Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 13, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4-THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD-Saturday, April Lalonde in hot water over football bill Loss of confidence A serious situation exists in Alberta in the lack of confidence the universities have in the department' of advanced education. This is evident from the investigation carried out by Herald education reporter Jim Grant. The department, and the government as a whole, ought to resist the temptation to brush off the investigation as merely a journalistic exercise. Although it was not an exhaustive survey of the university communities or even a sampling of opinion along accepted lines of procedure, it exposed an indubitable negative feeling toward the department. Two things suggest that Mr. Grant has accurately gauged the mood of the university people. The first is that the critics of the department were easily located while those with a different opinion were difficult to find. The second is that protest petitions were signed by a high percentage of faculty members at the three universities. Petitions Irom university professors cannot be as easily discounted as those from the general populace because there is an independence of mind among professors that provides some safeguard against beintf intimidated or conned into signing. A major fear is that the distinctiveness of the university might be lost as all post secondary educational institutions are brought under one umbrella and treated the same. The consequence might be a homogenization in the direction of vocational education. Indeed, the minister has pointed to pressure from the public notably the chamber of commerce for this to happen. Perhaps the universities need to do a better job of enunciating their role in society and of corraling public support. But that is an undertaking that has always been difficult for universities to achieve. The obstacles of indifference and. worse, of anti-intellectualism are ever present and almost insurmountable. Politicians need to be sensitive to the pressures of public opinion and yet be impervious to it at the same time. Universities have a unique role to play in society and a serious impoverishment of life would result from playing down the uniqueness. Some watchdogging of the universities needs to be done in response to public opinion but not so much as to be stifling. An immediate need exists for the department to make a major effort to allay suspicions in the universities; the job of appeasing the public has gone far enough. Music training Parents of young people involved in the music programs in the schools in Lethbridge and district are aware of the splendid training being given. Persons interested enough to attend some of the sessions of the recent Kiwanis Music Festival will also have an appreciation of what is happening. But others might be oblivious to the tine things being achieved in the field of music and need to be enlightened. An amazing number of young people are participating in the music programs with enthusiasm and competence. Much credit is due them for the degree of achievement demonstrated at the festival and elsewhere. Even more credit is doubtless due the instructors for the patience displayed and the inspiration imparted. Congratulations are in order for all who have, in recent weeks, shared in musical theatre productions and in the competitions at the festival. And a special word of praise for Gerry Pokarney and the members of the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute Stage Band for the signal honor won at the Canadian Stage Band Festival in Edmonton this week. Good wishes will accompany them as they compete at a higher level in Toronto in May. Immeasurable good comes from the emphasis upon musical training in the schools. A few youngsters are pointed to a career in music; many derive periodic pleasure from performing throughout their lives; all are enriched permanently. Step to reconciliation Reconciliation between India, Bangladesh and Pakistan is another step nearer now that Bangladesh has agreed to drop atrocity charges against 195 Pakistani prisoners of war. They have been held since the bitter 1971 war. Repatriation of the Pakistani soldiers tollows the recognition of Bangladesh by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto earlier this year. And it may open the way to the transfer of 400.000 Bihari Moslems trom Bangladesh to Pakistan. These positive developments, once seemingly impossible of achievement, bring new hope for a desperately hurting WEEKEND MEDITATION part of the world. Improving the lot of the multitudes of impoverished people in the three countries is an urgent need. Attacking the huge problems there requires the total resources available, something not possible when tensions were siphoning off a large part of each nation's wealth for military preparedness. The wastefulness of war and preparation for war, long the shame of the three nations, has not been put behind forever. But obviously a shift of emphasis is taking place and it is for the good even if very late. What does Easter mean? The venerable historian, St. Bede (673-735) held that the name "Easter" came from the Anglo-Saxon spring goddess, and certain customs such as the exchange of Easter eggs is of ancient pagan origin. For Christians it is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus and is the greatest and oldest festival of the church. It is a pity that the World Calendar has not been adopted which would fix the date of Easter Sunday for April 8th. As it is, Easter comes the Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox and next year will fall on March 30th. The Church of England Book of Common Prayer designates "Easter Day on which the rest depend." Easter is not the close of Lent, which concludes on Saturday noon, but is the beginning of Eastertide and continues to Ascension Day, 40 days later. It is doubtful if a new, reformed calendar will come about, since the Gregorian calendar has an almost world-wide acceptance and change might Violate the religious customs of Jews, Christians, and Moslems. For Christians Easter means the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. In the second place it means the resurrection of followers of Jesus. In many places a Christian is described as "a resurrected person." In the third place it means the beginning of the church. In the fourth place, it is the assurance of the victory of life over death, of truth over falsehood, of goodness over evil, and of love over hate. Easter is the assertion of faith in God, for "God raised up Jesus." Thus "The resurrection is not just a personal survival; it is a cosmic as James Stewart puts it. Easter thus was the beginning of a vast Christian movement which spread through Asia Minor, up into Greece, Macedonia, Rome, Spain, and Africa. In 200 years the Christian faith had penetrated every city of the European world, challenging and transforming classical culture, to "out-think, out-live, and out-die" the pagan faiths and their followers. It would not only survive the collapse of the Roman Empire, but would absorb and transform the barbarian conquerors. It would survive the horrors of the Dark Ages and, here again, not only survive, but become the source and depository of learning, law, healing, and regulations of trade. The cathedrals which embodies the gospel in stone, the musicians like Palestrina, and the artists of the Renaissance, all came from the matrix of the church. Without the triumphant faith of Easter not a bit of this would have been possible and it is incredible that the Christian church could survive a loss of faith in the resurrection of Jesus. Easter is not faith in immortality, but in resurrection. It means the survival of personality. Paul says that in the future life you are given "another body." It is, says Paul a spiritual body, since "flesh and blood cannot inherit eternal it is a sinless body, and it is a body not subject to corruption and sickness. The future life, said Jesus, is a place of fellowship, for Jesus promised his disciples, "I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice. I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am there you may be also." Easter means, not only a future life of power and glory, however, but a present life of victory and the dynamic qualities of eternity. For Christians Easter means that Jesus is alive and his presence can be realized in this world. Thus Martin Luther, in his dark days, would assert doggedly, "Christ is alive! He Christians in the early church would greet one another with the words, "Christ is One of the most famous intellectuals and men of letters Britain has possessed, L. P. Jacks, described Christianity as a "death- conquering religion. Christianity is the most encouraging, most joyous, least repressive, and least forbidding of all the religions of mankind. The end of it is a resurrection and not a burial, a festival and not a funeral, an ascent into the heights and not a lingering in the depths. "The source of much of the crime, cruelty, and sadness of the modern world comes from its loss of faith in the resurrection. Vision has been lost. Hope has been lost. Joy has been lost. Meaning has been lost. Without Easter life is indeed ugly, brief, and mean. Take away Easter and mankind goes down into darkness. All faith in optimism is doomed without Easter. Easter not only lights up the horizons of life, but gives man the horizons of eternity. PRAYER: Enable me to hear, 0 God, In the noises of the ctty and the confusion and conflict of life, the voice of Him who said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He that belleveth In me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever llveth and belleveth in me shall never die." P. S. M. By Peter Thomson, Herald special commentator OTTAWA It is a little ironic that Health Minister Marc Lalonde, who handles a multi-billion dollar department, should encounter political hot water in a relatively unrelated proposal to keep American football out of Canada. It is difficult to determine just how Parliament feels about the legislation for that is largely a matter of where you sit, or rather the riding for which any particular MP sits. If it is a Toronto constituency the legislation, aimed primarily at the Toronto Northmen of the World Football League, is a tough one to swallow. Several Toronto area Liber- als, and some Liberals from other parts of the country, have been irate both about the legislation and the way Mr. Lalonde announced it without any prior consultation with those Liberals who might be affected politically. As mail pours in from con- stituents, objecting to the legislation, the dissident Liberals can be seen, pacing the corridors with thick files of letters, lobbying for support in killing the bill. Naturally Mr. Lalonde has been a little peeved with the members of the Liberal caucus who have openly declared their opposition to the bill. There have been a series of belated meetings about the proposed legislation, including one in which Toronto MPs were supported by the Toronto Metro Mayor in an effort to talk Mr. Lalonde into a less dis- criminatory approach. The ultra-nationalistic legislation has all ingredients for a first political issue. the rate For one thing, at least three political parties are having tr6uble coming to terms with although the Liberals have probably been too concerned with their own infighting to notice Tory and NDP problems. Second, at least four cabinet ministers must be worried about the legislation. Mitchell Sharp, Donald Macdonald, .placing roof joist on plate, marking angle of pitch and.. Promised UIC amendment impractical By Richard Gwyn, Toronto Star commentator The business of government is mostly routine: Papers have to be pushed; committees have to be assembled; legislation has to be tidied up. All of this would be done by any party which held power. Only occasionally does an issue arise that is too powerful to be dealt with blandly and administratively and which, by the way it is handled, will define the quality and character of the party in office. One such issue already con- fronts the Trudeau government: The corporate tax concessions must be withdrawn or extended in the budget. Behind the scenes a second decisive issue, which the government can neither duck nor fudge, is devel- oping. The revision of the Unemployment Insurance Act. Three weeks ago Manpower Minister Robert Andras sub- mitted to the Cabinet Com- mittee on Social Policy, a paper proposing a range of "alternative options" from minor and cosmetic to major and Draconian; for reform of the UIC legislation. In an act that is almost unprecedented, Andras then withdrew his own paper from the cabinet LETTERS committee. He has replacea it with a background analysis document which will be discussed by Cabinet after the Easter recess. Cabinet will consider Andras' revised pro- posals late in May. The background to this series of events is that early this year the government panicked over the uninterrupted barrage of public criticisms against unemployment insurance. A last-minute addition to the throne speech, which opened this session of Parliament in February, promised "'amendments to the unemployment insurance act." That passage was added to the Throne Speech as a result of pressure from the con- servative wing of the govern- ment, led in this instance by Trudeau's Principal Secretary, Martin O'Connell. The clever politics of two months ago have back-fired. To the government's embar- rassment it has discovered, after having promised to amend the Act, that few major amendments are needed or are practical. True, the range of proposed reforms might save million or more a year. That amount is important, but it is True standing ovation Another season of school musicals is over, and again this year I noticed that as the applause started at the close of the performance, students of the school, sprinkled about the theatre, would immediately jump to their feet to start the usual "standing ovation." And, as usual, all the relatives and friends would dutifully rise like so many sheep. It is now very clear that LCI tries to get more ovations than Winston Churchill and vice-versa. A true standing ovation is rarely given even world famous professionals. I might say that Lethbridge audiences did not feel ovations necessary for such magnificent artists as Maureen Forrester, Sir Isaac Stern or Arthur Rubenstein. To give ovations at every musical provides an "ego trip" which is very dangerous, especially to the novice. If you see a young performer with talent, by all means, make a point to speak to him or her, and encourage them to seek more training at provincial drama seminars or speech or movement classes. Curtain calls and bows were unheard of at the fine session of One Acts produced this year at the University of Lethbridge. Murray Robison's famed Coaldale Little Theatre opens the curtains, but briefly, on a "tableau" of the performers. Long drawn-out curtain calls, milking the audience for applause are considered poor taste by them. I appeal to the principals of the schools in Lethbridge to let it be known that anyone starting a so-called "standing ovation" in the future will be severely disciplined. And, I appeal to all the relatives and friends to help our young people maintain the proper perspective of themselves and their efforts; please join me, tand warmly applaud their productions from your seats. MURIEL MATHESON Lethbridge small when compared to the yearly total of UIC benefit payments of over billion. And these are gross savings. Administrative costs would increase. So would cross- Canada welfare costs because UIC payments divert an estimated million a year from welfare payrolls. Several key proposed reforms fail the test either of administrative or political analysis: For example: the minimum employment period for eligibility from eight to twelve weeks. Contrary to popular belief, few in this category are students- The average age of claimants is 33. Most claimants with only eight weeks employment are marginal, low-paid workers in seasonal industries such as logging, construction, farming. A majority come from areas, such as the Maritimes, where there are few other employment op- portunities. differentials, so that a wife would collect re- duced benefits if her husband were still working. This would require a means test since there's all the difference in the world between a bread- winner who is a professional and minimum wage garment worker. It would raise a storm of protest over sex discrimination since most of those affected would be wives or children. The climate of public opinion has also changed. Last fall the Unemployment Insurance Commission received close to 50 letters of complaint, many about "rip- a day. The count is down to five a day, most of them about technical matters. Opinion is shifting also about the relationship between unemployment insurance and job shortages. A 22-page study of high turn- over in the British Columbia logging industry gave a one- line, passing reference to unemployment insurance. A study of the Quebec logging in- dustry found that only six per cent of former loggers whom the companies hoped to recruit were on unemployment insurance: The reasons the men stayed away were "wages; working conditions; isolation; attitude of companies toward their employees." Abuses do exist, 10 per cent of all claimants quit their jobs without "just cause." Married women stay on unemployment insurance for markedly longer periods than men. Fraudulent claims are noticeably high for occupations such as nursing and secretarial work where jobs are easy to find. All these, and other, loopholes can be plugged without affecting the fundamentals of the pro- gram, contrary to the impres- sion created by the government. Andras himself has defended UIC, inside and outside the cabinet; most of his colleagues have cut and run. The unemployment insurance issue has until now defined a government that is escapist when the going gets rough and opportunist when it sights political advantage. But the issue isn't yet settled Andras' second paper to cabinet will propose a set of moderate reforms. Whether cabinet accepts those reforms or goes beyond to add political cosmetics will define its quality and character. mm WORLD Allistair Gillespie and Robert Stanbury all lost a lot of ground in the last election. If this issue were to turn more votes away the ministers would be scrambling in the next election. And they know it! However, it is a tradition that no minister votes against a government bill. Therefore, if the Lalonde legislation does come to a final vote the and other Toronto will have to bite the bullet. The suspicion is that since they will have to vote for the legislation, the ministers will insist that the whips be one. That means that there will not be a free vote, and thus, no way for private members to extricate themselves from voting against the wishes of their constituents. Another aspect of the bill is that, in a sense, it pits the big cities. Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver would all be able to support a major football league team in the future. That, of course, would prob- ably weaken the Canadian Football League to a point of disintegration. And that, of course, is Mr. Lalonde's reason for the legislation. But. on the other hand, should government legislate everything down to the lowest common denominator? Should the big boys be prevented from playing with their peers9 Mr. Lalonde seems to have overlooked two developments of the last 20 con- sequently is fighting a losing battle, even if his legislation does pass. With the coming of television fans were exposed to the be it in hockey, football, baseball, ballet or drama The second development, which coincides with the first, is that more North Americans have become wealthy enough to become exposed to the best. They won't settle for much less than the if Mr. Lalonde passes laws. Minor league and amateur baseball has virtually collapsed as a spectator sport. Local theatre has had a decade of hard times. The National Hockey League escaped, but barely, with a severe watering-down as a result of too-fast expansion But it survived because it was still the best, or at least everyone thought so until the Canada-Russian series. Semi-pro football leagues also must content themselves with playing before few fans, and counting on the big boys for financial support. No matter what law he passes Mr. Lalonde won't save the CFL because it too is becoming less and less like the best. There isn't a CFL team in Canada that has been able to fill its stadium consistently over the last five years. If Canadian Football is that important to Canadian Unity, then it is a fragile thread in- deed. Let the legislation die on the order paper Marc! hy NEA will REALLY boggle your mind ballroom dancing is being The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St S. Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mail Registration No. 0012 CLEO MOWERS. Editor and Publisher DON H. PILLING Managing Editor DONALD R. DORAM General Manager ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Page Editor ROBERT M FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E. BARNETT Business Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"