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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 19, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 LETHBRIDGE HERALD Wednesday, June 19, 1974 Conservative support up in B.C A wise decision Because city council has acted un- reasonably in some matters does not mean it is always wrong. The decision to go ahead with the sale of the power plant is a wise and responsible one. if not en- tirely popular. A public referendum on the issue, as advocated by some of the opponents of the city's plan to buy all its power and to go out of the generating business, would have been an act of the gravest irrespon- sibility. The decision is a dollars and cents one. and must be made objectively and dispassionately by the city's elected government. A political campaign with that the only issue would have been anything but objective and the results anything but arithmetically correct. the confrontation Monday night ap- parently changed no one's mind, but that does not mean it should not have been held. It gave the opponents one more chance to be heard. Their complaint is that the aldermen weren't listening, that some of their questions were not answered, some of their arguments unheeded. That is a matter of opinion. It is good for Lethbridge that a growing number of citizens are taking an interest in civic affairs, and that voices are rais- ed occasionally in opposition to alder- manic intentions. Those who took the time and showed the interest to work so hard against the Calgary Power plan should be commended, even by the aldermen, for their sincerity and their display of active citizenship. That doesn't mean they were right. The suspicion lingers that in spite of their claim of objectivity, they came with a bias, certainly a greater one than the aldermen had. It must be assumed that the aldermen had no philosophical bias for or against city ownership of a power plant, and their only concern was getting the cheapest possible power for the city owned distribution system, in other words the best financial deal for the citizens. And in spite of the assault on the evidence before the aldermen, they remained convinced that the best deal lay in selling the plant and buying the power. So be it. Proposed sewage increase The city engineering director has recommended to city council that sewage charges to domestic users be increased 25 per cent. At the same time, most of the recommendations of his. report deal with the problems of industrial sewage and make it clear that continuous troubles of the secondary sewage treatment plant are due to industry. Perhaps this is only an unfortunate juxtaposition. Nevertheless, it does leave the impression, in the absence of any indication of trouble over domestic sewage, that the domestic ratepayers are being asked to subsidize industry by carrying more than their fair share of the expense. If the 25 per cent increase to domestic users is justified by increased costs in treating domestic sewage, then this should be spelled out in convincing fashion. If it cannot be thus justified, then it should not be allowed. The city has admirable in its efforts to bring in industry to broaden the local economy. But it does not have to be. and should not be. subservient to the industrial sector. A city council is not helpless in the face of industrial transgressions. There are standards and they should be enforced and there should be none of the nonsense, voiced or unvoiced, about fearing to run industry out of town or losing jobs by closing a plant down. If an industry cannot mount an economic operation while staying within environmental standards such as those affecting sewage effluents then it had better cease to exist. It has no right to expect to be subsidized by the ratepayer, either directly or by damaging his environment, which is just a more subtle form of subsidy. The threat that an industry will move elsewhere is a familiar one and an effective one, even when it is patently ridiculous. It should be kept in mind, however, that as people become more aware of environmental quality and the dangers of air and water pollution, there will be fewer and fewer places where an industry can settle without environmental regulations. In fact, industries which by their very nature are pollutants, should welcome widely accepted standards because it means that they and their competitors are working under the same restrictions and none has an economic advantage over the others in this respect. Meanwhile, the question is: Does the proposed 25 per cent increase to domestic users arise solely from a 25 per cent increase in the cost of treating domestic sewage? Art gallery "Shafted'" is the word that best describes what happened to the art gallery proponents at Monday night's city council meeting. The committee promoting the conversion of the old library building into an art gallery had done their homework, and plenty of it. They had discussed the subject at great length with the city's community services advisory committee, set up by city council to advise on such matters as this. The advisory committee finally voted unanimously to recommend approval of the art gallery committee's request, with three reasonable qualifications. The art gallery committee was then advised that all was in order, that no further submission need be made to city council, that it wasn't even necessary to attend the meeting. Then, unknown to the art gallery committee, the acting city manager cooked up some objections and city council went along with him, apparently not being aware that some of the manager's conceptions were misconceptions and some of his statements of fact were less than fact. The net result is that a useful and needed civic asset, namely a good art gallery, which could have been made from the old library without any cost to the citizens, is now scuttled. One wonders if the community services advisory committee should be allowed to exist, if it serves only as an instrument for the city management to "shaft" such efforts as the promotion of an art gallery in Lethbridge. ERIC NICOL I am becoming emotionally involved with garbage. Again. Five years ago garbage and I were pretty- close, on environmental grounds. That was the period when we at our house religiously and I do mean with evangelical fervor segregated the garbage into bottles and cans i and organic material to be deposited reverently in the compost bin. in preparation for the genesis of a chemically- immaculate carrot. This intense affair with garbage petered out after a few months. One reason was that the flattened cans, tossed into a cardboard box. soon presented a load too heavy to carry and too shifty to cover with a rug. I hadn't calculated on achieving an ecological har- mony that included a hernia. So. a lovely flame died, and smoke got in my eyes when I chucked the gunk into the in- cinerator. Today. I once again gaze at the garbage bag under the sink like stout Cortez staring at the Pacific, with wild surmise. This time the ar- dent gleam in my eyes is kindled by the increasing number of articles in the press reporting on the wealth that lies in garbage a thing of beauty and a joy to recycle. All of a sudden the simple task of taking out the garbage must be reappraised as waste management. Are the kids to be trusted with the transfer of material that is rapidly Becoming more valuable than the refuse that he hank teller keeps in her drawer. segregated as ones, twos, fives, tens In Canada and the U.S.. waste management s already worth million a year to the two nant American companies that dominate the industry. True, in Canada most of this in- dustry draws on Toronto, whose garbage is a higher-grade gold mine than that of. say. Armpit. Manitoba. Toronto is the solid-waste Klondike of Canada, and the rest of the country must accept the fact that no other area is going to match the fever of prospec- tors responding to the magic cry: "Gar- But it is estimated that each person generates one ton of refuse per year 5.22 pounds per day for every man, woman and child. Throw in the cat box. and I'm sitting on a bonanza. It is screaming folly to dump so much la- tent loot into a couple of dustbins. All that recyclable metal, paper and potential fer- tilizer, in which I have invested a sizeable chunk of my pay cheque, I consign to a great dirty orange truck whose crew don't even leave a receipt for income tax purposes. Not all of this fortune makes its exit via the garbage can. Every time I hear a member of the family flush Ihe toilet. 1 wince, register- ing yet another financial loss, of a kind un- known to the citizens of Milwaukee. "No doubt about it. Grandpa Nicol was daft." my children will tell their kids, "Not till the people took over the garbage trucks, and out west they had a guard riding shotgun when they came to clean the septic lank not till then did the old fool realize he had blown your inheritance." For this reason I wish to go on record, right here and now. as asking for direction from our elected representatives as to the best way to stand on guard for thee solid waste. The Americans grabbed our oil. They jumped into the catbird seat to exploit our hockey players. Are we- to allow them lo monopolize all of Canada's God-given gar- bage'' By Peter Regenstrief, public opinion expert VANCOUVER The patterns from the 1972 federal election in British Columbia appear to be continuing in this campaign. There is still concern over the economy, this time focused almost exclusively on inflation. While Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau continues to be the man people prefer to lead the country, party considerations aside, his margin over Conservative Leader Robert Stanfield is much less than it was a year and a half ago. Liberal support, which was cut 13 percentage points in 1972 from its Trudeaumania high of 42 per cent in 1968, continues downward with the Conservatives the beneficiaries. New Democratic Party strength seems slightly weaker now compared to 19 months ago as some people are a bit unhappy with the NDP provincial government and the NDP's collaboration with the Liberals in Ottawa. These are the highlights of two days' intensive personal interviewing in six lower mainland and Fraser Valley constituencies. Inflation is so dominant an issue that virtually every one of the 54 people I interviewed made some reference to it. And, in almost half the cases, the problem of people on fixed incomes especially the elderly is linked to rising prices. Older people are particularly distressed, often commenting on the problem of abuse of welfare and LIP grants, both of which were issues in 1972 and which are still mentioned occasionally now. Opinion on wage and price controls as a device to stop spiralling prices is fragmented, among white collar, professional and upper middle class groups. It is generally rejected because, as 33-year-old social worker in Coquitlam in Fraser Valley West pointed out: "It wouldn't work. And it wouldn't have anything to do with government spending. They're just printing more money." Among working class voters, there is some support for controls. Several doors over, the 41 year old wife of an RCMP constable favored the idea: "I don't really think things can be controlled absolutely but it's a start. It just can't go on. The price of food goes up and up." Working class people aren't completely in agreement, however. Some are concerned that a freeze now would be unfair since they feel wages have lagged behind prices. As a 47 year old truck driver in Surrey said: "First, they've got to bring everything up even. Then it should be frozen." Meanwhile, the excitement that used to accompany the mere mention of Trudeau only a few years ago has disappeared. Even traditional Liberals are on the defensive. At the same time, while Stanfield fails to generate enthusiasm, his image of honesty and sincerity has a positive impact even while people would like someone with more dynamism. There is also the occasional remark, last heard in the 1965 campaign when the public's unhappiness with both John Diefenbaker and Lester Pearson was at its peak, that it's time the country had some new leaders. These two comments are typical: A widow, a traditional Liberal, living in North Burnaby explained: "I just don't like Robert Stanfield. I just don't care for his talk. So until we get someone better, I'll stay with Trudeau. He's trying. I just wish the other parties would get someone else. If the Conservatives had a stronger man there, then I would go Conservative and I've never voted Conservative in my life." In Capilano, a 30 year old "I don't mind telling you that my husband and I are less indifferent about you than the other leaders." Benn embarrasses Britain's labor party By David MacDonald, Herald London commentator LONDON The nature of the row now going on over possible Labor party plans for sweeping new state control over the British economy centres on the personality of Anthony Wedgwood Benn. Business leaders are in an uproar and the Conservative party in full cry over Mr. Benn's determination that key sectors of industry will be nationalized and the largest companies required to harness their investment ob- jectives to government guidelines. Prime Minister Harold Wilson is in a difficult position because most, of the Benn proposals are enshrined in the Labor party election manifesto or a longer policy document from which the manifesto was drawn up. For Mr. Wilson and all but the extreme left-wing of the Labor party this could hardly be a less opportune time for a minority government to be pushing controversial major policy changes that have un- certain support in the country and hostility from most of the business community. Shortly after Chancellor of the Exchequer Denis Heaiey and Harold Lever, the prime minister's economic adviser, had made enouraging noises to business leaders about labor's understanding of the importance of profits and private enterprise. Tony Benn has come along to upset the apple cart with vociferous at- tacks on the drawbacks of private enterprise that led Edward Heath to call him "Commissar Benn." The sincerity of Mr. Benn's beliefs is not in doubt but his motives for raising the issue just now may be. At 49 he is in office for the second time and so clearly en- joys it that cynics in the Labor party believe he is willing to encompass the electoral defeat of the party at the next election to clear the way for him to become leader and later prime minister. He is using his civil servants at the department of industry to prepare the way for im- plementation of the spread of state planning control despite the fact that most of the pre- sent cabinet clearly does not support him at this time. During the last election there were shudders of dread among leading Labor party figures at the possibility of Mr. Benn stumping the country calling for all-out nationalisation. Great was their relief that re-dis- tribution made his Bristol seat marginal, forcing him to spend all his time riding. He emerged wth an ex- cellent majority and dis- appeared into his new departmental responsibilities for four months until he had his controversial document ready. Since entering parliament in 1950 he has been regarded as a golden boy in the party but did not become well known na- tionallv till his father died in 1960, precipitating the Peerage crisis. His elevation to the House of Lords as Viscount Stansgate led to him being barred from the House of Commons. He contested and won the by-election for his seat in 1961 but his Con- servative opponent was de- clared elected by an election court. At his urging the Perage Act was passed which allowed him to renounce his peerage and return to the House of Com- mons in 1963. This was the act. incidentally, without which Alec Douglas-Home could never have become prime minister. It was while in office in the 1964-70 Labor government that he began to swing to the far left of labor politics, a move- ment that accelerated while in opposition. Labor MP's who have watched him for a quarter of a century believe that he sees the far left as the wave of the future and the direction to go to capture the young vote. They say that his 1971 defeat in an elec- tion for leadership of the parliamentary Labor par- ty convinced him that he would have to appeal to the labor movement at large if he was ever to capture the leadership. He made his underlying point first at a May Day rally in Bristol, where lie said that in the period from April 1970 to March 1974. the govern- ment had paid out around THE CASSEROLE Anyone who reads the movie ads knows that taste is hardly a consideration in producing motion pictures, any more than morality and decency are. Even so, it's a bit sickening to hear that Paradise Films Ltd. of Toronto plans to produce a commercial (what film version of the Steven Truscott story. Steven, readers may recall, was the 14- year old boy sentenced to hang in 1959 for the assault and murder of a 12-year old girl friend. (Tine sentence was commuted to life imprisonment i. Undoubtedly Paradise will apply for assistance from the fund established by the government to aid Canadian film-makers. There's little evidence that applicants are ever turned down because of the rottenness of their story line, but surely this is a case where the line should be drawn. Here, where there i? such resistance to learning one of Canada's two official languages, it may be of interest to note that in the village of Uzunagach in remote Kazakhstan in the Soviet Union, the main subjects are taught in English, beginning with the second grade. Classes are limited lo 14 and teaching aids are used extensively. There arc four schools in the village, which is inhabited by farmers. billion in subsidies to private industry under 16 differ- ent financial schemes. In the same period companies had paid about billion in taxes and about billion in dividends on ordinary and preference shares. Thus, he said, in a sense government had been return- ing to industry half the taxa- tion paid, or had been financ- ing half the payment of dividends to shareholders. Now he seeks to 'establish planning agreements with 100 leading companies as an in- strument "for securing the compliance of large multi-na- tional corporations with the government's own economic objectives." The subsidies would be given only if Whitehall approved the com- panies" objectives. He also would bring into public ownership the aircraft, shipbuilding, ship-repairing and marine engineering in- dustries. His consistent theme is that British industry is not re-in- vesting enough of its profits and must be required to do so in the long-term national interest. Several leading in- dustrialists have said in re- cent months that one of the greatest obstacles to invest- ment programs is the change of policy and direction that oc- curs each time the Labor and Conservative parties ex- change power. They also say that Britain's mixed economy has led to a large amount of government- business consultation and that there is no reason why new forms of joint planning cannot be undertaken without a drastic purge of the private enterprise system. While philosophically agree- ing that the debate is healthy the loaders of the Labor party fervently wish Tony Benn had waited until the party had won a new election by a strong ma- jority. floor trader for a brokerage firm is switching from the Liberals he supported last time to the Conservatives: "1 think Stanfield should have a turn. He .seems honest. But why don't the Conservatives change? Stanfield should be out of there. That's the only good thing about Trudeau. He has the flare. With Stanfield out of there, the Conservatives would be a shoo-in." While Trudeau is all that stands between his party and complete collapse, his style and his background today reinforce the public's association of the Liberals with the better off and successful elements in British Columbia society. The Liberals are suffering as a result. For example, a 35 year old wife of a building contractor living in Vancouver Centre is deserting the Liberals for the Conservatives: "I really don't care for any of them you know. But I guess I prefer Stanfield because I think he looks more deeply into the difficulties facing the country. Trudeau is a very intelligent man but I don't think he goes into the problems of the people, the average person. He spoke of the "just society." Sometimes I wonder if there is hope for us in Canada to have a better life for the common people." While the Liberals are attacked for being the party of the "haves" by voters concerned about making ends meet themselves, they are also condemned by some among the better off for their involvement with the NDP since the 1972 election. A 26 year old microbiology student at the University of British Columbia who lives in Vancouver Centre explained why he is supporting the Conservatives now after voting Liberal last time: "Trudeau stood for what I believed in but since he had the minority government, he capitulated too much to Lewis, so I want Stanfield. He's the next best. I'm for free enterprise. I think things would work out quite nicely if you left them alone." In 1968 at the height of Trudeau's popularity, the Liberals carried 16 seats in this province, the NDP with 33 per cent of the vote had 7 seats while the PC's with 19 per cent were shut out of any representation whatsoever. Then, four years later, the NDP won 35 per cent support and 11 seats. The Conservatives had 33 per cent and 6 seats while the Liberals had 29 per cent and only 4 seats. Feelings about issues and leadership combined with the emerging attitudes about the Liberals places every one of the seats they now hold in jeopardy as the Conservatives threaten in all of them. Aside from their traditional support, the Liberals today are sustained primarily by better off and upwardly mobile groups and young people, many of whom are apartment dwellers. It will take a maximum organizational effort by the Liberals to get the latter to the polls on election day. As for the NDP. they are increasingly becoming the only stable force in the roller coaster atmosphere of federal political affiliations in this province. The party's strength is very much centred among labor union and working class people. There may be a slight fall off in NDP support at the moment, but there is considerably less movement among these people compared to the switching among the middle class and the unorganized. The NDP is now capturing a good deal of the allegiances of young people too. At this .stage in the campaign, then, the Conservatives appear to be running ahead of the NDP in popular vote as these two parties vie for which one will have more of British Columbia's 23 seats on Julv 8. The lethbridge Herald 50" 71hSl S Aibcr'a LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO LTD ?jnd Publishers. Second Class Mail flegisli ation No 001? CLEO MOWERS. ECHO' ?-d Pub'Tsr-er Newspaper recycling is taking a new twist. An American company is trying to grow trees in compost made from decomposed newspapers. Perhaps that should be tried here. The process might be quicker here. Some readers have told us The Herald is quite rotten even before it's delivered. DON H PILLING Managing Ed'tor ROY F MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K WALKER Editorial Papc Editor DONALD R 20RAVI General Manager ROBERT M Or