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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 30, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Diesel tractor is peasants9 hope By RUSSELL OUGHTRED Herald Staff Writer BROOKS Braceros Lauro, Justino, Rodolfo and Higinio earn an hour at Pheasant Valley Farm, 10 miles north of here. They aren't complaing about their wage, though, because the going rate for farm labor at home is a day. Braceros are Mexican migrant workers who strike north in search of better pay. But big money isn't the main attraction for the tour Mexican farmers who recently left their families in Mexico to work at this truck farm operated by the Huber family. Lauro and friends are among 30 Mexicans now working for an hour plus accommodation on southern Alberta farms in a trial import labor scheme underwritten by members of the province's fresh vegetable commission. The four say they already know how they will spend the money they earn during their 8-month visit. Speaking through interpreter Mark Huber, who learned Spanish during a two-year LDS mission in Chile, the foursome say wages take a back seat to the opportunity they enjoy to learn Canadian farming methods. They plan to buy a small diesel tractor with the they hope to take home. But a tractor isn't very useful un- less you know how to run it. Their Canadian jobs, they say, will give them the training they need to mechanize the 20-acre farms they operate just east of Mexico City. Lauro de la Cruz. 31. and his 27- year-old brother Higinio raise domestic livestock and grow corn, tomatoes and red peppers on 20 acres of land given the de la Cruz family by the Mexican state of Puebia. Rodolfo Anzures and Justino Morales, both 31, operate sub- sistence farms and grow cash crops near the de la Cruz family. They sell their vegetables in the government-run farmers' markets, or transporting their produce in two 1968 Chevrolet trucks. They are proud of their trucks, claiming they have worked since boys to own them. For Lauro, Higinio, Justino and Rodolfo, the trip to Canada is an education opportunity not to be mis- sed. With grade six schooling, or none can attend technical school to learn farming. Coming to Canada to earn money while they learn our farming techni- ques is like being paid to go to school, they say. Being paid to go to school is not as common south of the Rio Grande as it is north of the 49th parallel. Some farm machinery is available to Puebia farmers, but they must know how to operate power machinery -before they are loaned tractors. The four men say their Canadian employer will give them a "recommendation" when they leave Canada to document their newly-learned skills down south. After a plateful of canned vegetable soup well-laced with hot chillies and potato sandwiches, the lour return to their work in the Huber's fields. The short, wiry workers are ob- viously not new to manual labor. They trade jokes and laugh as they work swiftly in the midday heat which is cool by Mexican standards. Although the four workers are peasants by Canadian standards, their position in Mexican society is comparable with that of Canadian ranchers who own a quarter-section of land. The Lethbttdge Herald Second Section Lethbridge, Alberta, Friday, August 30.1974 Pages 15-28 Huge grain gondolas tear up railroads r Workers not cheap Hard workers By TERRY McDONALD Herald Staff Writer The 100-ton grain-carrying hopper cars purchased in 1972 by the federal government are damaging Canada's railway tracks to such an extent as to cast doubts on the economics of their use. The Herald has learned. Two thousand of the huge cars have ex- tracted such a heavy toll from the tracks that portions of several lines now require rebuilding, a Canadian Transport Commis- sion official said in Calgary this week. C. E. Gowan, a CTC rail economic analysis expert, made his comments at a grain tran- sportation seminar held at the University of Calgary. It's been just over a month since Otto Lang, minister responsible for the Canadian wheat board, announced the government had contracted to buy another of the 100-ton steel hopper cars and lighter 90-ton aluminum hopper cars. Mr. Gowan indicated in Calgary the damage done to tracks by the 100-ton cars now in operation amounted to millions of dollars a year. Mr. Gowan told the seminar, which was closed to the public and the press, that the big cars were originally purchased because they brought several efficiencies to the grain tran- sportation system. "Initially 'it appeared that these big cars would solve many railway the text of his address to the seminar says. "When studded snow tires were first introduced there were numerous advantages cited. In time it became apparent that these tires were causing millions of dollars of At a seat, flying in Mex- ican workers isn't the cheapest way to hire workers. "But no one around here wants to work." complains Mark Huber. Those who do work, he adds, don't stay at the job long enough to make it worthwhile for employers. Mark places some of the blame with unemployment in- surance for paying people not to work at jobs they don't like. The Huber farm is one of 15 vegetable and potato farms that have imported workers from Mexico. Like other farmers, the Hubers pay their help an hour and provide accommodation. Their workers can stay here for eight months under Manpower and Immigration permits. If the four workers stay the ex- pected eight months, the Hubers will also pay them return air fares. The import labor scheme, organized by the Alberta Fresh Vegetable Commission. is modelled after a similar program which has supplied Ontario farms with workers from the Caribbean for five vears. were once part of the roof o'f the root shed. He is learning to operate the type of tractor he hopes to buy at home. Waterton plan to be laid by this time next year Last Indian fight to be recognized The last Indian battle in the river valley west of the city will receive national recogni- tion Sept. 6 when a special monument provided by the National Historical Parks and Sites Board is unveiled in West Lethbridge. The one-hour program, one half a mile north of the University of Lethbridge on University Drive, will feature Indian, government, historical, religious and educational representatives. Local historian Alex Johnston will provide back- ground about the last In- dian battle following remarks by Alberta Lieutenant Gover- nor Ralph Steinhauer. Len Marchand (Lib Kamloops) will unveil the pla- que which will be dedicated by Father Tony Duhaime of St. Mary Mission on the Blood In- dian Reserve. About 130 members of the Lethbridge Collegiate In- stitute band will provide music for 110 members of Hamilton Junior High School singers. Invited guests for the event include the chiefs from the Blood. Blackfoot and Peigan reserves, Lethbridge MLA Dick Greunwald, Chief Justice L. S. Turcotte, RCMP Assistant Commissioner V. M. Seppala and James Oshiro, chancellor of the Ityiversity of Lethbridge. WATERTON A Parks Canada townsite planner Thursday night told 60 merchants, tourists and cot- tagers that this townsite should have a master develop- ment plan by this time next year. After meetings with town merchants. Parks Canada will show Waterton residents the tentative plan, Al Lubkowski said. The tentative plan will also be presented this fall to park users living in Lethbridge and other com- munities outside the national park. "By next spring we'll be presenting it to Ottawa hopefully by summer we'll have a he said. A master plan is needed, he said, because the 175-acre town offers little room for redevelopment. Planner Lubkowski gave the meeting, the llth in a series, his own appraisal of public opinion voiced in previous meetings and expressed in questionnaires by four different groups. Opinions voiced at Thursday night's meeting ranged from "no power boats on the lake" to "expand the townsite." One man described a film screened by Lubkowski as "a lot of propaganda from conservationists and ecologists." And a woman, who said she was a leaseholder at the park, said everyone in Alberta should have a summer cottage in the mountains. "Everyone in On- tario has a she argued. Its part of "our heritage as Albertans" to be able to enjoy the mountains, she said. After giving his findings to the group, evenly split among park visitors, business people .and cottagers, Lubkowski said the tentative and master plans may create some hard feelings. But residents have been able to talk about their differences in what he called an "air of positiveness." "Frictions can be resolved" he promised. "At least now there's a lot of people ex- pecting a plan." One resident urged the planner to "clean up some of the mess before we make a mess somewhere else." Agreed Lubkowski: "You can't have pie-in-the-sky planning if there's crap on the floor." Results of questionnaires circulated among merchants, tourists, cottagers and park employees were as varied as the comments which popped up at Thursday night's meeting: reported no major beefs. Some complain- ed about lack of parking at the marina, others said summer cottages should be discourag- ed in future; -MERCHANTS had not returned their ques- tionnaires, but will meet next month with Lubkowski; -PARK EMPLOYEES ask- ed private summer cottages be banned, but only 10 ques- tionnaires were submitted by 70 employees; had lots to say. Some asked that the fish hatchery either be abandoned or be run properly. Most leaseholders said the dance hall could be better utilized. Most asked fast-food outlets be restricted to control litter. And many requested a place for rainy-day recreation. damage each year to the highway network. "Unfortunately, the 100-ton car is ex- tracting a similar heavy toll from this country's rail network." He said he had recently attended an American railroad seminar that was devoted entirely to the problems related to the big cars. "Whereas wheel changes and other car repairs are required more frequently that either the car manufacturers or the railroads had originally anticipated, the most serious and by far the most costly damage is being inflicted on the track structure he said in Calgary. "The life of rails and cross ties have been drastically reduced and the roadbed of por- tions of these lines now requires rebuilding." He said so far no railway cost analysis department has been able to determine the exact costs related to the operation of the big cars but "the evidence already available casts serious doubts on the economics of the big cars." Mr. Gowan said it has been estimated that it would cost about per mile to up- grade Prairie railway branch lines to where they could handle the 100-ton cars. The 90-ton aluminium cars Mr. Lang ordered last month will be capable of running on many branch lines too light for the 100-ton steel cars, Mr. Gowan said. The cars ordered by Mr. Lang last month will be delivered beginning in late 1975. Most of the cars are expected to be in service for the start of the 1976-77 crop year, which begins Aug. 1. 1976. Total cost of the new cars was to be about million. Separate courthouse plan is outlined By KEN ROBERTS Herald Staff Writer A new provincial courthouse will be built in Lethbridge following the completion of the Kirby report, Alberta's attorney-general announced in Lethbridge Thursday. Merv Leitch told The Herald it had originally been planned to have new court facilities built inside the new downtown provincial govern- ment building. Construction on the building, to be located at 5th Avenue and 4th Street South, is scheduled to begin this fall. However, his department has received a request from Lethbridge provincial judges to have court facilities separate from other provin- cial government offices. The judges thought it would be better to have separate facilities and his department agreed with them, Mr. Leitch said. Plans for the new courthouse will not be made until the Kirby report is com- pleted. This is because the Kirby report will probably make many suggestions that may be pertinent to the building of the courthouse, he said. (The Kirby report is a study being made of the provincial judiciary Mr. Leitch said the report would be ready within the next year. He was in Lethbridge Wednesday and Thursday meeting with local people and officials as part of the government's policy of bring- ing government to the people. Lethbridge Provincial Judge A. H. Elford told The Herald Thursday that although the Kirby Commis- sion has not made recommen- dations it is anticipated the commission will recommend court facilities should be separate from "other arms of government." Taking this into considera- tion Provincial Judges L. W. Hudson, George Lynch- Staunton and Judge Elford recommended to the provin- cial government the proposed Lethbridge court facilities be separate. The judiciary "should not be made to appear as part of the attorney-general's depart- ment. In one sense we are under the attorney- general's department but we are separate. "The courts are doing what they think, not what the attorney-general Provincial Judge Elford said. An accused person coming to court should not think he's coming into another govern- ment office, he added. Mr. Sauer prowls halls to meet his students By JIM GRANT Herald Staff Writer Ken Sauer has spent the last three years running a school he hopes students liked to attend. When he steps down as prin- cipal of the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute Monday to take on a new challenge as superintendent of Medicine Hat public schools, he intends to continue promoting an educational system that is interesting and challenging to students. To Dr. Ken Sauer, the days when a principal was the un- approachable tower of power who administered punishment to students and ordered teachers about are a thing of the past. He never even viewed himself as the great overseer of people while principal of the city's largest high school. The principal, he says, is just part of a group of people that is attempting to meet the needs of students. He thinks his major job as a principal was to act as a liaison officer between the school and the community. "I have always pushed to get parents to know what is happening in the school because the student client at school reflects the type of home life he received." Even though Dr. Sauer made himself available to parents at all times, they may have found it difficult to find him in his office. "I don't spend much time in the office. I spend it in the hallways. It tends to make it easier to communicate with the students." But the hundreds of miles he walked each day in the halls of LCI was not for the purpose of "snoopervising" students or teachers. "I really wanted to know something about as many students as I says Dr. Sauer who claims to have some knowledge about 50 per cent of the more than students attending LCI during the 1973-74 school year. He chuckles when recalling how he surprised students by referring to them by their first name. "It helped make students aware they were more than just a face." Because he is concerned about student attitude toward school. Dr. Sauer is opposed to the development of large high schools, especially those with attendance of over students. A student can be taught and assisted on a more personal basis in a high school with a population under he claims. The perfect high school in the Sauer philosophy would have a student population of between and A school of over students Is able to offer a flex- ible program and a variety of courses, he explains. Today in a city with more than one high school, the at- mosphere and structure often differ slightly between schools. Dr. Sauer prefers to run a semi-structured high school like LCI. The semi-structured school "retains the best of what has been and adds some of the benefits of today." Students who have com- mitted themselves to register- ing at LCI "must fulfill the obligation they have made" to be in the classroom and that is why the school staff "take the trouble" to check attendance, he explains as one of the restrictions of a serrfi- structured school. He also says some students "need someone to make sure they work" and who insist on good work habits. "We make sure the students don't come here to sluff their way through high school and we have never heard that we are too strict from any of Dr. Sauer says of the high school he classifies as be- ing half-way between the old strict traditional school and the more modern liberal high schools in internal structure. "Education is a pretty cheap product that can bought with very little effort." he maintains ;