Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 5, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
Jtilunliiy, Doiombm i, 19X0 [HE UTHBKIDGfc HKAIB J.S "Land Use" committees active The Alberta farmer unable to make a living on his land is no longer cbained 1o his investment. Today, he can seek the assistance of the Alberta Depart- ment of Agriculture's farm consolida- tion program. Under this program, the farmer can appeal to one of the 15 farm adjustment committees establish- ed in the province for help in improv- ing his position. The committees, made up of six local farmers and representatives from the provincial Departments of Agriculture, Lands and Forests, and Municipal Affairs, recommend proper action to the government. This may take the form of purchase of the land, with the farmer moved to a more productive area or retrained in a vocation more suitable and desirable for him. It may be recommended that the Department assist the farmer to en- large his holdings to make them a productive unit. Purchased land, if suitable, may be made available to neighboring farmers or, if sub-margin- al, may be retained by the government for (orcslry or recreational purposes. Last year, the farm consolidation program bought 363 parcels of land at a total cost of close to 81 million. Of these, 131 were retained for agricul- tural purposes, the remainder were set aside for watershed and wildlife con- servation, recreation and forestry re- serves. North receives individual attention The square miles that make up northern Alberta, present special problems in the development of their potential. To isolate these problems and to develop solutions, the provin- cial government appointed the North- ern Alberta Development Council. Its six members, two from government and four from the private sector, are in constant contact with happenings and requirements of the area which lies north of the 55th parallel. The Council advises the provincial government on the needs for social and economic development; recommends and pro- vides funds for programs designed lo. fulfill the area's potential. The actual implementation of these projects is undertaken by the government depart- ments to whom the plan is diiected by the N.A.D.C. During the last fiscal year, S3 million were spent for drain- age and flood control, highway and bridge construction, fishery survey, provincial park development, air-strip construction, domestic water and health improvement projects, and hu- man resources development programs. Central control for provincial buying Perhaps the biggest customer for man- ufacturers and supplies throughout Alberta is the provincial government itself, which each year must purchase innumerable items, from paper clips to construction steel. A central control is maintained on provincial buying by the Purchasing Agency of the Provin- cial Treasurer's Department. This agency seeks the right price for commodity purchases by the tender system, which permits suppliers to bid competitively on orders. Quality and service, as well as price, are always carefully considered. If all three arc equal, preference'is given to products manufactured in the province, but no price preference is given to Alberta manufacturers or suppliers. This method ot buying permits the Purchas- ing Agency to make the best use of provincial funds and offers lo all suppliers a fair opportunity to gain the Alberta government as a customer. Printer provides advisory help Bookstores throughout Alberta will soon be displaying a new publication tilled "Fishes of It is a com- panion piece to three previous hooks on the birds, mammals, and wild flow- ers of the province, all of which have been published by the Queen's Printer. Produced as educational material, the books are made available to the public at cost, approximately half the normal commercial price. In addition to this .type of publication, the Queen's Print- er also has for sale copies of all acts and statutes passed in the Alberta leg- islative. This branch of the Provincial Treasur- er's Department provides a practical .printing and advisory service to all areas of government. All printing re- quired for government purposes is placed through the Q.P., which either produces Ihe material with its own facilities, or obtains the assistance of printers throughout the province. Research develops natural resources A plant now under construction in Lethbridge will soon be producing activated carbon from local coal, utilizing a process developed by the Research Council of Alberta. Now, Hie Council, having established procedures for production of this material, is developing other carbons for use in pollution control. The Research Council's programs of development of Alberta's natural resources and of technical assistance to industry have resulted in a number of successful production processes. Perhaps the best known of these are the extraction methods used to sepa- rate oil from the Athabasca Oil Sands, and the development of iron powder from the low-grade iron ore deposits in the Peace River area. Through active research on resource development, assistance to industry on technical and production problems, and long term research programs contracled with pri- vate companies, the Research Council of Alberla contributes greatly to the efficient development and use of Ihe province's natural resources, Computers speed government operation How can a computer increase tin efficiency of Alberta's highways system? It can provide immediala solutions to problems of highway and bridge construction and design, dis- pense drivers' licenses and autornobils registrations with unparalleled efficien- cy and compile demerits for traffic, violators. The provincial government data processing centre does all this and much more. Health and pollution studies and statistics, processing of high school examination results, pre- paration of Improvement District tax notices, forestry studies, engineering problems and many other applicationl are all part of the regular processing load of the three computers currently in use. All government expenditures, currently in excess of one billion dollars yearly, are processed with the equipment keeping a close watch on budget limitations. The largest single user of the Centre, in terms of documents handled, is the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan. Presently, the computers are processing lo doctors' claims every work- ing day resulting in weekly payments approximating In addi- tion, the computers prepare all billings and record all premiums collected for the Plan. The business of government has become so complex and complicat- ed it would be literally impossible for it lo function in its present form without the assistance of the dala processing division of the Provincial Auditor's Office. ALBERTA GOVERNMENT SERVICES MOVE IN MANY DIFFERENT Fat lanlm apply either directly to the Dcpiiumnt coiieerncd or the Mem liomnmcm Publicity Bvrau. ISIS Centennial Building, Ummw.