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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 26, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Aldermen cool on whether to subsidise local day care centres To subsidize or not to subsidize. That's the day care question city's council budget committee faced Monday afternoon and clearly isn't too excited about having to make a. decision. Presumably the answer will come before the April 15th target council has set as the deadline to settle its 1974 city budget. The way the preliminary budget sits now, the city's portion of the municipal mill rate will jump to 41.65 mills from 33 16. Monday's meeting was the first to attempt to trim that mill rate, and the budget committee didn't make much headway. Two private day care operators and three groups promoting subsidized schemes were on opposite sides of the fence and council's budget committee was in the middle Jean Staudinger and Bernice Costanzo told the committee subsidized day care was "too expensive" and would drive private day care operators out of business. A vote for subdized day care was a vote against private enterprise, they said. On the other hand, representatives of the North Lethbridge Child Development Centre planning group, the YWCA Whole Child Care Centre and University of Lethbridge Co-operative Child Care Centre all maintained the private centres don't fill all the needs for day care. Two of the three groups have earned the recommendation of the Community Services Advisory Committee, the civic body that recommends social services policy to city council. The committee March 7 recsmmended city council give the North Lethbridge group and the YWCA proposal The committee withheld approval of the sought by the university centre. committee, Mrs. Costanzo said groups promoting publicly subsidized day care "usually come into being as a result of a group of socially minded citizens forming a committee. "They sit a few hours, and conclude that a community needs a day care centre, of course, financed by public tax money. "Their names are usually overquoted in the papers, stating what dedicated, overworked and underthanked, untiring individuals they are." Mrs. Costanzo does concede these groups "do spend hours" but "they do not realize they are creating more problems than they solve." "Their plan is to bring expert care and guidance to preschoolers in Alberta. It is presented to the feneral public in a glamorous and awesome way which appears cheaper and with more value. In a brief to the council budget "The community will pay 20 per cent and the province 80 per cent, they say, but they do not publicize the fact that the taxpayers' share will be 100 per she said. Mrs. Costanzo said subsidized day care was an inefficient drain on the public purse than can be met and is being met by private day care operators. She said she knows there is a great demand in Lethbridge for day care, but said the climate in which the city might decide to establish subsidized day care made it a shakey business venture for her to expand her business to meet the demand. A guarantee from the city that .it would not give public money to compete with private day care would spur an expansion of private day care, she claimed. The budget committee then heard the other side of the story. "We are not trying to compete with private enterprise in the market said Mrs. Darlene Nault, speaking for the North Lethbridge group. "Subsidized day care is aimed at those who cannot afford to pay private program Mrs. Nault said. "Do you realize that the average annual income for a single parent family with preschoolers is less per annum that a two-parent family without "We are npt planning to create a monster which will swallow up tax dollars "Our budget can be managed in such a way as to make the cost to the taxpayer the same, whether subsidizing 40 children in our program or 40 individual children, through welfare, in private programs. "We are concerned to provide quality child care to families who may not otherwise receive it and who may be forced to find second or third-rate Mrs. Nault said. Charges at the group's centre would be based on the parents' ability to pay. A brief explaining the YWCA proposal explains that of 400 women on welfare with children in Lethbridge, more than a third live within easy walking distance of the Y. "Day cere facilities would allow those who wished to seek employment knowing that their children would be well cared for without having chad care take most of their pay-cheque The university centre proposes its funds come from the university, the province, the city and the parents of children cared for at the centre. The budget committee was told the centre allows students and staff at the university and others to attend a class, then spend some time with the child, and then do something else at the university. And the great majority of parents are residents of Lethbridge, which accounts for the city's responsibility to fund the centre, representatives said. SECOND SECTION The Uthbridge Herald Lethbridge, Alberta, Tuesday, March 26, 1974 Pages 13-24 6Birth control centre helped decrease abortions in city' By TERRY McDONALD Herald City Editor The Lethbridge Birth Control and Information Centre has been credited with contributing to a decrease in abortions in the city at a time when most other urban centres are facing large abortion increases. Dr. L. W. Johnston, an obstetrician and gynecologist at the Haig Clinic, told city council's budget committee Monday afternoon the decrease in abortions in the city to 183 in 1973 from 206 in 1972 should be considered when the committee decides whether or not the centre will receive continued city funding. The centre has funds to operate until June 1. If it is to continue past that date it must have city funds which in turn will qualify it for provincial funds. Dr. Johnston's gesture of support came almost three Private school aid hike planned Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON The province has moved to increase its support of private schools in Alberta by 35 per cent. Education Minister Lou Hyndman said fhflHi interview prepared to raise funding of such schools to the same level as provided public and separate schools. But the amounts proposed by the province would increase by 90 per cent grants for senior high students, by 30 per cent for junior high students and 20 per cent for elementary students. If approved by the legislature, that would mean grants of and respectively each year. The province now provides across-the- board grants of for the approximate 5.000 privately-educated students comprising about one per cent of the school population. Grants to the two major systems are considerably higher at for senior high, for junior high and for elementary students each. Mr Hyndman said the government' wants to-iinsure that "The burden parents of private school pupils was not so over-whelming that the private system would die. No capital support would be offered by the province. The increased grants would go into effect in time for the next school year, Mr. Hyndman said. For the Immanuel Christian School, in Lethbridge, the new grant structure would mean the school would receive for its 240 elementary students, and for its 120 junior high students an overall increase of The increase in support brings total support to compared to in 1973-74. Council briefs Library turnstile clicks The new Lethbridge Public Library opened for business Monday, and one of the first people through the turnstile was Lori Espelien, 17, of 1815 15th Ave. S. The official opening of the building will be April 5. Mental health association sets drive goal City rejoins federation weeks after the community services advisory which city council relies on to recommend social services policy voted to end city funding for the centre. The centre's appeal before council Monday featured a petition of support that included the names of 30 Lethbridge physicians and 125 city nurses, according to Dr. R. G Hall, obstetrician and gynecologist at the Campbell Clinic Dr Johnston and Dr. Hall are both on the 11-person board that administers the birth control centre. The support in favor of continuing] city'funding of the centre little resemblance" to the situation as was presented to the advisory committee three weeks ago, a representative said after hearing the centre's presentation Monday. Many prominent city residents who opposed the centre's existence a few weeks ago now firmly support it. the committee's representative told the aldermen. He reasoned that by voting to recommend city council cut off funding for the centre, the committee had prompted a public debate and examination of the centre's worth And the result of that debate was an awakening of centre supporters. He hinted that if the strength of the centre's case had reached the committee three weeks ago, the committee's vote might have been very different And he told council flatly he nor his fellow committee members would be offended if the recommendation was rejected and the centre given city funds Aldermen told centre representatives they were concerned about rumors that "a 12-year-old girl could go to the centre for information" and her parents not be contacted.' Centre director Judy Burgess replied she didn't of any 12-year-olds fitting such a story but that similar cases were referred to physicians who then decided whether or not to treat the visit confidentially. Aldermen were told that in such a case a physician would likely deal with the request, encourage the girl to discuss the matter with her parents, but would treat the matter as confidential. Monday's meeting was the budget committee's first detailed encounter with the 1974 proposed city budget. Chairman Mayor Andy Anderson told the birth control representatives their submission' would be studied further, then decided upon. The committee will continue its deliberations April 8 prior to the regular city council meeting. A target of has been set for the Canadian Mental Health Associaion's fund raising drive which started Monday and will end April 1 with a one-day residential blitz. And some of the funds collected can be used to help people in the Raymond Home who could be considered fit to live in the community. Jesse Snow, executive director of Lethbridge CMHA. said some association funds were used to help establish two former patients of Raymond in the community about six months ago. Since the government has acted on complaints against the home, the association is planning programs which can benefit those women declared well enough to leave. A government team is now assessing each patient Jim Gough, CMHA business canvass chairman, said at the fund raising kickoff luncheon that as well as money being used to promote new programs established activities will be continued. The association provides camping programs for patients, special help for the sick and aged, public education workshops, recreation programs, and rehabilitation and follow-up care for ex-mental patients. This year's fund raising activity will, for the first time, consist of a door-to-door canvass April 1. A business canvass will run this week More than 400 volunteers have been recruited and the association is hoping to get more before the residential blitz. The CMHA used to be in the United Appeal but that group could not provide sufficient operating funds for the association, Mr. Gough said. Lethbridge city council is back in the Canadian Federation of Mayors and Municipalities. Council voted Monday to pay its 1974 feVand rejoin the organization it voted to withdraw from in mid-December. Aid. Bill Kergan, spearheading the movement to join the CFMM again, told his colleagues the organization represents municipalities which have a total population of between 10 and 12 million. "It's about time we got back in and gave it our he said just prior to the vote. City Council voted to accept tenders from two firms totalling nearly for liquid asphalt for hard surfacing during 1974. Husky Oild Co. Ltd. will be paid for tons and Chevron Asphalt Ltd. will be paid for 150 tons. Council agreed to accept a tender of from Gillette Construction for the construction of the No. 1 Fire Hall. of the buildings will be under way dunng the summer, council was told. Council gave second and third readings to a bylaw authorizing issuing of of debentures to extend the city storm sewage system. Council not ready to support plant Salaries worry council A substantial increase in the total salaries paid to library employees and a small increase in library revenue expected this year worried city council's budget committee Monday. The Lethbridge public library board estimates salaries, wages and employer contributions will total more than this year, some more than was spent last year. On the other hand, the library board expects general revenue to increase only to 43.700 this year. One way to close the gap somewhat, aldermen told library board representatives, would be to increase the price of an adult library card. A card now costs an adult 10 cents But was suggested as a fair price for an adult card bv the committee. China lecture Two public lectures on China by University of Saskatchewan professor Pei- chih Hsieh will be held Wednesday and not today as reported in Monday's Herald Dr. Hsieh will speak at 10 a.m. at the U of L and noon at the YMCA. 'Irrigation farmers jeopardizing gas plan9 Mv At CfA H W _ _ By AL SCARTH Herald Legfelatare ferern EDMONTON Southern Alberta irrigation farmers nave thrown a giant monkey wrench into the province's rural natural gas subsidy program, Roy Farran, minister of telephones and utilities, said Monday. Mr. Farran said the hopes of the farmers to use natural gas for irrigation sprinkler systems had "profound implications for the viability of the plan." "With no lid put on it, they could run away with a tremendous amount of Mr. Farran said in an interview He told the legislature earlier that the government was reviewing the matter. Outside the house, he said the five-year plan costing million was intended to get heat into rural homes. "We didn't envisage getting gas to every farm field. "Southern co-operatives appeared to be under the assumption not corrected by civil servants that they could apply