Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - January 20, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 - THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD - Wednesday, January 20, 1971 Maurice Western No excuses for delay In times of stress and emergency such as the present unemployment situation presents to many breadwinners, government agencies should be able to cut through their miles of red tape to prevent needless hardship to those involved. For several months now a justifiable complaint on the tardiness of unemployment insurance claims has been levelled at the Unemployment Insurance Commission. Claimants across the country complain that they sometimes have to wait months before they receive the pay which they are perfectly entitled to. In some cases, this has forced families to ask for civic relief while their payments get sorted out at various UIC offices. Unemployment insurance payments are not hand - outs or welfare aids. As in any other insurance program, a contributor pays a fee each pay day into the unemployment insurance fund, against the possibility of a time when he may lose his job. There are abuses of the scheme of course. Some people think that because they have been paying into the fund for a number of years they are due to receive something in return. This misbegotten logic is as silly as assuming that because one hasn't collected on one's fire insurance for a number of years it's time to have a fire. The majority of people on unemployment insurance are conscientious, entitled to their benefits, and grateful for the' program. Why then, when it is needed to operate efficiently and with as little delay in sending out payments as possible, is this particular agency creating headaches for so many who are. relying on it? Officials claim that the workload in each UIC office has increased in proportion to the growing numbers of unemployed, causing a backlog of work to pile up. Why not then, take on more help? Hire some of the unemployed who are creating the situation? Another reason, officials state, is that the pay centres located in Winnipeg and Toronto are in the process of changing to a computer system, which is causing bottlenecks in the handling of claims. This may be all very reasonable to the UIC, but to the person wanting his pay it makes him wonder why, in such exigencies, can't other arrangements be made. Why, for example, can't the government set up a separate fund for unemployment insurance payments until the computerized method is perfected? Why must people wait for what is justly theirs while the UIC makes this changeover. No wonder claimants are annoyed! Bizarre beyond belief Several Roman Catholic priests and a nun have been charged with plotting to kidnap the U.S. presidential assistant for national security and to blow up the heating systems of federal buildings in Washington. That such people should be involved in something of this kind seems bizarre beyond belief. When the head of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover, first testified to the existence of such a plot several weeks ago many people suspected that this was evidence he had really entered his dotage. That still may turn out to be the case but now its determination has been left to the judicial system. Of course it is not Mr. Hoover who wiu be on trial and nothing regarding him will be proved. Nothing may be proved regarding the priests and nun either. The trials of resisters to the Vietnam war have been singularly unproductive so far, largely because of the determination of the courts to keep from facing the issue of the legality of the war and the draft. It is quite possible that the people charged with plotting may be guilty. Nothing seems to be unthinkable today. People in the resistance movement, frustrated by their attempts to register an effective protest against the war, could very well feel impelled to resort to more desperate tactics. A plot to disrupt heating systems- especially if it was that of the military establishment - is more believable than a plot to kidnap an official. Religiously motivated people in the resistance movement have been willing to destroy property - notably induction centre files - but only because of a belief that lives might be saved thereby. To contemplate doing violence to persons would seem to be a negation of purpose. Whatever is the outcome of this particular trial, it should soon become obvious to the U.S. government that only more trouble will face the nation if the war resisters are not permitted soon to have a proper test of the legality of the war in the courts. When the government wins its cases by sticking people with the almost unbeatable - and meaningless -charge of conspiracy or by tying people up in legal technicalities, the victory may prove to be Pyrrhic. Unemployment is not funny John Smith applied for a job and asked about the wage scale. "X dollars a week." "But your competition in the next block has been paying X plus 10." "Then you should work there." "I can't. They've just gone out of business." It would be wrong to consider that a joke. There's nothing funny about the unemployment situation across Canada. The Little Red Hen adapted By John Clark in The Free Press Weekly C* EORGE ROSS would have liked the cur-rent adaptation of the story of The Little Red Hen. It's adapter is unknown but judging by the speed of its hand-to-hand circulation, it sounds like George Ross had a hand in it somewhere. Hire it is: Once upon a time there was a Little Red Hen who scratched about and uncovered some grains of wheat. She called her barnyard neighbors together and said, "If we work together and plant this wheat, we will have some fine bread together. Who will help me plant the wheat?' " "Not I," said the cow. "Not I," said the duck. "Not I," said the pig. "Not I," said the goose. "Then I guess I will," said the Little Red Hen, and she did. After the wheat started growing, the ground turned dry and there was no rain in sight. "Who will help ine water the wheat?" asked the Little Red Hen. "Not 1," said the cow. "Not I," said the duck. "Not I," said the pig. "Not 1," said the goose. "Then I will," said the Little Red Hen and she did. She watered the ground end the wheat grew tall into golden grain. "Now," she said, "Who will help me reap the wheat?" "Not I," said the cow. "Not I," said the duck. "Out of my classification," said the pig. "I'd lose my Aid to Dependent Children," said the goose. "Then I will," said the Little Red Hen, and she did. When it came time to grind the flour- "Not I," said the cow. "J'd lose my unemployment compensation," said the duck. When it came time to bake the bread- "That's overtime for rr.c," said the cow. "I'm a drop-out." said the duck. "I never learned how. I'd lose my welfare benefits," said thj pig. "If I'm the only one who's helpin'.',, that's discrimination." said the goose. "Then I'll do it myself," said Great Lakes pollution report depressing l~|TTAWA - The report of ^ the International Joint Commission on pollution of the lower Great Lakes is manifestly a document of far-reaching significance. It may, in fact, have a practical application far beyond the basins of Lakes Erie, Ontario and the international section of the St. Lawrence for which it proposes remedial action. Many of the pages make depressing reading not only because of the findings, which are very serious - pollution "to an extent which is causing injury to health and property" - but also because of the appalling record of inaction at all levels over a quite incredible period of time. It was in 1912 that the governments of Canada and the United States, alarmed by the prevalence of typhoid fever at the time, requested the IJC to report on pollution. Following a six-year study, the commission advised its masters that pollution was "very intense" along the shores of the Detroit and Niagara rivers and that existing conditions imperilled the health and welfare of citizens on both sides. In 1920 it drafted a convention by which the two governments would have conferred on the commission "ample jurisdiction to regulate and prohibit this pollution." Nothing happened. Inaction was not, however, solely attributable to official negligence or to the resistance of special interest groups. Unhappily, an illusion of security was created by the advance of practical science. It was assumed that the advent of chlorination, combined with the sheer volume of clean water diluting wastes, would take care of the problem and render unnecessary large public outlays on waste treatment facilities. In these circumstances, there seemed to be no urgency about ratification and the convention was still-born. There was another reference in 1946, which produced an IJC report hi 1950. This time the recommendations were approved. Water quality objectives were set and the verdict of the present commission is that progress in achieving them, in so far as individual communities and industries are concerned, has been "fairly good." Why then the present mess? The answer is that new pollution problems have emerged. The nature of municipal and industrial wastes has so changed as to effect a dramatic transformation of the biological condition of the lower lakes. For example, the discharge of phosphates has enormously s p e e d e d up the process of eutrophication. Again the mercury threat is a recent dis- covery since it had been thought that elemental mercury and mercury salts would remain locked up in sediments. Instead it is converted under natural conditions into methyl mercury which enters the food chain with disastrous results. This time the IJC proposes urgent remedial measures, setting out both general and specific recommendations for action. It calls for concerted programs by 1972 to control effectively organic contamination by herbicides and pesticides. It demands an 80 per cent reduction by 1975 in the phosphorus content of municipal and industrial waste effluents. (The cost of the necessary facilities in Canada is placed at $211 million, which is not high, given the present level of spending.) Further detailed recommendations cover toxic materials, radioactive substances, oil spills, dredging, oil and wet gas production and so on. the Little Red Hen, and she did. She baked five loaves of fine bread, and held them up for her neighbors to see. "I want some," said the cow. "I want some," said the duck. "I want some," said the pig. "I demand my share," said the goose. "No.," said the Little Red Hen. "I can rest awhile and eat the five loaves myself." "Excess profits," cried the cow. "Capitalistic leech," quacked the duck. "Company fink," grunted the pig. "Equal rights," screamed the goose. They hurriedly painted a picket sign and marched around the Little Red Hen singing lustily: "We shall overcome," and you know, they did. When the farmer came to investigate the commotion, he said, "You must not be greedy, Little Red Hen. Look at the oppressed cow. Look at the disadvantaged tuck. Look at the underprivileged pig. Look at the less fortunate goose. You are guilty of making second-class citizens out of them." "But . . . bat," said the Little Red Hen, "I planted the wheat, and I watered it, and I reaped the grain. I ground the flour, and 1 baked the bread. 1 earned this bread." "Exactly," said the farmer. "That's the wonderful free enterprise system. Anybody in this barnyard can earn as much as he wants. You should be happy to have this freedom, hi other barnyards you would have to give all five loaves to the farmer. Here you give four loaves to your suffering neighbors, and keep one for yourself. You should be grateful." And so, they lived happily ever after, including the Little Red Hen, who smiled and clucked and clucked: "I am grateful, 1 ;im grateful. I am grateful." But her neighbors wondered why .she never baked any more bread. "I see your mother's been censoring my calendars again." All this will involve agree-ments among governments, seven jurisdictions being involved. The commission proposes, however, that it should have the responsibility for a continuing vigil on the lower lakes. There should be conferred upon it by the Canadian and U.S. governments, authority^ for co-ordination, surveillance, monitoring, implementation, reporting and making recommendations for achieving the objective of the report. This, it should be noted, Is a minimal program and not one that can succeed in isolation. For, as the IJC notes, the unper lakes and connecting channels have a profound effect on the water quality of the lower lakes. It is thus urgent to take action to preserve and enhance the other boundary waters and their tributaries. To this end, the existing reference to the commission ought to be extended. ? . ? * But pollution studies require time - six and a half years for the lower lakes. Therefore: "Until the commission is in a position to recommend water quality objectives for Lake Huron and Lake Superior, the states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota and the province of Ontario recognize the water quality objectives as set forth herein as the minimal basis for the establishment of standards in the administration of their pollution control programs for Lake Huron and Lake Superior." The Great Lakes region is the industrial heartland of the continent, by definition, therefore, these minimal recommendations apply to multipurpose water. In logic, high standards should apply to a purely recreational area. But although pollution proceeds apace, it has not yet been possible to set quality standards of any description for the waters in many parts of Canada. It would seem a reasonable proposition that the detailed requirements set out in the present report on the lower lakes constitute the least that should be expected anywhere. To use the argument of the IJC in respect to other boundary waters, until the new water management bodies are in a position to recommend objectives covering the basins for which they are responsible, these standards ought to be adopted as the least that must be achieved if we are to arrest the present deterioration and then gradually to restore the quality of Canadian waters. (Herald Ottawa Bureau) Carl Rotvan U.S. businesses facing crunch on South Africa WASHINGTON - An agony of conscience and bitter stirring among its employees have provoked the Polaroid Corp. to make some drastic changes in its business relationships with the Union of South Africa. Polaroid is going to stop direct sales' to the government of South Africa of the film used in the passbooks which the ruling white minority use to control every movement of 13 million Africans. Technical violations of the pass laws were largely responsible for more than 200,000 African men and women getting short prison sentences in 1968-1969. More importantly, Polaroid has said publicly that, instead of cutting off completely the small business it does in South Letter to the editor Africa, it Is going to use that business and the money from it to help undermine an apartheid system which Polaroid says it abhors. This is only the beginning. A lot of American firms are infinitely guiltier of supporting apartheid than Polaroid, which has no investments in South Africa. Companies' like General Motors, Ford Motor Co., Eastman-Kodak, Chase-Manhattan Bank, and more than 200 others have invested some $755 million in South Africa. Far more than Polaroid, they have fattened an economy in which Africans constitute 67.9 per cent of the population but get only 18.8 per cent of the personal cash income, and where whites make up 19.2 per cent of the population but get Save Sesame Street What a shame that the CRTC has ruled against "Sesame Street". As one who is concerned about pre-school education 1 would urge ALL Parents, who feel that this excellent program, has been a real learning experience for their pre-schoolers to take time right now to write the address below to state their feelings. After all, according to TIME magazine November 1(5. 1970, Princeton Educational Testing Service states the following: Knowledge gain among disadvantaged children improved as much as 24 per cent, skills were sharpened as much as 62 per cent of 943 children examined who watched Sesame Street. Many parents have expressed to me what this program in the short time it has been on TV has meant to their children. I know there are hundreds of people in the immediate area who feel very strongly about the value of it. Let's make those |>coplc who are on the CBT Committee re- consider what they are doing to the pre-school learning public. The above study has vindicated TV - it can teach, and teach well. The address to write to is- CRTC, 100 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa 4, Ontario. On behalf of our pre-schoolers, Greatly Concerned. HAZEL McKENZIE. Lethbridge. Editor's notf- The CKTC lias not ruled specifically against Sesame Street. It lias ruled that by October, TV outlets must carry 60 per cent Canadian content each day. Since Sesame Street is an American - produced program it may have to be dropped unless Hie CRTC accepts the series on a neutral basis. More letters to the editor will be found on the opposite page. 73.3 per cent of the income. These firms provide much of the wealth to support a police state system so oppressive that the government hangs people at the average of one every four days. The whip is put to Africans at the rate of more than 25,000 lashes a year. The signs exist - in the Polaroid case and elsewhere- that within a few years these major American firms are going to be under intense and explosive pressure from American blacks to either get out of South Africa altogether or to produce evidence that they are making a genuine contribution to justice by being there. The most disgusting meeting I had during my recent visit to South Africa was not with any South African official who sought to justify apartheid. It was a luncheon given by Howard Boessneck, president of the American Society, who invited in 16 Americans who head the South African subsidiaries of American companies. "My company sent me over with one priority - to make a profit for our stockholders. And that's all that matters," one American said. "I look around the world and see that what the United States needs most is friends," said another. "This country is a friend. It is anti-Communist. It pays its way and isn't seeking economic aid. Now why don't we just leave it alone and stop telling it how to run ils affairs?" The crowning oratory came from an "American" who had been in South Africa 35 years. "Mr. Rowan," he pontificated, "you show me one country in the world where democracy has been proven to be a workable form of government and I'll criticize South Africa. And don't try, because there is no such country." A couple of American businessmen e x p r e s sed anguish over such remarks, but most gave assent. It was clear that most of the bigwigs of American business in South Africa could easily qualify for charter membership tat the John Birch Scciety. It was equally clear that they are happy enough to go along with strict segregation in toilets and other plant facilities, to acquiesce in a Job Reservations scheme where blacks are forbidden to hold most good jobs, to sop up the extra profits that are possible because they can get away with paying Africans a tenth of what they pay South African whites. In the eyes of the businessmen I saw, Polaroid has committed heresy by pledging to "take a number of steps with our distributor, as well as his suppliers, to improve dramatically the salaries and other benefits of their non-white employees." The company also promises to spend money to encourage black education which is calculatedly held to a dismal minimum by the government. There is a grave question whether Polaroid will be permitted to do significant business in South Africa after taking this public stan4 But the company is to be commended for saying openly: "Since we have looked closely at that troubled country, we feel we can continue only by opposing the apartheid system ... we hope other American companies will join in this program." If most major companies did join in, this move for justice would succeed. South Africa is not about to push out en masse companies that represent 16 per cent of her foreign investment. But how many American companies care enough to join Polaroid in this move? The likelihood is1 that virtually all will opt for business as usual, hoping that American blacks go on sleeping and never really lower the boom of boycotts, pickets, and other protests. (Field Enterprises, Inc.) Looking backward Throngh the Herald 1921 - Under the new amendments to the Criminal Code it is an offence to carry a shotgun or revolver without a licence. 1931 - Spring-like weather still holds sway in southern Alberta and the weatherman forecasts no change. 1941 - Preparations are being made for the distribution of purple gasoline to farmers in Alberta. 1951 - The contract lias Been let for the new Royal Bank building which will occupy the site of the old city hall at the corner of 4th Ave. and 7th Street. 1961 - Construction is expected to start immediately on a $25,000 addition to Western Canadian Seed Processors plant in the industrial park sector of the city. The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St. S., Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Publisher* Published 1905 -1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Mail Registration No. 0012 Member of The Canadian Preit and the Canadian Dally Newspaper Publisher*' Association and the Audit Bureau of Circulation* CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager JOE BALLA WILLIAM HAY Managing Editor Associate Editor ROY F. MILES DOUGLAS K. WALKER Advertising Manager Editorial Page Editor "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"