Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 8, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Friday, March ft, 1074 Promotion deserves praise Those who are promoting the conversion of the old public library into an art gallery deserve the most profuse thanks and praise and the greatest possible public support. Most of the things that have made Lethbridge a good city have come about in exactly that way a small imaginative group inspiring the public and City Council. To turn the old library into another office building which is the present but hopefully revocable not in the Lethbridge tradition. Offices belong elsewhere, not there. The fact that the offices would be an extension of City Hall does not mitigate the offence. That location is special, the building is special, and it should be put to some special use. An art gallery would seem to be the best possible use. Adding to the art gallery promotion is the fact that a very minimum of renovation would be required, that provincial government financing could probably be obtained for the cost of the renovation, and that Canada Council money would probably take care of the operating costs. If any money would have to be raised locally, it could probably be done without drawing on the city treasury at all. Turning the library into an office building, on the other hand, would cost a substantial sum, would spoil the Gait Gardens complex, and would disrupt for many years the chance of the city getting a good art gallery. Lethbridge is noted for its civic imagination, its daring, its enterprise. This is not the time to repudiate its reputation. Growing public service One of the amusing games people play today is plotting the growth of the public service to determine the day when everyone will be on the government payroll. At the rate it has been growing that day might not be too distant. The best projection that can be made indicates that the population of Canada will show an increase of between three and four per cent in the 30 month period between Sept. 30, 1972 and March 31, 1975. At the same time almost every department of the federal government is expected to have more than a 10 per cent increase in manpower. Agriculture is expected to have an increase of 50 per cent in manpower; communications 15 per cent; consumer and corporate affairs 50 per cent; jus- tice 35 per cent; finance 30 per cent; external affairs 20 per cent; environment 15 per cent; energy 14 per cent. A prime illustration of what is happening is found in the defence department. On Sept. there were civilians and military personnel in the department. By March 31, 1975 there will be an additional civilians and 770 military personnel which means an increase of almost two civilians for every man in uniform. The treasury board is making available (at a cost of a book entitled How Your Tax Dollar is Spent to justify the existence and growth of the public service. It probably won't say so but one justification is that it helps keep down the number of people who would otherwise be drawing public assistance. ART BUCHWALD Politician's wife WASHINGTON As if politicians didn't have enough to contend with in 1974, they are now faced with a revolt by their wives. Mrs. Joseph Aioto dramatized that wives of husbands running for office were no longer willing to play the docile roles assigned to them in political life. Campaign managers are going to have, to deal with the problem, and it won't be easy. "Sen. Wimbledon, here's your schedule for the day: breakfast with the fat cats, a speech at the university, lunch with the party hacks, a parade down Main Street, a visit to the VA hospital, a fund-raiser cocktail party, dinner with the Elks and a handshaking trip to say hello to the people waiting in line to see "The Exorcist.' "Okay, where's Mrs. "I haven't seen her for three days. I thought she was with you." "I haven't seen her since last Friday. I think we had breakfast together or was it "Didn't she say anything about where she was "Let me think. She said she was getting in her car and driving just as far as it would take her." "Didn't you try to stop her. "I thought about'it. but then this local TV station asked me to do an interview and it slipped my mind." "I think we ought to try to find her. We need her for the women's rally in Seaport tomorrow morning." "I forgot about that. I wonder where she could have gone. It's unlike Angel to just disappear for three days without saying something." "I don't want to pry into your private life. Senator, but did you two have a "Let's see. I think she did make some complaint or other that I was ignoring her. We were at this town hall debate, and when I introduced her I got her name wrong. I called her Eunice which happens to be the name of my secretary. She seemed to be in a huff, but I explained to her I can't remember everybody's first name." "What did she "She said she was a woman with feelings and she was tired of not having any identity of her own. She said she had raised five children for me, and she wanted some appreciation and approval. It came as quite a shock to me because I thought we had only four children." "She was right, Senator, you do have five." "I told her that I couldn't have been in public life if it hadn't been for her, and I did appreciate everything she had done for me. But at the same time if I had to constantly thank everyone who got me elected, I wouldn't have time to do my job." "What did she say to "She asked me if I really needed her. Well, I looked at my schedule and as far as I could see I didn't need her until the big rally in Hartstown." "I think what she meant, Senator, was did you really need her as a wife." "You really think that's what she "She must have or she wouldn't have driven off by herself." "She's a funny woman. We've been married for 28 years, and she's still unable to say what's on her mind." "Well. I think we've got to get her back. Senator. We don't want any scandal that your wife has walked out on you in the middle of an election." "I suppose you're right. I'll try to locate her tomorrow morning. I don't have anything scheduled from ten to eleven." "Perhaps you ought to put out a statement saying you love her and want her and couldn't live without her. just in case she holds a press conference and tells the world what an S.O.B. you are." "Good idea. I'll work on it now. What did you say her first name "Oh look Elspetn... a sign of The Tape Reel West needs symbolic victory By Richard Gwyn, Toronto Star commentator On Monday, Premier Loug- heed of Alberta flew into Ot- tawa aboard a chartered jet with a party of seven. He spent two hours and twenty minutes, spanning a souffle lunch, with Prime Minister Trudeau at 24 Sussex Drive. Blakeney of Saskatchewan arrived, by commercial plane, on Tuesday. His visit with Trudeau stretched to 2Vz and before flying back to Regina Blakeney found time to call on the Chinese ambassador to discuss a possible potash sale. Those one-on-one meetings between Trudeau and each premier were a substitute for what should have happened at the January federal- provincial energy conference. In itself, Trudeau's oil policy cannot be faulted: A single national price set below the world price so that Canada can gain a competitive industrial advantage and with the cost of imported, eastern oil cross-subsidized out of exports to the United States. Bright ideas, however, aren't that difficult to come by in politics; implementing them is the hard part. The formula for federal-pro- vincial agreements, of whatever variety, is a blend of self-interest and political pragmatism mixed in with genuine idealism and good- will. This is where Lester Pearson was so brilliant. He managed to convince the premiers they would be failing not just Canada but him personally. Pearson knew how to play upon, manipulate is a better word, their personalities, their vanities, and how to exploit the emotional pressures that build up in group discussions. Little in Trudeau's past has trained him in this art. His style has been to win argu- ments by intellectual brilliance, to crush opponents rather than to convert less to seduce them. At the January conference Trudeau let slip two opportun- ities that Pearson would never have missed to hustle the premiers toward a compromise. Before the conference Trudeau met privately with Lougheed and Blakeney. He talked in such generalities that both left without the slightest idea of what he was after. At the end of the first day of. the confer- ence Trudeau held a reception for the premiers. But- he left after twenty minutes to slip away to 24 Sussex instead of using the occasion to find out how much of their rhetoric was for home-town show and how much was for real. This week Trudeau was far better prepared. He impressed both Lougheed and Blakeney with his detailed knowledge of the oil industry. As important, Trudeau listened to their arguments for industrial decentrali- zation. Until now Trudeau, with cold logic, has insisted that industrial decentralization and oil policy are quite separate issues. "The answer is no, not in ex- change for that co-operation (on Trudeau said in a newspaper interview immediately after the January meeting. That posture is, in a word, absurd. No province since Confederation has been required to force a comparable windfall. A national oil price looks fine in Ontario, but then Ontario has never argued for a national hydro power price, for example, and enjoys a rate of per 100 kilowatts compared to in Saskatchewan. In a showdown with the pro- ducing provinces Ottawa would win. Ottawa has jurisdiction over interprovincial and inter- national trade. In a conflict between its legislation and that of the provinces, federal law prevails. Such a victory would be pyrrhic. The West would not quickly forgive the humiliation of defeat, and federal-provincial relations would be be-devilled for years. A compromise isn't that difficult to discern. Trudeau's oil formula should be applied. But at the same time the West needs a victory, even a sym- bolic one. Advisers around Trudeau tend to get impatient with western complaints. "When you get down to specifics, they get one told me. There's a lot of truth in that, but it's an analysis that misses the point. When Quebec pressed its suit against the rest of the country, Trudeau, for obvious reasons, always understood the need for symbolic as well as substantive gestures. For reasons equally obvious it is much harder for Trudeau to read the mood of the West. But even logic alone would tell him the circumstances are basically no different. Nor. therefore, are the solutions. OECD report questionable By Dian Coben, syndicated commentator MONTREAL Last week, Canadians were treated to the news that the "internationally known. Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has given A plus grades to the Canadian government for last years" economic performance, and looks for more of the same this year. This is the second time in as many years that what our prime minister likes to call an economic "Oscar" has been awarded to Canada. A public relations firm working for the Liberal party in an election year wouldn't have dared come up with a more glowing economic survey of Canada. According to the OECD. not only was Canadian economic performance impressive last year, this year Canada can look forward to less than a per cent unemployment rate with of course, judicious government economic management. It sounds great, but on what precisely does the OECD base its economic survey? After all.. independent Canadian forecasters are generally more pessimistic than the OECD Where exactly does the OECD get its information? Surprise, surprise. They get it from the federal department of finance and the Bank of Canada. Here's how it works. The Canadian government supplies the OECD with basic information on which it bases a preliminary report. Then, a team of specialists comes over from Europe to look around for themselves. They talk to senior people in the government the minister or deputy minister of finance, the director of economic policy analysis, and similarly placed people in the Bank of Canada. Until last July, economic analyst Ben Gestrin. now at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, was the OECD's head forecaster on North America. He says that "there's no great econometric model that the OECD uses to' forecast GNP or prices." When he was chief, they used the "best information available which really isn't much. In forecasting the American economy, there's almost too much to chose from. In Canada, there's really too little." Gestrin says the OECD team looks at the University of Toronto model of the economy. In addition, they read what other Canadian economists are saying, and come out with what Gestrin calls a "judgemental forecast they just use their judg- ment." The funny thing about that judgment is that it goes back to the government for a road- test. This year, apparently, Ottawa went out of its way to change a few things. For example, an earlier OECD report was critical of government inflation policy, and virtually recommended wage and price controls This is nothing new for tiie OECD it has long favored incomes policy to control inflation. But almost none of this appeared in the final report of the OECD. The Trudeau government apparently succeeded in imposing its view of controls sufficiently that the OErts rewrote its report. Now that Uj- Deport is public, the Trudeau ministers can quote its independent conclusions to all those gloomy Canadian forecasters who think the govermnenrs performance has been less than impressive. Letters City council decision The city of Lethbridge has the opportunity of a life-time to give its citizens the invaluable gift of the old library as an art gallery. The library, with its high ceilings, natural light and park setting is an answer to Lethbridge's cry for culture. Taxpayers would be spared costly renovations as Canada Council and provincial organizations step in to pay for a director, staff and security. A sculptural garden could surround the gallery to delight the eyes of passers-by or bench-sitters. Our children and local artists could exhibit their two or three dimensional art. Local art collections could be safely housed in a fine building worthy of enticing travelling art shows With the Canada Winter Games less than a year away the gallery could be one of Lethbridge's main attractions. How can the city of Lethbridge afford to deprive citizens the opportunity of viewing good art? With the downtown development going full speed ahead, the finer things of life should not be forgotten. Where is city council in Lethbridge's hour of need? ELEANOR THOMSON Lethbridge. Uncaring homeowners I think it is high time someone spoke up on the rental situation in Lethbridge. Our situation is nearly desperate and getting more so as time goes by. My husband works hard and steady, his take home pay is approximately a month. At present we pay per month for rent which includes utilities. For Lethbridge this is cheap and we manage but at times it is difficult. Soon our landlord intends to move back into this home. Knowing this we have been looking for a house since before Christmas. I can't tell you how blue and depressed this leaves us. Usually the houses in our price range (considering the higher costs) are dumps. The few nice ones we've found that we can afford (three bedrooms) do not allow children or pets. Our three children, ranging in age from seven to 13 have been taught to be neat, clean and to respect other people's property. They are quiet, considerate children. We also have one small dog who is kept brushed so as not to get hair on the carpet and she is not allowed to dirty the house or yard. She does not chew or scratch woodwork. My husband and I dp not drink and we love working in and around our home. We take great pride in keeping our rented home and yard in good condition. We always pay our rent. What is to become of us and hundreds of people like us? We consider ourselves middle- class people. Are we to be pushed down to the lowest part of the city because of the uncaring greed of homeowners? It seems to me there is no human feeling left in this world. People think more of the almighty dollar than they do of people. I suppose we could rent a town-house, a duplex or a four-plex but it is not our desire to be cooped up like chickens. A family needs privacy. OUT IN THE COLD BEFORE Lethbridge LONG Birth control dangerous I wish to make a few comments on the editorial The DDT generation in The Herald, (March 4) and on the accompanying cartoon signed by the D-'Arc ostensibly aimed at the anti-abortion campaign launched by the Knights of Columbus. I have found the cartoon appallingly .crude in workmanship, very malicious and totally out of place in this great country of ours, which, if anything needs now and for a long time to come more and not less people. The Herald's editorial is both fallacious and inaccurate. It is fallacious because it blames the very populous countries of the world which also happen to be economically underdeveloped for the increase in pollution and depletion of non- renewable resources. As a matter of fact, it is the affluent, industrialized nations which are responsible for a major part of the environmental deterioration. Most serious students of ecology agreed that the chief causes of despoilment of the natural environment are: contemporary industrial, agricultural and military technology. rapid economic growth and run- away urbanization.... and an increase of population. Thus, while not disregarding the effects of population growth these knowledgeable scientists lay the responsibility where it properly belongs, that is on the industrial, rich nations of Europe. North America and Japan. It has been estimated that the impact of an average North American on the biosphere has been approximately 50 times as powerful and thereby harmful as that of an Indian or Chinese peasant. If pollution, resource depletion and over consumption are combined together that impact will have to be multiplied by about 10. Secondly, to say that the earth is overpopulated is. misleading. As Alfred Savvy, a French eco- nomisi, recently observed the concept of a "world population" is over- simplified. The 3Vz billion inhabitants of this globe do not livejn a single, big .country, nearly sovereign states The so-called "family (which is simply an euphemistic term for birth control) may be quite appropriate for some countries, while absolutely unsuitable and undesirable for others. A headlong campaign for family limitation in Canada is, in my opinion, both' utterly mistaken and very dangerous. It is mistaken for it seems to assume that by reducing the family size in Canada more resources will be set aside for the aid to poor, over populated nations, which .is just not true. Although we get richer every year, our assistance to the underdeveloped countries has not been growing at the same pace... Nor are we willing to let the door wide open for the inflow of immigrants. By adopting a highly selective immigration policy we skim the cream of the best trained professional and technical manpower from the developed countries, and admit a trickle from underdeveloped ones. It is clear that the agitation for birth control stems not from our willingness to share the wealth of this great land with the poor of the world, but rather to protect our prosperity against the pressure of the disinher- ited____ We try to introduce family planning into the poor and illiterate societies without realizing the cultural and religious obstacles that make our efforts illusory. The obsession with birth control in Canada is dangerous because the birth rates have dropped by almost one half over the period of the last 10 years. Should this trend continue unabated, we may experience a population decline with all the unpalatable consequences of depopulation: exhaustion of creative effort loss of nerve, economic stagnation and social disintegration. I. J. ADELr CZLOWIEKOWSKI LeUibndge. The Lethbridge Herald S Lettftridge. Alberta LETH9R10QE HERALD CO LTD Proprietors and Pirtrtisfhers Second Class Man Registration NO 0012 CLEO MOWERS. Editor and DON H P1LUNG Managing Editor DONALD R OORAM General Manager ROYF MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K WALKER Editorial Page Editor ROBERT M F6NTON OirctMJton Manager KENNETH E 8AJWETT Business Manaoer "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"