Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 6, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Local news The Lethbridge Herald District .SECOND SECTION July 1974 Pages 17-32 Perishable food transported in unrefrigerated vans Regulation gap leaves room for rotten deal Story by Terry McDonald Fernie Cartage picks up shipment at Canadian Dressed Meats There's sometimes a long delay in delivering meat to Alberta customers in Pass A weak link in the chain that is supposed to ensure that all meat products are fresh and safe means that many rural Albertans in second-class con- sumers. The Alberta department of health was so concerned about the situation that three years ago it wrote a health regulation to deal with it. But implementation of that regulation has been delayed because it would spell economic disaster for many short-haul truckers in the province who supply rural points with meat and other varied cargo. The new deadline for im- plementation of the regulation- which would force all truckers who haul perishable foods to refrigerate their vans is Dec. provincial health of- ficials say. But only great haste by the provincial highways which doesn't appear to be will prevent the regulation being delayed again. Major earners who supply cities are not affected since they already have refrigeration. They are specialists and concentrate on hauling their specialty. But the short haulers carry everything from tires to hardware to beer and food. Fresh meat and other perishable foods are being transported for several hours between Lethbridge and rural points in un- refrigerated vans. A federal government meat inspector based here told The Herald he thinks meat in warm to get if it sat in such a van a couple of the consumer would suf- he says. Two or three hours seems to be the average transportation time. Some times are some con- siderably so. But The Herald observed one unrefrigerated carrier picking up meat at Canadian Dressed Meat Ltd. in Lethbridge one afternoon and delivering it to customers in the Crowsnest Pass the next mor- a span of 18 hours. Such a procedure is awful. says an Edmonton public health inspec- but not unlike situations he has come across. Ken chief of en- vironmental health services for the City of told The Herald some meat is to hell by the time the store gets He feels that's unfair to the the storekeeper and the meat processor. A spokesman for Fernie Car- the Crowsnest hauler in- says she recognized the delay in delivering the meat is the but we don't haul much meat And she emphasized that Fer- nie Cartage does not haul meat into British which has a refrigeration regulation on its books. The delay in implementing the Alberta regulation was supposed to allow short haul truckers to ac- quire refrigeration equipment. Little progress has been made in three as truckers hope the provincial government will decide to regulate the industry similar to the way the Canadian Tran- sport Commission regulates air traffic. Such the truckers would give them the security they need to invest in refrigeration. Most other provinces regulate the trucking industry within their say officials of the Alberta Motor Transport In- which represents somewhat less than half of the 000 tiuckers in Alberta. Without such security many Southern Alberta truckers told The Herald they will not buy refrigeration. That could mean meat shortages in some rural communities. Other truckers said they might invest in refrigeration but would have to increase their to the extent that retail meat prices in some towns would almost cer- tainly be affected. The security that government regulation would bring would mean approved truckers operating on approved carrying specified cargos. A fly- by-night operator who owned a truck and decided to try hiring out his services would be re- quired to show the government that his service was contributing to his community and that ex- isting carriers were not providing adequate service. The government would prevent situations where two competitors use inferior equipment and business and each do only half a job one firm should be able to invest more money in adequately serving a confident that its route is secure as long as it does what the government expects it to ex- plains Garry of Pedersen Storage and Cartage of a director in the AMTA. L. E. the chiel of inspection services for the provincial health department in told The Herald his department's concern over the refrigeration regulation has been expressed to the department of which would have jurisdiction over any control of the trucking industry. Mr. Stewart and other provin- cial health officials say they are optimistic about the highways department 'moving quickly toward regulation and then the refrigeration health regula- tion can be imposed in fairness to truckers. The which has recommended government control of routes to the highways is also says Executive Secretary Bob Dnnnan in Calgary. But Deputy Minister of Highways V. E. McCune says AMTA proposals are still in the wouldn't even say they are real they have to have a lot of study. They are a good time Mr McCune said from Edmonton. Mr. McCune said the government's hesitation to interfere with in the trucking industry has been the mam reason Alberta hasn't so far regulated its truckers. Questioned about the concerns of the health Mr. McCune said it was his under- standing the refrigeration regula- tion weas already in effect. That Mr. McCune was mistaken was confirmed by health officials but Mr. Stewart felt Mr. McCune would be on the situation anyone was because he is the deputy The economics of upgrading what another Edmonton-based provincial inspector calls the area in the food protection clearly have small truckers backed against the way. They haul much of the freight and nearly all of the meat their community needs. But meat is only a small part of their total cargo some say less than five per cent. To upgrade their trucks to meet the refrigeration regulation would mean expenditures of between and Says Lynn Hirsche of Lynn's which hauls from Lethbridge to the Foremost just don't know. It is just not a pay- ing proposition. Right now I'm waiting. I would have to raise my rates at least 10 cents per Says Francis Danforth of Foremost Line not worth it. I will just not haul meat if they figure on enforcing the To make up for Mr. Danforth says he'd have to double his rates for hauling meat. Art Perini of Taber Transport says he will go to refrigeration but only if he has to. Not he might dissatisfy his customers and in the long would be even more expen- sive than refrigeration. Larry local manager of B-Line Express says the refrigeration regulation wouldn't apply to his firm since it already has refrigeration. But he thinks if short haulers had to raise rates to compensate for refrigeration would be out of this world. I just can't see He agrees the short haulers are in a bind. Another short hauler sees the delay of the health regulation as a of He thinks refrigeration is es- sential for carrying meat but doubt if I would switch. The proportion of meat I haul is too small. And there are a lot of guys in the same Dr. who has gained a reputation as an aggressive public health believes the provincial health department should provide the necessary boost to get the trucking industry to refrigerate. are dealing with a health problem here. Provincial health authorities should say they aren't going to have fresh food being transported without refrigeration. The boost has to come from He sees the regulation as one of and protection. It's too late to close the barn door after the horse has got Truckers are financially responsible for the condition of the cargo they several told The Herald. So why aren't more consumers complaining about the instances whjsre fresh food has deteriorated and the truckers forced to pay the Dr. Pennifold says less than one per cent of mild food poison- ing is actually diagnosed as such. he it is usually sorugged off as the flue or com- mon diarrhoea or simply I Putting the provincial refrigeration regulation there is a federal government made under the Canada Meat Inspection that was apparently broken when Fer- nie Cartage rolled into the 'Pass with meat in its trailer that had been there 18 hours. The regulation products shall not be transported for an establishment unless the railway vehicles or other space in which they are to be transported have been cleaned and disinfected to the satisfaction of the inspector in charge and are equipped for proper care and Since the meat picked up at CDM one of four federally- inspected meat packing es- in Lethbridge which must abide by federal regulations was not put into a refrigerated the spirit of the regulation was obviously broken. But three federal health of animals division including the inspector who supervised the CDM operation and the man who supervises health of animals operations in this part of the say this regulation does give the inspec- tor at the site some discretionary powers. Inspectors can allow truckers who are only planning short trips before unloading to get away without refrigeration. Dr. Peter the inspec- tor in charge at told The Herald anything over an hour in warm weather must be refrigerated or the meat wouldn't be released. He said shipments to the Pass must be That means the Fernie Cartage procedure violates the dis- cretionary .leeway Dr. Bogdan says he allows. Dr. who stressed that he was speaking personally and not for his government explained he is responsible for meat as it left CDM. But once it had his responsibility ceased. It then falls under the jurisdic- tion of the province. Alberta remains one of the few provinces which does not yet require refrigeration. Lougheed to be made Kainai chief Premier Peter Lougheed and former Lethbridge Conservative MP Deanne Gundlock will be made honorary Kainai chiefs at a ceremony in Standoff July 20. The premier and Mr. who retired from the House of Commons in have both dedicated workers on behalf of the Indian Richard assistant Blood band manager said Friday. The appointments bring to 33 the number of honorary Blood leaving two vacancies to be filled next year. Governor-General Jules Leger has confirmed he will accept one of the two vacan- cies next Mr. Mills said. The ceremony will be held in conjunction with Blood In- dian July 18 to and a Sun scheduled to begin shortly. Premier even before he was was active with the Mr. Mills helping the Bloods finance their sports arena and appointing Marvin direc- tor of Kainai Community Ser- to the human rights commission. these things add up for us to give him this Mr. Mills said. Mr. while in Ot- was effective in getting the government to increase grants to the he said. The initiation will take place at 3 p.m. on the Indian Days after a recep- tion at the administration building in Standoff. SHELBY McCAULEY IOOF leader in city A irline settles with Merkl Without admitting Air Canada reached a settle- ment Friday with a han- dicapped Lethbridge man who claimed the airline ruined his wheelchair and treated him in a during a trip to New Brunswick in April. Details of the settlement were not but Doug lawyer for Frank Merkl who made the com- said Saturday he is happy with it. I'm sure my client will Quoting from the reached Friday afternoon after discussions with Ian senior counsel for the the lawyer said payment was made a compromise to avoid litigation and to ter- minate all controversy and claims for loss or Mr. Maxwell said he was impressed with Air Canada's concern for adding the settlement will refurbish the airline's damaged after Mr. a quadraplegic and chairman of a local handicapped action group made the complaint. For the first time in 20 years a world leader of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows visited Lethbridge s Lodge No. 2 Friday. Shelby the sovereign grand master of the and his wife stopped in Lethbridge during their tour of Canada and the United States. Mr. making the tour in a motor attend- ed a meeting of the Lethbridge IOOF Lodge Fri- day night. Guests attended the meeting from lodges at Pincher Fort Ciaresholm and Stavely. The world leader began his North American tour last September in Nova Scotia and his last stop will be on Aug. 3. in the past have toured various countries and given speeches at meetings. I felt it was time an inter- national leader met with the members of our Mr. McCauley said. Mr. from said he finds the Canadian countryside and and the Canadian members of the IOOF more dedicated to the ideals and principles of the than his fellow American members The position of sovereign grand master is a one-year term and before Mr McCauley's term is his tour will take him to several centres in British including Nanaimo and Vic- toria. He will then cross the border to then Nevada and Utah. Opposition will have to scramble to save their deposits Lightweight competition won't wrest Lethbridge from Hurlburt By AL SCARTH Herald Staff Writer Predicting the first-place finisher in the federal election for Lethbridge is like guessing the fate of marshmallows tossed onto a bed of hot coals. undisputed at the last election as Canada's hotbed of provides a suitable backdrop to this electoral district's un- battle for Parliament. Conservative Ken Hurlburt has an unbeatable margin. His rivals cannot hope for anything more than a Monday morning mist to keep the flames from their deposits. To challenge Hurlburt's electoral advantage would require issues and candidates of a mangitude completely lacking in a lacklustre campaign. One thing that will cut down the summer-dogged apathy of constituents. About people voted last election. Little has been said to cause electors who do slog to the polls to turn against the Conservative tide of 1972 except wage and price controls. Whether that anticipated bite out of Mr. Hurlburt's healthy plurality will be that of a mosquito or hawk remains to be seen. Where it will be deposited is a second soon-to-be-resolved question. Mr. Hurlburt has not convinced skeptical agricultural producers that his party's at the end of the proposed freeze is anything but wide open. Liberal candidate Sven a potential beneficiary of those and other skeptical votes from wage will fumble some of them. He will be handicapped by the revelation his own nartv hae a nnntinoenrv nlnn to imnlement a similar inflation-fighting freeze. New Democratic candidate Bessie Annand may catch a few of the votes and Social Credit candidate Vern Young a few less. Voters who don't trust an across-the-board freeze aren't likely to opt for a revolution in the entire economy as advocated by Mr. Young. But Mrs. Annand has made points with her arguments for selective controls to hit price gougers only. Producers and merchants not tak- ing exorbitant profits would supposedly not suf- fer. To the she can say the NDP's proposed two-price system for sale of com- modities has worked admirably on oil. Canadians get a price cushion and producers get the higher international prices for their exports. The party also with some support from the other oarties. that it is obvious wages are chasing not causing it. A total wage freeze would thus be grossly inequitable to such people as unorganized workers making minimum wages. A second handicap preventing voters afraid of controls turning to Mr. Ericksen has been his lack of specific alternatives. He says employers and employees should be nice to each other and somehow settle things over a cup of coffee instead of a picket line. In Mr. Ericksen will probably lose some of his own ground to the New Democratic challenge. The last television forum was the latest of warning barometers for the Liberal camp. Despite her over-dependence on cue Mrs. Annand plumped down her alternatives to Mr. Hurlburt's policies with some conviction. Mr. Ericksen continued his shot-gun approach to skipping from one to the next without ei'iuiiciating any clear policy. It is the local NDP's fond hope that if Mrs. An- nand's alternatives don't convert Conservative they will convert sufficient Liberal ones to put the NDP in second place. But it would take based on the last to displace the Liberals. Mr. Hurlburt will sail into Ot- tawa his national leader having appeared at the soggy climax of this campaign to counter an earlier appearance by the NDP national leader on behalf of Mrs. Annand and one by Liberal Manpower Minister Robert Andras on behalf of Mr. Ericksen. The more interesting question today is whether Mr. Hurlburt's leader will also become a prime minister.