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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 26, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta District The LetWmdge Herald Local SECOND SECTION Lethbndge, Alberta, Friday, April 26, 1974 Pages 17-32 A 5-year project over acres under irrigation Pipeline Grant Fox assembles part of the pipe that will bring water to Blood Reserve for the first time. I Irrigation coming to Reserve By WARREN CARAGATA Herald Staff Writer STANDOFF Within five years, over acres of farmland on the Blood Reserve will be under irrigation, and there's more to come Grant Fox, assistant director of the band's irrigation project, told The Herald there is no irrigation on the reserve now, but if a five-year pilot project bringing irrigation to between and acres on the west side of the reserve is successful, the band will probably begin re-patnating leases for irrigation farming The 3 million project will involve between 15 and 20 farmers by the end of the project term, giving the farmers irrigation and management skills in addition to the water Mr Fox said most of the reserve's cultivated land is now farmed under lease by whites, but he said he hopes the irrigation project will encourage more band members to farm their own land Indians left behind Indians used to farm the land themselves, he said, but as agriculture became more sophisticated and mechanized, Indian larmers were 'lef t behind In addition to the private leases, the band council leases another 38.000 acres, most, of it in one block called the big lease in the central part of the reserve If the pilot project is successful Mr. Fox said, land m the "big lease" will be brought under irngation Under the agreement with the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Adminis- tration, which has a mam canal crossing the reserve, the band can irrigate 3 000 acres and has an option, recently extended lor 10 years, to irrigate another 25 000 acres In return for giving PFRA right-of-way for the canal, the band can use irrigation water without charge Gov't wants to loan funds The irrigation department on the reserve will buy farm machinery, sprinkler systems and pay for seed and fertilizer for the first crop Farmers receiving water will rent the sprinklers and machinery from the department over the five- year life of the project At the end of the five years, the farmers will be given the sprinklers and machinery they have been Irrigation works will allow reserve to grow lush forage crops renting, at no further charge Alton Johnson, project director, said the federal government, which is paying 75-per-cent of the total cost, wants to loan the farmers involved the money necessary to establish with irrigation equipment, instead of making an outright grant to them. But, Mr. Johnson said the project is an experiment and has educational value as well and he and Mr. Fox are still negotiating with the government on what form the assistance will take "I expect they will come through he said Mr Fox said the major crop under irrigation in the pilot project will be alfalfa, as an increasing amount of pasture land on the reserve is being broken for cultivation at the same time the reserve cattle population is increasing. The major irrigation crop on the "big lease" would probably be hay, Mr Fox said, but because the growing season is longer on that part of the reserve, row crops could also be grown Engineers want 21-month pact Union eyes 6 wage ncrease The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 955, representing 29 city power plant and water plant employees, is asking for what the city says is an average 51 43-per-cent wage increase over 21 months. City hall announced details of the contract requests today in a news release. It said the union is seeking near-parity with Calgary Power and is requesting immediate reclassification of all positions ranging from four to 13-per-cent It is then seeking increases on top of these reclassified rates of 12.5-per-cent effective Aug. 1, when the present contract expires, 9 5-per-cent on March 1, 1975 and another 9 5-per-cent Oct. 1, 1975. The total increase including the reclassification and the three increments averages out to the 51.3 increase over the contract period, the city said. The city says the union is also seeking employee benefits in line with benefits granted in other recent city- union negotiations The mam benefit won by other unions is a clause giving employees three weeks holidays in their third year of employment. Wage rates being paid at the power and water treatment plants at the end of the present contract will range from 29 an hour paid maintenance men to 50 per hour paid shift engineers with the highest classification The operating engineers is the last union to enter contract negotiations with the city this year All other unions, with the exception of the firemen whose contract talks have gone to compulsory arbitration, have settled for annual wage increases in the 10-per-cent range This is the first time city council has authorized any statements on union negotiations prior to their being settled or in the case of the firement prior to going to arbitration L C Watson of Calgary, business representative of the union, said today from Calgary he had no comment at present on the wage talks OVERNIGHT THIEVES MAKE OFF WITH City police are investigating a series of break-ins in which almost in cash was taken Thursday night Police on patrol discovered that the Rex Tennant Building. 813 3rd Ave. S had been entered and two businesses in H broken into About was taken from the Modern Barber Shop Although nothing was taken from the H R Block Income Tax Co damage was caused by the break-in About was taken from an unlocked sale at Motor Mower Ltd 817 3rd Ave S after that business was broken into Imperial Optical, 5th Ave and 7th St S., was broken into and about in cash taken from the till Unsigned payroll cheques were also stolen City pohce, who believe the four break-ins were done DV tne same peison, are still investigating Crawford's checking on million bill By AL SCARTH Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON The unlikely combination of opposition leader and speaker of the house ganged up Thursday night to obtain more details on hospital spending from the government Speaker Gerry Amerongen and Socred leader Bob Clark were not satisfied to approve more than million for the Alberta Hospital Services Commission at a single blow The amount would finance costs for all general and auxiliary hospitals in the province Health Minister Neil Crawford subsequently told the committee considering hospital spending that at least some details of spending requests from 162 institutions funded bv the province would be provided before the legislature as a whole considers the package 'It is rather difficult to give consideration to sums of such Radiation rules to be reviewed Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON The province will review its Radiation Protection Act to see if it discriminates against female x-ray technologists Neil Crawford, minister of health and social development made the promise in the legislature Thursday in answer to questions from Dick Gruenwald (SC Lethbndge West) The act requires that an employee be prohibited from operating x-ray equipment as soon as her pregnancy becomes known She is expected to inform her employer immediately. If no other duties outside areas of radiation can be found, she is out of work for the duration of the pregnancy But the technicians have complained that their surveys show even several years of operating x-ray equipment is insufficient time to gain exposure dangerous to a fetus Mr Crawfod told the legislature the province will seek expert and contemporary opinion on radiation safety The technologists have said Alberta is the only province with a ban on pregnant women operating x-ray equipment Outside the house, Mr Crawford conceded that the regulations "may be a little bit behind the most up-to-date thinking." He said the province would probably approach the Alberta Medical Association for advice. Out-of-work technologists are not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits until 15 weeks before the termination of the pregnancy They can face up to several months during the pregnancy with no income at all Bert Hohol, minister of manpower and labor, told the legislature he will be in touch with Ottawa about co- ordinating radiation safety regulations and unemployment insurance rules In labelling the provincial regulations unduly severe, the technologists have argued that rigid safety precautions protect employees from overdoses of radiation, that both the provincial and federal governments maintain watchdog committees over safety matters and that hospitals find themselves suddenly short of x-ray staff under present rules Council, chamber meet Monday A special meeting of city council will be held Monday to hear presentation of a brief from the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce The brief, said to be a comprehensive analysis of civic affairs as seen by the chamber, will be made public at the chamber's regular weekly meeting Wednesday magnitude, Mr Amerongen said The speaker, who referees debate in the house, added that expenditures as large as shrank to "mere bagatelles" in comparison "It's just assmme to consider it in one chunk." Mr Clark said outside the committee But Mr Crawfod told MLA's the province had no dncct responsibility for expenditures hospital boards It could check expenditures but decisions, were made local hospital boards He later agreed that more information should be made available but repeated that the province had no "line responsibility The committee also told that the Alberta Municipal Financing Corporation wields some control over capital expenditures Solicitor-General -Helen Hunley responsible lor the Health Care Insurance Commission, told the committee that million in premiums were owing the commission at the end of last year But some of that amount was accounted for by people no longer required to pay premiums still being billed Miss Hunley also said the commission did not believe in using tough collection agencv practices to collect debts "We re not about to take somebody s last she said She told the legislature earlier in the day that the government planned no increase in health care premiums She said she would continue to pay for s million deficit for the commission out of general revenues as long as permitted bv the legislature When she appeared before the committee, she said the deficit came about because of abolition of premiums for people over 65, subsidies for low-income earners and welfare recipients Dr Ken Paproski (PC Edmonton Kmgsway) told the committee that gross incomes of doctors as reported by the Health Care Insurance Commission were misleading He said expenses such as laboratory tests, vrays and palhologists' charges all had to be deducted from the reported figures to arrive a doctors' true incomes ;