Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - March 18, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
-Thursday, March 18, 1971 - THE IETHMIDGE HERALD - 5 Hard times: 6You can't let it get you down' CORUNNA, Ont. (CP) -Big Johnny Johnston slipped the fastball glove on his left band, picked up a pair of roller skates and swallowed Us pride. "That's all the birthday presents my son Mike got," he said as he flicked his right knuckles nervously into the pocket of the glove. "We're used to giving a lot more than that but this year we couldn't even afford the party. I got the glove on credit and Granny bought the skates." That hurts Big Johnny because he is used to winning. No-hitters were common when he pitched fastball on the diamonds of southwestern Ontario. He once struck out 20 in a game in Windsor. But lately, Johnny has not been winning. At the employment office they do not know his earoed-run average because the 280-pound sheet metal worker is simply John Johnston, 40, unemployed father of two boys: Michael who turned six March 6, and Russell, 8. Johnny, his wife Joy and the two boys live in a small house in this town of 2,200 about eight miles south of Sarnia. He is one of the more than 2,500 unemployed workers in the Sarnia area. The city's unemployment rate is more than 12 per cent, double the national average, and in the construction field the rate is more than SO per cent. In Sarnia, the unemployed are in the pool rooms and union offices or standing on the street corners, talking about how nice spring could be. Driving south, to Corunna from Sarnia, you pass eight miles of one of the largest petro-chemical industries of the world. Smoke stacks, storage tanks, miles of copper pipe-Imperial, Sunoco, Polymar, Dupont, Shell-big names in big business. A taxi driver shakes his head "With all that you wonder how there could ever be such a thing as unemployment." But Mayor Paul Blundy tells you that the petro-chemical industry, the life blood of Sarnia, is also responsible for the unemployment. "We've had a boom for about five years but the boom stopped last fall when the industry reached a saturation point," he says. "Naturally, the construction people are the hardest hit. Nobody's building. It's as simple as that." It is in the Johnston's living room that the human side of. the unemployment statistics has meaning. "We've had to do a lot of stick handling with the budget since I've been off work last November," he says. "We like to eat weli but it's different now. We're having a lot of spaghetti and I bet I can tell you every good deal in every grocery store around. Last week tomato soup was selling for eight cents a can so I bought 20 cans. "And then there was the time that weiners were selling for 39 cents a package. The guy limited me to seven packages. I should have brought Joy and the kids." The Johnstons, more than $3,000 in debt, have had to rely on $232 a month from unemployment benefits and money from relatives. "You can't let it get you down-you can't let it beat you," says Johnnv. The rent is $155 a month; heat about $12; special pills to ward off gout which has plagued Johnny, $9.10 a month -leaving $55.90 for everything else, including union dues of $15 a month. "It just doesn't work out." says Johnny. "Thank God my relatives are helping." The Korean War veteran says he is a good worker, that several companies have told him that they would hire him if they had any room. "But they're all in bad shape," he says. "Some have laid off guys who have years and years of seniority." TURNED DOWN SUDBURY He said he has been offered a job in Sudbury but he turned it down because he is a family man. "Joy and the kids are everything to me," he says. "I've seen families break up when the husband had to go away. My place is at home and I'll stick it out. "Sudbury's 400 miles away and some guys have been on the road 25 hours in a snow storm, trying to get home. And besides, when you figure out the transportation costs and $50 a week for a room, there's not much sense in living in two places.." Johnny said he makes $6.06 an hour when he is working and that the union has helped immensely by paying doctor and hospital insurance. "But one thing I have to say is that instead of asking for a British imports top Tory awards NEW YORK (Reuter) - British theatrical imports stole the show in nominations for Tony awards, Broadway's equivalent Britain plans to ration gasoline LONDON (AP) - Britain is preparing plans for gasoline rationing in case Mediterranean oil supplies are cut off, political sources said today. Libya, which supplies 25 per cent of Britain's oil, has threatened a shutdown unless international oil companies pay a stiff increase in royalties. Other Mediterranean producers are backing the threat. Political sources said the government has asked the banks to prepare plans for issuing ration coupons. The banks would be better placed than government departments to do this because of their network of branches in every main street. Britain has oil stock sufficient for three months. Thereafter, disruption would set in because of the difficulty of rerouting tankers to more distant oilfields. Libya is asking $3.75 a barrel of crude in place of the current $2.75. Prime Minister Heath believes rationing would be preferable to paying a price which would add to Britain's inflationary troubles. LOT OF PASTA If all the macaroni products consumed during 1970 were formed into one long strand of spaghetti it would stretch for almost 68,000 miles, says the National Macaroni Institute, raise in the next contract I think we should go for more fringe benefits. 'I'd forgo a 40-cent-an-hour raise if there was some way of looking after things during the rough times." EXPECTS TAX REBATE "But the first thing I do with that money is fix Russell's bike and buy Mike a good second-hand one. Those bikes come first." Driving back to Sarnia, watching the lights blink in th? chemical f a c t o r i e s, Johnny turns down the radio in Ms 1965 car. "You know, if it wasn't for Joy I don't know what it would be like. She's a fine, good woman. "A man needs that kind of love and understanding. I don't think everybody gets it, especially in hare times when you need it most." Clean air bill introduced SILVER DOLLAR FOR B.C. CENTENNIAL - This is the design which will appear on a silver dollar honoring British Columbia's centennial this year. The face of the coin will bear a portrait of the Queeny while the reverse side will bear the official coat of arms of the province. The first silver dollar issued in Canada since 1967, it will cost the purchaser $3.00 and will be a collector's item only. OTTAWA (CP) - The bill to create a clean air act, formally introduced in the Commons fisheries and forestry committee Tuesday, has been given a qualified blessing by two Opposition MPs. "To be against it would be almost like being against motherhood," said Lloyd R. Grouse (PC-South Shore). ' But despite the good intentions of the government "the fact remains that the air surrounding our globe knows no boundaries." The legislation, which proposes maximum fines of $200,000 in cases where emissions contravene set standards, would be helpful in Windor, Ont., he said, but would be worthless if the air in neighboring Detroit is not cleaned up. "We cannot act unilaterally," Mr. Crouse said, asking Fisheries Minister Jack Davis whether Canada has made any effort to establish global air quality standards. Mr. Davis, to be the new environment minister whenever a government's reorganizat i o n act is passed, replied that with- Mark Ten contest probe ordered OTTAWA (CP) - The consumer affairs department will investigate a complaint that a promotional campaign operated by Mark Ten cigarettes is misleading, Barnett Dan-son (L - York North), parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Trudeau, told the Commons. He was replying to Barry Mather (NDP - Surrey-White Rock) who said that under the rules, it would take a one-p a c k-a-day smoker 243 years to collect enough coupons for an advertised television set. Total price of the cigarettes smoked would be about $50,000. out the new clean air legislation Canada has a slender base from which to project its views on air pollution to the international community. Once legislation is passed, it will complement U.S. legislation calling for reciprocal air pollution control agrecm e n t s with other nations. Ron Harding (NDP - Koot-enay West) said he didn't share the feeling of some committee members that the clean air bill is "the best bill in the world." "We have to endorse it. It's a step forward, but not a very big step forward." Mr. Harding sharply criticized the bill for dealing with the problem of air pollution in a fragmented way. ART DIETRICH DENTURE CLINIC Certified Dental Mechanic Metropolitan Bldg. 328-4095 of Hollywood's Oscars, which were announced Tuesday. Home, by David Storey, Sleuth, by Anthony Shaffer, and The Philanthropist by Christopher Hampton, which had successful runs in London before opening on Broadway, competed for the title of best play. Sir John Gielgud and Sir Ralph Richardson, stars of Home, vied for best actor award along with Alec Mc-Cowen for his role in The Philanthropist and British-born Brian Bedford in Moliere's The School for Wives. Three of the four best director nominees also are British: Lindsay Anderson for Home, Clifford Williams for Sleuth, and Peter Brook for Midsummer Night's Dream. WIN NOMINATIONS Three supporting actors won Tony nominations for their roles in British productions-Ed Zim-mermann for his role in The Philanthropist, Donald Pickering for Conduct Ubecoming, and Ronald Radd in Abelard and Heloise. Diana Rigg, who plays Heloise, is in contention for the best actress award with U.S. stars Maureen Stapleton in Gingerbread Lady, Estelle Parsons in And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little and Marian Seldes for Father's Day. A third member of the Home cast, Mona Washbourne, was mentioned for the best supporting actress award in a dramatic play. She plays a patient in a mental institution along with Richardson and Geilgud. Other entries for British plays are Sally Jacobs, for her scene designs in Midsummer Nights Dream, and William Hitman for his lighting designs in Sleuth. The awards are to be made March 28 at Broadway's Palace Theatre, ^ Maul-e mifesAahead at ftrestotw (Comportfi 2%. 5.60-, IS mil "hunting JUL Weil removei 25 for Firestone CHAMPIONS s At Firestone Stores listed below or participating_Dealers - Corner 3rd Ave. and 8th St. S. Phone 327-8548 Open Daily 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. s Open a Firestone Budget Account or use your.