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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 19, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Thundey, July 19, EDITORIALS Oil may be Soviet-U.S. acid test Alternative terminal Perhaps Canada's position on a pipeline up the Mackenzie River to carry Alaska oil to the U.S. Midwest was not properly presented by the White House to the U.S. Congress and perhaps that is why the Senate voted to go ahead with the trans- Alaska pipeline. But Canada must remember that the toe would carry mainly Ameri- can oil to mainly the American mar- ket and would be built mainly with American money, so the final deci- sion should properly be mainly Amer- ican. Canada may not like the de- cision particularly in view of the environmental hazard to coastal and island British Columbia but Canada's wishes are not that important to the U.S. Unless the U.S. Senate reverses it- self, which is unlikely, the Alaska pipeline will make more financially difficult a Canadian line, oil or gas, to get these products from Canadian wells to the Canadian market. But again, the U.S. is likely to say that is strictly Canada's problem. The coastal pollution hazard is not so easy to overlook. After crossing to the south coast of Alaska by pipeline the oil would be put into huge tankers which would go down the west coast of B.C., pre- sumably well off shore and then enter the Juan de Fuca straits south of Victoria, thread through the gulf islands (probably mostly American islands on the American side of the straits) and unload at Cherry Point on the mainland not far south of Elaine and the Canadian border. These waters are treacherous to large ships because of shoals, rocks and fast and heavy tides. David An- derson, the B-C. Liberal leader who has led the attack against the proj- ect, suggests it is statistically certain the devastation to the shorelines will be beyond imagination. It will be little consolation that American shorelines will be destroy- ed as fully as the Canadian. An alternative, discussed at last weekend's Liberal conference in Van- couver is for Canada to press for tanker unloading faculties along the extreme west coast of the state of Washington or Oregon so the ships would not have to enter the straits at all.. They need not come close to Canadian shores at any point.. Canada, for her own safety, should press this alternative with all her strength. The power of Peron Juan Perqn has the power to evoke wild enthusiasm hi a large segment of the Argentine population. 'He will unquestionably win the election made necessary by the recent resignation of Dr. Hector J, Campora. But whe- ther Peron has the power to fulfil the dreams of his supporters is ex- tremely dubious. The people who want Peron return- ed to power are living in the illusion that everything was rosy at the tune he was ousted from power. They eith- er did not know, or have chosen to forget that Peron was a dictator who during his nine years of rule brought the economy of Argentina to a shambles. A large part of Peron's appeal stemmed from the mystique of his deceased wife Evita. That cannot be recaptured. What is more, Peron is an old man who has been out of touch with affairs of state for 18 years. The business of running a mo- dern state has become vastly more complicated in the intervening years and will impose a terrible strain on the president. Disillusionment is almost inevitably in store for the Argentinians. It will be a miracle if Peron can prevent the country from slipping into ruin. But those who anticipate this result are helpless to prevent it. A takeover of the government by any group now would provoke strife on a large scale. Probably only when the fantasy of Peron as a saviour has dissipated in reality can an intervention be at- tempted and no miracles can be expected from that either. Information technology The debate about whetner listening and recording devices are a bane or a blessing has sharpened with the disclosure that all conversations with President Nixon have been monitored during the last two years. Unquestionably the historical rec- ord is made more accurate and reli- able when all discussions and deci- sions are preserved on tape. No more should it be possible for rumors and speculation to distort the truth, since they can be checked against actual conversation. Yet there is no guarantee that tapes will serve the end of historical ac- curacy. Tapes can be withheld or destroyed resulting in unnecessary suspicion and possibly greater distor- tion of the truth. Moreover, tapes -can be tampered with by clever tech- nicians. The search for truth might thus be rendered more complicated. The self-conscious occupation of the historical stage occasioned by the knowledge of having all one's words recorded itself introduces a distort- ing factor into the truthfulness of a situation. This is especially so if only one of the actors is aware of the lis- tening devices. His performance might take on an unwarrantedly superior appearance. The historian would be driven back to hunch and supposi- tion to get a proper assessment how would it have been if all the principals had known their words being recorded? This raises an awkward ethical question: is it right to record the unguarded expression of views par- ticularly of heads of state? It is commonly assumed that what people say in privacy is protected. This per- mits things to be said tentatively hi exploratory dialogue that would ap- pear outrageous otherwise. A tape recording does not usually reveal tacit assumptions or the smiles, frowns and gestures that trigger a proper understanding. Despite the good intentions that often lie behind the use of techno- logical devices for gathering informa- tion, there are drawbacks which jus- tify their circumscription by law. It is conceivable that even Mr- Nixon could now wish that he had not been lured by a sense of history to have recorded all his conversations fov pos- terity. The casserole It oWt take the U.S. farmer an that long to notice how soybeans related to the general demand for protein, and the continent-wide rise in meat prices. In mid- April, the average price to the producer was 12.13 a bushel; less than three months later it was hovering around the mark. Wondering whatever happened to the good old work ethic has long been a fa- vorite topic for pundits and speech-makers. It shouldn't be all that hard to figure out, with figures recently mentioned by the fed- eral minister of health. At current rates, a B C. family with three children and one parent working at the minimum wage receives in wages and fam- ily allowance the princely sum of in a year; on social assistance that same family would get In Ontario, com- parable figures would be for family allowance and wages, for social assis- tance. God know: none of those figures repre- sents much of a Irnng for a family of five, but at least social assistance is a month closer to it than subscribing to the "good oW wort ethic ly 23 per cent of the time, senior hospital residents erred in 19 per cent of their diagnoses, while the computer was wrong only eight per cent of the time. In prescrib- ing treatment, the computer again was far ahead; it was right 98 per cent of the time, while the doctors prescribed with on1y 70 per cent accuracy. The technician who programmed the computer apologized for what he termed its "indifferent" performance, explaining that be bad fed into it information on only seven of the many varieties of stom- ach problems. Readers may have noted with some dis- may reports of kisses of books by local li- brary boards in the past year. It is a ser- ious problem, but so far no one has sug- gested solving it by such dracoman mea- saras as those employed in Phoenix, Ari- zona, where citizens can be and actuary have been arrested and even jailed for failing to return books or declining to pay their library toes. From LomVm comes a report of a con- test between a computer and some groups o; doctors, d-agnosHig and prescribing for tbdommal pains of one sort or another. It turned out that surgeons diagnosed wrong- Health Mir-ister Lalonde believes that drug companies should b3 permitted rven encouraged to prescrip- tion drugs, especially as to prices; his idea is that a sort of "price war" would be bound to develop, automatically leading to lower prices for the consumer Needless to saj, Mr. Lalonde is rather new to this By Arnold Toyobee, London Observer commentator The meeting in the United States between President Rich- ard Nixon and Mr. Leonid Brezhnev, seems to have led to a substantial advance in the rapprochement between them. Both men could be swept away, and in any event will eventually disappear from the scene, but the signs are that they command assent in both countries, and, if this is the truth, the rapprochement be- tween the two super powers may be expected to grow closer and to endure in so far as the relations between the Soviet Union and the United States are under the control of the two parties themselves. The danger is that their pres- ent efforts to cooperate with each other peacefully and con- structively might be wrecked by explosions in regions that are not under the sovert of either of them, but in both powers are implicated. An explosion in the Middle East might hurl the United States and the Soviet Union into war with each other against their will. it looks as if, in the Brezh- nev Nixon talks, no appreci- able advance was made to- wards an agreement for. posi- tive concerted action for achieving peace between the Arabs and Israel. At any rate, it is clear that Mr. Brezhnev's discussion of the Middle East with President Nixon has left Mr. Brezhnev still acutely anxious on this score. Mr. Brezhnev's anxiety is shared by Mr. Elmer F. Ben- nett, assistant director of the U.S. Office of Emergency Pre- paredness and by Senator J. W. Fulbright, the chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Rela- tions Committee. The contin- gency against which these two highly responsible American authorities gave warning was the possibility, foreseen by them, that the United States might try to solve its problem of shortage of mineral oil by conquering some of the oil-rich Arab States. Senator Fulbright pointed out that these countries are militarily defenceless, and that the United States might be able to conquer them without needing to send an American expeditionary force. "Militar- ily potent surrogates" are, he said, and be named Iran and Israel. The possibility foreseen by Senator Fulbright and by Mr. Bennett is sensational, but tins does not mean that it can be written off H must be planning to scrap it next Supreme Court must answer dilemma Bj Maurice Westera. Herald Ottawa commentator OTTAWA The decision of Mr. Justice Osier in the Six Na- tions case creates so many un- certainties over such a vast area that clarification will have to be sought from me Supreme Court of Canada. In finding that the Indian Act is inoperative, the Ontario Judge has not only struck a blow at discrimination On the Hill Joe dark, MP for Rocky Mountain Like most MP's, a large part of my day is spent helping con- stituents who write or call with problems. Some are com- plicated others relatively easy to resolve; but the most numerous and discouraging let- ters and calls come from peo- ple who are having difficulty with unemployment insurance. Two kinds of problems face each person who has a legiti- mate claim to unemployment insurance. The first is the im- mediate need for cash, until a job becomes available, while the second results from the fact that a lot of people are abusing unemployment insur- ance. To reduce abuse, the Un- employment Insurance Com- mission has set up tough stan- dards and legitimate claimants are often fouled-up by proce- dures designed to catch cheat- ers. Die amendment to the Un- employment Insurance Act, ef- fective July 15, 1971, introduc- ed a number of changes. One result has been an overwhelm- ing increase in the number of applications for benefits. Because of this increase in volume, many policies estab- lished by the Government some time ago, have become out- dated. One such policy relates to job search in smaller towns. A main requirement for benefit is that a person make "regular and systematic sear- ches for In large urban areas, wLtit job opportunities are usually more numerous, and within reach by public transportation systems, th a t requirement can go far towards weeding out people who have no intention of looking for work. But m rural areas and towns, where the number of jobs available is always limit- ed, aTid where personal trans- portation is essential for those seeking work away from their home, this regulation is dis- criminatory. Most constituents of Rocky Mountain are caught by that discrimination Until quite re- cently, my office has handled anywhere from three to ten cases a week, of people who have been disqualified for what the Commission termed "insuf- ficient job In most cases, the appeal to the Board of Referees had been dismiss- ed. A few people felt that they had been unfairly treated dur- ing their appeal, and that the insurance officers were only interested in the number of places where applications had been made, rather than the number of places where appli- cations could be made. Sane of the cases brought to my at- tention could be resolved satis- factorily, while others could only resort to the appeal to the Umpire, in the hope that new and additional information would alter or change the de- cision of the Board of Refer- ees. I have written the Chairman of the UIC and the Minister of Manpower and Immigration, outlining (be special problems facing claimants seeking work in small towns where employ- ment opportunities are limited. I also raised the special problem of legitimate claimants living in areas in or around Na- tional Parks, who suffer be- cause there is a crackdown on illegitimate who come to ski at UIC expense. So far, there has been no marked change in Ottawa's ap- proach. They continue to treat towns and cities the same, des- pite the difference in employ- ment opportunities. It seems to be another case of ignoring the special situation of smaller communities. In future, I am going to for- ward every letter and com- plaint to the Minister directly, to emphasize the need for an immediate change in policy. In the meantime, my office continues to handle the many letters and calls from consti- tuents disentitled because of "insufficient job As one irate woman com- mented after trying to boost the number of applications cm her job search claim: "What do they want from me? I was nearly thrown out of two busi- nesses in town when I went to apply for a third time. They had already said that they would let me know if anything came up.'' bat also at protections which have existed for generations and to which many Indians stifl attach much importance. This was, in fact, the immedi- ate reaction of John Gasson, executive director of the Indian- Eskimo Association of Canada. In the light of the history of the Six Nations and their spe- cial relationship to the Crown, Mr. Justice Osier could prob- ably have based a ruling in fa- vor of the hereditary chiefs on narrower grounds. By calling the Act Into question, he has aeated a problem that con- cerns the Indian people gener- ally. His reasoning is that the Supreme Court has already found certain sections invalid on grounds of discrimination and that this in fact is the basis of the whole Act There cannot be much argu- ment mat the Act does dis- criminate; we do not have sepa- rate acts governing the various peoples of assorted pigmenta- tions who came here as immi- grants. But this discrimination was deliberately imbedded in the constitution by the Fathers of Confederation. It was an ex- plicit recognition of the inner, ited duty of the federal Govern- ment to protect "Indians and Indian lands." The Indian Act, however outdated it may now be, was buflt on tins provision. What is probably needed, as the Government suggested in its 190 policy statement, is re- peal with the enactment, at the same time, of transitional legislation. But a new problem is now posed, both for the Gov- ernment and the Indiana If Mr. Justice Osier is right about discrimination, how is legis- lation to be written which win cover the Indian people as a special case without being as vulnerable as its obsolete pre- decessor to the condemnation of the courts? At least part of the trouble may originate in the fact that the word "discrimination" is used latlief loosely. In some cases it has a clear meaning. Thus ft is manifestly unjust to cay that a white man may drink bat an Indian may not. But it may be considered eminently just that an Eskimo should be permitted to take game for food, although that right is denied to his white neighbor. In other words rights may be acquired through va- nety of orannstanccs and in these cases they are not univer- sal. This is true of the whole society in property matters for some own, others do not, still others have lease rights and so on. It is true also of taxation