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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 14, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Ministers want transport policy run In for major overhaul VANCOUVER (CP) Transport Minister Jean Marchand and the transport ministers of the four western provinces agreed Wednesday that there is a need for major revisions in national transportation policy. The five ministers announced after a meeting here that major changes in the operation of transportation services in Western Canada are needed. Mr. Marchand said there is a need for some mechanism to enable the federal and provincial governments to exercise some type of control over transportation. "We have to have national objectives and we have to have the power to compel the railways to accept these said Mr. Marchand. Joe Broadbent, former vice-president of the British Columbia Railway, owned by the B.C. government, and now a transportation consultant to the B.C. government, said the federal government and the four western provinces are funding a transportation study which is examining methods of controlling railways. One of the options being examined by the consultants, Mr. Broadbent said, is the economic effectiveness of the federal government taking over the CP Rail roadbed and then charging the railway for its use. Another option is a system under which CP Rail and the Canadian National Railways would be given money by the federal government on a cost-of-services basis. "There is a whole new philosophy said Mr. Broadbent. The pressing shortage of railway rolling stock in Western Canada was discussed by the ministers and Mr. Marchand was questioned after the meeting by Roy Atkinson, president of the National Farmers' Union, who has warned that the lack of equipment to move export grains could cost the farming industry million in lost sales during the current crop season. Mr. Marchand said the railways make no money moving grain and are not anxious to put new grain cars into service. This lack of profit to the railways moving export grains results from a federal freeze on tariff increases for this traffic, he said. "The question of whether we should change these rates or leave them alone has not been discussed Mr. Marchand said. He acknowledged that the railways lose money on hauling export grains, saying: "I don't expect CP Rail to be interested in moving grain. Why be interested in losing Mr. Marchand said that certain decisions cannot be left to the railways. "Who decides whether or hot there should be new cars. The railways may or may not decide in favor on commercial grounds but the decision is so important that the government should decide. "If we make a decision that is economically unsound then the government has to pay the cost, otherwise the railways go bankrupt." The federal government has already put into service grain cars that it is leasing to the CNR and CP Rail and is now to spend million on patching up old cars so that they can be added to the vehicles already hauling grain, he said. Mr. Marchand said this was a means of quick- ly swelling the number of cars available; something the railways would not do if left to themselves. Asked about reports of grain cars being left idle on long periods on prairie branch lines, Mr. Marchand said that he had a partial answer on this problem from the CNR that might satisfy critics. "CN says that because of snow conditions they have in certain circumstances been prevented from moving he said. The Lethbridge Herald VOL. LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 1974 10 Cents 32 Pages million complex Coaldale eyed for huge plant 65 RAILWAY GARS Nanton boxcars no good for grain A string of 65 broken-ddwn boxcars sitting idle north of Nanton can't help the national grain transportation system out of its car-shortage situation regardless of what an Alberta MP said in the Commons says CP Rail- Most of the boxcars at Nanton are not suitable for hauling grain, said Earl Olson, spokesman for CP Rail in Calgary. Don Mazankowski, PC Vegreville. transportation critic for the opposition, charged in the Commons Tuesday that boxcars were sitting on sidings across the Prairiesl He specifically mentioned boxcars at Nanton. Drumheller, Provost and Claresholm in Alberta and Cranbrook in British Columbia. Mr. Olson said few of the boxcars standing at Nanton are the type that can be used for hauling grain. Most of them are double-door units which can't be properly sealed to prevent grain from leaking out en route. Under the federal commitment of million announced Tuesday, only boxcars suitable for grain delivery will be given top priority repair status, said Mr. Olson. Mr. Olson said 500 CP Rail grain boxcars will be repaired immediately 165 at the Ogden repair yards in Calgary and 335 in Winnipeg. Another 500 will be repaired later. The grain boxcars will be plucked from sidings across the Prairies and moved to the repair depots. The cars are scattered throughout CP Rail territory because they are stored where they are found to be unsuitable for use. The largest chemical fertilizer manufacturing complex in the world costing as much as million may be built near Lethbridge, unconfirmed reports indicate. One source says the million complex will be built by Alberta Ammonia Ltd. of Calgary within 30 miles of Lethbridge. Another says- representatives of a major American company are in Southern Alberta today visiting Medicine Hat and Taber viewing potential sites for a huge petro-chemical plant. CFCN radio in Calgary reported today Coaldale has been earmarked for a project of similar description. The Herald learned that a proposal has been made to the Alberta government for a huge petro-chemical plant in the South, one thai would take three years to build and 350 persons gephanently: Tjie government was urging its location in a small community ffcrr industrial decentralization purposes. It, appears the flurry of speculation throughout the industry will be settled one way or the other Friday when Alberta Ammonia is expected to detail its plans at a news conference. An Alberta Ammonia spokesman said Wednesday his firm's plant would not be built in Lethbridge, Calgary or Medicine Hat, but in a smaller centre in the South. Plans for the Alberta Ammonia complex include million in natural gas supply facilities and a pipeline to transport the ammonia produced to the American Midwest. Pincher Creek and Brooks have been mentioned as possible locations for the plant because they meet the criteria, set by the company, of nearness to major gas and water supplies. But one report to The Herald today ruled out Brooks as the site for the plant. Construction of the project is to begin in 1975, with other facilities being added to the complex later. Great Basins Petroleum Ltd., Sulpetro of Canada Ltd., and Canadian Western Natural Gas Ltd. will ammonia plant with j Lehew leaves Stamps CALGARY (CP) Rogers Lehew, general manager of Calgary Stampeders, announced Wednesday his resignation from the Western Football Conference club. He told a news conference the resignation is effective March 31 when he will take a position as assistant general manager of Detroit Lions of the National Football League. 'Debtors' MANY ARE IN NEED OF REPAIR 8 inches of snow mires Edmonton Arabs reported ready to lift U.S. embargo EDMONTON (CP) Central Saskatchewan was today's target for an intense storm that buried Central Alberta in more than eight inches of snow Wednesday. While Central Alberta residents took to the shovel to dig themselves and their vehicles out of eight to 10-foot drifts, the weather office issued a warning to the Swift Current and Kindersley regions as the storm swept into Saskatchewan with strong northerly winds gosling to 55 miles an hour. Cars by the score were mired hub-deep in Central Alberta roadways and stranded motorists had to wait up to 12 hours for a tow truck. RCMP contributed at least one fatal accident to poor visibility and hazardous road conditions. Nels Lyberg, 69, of Sylvan Lake died Wednesday evening when his car collided with a semi-trailer truck on Highway II. From AP-Reuter TRIPOLI (CP) Arab oil- producing countries were re- ported today to have agreed to lift their oil embargo against the United States at least tem- porari amid further reports they will return to full produc- tion which may lower world prices. While the oil ministers re- mained silent until the 12- country Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPECl meets Sunday in Vienna, reports from various sources gave rise to optimism that the em- bargo against the U.S. will soon end. However, the Arab countries appear determined to continue punishing Denmark and the Netherlands for alleged failure to change their policies on the Middle East. In Washington. Vice- President Gerald Ford said it is his understanding, after speaking to State Secretary Henry Kissinger, that the embargo against the U.S. has been lifted and an announcement is expected shortly. His view was in line with an earlier report here in which an unidentified high-ranking Libyan official was quoted as saying the ministers agreed Wednesday to end the embargo against the US. with the decision to be announced in Vienna Sunday. In another U.S. report, the Los Angeles Times said in a Washington story that the agreement to lift the embargo against the U.S. is limited to a two-month trial period. COMPROMISE SEEN To preserve some semblance of unity, the Arab nations agreed to a compromise which commits them to take another look at both the embargo and the production levels in two month's." the newspaper quoted one unidentified diplomatic source as reporting. 50-day contracts announced Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON Agreement by the Canadian Wheat Board to forward contract feed grains on a 50-day basis is a first step to stabilizing the western livestock industry, Hugh Homer, minister of agriculture, told the legislature Wednesday. Until the change in policy announced in a letter to Dr. Homer from Otto Lang, minister in charge of the Wheat Board, livestock producers could not depend on the price of feed grains to remain the same for more than two weeks. Now the board guarantees the price for 50 days. "We think this step is a first step in stabilizing the entire livestock industry in the West." Dr. Homer said in answer to question from Bud Miller (PC He said the province was still hoping for an announcement this week from Ottawa on the feeder cattle situation. In the meantime, the government planned to introduce additional legislation on feed grains. Dr. Homer said outside the legislature that beef producers must get higher prices if they are to survive. It will take two or years for the companies to put together a I delivery system wherever the plant is located in Southern Alberta, an Alberta Ammonia spokesman said. Two other large new fertilizer plants are now in the works in Southern Alberta one near Medicine Hat and another near Brooks. The Medicine Hat plant, to cost about million and likely to employ 200 persons, will be built by Western Co- operative Fertilizers Industries. It will duplicate the present Co-op plant and located adjacent to the existing plant. The second was announced si? weeks ago. With a little government red tape still to contend with but with engineering already initiated. million will be spent initially on an anhydrous ammonia plant, producing at least 400.000 tons annually for the American market. Pan Canadian Petroleums of Calgary will own 60 per cent. Tyler Corp. of Dallas. Tex.. 40 per cent. Pan Canadian, with large reserves near the Suffield Block which the provincial government is going to develop through the Alberta Energy Co.. a joint government investor company, will supply the gas. The plant will probably be located west of Lake Newell. in close proximity to both water and mainline rail transportation. Depending on market development, the Brooks plant may grow by million for the production of ammonium nitrate and urea, both fertilizers as well as ingredients in other chemical industries. shock Hartley SMNI and (ward About town Separate School Board Chairman John Boras wanting to vote "lukewarm" on a resolution instead of for or against college governor Larene Harrison saying the community college's new flag will only last a month in winds. Secretary Shultz leaving Nixon cabinet VSHI3NGTON