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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald {Newspaper} - 1974-01-10,Lethbridge, Alberta Opposition leaves energy bill imprint Thunday, January 10,1t74-THl LiTHIMOOl HIIULD-^lt Housing starts maintain record By DAVE BLAIKIE OTTAWA (CP) - The Common» opposition, using tlie leverage of a minority Parliament, is leaving its imprint on changing government energy policies. Dogged daily by stubborn (^position critics, the govern* ment has had to take opposition proposals into account before pressing ahead with many of its plans. Prime Minister Trudeau, Finance Minister John Turner ?nd Ener» Minister Donald Macdonald all have yielded ground in the last month to avoid opposition blockages, or even defeat in the Commons. The New Democratic Party scored the greatest opposition victory early in December when Mr. Trudeau announced a series of major policy shifts to win NDP support in a crucial non-confidence test. Since then, the Progressive Conservatives have demanded and won changes in two key energy bills—one authorizing the crude oil export tax and the other granting the government special powers to cope with oil shortages. At the root of the concessions is the simple arithmetic of Commons standings. With only 109 seats, the Liberals are outnumbered by the combined opposition of 1(^ Conservatives, 31 New Democrats, 15 Social Credit members and two independents. There are two vacancies in the 264'seat House. MET DEMANDS The December policy statement by Prime Minister Tnideau, four days before the non-c«ifidence vote on energy matters, covered a string of NDP energy demands. One major concession was to extend the govemment-industry price freeze on petroleum products to the end of the winter heating season. It had been scheduled to end Jan. 31. Mr. Trudeau also announced plans to set up a natifflial petroleum corporation, continue the export tax indefinitely, curb windfall oil coiporation profits and expand government investment in new energy sources. NDP Leader David Lewis, who had called for all of the changes, hailed the announcement as an immense victory for his party. The biggest concession since then came this week when Finance Minister Turner abandoned a key section of the export tax bill to meet Conservative objections and win Commons approval. The original bill would have changed the tax to a so-called charge Feb. 1 and would have given the cabinet authority to adjust the rate monthly to keep Canadian export prices Unexpected dividend for auto workers By FRED COLEMAN OXFORD, England (AP) - Cyril Rand and 26,000 other auto workers here ended their first three-day week with an unexpected dividend from Britain's energy crisis. They took home more than five day’s pay. Prime Minister Edward Heath’s Conservative government, which says Britain faces its worst economic crisis since the Second World War, has put industry cm half time to save electricity. But work agreements guarantee layoff pay of anything from five to 12 days salary in the auto industry They also require pay at overtime rates for more than eight hours worked in any one shift or for Saturday, national emergency or not. That is why workers earned more for less time. So Rand, a welder at an auto assembly plant, got layoff pay for staying home the first three days of last week He worked 10 hours Thursday, 10 hours Friday and seven hours Saturday of which a total of 11 hours were at overtime rates. The layoff guarantee and the overtime earned him fl21.90 for a 27-hour week. Normally Rand would earn »105.80 for a 40-hour week, “We’re not exactly in a desperate situation,” he said. Things okay — now So long as that remains true for the auto workers here, this city can breathe easily despite the national cnsis. British Leyland pays wages in Oxford area plants of »125.5 million a year. It is this payroll that largely keeps the local economy running. Out of the 150,000 workers in the area, one in six holds auto jobs. They are among the highest paid, often earning 50 per cent more than their colleagues in light industry And they are among the big spenders, the purchasing power on which local businessmen rely. ■ Rand said in an interview he expects his layoff pay to run out in the next two weeks. That is when the crunch might come for thousands of workers, forcing some of the worst belt-tightening in family budgets since the Second Wrold War That in turn might trigger a chain reaction affecting groceries, clothing stores and other shops in this city of 100,000 people 55 miles northwest of London. Optimism expressed If the crunch comes, Rand, 51, will be better off then most. “I’ve been with the company for 26 years so I have a bit behind me to cushion me from the worst," he said. “My son and daughter are both married and off my hands ” Rand and his wife paid off the mortgage on their suburban home. They own a car. By woncing the maximum overtime available to him before the energy crisis, Rand can earn up to 1167 a week. He figures that with the normal three-day pay plus unemployment benefits, he will be lucky to earn $92 a week once the layoff guarantees run out. If the three-day week continues, then the effects will be worse. ‘A drink at the local pub will be out. I will probably cut down on the weekly housekeeping money i give the wife,” mainly for groceries Like other relatively high-paid auto workers, Rand plans to hang on to luxuries like his television set and his annual holiday. His work mate, Barry Johnson, 24, is buying a house on a mortgage and a car on the instalment plan with about the same income as Rand. Johnson, married with a two-year-old son, says he will have to get his repayment schedules cut or delayed to keep afloat. David Buckle, district officer of the Transport and General Workers Union with 21,000 members employed in various local industries, says: “We are facing an industrial crisis of a magnitude this city has never known.” Buckle explained that when the auto industry was in trouble in the past, the men laid off could get jobs in light industiy in the area. But now, for the first time since the l>36 general strike, all industry is facing a cut at the same time. in line with international rates. Earlier, the Cmservatives won another round by holding the government accountable to Parliament for any decision to declare an emergency under the bill on oil shortages. The bill has not been passed but the government has announced a series of amendments to meet Conservative objections. Passage is expected this week, completing the government’s current energy legislation package. In the new sessim, expected to open sometime in February or early March, the government plans le^slation to establish the national petroleum corporation and may need legislative approval to carry out projects such as the proposed interprovincial pipeline extension to Montreal. WORST POWER BLACKOUT SINGAPORE (Reuter) -Scores of people were trapped in elevators, cinemas closed, traffic Jams built up and many families ate their evening meal by candlelight Wednesday night as Singapore experienced -one of its worst power blackouts since the Second World War. Authorities said the blackout was caused by a faulty cable. OTTAWA (CP) - A total of M6.000 new bouiing ttail» In 1973 set a record fw tte third I row, the Central .. and Howtinf Corp. ------; said WedDnny. "This represents a cent increase over the 1«7S figure of Z4B,914," the report said. “Actual starts in urban areas alwie numbered 17.717 set a ree year in a r Mortgage an (CMHC) salti last moatb, a gain of 26 per cent from the 14,011 total for December, 1972. Urban lUuit for all of last year reached 212,005, a two-per-cent iiicr«Bae over the 1972 figure of 20e,964,” It said. “Of this volume, starts on single-family dwellings «rere six per cent hig^r than in 1072 while multiples increased toy about half of one per cent.'* it Survey tool What looks like the easy way of getting a camper unit onto a truck i$ really an experiment industry is conducting at Spruce Grove, near Edmonton. Housed in the $100,000-unit is a device which uses signals beamed to satellites to find the exact geographic location of northern oil surveys rigs. NOTICE SiniUry Landfill - Seals Opanlion The City of Lethbridge will commence scale operations at the Sanitary Landfill January 24th. 1974, after which time all refuse received at the Landfill will be weighed and subject to fee as established in By-Law 3188. Domestic Residents will be assessed Ten Cents ($0.10) per Sixty (60) pounds or portion thereof on loads in excess of Two Hundred (200) pounds. Commercial and Contractual Haulers shall register at the City of Lethbridge Engineering Department prior to 4;30 p.m., January 18th, 1974. Commercial and Non-Resident rate schedules are available at the Engineering Department. Intioducing Datsu^ new performance number. The Datsun 710 is successor to the rugged, rally-winning Datsun 510... it features new styling, new power... and new no-cost extras. But it still has the Same kind of durability and spirit that nr^ade our 510 famous. And the same kind of economy. Datsun believes that There arc more than 1300 Oatiun dealers in North America. economical performance is what you really need in 1974. Datsun 710. Most of the cars it won’t leave behind on the road, it will leave behind at the gas station. For performance and economy, all you really need is a Datsun 710.2-door, 4-door or hardtop. •ss al you Mally nmd b a Foreign Car (Lethbridge) Ltd 1102-3rd Av#. South, L«thbrklg«, Albfta T#l; 328-9651_. ;