWSKI AND ASK
HER THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION...
HOW CAN WE BE SURE THAT OUR
DRINKING WATER IS NOW SAFE?

A clip rolls with the caption "Murray McQuigge. Bruce-Grey Medical Officer of Health. May 25, 2000."

He says PEOPLE HAVE DIED, PEOPLE MAY
DIE YET, IT WAS PREVENTABLE.
WHAT MORE CAN I SAY?
THIS WAS PREVENTABLE.

Steve says FIVE YEARS AGO THIS
WEEK, THE FIRST VICTIM WAS LAID
TO REST.
IN THE WEEKS THAT FOLLOWED, SIX
MORE WOULD EVENTUALLY SUCCUMB
TO THE DEADLY E.COLI BACTERIA
AND THOUSANDS MORE WOULD BECOME
SICK.
IT LATER EMERGED THAT
WALKERTON'S PUBLIC UTILITIES
COMMISSION, MANAGED BY STAN
CABLE, KNEW THAT THE WATER SUPPLY
WAS CONTAMINATED.

The caption changes to "Mike Haris. Former Ontario Premier. May, 2000."

Mike is in his late fifties, clean-shaven and with short wavy gray hair. He wears a gray suit, white shirt and patterned tie.

He says THERE APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN
SOME HUMAN ERROR AND FACTS
WITH--

Steve says OTHERS BLAME THE TRAGEDY ON
DEEP CUTS TO WATER PERSONNEL.

The caption changes to "Gord Miller. Ontario Environment Commissioner."

Gord is in his late forties, with short receding gray hair neatly combed back and a moustache. HE wears a beige suit, pink shirt and patterned tie.

He says WHEN THEY LOST A LOT OF
STAFF IN THIS ENVIRONMENT, THEY
LOST THEIR COLLECTIVE CORPORATE
MEMORY AND A LOT OF THEIR
EXPERTISE AND THEIR MORALE IS
VERY LOW.
THESE FACTORS ALL COMBINED.

Steve says DEMANDS FOR PUBLIC
INQUIRY INTENSIFIED.

A clip shows Sean Conway at a session in the legislature.

The caption changes to "Sean Conway. Former Liberal MPP. May 30, 2000."

Sean is in his mid-forties, clean-shaven and with short straight light brown hair. He wears glasses, a blue suit, lilac shirt and brown tie.

He says PEOPLE ARE DEAD.
THERE MAY BE BLOOD ON OUR HANDS.
I THINK THERE IS BLOOD ON OUR
HANDS!
I WANT TO KNOW AND THE PEOPLE
OF THOSE DEAD PEOPLE HAVE A
RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED!

The caption changes to "Jim Flaherty. Former Attorney General. May 31, 2000."

Jim is in his late forties, clean-shaven and with short wavy brown hair. HE wears a light gray suit, a lilac shirt and a patterned tie.

He says THE GOVERNMENT HAS DECIDED
THAT THE OPEN AND PUBLIC REVIEW
FOR WHICH THE PREMIER HAS
CALLED SHOULD TAKE THE FORM OF
A BROAD COMMISSION OF INQUIRY.
THE COMMISSION SHOULD EXAMINE
WHAT WENT WRONG IN WALKERTON IN
ORDER TO PREVENT A SIMILAR
TRAGEDY FROM OCCURRING.

Steve says JUSTICE DENNIS
O'CONNOR HEADED UP THE INQUIRY.
IN JANUARY OF 2002, HIS FINAL
RECOMMENDATIONS WERE MADE
PUBLIC.

A cover page appears with the caption "Part 1. Report of the Walkerton Inquiry. The events of May 2000 and related issues. The Honourable Dennis R. O’Connor" A Walkerton water tank illustrates the cover.

The caption changes to "Toby Barrett. P.C Environment Critic."

Toby is in his late fifties, clean-shaven and with short wavy gray hair. He wears gray trousers, a blue jacket, blue shirt and patterned tie.

He says THE FORMER GOVERNMENT WAS
SWIFT IN ITS RESPONSE.
IT WAS COMMISSIONED UNTIL THE
AFTERMATH AND SET THE WHEELS IN
MOTION FOR A SERIES OF
INITIATIVES, SET THE WHEELS IN
MOTION FOR LEGISLATION, AND
CERTAINLY ACCEPT THE WHEELS IN
MOTION FOR A PLETHORA OF
REGULATION TO ENSURE PROTECTION
OF PEOPLE'S DRINKING WATER.

Dalton McGuinty comes out of a campaign bus and waves to the people present.

Dalton is in his mid-forties, clean-shaven and with short straight brown hair. He wears a blue shirt and burgundy tie.

He says HI, FOLKS.
HOW ARE YOU?
[CHEERING]

Steve says DURING THE 2003
PROVINCIAL ELECTION, THE
LIBERALS PROMISED TO IMPLEMENT
EVERY RECOMMENDATION OF THE
1100-PAGE O'CONNOR REPORT.
THEY HAVE IMPLEMENTED A NUMBER
OF MEASURES, INCLUDING...
INCREASING THE NUMBER OF WATER
INSPECTORS BY 25 percent.
BRINGING IN MANDATORY
CERTIFICATION AND TRAINING FOR
ALL OPERATORS OF MUNICIPAL
WATER SYSTEMS, CREATING THE
ADVISORY COUNCIL ON DRINKING
WATER QUALITY AND TESTING
STANDARDS TO CHANGE DRINKING
WATER REGULATIONS AND BRINGING
IN TIGHTER OVERSIGHT TO PRIVATE
WATER SYSTEMS ACROSS THE
PROVINCE.
BUT ENVIRONMENTALISTS SAY WATER
QUALITY ACROSS THE PROVINCE IS
STILL NOT RELIABLE BECAUSE THE
LARGE RESERVOIRS BENEATH THE
GROUND, THE SOURCE OF MUCH OF
OUR DRINKING WATER, WAS
POLLUTED.

The caption changes to "Colin Isaacs. Sustainable Development Consultant."

Colin is in his late fifties, with long receding wavy gray hair. HE wears a blue suit, white shirt and patterned tie.

He says THERE WAS A REPORT THAT CAME
OUT VERY RECENTLY FROM THE
RURAL AREAS AND THE CITY OF
HAMILTON, SHOWED 25 percent OF WELLS
ARE CONTAMINATED, UNFIT TO
DRINK.
THAT'S NOT A PROBLEM OF
INDIVIDUAL WELLS, THAT'S A
SITUATION WHERE THE ENTIRE
UNDERGROUND AQUIFER IS
CONTAMINATED, AS EXISTS OVER
MUCH OF ONTARIO.

Steve says ALTHOUGH THERE IS
DRAFT LEGISLATION TO PROTECT
OUR UNDERGROUND WATER SUPPLIES,
ALSO CALLED SOURCE WATER, IT
HAS YET TO BE PASSED INTO LAW.

The caption changes to "Marilyn Churley. NDP Environment Critic."

Marilyn is in her early fifties, with short slightly wavy blond hair. She wears a white top and a white jacket.

She says WE HAD HOPED TO SEE THE
SOURCE WATER PROTECTION
LEGISLATION IN 2004, THEN WE
HEARD 2005 AND WE'RE STILL NOT
SEEING IT TODAY.
AND I THINK IT'S VITALLY
IMPORTANT.

The caption changes to "Leona Dombrowsky. Ontario Environment Minister."

Leona is in her mid-forties, with shoulder length slightly wavy light brown hair with bangs. She wears glasses and a red blazer.

She says OUR GOVERNMENT IS WORKING
HARD TO REGAIN THE TRUST OF THE
PEOPLE OF ONTARIO.
I BELIEVE WE HAVE MOVED
FORWARD, PROVIDING CLEANER,
SAFER WATER FROM SOURCE TO TOP
FOR ALL ONTARIANS.

Steve says EXPERTS SAY MOST AT
RISK ARE THOSE WHO RELY ON WELL
WATER SUPPLIES.
UNLESS IT IS PROTECTED, TENS OF
THOUSANDS WILL CONTINUE TO BE
AT RISK.

Colin says I THINK IT IS LIKELY THAT
THERE WILL BE ANOTHER
WALKERTON-TYPE EVENT.
IT PROBABLY WON'T TAKE PLACE IN
A LARGE MUNICIPALITY, BUT IT
WILL TAKE PLACE EITHER IN A
SMALL MUNICIPALITY THAT IS
RELIANT ON WELLS OR AT SOME
KIND OF CAMPGROUND, COMMUNITY
EVENT, CHURCH SUPPER EVENT OR
WHATEVER WHERE CONTAMINATED
WATER HAS COMPLETELY BEEN
UNKNOWINGLY SERVED TO PEOPLE.

Leona says PROTECTING THE HEALTH OF OUR
COMMUNITIES AND ENVIRONMENT IS
AN ONGOING TASK.
WE TAKE IT SERIOUSLY AND WILL
COMMIT WHATEVER IS NECESSARY TO
KEEP ONTARIO SAFE AND HEALTHY.

Steve says HOW WELL IS THE
McGUINTY GOVERNMENT KEEPING ITS
COMMITMENT TO MAKING SURE
ONTARIO'S DRINKING WATER IS
SAFE AND HEALTHY, HERE TO
ANSWER THAT IS OUR MINISTER.
GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE.

Leona says DELIGHTED TO BE HERE.

Steve says FORMER CONSERVATIVE
CABINET MINISTER, JANET ECKER,
AND DAVID COOK AND BOB
RICHARDSON, A SENIOR AID TO
FORMER LIBERAL LEADER GLENN
McCLOUD.
THANK YOU FOR PINCH HITTING
AGAIN THIS WEEK.

Bob is in his mid-forties, clean-shaven and with short wavy brown hair. He wears glasses, a blue suit and a pale blue shirt.

Bob says NO PROBLEM.

Steve says LET'S ASK THE OBVIOUS
QUESTION OFF THE TOP.
FIVE YEARS AFTER WALKERTON, CAN
YOU ASSURE ONTARIANS ALL OUR
DRINKING WATER IS SAFE?

Leona says IT IS SAFE IN THE PROVINCE
OF ONTARIO AND PEOPLE IN DRINK
COMMUNITIES CAN BE ASSURED THAT
THIS GOVERNMENT HAS IMPLEMENTED
MEASURES TO SUPPORT THAT.

Steve says I NOTICE YOU SAY
MUNICIPAL DRINKING WATER.
WE HEARD THAT PIECE JUST NOW
SAYING HE EXPECTS ANOTHER
WALKERTON-TYPE THING WILL HAPPEN
BECAUSE 25 percent OF WELLS ARE
CONTAMINATED.
DO YOU AGREE WITH HIS
STATISTICS, FIRST OF ALL?

Leona says I'M NOT GOING TO DISAGREE
WITH THE STATISTICS THAT HE DID
PRESENT.
I WILL SAY THAT THE GOVERNMENT
HAS WORKED VERY HARD TO ADDRESS
THE ISSUE THAT FACILITIES THAT
DO PROVIDE WATER TO TRAVELING
PUBLIC HAVE AN APPROPRIATE
REGIMEN IN PLACE TO MAKE
SURE THAT THE WATER IS SAFE.
IT'S CALLED REGULATION 170.
IT IS A REGULATION THAT WE'VE
HEARD A GREAT DEAL ABOUT, AS IT
WAS WRITTEN BY THE FORMER
GOVERNMENT.
I WAS PROBLEMATIC.
OUR GOVERNMENT HAS ASKED THE
COUNCIL ON DRINKING WATER
QUALITY TO DO PUBLIC
CONSULTATION, TO CONSIDER
REGULATION 170 AND BRING THESE
GOVERNMENT RECOMMENDATION, HOW
WE CAN ASSURE THAT THE
TRAVELING PUBLIC ACROSS ONTARIO
WILL BE ASSURED OF ACCESSING
SAFE, CLEAN DRINKING WATER.

Steve says WHEN ARE WE GOING TO
HEAR BACK FROM THIS THAT?

Leona says WE HAVE AND WE HAVE MODIFIED
REGULATION.
THE ADVISORY COUNCIL INDICATED
THAT IT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE TO
ENGAGE HEALTH UNITS, TO HELP
MUNICIPALITIES, AND ALSO
PRIVATE CAMPGROUND OWNER, BED
AND BREAKFAST OWNERS, TO ASSIST
THEM TO DO THEIR WATER TESTING.
RATHER THAN REQUIRE ALL OF
THOSE FACILITIES TO INVEST IN
STAND-ALONE WATER TREATMENT
SYSTEMS AND VERY EXPENSIVE
TESTING REGIMENT.
THE ADVISORY COUNCIL MADE IT
CLEAR THAT IT WOULD BE
APPROPRIATE FOR THE HEALTH UNIT
TO HAVE A ROLE IN ASSISTING
MUNICIPALITIES, INDIVIDUALS, BE
ASSURED THE WATER IS SAFE.
WE ARE MOVING IN THAT DIRECTION.
WE BELIEVE THAT THAT IS A SOUND
WAY, IT IS A RISK-BASED
APPROACH TO ENSURING THAT WATER
FOR THE PUBLIC IS SAFE.

Steve says HAVE YOU NOT EXTENDED
COMPLIANCE WITH THAT INTO NEXT
YEAR, AS OPPOSED TO MAKING IT
RIGHT NOW?

Leona says THERE IS STILL COMPLIANCE
REQUIRED AND A TESTING REGIMENT
IN PLACE.
WHAT WE'RE SAYING, HOWEVER, AND
IN THE PROCESS OF WORKING ON A
TRANSITION REGULATION AS WELL,
THAT WILL ASSIST THOSE FOLKS
WHO WILL BE CAUGHT BY THAT.
BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, WHAT
WE'RE BRINGING FORWARD IS A
REGULATION THAT WILL ENABLE
PEOPLE TO FEEL CONFIDENT, THAT
WHEREVER THEY ARE IN THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, WHEN THEY
TURN ON THE TAP, THE WATER HAS
BEEN TESTED AND IT IS SAFE.

Steve says DAVE COOK, YOU HEARD
WHAT COLIN ISAKSON HAD TO SAY.
SHOULD PEOPLE FEEL CONFIDENT
RIGHT NOW, PARTICULARLY GIVEN
THAT KIND OF COMMENT, THAT
WHEREVER THEY GO IN THIS
PROVINCE, THEY WILL BE OK WHEN
THEY DRINK THE WATER?

The caption changes to "Dave Cooke. Former NDP Cabinet Minister."

Dave is in his early late forties, clean-shaven and with short receding brown hair. He wears a gray suit and a black T-shirt.

He says I THINK THE MINISTER STATED
PRETTY CLEARLY THE MUNICIPAL
SIDE.
THERE HAS BEEN INCREASES IN
REGULATIONS AND INCREASES IN
INSPECTION AND I THINK -- I
THINK THAT PEOPLE SHOULD FEEL
MORE CONFIDENT THAN THEY DID
SEVERAL YEARS AGO.
I THINK IT WILL BE A LONG TIME
BEFORE THEY DO FEEL MORE
CONFIDENT AND THE WALKERTON
SHOOK THE CONFIDENCE THAT
PEOPLE HAD RIGHT ACROSS THIS
PROVINCE AND IT IS GOING TO BE
YEARS BEFORE PEOPLE FEEL
COMPLETELY COMFORTABLE.
I MEAN, I SEE PEOPLE DRINKING
BOTTLED WATER NOW THAT NEVER
WOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT
BEFORE, JUST BECAUSE THEY'RE
WORRY.
AND WE GET MORE REPORTS NOW
THAN WE USED TO.
THERE IS QUITE OFTEN WARNINGS
THAT COME OUT BECAUSE OF
INSPECTIONS AND BECAUSE OF
PUBLIC DISCLOSURE AND THAT, TO
ME, IS A GOOD THING.
BUT ALSO PROBABLY SHAKES A
LITTLE BIT OF PEOPLE'S
CONFIDENCE AS WELL.
I THINK THERE IS STILL SOME
MAJOR ISSUES THAT HAVE TO BE
ADDRESSED.
THIS SOURCE WATER ISSUES
REQUIRE A LOT OF FUNDING TO DO
THE MAPPING AND THEN TO DO THE
PLANNING AFTER THAT, THE
LEGISLATION STILL HAND COME
FORWARD, BEEN WAITING FOR IT
FOR QUITE SOME TIME AND I THINK
THERE IS CONCERN IN THE
ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNITY THAT
THE BUDGET FOR THE MINISTRY WAS
PRETTY MUCH FLAT LINED.

Steve says TWO THINGS TO FOLLOW
UP ON.
SOURCE WATER.
DAVE COOKE JUST BROUGHT UP AN
ISSUE.
WHERE IS THE LEGISLATION ON
THAT?

Leona says THE LEGISLATION WILL BE
INTRODUCED THIS YEAR.
MEMBERS HERE WOULD KNOW THAT
O'CONNOR DID DESCRIBE HOW THE
MINISTRY OR MINISTER OF
ENVIRONMENT WOULD GET
INFORMATION OR BE ADVISED ON
HOW THAT SOURCE WATER
PROTECTION LEGISLATION SHOULD
BE STRUCTURED.
SO, WE ESTABLISHED -- I
ESTABLISHED THE IMPLEMENTATION
COMMITTEE AND THE
TECHNICAL EXPERTS COMMITTEE.
THEY TOOK SEVERAL MONTHS TO
PROVIDE ME WITH RECOMMENDATIONS
AT THE VERY END OF LAST YEAR
AROUND HOW THIS GOVERNMENT
SHOULD MOVE FORWARD WITH OUR
SOURCE WATER PROTECTION
INITIATIVE.
IT WAS VERY CLEAR FROM THOSE
250 RECOMMENDATIONS, BY THE
WAY, THAT WE SHOULD BE TAKING A
WATERSHED-BASED APPROACH.
WE THINK THAT THAT IS VERY
REASONABLE.
IT'S IMPORTANT, THOUGH, TO
UNDERSTAND THAT THAT CANNOT
APPLY EVERYWHERE IN ONTARIO.
IN THAT...

Steve says AT THE RISK OF
GETTING TOO TECHNICAL, WHAT IS
A WATERSHED-BASED APPROACH?

Leona says WELL, THAT RATHER THAN HAVE
THE UPWARDS OF 400 -- OVER 400
MUNICIPALITIES HAVING THEIR OWN
SOURCE WATER PROTECTION PLANS,
WE THINK IT MAKES MORE SENSE
THAT THOSE REGIONS THAT ARE
MANAGED ALREADY BY CONSERVATION
AUTHORITIES ON A WATERSHED
BASIS, THAT THEY ARE THE
NATURAL ENTITY TO MANAGE SOURCE
WATER PROTECTION.
AND WHAT SOURCE WATER
PROTECTION MEANS IS THAT THERE
WOULD BE AN EXERCISE THAT WOULD
IDENTIFY MUNICIPAL WATER
SOURCES, EITHER MUNICIPAL
WELLHEADS OR IF THEY TAKE WATT
FOREVER THE SURFACE.
THEN THERE WOULD BE AN
EXERCISE TO IDENTIFY THE
THREATS TO THAT MUNICIPAL WATER
SOURCE AND A COMMITTEE WOULD BE
ESTABLISHED WITHIN THE
WATERSHED, MADE UP OF LOCAL
REPRESENTATIVES, MUNICIPAL,
AGRICULTURAL, INDUSTRIAL, FIRST
NATIONS AND SO ON, AND THE
COMMUNITY WOULD DETERMINE THE
MEMBERSHIP TO A DEGREE.
AND THEY WOULD ESTABLISH A
PLAN ON HOW TO ENSURE THAT THE
WATER SOURCES IN THAT WATERSHED
ARE PROTECTED.

Steve says OK.
LET ME BRING UP SOMETHING, THE
SECOND THING DAVE COOKE SAID
AND BRING IT UP WITH THE FORMER
MINISTER OF FINANCE.
IF YOU WERE WRITING A BUDGET
THIS YEAR AND SAW THAT THE
MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT GOT THE
SAME THIS YEAR AS LAST YEAR,
WOULD YOU HAVE MUCH HOPE THINGS
ARE MUCH BETTER?
The caption changes to "Janet Ecker. Former PC Cabinet Minister."

Janet is in her late forties, with short straight blond hair. She wears glasses, a red top, blue blazer and gold chain necklace.

She says IT'S NOT A QUESTION OF HOW
MUCH YOU SPEND, IT IS WHAT
YOU'RE SPENDING IT ON, YOUR
RULES AND REGULATIONS ARE AND
WHAT THE CHECKS AND BALANCES
ARE IN THE SYSTEM.
IF YOU LOOK BACK AT WALKERTON,
AND THERE WAS A WHOLE RANGE OF
THINGS THAT BROKE DOWN IN TERMS
OF CREATING WALKERTON, SPENDING
MORE MONEY ON MORE INSPECTORS
WOULD NOT NECESSARILY HAVE
CAUGHT IT WHEN YOU HAD PEOPLE,
FOR EXAMPLE, WHO WERE IN CHARGE
OF THE WALKERTON SYSTEM WHO
WERE NOT LIVING UP TO WHAT THEY
SHOULD BE DOING.

Steve says IT IS A NICE WAY TO
PUT IT.
FALSIFYING INFORMATION AND...

Janet says AND SO THAT'S ALWAYS THE
WEAK MSNBC ANY SYSTEM.
IT IS NOT A QUESTION OF HOW
MUCH.
IT'S WHAT YOU'RE SPENDING IT
ON, WHAT THE CHECKS AND
BALANCES ON AND WHAT THE RULES
AND REGULATIONS ARE, WHAT'S THE
TRAINING?
AND, OF COURSE, ONE OF THE
PROBLEMS HAD BEEN IS THAT MANY,
MANY, MANY YEARS AGO WHEN
PEOPLE -- WHEN EVERYONE TOOK
FOR GRANTED QUALITY OF WATER,
YOU KNOW, PEOPLE WERE
GRANDPARENTED INTO THE POSITION.
THERE WASN'T THE STRINGENT
RULES REQUIRED IN TERMS OF
TRAIN AND UPGRADING AND THOSE
KINDS OF THINGS AND I THINK
WALKERTON WAS A MESSAGE NOT
ONLY FOR, YOU KNOW, IN ONTARIO,
BUT ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND WE
SAW THERE WAS ANOTHER PROVINCE
THAT HAD AN EPISODE, NOT NEARLY
AS SERIOUS AS WHAT HAPPENED IN
WALKERTON, BUT I THINK IT WAS A
MESSAGE FOR EVERYONE ACROSS THE
COUNTRY THAT WE CAN'T TAKE
WATER FOR GRANTED.

Dave says IT'S FINE TO SAY THAT IT'S
NOT HOW MUCH MONEY, IT'S HOW
YOU SPEND IT.
BUT THE WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE
DONE FOR MAPPING OUT THE SOURCE
WATER AND THEN DOING THE PLANS
IS GOING TO COST MONEY.
I MEAN, IT IS GOING TO COST
MONEY AND NOBODY KNOWS WHERE
IT'S GOING TO COME FROM AND
YOUR MINISTRY'S BUDGET WAS
FLAT LINED.

Leona says CONSIDER THIS, THAT AS I'VE
INDICATED, CONSERVATION
AUTHORITIES WILL HAVE THE LEAD
IN TERMS OF CARRYING THIS WITH
THEIR OWN COMMUNITIES.
THEY ARE FUNDED BY THE MINISTRY
OF NATURAL RESOURCES.
ALREADY, WE HAVE FLOW 2.5
MILLION DOLLARS TO CONSERVATION
AUTHORITIES TO ASSIST THEM WITH
THE GROUNDWORK THAT IS GOING TO
BE REQUIRED AS WE MOVE FORWARD
WITH THIS LEGISLATION.

Steve says LET ME ASK BOB A VERY
POLITICAL QUESTION.
DO YOU THINK WALKERTON HAPPENED
BECAUSE THE CONSERVATIVES WERE
IN POWER, CUT THE MINISTRY'S
BUDGET TOO MUCH AND DIDN'T CARE
ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT TOO MUCH?

The caption changes to "Bob Richardson. Ontario Liberal Activist."

He says I THINK THAT'S PROBABLY A
LITTLE HARSH.
AS JANET SAID, THERE ARE SOME
EXAMPLES OF ON THE JOB PROBLEMS
AS YOU APTLY PUT AND I THINK IT
WAS ALSO A RESULT OF THE FACT
THAT THERE WAS PROBABLY NOT THE
FOCUS ON THE MINISTRY OF THE
ENVIRONMENT AND CERTAIN AREAS
THAT MAYBE SHOULD HAVE BEEN
REQUIRED.
BUT I THINK AT THE END OF THE
DAY, WATER AT THIS POINT, IS
NOT A HUGELY PARTISAN ISSUE AND
I THINK YOU HAVE TO SIT BACK
AND SAY TO YOURSELF, WHERE ARE
WE AT?
I THINK THEY'VE MADE SOME
SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS, BOTH BY
FORMER PREMIER AND UNDER THIS
GOVERNMENT.
I THINK THE NUMBER OF WATER
INSPECTORS INCREASES IS
IMPORTANT, THAT HAS BEEN DONE.
CERTIFICATION IS MUCH BETTER,
THAT'S IMPORTANT, THAT'S BEEN
DONE.
THERE'S A VARIETY OF OTHER
THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED.
I THINK THERE IS A LOT MORE
WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE OVER
THE NEXT PERIOD OF TIME IN
ORDER TO GET THE LEVEL THAT
YOU'RE AT.
IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN
OVERNIGHT OR IN ONE BUDGET.
I THINK THERE HAS BEEN
SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS MADE, LOTS
MORE WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.

Steve says GO AHEAD.

Janet says THE OTHER QUESTION, I THINK,
THOUGH, FOR THE CURRENT
GOVERNMENT AS WE MOVE FORWARD
WITH AN INCREASED POPULATION,
INCREASED DEVELOPMENT, I MEAN,
WE HAVE COMMUNITIES IN THIS
PROVINCE THAT ARE, QUITE
FRANKLY, FACING POTENTIAL WATER
SHORTAGES.
SO I THINK THE GROUND WATER,
THE SOURCE PROTECTION ISSUES
ARE REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT.
BECAUSE PEOPLE FORGET IN
ONTARIO WHEN YOU HAVE THE GREAT
LAKES SITTING THERE THAT
EVERYBODY ASSUMES WE HAVE LOTS
AND LOTS OF WATER.
WE DON'T.
AND I THINK THERE HAS TO BE A
LOT OF CARE TAKEN TO WHERE YOU
PUT THOSE DEVELOPMENTS, HOW
MUCH YOU'RE GOING TO LET HAPPEN
IN MUNICIPALITIES BECAUSE,
QUITE FRANKLY, WE MAY BE
RUNNING OUT OF WATER.

Leona says THE SOURCE PROTECTION WILL
BE KEY TO THAT AS WELL IN TERMS
OF ENABLING CONSERVATION
AUTHORITIES AND THE SOURCE
WATER PROTECTION COMMITTEES TO
DETERMINE EXACTLY HOW MUCH
WATER IS AVAILABLE WITHIN A
WATER SYSTEM DOING WATER
BUDGETS, ENSURING THAT
APPROPRIATE PERMITS TO TAKE
WATER ARE CONSIDERED OR PERHAPS
DENIED, GIVEN THE WATER
RESOURCES AVAILABLE.
SO, SOURCE WATER, WE BELIEVE IS
A LEGACY PIECE FOR THIS
GOVERNMENT.
IT'S LIKE THE GREEN BELT.
THIS IS AN INITIATIVE THAT IS
VERY UNIQUE.
WE'RE NOT -- WE'RE BREAKING NEW
GROUND HERE.
THERE ARE NO OTHER
JURISDICTIONS IN THE WORLD THAT
HAVE THIS KIND OF LEGISLATION
IN PLACE.
IN FACT, THERE ARE MANY
JURISDICTIONS THAT ARE WATCHING
WHAT WE'RE DOING AND VERY
INTERESTED IN APPLYING OUR
STRATEGIES.

Steve says LET ME ASK YOU A
QUESTION, LESS THE MINISTER OF
THE ENVIRONMENT, MORE AS A
POLITICIAN WITH ANTENNA UP WITH
UNDERSTANDING ON THIS ISSUE.
SEVEN PEOPLE DIED, ONE GUY WENT
TO JAIL AND GOT OUT OF JAIL
LAST WEEK.
HE DIDN'T GO OUT OF JAIL ALL
THAT LONG, GIVEN THE AGREEMENT
THAT WAS MADE.
DO YOU THINK PEOPLE ARE FURIOUS
ABOUT THE FACT THAT NOBODY
SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN PUNISHED
VERY HARSHLY OVER ALL OF THIS?

Leona says I THINK IT IS VERY DIFFICULT
FOR ME TO JUDGE THAT.
I THINK THE EXPECTATION OF THE
PEOPLE OF ONTARIO IS THAT THE
GOVERNMENT HAS TO ENSURE, USE
WALKERTON AS THE WAKE-UP CALL
AND ENSURE THAT WE ACT SO THAT
THAT TRAGEDY IS NOT FELT IN ANY
OTHER COMMUNITY IN THE PROVINCE
OF ONTARIO.
AS HAS ALREADY BEEN INDICATED
BY MY COLLEAGUES HERE, I
BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE GONE A
LONG WAY TO ASSURE THE PEOPLE.
I AGREE WITH DAVE COOKE WHEN HE
SAYS IT IS GOING TO TAKE A LONG
TIME TO EARN THE TRUST OF THE
PEOPLE OF ONTARIO TO BE
CONFIDENT AGAIN IN THE WATER
THAT THEY DRINK.
AND WE'RE PREPARED TO DO ALL
THAT WE CAN, TO DEMONSTRATE
THAT WE ARE ACTING RESPONSIBLY.

Steve says WHERE IS THE NUTRIENT
MANAGEMENT ACT, THEN?

Leona says THE NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT ACT
WAS PASSED BY THE FORMER
GOVERNMENT AND HAS NOW BEEN...
IT'S NOW THE RESPONSIBILITY OF
THE MINISTER OF THE ENVIRONMENT
TO CARRY THAT FILE.

Steve says AND IS IT BEING
ADHERED TO BY ALL THE FARMERS
OF THIS PROVINCE ADEQUATELY IN
YOUR VIEW?

Leona says WELL, ACTUALLY, PLANS ARE
GOING TO BE REQUIRED LATER THIS
YEAR AND IT IS THE
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MINISTRY
OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD TO WORK
WITH THE FARMERS TO IMPLEMENT
THEIR PLANS AND IT WILL BE THE
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MINISTRY
OF THE ENVIRONMENT TO ENFORCE
THE PLANS WHEN THEY ARE
IMPLEMENTED.

Janet says ONE OF THE QUESTIONS YOU
TALKED ABOUT THE REGULATION
THAT THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT
PUT IN PLACE THAT WAS
PROBLEMATIC AND FROM WHAT I...

Leona says REGULATION 170.

Janet says YEAH.
THAT'S RIGHT.
WAS IT BECAUSE IT WAS TOO
TOUGH, TOO STRICT?

Leona says IT WAS BECAUSE IT WAS
ABSOLUTELY INFLEXIBILITY?

Janet says TOO TOUGH, TOO STRICT?

Leona says YEAH.
YEAH.
IT APPLIED THE SAME RULE TO
EVERY WATER SYSTEM REGARDLESS
OF THE HISTORY OF THE WATER, IF
THERE WAS A FACILITY THAT HAD
TESTED THE WATER, THEY'D NEVER
HAD AN ADVERSE WATER REPORT,
THEY WERE REQUIRED TO INVEST...

Steve says WHAT ARE YOU GETTING
AT HERE, JANET?

Janet says WELL, BECAUSE -- BECAUSE...
YOU SAY -- YOU KNOW, JUST
BECAUSE WE HAVEN'T HAD A
PROBLEM -- WE HADN'T HAD A
PROBLEM IN WALKERTON, EITHER
AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN WE HAD
A PROBLEM.
SO I THINK SORT OF -- BECAUSE
YOU MENTIONED THE PHRASE "RISK
BASED," WHICH WAS FINE WHEN YOU
ARE ASSESSING INSURANCE RATES.
BUT WHEN SOMEONE IS --- OUR
TAP, THEY WANT TO SAY OH, SO WE
HAVEN'T HAD A PROBLEM THERE AS
STRICTLY AS WHERE WE HAVE HAD A
PROBLEM.

Leona says ACTUALLY, THAT'S WHY I ASKED
THE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON
DRINKING WATER QUALITY AND
TESTING STANDARDS.
THEY ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN
APPOINTED, AS SPECIALISTS IN
THEIR FIELDS, SCIENTISTS, TO
BRING THE RECOMMENDATIONS
BECAUSE WHEN I LOOK TO REVIEW
REGULATION 170, WE WANTED TO BE
SURE, NUMBER ONE, THE NUMBER
ONE PRIORITY WAS THAT WE NEEDED
A REGIMENT THAT WOULD AID SURE
SAFE WATER.
AND THEN SECONDLY WE WANTED ONE
THAT WAS WORKABLE AND
REASONABLE.
THE REGULATION THAT WAS IN
PLACE WAS REQUIRING CHURCH
HALLS AND CAMPGROUNDS TO CLOSE.
I DON'T BELIEVE THAT'S WHAT
O'CONNOR INTENDED AND WE DID
BELIEVE THERE WAS A BETTER WAY.
WE WORKED VERY CLOSELY WITH THE
MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND
LONG-TERM CARE, THE CHIEF
MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH IS
CONFIDENT THAT THE RISK-BASED
APPROACH THAT WE'RE
IMPLEMENTING WITH OUR CHANGES
TO REGULATION 170 WILL PROVIDE
A SYSTEM THAT WILL ASSURE ITS
SAFE, CLEAN, DRINKING WATER IN
THOSE FACILITIES THAT PROVIDE
WATT TORE THE TRAVELING PUBLIC.

Steve says IN OUR LAST 30
SECONDS ON THIS ISSUE, COULD
YOU AID SURE US HERE TODAY THAT
ANOTHER KIND OF WALKERTON WILL
NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN IN THIS
PROVINCE?

Leona says I'M CONFIDENT THAT ANOTHER
WALKERTON WILL NOT HAPPEN IN
ONTARIO BECAUSE OF THE RANGE OF
MEASURES THAT HAVE BEEN TAKEN
BY PREVIOUS GOVERNMENTS,
CERTAINLY THE WORK THAT HAS
BEEN DONE IN THE LAST 18 MONTHS
BY THIS GOVERNMENT.

Steve says OK, MINISTER.
THAT IS OUR TIME FOR THIS
SEGMENT.
THANK YOU FOR COMING TO TVO
TODAY.
LEONA DEMBROWSKY.

Steve says THIS MONTH ALSO
MARKED ANOTHER MILESTONE, 10
YEARS AFTER MIKE HARRIS
PROMISED TO BRING IN AN ACT TO
ENHANCE LIFE FOR ONTARIO'S
DISABLED COMMUNICATE, A NEW LAW
THAT ADVOCATES SAY HAS REAL
TEETH HAS BEEN ENACTED.
LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT THE
ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS
WITH DISABLES MEANS.
IT MEANS THAT JOBS, SERVICES
ACCOMMODATION, TRANSPORTATION,
GOODS ACCESSIBLE AS TO ANYONE
ELSE BY THE YEAR 2025.
IT WILL REQUIRE BOTH THE PUBLIC
AND PRIVATE SECTORS TO COMPLY,
THE REMOVAL OF BARRIERS, BE
THEY PHYSICAL, TECHNOLOGICAL,
OR ATTITUDINAL IS MANDATORY.
THERE WILL BE A CONSULTATIVE
PROCESS WITH THE DISABLED
COMMUNITY TO MEASURE PROGRESS
AND ENFORCEMENT PROCESS ONCE
THE STANDARDS ARE ENACTED.
OK.
BOB, LET'S GET INTO THIS.
THIS QUESTION WAS NOT MEANT TO
SOUND AS AGGRESSIVE AS IT
MIGHT, SO -- AND I'M NOT
LOOKING AT ANYBODY IN
PARTICULAR WHEN I ASK IT.
BUT IT HAS BEEN 10 YEARS SINCE
THE ORIGINAL PROMISE WAS MADE
AND IT'S NOW 10 YEARS THAT THE
ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITY ACT,
THE NEW AMENDMENTS ARE IN PLACE.
WHY DO THESE THINGS TAKE SO
LONG TO HAPPEN IN POLITICS?

Bob says I THINK A LOT OF PROGRESS
HAS BEEN MADE OVER THE LAST
PERIOD OF TIME, UNDER ALL THREE
PARTIES AND ALL THREE
GOVERNMENTS.
EVERYBODY SUPPORTED THIS PIECE
OF LEGISLATION AND I THINK OVER
THE NEXT 10 TO 15 YEAR, ONTARIO
WILL BE A LEADING JURISDICTION
IN TERMS OF -- IN TERMS OF
SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE WITH
DISABLES.
SO, I THINK THAT IS IMPORTANT
TO PUT IT INTO SOME CONTEXT.
ALTHOUGH -- ALTHOUGH IT DOES
MOVE SLOWLY.
ONE OF THE REASONS IT MOVES
SLOWLY, IT IS VERY COSTLY AND I
THINK -- I THINK YOU HAVE TO BE
HONEST AND YOU HAVE TO SAY IT'S
VERY COSTLY.
SO, WHEN YOU LOOK NOW TO BUILD
NEW PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE, IT
WILL BE IN PLACE.
WHEN PEOPLE LOOK TO DO THINGS
IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO
UPGRADE, THEY'LL PUT IT IN
PLACE.
THERE IS A LOT OF OLD
INFRASTRUCTURE, TAKE HOSPITALS,
FOR EXAMPLE, IN THIS PROVINCE
THAT REQUIRE A LOT OF UPGRADING
AND IT WILL TAKE TIME AND MONEY
AND THAT'S WHY -- THAT'S WHY IT
TAKES THE TIME THAT IT DOES.

Steve says I WANT TO FOLLOW UP
ON THAT BECAUSE BOB IS RIGHT
WHEN HE SAYS THERE WILL BE AN
EXPENSE RELATED TO THIS.
BUT THE OTHER SIDE OF THE
ARGUMENT, IT HAS BEEN COSTLY
FOR AN ENTIRE GROUP OF PEOPLE
IN THEIR LIVES NOT BEING
REACHING THE FULL POTENTIAL
THEY COULD HAVE.
DO GOVERNMENTS NOT LOOK AT THAT
WHEN THEY CONSIDER THE COST OF
SOMETHING?

Dave says WELL, YES.
I THINK THEY PROBABLY DO, BUT,
AGAIN, IT IS -- IT IS SHORT
TERM COSTS THAT WHEN YOU'RE
PUTTING YOUR BUDGET TOGETHER
AND LOOK AT THE HUGE -- TAKE A
LOOK AT THE SUBWAY SYSTEM HERE
IN THIS CITY.
TO MAKE IT FULLY ACCESSIBLE
WILL COST, I DON'T KNOW,
MILLIONS, MILLIONS, PROBABLY
HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS.
AND THEN THERE'S PRIVATE
SECTOR DOLLARS, TOO, BECAUSE
THIS BILL HAS AN IMPACT ON THE
PRIVATE SECTOR, TOO.
SO, IT'S OVERALL VERY, VERY
EXPENSIVE.
YEAH.
GOVERNMENTS DO LOOK AT IT AND I
MEAN, IT'S HARD TO ENSURE FOR
THE ORDINARY PEOPLE THAT
GOVERNMENTS AREN'T SYMPATHETIC.
THEY PROBABLY LOOK AT IT AND
SAY THESE ARE COLD-HEARTED
PEOPLE.
BUT YOU HAVE TO DO IT RIGHT
OVER A PERIOD OF TIME IN OTHER
WORDS TO MAKE IT WORK.
THE REGULATIONS WILL TAKE A
LONG TIME TO EVEN DEVELOP.

Steve says THAT'S ANOTHER 20
YEARS OUT.
JANET, I KNOW THAT WHEN THE
CONSERVATIVES WERE IN POWER,
THEY INITIALLY PROMISED THAT
THIS THING WOULD HAPPEN.
WHEN IT WAS FINALLY PASSED, IT
WAS A UNANIMOUS VOTE.
NOW RIGHTLY OR WRONGLY, MANY IN
THE DISABLED COMMUNITY SEE THE
TORIES AS HAVING RAGGED THE
PUCK ON THIS ISSUE.
DO YOU THINK THAT'S A FAIR
CRITICISM?

Janet says NO, I DON'T THINK SO.
WE HAD INTRODUCED LEGISLATION
THAT HAD A LOT OF STRENGTHS.
I THINK THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT
HAS, BASED ON THE CRITICISMS
THAT WE RECEIVED, HAS COME BACK
IN WITH ANOTHER PIECE OF
LEGISLATION, WHICH TAKES IT
ANOTHER STEP FURTHER AND
THERE'S A LOT OF REASONS WHY
DAVE AND BOB ARTICULATED WHY
THESE THINGS TAKE TIME.
FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU HAVE 1
MILLION DOLLARS TO SPEND, THERE'S A LOT
OF CALLS ON THAT MILLION
DOLLARS AND USING 1 MILLION DOLLARS TO
PUT ONE ELEVATOR IN ONE SUBWAY
STATION OR ONE GO STATION OR
WHATEVER, WHEN THAT MILLION
DOLLARS WOULD HELP, YOU KNOW,
MANY, MANY FAMILIES THAT HAVE A
DISABLED CHILD, FOR EXAMPLE.
IT IS A TOUGH CALL.
AND THERE'S NO EASY -- THERE
IS NO EASY ANSWER.
THE OTHER THING THAT HAS
INTENSIFIED THE PRESSURE IS
THAT -- AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT
THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF OUR
POPULATION, MORE AND MORE OF US
ARE GETTING OLDER.
SOME DAYS FASTER THAN OTHERS.
AND SO A LO OF THE
ACCESSIBILITY THINGS THAT ARE
BEING PUT IN FOR PEOPLE WITH
DISABILITIES ARE GOING TO BE
USED BY MORE AND MORE PEOPLE
WHO JUST HAVE DIFFICULTIES JUST
BECAUSE THEY'RE GETTING OLDER.
SO, I THINK THERE'S A BROADER
AND BROADER CALL.
MORE AND MORE PEOPLE WITHIN THE
POPULATION NEED THESE KINDS OF
ASSISTIVE STEPS TO BE TAKEN.
SO, THAT'S THAT REASON.

Steve says MANY OBSERVERS ON
THIS FILE WERE GIVING THIS
GOVERNMENT AND THE MINISTER
KUDOS FOR FINDING A CONSENSUS
HERE.
HOW DO YOU THINK -- HOW DID SHE
FIND A CONSENSUS BECAUSE IT
CERTAINLY EVADED A LOT OF
PEOPLE UP UNTIL NOW.

Bob says I THINK SHE WORKED VERY HARD
AT IT AND I THINK THERE IS
KUDOS TO PEOPLE IN THE
COMMUNITIES, PEOPLE WITH
DISABILITY WHO WORKED VERY HARD
ON THE ISSUE.
THERE’S A LOT OF GOOD PEOPLE IN
THE PRIVATE SECTOR WHO CAME TO
THE TABLE TO PUBLIC HEARINGS
WHO TALKED ABOUT THINGS AND
TALKED ABOUT WHAT THEY WERE
GOING TO DO, TOO, AS WELL.
A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE PUBLIC
SERVICE HAVE PUT STUFF FORWARD.
THIS IS A GOOD NEWS STORY AND
IT'S ONE THAT SHOWS WE'VE MADE
PROGRESS OVER THE LAST 10, 15
YEARS.
THERE WILL BE A LOT OF PROGRESS
MADE AS A RESULT IN THIS
LEGISLATION OVER THE NEXT 10 TO
15 YEARS AND THAT'S GOOD, BUT
IT HAS TO BE DONE IN A
RESPONSIBLE MANNER FOR FISCAL
MANAGEMENT.

Steve says MOST PEOPLE WOULD
HAVE EXPECTED SOMETHING LIKE
THIS WHEN THE N.D.P. WERE IN
POWER.
NEVER DID, HOW COME?

Dave says WE WERE RUNNING A 10
BILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT.
IT IS THE DOLLARS.
I THINK WHAT BROUGHT THE
CONSENSUS WAS THE TIME FRAME.
I MEAN, YOU KNOW, WE WOULD ALL
LIKE TO SEE THIS TIME FRAME
SHRUNK 20 YEARS TO GET TO ITS
FULL IMPACT IS AN AWFUL LONG
TIME.
BUT I THINK THAT'S WHAT MAKES
IT POSSIBLE FOR THE PRIVATE
SECTOR TO BUY INTO THIS.

Steve says LAST 30 SECONDS ON
THIS?

Janet says IF YOU'RE SOMEONE IN THE
WHEELCHAIR, 20 YEARS IS AN
UNFORGIVABLY LONG TIME.
BUT THEY NEED TO PAY ATTENTION
TO THE ETERNAL VIGILANCE THAT
WILL BE REQUIRED.
JUST BECAUSE YOU PUT A SPECIAL
ELEVATOR INTO A SUBWAY STATION,
IF IT DOESN'T WORK, THAT'S NOT
GOING TO HELP.
I THINK THAT EVERYONE IS GOING
TO HAVE A VERY MAJOR
RESPONSIBILITY AS WE GO FORWARD
ON THIS TO NOT ONLY PUT THOSE
THINGS IN, BUT MAKE SURE THEY
CONTINUE TO WORK.

Steve says THE PERSON THAT MADE
THIS HAPPEN OPENED UP A FORTUNE
COOKIE THE WEEK BEFORE THIS
BILL PASSED AND IT SAYS "EVERY
TRULY GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT IS
AT FIRST IMPOSSIBLE."
THEY'VE ALL MADE IT POSSIBLE.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL.
RIGHT ON.
OK.
THANK YOU, EVERYBODY.
BOB, THANKS FOR PINCH HITTING
THIS WEEK.
JANET, DAVE.
THAT'S "FOURTH 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.

Editors, Marisa Gatto and Julian Lannaman.

Director, Michael Smith.

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2005, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Walkerton