Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 2, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Saturday, November 2, 1974 Freight rates could be bargaining lever By Fred Cleverley, Herald special commentator The PC nominations The scramble for Progressive Conser- vative provincial nominations is significant. It reflects a popular assump- tion that the party will sweep the province, including the south. The 1971 election result was a fluke. Hardly anyone, including the PC leadership, expected Social Credit would be defeated; there was just supposed to be a rebuke of Social Credit. But so many people in the central and northern ridings wanted to participate in the rebuke that they accidentally defeated the government. The south was less im- patient with Social Credit, and so it was not represented in the new government. Now there is no tide of dissatisfaction, no compelling inclination to rebuke the party in power, no danger of the govern- ment being defeated. The only question is whether there will be any resistance at all to constituency after constituency getting on the PC bandwagon. In plain truth there is a strong possibility of every riding in the province going Conservative, and that is why the choice of Conservative candidates is of more significance than the election expected next spring. The composition of the next legislature is being determined at these Conservative nominating conventions. One of the more interesting of these is the contest in Cardston. Although several are trying for the nomination, it is likely to be between the mayor of Raymond and the deputy minister of agriculture. It is a mark of the times that a civil servant no longer has to resign to go into politics. Dr. Purnell is on leave of absence without pay while he makes his bid for a seat in the legislature. If anyone questions this arrangement, the question should be directed to the premier or to the minister of agriculture. The respon- sibility is theirs. One of the weaknesses of democratic government is the reluctance of qualified people to assume the life of a politician. In many ways it is a miserable life, and anyone who volunteers for public office is to be thanked and congratulated. Anyone who would risk the security, satisfaction and honor of being a deputy minister and instead try to get into party politics must be a very dedicated person. One who did it was Lester Pearson, another Mitchell Sharp. Part of the price of being a politician is having to put up with a lot of guff, or be- ing subjected to all sorts of slander. Ap- parently the campaign in Cardston is getting rough, and even before the convention Dr. Purnell is getting a dose of it. Whether he can make the transition to politics remains to be seen, but probably nowhere in Alberta is a person of higher credentials trying it. WINNIPEG Squeeze any Westerner hard enough and he'll holler. The first words out of his mouth will be "freight understand- able enough to those living in ing in that part of Canada which regularly "pays the freight" on its raw goods be- ing shipped east and on the manufactured goods returning from the east to western con- sumers. Why then, isn't there a vir- tual revolution in the making when federal cabinet ministers talk about breaking the Crowsnest agreement, a pact which guaranteed western farmers in perpetuity a fixed, low rate in the shipp- ing of their grain to export points? The answer seems to be that the laws of economics have overtaken those of politics, and western farmers are prepared to pay more rather than see their crops effectively frozen in position on their farms. Possibly the simplest ex- planation of the Crowsnest agreement is that the low rates for grain shipments were agreed to by the C.P.R. as part of the deal in which it received vast economic concessions, including land grants, to build the trans con- tinental line. The railway has kept its part of the bargain in main- taining the rates it was re- quired by law. But it has con- sistently refused to use the profits received from related industries, and the increased value of lands, to replace its stock of grain cars. This stock is disappearing at the rate of cars a year, a situation which is putting increased pressure on the farmers because of the lack of the means by which to move their grain to market. Both Canadian railways take the same position. The Canadian Pacific refuses to put its profits into the building of cars on which it can realize only the low return set by the Crowsnest agreement. The Canadian National, a federal Obscenity in government Higher oil and gas prices and royalties have meant a windfall of about a billion dollars in extra revenue annually to the government of Alberta. The government has asked the people to submit suggestions on how to spend it. There is something obscene about this. Admittedly it is the people's money and the people might have something to say about its disposal. But every citizen will have a different suggestion and the final decision will have to be the government's anyway. The government surely can come up with its own ideas, and to tease the people with such an invitation borders on the mischievous. Already the government has indicated that it is anxious to plow the money back into capital purposes. This revenue is from a resource that cannot be replaced, so to spend it on a higher standard of liv- ing would be irresponsible. To put it simply, the family receiving an unexpected legacy from a rich uncle can spend it on fancier clothers, more T- bone steaks, rarer wines. Or it can invest it in a new tractor or more education or something else that will make it possible to earn a richer future. AAfftDA PMAI5 7D CUT BACK OrV "Wish we'd have thought of that some hundreds of years ago." Highwaymen spared that tree Immigration paper may be controversial For those who do not yet know and who care about such things, it'is a pleasure to note that the old tree at the Burmis cor- ner is still standing. The highway has been widened, two dangerous corners have been eliminated, and the pictur- esque old landmark, presumably a limber pine, has survived. Whether this is due to happenstance in engineering design or whether the tree's WEEKEND MEDITATION survival was uppermost in the minds of the planners all along is not known. It would be encouraging to think it might have been the latter. Regardless, the tree (age unknown) still stands as a visual symbol of resistance not only to weather but also to highwaymen. Its survival is something of a triumph and will be treasured by those who travel the Crowsnest route fre- quently and who care. By W.A. Wilson, Montreal Star commentator The path to God "A human being who has not a single hour for his own every the man wrote, "is not a human being." Without prayer no one is a human being. It is prayer, as Tennyson said. that makes the difference between man and the beast of the field. Without prayer man loses his soul. Prayer is hunger for God. Prayer alone is redemption from our loneliness. Prayer is the longing of the psalmist: "As the hart panteth after the waterbrooks. so panteth my soul after Thee. Lord My soul thirsteth for God. for the liv- ing God. 6 God. Thou art my God. Early will i seek Thee: My soul thirsts for Thee, My fiesh faints for Thee." Kahlil Gibran's "Miriam" says. "I was a woman who divorc- ed my soul." So it is with most. They have no who they are. They are forever running [mm themselves. No man find? himself until he finds God. Man was meant to be like God. Prayer results in fellowship with God and likeness to God. Alas, few of us truly pray. Most just say prayers. The word "patter" comes from pater rasters'" "Our Father" repeated Tidless'y meaninglessly. "Do you think you hi- heard for your much ask- .lo.vis Trie German scholar. Deissmann. reason distrusted liturgy with its manufacture of prayers. He says of the com- 'Here are not praying men but ac- tors; literary stvlists whc have sat down to compose a prayer One hears the noise of the machine into which the prayer has been dic- 4 3 ted True prayer is a great simplicity -.-.riirr. -.-.Tries frorn 3 crcat sincerity. in An Autobiography of Travci. tells of 'authentic experiences" God in the life of praver Such experiences irrefutable He tells of times he was death. On onr occasion his physician told rim he had a heart block and an enlarged which required his slowing down Other ruinations confirmed the diagnosis But he rvirt 'i "all from God to a mission and so hi- -A-orkir.e IB hours daily doing the -.vork of t'vo men and he w.-is no longer vourig. 'intending with indifference, opposition, and Rermt tests show that he r." ioriger has signs oj 3 hrarl block and his is 'w.k normal size' Far more how--'Vfr are his experiences of realizes '-m thin ind vist intense concentration and desire can lead to such communion. Brother Lawrence said it took 10 years of supreme seeking before he attained his secure, blessed walk with God. Prayer is a way of life. The only experience of prayer most people have is asking for something. This is a pity since petition should be last on the list. It is perfectly proper to make requests to God. Jesus so instructed us. But prayer is the adoration of God. communion with God, conversation with God, learning to say. "Not my will, but Thine be done." Rosebery said of Chalmers that in his enormously busy life he always carried his shrine with him. So with Chalmers one never knew where work and prayer were separated. Prayer for him meant involvement in human need. But his power came from a life of prayer. The prayer life of many people suffers from lack of a community of prayer. The Russian philosopher, Berdyaev. says that "an isolated individual by himself cannot know, still less commence the spiritual life. "Even Jesus needed fellowship. Every great religious movement can be traced back to groups or cells. Yet Jesus also commanded that "when thou prayest. enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to thy Father which is in secret." One reads of Jesus that "rising up a great while before day. departed into a solitary place and there prayed." Men tell of finding God in the traffic and confusion of city streets, even on the deck of a battleship as the shells flew, but in prayer it is valuable to have a place free from distrac- tions, a place of quietness and privacy. There is no more blessed prayer than thanksgiving. Repeatedly St. Paul urges thanksgiving Thanksgiving has a purifying power How hard it is to pray for enemies, for example, and those who have wronged you. Vet the prayer of thanksgiving often makes it possible Also thanksgiving will eliminate many of those "give me's" which are about the only prayer most have. Prayer enriches life Prayer takes the drudgery out of work and makes it an adventure. Prayer is a com- mitment Hence it is a discipline That is one reason why prayer is hard. There must be a sacrifice of life. 1'RAYKR: Search me, O God, and know my hrart; try mt and know my ways; and see if thorp br any wicked way in me; and lead me in the way everlasting. F. S. M time next year Robert Andras and the immigration department are likely to push the people of this country into recognizing more clearly than they want to their own prejudices against people of different racial backgrounds and with different colored skins. The racial cvertones of the government green paper on immigration which leaked out from cabinet this week are pronounced. They could easily become politically explosive in constituencies with high ratios of people with non- Anglo-Saxon. non-French backgrounds. In other areas, the same overtones might have strong political appeal. Andras ran into difficulties in the Liberal caucus with one of his schemes to slow down immigration into Canada because he was aiming par- ticularly at some categories of relatives of those already there. He backtracked and the measures he actually adopted may easily have the curious effect of cutting most deeply into the generally well- qualified category of "independent" applicants that is. those who do not have relatives already in the country. There are certainly parts of Canada where immi0ration from the less developed parts of the- world is controversial. If it is assumed that Canadians in principle wish to be a tolerant society it can be questioned, however, whether the government is behaving with wisdom in deliberately promoting argument -n sen- sitive areas. Polarization and the hardening of prejudices is the most likelv result. Some portions of the leaked green paper seem almost calculated to produce this result. It raises questions, for instance, about the "absorp- tive capacity of Canadian society." So far as Canadians actually do possess the racial tolerance they would claim, it may easily be simply because most communities in this country have not had very- large groups of people with dark skins. To start an official argument about the absorp- tive capacity of Canadian society may not be the best way to encourage tolerance. It seems more likely to in- crease the level of fear and suspicion, reducing the level of tolerance. And when we talk about "absorptive capacity" in this context we are really talking about racial issues. The paper also notes that the large cities, which receive about half of Canada's immigrants, "have been obliged to absorb significant numbers of people with backgrounds and cultures unfamiliar to the majority of their established residents." It may well be true that the absorptive capacity of Cana- dian society is not high when immigrants from Asia, the Caribbean and Africa are concerned. The government is sponsoring, through the work of two Queens University professors, a study that will produce virtually an inventory if Canadian prejudices. One that has already shown up very strongly in the study is antagonism to people with dark brown skins. If. however, the government is to sponsor clarification of the state of Canadian pre- judices through discussion of its green paper, and then ad- just its immigration policies to them, it would be just as well to be honest about the nature of the enterprise. This country's immigration policies have almost always been restrictive, so far as ac- tual numbers have been con- cerned because it has tradi- tionally feared the American approach of opening the doors for a while to let a large pop- ulation develop. (The Americans later became restrictive in their immigration policies but not until they had their population and with it the basis of a great country, with not merely an industrial structure but a culture that towers above those of most other nations.) Until 1967, when Jean Marchand and Tom Kent, who was then his deputy, rewrote Canada's immigration laws they were not only restrictive but laws and discriminatory regulations successfully tend- ed to confine immigration to the traditional areas from which Canada had always welcomed it on a limited scale. The Marchand-Kent approach sought to wipe out other elements of discrimina- tion as well, largely by es- tablishing facilities for processing applications from prospective immigrants in areas where these had never existed. One of the most suc- cessful methods Canada had used to avoid receiving colored immigrants was to refrain from establishing im- migration posts in the areas from which they come. Canadians generally have been outspoken critics of apartheid and just about as generally have sympathized with the trends and programs of the 1960s and 1970s seeking to give black Americans greater equality. If the im- migration department successfully demonstrates to us that we can only preserve these liberal approaches by restricting the entry to our society of people with colored skins we will have some food for thought. It is by no means im- possible, however, that we will be able to accommodate ourselves to the apparent problem involved in dis- criminating on one hand and deploring discrimination on the other. Until they were jarred by an influx of Carib- bean and Pakistani im- migrants, the British had successfully maintained a liberal and tolerant attitude within the British Isles, al- though they had traditionally upheld the most rigid color bars in their empire throughout the entire period during which it flourished. This demonstrates a degree of ingenuity and adaptibility that Canadians ought not to find beyond themselves. There does not seem to be any reason except logic, which has little to do with human responses, why Canadians should have difficulty in simultaneously viewing with sympathy the immigration de- partment's concern over their "absorptive capacity" and taking the high moralistic line favored by Ivan Head of the Prime Minister's Office to South African preoccupation with the same problem. There is. perhaps, one small stumbling block involved in all of this. Some years ago Mr. Tnideau talked a good deal about a "just society." He will, perhaps, have ts redefine it. THE CASSEROLE Crown company, won't build grain cars either, because management is reluctant to commit investment into what has to be a losing proposition. Under the Crowsnest agree- ment the income from hand- ling grain is just not enough to satisfy the railways. They have refused to act in the national and the western farmer's interest by replacing rolling stock. The only new grain cars in existence are the federally owned hopper cars provided through the ef- forts of Otto Lang, who was minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board at the time the order to build cars was issued. Facing a yearly funnel through which grain must be shipped, a funnel whose neck is being tightened by an ever increasing shortage of grain cars, western Canadians are ready to talk about amending the Crowsnest rate. They are not willing to see the agree- ment scrapped, but are will- ing to accept an upward revi sion of the statutory at which grain can be movtd. At present, grains in Canada move at less than one cent a ton mile, one third of the current rates prevailing in the United States. Possibly the Canadian rate could be increased by 50 per cent, keep- ing it below the rates in the United States but providing a grain income for the railways half as large again as they now receive. Farmers are willing to accept an increase to 27 cents a hundredweight from the 18 cents it now costs them to move grain from the Prairies to Thunder Bay. Apart from continuing work stoppages at both Thunder Bay and the coast, the transportation of grain is the biggest crisis faced by the industry. Westerners may well want concessions from the railways in return for releasing the perpetual hold they now have on grain rates. They will want a revision of rates on manufactured goods which makes it cheaper to ship items from Toronto to Vancouver, than from Toronto to Win- nipeg to Regina. The west will want some control on what it considers to be a railways plan for the wholesale abandonment of branch lines. But western Canadians probably will be reasonable, due partly to their disadvantageous position in the freight rate issue for the past 50 years. Minor concessions probably will look good to the west. Westerners have long deplored what seems to be a disinterest in Ottawa about national transportation problems. The Prairie provinces have standing com- missions on transportation, and businessmen, farmers, and service industry represen- tatives have long ago teamed up to support such groups as the Hudson's Bay route association, an organization devoted to promoting the use of Churchill. Canada's mid continent seaport. But the west has en- countered situations where us- ing sea transport to Churchill nets no economic return because of the rail rates which exist from Churchill to the nearest distribution cities, rates which insure that goods brought to the west through Churchill will cost as much, or perhaps slightly more than those brought in through the port of Montreal. Westerners cut their teeth on freight rate problems, and more than one is remarking these days that the most en- couraging statement to come out of Ottawa recently has been that from transport minister Jean Marchand. who after running the department for several years, remarked that the reading of Pierre Bur- ton's book. The National Dream, made him realize how important were national transportation policies. Westerners knew that before Burton became an author, but are happy that Mr. Burton may have influenced a tran- sport minister in their favor 11 will bf interesting to see how a new lending scheme in B.C. works out. CUPAC. a corporation owned by credit unions, has started making six per cenl loans to low- inrome borrowers, including those on welfare snd other forms oi social assistance. Max- imum incomes are for sinclr bor- rowers. up 1o for married applicants with dependents So far ha? been lent, mostly in amounts from to Banks claim they cannot possibly manage on less lhan 12 per cent, and some consumer loan companies charge 20 or more. just keeps getting more and more com- nlicaled For some time, environmentalists have urged users to drop those rings on pull 1op cans back into the cans, to reduce litter and avoid injury to animals. Now, report that accidental swallowing of rings and tabs from pull top cans is becoming a serious medical problem. The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th SI S lethbndge. Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO LTD Proprietors ana Second Ciaos Mail Registration NO 0012 CLEO MOWERS. Editor and Publisher DON M PILLING Managing Editor ROY F MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K WALKER l Page DONALD P. DORAM General Manager ROBERT M FENTOM Circulation Manager KENNETH Business Ma "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"