Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 17, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
Thurtdoy, February 17, 1972 THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD 9 Joe Balki Irrigation projects require updating I 'N a quest to make its pur- pose in irrigation land de- velopment more uniform, tho federal government has for nearly 20 years been attempt- ing to get Alberta to take over responsibility for the opera- lions of the centre block of the Bow River Devel- opment surrounding Vauxhall. If the federal government's latest unofficial offer for farm- er takeover of the operations of UK BRD is accepted, irri- gation farmers in the Vsuxhall district could have no, or very low, annual water rates to pay. The federal proposal includes a complete rebuilding of lha structures on the BRD where problems exist. The project Book Reviews would then be handed over to the farmers for operations and maintenance through a board of trustees; a manner similar to the way other irrigaUon dis- tricts are operated in the south at present. There would be a 10-year transition period. For the changeover the federal govern- ment would provide a grant of to the BRD. When this figure was raised at last year's meeting of the Alberta Irrigation Projects As- sociation, there was imme- diate hostility from the mem- bership of the AIPA. It was argued lha BRD water users could invest the and operate the project on the in- vestment's interest. It was also argued that the federal government had for years been subsidizing the wa- ter users in the BRD for opera- tions and maintenance. Other Irrigation districts had been charging their- water users the costs of operations and mainte- nance, while the water users in the centre block of the BRD had been paying a set sum of per acre. By comparison water users on the east block of the St. Mary Irrigation Pro- ject now pay per year per acre for water delivered to the land and ?2.30 per acre for wa- ter users in the west block of the SMTP who pick up the wa- ter at the lateral headgate. Five companies, backed b y English capital, were in on the original scheme for the devel- opment of the Bow River pro- ject shorUy after the turn of the century. It became a so- ries of break-downs and some of the precariously located ca- nals had to be watched night and day on foot and horseback in case of sudden washouts. First earth for the BRD was moved in 1909. The smaller de- velopment companies amalga- mated with the larger firms as construction progressed, in an effort to cut costs. The last two remaining were the Southern Alberta Land Co. and the Al- berta Land Co. Between 1911) and 1914 construction moved Travel narrative marred by politics "Gates to Asia: a diary from a long Journey" by Jan II y r d a 1 ami Gun Kessle (Pantheon, S9.50, distributed by Random npHIS is not a diary in the ordinary sense of the word-daily or weekly record- ings of events in sequence. Rafter it is a remembered pic- ture of seven years of travel, during which the authors re- turned to their Swedish home several times. They also went to China during this period where they recorded their im- pressions in print and photo- graph. The story of their wander- lust ventures through Afghani- stan, Northern India, and So- viet Central Asia takes place between 1958 and 1955 in re- mote rugged parts of the world few of us have ever are likely to see. It takes an enduring physical constitution, a total disregard for creature comforts, plus an eagerness approaching missionary zeal, to accomplish one such jiur- ney, let alone to return for more of the same. says Jan Myr- dal, "is like falling in love; the world is made new. You re- cover your naive hunger for reality, so easily abrased by the daily rcund and a home environment." That's a cir- cuitous way of saying that modern man feels the need to return to nature once in a while. Travelling for the Myrdals, (the photographer of the duo is Gun Kessle, alias Mrs. Myrdal) is an endurance test, thsre can be little doubt about' that. They refresh their spirits in the dusty plains, beside cold mountain streams, in the en- veloping heat of the desert, in native camps and villages. They don't complain. They want the world to know what it's like, how the people feel, how they live in the back of beyond. The trouble wiUi liu's account is that it is not objective. Mr. Myrdal's political views keep muddying the picture. The state of the poor of all races and nations arouse his sym- pathy; they are grist to his mill. That may be all to tha good, but too often he deals in generalities, the victim of his intense emotions. Almost ev- Another Vietnam book "Aggression: Our Asian Disaster" hy William L. Stan- dard (Random House, S8.25, 22? ANOTHER book on the Am- e r i c a n involvement in Vietnam to add to tho legion of books already published on that subject! This one was mitten by a lawyer with 45 years of practice behind him. His most important chapter ar- gues that U.S. intervention is illegal because it violates the Geneva Accords of 1954; the SEATO treaty; the United Na- tions Charter; and the U.S. Constitution. It is not an espe- cially interesting book. Thsre are no new revelations and few good jabs. Perhaps the best biting remark has to do with President Nixon's staled desire to end Uie war "with honor." The author says, "The acts of aggression which the United States has committed in Viet- nam makes it impossible to end the war 'with honor'." DOUG WALKER eryone and everything other than the simple people living Uie simple life irritate him so that the end result, is not what he intends. Sweeping statements of blame, where he believes the fault to lie, a one-sided ap- proach to the colonialist he be- lieves is responsible for the sins of the world, arouses flic defensive in the reader well anyway, it does in me. Nor do I accept his therapy, which could very well turn out to be worse than the disease. He believes that human rights will be restored by the Engels method, plus guns in the hands of the oppressed- violent revolution. Winding the whole thing up in a Uireatening tone he asks "is there no way out of pov- erty, exploitation, oppression, and illness which will allow people to regain their dignity? The poor man has no friends except his own people and his rifle. There are people and rifles enough in Asia to make it possible for Uie poor man to make Uie world a hunran one." It's a solution that has been tried many times but has yet to effect a cure. JANE HUCKVALE Alberta MALT LIQUOR O'KEEFE BREWING COMPANY LIMITED Brewed longer for extra smoothness, extra strength, extra satisfaction. These are the extras you'll discover every time you open a bottle ofO'Kcefe's Extra Old Slock Malt Liquor. The result of a unique blending of finest ingredients brewed with extra time. Extra Old Stock is brewed much longer and aged to full maturity to bring you extra strength and unmatched smoothness. Try it. Stock up with Old Stock today and discover extra smoothness, extra strength, extra satisfaction. O'Keefc's Extra Old Stock the malt liquor that takes the time to be better. ahead at a more rapid pace, but the original cost estimate of was soon surpass- ed and another was required to complete the pro- ject. The two firms united and be- came the Canada Land and Ir- rigation Co. By the outbreak of the First World War there was need for major reconstruction on the project. From 1920 to 1941 the BRD showed a loss on operating revenues every year. From 194.2 to 1949 there was a small operating surplus each year, but the need for recon- struction and updating was ever-present. Structures left in disrepair were soon washed out. By 1949 the Canada Land and Irrigation Co. found itself in possession of a completely worn out project. In an effort to protect the loans it had made to the com- pany in 1925 and 1935, the ori- ginal large investments of the founding firms and the money invested by the settlers, the federal government stepped in. It paid Canada Land for its equity and took over the entire project. There was immediate need for reconstruction and general repairs. The question really was: "Where to start During the next several years the bulk of the project was rebuilt by the federal gov- ernment's PFRA the con- struction arm of the depart- ment of agriculture. This in- cluded everything from the di- version on the Bow River, Lake McGregor canals, Hie diversion on the river by Carseland to the main distribution works in the Vauxhall area. With water supplies unsure and expansion contemplated into the east block of the Bow River Devel- opment around Ronalane north of Medicine Hat, the Travers Darn, 38 miles north of Leth- bridge, became a reality. By 1955 the federal govern- ment had spent on reconstructing and expanding Uie BRD. The provincial gov- ernment meanwhile had gone ahead wiUi the development of Uie west block of the Bow River Development and was spending vast sums on con- struction, land development and personnel. It is estimated that total expenditures to date by senior levels of government total But, the BRD is only one pro- ject in southern Alberta that has needed, or needs major expenditures on capital struc- tures ar.d distribution works. The west block of the SMIP just east of Lethbridge has ca- nal works and some structures that have been in operation rince the turn of the century when it was developed by ttie Alberta Railway and Irriga- tion Co. A similar situation ap- plies to the Lethbrige Northern Irrigation District north of Lethbrfilge, the Western Irriga- tion District east of Calgary and the Eastern Irrigation Dis- trict centred at Brooks. The federal government has made some overtures that it is prepared to provide grants to up-date ail irrigation districts, provided there is an opera- tional and maintenance agree- ment reached with, the prov- ince on a uniform basis once and for all. Total reconstruc- tion figures have varied from to The Alberta Irrigation Pro- jects Association has told Agri- cultural Minister Olson that irany of the irrigation struc- tures in the south have exceed- ed their maximum life expec- tancy of 50 years. There is im- mediate need to start rebuild- ing. The federal government says enough is enough. It is willing to provide additional grants for ucgrading projects and to pro- vide drainage in some cases, but there must be a more uni- form arrangement between Ot- tawa and Alberta. Another meeting between the province and Ottawa is slated for this spring, but it is felt that little if anything concrete will come out of the meeting with a federal election in the offing. Another factor pointing at a lack of action at this spring's meeting is that Alberta has a new government after 35 years, and it is highly unlikely it will commit itself to any long-term, major expenditures on the first time out. W. D. Gray, project engineer on the BRD, said in a 1956 re- port that nevertheless: "Some- Ihini! has to be done. An irri- pnlion project is never finished until is has outlived its useful- no.'-'.s. or been abandoned." Many farmers on the various irrigation projects state they are once again looking for more political decisions on the future of irrigation in southern Al- berta, rather than justifications from civil servants. They feet Uiat if Hie irriga- tion projects are going to con- tinue as a viable entity, there's need for strong political lead- ership. Mr. Nixon's world, The International Herald Tribune JJICHARD M. NIXON has already made his mark as one of the relatively few American Presidents to have altered, to an appreciable degree, the course of world history by a dramatic change in Ameri- can foreign policy. It is easy enough to point to the contradictions between tho earlier Nixon and the one in the White House today. One might similarly empha- size the difference between the Woodrow Wilson whs was "too proud to fight" and the commander in chief of World War I; between the isolationist Franklin D. Roose- velt of tlie London Economic Conference and the progenitor of the United Nations; between the cold war warrior John F. Kennedy and his enduring myth. The fact is that Richard Nixon has opened up a great number of new possibilities for Am- erican international action and inaction seemed virtually impossible a dec- ade, or even five- years ago. This new flexibility, with its promises as well as its dangers, is amply evident in the President's lengthy and detailed mes- sage to Congress on the Stale of the World. It is a record, in Mr. Nixon's own word, of many even though these have yet to be consolidated. It is clouded by one huge, unresolved dilemma: The Vietnamese war, and by one serious error in rhetorical tactics. Mr. Nixon himself has contributed, however moderately, to a public atmosphere in which the limits of debate on foreign affairs overshadow the substance of that debate. The President made the point that can- didates to succeed him should not give the other side in Vietnam reason to hold out until after the election. The argument has merit, but only if there is a measure of broad consensus within the country on what constitutes an "honorable" peace in Southeast Asia and Qu's consensus does not exist. For years, the United States haa been plagued by the indubitable fact that the otlier side hoped it had more to gain from the dissolution of the American to fight Uian from concessions it might make, or victories it might win in the field. That situation can only be empha- sized by American squabbling over the permissible limits of political debate. And from Mr. Nixon's own standpoint, his genuine accomplishments in the field if foreign relations can be obscured bv the same squabbling. To be sure, it can also give him an excuse for any failure of his policies in Vietnam by saying that if he had been backed by the domestic op- position, the foreign opposition would have collapsed. But that would be an exploita- tion of American lives quile as repre- hensible as any efforts of the Democrats in seeking votes by opposing the White House. Mr. Nixon's world has more elements of hope than the worlds of Presidents John- son or Kennedy. He would do well to stand on that, rather than dispute the right of the Democrats and dissidents generally to argue the question. Questioning organized fun The Ottawa Journal AN interesting point about, organized sport for youngsters aged five to eight has been made by the mayor of Windsor, Frank Wansborough. Mayor Wansborough, himself a former basketball player and coach, says "Over- organization is robbing kids of Uieir child- hood." He explained, in an interview with On- tario Hydro News "From five to 12 years of age, kids should be learning the funda- mentals of all games and having fun not playing in a league where winning is al- most as important as it is in professional sport. We must de-emphasize the sport as- pect of games and place all Uie emphasis on recreational aspects." There's a great deal of truth in that. Man, including boys, is by nature, competitive. But we are forgetting to give them the old secret that winning a game does not matter as much as how we play it and how we lose it. Perhaps that's where many well-meaning coaches fail. The Windsor mayor declared: "Sport is over-organized at the wrong age group. As police commissioner all I have to do is pick up the arrest sheets In Windsor. Most of the youths in trouble are Ln the 15, 36 and 17 age bracket. There's nothing for them to do. Having been forced to parUci- pate in organized sport from the time they're children, they're just fed up with it." Possibly fed up, or in even more cases perhaps they never got anywhere in sport and were given no encouragement to learn to make their own fun. Fun is where you find it, and if we develop a taste in it that will help us find fun in later years we're doubly blessed. In stamps or hiking, pets or music, tree huts or carpentry, skiing or kite-flying, rowing or bird-watching, sketching or dress-making. Perhaps the problem Mr. Wansborough discusses arises less from organization than the philosophy of the organizers and Uie vigilance of parents. In the right hands, outside organization or family en- couragement can teach confidence, pride, humility, curiosity, skill and the impor- tance of fun. The saddest sight is a man or woman who seems to have had no youth. Advice ior skaters The Red Cross Water Safety Service I CE SKATING is a sport wiUi a tra- dition which dates back to the eighth century. Earliest known skates were fash, ioned from animal bones, cow and rein- deer bones most commonly, but even wal- rus teeUi were used. The bone was ground down, shaped to a flat travelling edge, then bound to the feet with leather thongs. Skates once came in a great variety of sizes and shapes. Some were long and ski- like. Others had elaborately curled toes. Still others were made of wood and shod with iron. With the invenUon of mechanical re- frigeration and the development of re- frigerated ice rinks, ice skating changed from a seasonal pasUme to a major sport. The first mechanically refrigerated ice rink designed by John Gamgee, was built in London, England, in 1R7G. "Gla. as they were tlien called, be- came more and more popular. Today countless Canadians enjoy ice skating, and there's a lot more which can be said about the science of a sport which is fun for some and challenge for others. But perhaps Uie most important thing that can be said about skating and other ice sports is, "enjoy the ice, but play it During winter months the Red Cross Water Safety Service urges you to remem- ber to check Uie condition of the ice be- fore moving out on it. Ice less than four inches thick is not safe to skate or walk on, and ice near open water, over moving currents, on salt water or wind swept lakes is nearly always dangerous. So take care. If you must cross ice of unknown Uuck- ness remember to carry a long pole which would straddle the hole should you break through. State with friends, especially at night. II you should discover a weak or dangerous spot in the ice mark it clearly. Keep a coil of rope in the car In case of accident. If someone should fall in, lie flat on the ice; and if ofter rescuers are present, have Uiem hold your ankles or skates while you extend your rope or reach. If the victim is far out on the ice, several rescuers may form a human chain to reach hint. During the rescue, reassure the victim. Above all, don't panic. Ice skating and ice sports can be fim. The Red Cross urges you to help keep them tint way hy paying it imart and safe. A sound ruling The Spokane A U.S. District Court judge in Washing- ton, D.C., ruled recently I hat Cana- dian environmentalists are not enUtlcd to enter legal proceedings that will determine whether a trans-Alaska oil pipeline should be built. The ruling by Judge George 1.. Hart Jr., who has blocked construction of Uie pipe- line pending outcome of the proceedings, came despite the Canadians' argument that more than 51 billion worth of Canadian in- terests would be affected. Although the proposed pipeline from Alaska's north slope to the state's southern coasts would be built wholly within the houivhrics of the state, the Canadian group contends that any oil spillage resulting from pipeline construction will have its greatest impact on Canadian shores. If the Canadians are allowed to partici- pate, the judge said, we could anticipate that the Japanese would think they wero Spokesman-Review affected, and Uien the Chinese and the Russians. American environmental interests are al- ready well represented, Judge Hart no'.cd, saying, "If the American environment is protected, the Canadian environment is protected." The judge has signaled clearly that the issue is relatively simple whether or not such a pipeline would be constructed in a manner that will preclude1 its accidcn. tal damage to the environment. No useful purpose would Iw served by adding to the numbers of liti.wnts in or- der to rehearse expanded versions of what damage might ensue if spillage does occur. It is not a question of wheUier the en- vironment will be half-safe as a result of pipeline construction mid operation. Full protection is the Issue.