Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 11, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
Thunday, Nov.mbtr 11, 1971 THE IFTHBRIDGE HERALD 31 Lang finds going rough in political league Check existence of B.C's hairy giant MncLKOD OTTAWA (CP) After Uic results of the Assiniboia byelec- tion had become the Lilwral candidate was in last Minister Otto Lang came io his office door, smiled, and said: "Sure, I'll be glad Io say a few words about it." You would have expected him Io be in deep depression, if not a towering rage. He had just spent weeks criss-crossing the riding, sped ing, explaining, prodding and more effort into that byelcction than the en- tire federal cabinet combined. In retrospect, it seemed to be another of Ihose seemingly im- possible assignments given Mr. Lang since he clawed his out of law school and into the federal cabinet in 1968. He h a d responsibility for water resources when conserva- tionists began screaming in the ears of government; he was presented with the Canadian wheat board when fanners were facing bankruptcy, and he was put in charge of manpower when unemployment was soar- ing to a 10-year high. IMS ROUGH 4 YEARS Combined with an inherent in- ability to chart smooth courses for himself through Commons debates and questions, all of this has given the 39-year-old former Rhodes scholar a rough four years in Ottawa. Now. on byelcction night Mon- day when he should have ap- peared exhausted from a mur- derous campaign schedule, the quiet-voiced, studious cabinet minister was patiently explain- ing some of what went wrong. "It's too complicated to re- flect on any single specific he was saying. "But it does show that we still have quite a job to do in explaining what our policies are." Yes, there was an anrJ-Tru- deau sentiment he had to deal with. And this was whipped up by opposition speakers, who don't agree that "Mr. Trudeau is one of the best prime minis- ters Canada has ever had." Everyone crowded around Mr. Lang to hear his explana- tions, because with his intense involvement in the campaign the impression was created that it was his personal fight. OPPOSITION TOUGH What was often overlooked was that he was stumping Assi- niboia. on behalf of Liberal Jim Hooker, against the heaviest ar- tillery the other parties could muster. New Democrat Leader David Lewis, his prairie MPs and many provincial cabinet minis- ters were there to help the NDP candidate, who won. Conserva- tive Leader Robert Stanfield, former leader John Diefenba- ker, and former agriculture minister Alvin Hamilton led a powerful battery of campaign- ers for that party. And after getting only a smat- tering of help from his cabinet colleagues, Mr. Lang was to re- turn to Ottawa exhausted, while at least one fairly senior Liberal was saying, "Otto blew it." Fortunately for him, Mr. Lang doesn't" easily depress. After 18 years dabbling in pol- itias before winning a federal seat, the native of Handel, Sask., has shown a remarkable tendency to remain cool in the trenches. OTTO LANG Blew it? His University of Saskatche- wan students referred to the quiet, remote professor as "The Iceberg." ENTERED CABINET EARLY When he came to Ottawa in 1968, Mr. Lang was immedi- ately appointed a minister with- out first Saskat- chewan cabinet minister since was assigned to work with Trade Minister Jean-Luc Pepin. But a year later, after Energy Minister J. J. Greene suffered a heart attack, the sandy-haired, bespectacled young man was given special responsibilities for co-ordinating renewable re- sources, particularly water. On the banquet circuit he was outspoken. There is discontent in the West, he told a Hamilton audience in 1969 "and it's not due to imagined wrongs, but to the real problems which are the result of national policies." He has spoken of the organ- i z e d lawyers, doctors and even labor "the spoils of the protection of incomes sys- tem." while unorganized Cana- on the outside. One columnist wrote: "He looks like a side-burned, mild- mannered youthful stuffed shirt, but that's "only his Clark Kent put-on. Peel him and there stands a bleeding heart, so rev- olutionary as to be quite frank Nursing home bid shelved temporarily TAPER MD's application to the Alberta Hos- pital Services Commission for setting up a nursing home area centered at Taber. has been temporarily shelved. The coun- cil was advised by the Commis- sion that the MD's application would receive consideration during a current study by the department into all health care facilities in the province and hospital district boundaries. The MD cannot expect a re- ply to the application until the study report has been tabled, probably early in the new year. TOP CUT REPLACEMENT SALE 900 HEAD 900 BRED HEIFERS SAT., NOV. 13th at 1 p.m. AT THE LETHBRIDGE STOCKYARDS ON OFFER Witt BE: 75 CHAROIAI5 CROSSBRED HEIFERS Bred to reg. Red Angus from Ken Vadnair, Cardston. 250 CHAROLAIS CROSSBRED HEIFERS Brad to reg. Red Angus bulls from Bob Molcak, Cardilon. 150 HEREFORD HEIFERS Bred to reg. Angus buili from Stan and Marland Larter, Picture Butte. 50 HEREFORD HEIFERS Bred to reg. Angus bulls from Holland and Jones, Cardjton. 200 HEREFORD HEIFERS Bred to reg. Angus bulli from Border Ranches, Cardston, Alberta. 50 ANGUS X HEREFORD HEIFERS Bred to Brown Swisi bull from John Ennt, Taber. SALE CONDUCTED BY CHRISTIE LIVESTOCK LTD. AUCTIONEERS HERB CHRISTIE DEI JORDAN lit. No. 231 lie. No. 490 2811 Paiksidc Dr., letll. Red Deer, Alberta j in liis wish Io break the 'sys- ii' as it now operates." I AGREE Few people agree about Otto Lang. Opposition MPs say he is unnecessarily abrasive in some of liis Commons comments; that he is cold, unbending. Friends say he is shy, generous and has a delightful sense of humor. Liberal colleagues say he Is tenacious, refreshingly cool, and a tireless worker. A columnist in the Edmonton Journal once wrote that "Lang is a friendly fellow, even though a lawyer. The one thing on which every- one seems to agree is that Mr. Lang has been given more diffi- cult assignments than anyone else in cabinet. In the fall of 1969, when he be- came the first cabinet minister ever to have sole responsibility for the wheat board, friends ad- vised him to turn down the offer. "How could I live with myself if I, as a Saskatchewan minis- ter, refused to spend as much lime as I could on the problem most seriously affecting Saskat- chewan right But he agreed that "the chances of glorious success are not as great as the chances for dismal failure." TANGLED WITH LIBERALS It has been a rough road. Within a few months he cracked down on grain bootleggers in his own province, and was trading potshots with provincial Liber- als. Former agriculture minister D. T. McFarlane of Saskatche- wan said in 1970 that "I hope he will listen to someone who is practised in this game." He was involved in the contro- versial 1969 LIFT program up to his ears. And this program, encouraging farmers to limit wheat crops, took some selling. He stumped the Prairies to explain what Lower Inventories For Tomorrow diffi- cult some of those who didn't buy the idea called the minister "Langweed." When it came to the fight op the now-famous incomes stabili- zation bill for grain farmers, Mr. Lang was pretty well left j by cabinet colleagues to carry the ball inside the Commons and outside. TRIED TO EXPLAIN He travelled constantly trying to explain "the most advanced piece of legislation in some time." But the opposition also 1 was organized and mail, pro and con, poured into Ottawa. Last month, as court action pended against cabinet minis- 1 tcrs for not paying money to farmers under a statute the bill was to replace, the measure was withdrawn. It was, sources say, a cabinet decision. But Mr. Lang seems to be held responsible by those who wanted the bill, and is being blamed, by opponents, for intro- ducing it in the first place. Meanwhile, through all of this, there has been the question of unemployment. On Sept. 23, 1970, when the stabilization bill was being drafted with optimism, the pic- ture brightened for wheat sales and Mr. Lang was able to make the first solid prediction for the current crop year. .Sales would i reach record levels, he an- nounced. I The next day he was ap- j pointed minister of manpower 1 and immigration, in addition to his wheat board responsibilities. j And if wheat sales were going up. so was unemployment. I One day in Saskatchewan I talking wheat policies, the next day in Nova Scotia talking about unemployment, stopping long enough in Ottawa to take a verbal rub-down from tne oppo- sition. j IKKS BOTH SIDES Some Opposition MPs didn't like it last January, when Mr. i Lang accused them of being oh- i some Liberals didn't like it when lie said Can- ada's general economic condi- tions were worse than a year earlier. By September he was confi- dently predicting a turn-around in his sta- bilization bill sank under him. There has't been a month without some sort of crisis. Remarkably, he says. "I am enjoying my job very much." If. as opponents claim. Mr. Lang saw the Assiniboia byelec-1 lion slip from his grasp because of his controversial stabilization bill, it seems his constant pres- ence on the Prairies has not been entirely in vain. The Prince Albert Daily Her- ald, scolding Mr. Tnideau for retaining Agriculture Minister II. A. Olson ''in the titular posi- tion of agriculture minister while Mr. Lang takes the re- says (lie Saskat- chewan minister cannot be faulted for his effort. "If anything he has failed to I ell his own success story pro- perly." liul in Ottawa tly'e still is no talk of success stories. Mr. Lang remains n controversial figure. LONDON (CP) A London scientist undertook Wednes- day to look into the existence of Sasquatch, the legendary hairy1 giant of Ihe woods in British Columbia and the northwestern United States. Rene Dahinden of Rich- mond, B.C., who has spent his spare time and money for the last 17 years trying to prove whether or not Sasquatch ex- ists, delivered a load of mate- rial to the University of Lon- don. Later he said Dr. J. R. Na- pier, director of primate biol- ogy, had agreed to get analy- ses of hundreds of photo- graphs of huge footprints, some casts of the prints and a color movie film showing a huge ape-like figure that was taken in 1907 in northern Cali- fornia. Tills month Swiss-born Dah- inden goes to Moscow where he has a similar date with Prof. Boris Porshnev of the history iastitute of the Rus- sian Academy of Sciences. Dahinden, who makes his living rescuing expended at a Vancouver gun club four months of tile year, said he la spending on this trip. "I got interested in Sas- quatch soon after reaching Canada in 195'! and now I can't let go." he said. SI SIMPSONS-SEARS 9 ways to stage a sit-i 6Action9 Recliners for every taste, every budget LOW PRICED 3 POSITION RECLINER Smooth action mechanism for easy, quick operating from position to position Sturdy frames of kiln dried hardwood retist warping and splitting Popular chair ot a specially low price! lets you relax in your fnvorite position from upright to fully reclined. Deep foam-nodded arms, seat and bnck to add to your total comfort. No sag springs assure lasting support, keeping it looking like Vinyl cover. 3 colors. 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