Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 11, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD Tutidiy, F.bru.ry 11, 1975 A sense of community The months of planning have come to an end. Today the Canada Winter Games get under way with the official opening. Two weeks of competition and entertain- ment are ahead. Whoever first proposed that the 1975 Winter Games should be hosted regionally, instead of by Lethbridge alone, deserves a vote of thanks. The uniqueness of the proposal undoubtedly influenced the decision to hold the games here. The participants and all the others who come from across Canada will benefit from a larger awareness of rural ex- istence in this southwestern corner of the Canadian prairie than if the games had been confined to this city. But the greatest benefit, and one which will out- last the ephemeral excitement and the anticipated commercial gains, is the sense of community which the games have brought to Southern Alberta. From its conceptual stage through all the intricate planning of which the general public has only gradually become aware hundreds of people from all of the participating towns have come to know each other better and to value their respective communities the problems, needs and contributions- of each, not just to the games but to the total of life in this part of the province. Amazing numbers of people have been involved. Busloads of students have been coming from such distant spots as the 'Pass to practice in the large band which will take part in Games ceremonies. Volunteers are being trained by volunteers to man the switchboards on a 24-hour basis. Transportation and meals have taken untold man hours of planning. The incredible amount of detail that has had to be mastered is mute testimony, to those knowledgeable about the mechanics of organization, that a lot of people have been willing to give large amounts of time to paper work and meetings. It certainly should be a matter of pride that there are people at the top of the organization who have been able to grasp the logistics of such a massive operation. It is hard to put a value on the feeling of neighborliness, the expressions of mutual co operation, and the sense of common purpose which have emanated from all the activity involved in hosting this event. Suffice it to say that when the last athlete has gone home to New- foundland or the Yukon or wherever that home is in this vast the torch is out, the last inevitable crisis sur- mounted and CBC has turned its atten- tion to something else, Southern Alberta will be richer. Not just in recreational equipment or money in the bank. It will know itself better. And perhaps all Canada will be richer from having learn- ed what a sense of community and a common purpose can accomplish. Winter Games fishing Health and Welfare Minister Marc Lalonde, in Lethbridge for the opening of the Winter Games, is speaking Wednes- day noon on the topic, "Social Security in Canada; Where Are We At first glance it looks as though the likeable cabinet minister wants to enjoy his visit by avoiding International Women's Year topics and making sure that he won't have to put up one more defence of That Button. But the two sub- jects, women and social security, aren't antipodal and possibly this is just a fishing expedition for M. Lalonde ice fishing, that is. After all, the weekly public affairs luncheon is as much a sounding board as a platform, to mix a metaphor, and maybe he wants to find out what Southern Albertans are thinking along the general lines set forth by his topic. If this is true.'then the following point should be considered. In its abstract concept, social security envelops everyone and if any segment of Canadian society needs to know where it is going, to have its role examined and its value to society made clear in other words, to have its social security considered it is the segment known as housewives. Housewives are the least visible part of the Women's Lib movement. Most women activists hold jobs which may or may not be paid but which are at least recognized as jobs. But who really takes the job of a housewife seriously? Even many housewives don't. Many are will- ing to accept the edict that theirs is a se- cond class, floor scrubbing (unpaid) role and that as long as they remain in their homes they are followers instead of leaders in the search for human progress. This is a glaring misunderstanding of the job and yet, because of it, society is in danger of losing its housewives. They are defecting to the working force. One of the reasons is implicit in that very term. No one believes they are really working at home. But does society really want them to go? Do they really want to go? Looked at objectively, the job of a housewife has more latitude, more responsibility, more opportunities for creativity, is less monotonous and more adaptable to individual interests and needs over a whole lifetime than almost any other job in the market. It is handicapped, however, by a lack of status and financial recognition. Its only reward is inner satisfaction. In most jobs inner satisfaction is looked on as a fringe benefit. This being the case, housewives must have some core benefits if they are to survive. Many quality of life con- siderations hang in the balance and if the government has some core benefits in mind, now is the time to be specific. "Dear, all they asked you to do was OPEN the speed skating event." A faint whisper of energy conservation By Maurice Western, Herald Ottawa commentator Little and late Critics have charged that the federal government's guidelines for energy conservation are "too little and too They are too little and late, but maybe not too late. The suggested conservation measures merely nibble at the problem of wastefulness. In no way can they be seen as a really serious attempt to induce carefulness in the use of valuable non renewable resources. The automobile, for instance, remains unchallenged as an instrument of indulgence. Nobody is go- ing to believe there is a grave situation ahead regarding energy until there is real pressure or incentives to be saying. There is something wrong about the huge gamble the government has recent- ly taken in the Syncrude project to try to ensure Canadians an energy supply'in the future when so little concern about conserving existing supplies had been evident. The necessity for taking the risk of investing million of public money in Syncrude would haye been more readi- ly accepted throughout the country had the urgency been reflected in prior policies to curb consumption. Thus the conservation measures must be seen as coming late, only when the inconsistency of the Syncrude gamble with their lack made them necessary for cosmetic pur- poses. Little and late as the measures may be, they are to be welcomed. They are the first indication that the government recognizes a radically changed world from that in which consumption was not just approved but encouraged. The challenge to convert from being con- sumer oriented to conserver oriented is overdue. As Canadians adjust, more sub- stantial measures ought to follow. OTTAWA govern- ment's energy conservation program is plainly a good thing, despite the reprehensi- ble reaction of Alvin Hamilton who described it as "uproarious Mirth, admittedly, has not been lacking. The trouble is that there has been no roar; scarcely a respectable whisper. At the end of 1973 Donald Macdonald announced an energy conservation program from, which the present meas- ures have developed. While the government was to set an example, success depended on a team effort involving the provinces, business and private individuals. That was the time for the roar because a long compla- cent country had been sudden- ly shocked into the realization that energy (especially petroleum) was in tight supply. In the east there was particular alarm as the government, in co-operation with the companies, took emergency measures to safeguard the great Montreal market. With the passing of the immediate crisis, however, the country promptly forgot, and was permitted to forget, all the sober warnings about LETTER thermostats, insulation and economical driving speeds. A profound silence descended, broken only occasionally by. faint murmurs from an office of energy conservation frustrated in its search for staff. Only now do we learn that Public Works, virtuously laboring. behind the scenes, has in fact managed to eliminate some waste; thus confirming the general im- pression that it does exist and in vast quantities. Despite the great silence there was a public response although the government had little to do with it. Many peo- ple shifted to smaller cars not because of ministerial ex- hortations but because gas- oline prices were rising and would certainly go higher. With the approach of spring, the country is to shake some- what belatedly with a lion roar. If it is to evoke the proper echo, Mr. Macdonald should heed the advice of Tommy Douglas and scotch the pamphlet from which the NDP critic quoted; "Don't bath so often ....Your friends will soon 'tell you if you need another bath Particularly after experience in Britain, that would certainly rock the country but not at all in the way desired. The problem is: how are these generally sensible measures to be made effec- tive? it will be helpful if public attention is rivetted on the right examples and to that end diverted from others which are conspicuous but quite wrong in this context. One will suffice to make the point. Exercise is commended to us by Marc Lalonde. What impression, though is made on visitors to Parliament Hill who cannot fail to observe the fleet of buses required to tran- sport MPs and their retinues the few steps from the Confederation Building to the Centre Block? Certainly, driving speeds are important and it is a sound idea to restrict government vehicles to 55 miles an hour. Contemplating the scenes of carnage normal on roads in and around Ottawa, Mr. Mac- donald will realize that there is only one practical means to make this Ordinance effective. Install governors on govern- ment cars. The government hopes also to induce the provinces to lower speed limits. Unfor- tunately, by postponing the roar, Mr. Macdonald has made this enterprise rather more difficult, the most pop- ulous province considered and Answering questions on Cow Camp rejected the idea last year. Various reasons were offered. The truth, presumably, is that Ontario cannot enforce the ex- isting limits. Maximums have been treated as minimums for so long that anyone driving at authorized speeds is in danger of becoming a traffic hazard. It will now be necessary to convince Premier Davis of his error; to persuade him, against his earlier judgment, that he ought to listen to President Ford. There is one splendid sec- tion in the paper. The pulp and paper industry is the greatest energy user in Canada and it has occurred' to the govern-. m'ent, after all these years, that savings can be effected in paper. Mr. Macdonald's specifics are all commen- dable. Regrettably, they do not touch the central problem. This is the rooted conviction of the government and the public service that it is a dangerous error to use one word when a thousand will do. The resulting waste is inde- scribable; the wonder, is that it has not, of itself, sparked a taxpayers' revolt. Even Mr. Macdonald, mis- led undoubtedly by retainers who should serve time on Ellesemere Island, fell victim to insidious temptation. By way of introduction to his speech on energy conser- vation; he listed 10 steps taken by government in the past year; nine of which had nothing to do with the energy conservation program. Such is the tyranny of old habits that one does not shift easily to the new ethic. But the minister, clearly, is deserving of public support if he is seriously resolved to tackle (single- handedly, in all likelihood) the massed ranks of his over- vocal colleagues; the many hundreds of over-productive information officers and the countless legions of civil ser- vants, over-filling available space with memoranda once read and then, (like most of the government's pub- mercifully forgotten. It is gratifying to learn that Public Works; armed with a special, new computer tool is analyzing, balancing and tun- ing federal buildings for op- timum energy savings. Even a crisis may have a silver lining; it has proved possible to save JIOO.OOO a year in one building. But mere tuning is unlikely to have the public im- pact that Mr. Macdonald presumably has in mind. By now the government should have enough glass palaces to suffice for the next five years. A ban on further building would make a much deeper impression. It would save energy, save money, .save land and might be warmly welcomed for the additional reason that it would preserve the landscape against further mutilation. "Your llmei ire Improving 2.S li pretty good for putting up a tent..." I have read the letter in The' Herald Jan. 30 regarding the Cow Camp at V-V from "A Concerned Group" and can reply. First, there is no policy in Alberta regarding alternative schooling so it is difficult to say whether the Cow Camp has pursued its work properly. In late 1973 proposals and appropriate materials. were submitted to the government, in advance of our arrival in Canada. We anticipated that authorities would offer us a timetable for meeting regulations which had been the case in America when we established our first facility. It is interesting to us that a Canadian friend has tried since 1958 to win approval from the government for a similar school and has invested in facilities in the bargain. Six months ago he received provisional approval to proceed. Second, I face deportation proceedings if I choose not to leave the country voluntarily. My extended stay of 18 months violates federal law which allows visits of 90 days. I have applied for status as a landed immigrant, however. Third, students at the school visit Canada, and cannot stay beyond 90 days with a student's visa. They cannot be grafted student's visas if their school is not endorsed by Alberta. Ultimately, all return to America. Fourth, we do plan to ex- pand the concept and the work in this country in the next ten years, hoping to establish other experimental schools in other provinces. Last, the Cow Camp can serve Canadian students. I am in fact Happy to let the opera- tion become wholly Canadian. Kids are kids. Their needs seem not to depend on. their nationality. The concern that American "problem students" are being imported is short sighted. Thousands of Canadians take advantage of American educational op- portunities, after all, and 'it seems unfortunate to let nationalism eclipse educational opportunities. The facts as we have learn- ed them from youth workers in all parts of Alberta indicate there are at least a thousand young Canadians whose special needs are not being met. The developments of drug abuse, delinquency, and failure at school are dis- turbing to us all, American and Canadian alike. They are problems which will not solve themselves. Disaffected young people grow into dis- affected adults who in turn raise a second generation of misfits. Elsewhere in North America projects similar to the Cow Camp havfe evolved. Alberta has seen few such operations, probably because of government policy. It seems not to be a question of a willingness to help need- ful young people. It is more a question of breadth of vision. My hope is that concerned citizens in Lethbridge will re- main concerned and convert their energy into positive ef- forts to help young people in need. A citizen's lobby in Ed- monton would be a start I'd suggest, comprised of parents of disaffected kids. There are many of them. We plan to stay involved, and even if we are forced to quit the country, the Cow Camp will stay close to Alberta and continue to work to establish a Canadian program. JEFFREY ALAN SMITH Director Wardlow 1974 by NEA. Int. v "I'm beginning to feel a little guilt-ridden about my wastefulness, and it's kinds The lethbrichie Herald 504 7lh SI. S. Lelhbridge. Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD. Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mail Registration No. 0012 CLEO MOWERS, Editor and'Publisher DON. H. 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