Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 26, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saskatchewan hard hit by population drain The future seems bleak By GARRY FAIRBAIRN First of three months between July, 1973 and last April, Saskatchewan's population dropped to from In any other province that might be grim news but for Saskatchewan it represents a radical improvement in the province's fortunes. By comparison, one in 10 of the province's 1966 residents moved away during the sub- sequent five persons leaving the province. A declining birth rate and migration into the province did not balance the drain after 1968 as the population dropped by in the 12 months ending July 1, 1969, in 1969-70, in in 1971-72 and in 1972-73. The exodus involved almost a quarter of the 20-24 age group and almost a fifth of the 25-29 group between 1966 and 1971, eroding the foundations of possible future growth. Particularly susceptible to economic pressures to emi- grate were university gradu- ates and young potential farmers. Dwindle With them went a large por- tion of the business commu- nity, particularly from small towns that lost out in the process of consolidation into the cities. Prof. M. P. Scharf, in a study for the Saskatchewan School Trustees' Association, reported that from 1961 to 1973 the province lost per cent of the total. As other analysts have done, he concluded that currently high farm income may slow the decline but "there is no reason to believe that it will reverse the trend." In June, Statistics Canada issued long-term population forecasts that put Saskatche- wan's population in 2001 at not much more than half the current total. Premier Allan Blakeney at- tacked the forecast, saying it was based on the assumption that emigration will continue at the heavy volume of 1968- 71, when grain surpluses pro- duced drastic drops in agri- cultural income and the coun- try as a whole went through economic problems. "It was based on the worst possible combination of future circumstances, including an assumption that present fed- eral policies towards Western Canada will continue." Reversal The premier contended that provincial policies have slow- ed the population drain and by the year 2000 Saskatchewan might have a population more like 1.3 million "provided pre- sent policies are not under- mined further by Ottawa." Meanwhile, Justice Minister Otto Lang said dur- ing the recent Federal elec- tion campaign that Saskatchewan's provincial governments have been un- able to reverse the trend but enlightened new federal policies will do so. Even amid the current prosperity small towns are ei- ther still declining or remain- ing stable. There are fewer people in the rural areas that make up a large proportion of the small towns' markets. Prof. Schrcf reported that the average rarm size was 550 acres in 1951 and 845 acres in 1972, projecting a farm popu- lation of in 1981 com- pared with the of 1971. In 1951 there were farm operators under 25. Two decades later, there were only "We're not raising any more farmers around said a Morse-area man retir- ing after 49 years' farming, with the his farm go out of the family. "We offered it to our bey, but he would have had to take a big loan and he wasn't in- terested in added his wife. Although the trend to fewer farmers on larger farms con- tinues, municipal officials re- GENERAL FARM Presents The Weather SUNRISE TUESDAY SUNSET H L Pre Lethbridge...... 68 42 Pincher Creek 68 35 Medicine Hat 67 49 .24 Edmonton 59 42 Grande Prairie 58 43 .01 Banff..........56 40 .04 Calgary......... 56 40 Victoria 72 51 Penticton....... 81 58 Prince George 59 46 Kamloops....... 82 56 Vancouver...... 72 55 Saskatoon....... 64 42 Regina 65 49 Winnipeg 78 52 Toronto......... 75 52 Ottawa......... 76 52 Montreal 73 50 St. John's....... 58 48 .15 Halifax......... 74 54 Charlottetown 68 54 .04 Fredericton..... 68 53 Chicago 81 67 New York 86 78 Miami.......... 88 78 .19 Los Angeles ___ 75 63 Las Vegas..... 104 76 FORECAST: Lethbridge regions Today and Tuesday: Mostly sunny. Brisk westerly winds in the afternoon. Highs near 70 both days. Lows 45 to 50. Medicine Hat regions Today: Showers clearing this morning. Mostly sunny this afternoon. Highs 65 to 70. Tuesday: Mostly sunny. Lows near Highs 70 to 75. Calgary regions Today and Tuesday: Mostly sunny in the morning. Cloudy periods in the afternoon. Showers in a few localities in the afternoon and evening. Highs about 65 both days. Lows near 45. Columbia Kootenay region Today, mostly sunny. A few cloudy periods and isolated showers in the Columbia dis- trict this morning. Tuesday, sunny. Highs today mid 70s in the Columbia district and lower 80s in the Kootenays. Lows tonight 45 to 55. Highs Tuesday 80 to 85. MONTANA East of Continental Divide Mostly sunny today and Tuesday. Highs both days 70 to 85. Lows tonight mostly 40s. West of Continental Divide Mostly sunny and continued warm today and Tuesday. Highs in the 80s. Lows tonight 40s. LINDEN POST DRIVERS See the NEW ALL HYDRAULIC DRIVER The most versatile Post Driver Available. GENERAL FARM SUPPLIES Coutts Highway Box 1202 Phone 328-1141 PORTS OF ENTRY opening and closing times: Carway 6 a.m. to 12 midnight; Chief Mountain 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Coutts open 24 hours; Del Bonita 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Kingsgateopen 24 hours; Porthill-Rykerts 7a.m. to 2 a.m.; 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Rooseville 8 a.m. to midnight. (Times in Mountain Daylight Time.) port that the skyrocketing grain prices of last year have brought a handful of young people back to the farm. Came back In Hodgeville Art Thomp- son, secretary-treasurer of the rural municipality of Law- tonia, said one young man came back from Calgary to rent his grandfather's land and another is farming after working in a bank for seven years. In Willow Bunch Francis Therrien, councillor and grain elevator agent, said: "We have a kind of little boom of young people coming back to the farm now. For a long time we didn't have a young farmer in here." His son is interested in farming but the money is not available to help him start. "There's no way you can bor- row unless you don't need it." Nor is there much prospect for rejuvenation of most small towns. Even in Ponteix, a pros- perous town of new cars, ex- pensive houses and modern businesses, Mayor Ted Kouri said, "Our young people are going away." "I don't see anything to make that change. I don't see anything for them to do here." Centralize As the farm population has declined, businesses have cen- tralized. Arcola Mayor Chris Leibel, once a machinery dealer, lists six agencies closed by just one company within 50 miles. The consolidation of people and businesses into cities and a few large towns has made the province increasingly ur- ban, but not enough so to keep expensively-trained uni- versity graduates. "About 160 of us are gradu- ating this year and I would es- timate that no more than 25 will be locating in Saskatche- wan." said Brian Archer, 24- year-old president of the Com- merce Students' Society in Saskatoon. The commerce society gain- ed some local notoriety uver the winter by running a protest advertisement in the local newspaper headed "Sas- katchewan's No. 1 export is still No. 2 export is graduates." The advertisment pro- claimed that "with the pre- sent reputation Saskatche- wan has in the business com- munity there will never be the jobs required to reverse our bleak economic outlook." Opportunities Although he said he would enjoy working in Saskatche- wan, Mr. Archer is a po- tential emigrant. He said he is interested in transportation and looking for a position in the CN or CP Rail systems. The CNR has a substantial operation in Saskatoon but, like so many other com- panies, in CP Rail "Sas- katchewan is one step below the regional power level." Another society member, Randy Barkway, is heading to Edmonton to article with chartered accountants. "I suppose I could have stayed in Saskatoon but being an accounting major and wanting to article, the possi- bilities of passing CA exams are much higher in other places than Saskatchewan.... "It's mainly better ex- perience that people get once they get out and article where there's a little more in- dustry." Gary Burns is one of the minority staying in the prov- ince after graduation, to work in the personnel section of a Saskatoon firm. "At this point in my career I don't think that I'd be giving up anything by staying he said. "On the contrary, I think it would be an added benefit for me probably the cost of living is going to be less here and the wages that I'm paid are comparable to the wages I could get anyplace in Canada." FRAME STYLES From AROUND-THE- WORLD May move But possibly after two to three years he would move to a better job in another part of Canada, where the head of- fices are. It is hard to get a good personnel job in Eastern Canada without experience, he said. In Regina, Marv Mochoruk, president of the student union, provided other examples of graduates who will be lost to the province. "Most of them would like to stay but there's nothing here for them to do." he said. He mentioned that his fiancee is EL RANCHO THE OUTRIDER TAVERN PRESENTS "SOFT and WARM" Monday, August LETHBRIDGE CAREERS MACHINIST OR MACHINE OPERATOR Required for immediate permanent employment. Contact LETHBRIDGE IRON WORKS CO., LTD. 120 1st Ave. S., Lathbridge, Alberta. COSMETICIAN Required by Shoppers Drug Mart in Centre Village Mall. The applicant must be experienced in all phases of retail cosmetic selling A pleasant helpful manner and ability to deal with the general public is a must Position offers excellent wage benefits, and the opportunity through training courses to improve one's knowledge of the cosmetic field Arrange an interview now with cosmetics co-ordmator at Shoppers Drug Man 328-8442 Friday, Aug. 23-30, 1974 Apply in only Protests loss of graduates Brian Archer, president of the Commerce Stu- dents' Society at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, says the province cannot afford feuds between government and business if it is ever to provide enough jobs to keep its graduates at home. RETAIL SALES CLERKS Required by Shoppers Drug Mart in Centre Village Mall Previous sales or cashiering experience would be an asset. Ability to pleasantly and helpfully deal with the public is a must. Position offers excellent wages, benefits, and training. Arrange an interview now with Ernie Hendncks at 328-8442 during week of Aug. Apply in person only. Featuring Jan and Dennis Adult Music at its Finest Supper Hour 5-6 p.m. Nightly IN THE AZTEC LOUNGE Piano and Organ Stylings by the Fantastic studying microbiology. "How many microbiologists do they hire in In another example: "When you've graduated in geology, you've got a choice. You can go to Alberta and get a job with an oil company or stay in Saskatchewan and be un- employed." Political leaders point to a wide range of hopeful a 3.6 per cent 1973 unemploy- ment rate and 5.8 per cent 1973 inflation rate, both among the lowest in Canada, planned ma- jor expansion in iron and steel and timber industries, a 1972- 73 jump in value of manufac- turing shipments, to million from million, greater federal aid and federal promises to adjust freight rates to the benefit of the Prairies. Housing up Housing starts last year to- talled still far" behind the starts in 1967 but a substantial improvement over the 1.743 houses started in the depression year of 1970. The question is whether the province can develop a stable, diversified economic base during current agriculture- based prosperity so that when agriculture takes a downturn the whole province will not follow it. When Finance Minister Wes Robbins introduced a provin- cial spending budget of million this spring, a jump of 24.4 per cent from the pre- vious year, he said such spending runs inflationary risks but oil revenues and general sharp increases in tax revenues because of prosper- ity make it the time to move. "We're at a crossroads in Saskatchewan. We have to, in a sense, go for broke. We have to get some diversification." But it may well be that too many people and too many op- portunities have been lost for Military watched Saskatchewan to regain the dominant position it held among western provinces in 1931. Then, Saskatchewan had residents, about more than today, while Brit- ish Columbia boasted only Alberta had 731.000 and Manitoba, Without successful govern- ment development efforts, said a federal economic analysis prepared for last year's Western Economic Op- portunities Conference, the province's "weak and deterio- rating" position will continue. "Alberta and British Colum- bia appear likely to surge ahead in the '70s and Sas- katchewan will further find it- self on the periphery; more and more a part of a vast eastern hinterland being serv- ed bv the commercial centres of Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary." Next: Small town defies trend. Required Immediately For Modern New Body Shop 2 Auto Body Technicians Tow Truck Driver Painters Helper Contact Dean Harker at College Mercury Sales Ltd. 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