Subscribe to PSTV 'Views and News'

Our monthly 'PSTV Views and News' gives extra tidbits on guest interviews and upcoming guests..

First Name *
Last Name *
Email *
05 2013

Steve Paikin

Host of TVO's 'The Agenda'

"Every night is different, every week is the same." says Steve Paikin, Host of TVO's The Agenda, as he discusses his career and role in the media.  With a 30-year history in journalism, he recounts his various television reporting and hosting experiences up to his current role at The Agenda. Now in its fifth season, we learn how the stories are chosen, and where they get their ideas.  Recalling his observations and experience from the G20, Steve Paikin shares his thoughts on the rise of Social Media and citizen journalism, and the impact it's had on the media.  As author of three books on politics, he shares some of the inspiration and struggle behind his book successes while recalling such names as, Bill Davis, John Robarts, and Tony Clement.  Learn about his experience moderating political debates, what he does when someone dodges a question, and the advice he received that's helped him along the way.

Interview Date: February 2011

Steve Paikin: Blog

May 06 2015

Steve Paikin: Patrick Brown’s astonishing ascent in the Ontario PC Party leadership race

from: Steve Paikin

Syndicated from: Steve Paikin

Several years ago, on a flight from Ottawa to Toronto, the fella sitting across the aisle struck up a conversation. He mentioned we’d met many years earlier—when he was a young conservative activist. I had to confess, I didn’t remember him. He re-introduced himself.

“I’m Patrick Brown,” he said.

“Nice to see you again, Patrick,” I replied. “And what do you do now?”

“I’m the MP for Barrie,” he responded politely.

As a guy who follows politics pretty carefully, both provincially and federally, I was embarrassed I didn’t recognize him. Then again, I thought, does it say something about an MP that a guy who follows politics that carefully has no clue who he is?

Brown has been a federal Conservative MP since 2006, but over the last decade, he’s been a rare sighting at Queen’s Park, where he hopes to soon be the leader of the provincial Tories (he’s also a difficult guy to miss—he’s a dead ringer for the best basketball player to ever come out of Canada, future Hall of Famer, Steve Nash).

And yet Brown’s the front-runner among signed-up members.  

Brown is fond of saying he has traveled all over the province and gone to innumerable so-called “ethnic community events,” but he’s “never seen anyone from the provincial party at these events.” He’s been to India more than a dozen times and calls the country’s new Prime Minister Narinder Modi a friend. He feels comfortable in parts of the province where the PC Party hasn’t been competitive for more than 10 years.

Brown’s camp quickly figured out something Elliott’s camp didn’t: the past months haven’t been about developing policy, landing high-profile endorsements, or raising money. Elliott clearly won that campaign. The party caucus is overwhelmingly behind her, and she has the support of big names, such as former Premiers Bill Davis and Mike Harris and the Ford brothers.

But as Elliott lined up all that, Brown and his people were out selling, selling, selling. They shocked long-time Tories several weeks ago, when the party revealed the Brown campaign sold more than 40,000 memberships – a higher number than the combined total of all four candidates during the last PC Party leadership campaign six years ago.

Brown’s willingness to discuss issues and policy is weak. During a leadership candidates’ debate on The Agenda last Friday, Brown either couldn’t or wouldn’t name a single tax policy change he’d make as PC leader. Elliott proposed cutting the corporate tax rate by one billion dollars over several years.

But perhaps Conservatives don’t care much about policy—at least, not at this stage. One MPP told me he’s supporting Elliott not because of her political views, but because he thinks she has a better chance of winning the next election and he’s “just so sick of losing.” 

On the other hand, Brown can boast he isn’t connected to the past four Ontario PC Party election losses, in particular, Tim Hudak’s disastrous defeat last year when he misguidedly pledged to eliminate 100,000 positions from the public service. Even though Hudak made the announcement in Barrie, Brown had nothing to do with the proposal. He maintains he knew the election was over the minute the words left Hudak’s lips.

(For the record, Elliott also insists she knew nothing about the promise. According to her, Hudak and his inner circle didn’t give the provincial party caucus the opportunity to vet the idea, something she says isn’t going to happen if she’s leader.)

Brown doesn’t have the life experience Elliott does. She’s the mother of triplet sons, one of whom has developmental disabilities, and she lost husband Jim Flaherty, the former federal finance minister, just before the last provincial election.

Brown’s a single man, never married and without any kids. (Although he said at the TVO debate he hopes to get married and have children someday.) I’ve talked to Progressive Conservatives for whom that’s an issue. They wish he had more “real life” experience, presumably because if you’re going to legislate on issues affecting families, it’s good to have one of your own, if only to give you greater empathy in making decisions.

It’s not without precedent for a bachelor to achieve high office in Canada. William Lyon Mackenzie King, Canada’s longest-serving prime minister, was a lifelong bachelor. So, too, was Prime Minister R.B. Bennett. But it is unusual.

Brown’s French is excellent (Elliott’s taking lessons, but she doesn’t speak French off the cuff; only in speeches), and he has improved his presentation skills significantly over the course of the campaign. He also hasn’t made a single memorable speech during the leadership race—but again, maybe he doesn’t need to.

Winning the party leadership is actually quite simple: sign up more members than your opponent and make sure they come out to vote. Brown’s confident he’s done the first; he thinks the second will follow on May 9 when the vote tallies are revealed.

If he does win, he probably won’t take many more flights where political reporters like me don’t recognize him. 

Full Disclosure: My wife is a volunteer advisor for the Christine Elliott campaign. As well, I have participated in Patrick Brown’s charity events to raise funds for the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie.

Read more:

Read more by Steve Paikin.

Jan 14 2014

Two Nation-Makers: Macdonald and Trudeau

from: Steve Paikin

Syndicated from: Steve Paikin

Ruth Abernethy’s marvelous new bust of Canada’s first PM was on site at Queen’s University.

They led different parties and governed in different centuries. But University of Toronto law professor Kent Roach says Sir John A. Macdonald and Pierre Elliott Trudeau, as nation-makers, had a lot in common.

Not only that both prime ministers achieved their crowning achievements after losing elections, then returning to power with subsequent victories.

For Macdonald, it was the creation of the railway; for Trudeau, a repatriated Constitution with an accompanying Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“Both the railway and the Charter bind us together as Canadians from coast to coast,” Roach told a conference at Queen’s University in Kingston, on the occasion of the 199th anniversary of Macdonald’s birth on January 11th.

U of T Law Professor Kent Roach at the Macdonald “Canada Then and Now” Conference on Saturday, January 11, 2014.

The two were also great compromisers, Roach says.  Macdonald needed to be a skilled compromiser to make Confederation happen in 1867. Trudeau needed those same skills in 1981 when he accepted the “notwithstanding” clause in the Constitution, thereby ensuring the support of nine of the country’s provinces. (Quebec has technically still not “signed on”).

The two former PMs also had the same attitude to provincial power. Neither was amused or impressed with it. Having watched the American states kill half a million of their brothers in the U.S. Civil War, Macdonald was adamant that provinces not have similar powers to rip Canada apart.

Similarly, Trudeau was determined to repatriate the Constitution, despite having eight provinces opposing him for almost the entire negotiating period (only Ontario and New Brunswick were initially with Trudeau).

However, Roach adds, both men also had blind spots when it came to dealing with indigenous Canadians. “They failed to understand those issues and made mistakes.”

Macdonald perpetuated the tragedy of residential schools and had Metis leader Louis Riel executed. Trudeau suffered through a strong backlash in 1969, when his white paper on aboriginal affairs suggested eliminating treaties between First Nations and the Crown.

“Our two greatest nation builders had significant uncompleted business here,” says Roach.

A full house was on hand at Kingston City Hall to celebrate Macdonald’s 199th birthday.




Apr 23 2012

Celebrating 100 Years of Fenway Park: Part II

from: Steve Paikin

Syndicated from: Steve Paikin

Last Friday, on the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, I posted this history of America's most beloved ball park. 

Larry and Steve Paikin, on their first trip to Fenway Park, July 1978. 

We continue the celebration of Fenway's 100th today by pulling out some of my old scrap books. My love for this ball park goes back three-and-a-half decades.

When I graduated from high school, my father offered to take me on a road trip. Without a second's hesitation, I said: "Let's go to Fenway Park."


Sox catcher Carlton Fisk returns to the dugout. He and Yankees' catcher Thurman Munson were great rivals. 

And so we did. It was July 1978. The Red Sox swept the Baltimore Orioles. What kind of team did the Sox have that year? Unstoppable, or so I thought. Every single player in the starting nine was hitting over .300, and when we left Boston, the Sox had a 14-game lead over the second place (hated) New York Yankees.

Pitcher Luis Tiant and centre fielder Fred Lynn coming off the field. Lynn was sensational, winning MVP and Rookie of the Year in his first season in the majors in 1975.

We felt confident the Sox were well on their way to ending The Curse of the Bambino, the excuse New Englanders gave to explain why the team had come oh so close but had never won a championship since they traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees, after winning the World Series in 1918.

We bumped into the Orioles at our hotel, here with Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer …

… and again with another Hall of Famer, first baseman Eddie Murray. 

A return trip to Fenway Park in the mid-1980s. 

Baseball fans will remember 1978 as the year the Sox collapsed, the Yanks found their mojo, and both teams were tied after 162 games. A 163rd sudden death playoff game was played at Fenway Park to see who would go on to post-season play. In that game, "Bucky F—–g Dent" (as he's now referred to by Red Sox Nation) hit an improbable homer over the Green Monster to give the Yanks the win.

Standing outside the stadium beside the statue of Ted Williams, my favourite player ever. I'm wearing his #9 jersey, and named one of my kids "Teddy" after him. 

It was a good lesson for yours truly that much more suffering would be required before we Sox fans could celebrate a championship.

That happened in 2004 — the club's first in 86 years — and again in 2007. 

The most popular Red Sox player today: designated hitter "Big Papi" David Ortiz.

With my son Henry, the third generation of Paikin Red Sox fans, in the summer of 2007.

My most recent trip to Fenway: June 2010, celebrating my 50th birthday with my mom Marnie.

We saw Daniel Nava hit a grand slam homer on the first pitch he ever saw in the majors. That had only happened once before in Major League history. 

Red Sox Captain, catcher Jason Varitek, who has caught four no-hitters during his career. No one else has ever done that. 

Pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, on whom the Sox spent $50 million just so he'd leave Japan.

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, another of the Sox most popular (and best) players.

Can there possibly be a more beautiful place to watch baseball than 100-year-old Fenway Park? I say no. 




Previous post:

Next post: