Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 3, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LtfHSHIDGe HfcHAl D TutsiSay, December 3, 1974 Perspective Canada When statisticians turn their attention to the quality of life it ceases to be an abstract concept and begins to acquire the formalization it needs to become a basis for policy making. Statistics Canada has made a start by publishing what it calls "a statistical portrait of the Canadian people, their ac- tivities, and their environments." This publication, Perspective Canada, is a compendium of social statistics on such diverse subjects as the stock and circula- tion of public libraries, visits to dentists according to age groups, job satisfaction statistics, crowding in households, bilingual information and much, much more. The volume is offered with reser- vations but with the realization that it contains some of the information on which some of the decisions affecting the well being of Canadians should be made. The most interesting point of Perspec- tive Canada, however, is the emphasis in the introduction on two factors, one, that statistics cannot in principle provide direct answers and, two, that an ade- quate network of criteria for quality of life measurements has not yet been es- tablished. For instance, the subtle and subjective ways in which education affects the quality of life has yet to be determined. Is ignorance really bliss? New ways of approaching the allocation of time are now being suggested by economists in order to assess quality factors more clearly While this may seem dry and academic to the layman, it will affect decisions which in turn affect him. There is a growing awareness that it is not the market value of goods and ser- vices but the satisfaction derived from them which reflects social well being. This means some modification of the gross national product. In assessing con- sumption patterns, economists are now beginning to pay attention to unpaid ser- vices by household members. They are also beginning to see the need for ascer- taining who benefits from public expen- ditures. The problems posed to statisticians by environmental concerns are getting increased attention. There is, for in- stance, a need for data on a watershed or ecological system basis and yet since these usually transcend political boun- daries the very act of collecting informa- tion becomes a complex one. Accounting systems have not concerned themselves with environmental costs and yet these are now being recognized as valid ex- penses of doing business and they need some formalized means of quan- tification. What does all this mean to Lethbridge and Alberta? Questions about the quality of life are implicit in the discussions now going on in Lethbridge concerning the city's development. They are implicit in the challenge of the provincial Liberals to the industrial growth plans of the Lougheed administration. Perspective Canada has something to offer to these discussions, not only in the raw data it presents, but also in the guidance it furnishes in evaluating such data and in its non statistical advice concerning new approaches. If Statistics Canada does not yet know how to count many quality of life considerations it at least suggests what some of them are and it promises future assistance. Behind closed doors By Jim Grant, Herald staff writer A community college should not be operated behind closed doors, if for no other reason than it receives almost all of its finan- cial backing from the public purse. Closed door decisions make a mockery of the whole concept of a community college Surely, if it intends to portray itself as a learning centre for the whole community, it must be open and honest with that communi- ty about all its activities and its use of the taxpayers' money to maintain and expand its services to the community. Obviously, the Lethbridge Community College board of governors has not bepn overcome by the com- munity spirit the college has generated through the numerous courses it offers both young and old in all walks of life. The college governors have been gradually making more and more decisions behind clos- ed doors, during the past year, that directly affect the college and the community The open portion of their monthly meeting now appears to be simply a public relations move Are a portion of the meetings open only so the college can't be accused of doing all its business behind closed doors and to provide the press with controlled news releases? They certainly are no longer open to keep the public informed about where its money is be- ing spent. The board of governors should only be dis- cussing personnel matters and certain finan- cial dealings behind closed doors. Any deci- sion made in the closed session should then be reported to the public in the open portion of the meeting immediately following Such is not the situation at LCC. In the October meeting of the board of governors, there were about 25 items on the behind the door agenda compared to 15 on the open meeting agenda. The board discussed future enrolment, nursing aide and dental assistant programs academic upgrading and preparatory programs and the social counselling program, all behind closed doors. In addition, the door was closed for decisions on several aspects of the master plan, meat prices at the college, appointment of two new staff members, increased salary grid for employees, summer employment of staff and payment of instructors for general interest courses. The governors also reviewed the college's audited statement, heard a major report on the apprenticeship program and agreed to meet with the directors of LCC in Great Falls (for what purpose') early this month. Only one or two of the agenda items and possibly one or two of those not mentioned should have qualified for a closed meeting. The direction the governors appear to be taking in their approach to closed meetings is even more disturbing when other trustees of the public's money have taken positive steps to be even more open with the people they serve. Early this year the separate school board agreed to do almost all its business in the open and have been most candid and co operative with the media that takes on the responsibility of dispersing the information to the public. This fall the public school board began holding its closed meetings before its open sessions so it could fully disclose the business that transpired in the behind the doors session. True, the University ot Lethbridge board of governors is still operating behind closed doors there are some in that institution who obviously still believe in the ivor> tower concept of operating a university It may soon become apparent t6 them that the university cannot maintain the position as the sole independent critic of society without tak- ing a little criticism as well. There are some in the university who have wondered out loud why the Southern Alberta public has not supported them in their protest to the government about its financial restric- tions on the university's operating budget How can the U of L governors expect the public to believe additional financial support is needed when it tails to allow the public to view "first hand" where its money is being spent? It is hoped the college board of governors is not making the same mistake as its counter- part across the river by adopting the view of a U of L professor who so carelessly labelled the public "barbarians" in a November meeting. Letters Protecting our rights Regarding the editorial Alberta-Ottawa War (Nov. 29) The Herald creates the im- pression that Premier Lougheed's government's attempt to protect Albertan's rights, with regard to their resources, is some type of legal trickery. The editorials are consis- tent in that the federal government can do no wrong although I wonder how they read in the period from 1957 to 1962. I'm sure no one questions the federal government's responsibility to represent all the citizens in Canada and represent them fairly. This is the philosophy of equalization payments. But surely enough is enough! Do we have an export tax on B.C. lumber going to America, or on hydro electric power exported from Quebec to America? Of course not. And why not? Because the BNA section regarding resources very clearly spells out the reason they are the provinces and are owned by "Arnold, your drinking is going to drive us into the poorhouse." Closing the loopholes By Maurice Western, Herald Ottawa commentator OTTAWA The federal Government seems to have addressed itself to the royalty question in the spirit of a farmer seeking to extirpate a gopher colony. Find the holes, pour down the water and bash the beggars as they seek to es- cape. There is perhaps one impor- tant difference The farmer, following time-honored proce- dures, was not required to coo to the gophers as he went about his lethal work In Ot- tawa nowadays attitudes are more refined, a fact apparent from the pleasing repetition of soothing phrases such as: "We do not seek a confron- tation." Or "the spirit of equitable compromise among differing interests is the glue which holds us together." In the Budget message, policy is enunciated in a general way, in the ways and means motions it is spelled out with precision. One must read the motions to appreciate the zeal and dedication of the Government's gopher-bashing lawyers. The layman inspecting the royalty clauses will be im- pressed with their length and repetitious character. It is known that the gopher is a re- sourceful animal and it was obviously deemed important to plug every possible escape hole. There is something awe-in- spiring in the number of suspi- cions reflected in these para- graphs It would seem ridicu- lous to credit them all to a single individual, even one trained in the work of dealing with fraternal governments. They must represent the collective suspicions of a talented battery of lawyers pondering dire eventualities through night after apprehen- sive night It has been explained many times that the Government has no objection to royalties in the traditional form. The problem is that they have been perverted by erring provinces What then would happen if the provinces reverted to the age of in- nocence9 The answer is that they would still be bashed because the amount to be included in income is carefully defined as "a royalty, tax, rental, levy or otherwise, or as an amount, however described, that may reasonably be regarded as be- ing in lieu of a royalty, tax rental or levy etc etc. Whatever route the critter takes, we've got him. Royalties are usually paid to governments There is suspicion, however, that provinces by one devious method or another may cir- cumvent statesmanship in Ot- tawa. Thus the motions carefully specify by whom the amounts are receivable. First, Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province. Secondly, an agent of Her Majesty. And thirdly, to deter provincial Premiers from other conceivable adventures in moral a corpo- ration, commission or associ- ation that is controlled, directly or indirectly in any manner whatever by Her Ma- jesty in right of Canada or a province or by an agent of Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province." It might be thought, and may have been thought until Budget night, that clauses so admirably drafted closed off every possible door that might conceivably tempt a gopher or provincial Premier. At some point in time, however, it oc- curred to Otto Lang and possibly to other Ministers that there remained one possi- ble outlet inadequately con- sidered by the legal advisers. Mr. Lang moved to repair the omission in his speech dur- ing the Budget debate He ob- served, in a warning passage: "Furthermore, there seems to be an easy assumption that somehow or other we could not or would not tax a Crown corporation operating a business which otherwise would be taxed within a province. Let me say it Is our considered opinion that we could indeed tax a Crown cor- poration operating in any such field." The Minister of Justice, developed his most ingenious theory in this fashion. "This (point) should be accepted by everyone m the House who does not believe that our con- stitution was not specifically aimed at promoting socialism in the provinces. If it were otherwise, every step toward socializing an industry would remove that industry from the federal taxation scene and there would be a clear im- petus toward socialization." It seems to me that it would be rather difficult to demon- strate that the Fathers of Con- federation gave any con- sideration, favorable or un- favorable, to socialism. They did, 'of course, have in mind the Intercolonial, which was a government railway but their interest in lines of steel was not obviously cluttered with considerations which nowadays would be called ideological. The fact remains that the provinces for a very long time have had an obsessive interest in access to tax revenues. Mr. Lang's statement' apparently means that for over a century provincial Premiers have liv- ed with the temptation to scoop up cash in a socialist shovel What has restrained them is the knowledge that Ot- tawa has held in reserve, as the great deterrent, the power of levying taxes on Crown cor- porations. A much simpler explanation might occur to persons un- learned in law. This is that there was no great impetus to socialization in the country because the overwhelming majority of provincial governments since Confedera- tion have been non-Socialist. How impelling was the temp- tation felt by such famous long-termers as Ernest Mann- ing and the late Maurice Duplessis? Mr. Lang went a step farther in his defence of the federal policy on royalties. In his view it is an approach which should discourage provinces contemplating socialization. The problem is that the fed- eral Government, when not deploring socialism, is enthu- siastically out-socializing the socialists. It now appears that the Post Office has been deterred for the moment by the Auditor General from plunging into the retail business. But Petrocan is to be endowed from the outset with power to run service sta- tions if it is so inclined. The Government dedicated to sav- ing us from socialism has some very odd credentials. THE CASSEROLE One of the signs of the decadence and depravity of the times is the fact that circula- tion should be given to such stories as this, which appeared twice in recent reading On his way to an environment meeting Sam pass- ed through an old graveyard. On seeing an open grave he looked in to see a figure amid sheets of music, busy erasing line after line. The figure looked up at Sam and said: "I'm Beethoven. I'm decomposing." the people of those provinces. Unless of course it is Alberta oil then the rules somehow get changed. Very simply put Premier Lougheed has said "Our ex- isting supplies of oil will be gone in the '80s, we must plan for alternate sources of energy and alternate sources of employment for those affected. To do this we must have a reasonable price for our oil and reasonable treat- ment for those companies that find and produce it." In summary, I disagree with the statement that "cooler heads are needed on both sides." The rules were brought in by the federal government after the agree- ment of all and Alberta as well as the other provinces have always abided by them it's the federal authorities that want to change them. I believe now its a matter of standing behind our premier while he is protecting our rights and our children's future. JOHN GOGO Lethbridge Trail ride conflict This past summer I spent three delightful weeks in Alberta. This is the fifth year I have returned, the main attraction being the trail rides organized each year by the Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies. Because of this organization, I have had the pleasure of seeing the more remote areas of the Rockies within Banff National Park. The trail riders have given this Maritimer the opportuni- ty to experience a riding holi- day of unique outdoor activity This is a non-profit organization devoted to the principle aim of exploring and enjoying nature's wilderness areas. These long-established rides, a tradition in Banff National Park since 1923, are now in jeopardy and the Trail Riders need your support. There is continuing pressure to eliminate horse travel from Banff. One ridiculous regulation recently passed by the park officials, as an example of this biased pressure, is that the outfitters have permission to transport horses and supplies by truck, along the fire roads, to the more remote areas. However, they cannot use the same fire road to bus in the riders, thus forcing them to frequent the areas used mainly by hikers, creating an unnecessary conflict. This current conflict over trails and camp sites can be eliminated if permission is granted to use fire roads This last link with western heritage must not cease to ex- ist1 I hope that this letter will urge readers to look into this problem and perhaps interest them enough to participate in one of the rides this summer. JAMES LANIGAN Charlottetown, P.E.I. Appreciated editorial I wish to express my appreciation to the writer of the editorial Iskih-Takimiska, (The Herald, Nov. He or she put into words those feelings that many prairie dwellers have for this beautiful flat land oi ours. Personally my heart never ceases to pump just a little faster as I come out of the mountains to the west of us and catch my first glimpse of the broad expanse of land and sky that is my home. The opportunity to watch storms form and sweep in on us or to go aground us, the ex- citing promise of a warm wind in the cold of the winter as we observe the wind clouds building up on the mountains, the forerunner of a chinook, the inherent desire of wanting to see just a little further over the horizon, all these and many more joys are ours, because we live where we can see. A G EVANS Raymond Misdirected blame With regard to the editorial supporting birth control, I would like to add these questions: How can we be so misdirected as to put the blame of the food shortage of this world present and future on unborn children' Who is responsible for the mess we are in fathers or mothers, grandfathers, great-grand- fathers or Adam and Eve9 There has always been a shor- tage of food and starvation in this world. If the problem is worse now it is not the fault of any child born or unborn, for no matter how many lives we snuff out the situation will not improve because people will not let go, in fact we want more and we have only begun I wonder what price the nation pays for the interest on our charge ac- counts alone? Now one can see who the guilty are, so if anyone should be eliminated it should be the trouble seekers In the meantime let's prevent as many lives as we can. besides it sounds like a good excuse and we can always call for help from some professor. One can also never tell for one of these unborn could have the answer to our problem. That would never do, would it? W. P. A Lethbridge Royalty taxes It appears that the only sure outcome developing from the federal-provincial dispute on the taxation of oil revenues is that I will be paying more for gasoline E. E. RICHARDS Lethbridge "I'd like to report an accident." If longevity in Lethbridge equalled that in the Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, there would be about 23 people in this city at least a century old The U.S S.R. claims the world's longevity records, eight per people are 100 years old. But the figure rises to 24 in (he Soviet Armenian republic, 39 in the Georgian republic and 48 in Azerbaijan. News reports now regularly refer to chairpersons and spokespersons. Help- wanted ads call for yard-persons, draught- persons and the like. Soon there will be person-hole covers in the streets, Per- sondrake the Magician in the comics and those members of the hu-person race who go to church will be solemnly intoning, "A- at the end of each "It" they sing. The letkbridge Herald 504 7th St S Lethbridge. Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO LTD Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mall Registration No 0012 CLEO MOWfcRS, Editor and Publisher DON H PILLING Editor DONALD R DORAM General Manager ROY F MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K WALKER Editorial Page Editor ROBERT M FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E BARNETT Business Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"