Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 15, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
District The Lethbtidge Herald Local news SECOND SECTION Lethbridge, Alberta, Monday, April 15, 1974 Pages 13-24 Bill Groenen photos some while others ate it Noise, dust, speed, thrills a different sort of Easter Sunday fare. The action occured north of the city on 13th Street as the Leth- bridge Motorcycle Club ran a day of motorcross races. About 100 entries from the southern part of the province tore around the rough one-mile track And when the dust had settled organizers promise a water truck will make an appearance at the next local bike races Pete de Graff of Lethbridge was the overall winner. The next action here is May 19 AT THE LEGISLATURE How will gov't spend windfall? By AL SCARTH Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON The Alberta legislature approaches its midway point with a fat pocketbook, new ombudsman anu slightly bruised consumer affairs minister Facing the legislators when they return from their Easter recess Wednesday is a major policy statement from the government on what it will do with burgeoning oil revenues. In effect, they will consider two budgets this year the chequing account already handed down by Provincial Treasurer Gordon Miniely and a savings .plan yet to be presented by Premier Peter Lougheed. To this point, the government has laid the groundwork for investing some of its wealth with the introduction of public-private energy companies The premier has also announced that Alberta will opt out of a corporate tax collecting agreement with Ottawa. The province will taylor taxes to promote its own resource-based, industrial development strategy But the legislature still awaits the announcement which will fill out the framework of the plan Legislation such as a consumer affairs package is also on the books for the post-Easter sitting expected to last until about the end of May. Bob Dowlmg, minister of consumer affairs, has been hard-pressed thus far in the session to justify his deparment's existence As the government washed its hands during the first half of the sitting of any apparent concern about an RCMP investigation of Southern Alberta journalists the legislature appointed a new ombudsman to protect citizens from government bureaucracy. Randall Ivany, 41, an Anglican churchman, will succeed George McClellan, former RCMP commissioner, in the post Lacking the bull-like appearance of Mi McCellan, the new ombudsman appears to be closer to the Norman Vincent Peale school of things He has already been dubbed "Garner "Red" Ivany after the well-known evangelist The government managed to weather a strike of liquor board employees without getting involved as the sitting drew to a close. About the same time it announced a new formula pricing scheme for milk The system should insure that producers can keep up to their costs and avoid erratic price hikes to consumers at the same time. Not a "big" sitting as far as legislation is concerned at this point, the government has been making most of the news with its announcements Gasoline and education tax cuts, more money for municipalities and the first surplus budget in nine years all made for pleasant reading But snags will probably begin to show in some of the bright new programs As far as the rural natural gas program is concerned, they have already appeared Farmers counted on de- ducting the cost of a subsidized gas installation from their income during a year of high earnings for tax purposes. They will not be pleased to hear that isn't being allowed by Ottawa While the provincial treasurer and the minister of telephones and utilities mull over that problem, the minister of municipal affairs will undoubtedly hear more about reductions in the education tax for renters Minister Dave Russell is counting on landlords to pass on the 28-mill reduction in taxes to their tenants. He announced this session that the removal of the tax would be extended to all residential rental properties Previously, only owners of homes up to four-plex size were exempted It can be expected that any future increases in rent be protested to the minister College housing possible The provincial government will likely give financial support to a student residence complex at the Lethbridge Community College, Hal Gullup. president of the students's council, said today The department of advanced education, in a recent meeting with LCC student representatives, warned them of the many pitfalls some of the unsuccessful students' residences have faced. The government is leery of providing financial support to such student ventures, Mr Gallup said But the government indicated the housing situation for LCC students could make a students' residence feasible in Lethbridge. The estimated cost of a student residence complex at the LCC is between and million. The building would include housing for 100 students and social facilities for all LCC students AT CITY HALL Other government levels wouldn't get away with it By ANDY OGLE Herald Staff Writer Members of city council had a lot to say last week on two of the more controversial public issues before them recently the city birth control centre and public day care They also had a good deal to say in debates over doubling parking meter rates and hiking the city business tax Unfortunately none of their discussions saw the light of day, simply because they were all carried on behind the shelter of a closed budget committee meeting Incredible as this would seem if tried by other elected bodies, such as the provincial or federal governments or even city councils in -Edmonton or Calgary, semi-secret budget debate in Lethbridge seems to be accpted as a matter or course and an aldermanic right The budget is, after all, a working document that will determine how your tax dollar and mine will be spent. The press is allowed to watch these goings- on, but only on the condition that they not let individual aldermen's opinions escape the safe confines of council chambers. If there can be said to be any rationale behind this, it seems to be that it's always been done this way and that it allows for freer debate Since council cannot legally, according to the Municipal Government Act, officially pass any resolutions in a closed meeting, the budgst committee resolutions will be brought out to an open session of council at which aldermen will set a mill rate and approve the budget as amended by the resolutions. The key decisions would, however have already been made by this time in the closed committee meetings Council members will be able to say that they have done the job they were elected to do and have carried out their responsibility to the electorate They will have done their duty, and admittedly it's not an easy one, of making the necessary cuts in the city budget 10 bring the inevitable tax mcrase down to a level most people won't quibble about But while most taxpayers would agree that's indeed the job they elected their aldermen for, a good many would probably like to know the reasons behind their decisions. Indeed, if the public is not allowed to see what their representatives' opinions are on such important matters, civic elections become mere personality contests, which do not always result in the best men and women winning.