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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 18, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta Tunday, February 18, 1975 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 5 Macdonald talks about energy Development timetable necessary "Mr. Turner also insists that you pay those taxes in advance.. it just happens that he hasn't made a speech about it." A collection of book reviews "Tender Loving Greed" by Mary Mendelson (Random House of Canada Limited, 245 According to Mary Mendelson, American nursing homes can be very dangerous places for- those who are elderly or sick especially AND sick. Indifference to patients' we'lfare is typical of money hungry nursing home operators. Frauds practiced by these vultures include: drugging patients to keep them docile, padding of drug bills, using nursing aides as registered nurses, starvation diets and stealing patients' money. Exploiters of the sick are ordinary con men, financiers, doctors, pharmacists and funeral parlor owners. They are aided in their corruption and cruelty by crooked and in- different social workers, lawyers, politicians and civil servants. A depressing story but the author supports her expose with convincing evidence. Even though she writes about American nursing homes there is no guarantee the same kind of callous fraud is not happening in Canada. Anyone who has the slightest interest in the health and welfare of our senior citizens should read this book. TERRY MORRIS "Billy Baldwin Remembers" by Billy Baldwin (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 232 pages, distributed by Longman Canada "Decorative Art and Modern Interiors" edited by Maria Schofield (Collier -Maemillan Canada Ltd., 8Vi" x 176 Almost everyone can appreciate an attractively designed and decorated house interior but only the rich can get into the game in any big or serious way. Those who would like to be able to do so, while yet thwarted by their limited resources, can indulge in the purchase' of books such as these and live vicariously in a different world. Billy Baldwin, known as the dean of decorators, rambles along the trail of his memories of houses, people, assignments and whatnot. A plentiful scattering of photographs in color and in black and white complement the text. The second book is the edition of an annual. There is little text and much that is visual some of it quite stunning. The editor has widened the scope of interior design by including public buildings as well as houses. There is a special section on glass and another section on trends in furnishing and decorative art. This book is the more useful of the two. DOUG WALKER You're not disconnected from your money at The Oshawa Connection Now's the time to save at Beny's! GET GM'S REBATE of .fcVW on VEGAS NOVAS OMEGAS EXAMPLE 5P110 1975 VEGA 2-DOOR HATCHBACK COUPE With 4 cylinder engine, automatic transmission, tinted windows, front and rear floor mats, sports mirrors, custom wheel covers, radial tires, custom Interior. Retail Less Discount GM Rebate 200.00 Down Payment 500.00 1005.65 Your monthly payment only 123.06 for 36 months. GET GM'S REBATE S500 MONZAS of on THE OSHFKIR CONNECTION EXAMPLE SP191 1975 NOVA CUSTOM 2-DOOR COUPE With 6 cylinder engine, automatic transmission, power brakes, power steering, steel belted radial tires, dual horns, radio. Retail Less Discount 481.55 GM Rebate 200.00 Down Payment 700.00 1381.55 Your monthly payment only 136.75 for 36 months. EXAMPLE 1975MONZA Retail With 262 V8 engine, automatic Iran- Less Discount smission, custom seat belts, tinted GM Discount 500.00 windshield, front and rear mats, body Down Payment 1000.00 1965.15 side mouldings, door edge guards, rear window defroster, sports mirrors, block heater, tilt steer- Your monthly payment only ing wheel, power steering, aluminum 160.58 for 36 months, wheels, white lettered radial tires. OBT WORTH OP OAt With tnt purchatt of a ntw 75 Vega, Nova, or Monza EFFECTIVE ONLY UP TO AND INCLUDING FEB. 28th! Beny Chevrolet Oldsmobile 2 and 8 St. South Phone 328-1101 It's who you know that counts.' O'lTAWA (CP) Energy Minister Donald Macdonald says the federal and provin- cial governments should co ordinate investment in energy projects during the coming decade to avoid conflicts. The various governments should agree on a timetable for allocating an estimated billion of energy develop- ment money during the 10 years, Mr. Macdonald told The Canadian Press in a ques- tion and answer session. Following is an edited ver- sion of the interview. Q: You have just marked your third anniversary as energy minister and from the outside it looks like you've had to do a lot of running just to keep up with a changing situation. In 1973 you were planning to produce an over all policy paper. Is that com- ing soon? A: What we would like to do in the framework of the on- coming first ministers' meeting is to publish an over- view document of how we see the energy perspective at this point. An important aspect of that overview would be some analysis of the capital re- quirements of the energy sec- tor, on the basis of which we get pushed into some hard priority choices because we can no longer be in the position where a varied group of decision makers at the federal, provincial and private sector levels can ex- pect to go ahead planning energy projects and executing them, putting unbearable strains on the Canadian capital market Q: Do you see any vehicle by which this federal- provincial co ordination might be arranged? A: Obviously what we have to do at some stage is get some agreement that planners don't bunch all their projects together, but will agree to a consecutive timetable in doing it. A microcosm of that approach I think is indicated by our elec- trical interconnection policy, which features federal financ- ing for interconnections as a form of persuading individual provincial utilities to co- ordinate development. Q: Where's the federal priority in energy develop- ment oil sands, the north? A: Rather than making it regional, the priority has to be to shift as much of the energy use away from hydrocar- and natural gas, which have a limited preferably, hydro, which is a renewable resource, or to nuclear power, materials for which we have in very substantial quan- tities. Q: In allocating limited capital resources, what's your personal feeling about the priorities between, say, the oil sands on one side, the Arctic on the other, the Mackenzie Delta, or off the East Coast? A: What would I like to see happen first? I'd like to see us drive a drill into a couple of really big ones on the Scotia Shelf so that the petroleum needs of Eastern Canada could be assured. The trouble is I can't be sure it is going to happen. In fact, after 104 holes, it's been relatively dis- appointing on the East Coast and what I am trying to do is keep the options open and avoid having to make a choice of one or. the other at this point. I think not to have picked up the Syncrude participation would have been to make a would have counted us out of oil sands for the next 10 to 15 years. Q: Is it true you have little choice but to put money into Syncrude, that you didn't have much room for negotiation with the oil companies? A: I think that we couldn't turn and walk away "from it because nationally there is a need for additional petroleum supplies coming on, and we could not afford to be in- different to the fact that there are 22 billion barrels of oil in that mineable deposit. Q: Were the main negotia- tions to keep Syncrude alive between you and Alberta rather than with the oil com- panies involved? A: The critical negotiations were really at two levels. The first was the process by which the industry had to come up with an additional million above their original billion and, secondly, we had to nego- tiate the respective shares among the three Alberta, On- tario and us. There was a feeling that if Ontario-came in it had to. Donald Macdonald come in for not less than five per cent. There was a certain amount of negotiation there. The day was spent at times with the three governments talking with the private sector and, of course, the three gov- ernments talking among themselves. Q: Why wasn't Quebec in- volved? A: Well, they'd been invited and I think they decided that for million they would rather spend it elsewhere than there. Q: Were there any other provinces invited? A: My recollection is that Premier Lougheed said they all were, that he had sent a letter to all of them. Really, it was on Lougheed's invitation that Premier Bourassa con- sidered his participation and decided that at these sums he would not come forward.... I suppose I would have to say that in the case of premiers Barrett, Blakeney and Schreyer, they must have made a clear decision that they'd let somebody else go into the oil sands and they'd spend their money at home. Q: Was there any effort made to have the federal and provincial governments develop the sands without the oil companies? You said Ot- tawa couldn't afford it but did you ask the provinces? No, I didn't ask them. Our view was that the risk, should be spread around. It would certainly not be in our interest to come up with billion to pick it off: This would foreclose all kinds of federal options, not only in the energy sector but elsewhere in the federal public sector. We were quite happy to see the distribution and we were quite happy to get away with 15 per have the lion's share of the risk borne by the companies, who in due course will only get somewhere around 22 per cent of. the profit, with the prospect that the public sector, principally Alberta, can buy in for ma- jority control. In the private companies versus government, it seems to me that governments came out well ahead both in terms of by par- ticipation in the project, in- come tax and by also by ac- quiring a capital position and acquiring the right to get more. Q: You have assured Syn- crude of getting world prices for its oil rather than internal Canadian prices, which are currently about half as high. What if world prices fall by the time Syncrude starts producing late in the 1970s? A: If world prices come down then all the partners, including the governments, are faced with a challenge. Indeed, that's exactly the question Shell Canada put when we asked them to join the Syncrude consortium, along with Imperial Oil, Gulf, Cities Service and the three governments. They said, "We think there is a chance prices will come down. If you really want us to come in for a half billion dol- Jars, then we think you should give us a guarantee on the down side." We said, "nothing doing. If Imperial is prepared to take chances on the down side we think you should be, too. So at that point Shell stepped out of the meeting." Q: Was there any sign that Shell is preoccupied with developing its oil finds in the Mackenzie Delta? A: It may have, it may have. They obviously didn't lay all their cards on the table. They recently had a 'pretty good strike up there and they may have been en- couraged by it. They may have decided to pass the syn- thetic crude situation for the moment. They have their own oil sands property, and possibly turned us down in the expecta- tion that if they wanted to get into it at a later date they could buy the technology after somebody else had taken all the risks. You know the old Eskimo phrase that the lead dog always has a bare ass. This may have been the motivation they had. Q: What would Imperial do if, say, the world oil price dropped to a barrel. Is there any guarantee Imperial is going to stay in Syncrude, or are they just going to say, "shut it A: Well, at that time we'll all have a sunken investment there and we will be faced with a hard decision of what we do about that investment. Q: The Syncrude shares the government holds will be turned over to Petro-Canada when it's set up. Does this change the government's concept of what Petro-Canada was set up to do? Won't it move Petro-Canada into production? 'A: No, we always assumed we would engage in explora- tion and when we did strike something we would produce it. So it perhaps accelerated the timetable for this. I'd have to say it may involve a distor- tion in the launching of Petro- Canada because, instead of being launched with a' treasury with some money in it, they will be starting off with a rather substantial pro- ject on their hands and this is going to involve a fair amount of their time and money in the early years. Q: So, what kind of an in- vestment budget do you see for Petro-Canada? A: Well, we had in mind for the first five years something in the neighborhood of million a year. Q: That's not very much? A: Well, it's not very much in comparison with some of the international oil com- panies, but it is a not- inconsiderable fund of money. I think we are going to have to take a fresh look at the cash flow now that we've got the Syncrude obligation. Q: So that the Petro-Canada financing could be lowered from the 1150 million? A: Well, part of the Petro- Canada cash flow could be diverted, of course, to meeting our Syncrude obligations. Unless I can be remarkably persuasive with the minister of finance and the president of the treasury board, they are not going to have million above and beyond their obligations in Syncrude. Q: When you're talking about 1100 billion government and private investment in energy between now and 1985, is that for a self-sufficiency program, free of imports? A: There is a quality of un- certainty involved because, for example, we don't know how big the oil pools will be we drill in the Mackenzie Delta. If they are substantial pools, then that investment may not only turn up self- sufficiency, it may turn up a substantial surplus. Q: Does this include the Quebec proposal for uranium enrichment? Does the billion cover coal gasification, hydro developments? A: Well, not uranium enrichment so much. Coal gasification, coal develop- ment itself, construction of nuclear power, exploration for uranium, for coal, putting in place production facilities for those commodities. Q: Does that count the James Bay project in Quebec? A: James Bay would be counted. You're looking to investing the principal, next readily-accessible energy assets of the country. James Bay, especially in view of the general desirability of shifting to hydro use from, say, oil and gas, is obviously the next one and you would do that in almost any event. Q: To get into the question of pricing, we are pursuing self sufficiency A: I think I'd like to change that to self-reliance, if'only that in 10 years time, if there is considerable excess oil in the Mackenzie and the Arctic Islands and no success in the East Coast offshore, economics may dictate that Atlantic Canada is served in ordinary times by imports. It's just the mechanics and the economics of moving it, but with the possibility of building in an emergency supply system. Q: The westernmost prov- inces, Alberta in particular, have been very unhappy about Ottawa's new. tax policy for resources. You are taxing the oil and gas producers without discounting royalties paid to the provinces, so there is a competition for taxing room, for a bigger share of the increased petroleum income. British Columbia has just agreed to pay part of the tax bill for the natural gas com- panies, so profit incentives don't dry up completely. Is that a precedent for settling with Alberta? A: Canada and B.C. sat down and negotiated an agreement. Alberta, in recognition that there is going to be a certain federal tax structure, have made ad- justments to their royalty system. So they by mutual arrangement, the other by independent recognized that the changed structure of federal taxation is here to stay insofar as royalties are concerned. I'm not sure that anybody is the happier as the result of that. I can think of some reasons why the Albertans might not be happy with that outcome. But one of the interesting political consequences, political observations, on this past two weeks' Syncrude discussion is that a federal- Alberta relationship, which had been very much at arm's length and rather inter- mittent, was conducted won't say ease, because there was tough bar- gaining there was far greater cordiality than for some time. And if I may say so, with the same participants as in the previous discussion. Q: In the face of forecast natural gas shortages, will you cut gas exports to the U.S.? A: On a purely legal stand- point, we have a right to do question about it. From an across-the-border, good-relations standpoint they are perhaps even more of a problem than oil. I couldn't comment now as to what we would do. Q: You've gone through this long fight with Alberta and there's more argument to come on pricing of oil and natural gas. Why don't you move in with some over-all energy co-ordinating body? A: I would argue that it's in- consistent with our concept of the federal system. Bear in mind that the petroleum administration bill still before Parliament assumes that we will ultimately be accoun- table, .for example, with regard to pricing domestically in Canada, but that it puts as a prerequisite of the exercise of. those powers that there should be process of negotiation with the provinces, ;