Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 12, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THt IE1HBRIOOE HERALD Wcdnostfny, April 12, 1572.-------.------ Joseph Kraii Irrigation Inertia Anyone would be hard pressed to find 'something new in the explana- tions of Agriculture Minister Olsou when he addressed Iho recent meel- ol irrigation water users at Taher. Mr. Olson has repeated on numer- ous occasions in recent years lliat Ottawa has million for updating the south's irrigation works if the province and the water users are pre- pared to come up with like figures. As their Member of Parliament, the water liters keep hauliiis; the minister up on the carpet in an attempt to get something moving. But each meeting becomes part of a disturbing pattern which is creating deepening concern as the full implications be- come apparent The Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration, the federal agency which in the past lias been responsi- ble for irrigation development, is under the direction o( Mr. Jean Mar- chand. minister of regional economic development. Even if it is assumed lhat Mr, Olson has Mr. Marchancl's blessing on the S18 million commit- ment for irrigation, no one has yet mentioned the real crux of the prob- lem: the formula or agreement be- tween governments as to how irri- gation projects should be paid for. Is the SIS million from the federal government mentioned by Mr. Olson enough? Will it be enough if the Gov- ernment of Alberta and the irrigation districts contribute similar amounts? There is no formula, nor has there been one. on cost-sharing agreements between the various levels of govern- ment to pay tor the cost of irrigation development. There is an indication by Mr. Olsou that the federal govern- ment is prepared to go one third ot Hie vviiy in the rebuilding process. Hut, several years ago when com- plete rebuilding of all irrigation dis- tricts in the province first started lo be discussed with a measure of ser- iousness, cost estimates placed total reconstruction at S60 million. At that time it was a new federal government and il had to sain a better total understanding before it committed itself. Now. Mr. Olsrn suggests, there is a provincial government and il wants a better over all understanding before it commits itself. There should be no misapprehen- sion about the fact the new provin- cial administration will want to squeeze every penny it can out of Ottawa for inigslion. would there be any question that Ottawa wants out from under any direct in- volvement with regard to irrigation operation and maintenance. If the irrigation districts are hold- ing 11) e i v breath because of Mr. Olson's urging to 'hurry up and take advantage of (he 1972 voting (oops, construction! season.' they had belter exhale and prepare for the real up- stream baltlc. Irrigation structures that have been worked for 50 years and there are many of them in the south re- quire either extensive repairs, or have lo be abandoned and started anew. Tbe cost sharing formula is going to require some homework. While irrigation development of the past has done much for the economic well- of tlie south, no one wants a part of the 'bird in the bush' approach any more. Another strike The current strike oi public em- ployees in Quebec indicates once, again new procedures are needed in order to ensure that pub- lic servants and workers in key in- dustries are able to get a fair deal without resorting to strikes. Govern- ments at all levels have a tendency to believe that employees in essential services will never strike even though they have been given the right to do so. But when bargaining hogs down. as il so often does in these issues, the employees have no other re- course than to strike. In the Quebec situation the public servants have already created a great deal of inconvenience in the province in the hope of awakening public sym- pathy. The government was woll aware of the possible renewed strike action but continued to drag its heels in making a reasonable settlement. Bolh labor and management are reluctant to accept binding arbitra- tion as a method of solving stale- mate situations. Hut trade union lea- ders and employers are more and more convinced that the strike wea- pon is dated. It is important that the spokesmen for holh sides get togeth- er and decide on suitable alterna- tives. Otherwise strikes in essential services will continue to erupt from time to time, with unpleasant re- sults. ANDY RUSSELL ________________I The snowshoe hare A FflIEM> and I were camped in the open one night in Ihe mountains of British Columbia, It was a warm evening with no wind and the only sound under the big spruces was the soft chuckling of the creek a few yards away, I was stretch- ed out in my sleeping robe looking up through tbe tree tops lo a sky full of pale evening stars, when a vtry small sound of something moving came lo my ears. Turning my head very slowly I found my- EeJf looking into the gentle countenance of a snowshoe hare crouched a few feet away. It had detecled me first and was frozen in its tracks looking ;ne over. A rabbit, as most, of us erroneously call them, seems to know when clangors threat- en; (his one soon went about its business unconcerned. A moment or two later it was back hopping along in the opposite di- rection. The third lime it went past in as many minutes, 1 realized I svas not. watch- ing one rabbil hut several. The woods was swarming uilh them. But they arc very quiet unobtrusive animals so our sleep was undisturbed. Cut when my friend rolled over to gel out of bed in the morning, he began to suenr. The sweat band ol his twenty dollar Stct-son was chewed out and there was a hole in its croivn where rab- bits had chewed it in search of salt. My hat was hung out of reach on a knot of a tree, hut Ihc edge of my ground tarp was scalloped by sharp teeth, where it had rubbed against the sally sweat soaked hide of a packhorsc, It was near the pt.'ik of Ihc seven-year population cycle of tbe. hares, a phenomenon that occurs all through lha widely distributer! range of this animal. Ev- ery seven years the rmmbors reach a srH- uralion point whereupon .sonic-thing mys- teriously triggers a massive die-out, and then for a while the sight of one is a rare thing indeed. P'iL year hy year Ihc pop- ulation builds up till the timber and brush swarms with them again, then once more nature's strange built-in population con- trol strikes leaving only a comparative handful. In 305J I travelled tlie Alaska Highway north and wt-st ID Ihe Jar southwest Yukon. When I came back in the fall, il WHS un- usual to be out of sight of dead rabbits kill- ed hy passing vehicles. AL night Ihc big- footed hares were in tlie lighls most of the time, Sometimes when we came around a bend in the evening before the lights were bright enough to give much warn- ing, it was lo KCC rabbits leaping into the brush in every rlircclion. Lynx and bob- cats, coyulfs and foxes were sighted too, for Ihe population of the mcat-eatcvs surges upward with lhat of the hares. At that lime Ibo sjiowshoo hare population must have tallied in thousands per square mile; Ihe bush country u.i.s lilcrally alive with them. The following year we travelled the road again there were norc to scon unlil reached the western Yukon and Alaska. Apparently such dic-ouLs spread from n centre like the rings from the .splash of a stone tossed into a pond. Some of us u.ifi snow-shocs in wiMer, :jnd TVC may think of the.sc a.s being Ihc in- vcnlion of man. Perhaps Ilicy arc in a sort of fashion, for Ibcy were orig- inally designed and worn by Ihe primitive bus h-roimtry fndians long before while men came on the scene. No doubt some- lime away hack an Indian hunter was out vainly wallowing breech cloul deep in snow, trying to IM ui'hin bowshot of an elusive snoushoo hare skipping blithely ahead of him, supported by its big hind few. Likely he suppcrless as a re- sult, but next time he killtcl the big-fooled one, be examined ils feet closely. Then he wont auay and communed wilh the spirits, while an idea sprouted and grew, FoHovf- ing came .some r.xppnmcnlinfl uilb uoocJ and rawhide and ill us Hie first inuw- ah003 were fashioned. Upsurge of populism a cop-out on taxes WASHINGTON' A populist tide is running in Hie connlry and all the aspiring politicians arc running with il. So are mosl of Hie media eel- cbritk'.s. But before the latest upsurge o( public discontent is uni- versally applatirted as an un- mixed ulcssing, maybe we ought (o lliitik about it. A good place to hegin is with the two mosl recent waves of popular umbrage. The black wave and (lie student wave both warn in different ways that well-meaning expression of dissatisfaction can come to bad ends. The black wave of protest rested on the undoubted griev- ance of race prejudice. But the blacks never found z strategic means to articulate their case, and il has now slipped into tlie hands of self-defeating groups and taken Ihc form of exagger- ated demands. The student wave of prolest looked to be a matter of ideal- ism about peace and life. But it was deflated by the lailing- off of the draft, and in retro- spect it seems to be merely n case of shirking an unpopular war. The "fed-up" movement to use George Wallace's phrase that is now sweeping (lie country is not confined lo a narrow, identifiable minorily. On (he conlrary, it affecls the great mass of people: Hie group 1 have called Middle America. It is a majority movement, h i c h is why those seeking public favor are so eager lo get witli it. As Gary Hart, the rational campaign man- ager for George McGovcrn, said after the Senator's win in the Wisconsin primary: "We have become tlie principal con- tender willi Wallace for the votes of the alienated, discour- aged, frustrated people and that's s hell of a lot of peo- ple." But what are the grievances that inspire all this frustration and alienation and discourage- ment? How serious arc they? And Ijoiv good are the proposed remedies? The clucf grievance seems to be resentment ot the upper middle-class Americans who are pleased to believe they run lliis country. This rcscnlmcnl runs right across the board. It is directed at companies, churches, universities, media, the foundations and virtually all established institutions. Naturally tbe foremost insti- tution in the land, the govern- ment, comes in for most of the nbiae. And the chief focus is on the essential fuel of govern- To be sure, there is a case for resentment. The upper middle class in this country has been badly spoiled. In the faslnesses of power and prestige, there has recently been an orgy of "You've gof to be big spending and high-handed behavior. The ITT affair is only one example. Even baseball players, highly paid as they are, seem lo have a case for a strike when measured by the lavish ways ot such owners as Augusl Busch. The patent populist remedy for things is re- form. And il is true that the tax system is loaded in favor of those wilh inherited wealth who make their money through invesimetiui. knows about the loopholes and ex- emptions. Everybody knows that last year 112 taxpayers with over in annual in- come paid no federal income taxes. But it is a pernicious myth lo think that soaking the rich will make it possible to cut tax- es very much. While there may be special hardships in the way local properly taxes hit all peo- ple, it is an even more dan- gerous myth lo think lhat mosl Americans are overtaxed. Taxation in tins country runs at about per cent of Gross National Product which is well below Ihc comparable fig- ure in Sweden, France, West Germany, Austria, Norway, the Netherlands and Britain. Tho federal income lax, which is by far the most important tax on families, lakes less than 12 per cent of annual income from those who make under per year. 11 is even more of a myth to think that the lax dollar is a wasted dollar. Taxes, as Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, are "the price pay for civiliza- tion." Taxes aro central to the problem of aiding the poor, maintaining education and law enforcement, and cleaning up the almosphere in Ihe city. They even help, screamingly silly as it may seem, in the de- fence of Hie country. To me the lalest upsurge o! populism looks like a cop-out on laxes. It is Ihe very reverse of whal Ihe United Stales needs, and lhat is has majority support makes il all the worse. The country is big enough and rich enough lo afford minority peccadilloes. II doesn't matter thai much if women call them- selves Ms, and blacks and stu- denl.s do absurd things. But when (he great mass seethes w i t h malevolence, when Ihe ballplayers strike, then walch out. (Fielil Enterprises, Inc.) Bruce Hutchison Voters disenchanted in Canada, also in U.S. rpo FOREIGN EYES the pri- mary elections in the Uni- ted Slates make lillle a bewildering circus of too many rings crowded wilh Re- publican elephants, Democratic donkeys and sadfaced clowns. Still, there must he some uiv derlying logic in Ihe process, some pattern in (he dizzy ka- leidoscope. That pattern, it fieems lo me, is now emerging, not only among our neighbors but among Canadians as well. For lack of a better nama we can call it the revolt of the middle class, populism, or what you will. Under any name it finds its ugly American sym- bol in George Corley Wallace. He may not know anylhing of importance but hn knows a band wagon when he .sees it. If it cannot carry him near the Evolution j} ISA RUSE yourself of any idea, or hope, thai Iho youth rebellion is one of those things that will have its (lay and pass away. The subculture which ha.s been characterized hj' a "new drug use, rock music and social revolt ia evidence of nothing less than a Dew stage of human evolution. That's the contention of au- tlior Robert Hunter, in a r.cw book, "The vStorming of the Mind." The children of the age of "future shock" have adapted through "psycho he says, to a point that has widened the generation gap un- til it is now "as great as the gap between homo sapiens and Neanderthal man." This may seem like a slight exaggeration, until we recall that Neanderthal man, as much as we know about him, was a shaggy, hairy, ill-dressed, lish-1 o o k i n g character who prolwhly indulged in .strange nature rites and who had tew of (he graces we associate witli civilization and then look around at some of the repre- sentatives of this alleged new stage of human evolution. Anyway, Hunter brought it up. We didn't. White House, it will carry oth- er passengers, including Pres- ident Nixon. No candidate who hopes lo be elected can ignore the bourgeois worm as it now begins lo turn. All candidates (except those few who would rather be right than president) must recognize Ihe fact llial the common denominator of Norlh America, the broad masses of (lie people above Ihe poverty Jine and some below il, are an- gry with their governments, Iheir critics and themselves. They are fed up with fraudu- lent political promises, taxes, prices, crime, big business, big labor and Ibe general disorder of a society as unhappy as it i.s rich. They yearn for some sort of stability, pause and breathing space after four decades of hectic change, ex- periment and disappointment. They want a government tl.at can stop the world, or at any rate, slow il down, as i! any government could. The historians, philosophers and idealists may argue that the revolt is confused, contra- dictory and negative, lhat it goes against the grain of his- tory in the long run. But even agreeing that if does, this is no ordinary citizen, in the short run. As Maynard Koynes once, remarked, we shall all be dead in the long run and have to live our tiny lives in the short. Poli- ticians have to, anyhow, espe- cially in an election year. Because it Is the most nnd democratic in the world, American society exhibits its tensions most nakedly and alarmingly until, in limes like these, il looks, from a distance to be falling apart. Yet similar tensions are present in all so- cieties. Will any Canadian say that they are absent in hia own fn Canada, however, (he so- cial pace and rlrive for reform arc different from Ihose of our neighbors because we arc in- wardly a different people, de- spite Hie superficial re- semblance. Measured by leg- islation and the existing appa- ratus of Ihe welfare stale, our Canadian pace is perhaps fast- er, than the American, Mea- sured by noise, spectacle, and fury, our pace Is slower, our po- litical manners less cxicting end candid. Nevertheless, the discontent of the centre is as legible here as in tbe United States and has become, 1 suspect, the core and decisive fulcrum of our contemporary politics. When a public opinion poll, even as a very rough measurement, tells us that -13 per cent of the Ca- nadian voters are committed to no party, policy or leader, it must powerfully concentrate a politician's mind, like that of Dr, Johnson's friend who was lo he hanged next morninR. At least the daily news seems to c concentrated Ihc mind of the government. It will not be hanged immediate- ly and may n o I he hanged at all, but it is taking no chances. It has read the same smoke, signals now clouding our neigh- bors' horizon. It knows thai Hie. political gravity is shifting, here as there, though nobody can gauge the shift or be sure which way 'he Fmoke is blow- ing. Docs anyone suppose, for example, lhat Ihe Canadian eleclion was postponed by whim, idealism or long-planned strategy? For- that mailer, does anyone suppose lhat Ihc dale may not be changed again, the strategy reversed, if Ihe government's clionces im- Lefter fo Ihe editor Pleased I would like lo comment on what I saw during (lie weeks as a patient at the auxiliary hos- pital, I thought I would feel very depressed at seeing Ihe inval- ids, and (he handicapped, hut it gave me great pleasure In see (hem all so cheerful. happy and conlcnlerl at all times. The surroundings, and lire kindness rf all the slatf are unsurpassed. The auxiliary hospital is Komelhing the r.elhbridgc peo- ple can he proud of. MHS, li. GRAF Lcthbridgc. prove before mid-summer? No, the government, and the op- position parties also, are try- ing to read the signals, ohey them and win votes. What, in fact, urc the Cana- dian signals saying today? Of course, this reporter cannot read them, hut they seem to say that Mr. Trudeau's reading yesterday was erroneous, (hough far less erroneous than that of his opponents. Wlten he swept across Can- ada four years ago like Ihe flaming herald of social jus- tice, Ihe agent of peaceful revolution tdespitc his own vain prolesl against exces- sive expeclationsj many of us suspected lhal the nation undergone an organic change, almost a tiou of the soul. We were wrong. Certainly a wind of change was blowing and it blew Mr. Trudcau into office. But Ihe change, as we can see now, was less fundamental than we (hen assumed. Scratch the av- erage Canadian and you still find not a revolutionary but a square behind liis new side- burns and gaudy necktie. Ask him what he wants, and he can answer only lhat he doesn't want what he is pelting and, as a taxpayer, is nol eager to pay (he price of anylhing like a Just Society (though be wants justice, or more, for No one should understand Ibis middle mood more clearly (ban Mr. Trudean, who has summed up his pragmatic phi- losophy in unalterable print, lie wrote; "My political action or my theory inasmuch as f can be said lo have one can he expressed very simply: Cre- ate counterweights." Well, he of all men can feel the counter- weight ot 1972 and, for better or worse, il has altered dras- tically since 1MB. (Herald special service) Looking backward Tlirongli The Herald 1522 The future of Ihc sclf- propelled gasoline railway car, lo meet the needs of branch lines service and u-ilh due re- paid to cosl has been consider- ed by Hie Canadian Railways management, 1932 In a letter to (lie Her- ald, David Ross of Granurn says Unemployment is still wilh us. taxes mount, incomes .shrink. One solution is io give every person the chance lo grow llieir own food. This could he extended if irrigated garden farms were made available Jn southern Alberta. 13-12 Contracts [or Ihe pro- duclion of soy beans on bc- Ivveon 400 lo 300 aorcs in southern Alberta thU year will shortly he available lo growers from Ilio Canadian Sugar Fac- tories Ltd. 1952 Canadian Handicraft beard Mrs. J. Kc_yes at Ihoir monthly meeting. Mrs. Keys demonstrated peasant painting on garden furniture, Irays and many useful articles. 10G2 Ca.nailn Safeway and Barrett Forrest Hardware are open for business in moder- nized, arcade type building in Lcthbridge's downtown busi- ness centre. The Lethbridge Herald 5W 7th 51, S., Lethbridgc, Albcrla LETHBRIDGE HERALD LTD., Proprietors and Publishers Published 1005 -105-1, by lion. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Clais Wan Hetjlslraricn No M13 W.rmb-r ol The Canadian Preii fi-.d !rv Daily Newspaper PuUfshers' Assccidfion and (he AutliJ BureAu cf CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor ann Publiiher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager DOM PILLING WILLIAM HftY Managing Ed-jcr AssocfdJc Eoiirr ROY F 'Alt-Pi DOUGLAS K WALKER fcdiloriar Page edllor "THE HERAID SERVES THE SOUTH"