TVO broadcaster Steve Paikin explains why there’s ‘never a dull moment’ at Queen’s Park
The Agenda host shares political insights at Regent Theatre lecture
April 13, 2017
For more than a quarter-century, Steve Paikin has had a front-row seat to all things unfolding in the Ontario government at Queen’s Park. The award-winning broadcast journalist shares his passion for uncovering the truth and getting others to offer their opinions on key issues in the public domain.
On March 27, Paikin offered many fascinating stories to a large crowd at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. He was the featured speaker at this year’s Dean's Public Lecture Series hosted by the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities.
In welcoming the audience Paikin joked that while he was delighted so many came to hear him speak, he pondered why people were not at home watching his TV program The Agenda with Steve Paikin. He then reasoned that people would be home in time to watch the 11 p.m. repeat broadcast of his show.
If not the province’s leading ‘political junkie’, Paikin is certainly one of Ontario’s most influential journalists. Every night on The Agenda he interviews ministers, policymakers, academics and other experts in a tireless effort to present all sides of issues to his viewers. He is highly respected for his capacity to offer balanced and intelligent analysis. He has also moderated six election leadership debates over the years, three provincially and three federally.
Paikin, who is the Chancellor of Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, also carries a powerful voice as an author. He has penned seven books, many that chronicle key chapters in Ontario political history. His most recent publication profiles former Ontario Premier Bill Davis (1971-1985). Entitled Bill Davis: Nation Builder and Not So Bland After All, Paikin’s book explores Davis’ role in the expansion of Ontario’s education system during his tenure. Many attendees took the time to purchase a signed copy of the book after the lecture and meet with Paikin.
Paikin has seen all three political parties take a turn at governing the province since the 1990s. His lecture offered an intriguing non-partisan snapshot of how he thinks the next Ontario election in October 2018 might play out. He provided a compelling case on how and why each of the three major political parties could form the next government.
Paikin’s personal frustration with the recent emergence of misinformation in political discourse, particularly in the wake of the 2016 federal election in the United States, was perhaps the deepest theme of his lecture. The trend whereby U.S. political leaders dismiss legitimate news coverage as ‘fake’, or where commentators promote obtuse concepts such as ‘alternative facts’ deeply frustrates Paikin. He left his audience with a call to action: to seek informed opinion, keep an open mind on all topics, and be a champion of promoting the truth.
The Carpenters’ Union Local 397 provides support for the FSSH Dean’s Public Lecture Series.
“The Faculty of Social Science and Humanities is proud to host Steve Paikin, who is an excellent role model for university students. He is the Chancellor of a Canadian university and an Officer of the Order of Canada, but still fondly shares the compelling story of how his career started as a student by volunteering to write for the university student newspaper. He remains passionate about highly debated issues in education, economics and politics, all things that should matter to students today.”
- Isabel Pedersen, PhD, Chair, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities Public Lectures Committee
Facts about Steve Paikin
- Since 2006 has hosted TVO’s nightly current affairs flagship program The Agenda with Steve Paikin.
- Prior to 2006 worked on various TVO programs including Between the Lines, Fourth Reading, and Studio 2.
- Is the Chancellor of Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario.
- Is an Officer of the Order of Canada and is invested into the Order of Ontario.
- Holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto and a master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University.