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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - March 31, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta . Wednesday, March 31, 1971 - THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD - 3S HELLO DOWN THERE - A giant Newfoundland dog peers inquisitive-ly at a tiny Mexican Chihuahua at a sportsmen's show in Toronto. Although the dogs are the same age, 18 months, the Newfoundland weighs 162 pounds and the Chihuahua tips the scales at a mere 40 ounces. Campaigns against future Alaskan tankers Ex-navy MPs oil spill warnings get little notice Few figures available on baby beating cases By JOHN MIKA Herald Ottawa Bnrean OTTAWA - While west coast attention is rivet ted on the problems of the future if Alaskan tankers are put into service an ex-navy MP's frantic signals about existing dangers of catastrophic oil spills go almost unnoticed. But David Groos (L - Victoria) says he won't quit in his campaign to make residents of both coasts aware that not only dangers exist but also potential solutions. After the $4 million Arrow disaster in Chedabucto Bay he doesn't feel he has to stress the dangers to Maritimers. But the appalling difficulty is that west coasters blithely ignore the fact that Arrow - sized potential oil spills sail through the sheltered waters of Juan de Fuca and Georgia Straits every other day right now. "A 60,000 - ton ore carrier carries almost 5,000 tons of fuel oil for its own power requirements - that's just about the amount of oil that landed up on the beaches from the Arrow," be said in an interview. "There are lots of freighters coming through those waters to Canadian ports now and the big bulk  carrier traffic will become an increasingly larger proportion of the total. "Each one carries greater or smaller quantities of fuel oil which could be spilled in an accident even though they're not tankers, yet few people realize that. "In addition, big oil cargoes sail the straits now. Last year there were eight 15,000 - ton tankers that delivered oil to Vancouver - there's 120,000 tons that went up and down that narrow and tricky waterway on the Canadian side alone. "Even more big ship and tanker traffic goes through Juan de Fuca on the U.S. side now - every vessel carrying oil as fuel or cargo by thousands of tons." The Arrow was a 15,000 - ton tanker too. About one - third of her cargo was recovered, another third drifted in a huge slick out to the open sea and only one  third hit the Maritime beaches - enough to con* taminate to greater or lesser degree almost 200 miles of shoreline. But in the nearly landlocked west coast straits where the flushing cycle takes three months to complete there's little likelihood that a third of any oil slick would ever make its way to open ocean. Groos proposes "harbours of refuge" be established by the federal government on both coasts where pollution - fighting equipment such as booms and slick - lickers could be stored, ringbolts driven for holding barges and boats and tank farms established for unloading a stricken vessel. As he envisages it, the defence, transport end environment departments should combine to establish a battle plan in which aircraft, ships, experts and equipment could be dispatched to converge on a disabled tanker or ship leaking fuel. The task force would then "cocoon" the vessel to prevent an oil slick from spreading out and, perhaps after effecting temporary repairs or taking it under tow, convoy It to the harbour of refuge for mopping up the problem. Groos said the primary arm in such an operation would have to be the armed forces because they have the manpower, communications, vessels and aircraft on standby at various centres anyway. He said the defence department might even buy a couple of old but serviceable tankers cheaply to add to the taskforce for pumping out a stricken vessel at sea before it sank. He pointed out that a recent slick of bunker oil that hit the west coast national park beaches may not have been caused by a passing ship cleaning its bilges as suspected. It could have come from the fuel tanks of a Scandinavian freighter that sank near the area recently. Groos says that while some fuel oil trapped in sunken ships inevitably escapes to the surface, the rest of it does considerable damage to sealife on the continental shelf as studies have shown. "So a couple of tankers picked up fairly cheap would be a good environmental protection insurance by taking off as much fuel from a sinking freighter, not to mention tanker, as possible," he maintains. By GLENNIS ZILM Canadian Press Staff Writer A six-month-old boy spent 54 days in hospital last November with fractures of every rib, a broken right leg, a burn on the left leg, head injuries and possibly permanent dans-age to an eye. And the sad-perhaps tragic -part is that he wasn't in a car' accident or hit by a train. A court, deciding he probably had been beaten into this state by his parents, made him a ward of the court. "It's impossible to get actual figures on the number of baby beatings in Canada," said Mary Van Stolk, an Edmonton author who is writing a book on baby-battering. But she believes that in the age group from one to 10 years, child beatings are probably the major cause of death, ranking even above accidents. A Cross-Canada Survey by The Canadian Press showed there are few figures available, and those that are probably indicate only the tip of the iceberg. DON'T KEEP RECORDS For example, in Ontario, where there is a fairly good reporting system, 364 cases of child battering were reported in 1969. But most provinces don't keep records and unless a case is taken to court it is impossible to isolate the records. A former official of the department of health and welfare estimated 2,000 children each year are killed or permanently maimed through battering by their parents in Canada. Authorities in all provinces agreed that cases of child-battering cut across all social patterns. Beatings can happen in any type of home, rich or poor; the parents may be in anv age group; either the father or mother or both parents may be involved. But there are some common factors. Most authorities agree that adults who beat children are mentally sick. The parent or parents need to be treated themselves and punishment is not the answer. "The reasons parents or others mistreat children are varied, but invariably include mental illness, anxiety produced by marital strain, fiscal problems, inadequate preparation for child-rearing and lack of understanding and appreciation of child behavior," said Betty Graham, director of child welfare, Ontario department of social and family services. "It can be because of a neurotic or psychotic situation, which would cause the frustration level to become very, very low," said Eugene A. MacDomald, director of child welfare for Prince Edward Island. "It could be people not so neurotic who are just overwhelmed with problems and tensions and comes the last straw." "You get terribly complicated relationships between parents and children," said Mona Robinson, head of the family services for the Children's Aid Society in Toronto. "A lot of parents tend to be hostile people anyway. Some studies indicate they see children as things rather than as people." Miss Robinson said studies done in the United States show that mothers who beat infants usually are under great stress. COULD LOSE CONTROL Dean Melsness, director of child welfare for Alberta, said that a mother who might have managed to cope with one or two children could lose control with three babies close together. She begins to beat the one who cries and it becomes a habit. Only Ontario-which pioneered the way with legislation in 1966-British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Alberta have laws requiring persons aware of child-beatings to report them to welfare officials. Quebec has a bill in the works. These provincial laws provide some protection against libel for persons reporting suspected batterings. "The major problem in helping such children is the fact that people are reluctant to certify that damage has occurred because of battering," said J. S. White of Ottawa, a program director of the Canadian Welfare Council. All authorities agree that many cases are not reported. Mrs. Van Stolk said studies in the United States have shown there ere about 10 cases of child battering for every one that is officially investigated. "And for every child that dies, there are likely 100 who are mistreated without official awareness." Because of the lack of statistics, authorities don't know whether child-battering is increasing. Joseph Messner, executive director of the Ottawa Children's Aid Society, believes there is no increase in the number of beatings but that more of the cases are being reported. The worst cases usually come to the attention of officials through hospitals or doctors. But because parents usually don't admit to beatings, they offer seemingly rational explanations-"He fell downstairs" or, "She fell out of the car." Sometimes, neighbors o r relatives and, occasionally, teachers will report suspicious bruises and indications that a child is being mistreated. Only extremely rarely will the other parent-if both am* not involved-complain, said Mr. Melsness. KEPT IN HOSPITAL What is done depends largely on where the child is when the case is reported, he said. If, as is usually the case, the child is in hospital, he is kept there. The welfare or social devel-o p m e n t department makes some arrangement to have the child made a ward of the court or province. A court hearing usually is required. If the child is at home, he said, the department investigates and what is done depends largely on how willing the informant is to testify. "The department and the courts can move quickly, but the complaints often are pretty nebulous and won't stand up." Better preparation for par' enthood was suggested by most authorities as part of tbi solution to child-battering. 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