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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 16, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 1HE LETHBRIDGE WRAVD Wottnojduy, 14, 1971 Tough talk Some touch talk was directed to- When the Hills mess was first ,vard the energy resources industries brought to the aUcnlion of the public tho impression given was that some ena oil indllslry were Minister Bill Yurko. He indicated lo existing regulations. That recently by Alberta Environment that he was not satisfied with the situation apparently was not be- way some companies were scarring jug policed and perhaps would have and fouling the areas in which they been ignored altogether if the environ- operale and that changes were in the nientalists had not raised_tlieir ob- offing. While it may be reassuring to some to learn that Mr. Yurko intends to jections was distressing, The result lias been a residue of disbelief in the reassurances of government offi- crack down on despoilers of the en- that the interests of. the people vironment, it will come as a bit of a shock to others lo realize that bad are being upheld in Ihe environmental field. practices are still being permitted. Skepticism may therefore attend Before Mr. Yurko assumed office the tough talk reported by Environ- conservation groups had made the ment Minister Bill Yurko until the government and the people of the requirements to be imposed on the province aware of the serious ero- energy resource industries became sion problem created by the oil in- known and their effective implemen- dustry in the Swan Hills area. It is tation is observed. Nevertheless, it disconcerting, therefore, to discover that corrective measures apparently have not yet been taken there. is difficult not to he optimistic about Mr. Yurko's intentions and his ability to be as tough as his talk. Government and Mr. Murphy The government of Ontario has got itself into an awkward position be- cause of its hesitancy to act in sup- port of the administration of Toron- to's Western Hospital when the ad- ministration fired 350 non-medical employees engaged in an illegal walkout. Ontario Minister of Labor, Fern- and Guindon, has told Patrick Mur- Sympathy is due the workers who have been" the victims of bad lead- ership. The hot tempered president of the CUGE prefers to beat the law rather than work within it. No arbi- tration settlement for Mr. Murphy. No sir, give us what we want, what we, not you, think we are entitled to get, or else But sympathy for badly led work- phy, volatile president of the Cana- erg js one thing. Contempt for the dian Union of General Employees, that he will use his "good offices" on behalf of the strikers. What does he mean? It could be that he in- tends to bring government pressure on the hospital to re-hire the strikers or to give them first priority in re- hiring of replacements. This would put the government in the anomalous law is another. If the government of Ontario backs down now it will frag- ment its own basis for union peace and fair play to the workers in es- sential services. Irrational leaders motivated by hatred and contempt for the law of the land spell anarchy if allowed to position of condoning the breaking of go unchecked. Weakness in govern- a law it wrote itself. ment spells the same thing. Unofficial evidence In his first broad policy statement since he became secretary general Suspicion is one thing, hard facts are quite another. The systematic of the UN, Kurt Waldheim asserted has been denied by the president, af- his personal responsibility to speaK firmed by his political opponents. No firm evidence has yet been brought forward by either side to prove that the U.S. is making a concerted at- out on "life or death" issues. It is dif- ficult to dispute this. But when Mr. Waldheim speaks out on these issues, he should do so with irrefutable offi- tempt to destroy the area completely cial evidence, which he admits him- self he did not have when he made and drown thousands of innocent peo- ple in the process. Until such evi- River delta area of North Vietnam. he cannot prove. ANDY RUSSELL Getting lost WATERTON LAKES PARK The ex- pcrience of getting lost and not know- ing wHch. Is east, west, south or north is a thing nobody ever forgets, and it can hap- pen to anybody. Once when I was about seventeen, I was out among some wooded hills hunting deer in late fall. Along about mid-afternoon two things happened: 1 found a big buck track fresh in the snow, and shortly afterward, a thick fog rolled to blanketing the country and cutting vis- Maurice Western NDP leader gives critique of unions It is in the na- their view, was less parly than This seems clear from Iho alg- by polk measuring Iho drift to ture of political parlies "movement." In their minds, that they respond, often logeth- Ideas and causes were much er lo the deeper currents of more important than power. opinion ill the country. Like a cluster of boats, they are drawn In one direction or the other (to the left or the right. in the fashionable shorthand) With Iho rctiu-n of normal times, however, particular in- terests naturally asserted themselves. Group Ideas and causes began lo diverge Robert Slandfleld and lira fall- ing away from Ihe NDP. In Miami, at the risk of of- fending some of his own sup- depending on the popular mood battles within the movement ns read by the party lenders. were fought out with a passion not often attained m election Since the adventurous, high- spending '60s, the mood has certainly changed as voters have reacted adversely to ever- mounting taxes and prices, c o s t ly strikes, spreading wel- farism and luxury spending by governments. Mr. Trudeau sensed the shift at an early stage as his speeches of 1WJ8 in- dicate. But in the meantime tho current has strengthened. While it may appear somewhat paradoxical, some of the best evidence that the movement is to the right has provided by Ihc party of the left. Canadian politics are nor- mally confused, especially on the surface. Ttic Waffle faction, noted for tho extravagance of Its vocabulary, is apparent- ly persuaded that a mixture of pseudo-Marxism and New Left- ism is the ideal prescription for ailing socialism. Some Quebec labor leaders have also gained considerable publicity by strik- ing s e m i-revolulionary pos- tures. These people, however, aro political innocents in compari- son with David Lewis who has been a force in the CCF and it.s NDP successor for most of his adult life. The Lewis strategy, as ex- plained to me by a very intelli- gent New Democrat, looks well beyond the coming election (and may, indeed, incur short- term Its purpose, as ha put it in a rather striking phrase, Is to transform tho NDP into a party. At first glance, this may Beem an odd analysis. After all the NDP looks like a party, calls itself a party, has official party status and, at provincial level, has even formed govern- ments. It must be borne In mind, however, that the old CCF, from which the NDP sprang. was a strange mixture of groups finding common cause in desperate rimes. For some idealists denudation of the "old-line parties" had a special significance, for the CCF, in campaigns, Factional strife its political burden. For gov- perslsted even when tho CCF became Ihe NDP and acquired its predominantly labor base. It is precisely because Mr. Lewis, having at last become the national lender, is de- termined to create a viable pally wilh more than sectional appeal that he has collided wilh faction after faction since his convention victory. But the problem goes well beyond the Waffle and the sep- aratist inclining Quchcc wing. niflcanb speech delivered by Mr. before a au- dience in Miami. In its relation to the great porters, Mr. Lewis faced reafi- unions, the NDP closely re- tics. What he said might havo Iran taken as mild criticism on the lips of a Literal or Conser- vative. Hut Mr. is ne- ither. He is the New Dem- ocratic leader who for years was a most prominent union sembles British Labor. As a considerable experience h a s now shown, the Trades Union Congress in Brilain is bolh Iho principal support of Labor and lead through frustrations and resentments to unnecessary strikes. "Union demands must Iw socially justifiable If they nrc to gain public support." There has been criticism that union gains havo been at the ex- pense of unorganized workers, resulting In the emergence of n now class. What does Mr. Lewis say? "We must ask ourselvej whether all unfoas have been emments aro made and un- lawyer. In effect, he concedes sufficiently conscious of their made there by a middle class vote capable of swinging .fijthcr way and likely to swing" Con- servative when union demands on tho nation appear exces- sive. Here too the NDP, if it is lo be viable, must have .substan- tial support from middle in- come voters. In present cir- cumstances the mood of these people seems distinctly conser- vative as shown, for example, Ihe justice of some of Ihe criti- cism directed against the great unions. Organized labor has a had Imago; according to surveys even Canadian workers regard the big unions as too powerful. For this state of affairs, Mr. Lewis says, labor is partly re- sponsible. Unions enter negotia- tions with extravagant, un- reachable demands, creating expectations which sometimes ''We have a bargain price before Nov. obligations not only to their own members but to the major- ity of workers who are not or- gnnizcd and to society general- ly." The between low-paid ant! highly paid workers la growing instead of narrowing. Labor's traditional goal to speyk for the weak has been loo often overlooked. Mr. Lewis also expressed concern about domination of Canadian unions and the disregard for Canadian in- terests shown by increasingly protectionist American unions. The force of these observa- tions is not in the least blunted by the fact that Mr. Lewis also had some biting words for Ca- nadian employers, whom be ac- cused of "cat and mouse" games. No NDP leader would be expected to siiy less. No NIJP leader, lo my knowledge, lias ever before directed such criticisms afjairisl Canadian un- ions. If there is o reaction in the country lo the growing power and ambitions of union leaders, the NDI' is obviously the most exposed and vulnerable party. Words may pointers or symploms they aro not poli- cies and it is of course true that NDP policies after Miami re- main what they were be- fore, To say this, however, is not to deny the significance of the .speech. Lewis, an able and ex- perienced man, is not insensi- tive to tho popular mood. As well as any in his party he can sense tho direction of prevail- ing currents. To drag anchor when the other IxiaLs aro mov- ing would be to risk hfs essen- tial, long Icrm political objec- tives. On the evidence of the Miami speech, and of earlier episodes in his embattled ca- reer as leader, the NDP U go- inp to move too; whether tho unions like it or not, (Herald Ottawa fiurenn) statement about the dence is produced, Mr. Waldheim 19 bombing of the dikes in the Red wrong in making accusations which Charles Foley Concern over nuclear menace being voiced in U.S. horse. If I got to him while there was still light enough to see my tracks, he would take me home to food and a warm fire. So I began to unravel my backtrail across that rough, folded up piece of country. It got darker and darker until I was having real trouble sticking to my trail. My leg muscles were cramping with fatigue and cold. I was so hungry 1 was shaking, and I knew if I lost my tracks it meant spend- ing a cold miserable night with no shelter. ibility to about a hundred yards. Thorough- Finauy j was creeping along in the black ly absorbed In tracking the buck, I paid It little attention, The buck, by accident or intent, took me on a circuitous route through the thickest kind of cover, down draws, up timbered slopes and across brush-choked ravines. Several times 1 heard him ahead of me, the scraping of antlers on brandies in the thick stuff, but in spite of making use of every trick I knew, he kept out of sight in the heavy mist. For perhaps two hours this game of hide and seek went on until I finally broke out onto an open slope. At that moment the fog lifted a bit and I looked down hill to suddenly spot tho buck with magnificent antlers as he stepped out from behind a willow clump. He was about two hundred yards away, an easy shot, but in rny ex- citement something happened and I miss- ed him clean. A moment later he was gone In great bounds over a swell of the hill- side. Then the fog came down again and I noticed It was getting dark. I had been out since daylight that morning awl was tired and hungry, as well as being soaking wet to the knees. What bothered me most was the sudden realization that I hadn't tha slightest Idea which direction to take to reach the Kaddlehorse I had tied up or. find- ing the buck track. For several minutes I stood ix.-rfectly still trying to concentrate on landmarks, but it was no use. They were all around me, but completely hid- den In the gloomy fog. I could stay whero I was, build a Tire and wait for morning, or I could try to backtrack myself lo tho dark feeling for my trail with my hands about as low in my mind as I have ever been, when somewhere ahead I heard my horse blow through hLs nose and jingle his bit. It was about the most welcome sound I have ever heard. It was wonder- ful to climb into the saddle and feel him move happily out in the direction of home. FJut it midnight when I finally sat down in dry clothes (o hungrily attack a bowl of hot soup, Next morning it bright and clear when f back (o try to pick up the trail of the buck again. When I came to the place where f had tied my horse to an aspen the previous flay, I could sec my tracks thru hillside where I had shot at the buck and they were barely a quarter mile away. I must have three or four miles to reach my horse. Losing one's direction is hiuniliating and no fun. Many people have panicked anrf died when they found themselves lost. Some have thrown away equipment and clothing while running hopelessly In circles, finally dropping from exhaustion and shock, some- times within reach of shelfer and food. Tf onr: a gun, dry matches, a compass and knifo, he can live indef- initely in wild country if he just keeps cool and uses his head. Even without any of this there is no for A man can live a long time on just With just matches arxl a one can build a .shf-lt'T and a Eire, ami then wait till .searchers corne. still boiling. A series of explosions, fires and contamination incidents caused the AEC to commission a study of its waste disposal prac- tices. The report was suppress- ed until Senator Frank Church of neighboring Idaho recently forced its release. The astonish- ing laxity revealed, obliged tho AEC to reassess its entire oper- ation here. Now closed down reactors line the Columbia Illver like a row of cemented over Mayan tombs. One author of the report, says Senator Church, charges that a nuclear chain reaction in Ihe buried wastes could set off a mud volcano explosion. It might spew lethal radioactive steam as far as the Canadian border. Efficiency NEA service T.IANFORD, Washington lions of gallons of radioactive Tliis coast is wastes were poured into bot- nuclear country. Bright new tomless trenches or under- power domes, reliant on cooling ground storage tanks, some of It Pacific waters for their safety, are rising along its craggy western shores. They are the foreninncrr, of President Rich- ard Nixon's grand design to beat America's energy famine, which recently browned out cit- ies from Now York to Los Angeles. Today there are 22 atomic plants in the U.S., with J04 more on order or under construction. By the end if the century there may dotted across the land. Yet the massive switch from fossil fuel to nuclear power is now being made an election issue by a challenging array of conservationist groups: Con- cerned Scientists, committees for nuclear responsibility, peo- ple's lobbies, Mothers for Peace and many more. Warnings from authorities such as Nobel laureate Linus Pauling and Dr. Edward Teller "father" of the hydrogen bornb, have led to a demand to halt all nuclear construction for five years. Alaska's Senator Mike (Iravel has introduced a bill '.o this effect in Congress. He claims no thorough investiga- tion of the hazards has ever been made. "Experts fli.sagrce about the extent of plutoninm's danger" he told mo recently. "About its cancer causing properties and genetic effects. The risk of accident is equally unknown. We do know that some plants are being located near major earthquake faults, and that one catastrophic accident could dev- astate- a city or part of a state, leaving iro.OOO dead." Epitomizing America's nuc- lear pollution threat in this chill corner of the Pacific south- west is llanfoi'd, a cornpnny town for the Atomio Energy Commission's nearby mile reservation, ft nrnviiles jobs for local people.. Tills is America's nuclear garbage dump, the burial ground for "hot" atomic wastes brought from reactors miles away. Tt v-vis created 27 years ago, when ,2Wi people were forcibly evacuated to way for' (be plutrmium reactors used to build America's atomic arsenal. Mil- More poisonous waste is being shipped to Hanford all the time. When a lorry spilt licjuid for a mile along a roatl, the AEC paved It over, claiming that the radiation thus contained. Plutonium has a half-life of years: how often will iho road be repavcd? The Hanford reservation Is ringed by barbed wire, notices warn: "Keep out Radiation Zone." Steady leakage from trenches has made tho Colum- bia River the world's most rad- ioactive stretch of writer. In tho 300 miles from Hanford to tho Pacific swimmers aro warned that they may he ex- posed to 10 times the permis- sible amount of radiation. Rad- ioactive isotopes have been found in fish, ducks and oysters in Ihf: estuary. Now Hanford Is trying to down its 66 million gallorfi of waste into solid cake. may be shot, some If a plant, through a series o[ reactor out of control and accidents compounded by mul- radioactive iodine escaped into tiple failures in cut-off systems, the containment area. Three lost its cooling water supply, months were needed to repair then tho uranium core could the damage, but the plant's owners, saying that the public was not exposed lo radiation, beat up U> degrees within minutes and burst its protec- tive coverings. Tons of molten Ktcol and uranium would plunge through the container floor and burn into the earth, "It wouldn't quite reach expcrU say. "But H would go a long way down." The reactor itself could easily build up the radioactive equiva- lent of a Hiroshima tomb which, Instead of exploding into thft stratosphere would send a cloud of deadly gas into the country- side. -Sti'll more douWs revolve around the new "fast breeder" reactors which use liquid sodi- um as a coolant. The Concerned S c I c nt I s t s say there have been many close calls. One serious incident oc- curred In 1970 at an Illinois refused to admit that there was an accident. The "Incident" ref 1 ec IB n frightening arrogance in Amer- ica's nuclear hierarchy. Power- ful financial interests are In- volved in Hio build-up and hun- dreds of millions of dollars havo already boon awarded In con- tracts for the ftreat nuclear s w 11 c h. But conservationist forces, arguing that other sources exist Audll tlurrau of Clrcufariont CLEO W, MOWERS, Editor Pulilhhor THOMAS H- ADAMS, Wrinngcr DOTI PILLING WILLIAM HAY Mnnaorng Editor Editor ROY F 'AILES DOUGl fti K. VMLKEW Manager h'tlH'i'iM Edllcc "THE HERAID SERVES THE SOUTH" ;