Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 24, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
LetKbrtdge Herald Local news SECOND SECTION Lethbridge, Alberta, Monday, June 24, 1974 Pages 11 to 20 Traffic backed up past customs office After the gates were closed it was just a matter of waiting BILL GROENEN photos AIM Indians interrupt border traffic By WARREN CARAGATA Herald Staff Writer CARWAY About 15 members of the Edmonton chapter of the American Indian Movement demonstrated at the border crossing here Saturday, protesting Canadian government refusal to allow free trade and movement of Indians across the international boundary. Unhindered by the lone RCMP officer at the scene. 15 miles south of Cardston, the Indians closed the border for 30 minutes out of every hour, blocking traffic back for up to 20 cars. Ed Burnstick. president of the Edmonton AIM chapter, said the peaceful demonstration was called to gain public recognition that traditional Indian rights, guaranteed in the 1794 Jay Treaty, are being ignored by the Canadian government. The Jay Treaty provides for the free movement of Indians across the border and exemption from customs on personal goods. Mr. Burstick said the international border between the United States and Canada divides many Indian nations who continue to maintain relations. Indians within these divided nations should be able to travel and trade freely, he said, without any restrictions. The Canadian government requires American Indians coming to Canada to get work visas and places a quota on the number allowed to stay in Canada for an extended time, he said. "We either want government recognition of the Jay Treaty, or the government to sit down with Indian people and discuss the issue on the basis of aboriginal rights to cross the he said. The demonstration was peaceful and without incident. as the RCMP officer. United States and Canadian Customs officials allowed the group to shut the iron gate across the border, closing it to all traffic. RCMP Sgt. R. G. Wendel, of Cardston. said the Indians had a message to present. He said complaints from stalled motorists were few. The group first attempted to close the border for hour-long periods, but they were persuaded. Sgt. Wendel. said, to limit the closures to 30 minutes. There were some complaints from people in the first group stopped, about WPP Lone Mountie on the scene RCMP Sgt. R. G. Wendel from Cardston p.m.. who had to sit in their cars for about 45 minutes, he said. One Lethbridge woman said after she was stopped, that the demonstrators "are crazy." "What authority do they have to close the border. I thought the border was the property of customs, not the Indians." Her husband shared the same opinion, adding the Indians may have a point, but closing the border is no way to prove it. But many of the travellers forced to take an involuntary rest stop were not quite as hostile. Mike Kormos, also of Lethbridge. said he didn't mind being stopped. "The Indians have got a right to do it they've got it coming." he said. Harry Spry, port director of customs at the American border station at Piegan. Mont., said during the closures his men were Medicine Hat candidates face two forums Wednesday Medicine Hat candidates in the July 8 federal election face two all-candidates' forums Wednesday. The Erie Rivers High School in Milk River is sponsoring the first, at 1 p.m. in the high school. It had been rescheduled from last Friday. Unifarm is sponsoring the second forum, in Bow Island at 8 p.m. Another Unifarm forum set for Tuesday in Irvine has been rescheduled to July 2. The two main contenders. Liberal Bud Olson and PC incumbent Bert Hargrave are to speak at a Kiwanis luncheon in Medicine Hat Tuesday. The only other scheduled forum to date is a July 6 appearance by all the candidates on a Medicine Hat TV show. diverting traffic through the Chief Mountain crossing. He said his men would not bother the demonstrators as long as the Indians didn't harass people. Technically, the border gate is on American property and U.S. officials could keep it open by force, he said, "but we won't." The decision, to allow the demonstration to take its course was "taken at a higher level." Mr. Spry said. Elkf ord waiting for flood relief Elk River level drops on weekend ELKFORD, B.C. (Staff) Elkford Mayor Karl Maartman said today he expects to "start getting.some feedba.ck today" from provincial and federal governments on this village's requests for flood assistance. Mediators work for new talks Pickets remained in place today at three major meatpacking companies' Alberta operations as mediators worked to get the parties back to the bargaining table and end the lockout. The companies. Burns Foods Ltd., Swift Canadian Co. Ltd. and Canada Packers Ltd.. are willing to bargain in Alberta but the union wants a national settlement, the chairman of the board of industrial relations said in telephone interview from Edmonton. R.B. d'Esterre told The Herald the Canadian Food and Allied Workers and the companies all want a national agreement. But the companies did not want a national agreement out of Alberta negotiations, he said. He said mediators were trying to get the two parties bargaining again. Norm Leclaire. business representative for Local 740 of the CFAW. said in a telephone interview from Edmonton the Alberta representatives were authorized to get an Alberta settlement without national ratification. The village suffered about in flood damage last week when Boivin Creek washed out one-half a block of Fording Drive in a residential section. Mayor Maartman is still awaiting word from Victoria on a Bailey bridge he hopes to get for the street. The damage claim has not yet been totalled for Ottawa. Today the Elk River, which threatened a bridge that links the village with the Fording Coal Company mine, is returning to a normal level. "The river dropped. I would say. about 14 to 16 inches on the weekend." said Mayor Maartman. "We had a few problems yesterday but there is nothing now we can't handle unless we have a heavy rain." He said the village will 'receive aid from Ottawa on the damage. "We are on the flood control plan for 1974 a federal government plan. It's a civil defence plan they put up." At Fernie. RCMP today said the Elk River has gone down about one foot in the last two days. "We don't anticipate- any more problems." the RCMP said. Fernie works crews had to build dykes when the Elk River rose quickly last week. The rise was later than normal and came suddenly. President The Lethbridge Cham- ber of Commerce execu- tive committee, elected recently by acclamation, will take office Sept. 1. The Chamber's new presi- dent will be Cleve Hill, above, with Jim Dunstan, first vice-president; Al Wiggins, second vice- president; Bob Robinson, finance officer, and Ossie Stubbs, past president. The Chambers board of directors will be elected by Friday and announce- ment of the new board will be made the first week of July. The board of directors also will take office Sept. 1. Vernon man to run independent CRANBROOK (Special) The fifth federal candidate for Okanagan Kootenay constituency declared himself at Vernon on nomination day. Running as an independent, is Frank Baker, a Vernon plumbing contractor, who has already had a whirl at city politics there. The other four candidates are: Howard Johnston, conservative: Peter Maksylowich NDP: Hari Singh. Liberal, and Helmut Fandrich Social'Credit. Ed Kurnstick explains Reaction of travellers was mixed Hardly hostile demonstration Fifteen people took part in the Saturday protest Believe it or not Largest frog in the West tips scale at three tons By RUSSELL OUGHTRED Herald Staff Writer Frog repair shops are hard to find. In fact, there are only two in Canada. One is in Montreal, the other in Lethbridge. The local frog shop employs 10 men. all devoted to extending the lives of Western Canadian frogs from Leader. Sask.. to Nanaimo. B.C. The frog population of Western Canada numbers in the thousands. The "three most common species are spring, rigid and self-cuarded. The self- guarded frog is marked by flanking rails, the spring variety is flexible and the rigid frog cannot move. Also called a crossover, frogs are found near railway tracks where sidings leave Uie mainline. The largest frog in Western Canada is about 20 feel long and weighs in at a hefty three tons. Frogs are gathered by section crews who replace worn and ship ailing frogs to the Lethbridge repair shop. There. 43-year-old CP Rail foreman Walter Niznikowski and his crew of nine welders, grinders and frog repairmen give old wornout frogs new- life. Frogs are first unbolted and examined for wear. Walter, a five-year veteran of tlie frog shop, says fast- moving grain trains cause a lot of wear. When you put 90 tons of grain in a 3fl-lon grain car the stress is considerable, says Walter, a CP employee for 18 years. After the frogs are checked and bolted together, a grinder operator removes wornout metal from the carbon steel outside rails and manganese steel insert, which allows rolling stock to leave the mainline. After grinding, the frogs go to one of three welders. A year ago Walter ordered pounds of manganese welding rods. There are about 2.400 pounds in slork now. Three 400-amp welders run constantly during Ihe eight-hour and Waller says they've operated uninterrupted since Jhc frog shop opened five years ago. Alter Jhe welding. Jhe frogs are ground again. Then a rail surfarcr designed by Gordon Metka. Ihe frog shop's first foreman, grinds down the rails to a smooth finish. The final touch is a coat of black painl and the frops are ready 10 go bark 1o work. Walter keeps enough shiny black rails in slork behind 1he old roundhouse 1o fill orders as they come into the l-cthbridge CP office. Waller says his crew does everything it can to keep frogs alive. There's about three tons of expensive sleel in a No. 13. RBM. 132-pound, ripid frog Frogs beyond repair arc- bought by a Calgary foundry. Last year the frog repair shop rejuvenated 340 frogs, most of which are now bark in sen-ire Walter likes his work, and even seems to like being ribbed about working in a shop that repairs frops.