Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 6, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Friday, 6, 1974 EDITORIALS For the children's sake Is Confederation becoming unstuck? City Council is taking one more step towards making Lethbridge as sterile as an operating room, and as dreary. The proposed tightening of the anti dog bylaw certainly is a move in the Orwellian direction. The present bylaw says it is illegal for a dog to be off its owner's premises un- less it is on a leash or is under the control of a competent person an adult.) The only tolerable thing about it is that no serious effort is being made to enforce it, in part because of the difficul- ty of defining "under control." Apparently that is what bothers Alderman Tarleck. He can't tolerate the thought of freedom for dogs, so at his urging City Council is prepared to remove the "under control" section. So as it is being amended, the new bylaw will make it an offence (first time second time third time to let a dog off the owner's property unless it is on a leash. If this bylaw is to be en- forced (and if it isn't, it shouldn't be then it will effectively eliminate most of the city's dog pop- ulation. At the very least, never again will a dog be able to run in Lethbridge. And the consequence of that is that life will be less fun for the city's children. When all the other advantages of country living are gone and most of the other op- portunities for spontaneous unorganized childhood pleasures removed, one of the most pleasant sights in residential Lethbridge is the neighborhood pre schoolers playing with the neighborhood dog, and the family pet running to meet the kids returning from school. But now all that will be illegal. This is a symptom. If children can't play with dogs, they'll have more time and temptation to play with cigarettes or throw bottles or swipe bicycles or cars. Children need dogs, not necessarily their own. Old people find life more fun if there's a dog around. Dogs add a whole new dimension to city living. We plead for more understanding on City Council for dogs. Not for the sake of the dogs, because if really necessary all of them can be destroyed, but for the sake of the people, especially the children. Some people would disagree, but then some people would sooner there weren't any children in Lethbridge either. Dogs, with responsible owners and reasonable regulations, make this a richer city. Brick-bats and baseball bats Contributions from the Seafarers' International Union to the election cam- paigns of at least two Liberal cabinet ministers are taking the attention of the House of Commons, the RCMP. provin- cial attorneys general and the public. It is important that the real issues be sorted out. Historically the two "old-line" parties, Liberals and Conservatives, have been financed in considerable part by business interests. This is natural, since both are nominally dedicated to free enterprise, and business is almost synonymous with free enterprise. At the same time the NDP and its predecessor the CCF have been financed in considerable part by labor unions, which is natural since union leadership often considers itself the opponent of business, and the NDP is suspicious of free enterprise However both the Conservative and Liberal parties have been getting a sub- stantial trade union vote, and it is a healthy sign that both should be offered financial support by unions. That makes for a better balance in their financing. The fuss comes from the fact that both, especially the Liberals, took contributions from this particular union. The SIU came into Canada at the invita- tion of the Liberal government soon after the war, and was encouraged to clean out and replace the Communist led Cana- dian Seamen's Union which was doing all sorts of mischief. But the SIU used baseball bats to do it, and its leader, Hal Banks, was not much better than a thug and a goon. Since then there is evidence that the Liberal government has not dealt as firmly with the SIU as it should have. Violence was the SIU way of operating for many years, but of late the situation is much improved. The Liberal party should not be palsy- walsy with the SIU. But surely neither the party nor the ministers and MPs in- volved, either Liberal or Conservative, would sell itself for one or more contributions. Dr. Morton Shulman, NDP member of the Ontario legislature, raised the matter. It was worth raising, but unless he has evidence of bribery or corruption, it has already been sufficiently dis- cussed- The real issue is not the donations but integrity in the trade union movement and government attitudes toward unworthy unionism. THE CASSEROLE Canada's hog population, both for market and for breeding, was up about two per cent in Eastern Canada this fall (over a year down about nine per cent in the West. Farrowings in early 1975 are expected to be down a bit in the East, a lot in the West The least mention of TV's influence on con- duct will evoke all sorts of learned argument and impassioned oratory about freedom of expression, artistic license and the problems of defining a corrupting influence Perhaps it isn't really that complicated. Maybe it's the way entertainer Danny Thomas puts it, when he says, "The immorality that's overtaking the nation doesn't need the help of TV." There's still a little dissension in our mighty neighbor to the south, but surely not enough to justify the Edmonton Journal News Service reporting "a co ordmated United States American" effort to deal with a smuggling problem. ERIC NICOL Euphemistically speaking "No work I told my Remington portable. "I'm going to press my demands by holding an all-day study session." "Press your demands for what9" asked the portable "I'll think of I said "You're just looking for an excuse to goof off the job." "Not at I said. "The all-day study ses- sion is something held by people in many respected occupations. Teachers hold all-day study sessions." "The study session is just a polite name for an illegal snapped the old Remington. (My typewriter is getting a bit long in the touch It doesn't understand the subtleties of the labor movement in today's war with management.) I said. "An illegal strike is when the employees not only refuse to go to work but go to the beer parlor and make rude gestures in the general direction of in- dustry I took my reading glasses from their case, cleaned them studiously and returned them to the case, saying: "The study session is an altogether different matter. It is the union worker's God-given right to join in a session of study, if the spirit moves him. It is like the right to go to the bathroom, only longer." "Who do you think you're said Rem. "Certainly not the children They're not fooled by high-falutin' words like 'study session.' "The study session is the right of all generations. School children hold study sessions. The only difference is that they hold them at McDonald's." "A travesty on the true fumed my old friend. "Teachers hold an all-day study session that adds 24 hours to the ig- norance of their students Firemen hold a study session while the heart of the city goes up in flames. Policemen hold a study session that permits thieves to mug old ladies in broad daylight. Much more of these study sessions, and man will study his way right back into the trees." Emotional character, my portable. Gets carried away by his own shift lever I said "You flip your lid immoderately, sir. I see no serious harm in a little widespread anarchy. If there were, I'm sure that someone would have told us The government knows how to deal with people who engage in an illegal strike." "It gives them a bigger wage increase than anybody spluttered the machine. "Exactly." "The person who respects the law is penalized financially." "Let s not condemn I said. "Maybe he comes from an unbroken home." Ignoring the apoplectic noises issuing from my desk, I leaned back into my easy chair, put my feet up on the hassock, and began my all-day study session by opening an educational journal and studying the gatefold. "Haven't called out old Rem, "forgotten something? In other trades they can have a study session and still draw their pay. If you don't write, you don't eat." Stunned, I adjourned the study session and sulked back to my desk. As I cranked a piece of copy paper into the wordy little brute I was sure that John Diefenbaker never intended to leave it out of the Canadian Bill of Rights the right of the individual to life, liberty and the all-day study session. By Richard Gwyn, Toronto Star commentator Canadians hate to make choices. Our instinct is to compromise, to find a rough- and-ready middle between the extremes that, if it leaves no one ecstatic, at least leaves no one mad and no one humiliated Soon we will be facing a choice hard to dodge. The swing of the pendulum of power has reached the point where, in essence, each province wants the "special status" once demanded by Quebec alone. Canada could, and by most signs will, evolve into a common market com- posed of 10 quasi indepen- dent states, or we may re- main a confederation of 10 provinces regulated by an effective national government One way to see what's hap- pening is to look at long-term trends. Provincial budgets are growing faster than Ottawa is, and today are as large in total; Ontario's budget alone is as big as that of the entire federal government as recent- ly as eight years ago. A second, more powerful "perspective is provided by a listing of the principle dis- putes that now divide Ottawa and the provinces: taxation. Ex- cept in the short-term, the debate isn't about how much each government should collect of oil and gas revenues. It's about principle. Premier Alan Blakeney of Saskatchewan, al- ways the clearest and most precise exponent of provincial intentions, said the other day, "are owned by the provinces. As a matter of principle, the provinces should get every- thing." Blakeney, and in a different way Premier Lougheed of Al- berta, argue that all resource revenues belong to the prov- inces in which those resources are found; any revenues which go to the federal government or to provinces without resources is a matter for the producing provinces to decide. "We are in the position of is how Quebec Premier Bourassa describes Quebec's plans to develop a enriched uranium plant for export to France. Ottawa's role, he said in an interview with the Paris newspaper Le Monde, "is that of a customs official." Bourassa here is only repeating, in a different form, the argument advanced earlier by British Columbia that it should appoint its own representatives to Canada's delegation to the next General Agreement of Trade and Tariff (GATT) negotiations. Each province wants to be master of its own trade house. Quebec's demands for what amount to virtually exclusive jurisdic- tion over broadcasting are Premier Bourassa said the other day. The ambitions of other In an all too rare example of ignoring bureaucratic procedure in the interest of common sense, the Unemployment Insurance Commission office in St. Jerome, Quebec, has agreed to make payments to 100 millworkers who will be working without wages for the next seven weeks, in an effort to keep the plant that employs them from folding up entirely "I do so much enjoy taking the dog out for a controlled provinces vary; few, though, can afford to be far behind. Quebec must control com- munications, says Bourassa, because of her need for "cultural sovereignty." Other provinces don't use such language; but their jurisdic- tional claims add to resource sovereignty, or to trade sovereignty. Prime Minister Trudeau al- ways is at his best, not when he has to set a goal for others to follow, but when he is chal- lenged In the Commons last week, Trudeau reached his best form since the election. Trudeau aimed at two tar- gets, and he hit both. First, Trudeau demolished Lougheed's claim that Ottawa gave him no warning that it would move to protect the fed- eral share of resource reve- nues. Trudeau's was masterful, and it was one Lougheed will be hard put to answer. Second, Trudeau made an effective reply to those in a recent column, for instance who have criticized him for failing to provide leadership. Spe- cifically he denied that by leadership he means no more than consensus. Rather, he defined consensus as a means to a goal: "The federal government must take' the lead in bringing together com- peting interests...If we want stability we must pay for it...We can succeed only if all the power groups in our na- tional community are willing to scale down their demands." At a moment when Con- federation is on the turn, Trudeau thus re-asserted his claim to personal leadership and drew a line beyond which he will not allow the provinces to cross. The next step, provocative or con- ciliatory, is up to the provinces. As Trudeau put it, "The spirit of equitable com- promise among differing in- terests is that glue which holds us together." If that spirit among the provinces is lacking, Confederation as we know it will come unstuck It's also the choice of Canadians whether they want that to happen. America's failing gods damage self-confidence By C. L. Sulzberger, New York Times commentator PARIS I have recently been struck by the number of Europeans who profess puzzlement at American gloom about the world economic situation and who argue that the United States is a strong super-power richly endowed with resources, which has no logical reason for taking such a pessimistic Europe, they insist, would be far more justified in assuming attitudes even more negative than is actually the case The argument advanced by highly placed individuals who are personally ac- quainted with the U.S A. is that the United States is still a paradise when compared with this continent which at present, is deeply concerned about its dependence on foreign energy sources, the inflationary impact of huge petroleum bills, a gathering wave of strikes and a lapse into political listlessness. Yet, despite these generally acknowledged factors, people over here insist they are less depressed in the long run than Americans are rapidly becoming. Why, they inquire, should so vast an economy as the United States' which depends to such a relatively small degree on international commerce be mere nervous than the area of the Common Market which is driven by disputes and almost wholly dependent on foreign trade in order to sur- vive' It is insistently repeated that the American energy pic- ture is far brighter than Europe's that the U.S. has immense natural wealth and requires only minimal dis- cipline to regain its self suf- ficiency that its manufac- turing capacity is vibrant that striking gains have been made in easing racial strains which threatened the social fabric that our university campuses are again tranquil and that, thanks to steady government pressure, the ghastly drug menace has been reduced. The answer to Europeans is not as neat and logical as they would prefer. To begin with, although we are all democracies with varying emphasis and particular idiosyncrasies of method, a gap in understanding splits the Atlantic. West Germany is by nature more disciplined than America France has a. greater tradition of professional public servants who emerge from the grandes ecoles, especially the relative- ly new national school of ad- ministration, and spend their lives in the civil service or politics. There is little comprehen- sion of what often seems to LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The great North American sin Re The editorial, Limiting the Standard of Living Dec. 2, the writer is very convincing, the West is not where it is because of historical luck However, the writer is (as aren't we all) practising that great North American sin, EXCESS We are not merely affluent as he seems to suggest, we are outrageously wasteful. I cannot see how limiting our more offensive excesses can possibly force us to "forego years of life expec- tancy" or contribute to "a rise in the infant mortality rate." Our standard of living can take an enormous cut before those two areas need be affected If we were forced to cut down our intake of food to what we physically need, par- ticularly our consumption of grain-fed beef, perhaps as a nation we would cease to be so grossly and offensively obese. Western men would no longer be the victims of heart dis- ease in which obesity (among other factors) plays so large a part If we were forced back onto our own two feet and into a public transport system, we would cease to be so incredibly out of shape Our life expectancy would probably increase! And if we could get out of the rut of change for change's sake, novelty for novelty's sake, new clothes and new cars with each change of season, we could become a society of tru- ly human individuals, rather than the infantile people we are, looking for external stimuli and excitement as soon as we become bored with our last new toy. Undoubtedly, as the writer intimated, Western society was built on hard work, sacrifice and a lot of other outmoded words, but instead of evolving beyond that stage, into a higher form of society where men's mental and spiritual capacities were developed and used to their ut- most, we fell back into a men- tal, moral and physical sloth A chicken in every pot is a far cry from a TV in every living room and one or two cars in every garage We had our chance and we blew it. The West is grasping at straws these days to justify itself and what it has become, but our achievements and our failures will speak for themselves we are not a na- tion of child-eating monsters. So let's not stoop to this form of whitewash. Starving people are starving whether or not their representatives throw lavish cocktail parties. And our children will not die as in- fants if they are born into a home without a television or two cars in the garage. LESLIE LAYERS Lethbridge Europeans a rather slipshod system of choosing American leaders, some of whom have had little other than regional experience. But what is simply not appreciated is the enormous damage to American self- confidence caused by wounds inflicted by Vietnam, our first "lost" war, and by Watergate, which offends the puritan ethic handed down by our forefathers. Scandals and defeats don't seriously disturb experienced, cynical old nations over here. The com- bined stiock to our own il- lusions about ourselves is rarely understood. And when it is contended that the United States is its own market and has slight real need for overseas com: mercial exchanges, Europeans tend to forget how quintessentially important these are to the financing of the free world's defence, on which they as well as we depend. Without the small percentage of U.S. foreign trade Washington's overseas military expenditure would be promptly curtailed. Finally, few of our allies un- derstand that most Americans have been worshipping at the altars of two tin gods for the better part of this century. The Wall Street stock ex- change and the Detroit automobile industry. The Paris Bourse or Renault works are as nothing in com- parison. Their role in France's development is sub- sidiary. But both the U S. gods are now failing. Wall Street has slipped down and down and, although it looks good com- pared to the London shares market, it has sapped a good deal of the normal psy- chological ebullience natural to Americans Detroit is in bed with a serious case of pneumonia automotive plants are laying off workers by the thousands This not only affects the in- dividuals and labor unions in- volved it has strange reper- cussions on the collective national psyche. So the primordial fact remains that Americans are exceedingly discouraged. One has only to look at any day's budget of reports from the mass media to confirm this It may seem odd to Europeans, who are accustomed to living on more of a hand-to-mouth basis and who also feel closer to the front lines of inter- national confrontation. They are disturbed and somehow feel unduly exposed when they hear Americans mouthing a steady diet of gloom. But there are ex- planations for this gloom and it is well for our allies to know what they are. The Lethbridge Herald 504 7m St. S Lethbrldge, Alberta LETHBRIDOC HERALD CO. LTD Proprietors and t Second Oaea Mali Registration No. 0012 GLEO MOWERS, Editor and DON H PILLING DONALD R DORAM Managing Editor Manager ROY F MILES DOUGLAS K WALKER Editorial Editor RO6ERTM FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E BARNETT ButlneM Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"