Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 6, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
Thursday, February 6, 1975 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD S Attacking the critical issue of housing By Paul Whitclaw, Herald Washington commentator PAGE FIVE UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. By the end of this century, nearly two-thirds of all mankind will live in cities. Whether they will live in mis- ery and squalor or as contributing members of de- cent communities is still in doubt. It is the purpose of HABITAT, the UN Conference on Human Settlements, to make sure the answer is the right one. The conference is scheduled May 31st through June llth, 1976, on the University of Brit- ish Columbia campus in Van- couver, Canada. The first UN preparatory committee for this conference ended a two- week session here with preliminary recommendaT tions on the priorities to be considered at Vancouver on a political and worldwide level. In Canadian national terms, which are considered among the most fortunate, this prob- lem means that by the year 2000 the country will have to build the equivalent of 50 new cities the size of Halifax, or 14 cities equal to today's Van- couver. On the world scale, it means that in the next quarter of a century more building will be needed to accommodate the world's galloping population growth than has been done in the whole of man's previous history. The machinery for Van- couver has undergone only its first tentative test here. Dur- ing 1975, regional conferences in Tehran, Cairo, Caracas and Geneva will come up with ad- ditional ideas, idiosyncracies and considerations. The UN 56-nation preparatory com- mittee will meet again in August and next January to finalize the conference program. More likely than not, the Vancouver conference will lead to a new, permanent UN machinery on housing, as it did on the environment after the 1972 environmental conference in Stockholm. In Canada, the national committee for HABITAT is headed by Senator Sidney L. Buckwold, a former mayor of Saskatoon. A total Canadian involvement in the Vancouver gambit is indicated by the fact that all provincial premiers and the commissioners of both territories have pledged sup- port to HABITAT. The secretary-general of the conference is a 44-year-old economist from Colombia, Enrique Penalosa. He told a press conference here Friday that the current international economic crisis was "going to help us instead of hurting us." He felt that the major task of the Vancouver conference was to produce a "message of hope" to those who live in anticipation of basic improvements in their dreary lives. "People around the world must know that solutions to their problems are available if political decisions are taken on the international he said. While he agreed that a uni- form solution to the ills of modern living was not possible, Penalosa felt that a "political consensus" was already evolving around a nucleus of identifiable priorities which will be debated at Vancouver. Others around the UN were not so sure. They pointed out that politics and ideologies were likely to enter into the Vancouver considerations. If past patterns here should be followed, and they undoubted- ly will, the 1975 UN General Assembly will decide that African and Arab liberation movements should be invited. But there is likely to be an argument as to which of the several hundred non- governmental (mostly Western) UN-affiliated organ- izations should participate as observers to the conference proper. That argument started with the population conference in Bucharest last August, in- tensified with prepara- tions for the women's con- ference in Mexico City next June, and is likely to sharpen further by the time the UN conference circuit hits Vancouver. Already, Israel must be included in the European regional group because it has been excluded from the Mid- dle East region. Some of the Arab countries started to question the propriety of attendance by unnamed non- governmental organizations which "could not contribute" to this or that subject. Some of them happen to be "Zionist." In order to make room for everybody who wants to contribute or learn at Van- couver, the organizers have decided to hold a "HABITAT forum" in addition to the UN conference. J. W. Macneil, deputy minister of state for urban affairs in Canada who led the Canadian delegation to the just-concluded UN preparatory meeting here, told a press conference that his country had a "strong interest" in such a non- governmental forum. But reflecting perhaps un- certainties due to political opposition from various UN quarters, Macneil said that it has not yet been decided whether this forum will precede or follow the UN conference by one week, or Book Reviews run concurrently with it. The stated objective of the conference is 'to enhance the quality of life in human settle- ments for the present and fu- ture generations of mankind and with priority to the weaker groups." Hungary immediately took exception to this formulation by saying that "in Hungary, deprived masses do not ex- ist." It also injected the concepts of peace and disar- mament into the conference program. It was supported by many others in the claim that the problem of land tenure and land speculation had hindered systematic development of settlements. Zambia chimed in with the theme that the development of man could be furthered by a redistribution of resources. India wanted birth-control technology linked with HABI- TAT. Tanzania frankly admitted that when UN experts talk about "the most deprived they talk about the majority of the Tanzanian people. The facts HABITAT will face in Vancouver are roughly these: Two-thirds of the world's urban population is located in communities still lacking plans for either comprehen- sive development or an ade- quate planning. In many countries where such plans exist, they have not been im- plemented. The city is the catalyst of the modernization process. Urbanization is both a cause and .consequence of development. The traditional range of public services, utilities and welfare services which are taken for granted in the cities of the developed countries are not generally available in the have-not countries, and even less in the rural areas. Lack of finance, infrastructure and skill at all levels contribute to the situation. Slums and squatter settle- ments presently constitute the living environment for at least one-third of the urban popu- lation in all have-not countries, and they are grow- ing at a 15-per-cent annual rate. The global housing shortage worsened during the past dec- few countries at- tained the target of 10 new dwelling units per year per 000 inhabitants. The registered housing deficit increases annually by more than four million units. Co-operative housing has taken root in Egypt, Tunisia and Israel, but has proved less than successful, due to lack of managerial skills, in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and most other developing coun- tries. Thus, the Vancouver confer- ence would seem to have a job of an international agent provocateur. It hopes to per- form the service in six prin- cipal raising the minimum levels of shelter and services; lessening the dis- parities in living conditions; providing guidance for more efficient use of scarce re- sources; securing a fuller and more rewarding use of human resources; improving social and natural environment within human settlements; and facilitating international exchange of know-how and ex- perience. A threat to freedom By Carl Rowan, syndicated commentator WASHINGTON Millions of Americans are surely happy that Boston University has reneged on its proposal to pay former Nixon press secretary Ronald L. Ziegler to give a speech. Some are people who, like the dean of the university's school of public communication, were outraged at the thought of paying that kind of money to hear a man whose solemn official utterances so often became "inoperative." Others are people who know Ziegler and find it impossible to believe that anything coming out of his head would be worth three grand. There isn't much I can say in defence of Ziegler's credibility, character or political judgment, but I must say that I feel a "deep uneasiness about this business of zapping him out as a paid speaker. There is something dis- quieting about that resolution, withdrawing the invitation, which says, "We have no right to condemn Ronald Ziegler, but we do have the right to condemn his fee." There isn't a soul at Boston University or anywhere else who believes that Ziegler was disinvited because his fee was too high. He was disinvited because he was, and is, the mouthpiece of the only American president to be chased out of office as a crook. I confess that my personal experiences dur- ing 23 years of speaking for pay have something to do with my unease over this episode. A Neanderthal trustee of a Califor- nia college who considered me "a liberal menace" tried to block my speech a few years ago by resorting to the devious argu- ment that my fee was too high. The students saw this as a sinister attempt at political cen- sorship and insisted that I speak. I did. Is Ziegler worth Who can say? He was to speak on The Use and Abuse of Power. Few men have seen more questionable uses and reprehensible abuses of power than Ziegler saw in the Nixon-Haldeman- Ehrlichrnan White House. If he had told those Boston University students the truth about those abuses, he'd have earned his fee, and more. But a lot of people are happy Ziegler won't speak because they doubt he can tell that kind of truth. They figure he is more likely to whine some more about how Nixon has been abused, especially by the misuse of the power of the press. So what's wrong with that? Those com- munications students would see how little a man needs to know to become press secretary and then senior adviser to some presidents. That surely is worth something though probably But one thing is clear to anyone in the lec- ture circuit: notoriety is the quality most in demand on college campuses. Were I to write 100 straight columns of unprecedented brilliance, it would mean less in terms of drawing a college audience than if I got myself arrested for smoking pot at a White House dinner while boiterously demanding that President Ford ease marijuana laws. Ziegler has notoriety surely more after that Boston U. fracas than before. And how do you and I presume to put a price on someone else's notoriety? We can't, so we resort to arousing moral in- dignation over "rewarding" someone like Ziegler with a fat lecture fee. But that gambit, repeated enough, leads to tyranny. Shall we say that Angela Davis must be denied speaking fees because some people think her guilty of something, the court ver- dict notwithstanding? Shall we say that TV shows ought not pay Martha Mitchell because she once advocated sending war protesters to Russia? Shall we tell Richard Nixon, Spird Agnew, John Dean and James McCord that they can write books, but receive no royalties, because it would be immoral for them to profit from their wrongdoing? Nonsense. Anyone who wants to buy their books will do so, and they will enrich themselves by telling stories of how they abused the public trust, as well as a few lies about how someone abused them. Poor old Ron Ziegler hasn't been con- victed of anything. I say students are entitled to hear him, and he's entitled to collect whatever fee his agent can negotiate. Berry's World Adapting the church Prejudice in the school system "Wow wasn't seeing that new 'disaster show' better than sitting at home thinking about our delinquent loan "My Parish is Revolting" by Norman Ellis, (Paperjacks, 158 This book is the story of a successful attempt to bring the church to the needs of slum dwellers today. Historic All Saints Church in downtown Toronto was dying as its nor- mal middle class congrega- tion moved to the suburbs. Attempts were made to pep up the same ministry, then close out the church altogether. The author, who is the clergyman, and a group of people concerned with the problems of the slums gradually turned the buildings into a social service centre. The parish hall was turned into a large drop in centre. Church pews were removed and the church itself made into a quieter centre with of- fices for various social workers at the sides. Various groups and activities were started for those of the area. Church services were aimed at the poor and the social mis- fits. There was much involve- ment of a variety of people, from single men on welfare to women with families, the aged, the infirm, alcoholics, people from other lands, the very lonely. All these found a welcome someone to talk with, and often relief from the pressing problems of life. This is the story of a real mission of ministering to the disadvantaged. It meant giv- ing up much of the tradition of the Anglican Church to meet the needs of people. The story is told with great enthusiasm and with the sense of spreading the message to the See. the bght. Wiser's Northern Light One of the smoothest whiskies ever blended in Canada. Church. It is a book for those in the church especially in areas where the traditional ministry is not meeting the needs of the people. DAVE ROGERS Books in brief "The Kidnapping of the President" by Charles Tcmpleton (McClelland Stewart, Ltd. 237 The versatile Canadian, Charles Templeton, has had a varied career as cartoonist, newspaperman, evangelist, magazine editor, politician, radio and TV personality, playwright and author. His wide experience and years of living in U.S.A. have provided him with the background for the writing of his first novel. The Kidnapping of the Presi- dent deals with an exciting and contemporary theme, ap- parently well documented and, to this lay reader at least, entirely too plausible for comfort. Templeton has demonstrated, in this book, that he can add to his many other talents that of being an able storyteller. ELSPETH WALKER "A History of Music for Young People" by John Russell (Clarke, Irwin and Company Limited, 204 Recommended for the grade three level by the Royal Conservatory of Music, John Russell's book is not only for young musicians but for any whose enjoyment of music will be helped by a clearer picture of the over all pattern of musical development. The writer's clear, good humored outline of the major periods and figures in musical history is an exhilarating introduction to the excitement' and satisfaction of music. Working from the premise that dates are not nearly as important to musical history as periods, Mr. Russell thinks in terms of "slabs" of time during which important musical ideas were born. Between each slab there is a pause for recapitulation of the major events. He describes the range and color of the variety of instruments used today and outlines the evolution of the modern symphony orchestra and the role of the conductor. The book, written also around the great composers brings each composer to life in a live- ly thumbnail sketch and his work and contribution to music are evaluated. A must for every serious music student. CHRIS STEWART The pupil grants received by the Immanuel Christian School under the provincial foundation program are only approximately one-third of the amounts received by public and separate school districts in the province. Both public and separate schools get these amounts per pupil registered as a bona fide student. The count is taken in October or late September each year. Today one would like to believe that discrimination has been eliminated from every facet of life. Not so. Our Alberta department of educa- tion still continues to show its inherited tendency to speak out against discrimination but to harbor feelings against total liberation of peoples from discrimination of every kind, shape, or form. It is the same kind of hypocrisy that is even now practised against women. It is a hidden, in- sidious form of dis- Book review By E. S. Vaselenak, local writer criminatory prejudice of the worst kind. Prejudice of this type is like severe chicken pox it can mark a person for life. It is a force that, if prac- tised subtly, can ruin the very fibre of a community. It can and does create suspicion, dis- trust and confusion. When the problem of equalizing taxation of schools was discussed at the meeting of Lethbridge city council on January there crept in questions and examples that showed some members are still prejudiced. It must be eliminated completely from public administrations. The Immanuel Christian School operates under the Alberta School Act, 1970. They staff the school with teachers certified under the Alberta department of education. They follow the Alberta school curriculum to the letter. The similarities end here. They do not receive the same grants per school child. Where the public and separate school adherents have their taxes designated to their school system not so with the Immanuel school, which is one of nine such schools in Alberta. Their taxes are allotted to the public school system. The parents (partly because their lawful taxes are designated to another school system) are forced, by these circumstances and because they are a people dedicated to a Christian education for their offspring, to dig into their pockets and pay as much as per school year for their desire to mould their children in a Christian atmosphere to become good Canadian citizens. What a heritage, these children, when adults, will remember and scorn because of the prejudice and short- term view of a few supposedly enlightened citizens of this questionably up to date community. The merchants of fraud "The Fountain Pen Con- spiracy" by Jonathan Kwitny (Random House of Canada Limited, 328 It's safer and easier to rob with a fountain pen than a gun. Jonathan Kwitny has written an enthralling expose of a small group of confidence men who have stolen millions of dollars from investors and financial institutions. The swindles are so numerous, the amounts of money so enor- mous, that the reader soon gets a feeling of fraud fatigue. Assetless banks, phony mutual funds, worthless land deeds, corporate shells, in- surance frauds, and unholy hanky panky by religious in- stitutions have made criminals wealthy men. As one wades through the mass of sordid details of countless frauds two major facts emerge. First, swindlers are helped in their activities by sloppy business practices, tax dodg- ing antics by large cor- porations, and a peculiar reluctance by business firms to admit they have been swindled. Pride is a very precious thing: people don't want to admit they've been stupid and when their money has vanished they prefer not to discuss the loss. Secondly, legal skulldug- gery, special deals made by the U.S. justice department, and the amazing leniency shown by U.S. judges to criminals makes fraud a very profitable activity. As one bank manager who tried in vain to apprehend a notorious swindler said, "I'm fed up with the whole system, the way the courts operate and the way the attorneys operate." The fancy footwork between law agencies, big business, and swindlers that makes fraud so profitable should make all of us fed up. I'd like to see this book read by our legislators and then have them tell us what they intend to do to protect Canadian citizens from those evil merchants of fraud and chicanery who have such a merry time south of the border. TERRY MORRIS The deprived By Doug Walker Prior to the annual congregational meeting at McKillop United Church pie and coffee were served. I had a piece of pie but no coffee (I don't like the Several pieces of pie were excess so after the meeting I was approached by a lady who said there were seconds in the kitchen for husbands whose wives didn't serve them pie at home. Since it is common knowledge, through these fillers, that Elspeth doesn't make pies it was natural that I should have been invited to the kitchen. It was a little surprising, however, to be joined there by Don Bessie and Al Wadstein.