Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 23, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
J 1 "I J sign ederal Subsidies may By GEORGE STEPHENSON Herald Staff Writer Problems in early childhood with physical co- ordination and motor functions could be signs of future academic problems when children reach school, a professor with the University of Alberta said here Friday. Lillian White told a session of the South West Alberta Teachers' Association convention children more than eight years old who cannot tell the difference between right and left or top and bottom may be "exceptional" when in school. Preliminary investigation shows evidence school children with learning disabilities have signs of poor motor function before they are in school, she said. Exceptional children include those with learning disabilities such as visual, auditory, motor and perceptual problems. These exceptional children seem to deviate from the normal childhood development, she added. Some of these deviations can be extremely important because they can be related to later educational skills. "Norms we would be looking at in a child five- years-old "would be the ability to sit, crawl, run, and locate fingers. Finger localization seems to be related to mathematics. So a child with difficulty in finger localization seems to be poor in mathematics, she explained. Dr. White pointed out various norms as set down by researchers and explained various programs that could be used to help the exceptional child. "Most of these children still end up under the norm in academic achievement" but the children can be helped back into the normal classroom. One child, she mentioned, was in a Grade 6 class, read at a Grade 10 level and did arithmetic at a Grade 1 level. With proper instruction he resumed work in a normal classroom after spending six years in a class for the retarded, she said. Dr. White added some problems can be overcome by the child without assistance and some will never be overcome even with assistance. Also, a Grade 4 child who finally overcomes a problem may have the emotional problem attached to it remain. limit rail abandonment By RIC SWIHART Herald Staff Writer CALGARY The high cash payments from the federal treasury to the railroads could be the factor which will limit rail line abandonment in Western Canada, says a transportation expert. Howard Easton, transportation advisor for the Canada Grains Group, told 20 Alberta farm writers here Friday the rail companies are losing their motivation to abandon rail lines because they will lose a tremendous amount of money through direct subsidization. A freeze was put on rail line abandonment applications by the Canadian Transport Commission seven years ago. It is scheduled to be removed Jan. At that time, the rail companies can apply to abandon uneconomic rail lines. He said miles of rail line in the west was subsidized in 1971 and the total reached miles in 1973 bringing almost half of the rail lines within the subsidized category. The lines being subsidized carry 90 per cent grain during a year and traditionally, the more grain hauled on the lines, the more the subsidy. And the slow down by the rail companies to abandon uneconomic lines is putting added pressure on the grain handling companies, said Mr. Easton. The grain handling companies will now have to take a closer look at possible abandonment of uneconomic grain delivery points. "They don't have the rail companies to run interference Large family with low income better off on welfare SECOND SECTION The Lethbridge Herald Lethbridge, Alberta, Saturday, February 23, 1974 Pages 19-36 By MURDOCH MACLEOD Herald Staff Writer Would the head of a large family with a low income be able to raise his standard of living by quitting work and going on welfare? "He'd be a hell of a lot better off on says Laurette Simon, social service administrator for the City of Lethbridge. "And still better if it was long term assistance because of the fringe benefit no she adds, "And I think the big thing is medical dental drug costs." Guntars Grintals, a unit supervisor with the Alberta social development department's Lethbridge regional office says the ques- tion is not whether welfare payments are too high. "The question says Mr. Grintals, "With minimum wage laws what they are, aren't we forcing people with large families to turn to social assistance payments to give a minimum standard of living to their The two welfare offices use the same rates, set by the province. They differ in their case loads, the provincial department having all the single parent families and long-term assistance cases. The city uses the province's rates, says Mrs. Simon, because the province reimburses it for 90 per cent of its welfare costs. Welfare rates are set according to a fairly complex schedule. Maximum basic assistance rates allow different monthly amounts for adults and children of various ages. The allowance is increased by 20 per cent, 10 per cent and 5 per cent for one person, two person, and more than two -person assistance units, says Mrs. Simon, because it is proportionally more expensive to maintain a small household than a large one. Pre-calculated rates These maximum rates are set out in a pre-calculated form for units up to two adults and five children. Adjustment rates are set out for each additional child in case there are six or more. The basic long term assistance rate includes food, clothing, personal and household allowances. Personal allowance is per month for each adult, and the household allowance is per month per household. Basic short term assistance, a lower rate, includes food and personal allowances, and clothing allowances for children. A balance sheet is used to compare a welfare applicant's income to needs to determine whether maximum welfare, partial welfare or no welfare should be granted. Mr. Grintals says short term assistance is lower than long term assistance it is assumed that people on short term unemployment can do without some things until they are working again. "On long term assistance it (the assumption) would be that the head of the family was unable to work because of physical or mental ill he adds. A utility allowance is paid on top of social assistance, as is rent. Most of the allowances are set by the regional offices because of local variations in the housing market. Welfare officials are reluctant to reveal housing allowances because some recipients have found reasonable accommodation at lower rates than they are entitled to. The officials do not want a round of rent increases for their clients. Utilities are about a month Lethbridge. Farm assistance ends Crop insurance plans mulled Picturesque 'Pass Frank Slide, which was created 71 years ago April 29, and Crowsnest Mountain are captured together in a winter scene that provides a superb subject for both photographers and artists. VERNDECOUX photo in City low on wage scale Dental, medical and prescription drug costs are paid on top of welfare. And there are no deductions from social assistance for Canada Pension Plan, income tax or unemployment insurance. A family of seven persons father, mother, and children aged one, two, five, six and nine would receive assistance of a month on short term assistance and a month on long-term. Accommodation allowance for a family that size would have to be close to the top, says Mrs. Simon, about With a utility allowance, it would receive about to a month. If the children's ages were five, six, 10. 14 and 16, the maximum basic allowance would be or It would probably receive between and a month, with utility and accommodation allowances. A family of one adult and two pre school children would receive a maximum basic allowance of a month or a month. If rent were a month, the unit would get to plus utilities. These figures can be compared with the going rates for low-paid jobs in Lethbridge. George Erler, a supervisor with the Lethbridge Canada Manpower Centre, says Lethbridge ranks relatively low on UK average wage scale compared with nine other Prairie cities. Mr. Erler says Canada Manpower statistics show the average weekly wage in Lethbridge businesses with 20 or more employees is Calgary tops the list with and Brandon, Man. is at the bottom with A unionized construction laborer earns an hour as a starting wage, he says, a non union construction worker from to an hour and a non-construction laborer from to an hour. Using a 40-hour week and the figure of four and one-third weeks a month, a laborer or factory worker earning an hour would get a month gross pay. Office workers and stenographers can earn from to a month, says Mr. Erler. The provincial minimum wage is an hour, and this is what some waitresses and sales clerks are paid, he says. "A lot of unskilled people, probably the balk of them, are in jobs like he concludes. The wages quoted as going rates are gross wages. Pension and unemployment insurance deductions would cut into them, as would income tax in many cases. Would it pay a person with a low income and a large number of dependents to quit work and go on welfare? "It may in certain says Mr. Grintals, "But I can't think of an actual case. Most people prefer to work and be self supporting, but if people on low incomes try to manage, their children sometimes don't have adequate medical care." FOREMOST (Staff) Fanners here are busy trying to figure out the best all-risk crop insurance plan for their particular operation. County of Forty Mile councillors, mostly fanners, got the benefit of advice from Bob Shearer of the Alberta Hail and Crop Insurance Corporation Friday. This is the last year that assistance under the Prairie Farm Assistance Act is available. So in order to receive protection against loss, it will be necessary for farmers to take out crop insurance. Agents have been appointed in different parts of the county to handle this insurance. Crops were not good last year and Conn. Lyle Nattrass of Manyberries said his fanning operation .produced the worst crop ever. So assistance, which partly covers costs, is more than welcome. But what about the possibilities of bail and crop insurance scheme? under the new Mr. Shearer agreed with Coun. Russell Scratch of Foremost that soil classifications are somewhat out of line, due to old maps being used. He said farms are classified by sections and soil classifications are obtained from the federal government, Alberta Wheat Pool and municipal assessment figures. These figures don't always jibe. "I have had a lot of said Mr. Shearer. He noted the whole County of Forty Mile is subject to a review in this regard. "When you get into an E soil, it makes it so high it's out of said Conn. Scratch. He said bis farm borders on the County of Warner with figures being on his place and across the county border. "The soil doesn't change that said Coun. Scratch. "I can see your concern as far as soil said Mr. Shearer. "We will probably have a man down here this summer and fall going over all the soils." "I would like to know where they get said Coun. Scratch. "Did they look at the soil... either our assessor is wrong or these fellows are wrong." Coun. Scratch said protection was going to cost him 13 or 14 per cent coverage to cover the costs. Mr. Shearer said 40 per cent of the regular, normal insurance rate is for the hail rider. The hail endorsement is for spot loss. The crop insurance covers hail as well under total loss. The hail rider must go on before June 20, the earlier the better. Farmers have until June 30 to file their "seeded acre report." Deadline for the original application is April 30. Levels are: wheat, 12 bushels: barley, 18 to 20 bushels; and oats, 21 to 23 bushels. Mr. Shearer said winter wheat will be in the plan next year. He is also urging for mustard coverage because it is not that different from rapeseed. Local scientist plans ethnic group directory The head of the Lethbridge Research Station library has been commissioned by the Secretary of State to set up a computerized information system relating to Canadian ethnic organizations. John Miska says the commission is a result of an application he filed last fall for a grant to compile and publish a national ethnic directory. Information specialists in .the department of the Secretary of State studied the program submitted by Mr. Miska and concluded that an automated system like Mr. Miska's would aid in handling massive amounts of information pertaining to ethnic groups that is presently not easily available. The result of the computerized system will be a national ethnic directory which will list sources of information on ethnic organizations in Canada, Mr. Miska said. "For instance, if you wanted to know how many Ukrainian dance groups there are, it would be almost impossible to find that he said. Mr. Miska said work on the directory will start in March. 2 remanded Two men charged with possession of cocaine for the purposes of trafficking were remanded in provincial court Friday to March 22 for election and plea. Phillip Michael Marsh, 24, 230 14th St N., and Robert McPberson, 20, were arrested in Lethbridge by RCMP earlier this month. for them he said. Before, when the rail companies wanted to abandon hundred of miles of track, the elevator companies could sit back and wait until the rail service was pulled out and then close down uneconomic grain elevators. But if the rail companies decide to maintain the rail lines and continue to collect a subsidy from the federal government, it will put more pressure on the grain handling companies, he said. The subsidy to the rail companies due to the movement of grain is based on the statutory Crowsnest Freight Rate which was iet years ago at low levels to provide an economic advantage for farmers who had to move grain to eastern Canadian markets. But with increasing costs of operation, the rail companies began losing money on all grain moved from country elevators to export position because of the low Crowsnest Freight Rates. Otto Lang, minister responsible for the Canadian wheat board, told the annual meeting of the Vulcan District Chamber of Commerce Thursday more information is needed in the decision. He said before any decisions are made regarding a change in the grain handling and transportation system, farmers need to know what the present costs are and what the costs of a different system will, be. He said the impact on the communities of changing the present handling and transportation system will also have to be studied. "These people have to judge what is best." He said he didn't feel a fully consolidated system would be called for that would eliminate thousands of country elevators.-He did feel a modified system would be chosen, one which would use the strong points from the present system and from massive consolidation of delivery points. "Its. your money and your communities, so you have to decide how to handle said Mr. Lang. Mr. Easton questioned-all the controversy surrounding the possibility of rail line abandonment. "This isn't the key issue facing the handling and transportation issue." He said people should be far more concerned about the continued viability of the nation's rail companies which is the real problem facing the industry. More reports on page 20. Hamlets' taxes can't be altered FOREMOST (Staff) The County of Forty Mile can't do very much for dying hamlets by relieving their tax burden, county councillors learned Friday. The chief provincial assessor informed council, in answer to a query by Coun. William George that council cannot alter hamlet assessments by passing an "obsolescent bylaw." Earlier Reeve Dan Vanden Berg said he didn't think council had that authority but secretary treasurer Roy Wallman was asked to find out for sure. Coun. McFall said at an earlier meeting that taxes are far too high in the hamlets. He was absent at Friday's meeting, as was Coun. Marg Dragland who earlier said: "When you pay taxes you are supposed to be getting some services and in these towns, what do you Iron foundry considers move from downtown Lethbridge Iron Works is considering a move from the site where it was established in 1898, City council Monday will consider an application from the company to take out an option on five acres of land in Ihe industrial park for a new foundry. "We are hoping to move bat we nave made no firm decision pending financing." George Davies. foundry general manager, said Friday. "We are cramped for space here and are looking at a larger plant to increase our production considerably." The plant, located at the corner of 1st Avenue and 2nd Street, employs about 70 persons. It manufactures iron castings for equipment manufacturers throughout Western Canada and the north central United States. Council's land sales committee has recommended the company be offered a 90- day option on a five-acre parcel worth The community services department is also pressing aldermen to approve a move for the department to the old public library after the new facility opens month. Department offices are now in a building at the corner of 5th Avenue and 2nd Street S. "No rental location would be less expensive than our most recent proposal, considering a three to five-year Bob Bartlett. community services director.. says in a letter. "It is also worth mentioning that the old library would be renovated in such a manner that it would be useful a number of community groups during our occupancy and after our vacating the building. This facility could be a very important community building to our re-develo. he says. Aldermen will consider a request from the University of Lethbridge to be charged at the lower industrial rate for electricity The university's board of governors says it is s of the largest power users in the city and that its heating and cooling plant must be considered an industrial raiher than a commercial It says the province's two other universities are charged industrial rates. However the city recom- mending against the -ange. says power duct ion is more expensive i, re than in Calgary, that there may be a further rate increase from Calgary Power, and that the city has picked up extra major portions of servicing costs lo provide the U of L with power. The city solicitor has asked council to pass a resoluHon directing what action the administration should take on a Pacific Western Airlines application to serve iht city. Randy Holfield. engineering director, has told aldermen that separate left 10m traffic light phases are not required at Mayor Magrath Drive and 10th Avenue S.. nor at 61h. Avenue and JStti Street S.