Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 8, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Saturday, February a, 1975 Avec des amis comme ca The French are now beginning to meet some environmental resistance in com- munities where they plan to build reac- tor stations. This is focussed mainly on vaguely suspected dangers of radiation and nuclear accidents. There seems to be no real awareness on the part of the French public of the dangers involved in an energy system which produces Plutonium, a substance so toxic that a While the Syncrude suspense story has been unfolding day by day, engrossing the attention of most Canadians in the subject of oil, across the Atlantic the French have achieved an unsettling milestone in nuclear energy. They have built the world's most advanced nuclear power plant, a liquid metal fast, breeder reactor. Some time ago the French committed themselves to nuclear power as their source of energy for the future. It would be more apt to say that the French government made this commitment, since the action was taken at an inner cabinet meeting before President Pom- pidou died. Before the century is out, they expect to have 200 nuclear power stations along the seacoasts and on the banks of three major rivers. The successful experimental reactor, called the Phenix, is expected to be developed commercially as a joint ven- ture with Italy and West Germany. Iran also has a vested interest now in France's nuclear future. Phenix took five years and million to build. By way of contrast, the U.S. is still bogged down in environmen- tal considerations, court suits and cost increases which may put its experimen- tal breeder, still not built, at over billion. U.S. developers say the Phenix is not safe enough to meet U.S. specifications. The French say that the U.S. wants to protect its present technology and does not want to advance to something else. millionth of a gram can cause caucur in animals and which is also the material from which nuclear weapons are made. In the U.S., which seems to have the most vocal citizenry in the industrialized world, the atomic energy industry is already under attack for its inability to account for all the plutoniurn supposedly in its possession. Since it fakes, only a few pounds to make a bomb big enough to destroy a large city, the tear is that some of the plutonium in transit may have fallen into the of terrorists. In the publicity emanating from Mar- coule, France, site of the there is no evidence of any concern about nuclear theft or any assurance that the French cabinet, in heading down ihe nuclear road, paused at. cny point to reflect that- it was unleashing'on thousands of future a sub- stance so deadly that nature dons not. make it. It is possible that the. lug in development of the U.S. breeder reactor is due to thoughts of this kind and to an unwillingness on the part of some authorities and scientists to take this particular road in search of energy for the future. France has seemed to develop its nuclear technology as though world opi- nion did not matter and as though it were involved in an economic and scientific- competition from which winners would emerge. France has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. And. in general, security precautions in France are not the 'most reassuring in the world. When Arab terrorists "can mount not one but two bazooka attacks at Orly, the efficiency, if not the whole philosophy, of the French security system can surely be questioned. Development of Alberta's tar sands may pose dangers to the environment. and even to the economic system, but they pale in comparison with the dangers unleashed by a fast breeder reactor system. "Hey, aren't you fellows going to get in tncerns behind the immigration debate By Maurice Western, Herald Ottawa commentator Immigration is secondary The Green Paper on immigration policy already appears to be achieving a wholly undesirable, albeit unintended, result: the stimulation of the ugly spirit of racism. Latent racism may already exist in Canada; it is no gain to bring it into the open and risk having it become expressed in ever more virulent forms. A major concern set out in the paper has to do with the pronounced tendency for immigrants to settle in the three fastest growing urban centres in the country: Montreal, Toronto and Van- couver; Concentrations of people in big cities creates problems of such magnitude that ah international conference to consider how to cope with the trend to urban living is scheduled for Vancouver next year. In view of the concern about the 'growth of cities it would seem to make more sense to Have made this the subject of a national debate, with immigration being an aspect of it." That might not have prevented a heating up of racist WEEKEND MEDITATION talk but it would have held less risk than the approach taken by the government in its paper. No immigration policy is going to solve the people distribution problem provok- ed by urbanization. Internal migration of people from rural areas to cities is the major cause of the situation, not im- migration. And even if immigrants could somehow be dispersed throughout the country it is likely they would soon migrate to the cities. Instead of debating immigration it might have been more valuable to have focused oh the matter of making rural living more attractive and feasible. Tins has to begin with ways of countering the displacement of family farms by cor- porations. The one sure way to achieve such a goal is probably to make the smaller operations economically viable by encouraging higher prices for agricultural products, even as Agriculture Minister Eugene Whelan has so steadfastly urged. The secret of successful The key to success, said the wise Glad- stone, is concentration. Focussing life mul- tiplies its power. The quality of drive is an es- sential ingredient of success, but no one gets drive until he gets concentration. Psychologists will tell you that you are never mature until you can say, "I belong to that." Then life is unified and full of purpose. Concentration of talents brings amazing results. The psalmist says, "All that is within me, bless His holy name. "That word "all" is con- sidered in the Bible to be a prequisite for good living. Thus one is to love the Lord with "all" the heart, mind, soul, and strength. Most people have reservations in their pocket. This is one thing worship does supremely: it focusses life. "Unite my heart to fear Thy law." Lesser things drop away and one gets a vision of what is which is what worship essen- tially means. This also is happiness, since happiness consists in giving yourself un- reservedly. That, is one reason why war is popular. Men and women, hitherto un- dedicated, suddenly find something to which they can give themselves without reser- vations. War not only kills men and kills much good in the world. It also brings dead men to life. It is tragic that society provides no moral equivalent to war. Or does it? Is the fault in oneself, in failing to find it? There are great causes.al! around, but to support an unpopular cause requires courage. If a young man were to enquire how to achieve fame, he should be advised to seek out an unpopular cause and give himself to it. By the time he grows to maturity he will find it popular. When the crowd is cheering something you know you years too late. A critic said of Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy that they "lived intensively rather than extensively." Blessed people! Most folk live extensively. Their lives are not so much bad as frittered. They run after every passing vagabond who taps their shoulder. Paul said. "This one thing I do." Such singleness of heart is rare. Did not Jesus sav, "If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of Few people have a single eye. That is why adultery is common and true love so un- common. But it is not only in marriage that people adulterate their' lives. President Lowell once remarked that one of the most important johs in life was to distinguish the eddy from the stream. It is very easy to get caught in the eddies. This is the ghastly failure most face at Ihe end of life. Nothing much has been accomplished because too many things were attempted. In the parable of the sowing of ihe seed (Mark, chapter 4) Wvdiffe translates the fate of the seed that fe'll snvmg lire ihorn as "strangled." This is a .picture of modern life. So much good seed is strangled by social and business activity. Life is iiveri in a bedlam of advertising, noisy radio and television, honk- ing cars, and shouting people. No hymn could be more unpopular or more irrelevant to modern man than "Take time to be holy." A schoolboy is said to have described a modern fatal disease as "miscellaneous." Could be. An old song went, "I'm sitting on top of the world." Beware lest the world is not silting on you. In Gulliver's Travels the iiero landed on the Island of Lilliput inhabited by tiny people no bigger than his thumb. Finding Gulliver asleep, fearful of such a giant, they tied him up with countless little strings. When he wakened the giant was immobilized. It is a good parable of life. Human beings get tied down with so many tiny strings they are in- capable of doing anything worthwhile. PRAYER: 0 God, help me to remember the words of Jesus: "Seek ye firs! the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and nil these things shall be added unto, you." F.S.M. OTTAWA The Green Paper on immigration is an interesting commentary on the prime minister's cam- paign contention that leadership was the issue. Leadership .in our politics assumes very odd forms. It may be recognizable or it may be camouflaged. The govern- ment may boldly announce a policy which it is prepared to defend against all critics. Or it may say, in effect: here roughly is what we would like to do; for Heaven's sake, push us into it.. It seems to me that the Green Paper represents leadership of the latter variety. In theory, the government has taken no decisions; is committed to no change. It is merely summon- ing us to "constructive dis- cussion." A team of officials has prepared the paper to "help Canadians think together about... positive pur- poses and to explore the complex. problems that need to be resolved." And so on. A presentation of this sort effectively disarms parliamentary critics. Who can object to "lively, inform- ed and productive It is arguable, and was argued by Jake Epp for the Conser- vatives, that it may be dif- ficult to decide on the best im- migration policy in the absence of decisions (which are supposed to come later) Oil a national demographic policy. The government, however, can bear such marginal criticisms with im- pressive fortitude. But appearances and realities do not always cor- respond. It is most unlikely that the government, over- burdened with problems, would have launched such an enterprise if there was not already a deep conviction, especially in the department presided over by Mr. Andras, that immigration policy must change. This assumption seems reasonable in itself. The impression deepens with every page of the Green Paper. It is true that certain choices (not mutually ex- clusive) are put forward in the chapter on National Interest and International Respon- sibility and that one of these amounts in reality to the status quo in immigration policy. Throughout the Paper, however, arguments have been so marshalled as to in- vite the by oc- casional imperatives, to direct the make a different choice. Admittedly, the directions are not very specific. The government, presumably, has. a general idea of where it wants to go but has yet to decide which particular course offers the greatest ad- vantages. What it wants almost certainly (and therefore desires that we shall Letters School administration In reference to the letter from Concerned Parent (The Herald Jan. 5) I, as a school teacher, would have to concur with Ihe opinions expressed. It would appear to be' of more value to hire two or three teachers who could directly influence the lives of upwards to a hundred students 'than hire one administrative assistant, to fill out reports. Besides having this prac- tical viewpoint, I suppose most teachers tend to be jealous of head office as they see it grow; meanwhile they must face ever growing classes and accomplish more complicated tasks. Teachers tend to equate the ad- ministrative staff with cases of progressive hemorrhoids both tend to keep teachers off their derrieres. Another point, I suppose, is that "head office" is notoriously guilty of operating a cult of personalities; i.e. the in group and the much larger out group. The main attributes for bedfellowship in the "in group" would include: curling and golf club affiliation, inhabiting the same bars, sporting Brute deodorant, a certain church membership, wearing double stitched genuine alligator chaussures, twitching up and down in affirmative con- currence, and being able to say "inservice" every 43 seconds or less. One does not have to remember back too far to the days of A. J. Watson wherein one superintendent and his two secretaries were able to operate a quality system; perhaps superior to that run by Bob Plaxton and crew. The answer is not more hands on deck; it is that of getting better hands and one head. So if Bob and crew can't do the job, perhaps they had better ship out. A TEACHER WHO USES "SECRET" Lethbridge want) is a more restrictive immigration policy, whether this is achieved through quotas, global ceilings and priorities, or in some other way. To say this is not to condemn the policy; certainly not to suggest that the government wishes to prac- tice Mr. Andras stoutly denies. It is much too early for such judgments. At the same time -the Paper does identify, sometimes with considerable clarity, a number of the concerns which have induced the government to invite this important debate. Ever since manpower and immigration were brought un- der the same departmental umbrella, it has been certain that the former would dominate the latter. In the chapter on the working immigrant is the most outspoken, least aca- demic, in the policy perspec- tive book. Manpower has a compelling urge to plan; to ensure that every round peg is destined for a round hole and that no square pegs clutter its operations. The planners, es- pecially in recent years, have suffered many frustrations and remain haunted by many fears. Thus, speaking of their programs which deserve high national priority, they say: "Immigration policy must be designed to respect that priority and be incorporated within a strategic approach to the solution of national man- power problems that gives first place to the access Canadians should enjoy to the jobs the national economy creates." Note the imperative. There has not been such conviction since Jack Pickersgill dis- covered the Canadian baby. The government wants lively and informed discussion. The paper is to ensure that it will also be heeding departmental "musts." Moved by this general con- cern, the department looks bleakly on the class of nomi- nated immigrants. Its studies are rather plainly intended to persuade us that such people come, not in reality to join their brothers and sisters, but to claim jobs; thus creating additional problems for man- power. With the paper as our guide, we are manifestly to draw the conclusion that the nominees must go. (Once we are properly convinced the government will feel duty bound to honor the wishes it placed in our heads.) Another concern arises from the accumulating problems of .metropolitan areas, magnets alike for im- migrants -and internal migrants. Evidently, al- though it it not put this way, a practical question' must be faced; Has the welfare state, in all its ramifications, now become so costly that we can no longer afford immigrants? If that is the situation, Mr. Andras is not the first to confront it; he can reasonably note that the British had to take account of similar questions when integration was urged as an answer to certain colonial problems, including the case of Malta. Yet another concern is plainly evident; the increasingly difficult problem of accommodating the special views of Quebec. When the case for bilingualsim was argued, it may not have been widely appreciated that the new course had implications for immigration. Mr Bou: rassa's cultural sovereignty, involving among other matters Bill came later. However, bilingualism with all that it expresses (clearly a very great deal) is described in the Paper as a fact basic to our national life and- character. "It is so basic that federal policy cannot ignore the effects future immi- gration may have on the rela- tionship between the numbers of English-speaking and French-speaking members of Canada's population." The key word here is "num- .bers." The problem is that Quebec has lost her old guarantee represented by a high birth rate. It is now rather below the Canadian average. This is no sudden development. For years ministers of immigration have been stressing the im- portance of special efforts to attract Francophones. We have been given to understand that they were taking every step short of kidnapping to realize the objective. But they have not been very successful. Thus there are two thrusts in the Paper. In general national interest, as perceived by the planners, points to a more restrictive policy. At the same time recruitment of Francophones "not only affects the unique concerns of a single province but also has vital implications in terms of the national interest." It is doubtless the view of the authors that few right thinking persons will quarrel with vital im- plications. Given the admitted failure to date in the enlistment of French-speaking persons, the most promising approach to the numbers game is reduc- tion'of the total inflow. How large a reduction is required to satisfy the "relationship" is not clear but it may be quite -substantial. The Paper makes the point, which no one will contest, that a few recipient countries such as Canada cannot possibly provide the answer to ex- ploding world population. It is "improbably, though, that we will project a very sym- pathetic image; if we are ac- tually cutting back for reasons of national advantage when the difficulties of the de- veloping countries are grow- ing much worse. Anticipating such objec- tions, the authors have provid- ed their masters with some handy answers. We must respect the anxieties of other' countries with respect to the "brain the emigration of trained professionals. Agreed. But anxieties vary. It is noted in a different context, possibly by a different author, that some countries find it easier to provide advanced education than employment for those educated. Again, the handy answer is that developing countries look not to international migration but to international co-oper- ation for necessary help in tackling their immense problems. The obvious dif- ficulty is that if immigration cannot provide an adequate answer, neither, on the show- ing to date, can international aid. For despite the massive outlays over a very long period, we are constantly be- ing warned that the gap is not closing; the poor are getting poorer and the situation more explosive. The whole question of immi- gration is admittedly difficult and much more complex that it was in former days. It will not be made easier of solution by brushing aside the legitimate concerns of many people with excessively facile answers. The LethlmdtK' Herald 504 7th St. S. Lethbridge. Alberta LETHBHIDGE HERALD CO. LTD. Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mall Registration No. 0012 CLEO MOWERS, Editor and Publisher DON. H. PILLING Managing Editor ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Page Editor DONALD R. DORAM General Manager i ROBERT M. F.ENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E. BARNETT Business Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"