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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 9, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta _ THE LETHBRIDX5E HERALD Monday, April 9, Gov't suspends Bell rate increase until facts clarified OTTAWA Politics, the gees, is fr-' which v ay the people arc head- ing and then mowng out Iront tcTlead thsm. With a minority federal gov- ernment, rising pi ices and a re- sultant mood of consumer mili- tancy, the politicians seem to be moving in directions that are beard to pose headaches for some businesses. One step which probably com- bined these aspects was Fn- action by the government putting a freeze on an increase in Bell Canada i ates granted by the Canadian transport commis- sion. David Lewis, leader of the New Derrocratic Party, had called the increase fourth for Bell in less than four years "monopolistic gouging." The Commons transport com- mittee, with Conservative and NDP membeis in the vanguard, called for a 90-day freeze after giving E. J. Benson, former Liberal finance minister and r.cw the commission head, a rough ride on the accounting procedures used by Bell and ap- parently accepted by the com- mission. PELLETIER ACTS Friday, Communications Min- ister Gerard Pelletier dropped the government was suspending the increase while it reviewed the facts and got clarification on "some vital points surrounding the decision that need explanation." It was the first time since the commission was set up in 1957 that the government had sus- pended a commission ruling. The suspension came a week after the original decision to permit the increases, affecting mainly Quebec and Ontario. Sources in the offices of Prime Minister Trudeau, Con- servative Leader Robert Stanfield and Mr. Lewis said there hadn't been much time for any letter-writing campaign to build. Less than a half-dozen letters were reported in Mr. Trudeau's office. The Conservative source said there had been about 30, most of them in the last two business days of the week. The Lewis of- fice said "a fair amount" of mail had come in and, rather surprisingly, "a lot of it from Quebec, in French." The party has no MPs there. CONSUMERS ANGRY But while the mail wasn't heavy, all three parties are aware of the rising feelings that have led consumers recently to start boycotts against high meat prices. And from the time Bell Can- ada first announced last year that it would apply for higher 1973 rates, Quebec and Ontaiio newspapers carried a steady string of letters-lo-the editor, the bulk of them critical. Grace Maclnnis couver Kings long-time battler on the consumer front, believes the time is ripe for in- dividuals, with a minority Lib- eral government and the NDP able to sustain it in power, to make themselves hsard loud and clear and get some action, as well. ln Motors of Canada introduced the first brake light... a Canadian invention that made night driving a lot safer. Some of the eau-pment illustrated is optional at extra cost. rig ssal and bells s an idea >ou can toe W Caonnade Harfilop Sedan The 1973 Chevelle. Chevrolet has built in safety so you and the family ride in confidence. Chevelle is the safety-designed family car. The outstanding list of features includes protective side-guard door beams, a cargo-guard luggage barrier, an improved suspension system and new front disc brakes And on top o1 it all there's a double-panel steel acoustical roof to keep things quiet and comfortable on the inside. And like a good family car, Chevelle has room to fit a family on a family sized budget. Unlike most family cars, Chevelte is stylishly de- sighed, so you can ride with pride. Chevelle. It's a lot of Chevrolet for the money. Chevelle Room to fit a family on a family sized budget Splashing into spring Nibbling on ear and a little playful chomping evoked a hippo-style smila of contentment as receptive Rosie and sweet-talking Sweetpea puddled and splashed their way into spring at the Oakland Baby Zoo. Canadians buying smaller vehicles Canadians are buying new cars in record numbers this year, with a continuing swing to smaller First-quarter figures show a growing number of new buyers turning to the compact or sub- compact models area where imports have held a strong fool- hold for years. Henry Sahrmann, manager cf corporate realticns for Volks- wagen Canada Ltd., says he ex- pects more than half cf the new car market in Canada will be in compact or sub-compact models by the end of the eyar. "On the West Coast, almost! 50 per cent of the vehicles now sold are cither compact or sub- ccmpacts.'' j The big three Canadian man- Motors, i Ford and report j record saies for the first Jhrce nvmlhs of the year. So do ihc major Japanese makers. j But the figures show thai the domestic auto makers are bit- ing inlo Ihe small car mark once dominated by imports and thai 3Jic percentage of 1hc mar- kct held by imports is 3css 1ian i1 was a few years ago. PERCENTAGE DOUN For the month of Fe3iruaT> I latest period for which figures are available from Statistic1; cars held 21 3 per cent o f the ncrw vehicle market in Canada, down from 252 per cent a year ago. Ths 1972 average was 23 9 per cent Most dealers say there arz two main reasons for 1his switch in buying habils The North American makers in re-1 coot years have been pushing1 tr-eir smaller models, and Im- ported cars are more expensive than previously because of two recent devaluations of the United States dollar. Volkswagen increased its prices more than seven per cent in mid-February and the dis- tributors of Toyota and Datsun cars from Japan both say they will increase prices later this year. W. P. Haughian of Nissan. which sells the Datsun, says he expects sales to remain about the same as last year. But since the market is expanding, this means that Datsun's percentage of the market will decline. VW SALES UP PER CENT sold J0.7W vehicles during ihc first quarter of this year, up from 10.257 a year ago. Toyota sales were about an increase of close to 23 per cent. Volkswagen sales were up more Jhan 40 per cent to Canadian makers slifl domi- nated the market in volume, with strong first-quarter sales. GM reports sates of a? per cent from a year ago. March sales of 37.942 units was the host ever for Ifaj company.. Ford had first-quarter satn of 50.613. 94 per cert from tJxs pro was high set in 1968. Chrysler reports an increase of close 1o 44 per cent in sales, a tidal of units ?gainsl a previous first-quarter record of in On a percentage basis, Amer- ican Motors had Ibe best sales 19.751 units against 258 a year ago, an increase of more than 61 per ;