Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - February 8, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 - THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Thursday, February 8, 7973 Rental advisory board There can be little doubt as to the need for a landlord and tenant ad-vistory board in the City of Lethbridge. A survey undertaken by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics in 1966 indicated that 31 per cent of the residents in this city were renters. Since that time there has been a rapid expansion of rental accommodation with the appearance of new high-rise apartments, duplexes and terraced housing. A more accurate figure on the number of renters in the city at this time suggests closer to 50 per cent, averaging a three per cent per year increase. The number of landlord-tenant disputes seems to be on the increase and occurring with a rather alarming frequency. The kinds of problems which arise tend to be as numerous as the tenants. Problems which are constantly recurring include the non-return of damage deposits to tenants, excessive damage deposits being required (in one instance a $400 deposit was demanded), unreasonable delays in having mechanical and electrical appliances repaired (which the lease indicates are the landlord's responsibility), increase of rent without due notice (90 days in writing), notice of eviction without explanation, landlord entering premises without permission, etc. However, tenants are not the only group experiencing difficulties, the landlords have their fair share of the action. Some tenants can cause extensive and costly damages to an apartment. Has the landlord the right to evict the tenant immediately or does he have to give one month's notice knowing that if he does the apartment may be destroyed even further? One of the most common occurrences of the breaking of a rental contract is when a tenant houses an animal in his apartment. Can the landlord require the tenant to get rid of the animal immediately or must he give one month's notice? At the present time most of the disputes go unresolved for neither the landlord nor the tenant has any recourse to an agency or commission which can mediate in landlord-tenant disputes. The usual solution is that the tenant moves to another accommodation. Constant moving under these kinds of circumstances can cause undue disturbance in terms of a person's home life, his job and, perhaps, his mental health. The proposed landlord and tenant advisory board is long overdue and city council ought not to delay any further in setting it up. Advice and assistance in tenancy matters is only one area where citizens are seeking advice and direction. An increasing complex of government programs, services, red-tape and regulations can bewilder the ordinary citizen, and because of a lack of sound information many individuals can suffer hardship. Perhaps city council, in its wisdom, having admitted the need to establish a landlord and tenant advisory board, will include this function into a broader one, namely, that provided by a citizens' advice bureau. Outlaw handguns The president of the Canadian policemen's association recently proposed a moratorium on the sale of handguns, following the shooting of a third Toronto policeman. He advocated that the moratorium be in effect until the police get control of the situation. Another reason for a moratorium might be to allow time for the government to prepare legislation outlawing handguns permanently. At present it is possible to possess a handgun through a process of permission and registration. Theoretically this restricts such weapons to the responsible, but there are still too many guns around. No good comes of possession of handguns. The protection value of them is grossly exaggerated. In far too many instances a gun kept for protection becomes the instrument of accidental death to someone in the owner's family or circle of friends. They are dangerous things even when restricted to the possession of responsible people because of the emotional storms which can Wow up in the lives of nearly everyone. The argument against prohibition on the grounds that people will somehow manage to get guns is not conclusive. Prohibition achieves more than popular mythology allows. It was for more effective in reducing drunkenness in the case of alcohol, for instance, than is usually conceded. In the case of guns it would reduce the number of them in the hands of all but the most desperate and determined. The notion, imported from the National Rifle Association in the United States,, that an unarmed citizenry is an aid to an ultimate Communist takeover is poppycock. Ordinary people with handguns "hidden" under pillows or in the kitchen cupboard, and untrained in their use, would be no match against an organized takeover at any rate. Guns in such places serve best to blow out the brains of curious children. No doubt there would be cries of outrage from those who manufacture and sell guns if serious consideration was to be given to outlawing them. But the prohibition of sale of a wide variety of products deemed harmful to individuals or to society indicates that the precedent for prohibition is already established. Legislators in the U.S. have been intimidated by a powerful gun lobby from dealing with the gun problem. Maybe Canadian legislators can show that they are made of sterner stuff, and thereby prevent this country from becoming a replica of the violent society to the south. What is a teachers' convention? By Bessie M. Annand Hie Southwest Alberta Teachers' Association's annual convention will be held in Lethbridge on February 22 and 23, 1973. With the current emphasis upon the precise definition of terms, an appropriate question for this time of year might be: "What is a teachers' convention?" Webster defines 'convention' as: "The act of coming together; a meeting; an assembly; an assembly of delegates or representatives for consultation on important concerns, civil, political, or ecclesiastical." Now, one would think that in such an austere professional group as teachers there would be a consensus as to the meaning of such a simple word as 'convention'. But such, I contend, is not the case. Teachers may be divided into two broad categories: (1) administrators, that is, principals, vice-principals, administrative assistants, consultants, directors of various departments, superintendents, department of education personnel, etc.; and (2) regular classroom teachers, that is, the people who are on the firing line where what is really important In education, the development of children's minds, takes place. To administrators 'convention' might mean the Wednesday evening get-together, after which they sample a few of the regular offerings of the convention. For the new classroom teacher, that is, the first or second year teacher, male or female, 'convention' might mean a backache from attending every session very diligently and sitting on uncomfortable chairs. It might also mean a headache from straining every mental muscle while attempting to analyse and digest every word that every speaker says. For more experienced teachers, and hence experienced convention-goers, teach* ers' convention is a time of intellectual renewal through a selective process. First of all, the convention brochure is surveyed to discern the general organization of the convention. Once an over-all view is obtained, the teacher looks for session topics of particular interest of applicability in his or her situation. When the pertinent sessions have been chosen and attended experienced teachers impose their own structure upon each presentation and select from it only the concepts which will broaden or deepen their understanding in that particular area. No attempt is made to absorb everything that is said. Any handouts are picked up for referral at a later time. Experienced convention-goers allow time for perusing the books and materials displays of various publishers. Hence, when they return to their schools they may make better informed, more efficient decisions regarding the ordering of books and other learning materials for their schools and classrooms. Time is also allowed for: (1) thoughtful reflection, so that participation in panel discussions, workshops, and seminars may be made more meaningful through active participation; (2) discussion of various issues and situations with colleagues from various schools and school districts over a large part of southern Alberta so that there is some 'cross-fertilization' resulting in the spreading of some very exciting ideas and (3) socializing, in small groups, or at the convention banquet and dance so that teachers may return home relaxed and refreshed, filled with inspiration and a determination to bring a more humanistic approach to their tasks as directors of learning in their classrooms. Letters A location for old bell ". . . all right then . . . other than inflation and unemployment and energy resources and finances and foreign policy and taxes and bilingualism . . . how are things?" Regarding the disposition of the old bell tower of Central School, I would like to suggest that the only meaningful place for it to be is on or near the site of the school of which it was a part for so many years. It is beautiful in appearance and could become a handsome garden seat similar to the ones in the gardens surrounding the administration building in Banff. Of course its architecture is far superior to the rustic structures there, but it could accommodate quite a number of people just as they do. If placed in an accessible place I am sure it would be enjoyed by many people using the library, and also by tourists. In cities of the United States, it is quite common to find original buildings 100 years old which have historical significance. And there are many of these original buildings in "down town" areas. In Victoria, B.C. the original residence of their first medical doctor is preserved, with many of its original furnishings and some personal possessions of the doctor and his wife. Also under glass is a display of surgical and other instruments which he used in the practice of his profession. Without a past we cannot have a future, so it is time for us to seriously show proper regard and respect, especially for landmarks of our early years, and cease to be hasty in demolishing ^discriminatory all traces of our beginnings. MRS. D. S. A. KYLE Lethbridge. Indians, victims of fraud? U.S. did honorable thing By Maurice Western, Ottawa commentator for FP Publications OTTAWA - In the case of the Nishga Indians, the courts were not called upon to decide on compensation; merely to affirm that aboriginal title had not been extinguished. As plainly stated in the Hall opinion, however, such a declaration would open the question of compensation for future determination if and when there were proceedings to dispossess the people. For this reason, no doubt, Mr. Justice Judson, after concluding that title had been extinguished, went on to make an argument that such claims are not compensable. Here there is basic disagreement among the judges. In the Judson opinion very great weight is accorded two U.S. Supreme Court decisions of 1951 and 1955 (the second Tilla-mooks and Tee-Hit-Ton cases) which seem to indicate that rights to compensation must be based on legislation and cannot be argued on the constitutional right to recovery for the taking of private property. In Canada importance has always been attached to U.S. judgments. The reason is that American jurisprudence (and practice) is rooted in pre-revo-lutionary doctrine. But American judgments are not necessarily decisive here. U.S. courts are said to operate in a rather more political atmosphere than our own; in second Tillamooks, it is alleged that the judges drew back because they appeared to be on a course which might lead to expenditures of billions in back interest payments. However this may be, there are two points which ought not to be lost to sight. The first is that aberrations occur, even in judgments of the highest courts. It must be asked whether these judgments are in the main stream of judgments and general practice over two centuries. This main stream is examined at much greater length in the opinion of Mr. Justice Hall than in the opposing opinion of Mr. Justice Judson. The second is that account must be taken of an even broader stream for the same root doctrine has been applied in countries such as New Zealand, India and Nigeria, with cases often leading to Privy Council decisions. It need not follow that the "last word" (especially a diverging word) from the U.S. Supreme Court is all-important for us since the United States does have institutions and problems peculiar to itself and distinct from those of countries in the parliamentary tradition. There is surely something strange in the view that Canadian decisions must depend on interpretations of the Fifth Amendment to the constitution of the United States. In the beginning European nations, defending their rights against national rivals, developed the doctrine that sovereignty flowed from discovery. Nevertheless, wrote Chief Justice Marshall in 1823 (Johnson v. Mcintosh) the original inhabitants "were admitted to be the rightful occupants of the soil with a legal as well as just claim to retain possession of it." In a later reference to the doctrine of discovery (Worcester v. Georgia 1832), he added: "It gave the exclusive right to purchase but did not found that right on a denial of the right of the possessor to sell." The traditional method of extinguishing title-by negotiation and treaty-reflected these views. In Canada the tradition was even stronger for our history is far less marred by violent deviations from well-established policy. In two other cases involving non-treaty land, (Cramer 1922 and Santa Fe Pacific 1941), the U.S. Court enunciated this important principle: "Nor is it true that a tribal claim to any particular lands must be based upon a treaty, statute or other formal government action." And as late as 1946 (before, as some allege, cold feet set in), the Supreme Court in the first Tillamooks case declared flatly that "the Indians have a cause of action for compensation arising out of an involuntary taking of lands held by original Indian title." U.S. authorities were quoted in an important Canadian case, The Queen v. St. Catherines Milling and Lumber. On the basic issue; whether title had passed to Canada or Ontario; the judges divided, a majority favoring Ontario. They agreed, however, in recognizing an Indian usufructuary title to unsurrendered loans. "This title", wrote Judge Strong, "thought not perhaps susceptible of any accurate legal definition in exact legal terms, was one which nevertheless sufficed to protect the Indians in the absolute use and enjoyment of their lands, whilst at the same time they were incapacitated from taking any valid alienation otherwise than to the Crown itself." Lord Summer (in re Southern Rhodesia 1919) commented on the difficulty of estimating the rights of aboriginal tribes, some having such primitive social organizations that it was difficult to reconcile their usages, their conceptions or rights and duties, with the legal ideas of civilized society. "On the other hand", he affirmed, "there are indigenous peoples whose legal conceptions, though differently developed, are hardly less precise than our own. When once they have been studied and understood, they are no less enforceable than rights arising under English law." Viscount Haldane in a Nigerian case (Amodu Tijani 1921) compressed two points into a key sentence of his judgment. "The original native right was a communal right, and it must be presumed to have continued to exist unless the contrary is established by the context or circumstances." But there may be more than communal right in the Nishga base. Mr. Justice Hall insists that the B.C. appeal court judge ignored the evidence in finding that the Mainland Indians "were undoubtedly at the time of settlement a very primitive people with few of the institutions of civilized society, and none of all of our notions of private property." The Nishgas were not nomadic but settled Indians; the reports of Captain Cook support the view stated by Wilson Duff (a B.C. anthropologist who testified at length) that they had developed their culture "to higher peaks in many respects than in any other part of the continent north of Mexico." Moreover the evidence, as carefully analyzed in the Hall opinion, shows that the concept of ownership was more than tribal. Within the Nishga area, Letter to the editor kin groups claimed exclusive rights and the "system of succession to property based on a matrilineal line (showed) that the Nishgas had a well developed and sophisticated sense of property." The presumption native fights continue until formally extinguished is supported by a very recent U.S. judgment (Li-pan Apache tribe, 1967). "In the absence of a 'clear and plain' indication in the public records that the sovereign intended to extinguish all of the (claimants') rights in their pi'operty, aboriginal title continues." From this Mr. Justice Hall concludes that the onus is not on the Indians to prove continuing title but on the Crown to prove an intention, on the part of the sovereign, to extinguish it. He found no such proof before him and noted the admission of Judge Tysoe in British Columbia: "It is true, as the appellants have submitted, that nowhere can one find express words extinguishing Indian title." If Mr. Judson is correct in his opinion, based at least partly on the importance of two recent U.S. judgments, we have reached a situation which may seem incomprehensible to laymen. For, on the one hand, aboriginal title does not depend on treaty, executive order or legislative enactment (as affirmed in the Cramer, Santa Fe and other cases). Yet those claiming such a title are denied hope unless there is a legislative enactment. What a can of worms! Without mmrmizing the importance of the cases cited in both opinions, common sense would suggest that something is also to be deduced from the practice. A great deal of Canadian history reflects the view of Mr. Justice Idington that the treaties entered into "by those responsible for the honor of the Crown" carried forward "a line of policy begotten of prudence, humanity and justice", originating in the great proclamation of 1963. Fair dealing, in other words. Mr. Justice Hall puts the common sense argument this way. "Surely the Canadian treaties, made with much solemnity on behalf of the Crown, were intended to extinguish the Indian title. What other purpose did they serve? If they were not intended to extinguish the Indian right, they were a gross fraud and that is not to be assumed." It would follow that title has not been extinguished where there has been no treaty or comparable act. But how are we to regard so much of our history? Was it a record of fair dealing or was it gross FRAUD? As matters have been left by the Supreme Court (and by current government policy), that is very much an open question. Milk River needs home As a resident of Milk River, I'm wondering if we are the forgotten ones? And why can't we have a senior citizens' home? I do believe we have a member of the legislature who is supposed to represent us but I'm assuming that he represents us by remote control or does he do anything? A short time ago it was said that Coaldale was making application for a senior citizens' home. Coaldale is about 10 miles from Lethbridge. About a week ago, it was reported that Picture Butte was applying, too, for a senior citizens' home. Picture Butte is about 16 miles from Lethbridge. X can see the necessity for one being built at Blairmore. One was also opened recently in Lethbridge. How many senior citizens' homes and nursing homes does that make in Lethbridge? If we wish to see the elderly either at Rayomnd or Lethbridge it means that we have to travel about fifty miles or more. About two years ago, a lady In this area made a survey of Coutts and Milk River and it was discovered there were more than enough senior citizens to fill a home here. And we have a hospital and a doctor to serve them, too. AN IRATE CITIZEN Milk River From what I believe are the most authoritative sources of information on the subject of the Vietnam War, I submit the ' following for consideration. At the time .of the United States initial involvement in Vietnam the. North launched a military aggression against an unprepared South. Obviously the intention of the North was to overtake the South's government and establish communism in all of Vietnam. The U.S. was at that time, and still is hopefully, the world's foremost deterrent to imperial empire building on the part of foreign nations in the name of communism with the intention of total dictatorship. South Vietnam asked for help from the U.S. and it responded, and seeing much risk of direct Soviet and Chinese involvement it decided not to declare an official war and conduct it as such against the North, but only hoped and expected that adequate military resistance against the invaders would be effective in discouraging them and driving them back. As we have seen, this has only developed into an endless contest. In the course of these military activities where air bombing was indicated the U.S. administration has frequently been accused by critics of "indiscriminate" bombing. I, believe this accusation to be false and that on the contrary the U.S. policy in this matter was to prevent the involvement of natives outside of the military. Proof of this attitude can be seen when they are currently punishing members of the army who unnecessarily destroyed a . number of civilians. It should be seen that such acts are pointless and usually non-essential to military progress . . . It is not commonly known that during the "peace" talks, the North, supplied by Russia and China was rapidly rebuilding for a new military assault against the South. A large part of the purpose of the bombing was to destroy this capability. Others beside myself do not expect the North Vietnamese rulers to forfeit their obvious ambition to create a Communist empire in Southeast Asia. Through much effort and expense the U.S. administration now believes that it has so prepared the South that it can henceforth be expected to defend itself without involvement of American troops, and desires to leave the area with honor. Contrary to what many believe, the United States is a nation of greater honor through this major event in its history than previously; for it did in a very meaningful way what the free world would expect it to. It fulfilled its promise and commitment to help the free remain free. Finally, let us not overlook or forget the poverty that must exist in this,war ravaged land. Let us help where help is sorely needed, badly needed, by sending food and clothing through "Care" or other reliable channels for the children of Vietnam and others who carry on hoping for a livable future. LLOYD R. WEIGHTMAN Lethbridge. Correction re: fisheries I would like to comment on Mr. Frank Goble's letter to the editor which appeared in The Lethbridge Herald, February 1, 1973. Mr. Goble's claim that "the only reason we have any fish at all in our southern Alberta streams and lakes is because of the fish stocking program maintained by the Alberta (Fish and Wildlife Division) . . ." is not correct. Although our division annually stocks trout (and some other species of game fish) in a number of lakes and reservoirs in this region to provide sport fisheries for the public, very few streams have been stocked in recent times. It is not our policy to stock streams with trout except in special circumstances which I hope to outline in a later article in The Lethbridge Herald. The trout populations in most streams are maintained by natural reproduction made possible by our policy of alternate open-and-closed seasons and-or delayed opening dates on these streams and those open annually. Since most lakes in this area lack spawning sites, natural recruitment is of course not possible and trout fisheries must be maintained by stocking. The fact that landslides of strip mine overburden and associated material fouled two streams (Racehorse and East Crowsnest Creek) adjacent to the only recently active strip mines in this area does not support Mr. Goble's statement that "it is extremely doubtful ... if fishing in the streams adjacent to the strip mine (where exploration for coal has recently occurred in the Cabin Ridge, Pas-que Mountain area) and in the downstream areas will be affected at all." Siltation from landslides can seriously affect spawning activities of game fish and reduces both the quantity and quality of fish food organisms, thereby indirectly decreasing stream productivity. I would also like to point out that even if it is found that strip mines (such as the one in question) can be adequately restored to a semblance of the original landscape (which inci-dently, is very difficult if not impossible in m o u n tainous areas) their very presence while active could certainly affect the recreational experience of a fishing trip. Recent studies have shown that elements of the natural environment - water quality, natural beauty, and privacy while fishing - were consistently rated by anglers as the most important factors influencing fishing enjoyment. The concept of environmental management must be considered if quality fishing experiences are to be provided. Whether these requirements would be compatible with strip mines and associated activities In the area in question (for example the possibility of a railroad, large coal haulage trucks, a townsite, scarred mountainsides, etc.) is questionable. D. S. RADFORD Regional Fishery Biologist Dept. of Lands and Forests Lethbridge The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St. S., Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD HO. LTD., Proprietors and Publisher! Published 1905 -1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Mall Registration No. 0012 Member of The Canadian Press and the Canadian Dally Newspaper Publishers' Association and the Audit Bureau of Circulations CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager DON PILLING WILLIAM HAY Managing Editor Associate Editor ROY F MILES DOUGLA& K. WALKER Advertising Manager Editorial Page Editor "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"