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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 16, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 IETHBRIDGE HERALD Thursday, December 16, 1971 MiiS Forcing the decision The 50 day tax bill debate ends tomorrow. It could have gone on for- ever if the oppos i t i o n parties hud been willing lo combine to deny the government the right to impose a time limit on the debate. Opposition failure to take advan- tage ot the rule that would have ex- tended the d e b a t e is .significant. There are things the Conservatives don't like in the bill that the New Democrats do, and there are still other things that upset the Social Creditors but do not particularly bother the rest of the opposition. No doubt this division of opinion among the opposition parties and there has been some within the Gov- ernment itself is a mirror of the whole population. It simply points up the obvious truth that the writing of a tax bill that would satisfy every- one is an utter impossibility. Complaints about the termination of the debate are not much more than histrionics. Parliamentarians all know that there is need to curb talk. They find the talk fests so in- tolerable "that faithful attendance in the House is a rarity. The rule by which this tax debate is being ter- minated was agreed to earlier in an attempt to improve Parliament. All parties, then, to a degree share in the responsibilily for the termina- tion of the debate. If the important issues about the tax bill have not been debated this is largely the fault of those who have insisted on wasting time in proce- dural wrangling and repetitious talk. With the certainly of termination of debate facing them, some opposition members have continued to hassle. They would have made a greater im- pression if the lime had been used to raise questions about the unexam- ined parts of the bill. Government House Leader Allan MacKachen pointed out to the oppo- sition that the public had "not been roused to any state of indignation" as a result of the government forc- ing a decision. That does not neces- sarily mean the public approves; it probably indicates an understanding of the inevitability of the action given the circumstances. Defence or expansion? The India Pakistan conflict hasn't yet come to an end, but it is certain that in East Pakistan at least, Mrs. Gandhi has scored a tremendous military victory, as all forecasts ex- pected she would. But the victory is not India's alone. A large propor- tion of the spoils will be inherited by her big. powerful ally Russia. The world is only now beginning to realize the implications of this awe- some "friendship" alliance. The conflict has directed attention away from accelerated Russian pow- er incursion in the Middle-East, where hostilities threaten to break out again at any moment. Reports from a number of "usually reliable sources" tell of a tremendous build- up of the Russian military presence in Egypt. Both Israeli Prime Minis- ter Golda Meir and her foreign sec- retary, Abba Eban, have told the Americans that the arms shipments to Egypt from the U.S.S.R. may in- clude ground-to-ground rockets cap- able of hitting Israel's cities from positions near Cairo. According to these reports, the rockets would be manned by Russian crews. Further, a top Russian general, who previously commanded the Mos- cow air defence system is now com- mander of Egyptian air defence. This confirms the high priority the Rus- sians altach to Ihc defence of Egypt. A huge number of Russian military personnel troops, technological ex- perts, crews for high flying recon- naissance aircraft, plus fighting units whose role is to protect the Sam in- stallations if these would be threat- ened are now stationed in Egypt. What this ail comes clown to is that the Russian build-up in Egypt goes far beyond Egypt's defence needs. Plainly the Soviets are concerned not only with the preservation of Egypt. They want a convenient base lo protect their own naval power in the Mediterranean and to neutralize the U.S. Sixth fleet. This inexorable increase in Russian strength in the Middle East must be one of the questions to be taken up when, and if, a European secur- ity conference gets under way. The purpose of the conference is lo discuss essentially European is- sues, but it appears impossible to talk on this restricted basis. De- tente in Europe cannot be achieved when the Soviets are using North African territory for their own pur- poses, under the guise of protecting Egypt. Mutual and balanced forces reduction in Europe cannot be view- ed in isolation. The Russian politi- cal military victory in India, could very well be repeated in a similar one in the Mediterranean. Such a de- velopment could hardly be viewed with complacency by NATO part- ners, particularly the most vulner- able of and Turkey. li lids is power By Mel Spackman of the major criticisms that we hear about the Alberta teachers is that their association is a power group, too powerful for the trustees to contend with. Obviously, one cannot deny that there is power in the unity of over twenty thousand people engaged in the same pro- cess and working toward common goals. But from where does this power really derive? A look at the internal workings of the organization should give a fairly complete answer. The base of the Alberta Teachers' As- sociation is the teacher, the ordinary class- room teacher, each one a part of a the unit which co-ordinates the activities in n school division, district, or county. From seventy-six locals emanates a pro- vincial organization, mast of the officials being teachers, trained in various fields, some in welfare ,some in professional de- velopment, others in curriculum, or va- rious other fields related to education, al- most all receiving their training through service in the lower strata of the associa- tion. At the head of thus organization is a teacher as president, and two as vice-presi- dents. Essentially, the organization con- sists of either teachers or ex-teachers, al! working to serve education in Alberta. How do they serve? Through services rendered to ether teachers and to educa- tion in general. For example, the organiza- tion provides 17 specialist councils, dedi- cated to the betterment of subject and in- structional areas such as Knglish, early childhood education, social studies, etc. All teachers are urged to join and keep abreast of tlieir subject areas. Publica- tions from these councils, pamphlets, news, methods, courses, all are disseminated to teachers for their (icnisal and digestion, and the work involved is voluntary. Spe- cialist council conventioas are held yearly, attended by teachers on their own lime, U> so-called "holidays." in addition, area conventions, seminars, conferences, workshops, and courses on in- novations and teaching are all part of tho life of the on a voluntary basis. This is the area of professional de- vi'lftpmiMil exported by the teachers of themselves. At present, in-service courses are being organized by many locals and local teachers for then- benefit in teach- ing (lie part of the job. Communications, p.art of the tremendous task of keeping the public informed and in- volved in the affairs of schools is another aspect of the association. Altogether, hun- dreds of thousitnds of words arc written yearly in order to keep education before the public and keep the public abreast of new developments. The teachers involve themselves in com- mittee work with the department of educa- tion on curriculum boards and committees, set standards of discipline, professional re- lations, qualifications and membership, cany on educational research, act with the universities, help in school planning, high school programs, examinations, send representations to government on finance, media, teacher education and certification, teacher aides and pensions. So much has been done that the department of education report contains numerous refer- ences to the contributions of the Alberta Teachers' Association. And, yes, there is also a welfare department that looks after the affairs of the teachers themselves, something they don't and can't expect from anyone else. A great share of the work is voluntary, taking up time on weekends, on holidays, and in summer. -Kaster sees the Annual Representative Assembly where delegates thrash out problems of the ATA, of schools. and of education, fn summer. Hit1 Jianff Conference adds to professional compe- tence. These arc the extra jobs dial teach- ers do, invisible to the public yet in addi- tion to visible classroom and extra- curricular aspects of cdiici'iion. And vho pays (or it. all? If taxes did, the 1'il.iwn would bo feeling a much larger drain on his pocket than he docs now. Teachers pay. Out of each learner's pocket each month comes a payment for bolter education in the province of Alberla. This is in addition lo the gratis work. If this is power, if this constant, united striving by teachers with their money and time and organizalion for the production of qualify education Is the basis of power, I ben wo need more cf it, much from teachers, trustees, and tire public. Carl Roivan Pi _L j TU- I'ni- ted SMi; a sad history of n verses in Smith because the I'.-r.-uujI of '.in- 'ia's k.rp overriding tln-ii' We are M-iliu fcr even greater liy pi'i- ulsnlly adopiim1, a I ij.-'iflt'tl pol- icy in (lie v.ai1 h-rw-Tn India ajid Pakistan both fair- ness and cur cwn national in- terest require an evenhandcd approach. Richard II. is miffed at -Mrs. Indira top American officials r.ve easily irked by the Indians reneral. so the U.S. ha-; taken an prcach Unit is h'j.-UIe to India. We arc thus taking ar.cllior giant step tcnuirri driving (he world's second most count IT deep into th.1 ;s we (Hit lo K.LVpt and much of tho Arab ce makes bad foreign policy Mr. Nixon is clinging lo a piM-Piiuislan palicy tliu U.S. ulrjn In; was vicc- thai policy failed in dozens of ways i.ver ihi1 las' two dcciuies. WKu i was in Pakistan 17 ago, ir.cn like Paul Huffman and Chester Bowles were screaming (hat John Fos- Du.lc.s was foolish to try to Paliislan a key nation in "a Middle defence line