Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - March 25, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
Anthony Westell Another prime minister Northern Ireland has another prime minister - the third in the last couple of years. As a way of solving the problems of that unhappy land it doesn't seem to be very promising. Each new crisis that brings about a change of leadership is probably pushing the time of ultimate decision closer. The day, when Westminster will have to assume direct rule over Ulster may not be far off. There were many who thought it had come with the latest crisis. And if that happens it seems highly unlikely that an open push for union of all Ireland would not be far behind. Getting tough with the terrorists- as demanded by the Protestant hardliners - could very well prove inimical to the very people who look to that policy. It could provoke many moderates of the Catholic minority to become militants because suspension of civil rights would almost certainly be directed mainly toward the Catholic community. More strife is a threat to protestant security. Mr. Brian Faulkner, the new prime minister succeeding Major Chichester - Clark, has a very difficult and precarious job. He must know that following the Protestant hardline would virtually mean setting the clock back to a time of Protestant domination and thus undoing the real gains that have been made in redressing the wrongs protested by the Catholics. But although he may know all this very well he may not be able to withstand the pressure of the hardliners. A little time has been bought by the change in leadership but it will be something of a miracle if Mr. Faulkner can manage to hew a line that will save the situation. More trouble in Ulster looks like a safe bet. A sensible move in services. A recent suggestion by an official of the provincial health department that Lethbridge might be selected e�; the site for a pilot project in which a composite health and social service scheme would be developed should be heartily endorsed by personnel involved in these services. The composite health and social services plan, as spelled out in the legislation, merges these two departments into a single administrative unit, and puts under one broad umbrella all the various "people services" now operated by the province and the municipalities. This would combine active treatment hospitals, welfare agencies, nursing homes, day care centres, auxiliary hospitals, guidance clinics, juvenile centres and other facilities under the jurisdiction of public care services. Lethbridge's size lends this sort of experiment a good jumping - off place, for the present services now in force are reasonably up to date. Also, a plus factor which impressed government officials, stemmed from the Lethbridge Regional Mental Health Planning Council and the Municipal Hospital Board and. other local authorities who have, time after time, presented the needs for some sort of composite service and have gone on record as approving a plan to initiate them. However, the final decision to implement these services must wait legislative approval, but the idea is so sensible, not only in cutting down expense and fragmentation of manpower, that rejection of the plan would indeed be a regressive step in the plethora of social services which often confuses the individual to the point where he is inclined to go without help rather than run hither and yon to get it. TV takeover The promoters of the recent heavyweight championship fight gave an impressive demonstration of how to exploit the television medium. By restricting the fight to closed-circuit television viewing they were able to turn it into one of the most lucrative sports events of all time. Sports promoters of all kinds must be thinking a good deal about that way of restricting viewers to payers. Two or three million made on TV rights for a football or baseball playoff is paltry when compared to the twenty milUon garnered from the boxing match. There is a possibility that the Fra� zier-Muhammad Ali fight will be historic not because of the fight itself but because it marked a turning point in the marketing of sports events. And if sports viewing should become highly restrictive it could mean a revolution in the whole area of television viewing. Pay-as-you-see television may be a lot closer to becoming a reality than 'may have seemed possible now that this powerful nudge has been given. If the lucrative advertising normally attracted by major sports events should disappear there would not be much doubt about the direction television will go. The economic difficulties in which that industry would find itself would be insurmountable without drastic alteration. Should the day come when each show watched has to be paid for by the viewer it will not be an absolute disaster. It ought to result in greater discrimination on the part of the viewer with perhaps an improvement in the overall quality. Reflections for modernists by Peter Hunt �RITIQUE of commercialism is bound up with any authentic critique of anti-Canadian influences. These influences are anti - economic (because of waste), anti-historical and anti-literary to say nothing of the moral and religious aspects. Cer-.tainly, nothing has been more potent in destroying the perspectives and better traditions of Canadians, Americans, Australians and Englishmen (and others), than commercialism and the shallow and vulgar modernity induced by the persuasive advertiser; the true enemy of education. To love one's country is to understand her past and the heritage it transmits, to be deeply interested in the literature that grew from that past, and in the special qualities that have emerged to distinguish a people or community in their pioneering and unique struggles to be themselves. The veneer of American modernity that swept into this lovely prairie province, checking the ripe emergence of a provincial but open and searching local culture, has had many effects in every field of activity. Drugs are eating into the heart of this growing prairie city; noise and pollution, though not yet as malignant as in some other places, are destroying its landscape and healthful closeness to nature. Not long ago, in an article published in an Australian journal, I wrote some very caustic comments on the destruction of fine historical buildings there, and about the failure of Australian leaders to do nearly as much about pollution as is being done here in Canada. But that does not mean I do not love the country; nor does criticism of commercialism anywhere constitute a lack of affectionate regard. What diminishes a sense of Canadian iden t i t y through commercialism deserves to be flagellated. Just over a year ago, I prepared a selection of Canadian poetry for use in class. Most of the major poets and some of the minor ones were represented. The students had not heard of most of it. More recently, I found that few, if any, of them had read any of Bruce Hutchison's eloquent essays, or his book The Unknown Country. This is Party prospects in Alberta's election jjJDMONTON - It was a dull day last week in the decorous chamber of the Alberta legislature - acres of pale green carpet, massive paintings of royalty in court robes, a potted plant - when Premier Harry Strom got to his feet and began to read a prepared statement. "I wish to announce that the governments intends to increase the home owner tax discount by 25 dollars . . ." He was saying in effect that he is going to give every homeowner an extra -25 dollars to help pay municipal taxes. Up in the press gallery there were chuckles and a ripple of excited comment. "There's the election," said one newsman, and others agreed. Down on the floor, Opposition Leader Peter Lougheed, a 42 - year - old Calgary lawyer, ticked off a fluent four-point political criticsm of the premier's tax plan. This is the time Lougheed has been working and waiting for since he became leader of the Alberta Conservatives six years ago. He has built the party from scratch to a small but determined opposition which now presents a serious challenge to the Social Credit government. The Socreds have ruled Alberta for the remarkable span of 36 years. They began as a movement of radical protest in the desperate years of dust-bowl and depression, rode the tide of oil which swept the province from rags to riches. not one school's problem. Students in the schools here are starved for Canadian history and Canadian literature. I used to try to cope with the same problem in Australia. But here the interest is at present intense and should be developed. The addiction to rock music and to the igibberings of half - demented 'pop' stars, to drugs, and to the hectic pursuit of .mass-produced pleasures and to feverish modernity is not Canadian. It is anti - Canadian, as is the ever - increasing destruction of variety, of many beautiful towns and villages, farms and local schools in the cause of centralism in this province. The present so - called 'surplus' of teachers could provide a useful experiment in decentralism. Instead, it is being used to reinforce bad politics and manipulative administration. Meanwhile, the people who know most about curricula, experienced teachers, have too little power to use their knowledge to its greatest effect. It is in the communities scattered around this astonishingly beautiful country; the communities that grew up through the severe but poetic Canadian winters; that were built on the vision and toil of pio-neei-s, that ycu will find the Canadian identity; there, and in some of the older cities; Quebec, for instance. It is as well to remember that the two cultures are a blessing here. It is no accident that some of the most potent criticism of modernity emanates from Quebec, for it is there that the cultural issues are at their most intense. Paradoxically, a true sense of identity is impossible without diversity; tolerant and open diversity. But the human bonds that make this possible are universal. Education is concerned with heritage. And heritage is dynamic and relevant, blending the best of the old and the new, because it grows out of human needs which are, in essence, of all times and places. This is what will produce the sort of changes that in the long run will prove most fruitful. That is what the young need and what they can appreciate if our approach is sound. And that is what it means to love a country. As Socrates said: 'The unexamined life is not worth living.' and have mutated into a Conservative Party backed by big business and the rural Bible belt. At the last election in 1967, they won 55 to 65 seats, confirming themselves once again as almost the permanent government. Lougheed and his nine Tory followers are a thin line on the floor of the legislature facing three rows of Socreds, and to defeat the government in the coming election (expected on June 14 or 21) they will need a minor miracle. The surprise today is that a growing number of Albertans believe the Tories have a good chance of bringing off the miracle. Even the doubters agree that it is going to be the most open, interesting and exciting election in Alberta for years. If Lougheed can win, the shock waves will be felt far beyond Alberta. The Tory leader will become overnight a significant influence on the national political scene, an attractive new personality and a certified giant killer when the federal Conservatives need all the help they can get. Lougheed is deeply convinced that parliamentary government needs drastic reform to be meaningful, particularly to young people. His slogan is "people before party" and he hopes to transform the staid old Albsrta legislature by giving MLAs unprecedented freedom from party discipline to speak for their constituents, introduce their own legislation and amend government bills- an experiment which would be closely watched front Ottawa and other provinces'. / Thirdly, there is the common belief that once Social Credit is defeated in Alberta, it will quickly wither and die, cut off" from the sustaining juices of power and the brains trust of the bureaucracy. That would open the way for new and unpredictable political alignments in Alberta, and possibly weaken Social Credit in British Columbia. But the forecast of change in the West still rests on the long-shot expectation that the Tories can beat Social Credit. Lougheed is quietly optimistic for four basic political reasons. Ernest Manning retired two years ago after dominating Alberta for a quarter - century as premier and leading the Socreds to victory in 1967. His successor, Premier Strom, has nothing like the same personal following. He is 56, a likeable, sincere and respected farmer, but inarticulate in public, uneasy on TV with little apparent appeal to the young or to the growing cities. Manning was skilled in keeping the opposition divided among Liberals, New Democrats and Tories, obscuring the reality that he won his great victory in 1967 with only 44 per cent of the vote. Now it is different. The.six Tories who emerged from the last election nave grown to 10 and b e c o m e the only opposition in the legislature. By winning two byelections 'IN- 'Speak!" Letters to the editor No sensible reason for using drugs Recently two letters on drugs appeared in The Herald. One, from Edward Haffman, had the added title by The Herald, "Millions of North American pot smokers can't be wrong." They are not only wrong, they are all fools. There is no sensible reason for a single person to be using drugs other than by doctor's prescription for illness. Now let's take Mr. Haffman's wail. Actually he was arrested for trying to smuggle drugs into Canada, he lost his "rights as a human being," was jailed" and his wife and child were on welfare. What "right" has anyone to smuggle anything into Canada, particularly a n o n -citizen? How did he propose to support his family? On your child's blood. You do not have a child so young he wouldn't sell drugs to. Sure, as he and Ironic Recently I read in the paper that a colorful and interesting bird, the ivory-billed woodpecker of southern U.S.A., is close to extinction. Closely following this article were four full pages devoted to the advertising of consumer goods. This struck me as ironic. The overproduction of consumer goods, especially those made from synthetic materials, is contributing to the rape of our environment. Unfortunately, one of the few things we cannot make is an ivory-billed woodpecker. MRS. ANDREA ASHTON. Burdett. Mr. J. L. Walker, later stated young folks get curious. Who makes them curious? Why, people who, like Mr. Haffman, tell them how nice it is and persuade them to try it so that Mr. Haffman (personally I wouldn't think it was half a man by a long shot) could get cash from them, no matter if they had to steal it in order to buy. Who is such a person to talk of respect for the law or the profit motive? Now as to Mr. Walker's suggestion. So we need more drug centres and we need drug users to run them. We do not need centres if the drug is harmless, and, if a drug-user could hold down that job, it is the only job they could hold down efficiently. After that, the suggestion that education should be toward leisure-time activities needs a full sack of salt. I suppose here again, only academic qualifications would be considered, when character is actually what he is teaching, as so many teachers are, without any diploma or other qualification, dared to be demanded. Maybe you can't fool all of the people all of the time but these sort of people seem to have us bamboozled for the moment. It is tim*. to wake up. Some oriental relgions teach that it is not the ability and freedom to do as we please and have all power to do anything; the ultimate godlike quality is to have all that and the wisdom not to use it. With freedom o� speech and liberty in general, we seem not to have made much of a start toward the ultimate. When we do, we will not say those things likely to harm our fellow man. J. A. SPENCER. Magrath. . Editor's note: The title to Mr. Haffman's letter was not so much "added" as "extracted" by The Herald. As often as possible, as in the case of Mr. Haffman's letter, the head is a phrase taken from what the person has written. In this way The Herald's neutrality toward the content of letters can best be observed. crazy capos and by absorbing the lonely Liberal MLA and an independent member. Lougheed's strategy is to present the coming election as essentially a two-party contest. NDP Leader Grant Notley is given a chance of winning a seat for himself and for one or two supporters, and the Liberals have just chosen a new leader - the fifth in six years -but he can hardly bring order out of party chaos by election time. Because modern Alberta is a Conservative rather than a Social Credit province, voters who gave personal support to Manning should not find it difficult ideologically to turn to the Tories. To encourage this sort of movement of opinion, Lougheed and his followers are careful to offer a positive alternative to the government, rather than negative criticism. They regularly present bills in the legislature, dealing with such subjects as pollution, civil rights, and the power of the provincial auditor, to dramatize the claim to be an alternative government with policies already in draft legislation. The Tories have been an attention - getting opposition in other ways. Early in this session, for example, when the clerk in the legislature was droning through the daily agenda and came to the routine and almost - forgotten item "presenting petitions," Lougheed sprang up to confront the surprised government with a petition from an aggrieved citizen. Noel McKay, a 65 - year - old trapper from Fort Chipewyan on the shores of Lake Athabasca, complained that the Bennett Dam on the Peace River over in British Columbia was dryinc out his territory and ruining the trapping. The petition gave color and meaning to the Tory claim that the Alberta government has failed to protect the province's interests, and the same tactic is expected to be used again later in the session to underline other issues. The Opposition clearly benefits from the experience of several members who have work-. ed in Ottawa. Dr. Hugh Horner was one of the "Diefenba-ker cowboys" in the federal Parliament until he resigned to become a provincial member and coach his new colleagues in the art of opposition. Tory whip Lou Hyndman, an Edmonton lawyer, worked as an executive assistant in Ottawa during the years of Conservative government. From another angle of experience, Don Getty, 36, was not only an Edmonton Eskimo football player for 10 years, but also built up an oil and investment business, which gives him credentials1 as a popular critic of the government resources and industrial policies. The tiny Tory opposition, in short, has achieved visibility and political momentum. The government, by contrast, has a creditable record, a progressive program and is striving to modernize its1 image and adapt to the new, urban Alberta, but seems to be having difficulty in impressing itself on the media and on the public. It has finally launched a long-planned 20-year 40-million dollar program to pave 10,000 miles of secondary roads, boasts of the best hospital-medicare scheme in Canada and is planning denticare; and has assembled enough public land around Edmonton to provide houses for 80,000 people to hold down the cost of building sites. Guided by the young academics and city - oriented pol- icy advisers he has gathered around him, Premier Strom has launched a task force on urbanization which is designed to involve citizen groups in long-range planning, set up a commission on education which has held hearings in many communities and in the schools to get ideas from students, organized a department of the environment and a 3,500-strong Alberta Ecology Corps, and prepared a soon-to-be-announced development plan for the north. These and other projects do not suggest a government dying of old age and inertia. But the premier has problems communicating his ideas and seems to be prone to political accidents. On the eve of an election in which redistribution will add 11 new city seats, he has managed to get into a fight with Edmonton over the city-owned telephone system and with Calgary over the power utility and to come into conflict with the provincial ombudsman. He has also annoyed all the municipalities by putting a ceiling on the fund through which they have shared with the province in oil and gas revenues. In the past, the local governments received about one-third of this revenue to use more or less as they pleased, and they were looking forward to getting their cut from this year's record royalties of 170-million dollars. Instead, the premier fixed the limit at 38-million dollars to conserve provincial funds. This means the municipalities have to raise their own tax rates, and they are not placated by the fact that the 25 dollar increase in the tax discount will make it easy for home owners to pay. They impose the taxes; Strom gets the political benefit of giving money to the voters to pay the taxes. On the other hand, despite redistribution, there are still 42 rural seats against 33 city seats, and it is estimated that four country votes are worth seven city votes, in terms of electing MLAs. S'o rural-based Social Credit retains an important edge. But Alberta is changing rapidly and the background to the coming campaign will be growing awarness that the provincial economy is approaching a crossroads, the big discoveries of oil and gas have been made and it is now becoming harder and more expensive to tap new reserves, although there are undoubtedly many left to be found, exploration isshiftingto new frontiers in the Arctic and the ocean coasts. At the same time, Alberta has the youngest population of any province and there is a point, probably in 1975, at which the rising demand for jobs will cross the declining SP" portunities offered by resource industries. The answer must be more secondary industry - a shock for Albertans who have become used to living on their natural wealth. For example, about 25 per cent of provincial revenues have come from royalities and land sales since the first big oil strike in 1947 - a 3.5-billion bonanza not enjoyed by any other province. With the changing economy, there are bound to come changes in political and social priorities. In this election, the choice will be essentially between two conservative parties: in the next, there will surely be an opening to the Liberal or NDP left for voters in an urbanized and industrialized society. (Toronto Star Syndicate) Looking backward Through the Herald 1921 - In Morgantown, W. Va., the school board announced that teachers who attend dances during-the school year would not be re-employed as the board felt that those who did so were inclined to neglect their school work. 1931-Three inches of snow fell in the Lethbridge district, bringing the March total to date to one inch of moisture. 1941-It may be a trifle early in the season but the first straw hat appeared in the business area this morning. 1951 - The Grouse Mountain ski lift n e a r Vancouver jumped its cable and about 38 people were listed as injured. Darkness closed in before rescue work was completed and many hiked down, others stayed overnight at the chalet. 1961 - Dr. William H. Fairfield, OBE, superintendent of the Lethbridge Experimental Farm from its founding in 1905 to his retirement in 1945, died in the city. The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St. S., Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Publishers Published 1905-1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Mali Registration No. 0012 Member of The Canadian Press and the Canadian Dally Newspaper Publishers' Association and the Audit Bureau of Circulations CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager Don't kick Mrs Brown's furniture, darling - not with your new shoesl JOE BALLA Managing Editor ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager WILLIAM HAY Associate Editor DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Page Editor "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"