Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - February 9, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
Bury the hatchet Opting out could become contagious in the Crowsnest. If it should it could mean the end of many recreational benefits now taken for granted by residents of the Pass. The decision to 'go it alone' began a year ago when the town of Coleman decided to opt out of the Regional Recreational Board established in 1968 to provide co-ordinated recreational opportunities for Pass residents. With Coleman refusing to pay its financial contribution for the remainder of the year following the withdrawal Bellevue residents (70 per cent of whom are retired) had to take up the slack. This only added to an already disgruntled attitude amongst the town's populace and resulted finally in its withdrawal for the period of a year - in order to sit back and assess the situation. Both Coleman and Bellevue residents feel they can operate and maintain their own recreational facilities (they both have ice arenas and curling rinks) on the one dollar per year per capita grant from the provincial government. Originally the eleven-man recreational board consisted of two delegates from Coleman, Blairmore, Bellevue, Improvement District No. 5 (which includes the communties of Hiilcrest, Bushtown, Grafton, Carbon-dale and Willow Drive) and the school board, with one representative from Frank and one from the high school. Recreational costs are realized from the equalized assessments of the participating communities with Blairmore, with a population of 2013 paying $4227; Coleman, population, 1400, $2117; Bellevue, population 1174, $1394; Frank, population, 178, $443 and the I.D. No. 5, with a population of 1600, $7012. The five participating areas were provided with year-round recreational programs for all age groups ranging from Mothers-Day-out to ski trips, water polo to karate, men's baseball to speed skating. Also thrown in were the services of a Drop-In centre, a Coffee House and busing services throughout the summer to make sure residents were able to take advantage of the variety of rec-' reational benefits available. The board, under the director, Bonnie Porter, was also able to obtain the services of 10 Alberta Service Corps workers and four Albei-ta caravaners. Under the guidance of a STEP member 18 young people obtained summer employment under Opportunities for Youth. Last winter the sum of $38,-195 went towards the construction of the $194,000 fifty metre swirnming pool constructed in Blairmore. The decision of Coleman and Bellevue to opt out reduced the funds available to carry out such a program in the eight-mile stretch in the Pass. The original staff, comprised of the director, a full-time secretary plus government personnel has been cut drastically to one - leaving this massive job to Miss Porter alone. The 6400 Alberta residents of the Pass are indeed fortunate to have at their disposal five gymnasiums, three arenas, two rodeo grounds, a tennis court and a swimming pool. For every town to 'do its own thing' as far as recreation goes seems short-sighted in view of the benefits an over-all program can bring to the area. Will opting out not result in a disparity between the children of the Pass? Won't the child living in Frank, which is remaining within the recreational board, have access to programs denied the Coleman youngster? It would seem, at least that the Frank child would benefit from a much lower entrance fee than that of the child from a non-contributing town. This is a matter facing the newly appointed nine-member recreational board when it holds its initial meeting early in February. With such a splendid recreational program already set up it would appear beneficial for Pass residents to bury the hatchet, forget past differences and work together to enjoy what must surely be one of the best co-ordinated recreational programs in rural Alberta. ART BUCHWALD The high cost of bombing WASHINGTON - If all goes well with the peace accords, it will just be a matter of time before the United States sends a team of damage experts to Hanoi to estimate what it will cost to rebuild North Vietnam. The price tag last year was $2.5 billion, but this was before the carpet bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong at Christmas. I can see the U.S. team of experts, arriving at the Hanoi airport and being greeted by Ho Gap, the North Vietnamese Minister for Reconstruction. The minister says, "Welcome to our bumble country. Forgive us for the condition of our airport which unfortunately was destroyed by your excellent and talented Air Force. "We did all this?" one of the damage experts asks. "Yes, but please do not apologize. We know the airport you will build us will more than make up for it. What we think we'd like is something on the order of Dulles near Washington, D.C. Our engineers estimate that with Communist labor it should not cost more than $40 million, give or take $10 million, for what I believe you people refer to as 'overruns.' " "Can't we talk about this later?" one of the U.S. damage experts asks. "We'd like to go to our hotel and get cleaned up." "Of course" the minister replies,'"forgive mo for thoughtlessness. Please get in the trucks and we will take you there." "Trucks?" "Alas," the minister says, "our private automobiles were all destroyed in your protective-reaction strikes of Dec. 15. But we have plans to build a new automobile factory to produce the 4-door 'Ho Chi Minh' with a Wankel engine. We think we can undersell the Japanese in America by $500 a car. Here, you can study the plans in your spare time." The U.S. Damage Control team climbs on board the trucks. "How far is it into town?" one of the Americans asks. "Ordinarily, 20 minutes. But, unfortunately, the Bridge of Peace and Conciliation Heartbreak was hit by a 'smart bomb' from one of your B-52s and, therefore, it �will take two hours," the minister says. "I suppose you want us to pay for the bridge, too," a damage control expert says. "We thought you might build us a tunnel instead. Something like the Lincoln or Holland tunnels, which we understand work quite well." "Was that the only bridge destroyed?" "Oh, dear, I wish it was! According to your own Air Force estimates, you destroyed 3,457 bridges, all of which were listed as military targets." "But you people don't have that many bridges in all of North Vietnam!" "That's what we kept telling the U.S. Air Force. But they kept destroying them anyway." The truck passed a building with only the walls standing. "What was that?" one of the damage experts asks. "That was the Anti-Imperialist Shirt and Textile Factory. Your intelligence people kept referring to it as an ammunition dump." "What's that going to cost us?" one of the Americans asks. "Well," says the minister, "we thought as long as we have to rebuild the factory, we'd go in for automation and work in synthetic fibers. We believe that with American help we could be producing Arrow-type shirts for the United States in less than three years. I think we put you down for $80 million for a new plant." "Damn," says one of the damage experts, "we haven't even gotten to the hotel yet and with the bridges they're up to $2 billion." Finally the truck pulls up in front of the . ruins of a dilapidated building, with board-ed-up windows and sides held up by scaffolding. "Here we are gentlemen," the minister says. � "This is the hotel?" one of the damage men asks incredulously. "This is it, the minister says. "It was hit by a rocket on Christmas Day. As soon as you wash up in the river over there, we'd like to discuss with you our fantastic plans for a new super Kissinger Hilton." Winter's charm By Dong I haven't seen much of Charlie Bauer since he retired from The Herald but I did encounter him a short time ago in the supermarket where I was picking up Els-petli and the groceries tor the next week. Charlie said he was anticipating some boredom in the period between now and Walker the rose growing season. "But," he quickly added, "I'm not going to offer to come over and build your fence." Of course he wasn't going to be invited to build n fence for me. Fence building isn't something that's appropriate at this time of the year. That's about the only good thing I can see about winter. Letters Why expensive exploration? Mi** 1 > "And now just one more little commitment . . ." A return to conservatism? By Anthony Westell, Toronto Star commentator OTTAWA - In addition to a branch-plant economy, we have in some ways a branch-plant society strongly influenced by trends and fashions in the United States. The war in Vietnam changed our politics and so will a peace in Vietnam. After a decade of excitement and experimentation, we may be entering a period of quiet and conservatism. This is what President Richard Nixon is trying to achieve in the United States and, if he succeeds, we shall probably follow suit. The war was the issue around which U.S. radicals organized. There is no great new issue in the offing and, after the debacle of the McGovern election campaign, the Democratic party will probably return to more conventional politics. Vietnam exposed not only the incompetence of the Pentagon, but also the failure of Big Government. The U.S. people began to lose confidence in the ability of Wahington to solve their problems. Nixon seems determined to stop the growth in spending, control, the bureaucracy and return some power of decision-making to the states. The U.S. is trying to reduce its economic commitment abroad, as well as its military involvement. It is edging back from the responsibilities of world leader in matters o� trade and aid and monetary management, and seeking a more modest role. Internally, its economy seems to be recovering from recent difficulties and to require steady management rather than profound reform, at least for the next few years. The trend in the U.S. is clearly towards a less active style of government, a lower profile for Washington. It is harder to see a clear trend in Canada, perhaps because Pierre Trudeau has been such a confusing prime minister. To some people he has been an oppressive conservative, particularly in his management of the economy, and the setback he suffered at the polls is interpreted as a demand for more active government. To others, Trudeau has been a left-winger, an activist who expanded government at the expense of business, undermined the work ethic, chipped away at tradition and encouraged a dangerously permissive society. From this point of view, the election suggested a conservative trend, a call for a return to passive government and familiar social values. The government's current policies are based less on an interpretation of public opinion than on the need to win the support of the New Democratic Party in the Commons. So it is inclined to be activist and expansive. But the great issues which stirred the Sixties in Canada are gone. Who now argues about Special Status or Deux Nations, or building a New Confederation? Quebec seems quieter and more content than it h a s been for years, and English Canada, despite some backlash, has broadly accepted the policy of bilingual federalism. The framework of the welfare state has been completed. There is no public or political pressure for major new social security programs; the preoccupation is with adjusting the schemes already in place to make them more efficient and economical. The federal and the provincial governments are agreed that administration needs to be decentralized from Ottawa, and this means dispersal of tax money and power, and less temptation for federal politicians to seek to stimulate "But Sarge, I thought we were stopping ALL military activity in South Vietnam!" the public appetite for change and reform. In this, Canada is well ahead of the U.S., where Nixon's prq-gram to share revenues and responsibilities with the state governments is in its infancy. But the provinces are steadily pushing for more power and seem likely to get it. Within the provinces, there seems to be increasing interest in urban affairs and commun-ty politics, and this probably reflects a loss of confidence in the power of Big Government far away in the national capital. Even the phrase New Politics has dropped out of use and there is a disillusioned acceptance of the old politics. In the Sixties, thoughtful leaders in all parties were looking for new and better methods of participation in the democratic process, and Trudeau was widely praised when he refused to make unrealistic promises, warned about the dangers of. raising expectations impossible of fulfilment and promised a calm and rational approach to decision-making. Now, participatory democracy is a dirty phrase and we are back to the old politics in which success goes to the party which promises the most. The new, post-election Trudeau is really an old-style politician who stays in power by promising all thing to all men: higher benefits and lower taxes, more economic expansion and less inflation, more investment and less U.S. capital. Robert Stanfield and David Lewis, of course, make exactly the same promises and one day they may outbid Trudeau. So much for the politics of realism. What remains from the Sixties is the Canadian nationalist movement. It grew in part out of disenchantment with U.S. society which was disturbed, divided and demoralized by Vietnam. The question for the Seventies in Canada is what happens if the U.S. recovers confidence in itself and seems again to be on the road to peace, prosperity and social progress. It may be that Canadian revulsion against the U.S. is so deep and Canadian nationalism so strong that the U.S. model will never again be attractive. Canadians may at last have the determination and the ideas to build a different sort of society, as some commentators are suggesting. But personally, I doubt it. The two economies are so interdependent that no government policies or nationalist rhetoric can loosen the ties - the most that can be achieved is to slow down the rate of integration and to ensure that Canada gets a better deal out of the partnership. Cultural communication is more likely to increase than to lessen. Finally, there is no reason to think that the aspirations of the average Canadian are much different from the aspirations of the average U.S. citizen. Unthinkable as it may be to opinion leaders in Canada, as it is to many in the United States, that, aspiration right now may be for the kind of conservative society which President Nixon is offering. Discrepancies are obvious in statements made by MLA Charlie Drain, Bill Fowers and Frank Goble in last week's Herald. Perhaps what has been left unsaid is the most pertinent. Charlie Drain's outburst is understandable in view of his heavy interest in a construction company contracting with mining companies in exploration work. This company's bulldozers have been active in the considerable damage that has already occurred in the Old-man River drainage. Bill Fowers is either uninformed or trying to camouflage the facts, when he says that he has never heard of the proposed highway being used for mining, and that he has always thought the Kananaskis High-was being developed for tourist use. To anyone with any sense of recreational requirements it is designed to be a complete abortion in that respect. Frank Goble is the founder of a mining exploration company. His charges of irresponsibility and scare tactics are a smoke screen. Last summer his company applied for a permit to build a road to some claims on Yarrow Creek, a road that would have ultimately cut across the top end of one of the last three small unspoiled valleys left between Crowsnest Pass and Waterton Lakes Park. The permit had been issued but construction was not yet under way, when a group of very interested people brought, the question of unnecessary damage before the government. Bill Yurko, the minister of environment, sent an inspection team and the road permit was cancelled. Apparently the permit had been issued by a civil service office without government knowledge. Two years previously a road had been built up the slope to one of the claims from the bottom of the canyon of the north fork of Yarrow Creek right across the steep face of the mountain shoulder. A kind of landscaping like Mr. Goble talks about was duly employed to fill in the road after the exploration was completed. This was done by a bulldozer pushing down topsoil from the slope above - topsoil that was in the making for thousands of years and still laying only four or five inches deep - and it created a scar that will be plainly visible for centuries. A considerable expanse of top grade winter bighorn and elk range was destroyed. And to add to the damage, when last spring's heavy run-off occurred, the whole slope was badly eroded with gullies almost impossible to cross with a saddlehorse. A tremendous tonnage of topsoil was washed down into the creek and ultimately landed at the bottom of Waterton Dam making its contribution towards shortening the life of that installation. This kind of "landscaping" we can do without. The whole mess was filmed by a CBC-TV camera crew as a feature example of what not to do and later broadcast in a documentary on water resource mismanagement. All of which indicates something plainly obvious. The government hedges in its statements proclaiming no plans of the reported development lined up for the Oldman River country. We would be the first to agree that there has been precious little planning of any develop men1! is so far carried out in the name of progress on the whole eastern Rockies watershed over the past 20 years. This so-called growth and development has been of the cancerous kind, with quick profits in mind for a few people the only motive, the immediate danger and damage largely ignored and no appreciation whatever of the needs of the future. If no intention to develop as reported is the prime consideration, why has the extremely unsightly, damaging and expensive exploration activity on the Oldman drainage been allowed? When such a large amount of money has been spent, intention to exploit is obvious enough for anyone to see without any other indicator. If we are expected to believe that the right hand of the government does not know what the left hand is doing, it is something just not believable. The present government won its position of power on the environmental vote - something it would be politically remiss to forget. Scare tactics? No, just plain hard fact and recognition that the people of this province wish to maintain a unique and attractive way of life, and do not want to see the broad picture of resource potential damaged and endangered by the ruthless and uncaring exploitation of any part of it. , ANDY RUSSELL Waterton Lakes Park Filling the churches The controversy over televising Grey Cup games on Sundays goes on. As a Christian, not as good as I wish I could be, I don't feel there would be a great many more in church by banning Sunday games. There are some people who attend church more than once on Sunday but most don't. The Saturday editions of The Herald carry church announcements which show very few have only one service on Sunday. The evening services are beautiful, maybe not convenient for families with little ones but you know you are attending worship just the same as if it were in the morning. A Christian goes to church for guidance on how to do God's will on earth so we admit we fall short of being the person God would like us to be. Churches are open to everyone, as they should be, but for a moment just think how we might fill them on Sundays. If only members of a church could use the services of the minister and building, many would join to be able to have weddings, baptisms and funerals. Many citizens take these services for granted. If you could become a member by paying a fee, instead of committing your life to God, each church would have a waiting list to join. A list of influential members of each church could be published to all newcomers to the community and each church could vie for the greatest enrolment. If a person could be a good Christian just by attending services, without a spiritual commitment then, too, more would join. Any of these ideas are revolting and against what we believe in, but would fill the pews. I agree that It would be bet- ter if the Grey Cup game was at another time but it would also be nice if people did not have to work on Sundays so all the family might attend church together. In 1955 Rev. Bob Rumball signed to play with the Toronto Argonauts with a no-Sunday-games clause written into his contract so if the players association were contacted others might follow his example. Young people feel church members do not live up to the standards we set for them so the only solution I can see is not legislation, but rather, as Christians, we must in our surroundings be humble enough to admit our shortcomings, yet show our faith so others will come of their own free will. It is too late to turn back the hands of time and have Sunday sports abolished so we must face the challenge and see If we are worthy of doing the job that needs to be done. UNWORTHY CHRISTIAN Lethbridge So They Say The Bureau of Labor Statistics spends $2.5 million a year calculating the Consumer Price Index. And yet any housewife can stand up and assert that the index is wrong and her unsupported recollections and spotty impressions will be accepted as refuting the result of all this thought and effort. -Herbert Stein, chairman of the U.S. President's Council of Economic Advisors. The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St. S., Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD r.O. LTD., Proprietors and Publishers 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 Assoclaie Editor ROY F. MILES DOUGLAS) K. WALKER Advertising Manager Editorial Page Editor "THE HERALD SERVES THE 50UTH"