Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 3, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
Lethbridge Herald Local news Second Section Lethbridge, Alberta, Monday, March Pages 11-20 Analysis Cold canoe Spring weather which has melted much of the snow and ice Collin Markle try their hand at canoeing through the frigid waters of around Lethbridge has also brought out some unseasonal sports, such as navigating the ice of the Oldman River. Here, Mike Drew and the river near Lethbridge. Two mandated programs funded By JIM GRANT Herald Staff Writer The Sip-million dollar budget brought down by the public school board Saturday provided a shot in the arm for .two of the three programs that were overwhelmingly supported by the public in a refendum last fall. Once again, the controver- sial family life eduation program was the one to be axed from the budget, despite receiving approval for introduction into the schools by 71 per1 cent of those who voted on a public school opinion poll during the civic election last fall. Driver education was allocated for the free in car and classroom instruc- tion for all Grade 11 students who wish to take it. Previously, students were re- quired to pay a portion of the costs and a limit was placed on the number of students who could take the course. The board set aside for the expansion of outdoor education in all grades. Both programs are to be ex- panded in September under the current budget and operated at an estimated an- nual cost of about for driver education and for outdoor education in each following year. The outdoor education funds will provide money for more field trips and programs for teachers to encourage them to use the outdoors as a teaching tool. Despite the -protests of trustees Dorothy Deckel and Helen Johnson, the school board applied the hatchet to what would have been the first stage in the development of a family life education program. A family life education program proposal, calling for the hiring of a co ordinator to work with the community and schools to develop such a program within two or three years, was rejected by trustees Gary Bowie, Reg Turner and Carl Johnson. Trustee Doug McPherson sup- ported the proposal. Trustee Doug Card was absent. Mr. Turner, chairman of the all dav public meeting, said he had reservations about tak- ing the first step toward im- plementing the program when "we don't know what we're buying, "I would have to know a lot more about he advised. Mrs. Beckel quickly countered: "How are we go- ing to find out about it if we don't hire a co Even though a large majori- ty of the public voted for such a program to be established in the schools, many of them didn't know exactly what they were voting for, according to Mr. Johnson "People are bewildered more than ever before." Mrs. Beckel argued that the public nor the schools will be any further ahead next year in their knowledge of what the program is to be and how it is to be taught, if a co ordinator isn't hired to organize the development of the program. Dr. Bowie wondered whether it may be wiser to hire an outside consultant so as to eliminate a bias for the need of such a program that is likely to arise if a person is hired full time. That person is more likely to want to protect his or her employment by proving a need for such a program. Superintendent Bob Plaxton said the hiring of a consultant was recommended because the family life education program must be "developed in the terms of the com- There is need tor such a person to "go out to various communities within Lethbridge to work directly with committees selected from the community" to develop a concept about value he explained. The co ordinator's duties were also to include the train- ing of staff in the skills re- quired for the teaching of family life education. Director of student per- sonnel services Fred Cartwright advised the board that a full time cb ordinator is needed "to get a feel of what each home wants. We need to get the personal feel- ing from the homes toward this kind of thing." Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Beckel were not prepared to let the issue die despite losing a vote for its inclusion in the budget. They urged their fellow trustees to remember that a large majority of the public supported family life educa- tion during the opinion poll last fall. The debate seized when Dr. Plaxton suggested his ex- ecutive assistant, to be hired next fall, could assume responsibility for the develop- ment of a family life program as part of his duties. The ma- jority of the trustees welcom- ed the suggestion. (Related story page 1) Unions official scores new Labor Act The Conservative govern- ment has provided "nickels and dimes for senior citizens and billions for the executive secretary of the Alberta Federation of Labor said Saturday in Lethbridge. Gene Mitchell Edmonton, spoke at the wind up banquet of the Lethbridge and District Labor Council's annual labor school. The Syncrude project was counted a great thing when it was announced at a cost of million, though the price later rose to billion. Unions are often accused of causing inflation through wage demands, but workers wages haven't caused as much inflation as that, he said. Alberta is now giving Syncrude billion plus a loan, he added. "People tell me we need foreign investment because we can't develop it said Mr. Mitchell. "If we can finance Syncrude, we should have been doing it ourselves." He called the government's call for a mandate to deal with Ottawa on energy a "phony issue." It also took two years for the Lougheed government to bring in a new Labor Act, which turned out to be the same old act in a new cover. "People are still fired every day in this province because they attempt to exercise their right to belong to a he said, and this is supposed to be a basic right. The government also took labor standards legislation out of the act and made them into regulations, including the standards on hours of young people and the provision of a ride home for female employees between midnight and 6 a.m. Vet a judge in Calgary has said the regulations are worthless, he said. The labor federation met with the cabinet a few days before the election was called, and asked why its recommen- dations were not acted Tin. Albertans still do not have government car insurance, hospital workers still get sub standard pay and housing is a luxury for the rich with no government action on land assembly or help with interest fates. The government set up a legislative committee on foreign investment. Alberta has the highest rate of foreign Student manpower group 'appalling' Provincial government guidelines for local Operation Placement committees are "bloody the ex- ecutive secretary of the Alberta Federation of Labor said Saturday. The guidelines show the government represents the business community, said Gene Mitchell. He made the remarks in an interview following the wind- up banquet of the Lethbridge and District Labor Council's annual labor school. He was the main speaker at the ban- quet. Mr..Mitchell said he had received a copy of guidelines and had intended to include them in his speech. Operation Placement is the annual Student manpower ef- fort for the summer, jointly funded by federal and provin- cial governments. Each local centre is run by a committee responsible for local funding and disbursement of govern- ment funds. The provincial government contributes directly and the federal government by providing per- sonnel. "They have the gall to suggest the only way these things can be funded is through the involvement of the chamber of said Mr. Mitchell. He said .the policy indicates there will be no provincial money for a committee if other than a chamber of com- merce member is elected chairman. With city, educational and labor representatives on the com- mittees, why can't other organizations provide chairmen, he asked. The members of each com- mittee should choose their own chairman, he said. The policy should be changed. "I would ask for the resignation of the minister on an issue like he added, "But it's pretty hard to ask for a resignation when he's in the process of running for re- election." The guidelines are set out in the 1974-75 Operation Place- ment policy guidelines, issued by the Alberta manpower and labor department. One guideline states an Operation Placement com- mittee chairman will be a member of the chamber of commerce." The committee will also Include "one member at large of the chamber of commerce who will become chairman the following year." ownership in Canada, and the report recommended main- taining the status quo, he said. He said the report ends 'It is better to light a single can- dle than to curse the darkness. It is better .to buy a single share than to decry foreign investment.' "God help said Mr. Mitchell, "Buy a share of Imperial Oil and all our troubles will be over.' Mr. Mitchell also spoke on the Canadian Labor Congress's, social reform campaign for 1974-75, a better pension plan. Less than 40 per cent of Canadians are covered by private pension plans, he said. According to the "Labor published by the federal labor department, most are sound and well managed but even the .best are hurting from inflation, he added. More than 60 per cent of Canadians are "relegated to poverty" at age 65. The current Canada Pension Plan will reach maximum benefits next year at 25 per cent of wages, with a maximum of a year. With old age security payments, the max- imum could be 3TA per cent of 'wages. The CLC wants a pension plan to provide 75 per cent of wages at age 60, paid for by government, employees and employers, he said. Maximum benefits could be reached by 1996. Cardston politics tend to extreme By AL SCARTH Herald Staff Writer CARDSTON The components on which politics are based in Alberta's southwest Cardston constituency tend to the extreme. The diversified geography of the con- stituency covers well over a third of the base of the province, leaving dwellers of the moun- tainous regions to the west looking on eastern constituents as desert dwellers. The geographical features and others leave residents who are as far south of the province's administrative capital as is phys- ically possible appreciative of being left to handle their own affairs. Local autonomy and government interference top the list of issues drawing what interest there is in the March 26 provin- cial election. Election fever cannot be said to have gripped the riding as yet a farm housewife at Whisky Gap 20 miles southeast of Cardston didn't have "a clue" about the election ex- cept that the premier was coming to Card- ston. Both the Progressive Conservative can- didate, Johnny Thompson, and Social Credit candidate, Roy Spackman, are campaigning fervently for individual enterprise and against government involvement. The third candidate, New Democrat Keltie Paul, has yet to set out a platform concerning local issues. Miss Paul, a 21-year-old anthropology student at the University of Lethbridge, was nominated at a meeting for Lethbridge West constituency because there is really no NDP organization with the Cardston riding itself. Within its boundaries, the riding encom- passes Canada's largest Indian Reserve, in large part neglected by provincial politicians and until the last decade actually dis- enfranchised. The region has the highest concentration of Hutterite landholdings in Alberta colonies control 10.84 per cent of the land farmed in the Municipal District of Cardston, an ad- visory committee on communal property reported just 18 months ago. Boasts three huge ranches Three huge ranches are also situated in the region, controlling a whopping 275 square miles. The world's biggest fertilizer plant has been proposed at Raymond, within the predominantly rural constituency. Waterton Lakes National Park, and beautiful mountain regions being eyed for their mineral wealth are two other facets of the riding. Possibly most important, the constituency holds Alberta's home for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with which a connection is highly desirable, if not man- datory for aspiring politicians. Mr. Thompson, 50, a Spring Coulee farmer, is not a member but his wife who is helping manage his campaign, belongs and his son, Duncan, is doing missionary work for the church. Dr. Spackman, 53, a Cardston phys- ician, is a member and has done considerable work for the church- Sorting out the differences between the campaigns launched by the Tories and Socreds does not take long. Both candidates are in favor of the world's biggest fertilizer plant coming to Raymond, even disturbed that it has been delayed by provincial government indecision. Both candidates think "reasonable com- promises" can be achieved between develop- ment of resources in the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains and protection of the alpine. environment. Will avoid Hutterite question Both will stay as far away as possible from the once controversial issue of Hutterite landholdings. Residents of the constituency, so in favor of individual rights, and in many cases once persecuted for their Mormon beliefs, appear ready to live and let live. Some now look with disdain at emotionalism surrounding the issue in Little Bow riding to the north, where Hutterite holdings are smaller, but more recent. Premier Peter Lougheed also had a word on the matter after a luncheon in Cardston. "I haven't seen it develop as an he said. Both candidates are against interference in local affairs by higher levels of government'. "Planning in this area is quite an says Mr. Thompson. "Planners are just. getting more and more power. I'm against the province encroaching on the municipalities as much as the Dominion on the provinces. .They have way too much power for my liking." The differences in the campaigns are ones of personality. Voters here tend to hold memberships in more than one party as they want to be able to vote for the individual they like best. A number of people who backed Glen Purnell, defeated at the Tory nomination by Mr. Thompson, showed up at the Social Credit nomination last week to vote for a Socred candidate. But a cafe owner who passed the hat for contributions at the Socred nomination later said he is only 55 per cent certain he will vote for Dr. Spackman. Lougheed to influence voting Mr. Lougheed's personality will certainly enter the picture. "My main advantage is Peter Lougheed. Most candidates have got to admit says Mr. Thompson. "Half the votes I get will be because of Peter." He says Mr. Lougheed's fight with Ottawa is viewed here as "provincial rights versus centralization." "Energy only comes into it." On the call Jor an energy mandate, Dr. Spackman says people will not pay any atten- tion. "People are more concerned about loss of local autonomy." The premier himself says he finds The South not less interested in his call for a man- date on energy, but more interested in Alber- ta's ownership of resources in general. Mr. Thompson is having a tough time sell- ing the premier's second plank in the early election call, a request for a mandate to es- tablish as billion heritage fund for future generations. "They never seem to have picked up on the trust he--says. "Nobody has said a thing about the fund." Buying into Pacific Western Airlines and the Syncrude oil sands project will be as controversial here as anywhere. "We're right wing down here, about as far right wing as you can Mr. Thompson says. "Down here they're pretty lukewarm on PWA and Syncrude, but all for Peter versus Ottawa." "It's the first time anyone out west had a real lever (energy) we can work he says. "I'm not a separatist but I really do believe in provincial rights." "Most people here think we should have stayed out of PWA and says Dr. Spackman. "It's not the top issue but i'. reflects more and more government in- volvement." Dr. Spackman says net farm incomes will also become an Issue- Bloods 'silent More than votes, enough to decide the last "provincial election in Cardston riding, sit silently on the Blood Reserve. Only 338 voters from the reserve, out of qualified to vote, turned out at the last election. Vote spread in the last election between Social Credit winner Ted Hinman and Progressive Conservative loser Larry Long was only 439 votes. "I would sure like to double the says Spring Coulee Farmer Johnny Thompson, the Conservative candidate In thli election. "To get a lot of people out they would need to establish a party office on the reserve, and provide bus or car trans- says Caen Ely, editor of the Indian news- paper Kainai News. The Indian vote could well go to the Conservatives, Mrs. Ely says. "It stems from the days of the Diefenbaker government, when there was more contact at the grass roots level. Particularly the older people still connect the Conservatives and Diefen- baker." Many residents also feel Premier Lougheed has stood up for their rights in dis- putes with Ottawa, she says. Residents of the reserve have naturally been inclined to limit their interests to federal politics, since Ottawa is primarily responsible for Indian affairs. And Indians only received the provincial franchise in time for the 1967 election, so have participated only twice in provincial votes. "The people are becoming more and more aware of provincial Mrs. Bly says. Their attention is turn- ing to provincial policies on agriculture, natural resources and general economic and social policies which affect them. In the last local election for the chief and council of the Blood Reserve in November, voter turnout approached 85 per cent.