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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 16, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THE "LETHBRIDGE HERALD Thurtdiy, January 16, 1975 Social conservatism is a necessary path How much is parity In discussing parity of wages between provinces, as CUPE is doing 'in negotiating increases for Alberta hospital employees, it is well, to remember that parity does not mean an equalization of raw salary figures. Many other factors need to be taken into con- sideration, including taxes, costs of liv- ing and social benefits. It is not enough simply to compare wages between cities, provinces or countries. The vital factor is not how much one earns but how much his money will buy where he earns it. University salaries are higher in Alberta than in Montana. But so are in- come taxes. For certain brackets they are twice as high. Offsetting this to some extent, because the Canadian approach to health care is much more civilized, medical costs to the individual are con- siderably less. Utility bills are lower in Alberta than in Montana. On the other hand, manufactured goods are more ex- pensive on this side of the border. Other cost differentials exist. Anyone who makes a move from country to country on the basis of salary alone is apt to be somewhat disillusioned. Disturbing criticism Most Canadians who think about these things have probably felt, until recently, that the Canadian International Develop- ment Agency has been spending its money wisely and well. The long article by Richard Gwyn on page five today, following an earlier piece by Paul Hellyer on Jan. 9, will shake their con- fidence. The most disturbing criticism is not that funds have been disbursed in questionable fashion. That is bad, of course, but may be attributable to such things as human error and ad- ministrative weakness. What is really upsetting is the suggestion that the whole enterprise is wrongly conceived and is out of touch with reality. Several years ago it was widely conceded that development programs were not accomplishing what had been THECASSEROLE Now and then a representative of the over- 30s attends a dance arranged by those well below that very unmagic number. It even happens to over-40s, and on very rare oc- casions to an over-50. One of them got roped into such an event recently, one at which the music (if that, indeed, is what it is) was supplied by an unusually enthusiastic group of youngsters, who fancied their sound to the point of believing the entire universe should share their pleasure, if one can judge from the degree of amplification employed. This gentleman was heard to remark, during one of the infrequent lulls in the hammering, "I finally realize why old men go deaf; .it's because there really is a merciful God." California, another place where B B gets a lot of attention, this year's efforts to promote Anglo-Spanish relations and preserve the Spanish language will cost nearly as much, just over million. Perhaps the political mind does learn, after all. The U.S. House of Representatives the old one, that is voted by an overwhelming 12 to one margin to over ride President Ford's veto of legislation to make govern- ment information more accessible to the public. Some folks out west seem to find it awfully easy to get worked up over bilingualism, es- pecially when they hear such tid-bits as this year's price for operating The Official Languages Act, a little matter of {105.2 million. But they're not the only ones. In During 1972, the last year for which com- plete figures are available, Alberta's largest hospital treated patients in its emergency department. Over were there because of alcohol, because of other drugs, and a startling for aspirin poisoning. By W. A. Wilson, Montreal Star commentator Differentials between cities can be notable. To cite an extreme example, prices for commodities and services in frontier areas, like Yellowknife, Whitehorse and Fort McMurray, are apt to be shockingly high. Higher wages may not be enough to accommodate increased costs of frontier living. The result is dis- illusioned pioneers. Wage comparisons by province should also be subject to careful analysis because they, too, can be misleading. A sales tax has an effect on the weekly budget. Higher gasoline prices can eat into one's disposable income. Food prices vary. Housing costs are not uni- form. All these need to be pondered when parity is discussed in wage negotiations. They need to be taken into consideration not only by the negotiators but also by employees who are thinking of moving to higher paid jobs. If such an analysis, in the case of Alberta's hospital employees, still gives them a financial incentive to move, then they are under- paid. The question is: How much are they underpaid? How much is parity with B.C.? seems to be no absolute tradition about it in Canadian politics but far more often than not in modern times the federal minister of justice has been a member of the Catholic church. The pattern is so well-estab- lished that it amounts at least to a tradition in the making, if not a wholly-accepted one. It is necessary to go back to Stuart Carson, minister of justice in Louis St. Laurent's day, to find a Protestant who has held the portfolio for any length of time although one other, Donald Fleming, presided over the department briefly towards the end of the Diefenbaker period. Both Garson and Fleming were United Churchmen. Otherwise, the pattern that this key portfolio normally goes to a Catholic holds: Otto Lang, John Turner, Pierre Trudeau, Lucien Cardin, Guy Favreau, Davie Fulton, Louis St. Laurent, Ernest Lapointe. When something is done habitually in this way in the world of politics and govern- ment, it is sensible to assume that there is a reason for it and that the pattern has not come about as the freak result of some political roulette wheel. The reason in this case, is clear enough: part of the attempt by a succession of prime ministers to govern a country with deep inherent divisions through something approaching consensus. The presence of a Catholic at the justice ministry introduces an element of social conservatism into a key area of government. It is like- ly to act as a brake upon change, helping slow it to safe rates. This may be frustrating to those who, in an era such as our own, seek rapid change in the country's laws and statutes to keep pace with the rate at which change is taking place within society. Nonetheless, this is in fact a country where basic divisions go deep. They are religious, linguistic and cultural. The devices political leaders adopt to keep these fundamental differences from becoming dangerously divisive are not to be scoffed at. There is, of course, a cor- ollary to this. Canada is about equally Catholic and Protes- tant if those who are neither one nor the other are ex- cluded. It is an unwritten law, in this pattern of keeping the justice in Catholic hands as a general rule, that the man who is there will conduct himself with restraint and balance. He is expected to ex- ercise a conservative influence but at the same time not to make use of his official position to enforce, on non- Catholics, moral positions which have their basis in Catholic theology. The prime minister and John Turner both provided good examples, in their periods at the justice ministry, of the ways in which the sought-after balance is achieved. As justice minister, Trudeau introduced and hoped for by them and that a radical shift in emphasis was required. Mr. Gwyn implies that CIDA hasn't even been aware of that watershed, let alone the new situation created by the vastly increased oil prices. Such criticism is likely exaggerated for effect. The purpose, which is sound, is to call attention to the need for a reassessment of Canada's role in doing something about the ever growing gulf between the rich and the poor. That reassessment needs to be undertaken by Parliament, not by CIDA. It may be that CIDA has become obsolete and that a new policy'can be executed better by other departments of government deal- ing with trade, investment, and so on. If not, at least CIDA should have some direction from the government and be accountable. Multiplying government departments By Paul Hellyer, Toronto Sun commentator ART BUCHWALD Sabre rattling in Washington WASHINGTON There is a certain amount of sabre rattling going on in Washington. Henry Kissinger in a Business Week interview did not rule out the use of force against oil producing nations if they strangled the West. It is one thing to make such threats but another to carry them out. The major problem for the United States seems to be that, in order to pay for foreign oil, we've been exporting all sorts of military equipment to the very countries that we're sabre rattling against. There must be some wild meetings going on at the Pentagon these days. An assistant secretary for defence says, "I'm happy to report that we've sold billion worth of F-14 jets to Iran." An Air Force general says, "But we were promised the next batch of F-14 jets." "I'm the assistant secretary of defence replies, "but we need the money from Iran so we can go into production on our new T-65 tanks which we've sold to Saudi Arabia." An army general says, "What are we doing selling T-65 tanks to Saudi Arabia when our own armored units have been stripped bare to supply "Can you pay cash for the the assistant secretary asks. "You know I the army general says. "Well Saudi Arabia can. And if we're going to have a strong defence posture, we can't af- ford to just give away our tanks to the U.S. army." "Mr. Secretary, is there any word about my nuclear aircraft an admiral asks. "I have good news for you on that. You get the second one we're going to build." "The second one? Who gets the first "Kuwait." "Why is Kuwait getting a nuclear carrier before the U.S. "Because we couldn't afford to build it un- less we sold a carrier to them. You see they're financing us on it and it's only fair they get the prototype." "Damn the admiral says. "What happens if the balloon goes Kuwait has a nuclear carrier and we're still waiting for "We'll just borrow some submarines from the assistant secretary says. "This is the air force general says. "Everything we make we sell to our potential enemies." "Well it isn't my the assistant secretary replies peevishly. "Military equip- ment costs money, and the only ones who seem to have any are the oil producing countries. We can't afford to finance our defence unless they share in the cost of our new arms." "Does this mean I'm not going to get any new the commandant of the Marine Corps asks. "That decision hasn't been made yet. We did promise the Sheik of Abu Dhabi he'd get first crack at buying our helicopters. But he's now expressed an interest in anti aircraft missiles since we've sold the F-Ms to Iran. If he doesn't want the helicopters, general, you can have them." "Thank God he doesn't want anti tank the army general says. "He the assistant secretary says, "but Qatar does." "What the hel) "To knock out the tanks we sold to Saudi Arabia." OTTAWA In a recent column, I discussed the pres- ent controversy surrounding the Canadian International Development Agency and the suggestion made by some writers that legislation should be introduced setting up a separate ministry for the aid programs. While I know that this is the practice in some other countries, I don't think it is the best solution for Canada. The tendency to set up new departments every time a subject matter becomes the least bit important or the workload a bit arduous has increased in recent years. Mr. Gordon Robertson, former Clerk of the Privy Council and now head of the new Com- mittee for Intergovernmental Relations (between the federal government and the provinces) has usually favored splitting departments and establishing new ministries. This was the vogue in the Pearson years. Departments multiplied like rabbits. Costs and complexity increased correspondingly. The new Clerk of the Privy Council, Mr. Michael Pitfield, has spawned a similar proliferation under Trudeau. In this case, however, ministries of state for various categories has been the form adopted. For example, minister of state for housing and urban development, minister of state for mul- ticulturalism, etc. The responsibility of these ministers of state was not always clearly set out but, as you might guess, their es- tablishment did result in large increases in staff and costs. They also became friction points with other departments exercising similar or related responsibility. The alternative to this mul- tiplicity is a much smaller LETTERS TO THE EDITOR High school cafeteria In response to the article (The Herald, Jan. 9) about Lou Hyndman finally acknowledging the request for a cafeteria at Catholic Central High School, I wonder if he knows exactly what the situa- tion is. If he came to the school during lunch he would see students .eating in hallways, on the floor or on tables which are left up 15 minutes. In my opinion, this is not very hygienic nor is it very comfortable. This also makes the students rush through their meal. If they did have a cafeteria it would give them more time to eat and make a more suitable atmosphere. A cafeteria need not provide full meals but can supplement lunches brought from home. I can see from the response to the machines we do have that students want a greater varie- ty of lunches. There is crowding during lunch, the only time the machines are open. This means some people don't get a chance to buy what they want. In my opinion something must be done to change the situa- tion and the best alternative is probably a cafeteria. LINDY BISCAGLIA Student Lethbridge "My luck sure ran out today. All my horses and I've found a job." number of departments and the use of associate ministers where necessary. In the case of a very large department one or more associate minister can be named with responsibilities in specific areas. My first cabinet appoint- ment was as associate minister of national defence. The minister, Ralph 0. Campney, was a close friend and had been my roommate when we were first elected as backbench MP's. Even though the associate minister had full cabinet status and the law said the incumbent had equal powers and privileges with the minister, I knew that Campney was the boss and acted accordingly. I did those tasks assigned to me and there was never a harsh word or conflict of any kind. I found the system equally attractive and useful as minister. The work-load resulting from re organiza- tion was tremendous and demanded my full time and attention. Meanwhile, there were hundreds of documents ranging from the sale of assets to redress of grievance that had to be personally sign- ed by the minister. Presumably there was a responsibility to at least scan the documents before signing and this would have been totally impossible for me un- der the circumstances. Conse- quently, I delegated total authority for the day to day administration of these matters to my associate, first Lucien Cardin and later Leo Cadieux. Once again, the system worked perfectly. Neither Cardin nor Cadieux bothered me with routine detail. If a particularly troublesome case arose in- volving policy, they would consult. The relationship was warm, co operative and, in my opinion effective. The only time the system broke down was when General Pearkes was minister of national defence and Pierre Sevigny was associate minister. Sevigny had read the law and learned of his equality. He then attempted to exercise it. As it is quite impossible for any organiza- tion to have two busses at the same time, the inevitable fric- tions developed. Nevertheless, it is an ex- cellent alternative to more departments. The difficulties of the Pearkes Sevigny period can easily be avoided by ensuring that the minister and his associate have compatible personalities and by consulting the minister in advance before an associate is named, In addition, the legislation establishing the post of associate minister should clearly specify that, while having cabinet rank and the power to sign all documents requiring ministerial signature, he would exercise authority and assume respon- sibility only in those areas designated by the minister. This would make it absolutely clear that he reported to the minister rather than directly to cabinet. Under these cir- cumstances, harmonious working conditions should prevail. The appointment of an associate secretary of state for external affairs could prove beneficial. Mr. MacEachen, for all his fine qualities, is not an ad- ministrator. That is his greatest weakness. An able associate capable of scrutiniz- ing and controlling the ac- tivities of Canada's Foreign Aid Agency could easily save the taxpayers millions without over exertion. The sums involved have become so vast that the idea should receive serious consideration. Turner subsequently carried through Parliament changes ip the Criminal Code which had the effect of clarifying the law on abortion and making it considerably more available to Canadian women under safe conditions than it had been previously. They did this although abortion is, of course, forbidden Catholics. They recognized, quite cor- rectly, that Canada is not a theocratic state and that as ministers they must sponsor legislation for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. The way in which their Catholicism showed was in the conservative nature of the changes they sponsored in the law on abortion. The power of decision was left to hospital committees. Because of the power of older doctors in hospital structures, these are likely to be more conservative i than many individual members of the profession would be. And of course, they framed the law so that where the hospitals are under Catholic control, facilities for abortion would not be brought into existence. The controversy that has now developed around Otto Lang stems primarily from the fact that he is being insen- sitive to the contraints that are generally accepted as applying to Catholics at the justice ministry. He .has created the strong impression that he is in fact seeking to use his official position, his share of state power, to im- pose on others positions that are inherent in Catholic dogma. He would deny this as he denies that he is seeking to usurp powers that belong to the courts. Nonetheless, he has built up the controversy himself and he must live with the impres- sion he has created. He has not, it must be said, done much to clarify matters if he thinks the general impression is wrong. The sharp criticism of the justice minister from the head of the Canadian Medical Association, Dr. Bette Stephenson, shows how strongly his positions are resented by some important parts of society. She has made it clear that she and a signifi- cant proportion of her medical colleagues feel that Lang's hectoring is an attempt to apply pressures on them that ought not to be coming from the justice minister. That would also be the impression many people have been left with by following Lang's statements over recent a reasonable man, he seems to have been trying to pressure the hospital com- mittees into accepting his per- sonal views. At the same time, he leaves the impression that he is seek- ing to take over the function of the courts to interpret the law, although in fairness he denies this with some vigor. I think myself that he genuine- ly believes that he is simply taking a vigorous part in a controversy. The difficulty is that he has no means of separating his functions: As long as he is at the justice ministry, he cannot speak out as a private citizen. Any statements he makes carry the weight of his office. As a matter of historical fact, .the justice minister is not correct in his usual ex- planations of Parliament's in- tent when it passed the Criminal Code amendments in 1969. The intent presumably varied with individual parliamentarians but the law had a element of vagueness which its sponsors admitted at the time was deliberate. Abortions are permitted where the mother's health re- quires it and the word "health" was left undefined as a deliberate and conscious act of policy, not through careless drafting of the bill presented to Parliament. The intention, expressed clearly enough in conversations at the time, was to leave the inter- pretation of that key word to the hospitals' medical com- mittees. The lethbridge Herald 504 7lh St. S. Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD. Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mall Registration No. 0012 OLEO MOWERS, Editor and Publisher DON. H. PILLING Managing Editor ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Page Editor DONALD R. DORAM General Manager ROBERT M. FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E. BARNETT. Business Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH" ;