Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - March 20, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
New world to open up at 18 years Sy JIM POLING EDMONTON (CP) - Alberta, one of the last holdouts in lowering the age of majority, soon plans to grant adult responsibilities to an estimated 80,000 per. tons 18 to 90 years old. A bffl toweringthe legal age to 18from tils before the legislature and is expected to become law when the current session'ends, probably sometime next month. The government will have to amend 68 provincial acta to open up the new world to 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds. The changes will allow them to vote, consume alcohol, marry without parental permission, Join professional associations and generally enjoy all rights and privileges once given only to persons 21 or older. "The intention of the legislation is to give every individual full rights at 18," says S. A. Friedman, deputy attorney-general. Nineteen-year-olds have had the right to vote in provincial, municipal aid school elections since 1944. But candidates for public office have had to be 21. Many young Albertans probably will consider changes to election and liquor laws highlights of the legislation. However, it goes deeper than casting a ballot or being able to enter a pub. Must assume debt The age of majority act will allow persons 18 and older to seek government assistance to buy farm land and make them eligible for home mortgages. They also will be responsible for their own debts, including hospital charges. Under existing laws, an 18-year-old cannot be married to someone 21 or older unless the consent of one parent is obtained. The legislation will eliminate this and 18-year-olds will be allowed to officiate at marriages, provided they have the proper authority. The Child Welfare Act also will be changed to permit adoptions by persons who have reached the new legal age. Many of the changes will really not be applicable to young people. Only persons 2l or over have been eligible to be registered as dentists, architects, land surveyors, chiropractors, chartered accountants, agro-logists or other professionals. The bill will change this but most persons are well into their 20s before they have completed training in these fields. Where some of the changes may be felt is in the Coal Mines Regulation Act, the Co-operative Associations Act and the Forests Act. At 18 persons will be able to qualify for certificates in mine blasting and mine electrical work. They will be able to get logging licences, incorporate credit unions or hold office in a co-operative. Jury duty, the execution of wills and the right to collect proceeds from wills also are some of the new responsibilities. Alberta will be the eighth province to lower the age of majority. Ontario and New Brunswick still consider 21 the. legal age but New Brunswick's new Progressive Conservative government has promised to lower it to 18. Family income fig utes rise ;By JAMES NELSON OTTAWA tCP) - The average Canadian family income rose 17 per cent in two years to reach $8,876 in 1969, the Dominion Bureau of Statistics reported Friday. It also reported that on the basis of Economic Council of Canada guides adjusted for 1969 price conditions, the number of families living on low incomes declined in relation to the total population. The figures are based on a survey of consumer finances conducted last year among some 12,000 households. It found the highest average family income was in Ontario, $9,793, followed by British Columbia with $9,167, Quebec with $8,650, the Prairie provinces with $8,601, and the Atlantic provinces with $6,881. For individuals living alone or as boarders or otherwise in households with which they have no family ties, the average across the country was $4,003, up about 23 per cent in two years. The highest was again in Ontario, $4,366, fallowed by British Columbia with $4,247, Quebec with $3,948, the Prairies with $3,687 and the Atlantic provinces with $2,782. Thought too high These are averages of all family and unattached individuals' incomes. Since they include large numbers of relatively small incomes, and a few very large ones, some analysts think they are too high to be representative. The bureau therefore calculated the median income figures-the income of families and individuals who are midway between the number below them and the number above them on the income scale. The median income for Ontario families, for instance, is $8,994. For British Columbia it is $8,604, for Quebec $7,534, for the Prairies $7,248 and for the Atlantic provinces $6,067. The median income for unattached individuals is $3,573 in Ontario, $3,437 in British Columbia, $3,212 in Quebec, $2,672 in the Prairies, and $1,880 in the Atlantic provinces. Set poverty line The economic council said in its 1968 review of the economy that families of two living on less than $3,000 a year with $600 more for each additional person, or single persons living on less than $1,800 a year, were living on low incomes. These became known as Canada's poverty lines. The bureau adjusted these 1968 figures with the change in consumer prices since then, and said the incidence of low-income families declined in 1969 to 17.3 per cent from 18.6 per cent in 1967. The number of low-income individuals declined to 35.5 per cent from 89 par cent High forecast Sunday 20 The Lethbridge Herald "Serving South Alberta and Southeastern B.C.' Price 15 Cents VOL. LXIV - No. 84 LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, SATURDAY, MARCH 20, 1971 ***** FOUR SECTIONS-72 PAGES South Stormy three-hour debate troops panic From Reuter-AP HAM NGHI (CP) - South Vietnam pulled out of two more bases' in southern Laos today, in one case under heavy attack from encircling North Vietnamese. About 400 frightened and battle-weary troops reached here today aboard U.S. helicopters after they abandoned Firebase Brown Friday night and fought their way through the surrounding forces to an area from which they could be flown to safety. Saigon troops also abandoned a base at A Luoi, a government spokesman in Saigon announced. He said there was little North Vietnamese resistance in this case. Fire Base A Luoi, about 12 miles inside Laos, is a major paratroop and armor base along Highway 9. Fifteen U.S. helicopters were shot down or crippled while lifting a battalion of 400 South Vietnamese from Laos. Trying to escape after days of heavy attacks, some troops dangled from landing skids of overloaded U.S. helicopters at altitudes as high as 4,000 feet. - One crew member said a soldier fell from a skid at 4,000 feet and others' from lesser altitudes. Five battles were reported along Highway 9 between dawn Friday and early today in some of the heaviest fighting of the six-week-old campaign. Helicopter pilots said they had to fight off South Vietnamese trying to leap aboard their dangerously overloaded aircraft and escape constant North Vietnamese attacks on their positions. "Several fell off," said one pilot. You just can't control them." "There's no doubt about it. They are being pushed back fast" Some soldiers were! still clinging desperately to the skids when the helicopters' landed at Ham Nghi, a forward headquarters just across the border from Laos. ' Mideast stands harden WASHINGTON (Reuter) - United States-Israeli differences on Middle East peace strategy appeared to have hardened today following Foreign Minister Abba Eban's talks here with the Nixon administration. Eban firmly rejected U.S. suggestions that Israel withdraw from Egypt in return for a peace agreement backed by international guarantees and peacekeeping forces. These were advanced by State Secretary William P. Rogers earlier this week as the best means to assure Israel's secu-, rity. Speaking at a news conference following his talks here with Rogers and Henry Kissinger, White House foreign policy adviser, Eban said Israel will stand alone if necessary to defend its position. He also rejected the idea of a bilateral U.S. security commitment to Israel, another inducement understood to have been offered to encourage withdrawal. Russia dickers for 10,000 more cattle CALGARY (CP) - The Soviet Union, a regular purchaser of Canadian breeding cattle for the last decade, is negotiating for another 10,000 head on a five-year contract, says Paul Holmes of the Canadian Hereford Association. A buying delegation recently held meetings with representatives of Hereford, Angus and Shorthorn Breeding Associations, he said. The buying delegation made its first approaches last year and indicated they wanted 15,-000 head in a one-year agreement but subsequently reduced the amount erupts in Alberta house 4 names linked to allegations By WALTER KREVENCHUK EDMONTON (CP) - The names of three cabinet ministers and the leader of the Opposition were linked to allegations of impropriety during a stormy three-hour debate in the legislature Friday. Debate is to resume Monday on the issue which suspended other House business Friday. A vote is expected Monday on proposals to have the matter referred to a legislative committee. At the centre of the controversy is Health Minister James Henderson. The Opposition has assaulted Mr. Henderson for tabling confidential personal information about a private citizen in the legislature, an act which Hugh Horner (PC-Lac Ste. Anne) describes as "violating one of the basic tenets of democracy.'' The attack, launched by Opposition Leader Peter Lougheed Thursday, has touched on Premier Harry Strom and Social Development Minister Ray Speaker. ATTEMPT TO IDENTIFY DEAD - Peruvian rescue workers attempt to identify bodies they found beneath an avalanche Friday after finally reaching the isolated mining camp at Chungar In the Peruvian Andes. An earthquake-triggered avalanche swept over the camp Thursday killing hundreds, many of them women and children. Avalanche disaster toll May Hit 1,000 APOLOGIZE OR RESIGN Friday, the legislature became embroiled in amendments and sutHamendments as it sought to place the matter in the hands of the 25-member standing committee on privileges and elections. The 10 Progressive Conseri vatives in the House, outnum- bered by 55 Social Credit members, said Mr. Henderson had done wrong and should apologize or resign. They submitted a motion asking that the actions of the health minister and the impropriety of those actions in regard to the disclosure of confidential files be referred to the committee. Henderson aecuses Lougheed 'Then Cinderella joined Women's Lib and lived happily ever after!' Buenos Aires police guard govt, house BUENOS AIRES (AP) -Heavily-armed police occupied key points near Government House and other parts of Buenos Aires Friday night after President Roberto Marcelo Lev-ingston dismissed the head of Argentina's joint chiefs of staff. The city was reported quiet. Under increasing pressure from left and right, Levingston announced on television that lie had fired air force Brig-Gen. Ezequiel Martinez because of "a grave act against discipline." The situation was confused today. Martinez held the post only two weeks and was considered a close associate.of the chief of the armed forces, Gen. Alejandro Lanusse. LIMA, Peru (AP) - Geologists and police warned residents of a tiny Andean mountain valley to evacuate the area today to avoid further avalanche disasters such as the one that killed half the 1,000 residents' of a Peruvian mining camp. Officials said a mild earthquake had loosened a mountainside that slid into Lake Yana-hurina and sent its waters roaring over the isolated camp at Chungar. Rescue workers reached the area Friday, 24 hours after the slide. They said many of the victims were wives and children of some 200 men who eked out a living from hillside copper mines near the camp. The official toll was 400 to 600 dead, and about 50 persons were taken to hospital. Reuters news agency said fears were rising that the death toll may reach 1,000. Reuter said reports reaching Lima said the death toll might be much higher than the 400 to 600 originally estimated since only 50 persons have so far been confirmed rescued. Officials of the Peruvian mining company that operated the camp urged that heavy equipment be sent to the area high in the Andes to drain the remaining water in the lake. Company geologists advised that more of the peak above the camp could fall into the lake at any time, and police said the possibility of further slides presented "an imminent danger." The avalanche was the Worst natural disaster in Peru since an earthquake and trailing slides last May buried two mountain towns and took an estimated 70,000 lives. The Chungar quake struck at 10 a.m. Thursday, and the tremors were felt in coastal Lima, 62 miles to the southwest. "It would be a mockery to suggest that my actions can be examined without dealing with the total issue," Mr. Henderson said, and proposed an amendment which asks that the actions of Mr. Lougheed in the whole affair also be referred to the committee. Mr. Henderson said it was the Opposition leader "who saw fit to inject the affairs of a private citizen into a debate." The health minister said be responded by ensuring "that the facts are placed before the House." Mr. Henderson was referritg to a petition presented to the legislature Feb. 16 by Mr. Lougheed on behalf of Noel McKay, a 65 - year - old trapper from Fort Chipewyan in northeastern Alberta. In the petition, Mr. McKay asked the government to build a dam to alleviate low water levels in the Peace-Athabasca Delta caused by construction of the W. A. C. Bennett Dam on the Peace River in British Columbia. Mr. McKay said he is a trapper who makes ms living on the delta. The information tabled in the House Tuesday by Mr. Henderson said Mr. McKay had received welfare assistance for some time and had not reported any income from trapping since 1963. Mr. Lougheed said he anticipated Mr. Henderson would do what he could to offset the effects of the petition . . . "but he could have come back in other ways." Mr. Henderson said Mr. Lougheed sought, "in a pre-calculated and pre-mediated manner," to exploit the situation for political gain, a charge hotly denied by the Opposition leader. Seen and heard Speaker unhappy victim About town CAUTIOUS Dennis Merrill carefully hiding a $100 bill after coming home from a party and then wondering all the next day where he had hidden it ... Jack Stacey celebrating his 77th birthday by playing 18 holes of golf in the morning and b o w 1 i n g a 281 in the afternoon . . . Six-year-old Connie Cutforth wishing she weren't the youngest in the family so she wouldn't be the last to get n.arried. Speaker Art Dixon was an unhappy victim of the turmoil. Reacting to arguments by Opposition members, Mr. Dixon order and suggested Mr. Loug-heed's case should be referred to the committee through a separate motion. Mr. Henderson challenged the ruling, and in a standing vote the Speaker's decision was overturned 44 to 14, with four Social Credit members voting with the 10 Conservatives to uphold the Speaker. Mr. Dixon made his feelings known later in the debate, when he said "the Speaker is a servant of the House and if Britain moves to head off Irish chiefs resignation Pilot injured at Calgary CALGARY (CP) - A student pilot escaped with minor injuries Friday when the wheel of his Cessna 150 struck a power line and the plane crashed in a field about 15 miles northeast of the city. The RCMP said Bruce Martin of Calgary suffered facial cuts in the crash. The plane, owned by Chinook Flying Service Ltd. of Calgary, was extensively damaged. The transport department BELFAST (AP) - Britain's two top defence chiefs flew back to London today after a series of crisis meetings aimed at preventing the resignation of Prime Minister James Chichester-Clark of Northern Ireland. Neither Defence Minister Lord Carrington nor army chief Sir Geoffrey Baker made any statement as they boarded a plane to London following an hour of private discussions with Chichester-Clark and another two hours with the Northern Ireland cabinet. Carrington was understood to have arranged to meet with British Prime Minister Edward Heath tonight. Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland cabinet went into a fresh round of talks. No public statements were issued immediately by the British officials or by Chichester-Clark, 48, who has been forced to the brink of resignation by militants within his own Unionist party demanding all-out measures to crush underground terrorists of t�w Irish RepubBo Army. Carrington and Lt.-Gen. Baker were reported to have come here with assurances from London that British troops would be tough in rooting out terrorist guerrillas who want to forcibly unite. Ulster with the Irish Republic to the south. A RELUCTANT PREMIER The emissaries went directly to Stormont Castle, the seat of the Ulster government, for talks with Chichester-Clark, a former army major who has been a reluctant premier for nearly two years. Chichester-Clark told his cabinet Friday that he intends to quit in protest over what is seen here as British reluctance to smash terrorists of the outlawed IRA. Political sources in London, however, said the British government would not change its basic policies in Northern Ireland. Carrington and Gen. Baker went to Ulster, torn by two years of riot and disorder, to "explain the means by which the armed forces are carrying out our policy of enforcing law and order and ruthlessly pursuing terrorism," as a British government statement put it. CHICHESTER CLARK members on either side want to abuse him it's easy to do." Dave Rusell (PC-Calgary Victoria Park) said the "Social Credit juggernaut has ruthlessly trampled the rights of an individual ... me actions today can't be very comforting . . . no citizen can rest easy." Mr. Russell said the tremendous amount of personal data on individuals in government hands "doesn't belong to a minister to publicize at his whim ... It leaves a chilling spectrum of what could happen." Don Getty (PC-Strathcona West) then proposed a sub-amendment which asked that the propriety of the actions of Mr. Speaker and Mr. Strom also be referred to the committee, the social development minister for allowing the files to be used and the premier for condoning the action. But Mr. Getty withdrew the sub - amendment when the Speaker suggested that a decision should first be made on the amendment. In supporting the amendment, Highways Minister Gordon Taylor said "the whole exercise is to let the people of this province know the whole story about the whole deal, not just part of it." All speakers agreed that matter should be referred to the committee, but differed on how far-reaching the inquiry should be. Bill Yurko (PC-Strathcona East) said release of a person's confidential or private file without his consent must be considered improper, "it must in fact be considered a crime." Municipal Affairs Minister Fred Colborne said he was shocked at Opposition comments which pre-judged the case. It was up to the committee to decide whether there had been improper action. Mr. Horner adjourned debate.