Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 19, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Wodne.d.y, February 19, 1975 IJHIOIUALS Do teachers want equality? A letter on this page makes the interesting proposal that all teachers should get salaries and working con- ditions equal to any in the province. This means that all should be paid as much as the highest paid, which means that none should be paid more than the lowest and all should be paid the same. And it further follows that salary negotiations could not be conducted locally or regionally. They would have to be done provincially. It would be un- thinkable if all school boards in the province were stuck with whatever salary scales the Calgary or Edmonton boards agreed to pay, unless these other boards had some voice in the Calgary negotiations. So the Alberta Teachers' Association would negotiate a uniform salary scale, applicable over the whole province, with the Alberta School Trustees' Association, or with the Alberta depart- ment of education. l Is that what the teachers really want? Participation centres Sometimes good letters come to The Herald that cannot be published because the writers are not identified in addition to the pseudonymns they supply. A "worried parent" recently wrote such a letter in response to a cry for help from a 14 year old writer who cannot find enough to do in Lethbridge. The parent doesn't see work as the answer. "We must face it, there isn't the work for them (the youngsters) to do that we had to do in the past, so we must help them find something else to do in the line of recreation." That is certainly true so far as doing chores around the place is concerned. It is also true regarding remunerative employment for persons as young as the original letter writer. There is an urge sometimes describ- ed as a need for young people to spend time in association with their peers. It is part of the growing up process, if oppor- tunities for this association do not exist recreationally they may well be found in roaming through shopping centres or fooling around wherever that sort of thing is 'nlerated. That can lead to trouble, as the young letter writer suggested. No wonder parents worry. The uniden- tified parent didn't have a solution but wondered if what is needed might be" sports centres of a different and more modest sort than the Sportsplex where there could be dancing, card games, darts, and other participatory activities. That may not be the answer but it may deserve serious consideration before be- ing rejected. There is certainly something to be said for centres that are geared more for the participation of the many than the performing.of a few. Letters A teacher is a teacher I'm glad to read the provin- cial government is pouring more money into education. Over extra for Lethbridge so it's natural of- ficials of both school boards have expressed great pleasure at the unexpected windfall. However, I query the state- ment of one official that, "the cost of educating a pupil is the same everywhere." How can this be when teachers outside Edmonton and Calgary are paid hundreds or thousands of dollars less than their city counterparts? When teachers are shortchanged on their salaries it reduces their take home pay and pensions which are based on salaries earned. City teachers also receive sabbaticals and opportunities for advancement denied to most of their colleagues. Since higher salaries, pen- sions, and fringe benefits cost money, it seems obvious that big cities spend more to educate students than other school systems. A teacher is a teacher no matter where he works. There is no justification for teachers losing thousands of dollars just because they work out- side urban centres. It's dis- graceful that teachers in Southern Alberta are paid at cut price rates. Employees of the Lethbridge Separate School system are still without a salary contract and the claim that parity with public school teachers is too expensive is sanctimonious drivel. Now that school boards are receiving the benefits of "full equalization" they have no ex-. cuse for continuing to shortchange their employees. Before indulging in a grand spending splurge they should put their houses in order and -grant teachers salaries and working conditions equal 'to any in the province. Lethbridge TERRY MORRIS International Games High Arctic sovereignty The power struggle By Richard Gwyn, Toronto Star commentator Canada is not the only nation having trouble with offshore rights and issues of sovereignty over coastal waters and inter island waterways. Norway has recently extended its sovereignty over waters in the North Atlantic in a move which will inevitably be disputed. Norwegian sovereignty over the high Arctic islands of Spitzbergen was guaranteed by an international trea- ty of 1920. However, the treaty allowed all of the signatory nations the rights of mineral exploitation. This provision has enabled the Russians to gain a foothold on the islands via a coal mining opera- tion which, at present, entails a colony of persons and is commonly presumed to be political in purpose. It gives the Russians a view from the 75th longitude of the North Atlantic and also enables them to keep track of any "mineral ex- ploitation" on the islands by other signatories to the treaty. Russian's main Atlantic naval base of Murmansk is just across the Barents Sea from Spitzbergen and any such activity would be of vital interest to them. They would presume it to have the potential of an espionage operation and possibly be a cover for a weapons system. Soviet interest in Spitzbergen and Norway's interest in limiting Soviet ac- tivity, in the name of environmental concern but really encompassing much broader national interests, have long been known. The new development is Oslo's claim to sole ownership of the waters around Spitzbergen, which were not covered by the treaty. Norway claims that the islands have no continental shelf of their own, that the mainland continental shelf extends up and around Spitzbergen, more than 400 miles off the northern tip of Scandinavia, and that it, Norway, has the sole right to exploitation of those waters. Since they are now a potential oil bonanza, this claim is apt to lead to international confrontation with at least some of the other nations who signed the treaty and who feel that Spitzbergen has its own shelf and they are entitled to rights thereon. Norway's claims are considerably more tenuous than Canada's claims to territorial rights in Arctic waters. Nevertheless, they, too, emphasize the need for developing a body of inter- national law of the sea. RUSSELL BAKER A case of autosuggestion NEW YORK The facts seem to be that while America can no longer live with the automobile, it also can no longer live without it. Unless we give ii up, it will destroy the cities, ravage the countryside, poison the air and bankrupt the nation with its insatiable thirst for petroleum, for which, the bankers tell us, we will eventually have to transfer our entire national income to Arabia. If we do give it up, boom arrives by other routes. Because the automobile industry is the keystone of -the economy, economists assure us, closing it down would bring collapse not only in Detroit but in dozens of other cities which make the stuff used to make the cars. Steel, rubber, asphalt, concrete, machine tools and drive-in ham- burger, banking, fried-chicken and burial- plot-sales chains are just a few of the most obvious industries that would fail. Which way do we prefer to take our catastrophe? It is a dilemma. President Nix- on must have felt that he was faced with a similarly hopeless selection of choices when John Dean told him there was a cancer grow- ing on his presidency. He chose inertia by staying with the cover-up. The Ford administration has also chosen inertia for dealing with the automobile cancer. Its aim is to keep the auto industry going as long as possible on the Nixonian hope that something will turn up before the country goes broke and the last oil well goes dry. If the policies of the Ford government had been in force in 1900; we would not confront this dilemma. We would still be riding in buggies and have two horses in the garage on the theory that it would be a national disaster to let the horse-and-buggy industry collapse. The same kind of reasoning in the ISO's would have kept us reading by whale-oil lamps, at least until the whales ran out, which they are now, like the fossil oil, threatening to do. New Bedford and Nan- tucket might still be great industrial centres, rather than Detroit and Akron, although it is likelier that by this time by 70 or 80 years ago, in fact the country would have died of acute stultification brought on by excessive government resistance to reality. Comparing the auto industry to the horse- and-buggy and whaling industries will bring superior smiles from economists. It is silly, they will say, to compare industries of an un- developed country to an industry that is the linchpin of a highly advanced economic system. _ If this is so, if the car is absolutely essential to American economic survival, then the reason for the car's existence has changed fundamentally from the days when Henry Ford put farmers on wheels. Its chief job is no longer to move people about that can now be done faster and cheaper in other ways but to keep the economy from collapsing. The car has become an economic tool, like coinage, stock exchanges, the Federal Reserve System, banks. Once we approach the car from this perspective, the unhappy dilemma vanishes. Prosperity, according to Detroit, hinges on the sale Of 10 million new cars per year. Catastrophe results not from manufacture and sale of these cars, but from the costs of operating them. If Detroit can make and sell the cars, we can prosper, so long as we don't have to buy petroleum for them or let them turn the cities into parking lots and the at- mosphere into an execution chamber. The solution is simply for the government to buy Detroit's annual production and dump it into the oceans on delivery. Thus we preserve the automobile industry, keep the economy booming and escape economic and ecological disaster. To the conservative objection that this puts government too heavily into industry we need only point out that government has pursued the identical policy for years with the ar- maments industry, with only negligible protests from pacifists and eccentric Liberals. Indeed, if the government elected to dump Detroit's 10 million cars per year from high altitudes on bumptious enemies of the free world, the program might easily be justified as part of the defence budget. Political justification can easily be found. It always is when the government wants to find a way, and the need now is extreme. America desperately needs automobiles, and it needs desperately to keep them off the streets. a wise man whose name I now forget once said, "is squeezed out between the interstices of the law." What matters, he meant, is not the speeches and promises, of politicians, but the fine print of the laws and regulations. For several months, Premier Robert Bourassa has been sloganeering about Quebec being not separate from, but different from in some ill-defined way, the other provinces. In Paris last fall, Bourassa referred to Quebec as "a French state in the Canadian common market" and said that Ottawa's role in the con- troversial Quebec-France en- riched uranium projects was no more than "a customs' of- ficer." Bourassa also has resurrected his 1973 election slogan of "cultural sovereign- ty." This means, or seems to mean, anything from greater to total Quebec control over communications and culture. The ritual is well-known, and is trite. By picking verbal quarrels with Prime Minister Trudeau called them in Mon- treal awhile ago Bourassa distracts the attention of Quebecers from Olympic deficit, the construction in- dustry scandal, the illegal strikes and, most recently, the scandal in funeral parlors. The difference is that the fine print also has appeared. Just before Christmas, Bourassa brought down two now law, the other sopn to to revise the powers of the department of inter-governmental affairs and a separate act "Re- specting Diplomatic and Con- sular Immunities and Privi- The sections that matter, because they have the poten- tial to provoke a major con- stitutional debate, are as follows: "Section 20 No school boards, regional school board, municipal corporation, urban community or regional com- munity (nor in Sec. 21, "any public shall on pain of nullity enter into national affairs, Quebec often has barked but never has bit- ten. Bourassa came away from Paris, for example, with a Franco-Quebec agreement that was wholly without sub- stance. I read with some surprise about the "strong-skiing Frenchman" and the "French coach" who were involved in the men's slalom event in the Winter Games, unaware as I was that France had a team in the competition (The Herald, Feb. Or was this reference perhaps a journal- istic device intended to create an illusion of international participation and thus enhance the stature of the Winter Games? If so, may I suggest some ethnically oriented items for use in future articles: "The English badminton duo was drubbed by the Japanese." "The Ukrainian speed- skater was cheered to victory by her Czech coach." "Despite the defensive ef- forts of the'Irish basketball centre, his African opponent scored 22 points." "The cross-country ski final is likely to be dominated by the .Swedish and Eskimo teams." At the very least, such phrases as these sprinkled through Herald headlines and articles should be a boost for Canadian multiculturalism. HOWARD H. SNYDER Cardston The opposite concern is that Bourassa is arming himself for a constitutional battle. There is a defensive, nervous, agreements with the govern-, mood in the provincial govern- ment of Canada, the govern- ment these days. Quebec's share of ment of another province or a foreign government." This bill gives the intergov- ernmental affairs department the authority to "see to the ne- gotiation of the intended agreements" in all matters that concern "the external representation" of Quebec, a phrase that almost, but' not quite, duplicates Ottawa's responsibility for "external affairs." The second bill is quite new. It grants diplomatic immunity to representatives of foreign governments in Quebec and to the staff of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) which is head- quartered in Quebec. All these consuls-general and ICAO staffers already enjoy diplomatic immunity, granted by Ottawa. The kicker is in Section 23: "The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall also be entitl- ed to restrict the application of this act with regard to con- sular officers of foreign states which 'refuse to grant to Quebec representatives ad- vantages similar to those granted by this act." One official here with whom I discussed this bill described it as "verbal jello." In inter- the national pop- ulation, because of low im- migration and a falling birth- rate, will drop to near 20 per cent by the end of this cen- tury from 30 per cent a decade or so ago. Economic power in the country, outside of On- tario, has shifted decisively westward, toward Alberta and British Columbia. Almost certainly a con- stitutional power-struggle is coming. It's about the last thing Canada needs. The problems that count today are inflation, unemployment, energy and the drop in the value of the Canadian dollar. Trudeau also has prepared himself. "Canada is more than a common he said in Montreal. "It is a country of fraternity where people share with each other; it is a country without ar- tificial barriers." If Canada were a common market, Trudeau pointed but, Quebec would not have received billion as a cross-subsidy on the price of western oil, nor a subsidized pipeline to be built from Sarnia to Montreal. Compared to these realities, diplomatic immunities for, consuls-general do amount to "verbal jello." Goodbye DDT, hello BT By Don Oakley, NBA commentator In recent years, armies of spruce budworms, gypsy moths and tussock moths each as formidable as Pharoah's plague of locusts have been attacking the nation's forests. Time was when the problem could be handled by aerial spraying with DDT. But while it controlled the pests and sav- ed trees, DDT was also harm- ful to other insects and animals and was banned in 1967. Control of the winged raiders became something of a scramble after that, with different regions using different techniques with un- certain degrees of effec- tiveness at best. Now comes the news that chemists have isolated one of nature's own organisms that could be mass produced and harnessed in fighting the forest pests. Bacillus Thuringiensis, or is a bacterium that is deadly only to lepidopterous insects, the order that includes moths, and is. not harmful to any other form of life. Moreover, birds and other predators are said to thrive on larvae that have ingested BTs. In Maine, where five- million acres of forest are infested with spruce budworm, the state's depart- ment of conservation has ask- ed the legislature for million to spray the trees with BTs. The U.S. Forest Service approved the use of manufactured by Abbot Laboratories, as a BT for effective spraying. However, a.ny BT, somewhat like any penicillin, is said to be able to do the job. If I didn't have you to talk to I think I'd go mad. Solving the problems created by a solution By Paul Hellyer, Toronto Sun commentator OTTAWA It is an axiom of life that the solution to a problem, in seven cases out of 10, will create a new problem. With a little luck the new one will be less critical than its predecessor but will, nevertheless, require its own solution. And so it is with the newly inaugurated system for rais- ing funds for political parties. In the past, the largest source of funds has been corporations and trade unions. Now the emphasis is swinging sharply toward reliance on in- dividuals. The new system is attrac- tive both to the individual and to the political party. A federal taxpayer can make a contribution to the party of his choice, for example, and reduce his actual tax payable by The net cost is This provision in the law; is so attractive compared to other provisions such as charitable donations, that more and more individuals will find it convenient to contribute annually. The size of the money bank opened by this legal way o< tpMt by constituencies to raiding the federal treasury is staggering. For anyone who is used to the penury of the past and who had to scrape together a few hundred dollars now and then to keep an organization going, the prospect is comparable to the delirium of locating a deserted cave with a pirate's chest laden with pearls and gold coins. Good organizers in moderately affluent ridings can raise enormous sums. The large sums of money now available to political par- ties on a continuing basis raises the problem as to how the funds will be spent. The national party headquarters has an obligation under the law to advise the department of national revenue as to how much money is turned over to each constituency organiza- tion. But beyond that there is no restraint. The constituency organization is not accoun- table for its handling of the funds. The freedom contemplated is comparable to that alleged in the early days of the Opportunities For Youth and LIP projects. of UK! money will be open riding offices. This com- bination service and informa- tion centre will help to offset the advantage that the incum- bent MP has from the use of public funds for office, mailings etc. Prudent ridings will put away a certain proportion of the.take each year for use at election time. Funds will not be available from national headquarters as they have been in the past. Certainly not to the same extent. Some money will be used for social and other functions designed to develop and main- tain enthusiasm for the party organization. In other cases a riding which accumulates a substan- tial fund, may adopt another less fortunate riding as a This is an excellent idea though it puts con- siderable political power in the hands of the person or per- sons administering the fund. It is obvious that there are many legitimate uses for money in the political process. It is equally obvious that in the exercise of the op- tions available, there is tremendous scope for poten- tial abuse. If news of any abuse filtered into the public domain, the entire process could suffer. The actions of a few irresponsible or careless people could reflect on a system which, in its concept, is a great step forward. If political parties and politicians want to avoid the possibility of killing the public goose that is capable of laying golden eggs with fairytale regularity, they must plan now to keep first-class records of all receipts and ex- penditures. The books should be open to inspection by .both the donors and the public. Potential scrutiny would be the best guarantee of the reasonableness of expen- ditures. Failure to "think ahead" could result in unnecessary embarrassment and a needless black eye of in- nuendo for the thousands of honest, dedicated and hard working people who are doing their best to improve the political system by making it more democratic and reduc- ing its vulnerability to pressure from special interests. The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St. S. Lelhbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD. Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mail Registration No. 0012 CLEO MOWERS. Editor and Publisher DON. H. PILLING Managing Editor DONALD R. DORAM General Manager ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Page Editor ROBERT M. FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E. BAflNETT Business Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"