Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 14, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
18 TrU UTHBRIDOE HERAID Thumlay, May 14, 1970 A Bird's Eye View Of The Activity At The One Prairie Province Conference by Bryan Wilson It Should Be WINland Prairies Erroneously Labelled Claims Clark "WINland." That's what the area now er- roneously referred to as the Manitoba, Saskatche- wan, and Alberta, should really be called, Dr. Andrew H. Clark of the University of Wisconsin said Wednesday. Dr. Clark told the One Prai- rie Province Conference the term prairie in its (rue ecologi- cal sense, refers only to a small patch of the Hed River Valley between Winnipeg and Emer son, Man., 40 miles south of the Manitoba capital. "The title gives a very mis leading impression of the over all character and resources o the present territory of the three provinces." Dr. Clark suggested the nann a form of initia shorthand for. the area designa Some West Areas Would Feel Pinch It would be difficult to prove that present regional income disparities between the Prairie provinces would be offset by economic benefits ensuing from union, an Edmonton economics consultant said Wednesday. A. L. BoyMw, speaking at the One Prairie Province Enquiry in the Exhibition Pavilion, said the "impact of a union of the three provinces would be econ- omically painful to some re- gions in the marketing of their products." If Saskatchewan's crude oil were pro-rated on the same basis as Alberta's, the produc- tion of oil in Saskatchewan "would decrease substantially." A one Prairie province would have to face the problem of economic decline in areas where production suffered through intra-province competi- tion. "It is even possible that the government of a one Prairie province would have to exam- ine regional disparity on a basis similar to that whfch is pres- ently undertaken the federal government with their revenue equalization said. Mr. Boykiw suggested the ba- sic economic factors within the Prairie economy "would not change materially because oi unification." Union would not alter the trend to larger farms, lower farm employment, and shifting of the population from rural to urban centres. However, motor transport and installation of pipelines would probably be enhanced through a merger of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Where the marketing of Prai- rie products is dependent on federal decisions, union "could add more impetus" to the mar- keting. This would be so in the light f a single Prairie province carrying considerably "more weight than do the provinces in- dividually when they are not saying the same thing." The "largest single barrier to union" is the necessity for equalizing revenue among the areas of the three provinces. Blakeney Urges Study Council Bon, "The Western Interior Of coined by the Cana- dian geographer John Warken- tin of York University. "WINIander is quite as euph- onious as, and much more logi- cal, than, prairieite." One of the areas geographic characteristics is its isolation. "If Canada often feels that it is being unfairly ignored by the major world powers, so WIN- landers often feel that they are being ignored by Ottawa." He said there definitely Is a regional characteristic of intro- spection. "A kind of isolationism, attri- butable to distance from other parts of Canada, the continent and the world." Dr. Clark, born in Manitoba and a research professor of geography, said generally tha cultural and economic history of the area and its geographi- cal characteristics, including substantial diversity over a large area, seem "to be more positive than negative for union." The probable difficulties im- plied by union seem of "rather small dimensions than the in- creased strength it might lend to a louder voice in Canadian national he said. DR. A. H. CLARK It Should Be WINland They Simply Don't Know A Saskatchewan MLA press- ed Wednesday for the establish- ment of a continuing study council into Prairie Union. Allan Blakeney, the first man to enter the current New Dem- ocratic Party leadership race in Saskatchewan, said the idea of union "should bo on tap for the time when an occasion" calls for it. "The very pursuit of the idea will exert pressure on Prairie governments to co-opcr'atc." gov- Mr. funded by the provincial ernments concerned, Blakeney said. He commented however that unless the provinces require merging to be there is no overwhelming reason for one Prairie province." "The conclusion which came through clearL (in tho confer- ence) is that in the short-run, one Prairie province is not a viable Mr. Blakeney said "I for one Speaking at the One Prairie had clearly underestimated the Province conference, Mr. Blak- eney suggested the council should be large widely-based, and with a permanent, indepen- dent secretarial. "I have very little faith in the ability of ministerial or intcr- provincial agencies to cany through unless have an in- dependent, competent staff." The council would Inter be added to by representatives of universities a n d community groups, and would hopefully be sense of well being and self- sufficiency felt by the people of Alberta, and so clearly reflect- ed in their elected spokesman (Premier Harry Although the former Sas- katchewan cabinet minister did not sec urgency in the promo- tion of union, he said the pro- posal was "worth refining. I 'nave a feeling for this idea. I believe some ideas have valid- ity quite apart from their sta- tistical sub-structure.' OnePPE speaker Alvin Ham- Iton, a former federal agricul- ure minister under tho Con- .ervative government, telling conference delegates, "People of the East don't hate us out icre in the West they sim- ily don't even know we're out lere." Alvin Hamilton again: lon'f think we have to be too oncerned about a low head count in the West when we want lo apply pressure on the federal government. "We have a ntural alliance with Quebec, where there is also dissatisfaction with the federal government, and with all of the hundreds of thou- sands of families in Ontario and Quebec who are being laid off from their jobs every day because the western fanners can't sell their wheat, now af- fecting the whole Canadian economy. "They'll all vote with Mr. Hamilton said. Puts 111 Pitch For Saskatoon Sasklocn weld, a Mayor Sid Buck- Onc'pPE featured speaker, suggesting that as the mayor of a "thriving, ccntrally- Incated city, I fully expect a popular grnundswell' for choice of Sasktoon as the capital city of the new province, and if this the will of the clamouring Beiioit Unveils New Proposal Edward Benoit, Social Credit MLA for Okotoks-High River Wednesday unveiled a new pro- posal for Prairie union this time of the four western prov- inces with the entire north. Mr. Benoit, speaking at the One Prairie Province confer- ence, suggested a name for the new union derived from the first letter of the four provinces. He suggested a resident of the proposed region would be called a "Brialsasmaniac." Mr. Benoit said as a western- er he didn't like the idea of a land-locked mass. He suggested the four west- ern provinces had something in common with Quebec in that "they are being ruled by other lhan old-line parties." (Mr. Benoit, a minister, ap parently did not see the Lib eral governments of Saskatch- ewan and Quebec as belonging to an old-line party.) He said if the new province extended to. the north, "we could expect a great deal of although he did not specify where the im- were going to come 'with all due experts, they our beautiful Prairie prov- If experts are relied on even America would never have been found because Columbus would never have left the shores of Spain and bumble bees wouldn't from. He said that respect to the may destroy dream of one HIIU IJ I be flying." Greatest Revenue Source Could Be Export Of Water populace the honor would bo development." The sale of Canada's surplus water in the future could be tho wairics' greatest source of ex- wrt revenue, Dr. A. II. Lay- cock said Wednesday. Dr. Laycock, University of Alberta professor of geography, old the One Prairie Province inference1 the water export is- sue is "interesting" for all of lanada. "Such export revenue could >e complementary to our own gracefully accepted." I He said the diversion from northern rivers lo simply south- ern area needs on tile prairies could be developed sooner un- der a merger of the three prai- rie provinces. "The problems of route selec- tion, resource allocation and sales contract negotiations Could be major if the three prairie provinces had difficulty in reaching agreement." Dr. Laycock said Ottawa now appears to think of (he prairie provinces as a single unit in matters oi water resources. Claims Winnipeg Editor Great Western Area Is Being Misused By JOAN BOWMAN Herald Staff Writer One of the great agriculture areas of the the Pra ries is being misused be- cause it has been divided int three political entities, a Winn peg magazine editor' said Wed nesday. Don Baron, editor of Coun try Guide magazine, told dele- gates to the One Prairie Prov ince Enquiry that the west' splintered voice has not hcl the same power with the fee era! government as that enjoy ed by the central provinces. And each Prairie provinc develops policies which com pete with those in the neighbor ing province, "rather than co- ordinating their plans." "T h e Prairies is a singl agricultural area separat and different" from Ontario o British Columbia or Quebec Mr. Baron said. "It makes no sense to ap- praise the agricultural re- sources of the three Prairi provinces individually." There is a "strongly-en trenched conviction amon some agricultural leaders an politicians that each provinc should largely restrict its agr. cultural output to the needs o its own people. "If this philosophy of self-suf ficient provinces were to be im plemented it will deal heavy blow to the Prairies anc thus to Canada." Mr. Baron said the problem is "compounded because ever} crop western farmers wan to grow is somehow influencec by decisions made in Ottawa. However the east has had a "stronger sense of direction' in Ottawa than has-the west. Mr. Baron said in some case the views of the east are in conflict with those of the Prai ries. Western representatives tc the 1970 annual convention the Canadian Federation o Agriculture asked for regula tions to be changed to allow foi the trucking of grain out o Saskatchewan and into her sis ter western provinces. "But eastern farm leaders op- posed it. They said its purpose was to smooth the way for Prairie farmers to go into live- stock production, and they don't want this to happen." The whole theme of easten was that "Prairie grain ant livestock must be isolated from the rest of Canada." The 42-year-old editor sale 'It is clear regulations on grain movement are being imposed on the Prairies because eastern Canada fears the competition that would result if these were removed." Canada has suffered a "mas- sive marketing failure" in al- most every sphere of agricul- tural enterprise. Politicians, faced with sur- pluses resulting from fanners' jompetence, "revert to politi- cal bargaining, seeking ways o control production through legislative controls. 'In -ffect, they make politi- Separation Feared By Lougheed Alberta Progressive Conser- vative leader, Peter Lougheed, said Wednesday he does "not "eel strongly" for Frame union >ecause it would separate farther from their gov- ernment. Mr. Lougheed, adrressing delegates and observers at the One Prairie Province confer- ence in the Exhibition Pavi- ion, said politicans would have trouble communicating md campaigning in such a arge area as a combined Al- >erta, Manitoba and Sasfcalche- van. "I think you'd need almost hree men for each of the ol- iccs involved (in a union gov- He suggested the "real prob- em" with having an enquiry ike this is that it is not "con- nected with the people." "Politicans should be careful lot to pre-judge the feelings of he people." Mr. I-ougheed, 41, said he inds a "pull between Canadian unity and feeling of self-suffi- iency in Alberta." He said he was "not for a hange of boundaries, but for ic best way of pulling the asc of. the west before the of Canada." He suggested the three pro- incial governments should ommit funds to look into con- litutional matters and assess where their division of respon- sibility cal deals to try to restrict pro- duction and share whatever markets happen to be close at hand." When marketing boards take this way out, they are often "a poor alternative for aggres- sive marketing programs." He suggested if Prairie agri- culture had been able to de- velop a sense of purpose In tha past, western farmers "would be producing more efficiently and- selling hundreds of mil- lions of dollars worth more produce today. "The Prairies must find I way to utilize its resources Prairie unity might be one waj to make this passible." DONALD BARON Prairiei Being Misused Would West Union Sell More Wheat? The One Prairie Province En- quiry would nevef have been thought of if the federal gov- ernment's grain policies were workable, Warner Jorgenson, Manitoba Liberal Opposition VILA told OnePPE delegates Wednesday. Mr. Jorgenson was one of iive speakers representing the ;hree Prairie province legisla- tures at the final session of the conference. "I would like to ask, would )ne Prairie Province sell more wheat? "I think It is possible that if the Canadian Wheat Board and he Canada Grain Act became he property of One Prairie 'rovince, it could take care of he r.eeds and problems of the Mr. Jorgenson said. He said for many years the e d e r a 1 government attitude las been to formulate policies n a general way so that they applied to the whole of Canada they often had an eastern bias. Now, however, there Is a move toward more regionally- oriented policies to accommo- date local needs and problems. He said he doubted One Prai- rie Province would have a stronger voice in Ottawa than three, but said there could ba long-term values of some form of union. "But it would not be wise to wait for a committee to study the concept of union further be- fore we try to achieve some of the benefits that close co-opera- tion among the provinces could give Mr. Jorgenson said. "Formal co-operation in as many a r e a s as possible could be accomplished within the ex- isting pro-incial system on a re- gional basis, and if it seems a sensible step, a One Prairie Province government will likely evolve on its own from the co- operation." Welfare Of People Biggest Concern Saskatchewan Attorney-Gen- eral Darrell Heald told One Frame Province Enquiry dele- gates Wednesday that many vestern grievances could be olved within the present con- titutional framework. He said this didn't ncces- arily mean One Prairie Prov- nce was not a good idea, but uestioncd whether money on urtber study was warranted vithout first asking the Prairie eople what they thought of the oncept. "The paramount concern in urther discussion must be the velfare of the he said, nd speculated that union might reduce a government inacces- ible to the people that could cad to internal alienation of ic people. In any case, Mr. Heald said, iscussion must proceed only fithin the context of a united ianada without reference to the pectre of separatism. Western problems, he said, in- lude the fact that "the destiny f Western Canada is not con- rolled by Western ince "19 out of 20 companies nl here have their head offices n the cast." Economic frustration goes eepcr than "tho tariff dissim- ulation practiced by the federal government." One of the most serious dis- criminations, he said, is that just when the West's vast store of natural resources are on the verge of being developed, the federal government "has de- cided that they must be na- tionally-owned and governed. "The federal government doesn't have to fear the Mr. Heald said, "but if discrim- ination continues they'll have to face the consequences." Unity Absent? Latirier LaPierre said if the people of Alberta could be proud of the addresses given by Alberta Premier Harry Strom and Calgary Mayor Rod Sykes at the One Prairie Province En- quiry, "then national unity it more absent here than in Que- bec. "Their speeches were demon- strations of Canadian politics is rot Mr. LaPier- rc said. He said both men were ig- norant of the need for human values within their political sy- stems.