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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 20, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta 4-THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Ftbruiry 20, EDITORIALS Skimming the cream of transportation By W. A. Wilson, Montreal Star commentator Acronyms, arise Criticizing an organization like GASP, a group formed to institute social and educational pressures against smoking, is almost like attacking motherhood. However, since even the latter is no longer immune to objective scrutiny, a few words, may be permitted about the Vigilante spirit. Educating the young to the dangers of smoking is fine. Demanding the right to clean air is fine. But what kind of pressures are GASPers going to use dirty looks and caustic remarks directed at those who smoke in public places where it is still permitted? How about those who earn their living selling cigarettes? How about those who earn their living manufacturing them? How about those who earn their living grow- ing tobacco? Will they, also, be frowned on and made the butt of statistics, as they should be if there is to be any logic in the campaign? And what about non human polluters? After all, carcinogenic agents are wafted across the land on other smoke than that from cigarettes. What pressures will be brought to bear on lumber mills, fac- tories and industrial burners and the peo- ple who earn their living therefrom? These may seem like carping remarks, but there is always the danger of losing perspective in a movement of this sort which is riding a popular crest. Self righteousness is tantamount to self centredness and leads to disregard for other factors and for the total picture. If pressures are to be put on smokers, and this is already evident even without the encouragement of a formal organization, the same approach should also be applied to other annoying and dangerous social habits. How about an organization known as DEDD, Drivers Enraged at Drunk Driving? After all, speed inspired by drinking may be responsible lor more deaths among the innocent than smoking, in which the smoker is still the primary victim. Why not a campaign to formalize social pressures to correct this? How about WAVE, War Against Van- dalism This costly habit, which is tolerated sometimes almost as a sport, does not exist in a vacuum and everyone pays for it. A little social pressure applied here might have miraculous results. How about PINE, People Interested in Noise Abatement, a group devoted to the interests of all those who long to attend the cinema just once to watch a movie without being distracted by the chatter- ing of thoughtless patrons? The effect on blood pressure of such pollution might be equal to the health hazard of cigarette smoke. As for the annoyance factor, at the luncheon addressed by M. Marc Lalonde and attended by more than 100 persons, it was noticeable that while only two puffs of smoke were visible at one time, conversation at one of the tables was so heavy that some listeners had a hard time attending to the speaker. Why shouldn't those chatterers have been frowned on and chastized verbally as were the smokers? And how about an organization for all those people who are distressed (to the point of high blood pressure) by tar- diness in those who can't keep ap- pointments or dinner engagements on time and therefore waste that most precious commodity of all? It could be called PROMPT, People Reforming Others who uh, well, that's the general idea, anyway. AWH. Away with Habits. Everyone welcome. OTTAWA Air Canada's Yves Pratte is a much-criti- cized man these days and there is little doubt that he has brought some of the coals of fire down on his head himself- but not all of them. In two or three recent state- ments or speeches discussing over-all policy problems affecting air transport in this country, the Air Canada chairman is'dead right. The questions he has raised about the activities of independent charter airlines and the role of regional carriers are justified and badly needed to be put. The position that Pratte has adopted regarding short-haul air travel is profoundly impor- tant because it bears, and in the most desirable ways, on other forms of transport and even on urban development. Air charters'are one matter when they are carried out by a scheduled airline as one facet of its total business. They are completely different when they are the sole business of an independent operator. Charters in this latter category are simply cream- skimming operations carried out by companies that have no responsibility for the costs of maintaining the essential scheduled services over the same route. The effect they have then is to exert an up- ward pressure on ordinary fares. In a recent speech Pratte pointed out that some countries view this sort of operation as so harmful to their basic transport re- quirements that they bar it en- tirely. Israel is in this cate- gory. That is drastic action but it does demonstrate the serious effects these operators can have on essen- tial, year-round services. Other countries restrict the independent charters. Part of Canada's immediate problem stems from action the United States took to protect its hard-hit inter- national carriers from the latest strong-man in the independent Laker. He is a well-financed Welshman who has built his British-based Laker airways into a major aviation factor, to some extent using paper companies registered in the Caribbean. Now equipped with wide- bodied DC-lOs, Laker propos- ed to enter the American trans-Atlantic charter business in a big way this year. However, the two American scheduled airlines operating across the At- American and both been suffering serious losses. American regulatory agencies thwarted Laker's plans and this diverted his considerable capacity into the Canadian market. As matters stand now, he will run a major operation out of Toronto during the June to September period. He and Canadian Max Ward, who operates with a big Boeing 747 as well as smaller airplanes, are expected to take more than half the Toronto charter market this summer. Since venturesome entrepreneurs like these two Sharper definition required The conviction of an American doctor on a manslaughter charge for the death of an aborted fetus is not necessarily a victory for the anti abortionists. What it has done is point up dramatically the necessity for clearer and more carefully defined legislation on abortion. At issue in the Boston case was not abortion as such, but the vexing question of when a fetus becomes a living being. There was apparently nothing illegal about the abortion itself. The jury was convinced that the fetus was a living be- ing between the time it was cut off from its mother's life system and the time it died. By failing to try to sustain that life the. doctor was judged guilty of manslaughter. It is not fair to make doctors prey to harassment and uncertainty as a result of society's failure to reach a consensus on the vexing questions relating to abor- tion. Perhaps those who laid the charge against the Boston doctor are aware of this and hope to aid the medical profes- sion as a whole by a test case that will force an intensification of the debate and .produce a precise definition of life. A conference in Washington has already passed a resolution urging a con- stitutional amendment to protect the life of the unborn from the moment of conception. Such a definition of life is ad- mirable for its simplicity. It would, if accepted, do away with all the tortured arguments relating to the establishment of a terminus for abortions. But it is not realistic to expect its acceptance. If life begins at conception and must be protected from that point then the morn- ing after pill, just about to be put on the market, would have to be banned and its use made a felony. The way in which contraceptives were widely used contrary to law, suggests that a ban on the morning after pill would also be a farce. Actually, abortion itself has been mov- ing toward legal status because the ban on it has proved unworkable. Even in Italy, where the ban has had the strongest kind of support from the Roman Catholic church, the number of abortions taking place annually is es- timated to be between and Any hope of turning back the clock on abortion legislation appears to be vain. The best that can be expected is some tightening up of legislation permitting abortion. "Watch his left hook." EEC can hurt Canadian trade By Bruce Whitestone, syndicated commentator ERIC NICOL Signs and symbols The World of the Wordless that is any major Canadian airport. Haying recently flown to and from and my sedation now being reduced enough for me to be able to articulate a comment on the experience, I ask you: Do these signs and symbols in the airport really help to limit confusion? The bilingual signs at the approaches to the airport are the last gasp of verbal com- munication. As soon as the glass doors open magically for you to stumble into the bedlam proper, all messages are posted as symbols. The picture of a' suitcase, for example, directs you to the escalator that descends to the baggage carrousel where your suitcase does not make an appearance because it has gone on to Karachi. Similarly the outline of a drinking cup, plus a knife and fork, marks the approximate location of the coffee shop in which the ser- vice is exactly slow enough that in order to catch your plane you must chugalug the volcanic cup of coffee and spend the flight ex- haling live steam. In the big international airport like Toron- to's the symbol of a wheelchair indicates where you can pick up your wheelchair after you have been knocked down by the indoor train that carries flight passengers to the wrong departure bay. Even more fiendish is the sign of the arrow. Just a plain arrow. No word of where it points to. You follow it on faith. This arrow is posted by someone who does not want you to leave the airport building. Ever. The arrow points to neither the exit from the terminal nor the access to your plane. Its function is to guide you down seemingly endless tunnels till at last you reach a door that bears the symbol of a human body with a diagonal line across it, which means that if you enter the door you will be bisected. But the airport door sign that gives me the most trouble is the very basic one identifying the men's'John. No word, in any language appears on this vital portal. You are presented with the silhouette of a human figure, wearing pants. Now, in this day of unisex, of the ubiquitous slacks, of the lower limb panted regardless of color, creed or gender, that symbol halts me dead as hideously ambiguous. The symbol for the women's John is a figure wearing a loose fitting robe. This must land people like African delegates to the UN in a hell of a lot of glue. At a moment when communication is im- perative, I stare at the door with the treacherous symbol, and suddenly orange is no longer beautiful, and the friendly skies of United are menaced by precipitation. In using symbols to avoid linguistic favoritism, the department of transport has leaned over backwards, so far it has ruptured itself. A few years ago the door to male relief was heralded with MEN HOMMES CABALLEROS HERREN. Maybe travellers from Yemen complained about the absence of Arabic. Anyhow, the DOT overcompen- sated by removing the words altogether. The Arabs are probably more baffled than ever. In my opinion anyone who can't read the difference between MEN and WOMEN has no business visiting Canada, even in transit. If the DOT feels obligated to supplement the words with a symbol, I suggest that it find something more unmistakable, such as a toilet with the seat up, and a toilet with the seal down. This is no place to mince matters right? MONTREAL Most Canadians are so pre oc- cupied these days with the domestic problems of business recession, rising prices and growing unemploy- ment that it would probably be difficult to win many converts to the view that one of the single most important economic developments this year may be an external one; will Britain stay in the Euro- pean Common Market? Yet, an impressive case to that effect can be made. There was a time earlier in this decade when the Cana- dian government accepted with equanimity the prospect of British membership in the European Economic Com-, munity. It was everyone's hope that an integrated Europe could serve as a powerful ally in breaking down trade barriers and in strengthening the western world's defences. Now, our attitudes toward European integration are far more ambivalent. The issue is a particularly vital one for, Canada because of our strong Commonwealth ties and because of the importance of our general trade with Europe. For a complex set of reasons, things are not work- ing out as some optimists had hoped. Canadians recently learned that Prime Minister Trudeau was rebuffed in his efforts to reach a trade ac- commodation with the EEC this past autumn. An EEC with British membership assured, might well involve more trade dis- crimination against Canada, particularly in our agricultural exports. One could work up a pretty good case of pessimism when contemplating how Canada would fare, caught on the one side between a strong Euro- pean Economic Community, with its increasingly protec- tionist views, and on the other with the United States and Japan in deep business slumps. Now there has developed an awful smugness about the European Economic Com- munity and its exclusive, high tariff policies. It is not sur- prising then that an irate British public has compelled its government to seek a fun- damental re-negotiation of its membership in that com- munity, to be decided by a referendum late this year. What is pow in evidence is the need for everyone to ques- tion the reasons for British membership in that organization. The arguments are implici- tly economic: that the Common Market membership will work a miracle of economic transformation oh the sick British economy, of a kind that a national govern- ment could not produce. Yet, the proponents of British membership in the European Economic Com- munity are ignoring common sense economics. The gains from having free access to the European market for British exports must be weighed against the loss of preferences in the markets of the Com-, monwealth and other trading arrangements that could be made. Most calculations of the net result make it of negligible significance. The additional costs to the British of continued membership are of two major kinds. The first is the obliga- tion to accept a common agricultural policy. Sup- porters of British membership, by some strange illogical reasoning, maintain that Britain benefits by producing high cost food at home or the other Common Market countries in Europe instead of buying low cost food from the world market. -The second major element of cost is the contribution Bri- tain must make to the central funds of the Community, the proceeds of common tariffs. Estimates of this cost range around two per cent of Britain's GNP and this is the principal subject of the current round of re- negotiation of Britain's con- tinued EEC membership. So far the negotiations appear to be more of a "fig leaf" needed at home rather than any ma- jor change. Having chosen to live (or die) by ignoring facts, the pro Europeans now bravely assert the reality of a myth. Thus, they claim that British membership in the EEC will produce marvels for British efficiency the "cold shower" analogy. There is no evidence that membership in a fast growing market is a specific for fast growth, in fact a peripheral position in a fast growing market may produce economic stagnation. We must remember that "cold showers" have a way of killing cardiac patients too! All of this means that the rest of the world should not be looking hopefully toward con- tinued British membership in the European Economic Com- munity. Rather, Canada, Bri- tain and the U.S. should attempt to alter the parochial stance of the European Common Market to bring about broad scale lowerihgs of trade barriers. So much for the glories of the European Economic Com- munity. The Canadian response must be broader than just a trade effort, im- portant as such an effort is and will continue to be. It must include measures to make us more competitive domestically in controlling inflation, in our tax rates, and restoring a good investment climate all along the line. Thus, domestic problems, Canada's as much as anyone's, are all becoming international. offer cheap transportation to holiday travellers their role at first sight seems desirable enough. The whole difficulty is that they do nothing to provide regular service across the Atlantic, which is a necessity on a year-round basis. They simply make the provision of the essential basic service more difficult and more costly. One of the other necessary questions recently raised by Pratte, related to this one, is the long-standing fuzziness over the proper role and scope of operations of Canada's regional airlines. In some re- cent statements he has suggested a reasonable rule of the regionals should not be out buying larger jets than their basic operations can support. When they do, purchasing say a Boe- ing 707 instead of a 727, it is predictable that they will then seek to support the big air- plane by trying to skim off some long-range charter business. It would be a reasonable policy-decision to rule that no regional in dif- ficulty through purchasing equipment too large for its as- signed routes should be bailed out by government: In a recent speech, Pratte took the position, that "...in Canada it is essential that regulatory authorities take a firm stand to control the number of charter operators. I am sure that as businessmen you will appreciate the advan- tages of scheduled services. It is possible, however, that as vacationers you will prefer the lower price of the charter. I ask you simply to realize that the unlimited growth of charters will bring about increased fares on scheduled routes and affect future development." In the same speech, he then turned to a problem with even broader implications, the short-distance airline passenger. Traditionally, the fares charged for short inter- city trips have never met the cost of providing the service, which has been subsidized from long-haul operations. Because of inflation, the Air Canada chairman believes the time has come when fares must be more closely related to the actual cost of both types of operation. "In future, short-haul fares will have to bear a higher per- centage incrase than long- haul he warned. That is good news, because the subsidization of short trips from the proceeds of long ones is one of the major factors be- hind the congestion of aviation facilities around large cities. We are putting into airport ex- pansion, in this country huge sums of money that could far more reasonably be applied to development of genuinely high speed rail service. In places where railway service is suf- ficiently fast, people are still willing to travel by train. The proposal to build a new Toronto airport at Pickering is one of the two or three most controversial projects afoot in the country. It will cost many hundreds of millions of dollars. If that money were spent on the development of a genuinely high-speed road-bed between Montreal and Toron- to, rail service with the 135- 145 m.p.h. speeds of the Tokyo-Osaka line would become possible between Montreal and Toronto. There is not much reason to doubt that in this country as in Japan, a major diversion of short-haul passengers from the air to the surface would follow. Given that development; the need for a second major Toronto airport would obviously be postponed further into the future. That is merely one example of the alternative directions tran- sportation growth could take in this country. In essence, Air Canada's chairman has been seeking over-all policy decisions. There is a good deal about his administration that can be criticized, some of it vigorously, but when he makes such fundamentally correct demands as these he must be heard and supported. The lethbridge Herald 504 7tn St. S. Lelhbrldge, Alberta LETHBHIDGE HERALD CO. LTD. Proprietors and Publishers Second Glass Malj Registration No. 00t2 CLEO MOWERS. Editor and Publisher by NEA. lot "My schedule is completely.filled, so I'm tioing