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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 19, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Tumday, November 19, 1974 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 5 New effort to provide employment By Anthony Westell, Toronto Star commentator OTTAWA The fall in the rate of unemployment reported last week suggests that deeper into the winter the situation may not be as bad as feared. The economy is continuing to provide new jobs and, as the government has promised not to squeeze too hard in the budget later this month, we may not see the seven per cent unemployment which has been predicted. Even so, a rate of 5.4 per cent is good news only by re- cent standards. A few years ago three per cent was con- sidered the tolerable limit of unemployment and when Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau warned in 1969 that the rate might climb above six per cent unless inflation was checked, he was widely denounced as a heartless monster. Familiarity with high rates of unemployment in the past few years should not blind us to the fact that lack of work remains a serious problem for many Canadians. The hard core of the un- employed are the unskilled, unmotivated, handicapped, deprived and depressed members of the society. It is these people above all who need help much more so than the marginally un- employed who may be tem- porarily without work during a period of economic slack and who make up the difference between the nor- mal four or five per cent and the critical six or seven per cent when the alarm bells begin to ring. Those who are more or less permanently unemployed not only waste much of their own lives, but are also a drain on the economy because they fail to earn their keep and live on the savings of others through the social security system. It is more important to find a way of getting these people into useful work than it is to manipulate the economy so as to reduce temporary un- employment among the able and the self-starters. The Opportunities for Youth program launched in 1971 was addressed to a particular market at a particular time to students activated by the revolutionary mood of the Six- ties who probably would not have been satisfied by conven- tional summer jobs even if they had been available. It was a success, one of the few imaginative ideas of the Trudeau government in 1968- 72, and the central principle of inviting the unemployed to invest their own socially- useful work was carried over into the Local Initiatives Program launched in the fall of 1971 and continuing this winter. But the Local Initiatives Program, like Opportunities for Youth, is designed only to supplement the regular job market at seasonal periods of unemployment. It aids mostly those who have the imagina- tion to conceive a project and the initiative to apply for funds and get it going. An experimental program called the Local Employment Assistance Program is help- ing to start projects which have a chance of becoming self-supporting and provide permanent worthwhile jobs for people who would normal- ly be unemployable. It is hav- ing some success, but operating on a small scale for a trial period. The hope for a major attack on the hard core of unemploy- ment lay in the Working Paper on Social Security in Canada, tabled by Welfare Minister Marc Lalonde 18 months ago. "The first strategy in providing income security to Canadians must be to provide people with jobs with in- come through employment Labor shortage slows firm By Peter Thomson, Herald Ottawa commentator OTTAWA There is nothing quite like a garden catalog to help one face the blizzards and snow banks of a Canadian winter. After shovelling off the walk for the 20th time a person with gar- dening inclinations can sink into an easy chair, pick up the catalog, and lose himself in preparation of a seed order and planning a garden. It was therefore with a sense of genuine loss that we learned last week of the demise of a long-time friend, the McConnell garden catalog. It will not be arriving this January to provide that psy- chological lift. Following is the explanation from the firm's president, Donald S. McConnell: "After much thought we have come to the regretful decision to NOT issue our large general garden catalog for spring 1975. We are sure you can well imagine, that after 64 consecutive years, this decision was not arrived at lightly and we feel we owe our customers from coast to coast an explanation. "During the past two or three years it has been dif- ficult to obtain a large enough supply of good labor at certain times of the year and during May 1973 we had to return over orders that we couldn't accept due to lack of labor. In spring 1974 with labor rates increased 39 per cent we were barely able to get by. "We find, along with normal problems, that competing with the unemployment in- surance has become increasingly difficult. We are somewhat like the fruit the fruit is ripe if must be picked imme- diately. "For two years we had barely managed to cope with increased costs and labor shortages and then in April 1974 along came the illegal postal in the middle of our busiest order and shipping time. "Fortunately we were able to complete our shipping as well as making replacement of several thousand orders delayed or lost during the postal strike, thanks to the overtime efforts of many dedicated employees. (We have over 100 full time em- ployees, many of whom have been with us for up to 46 years.) "The postal strike of April 1974 cost our firm in excess of in total loss. "Due to another likely postal strike sometime in the period from January to May we do not feel we can gamble on a complete spring program. We are living in a period of inflation and strikes, neither of which our govern- ment seems to be able to control. We all hope these issues can be resolved in the near future "If. by any chance, postal contracts are settled by January or if we have a strike settled early in the new year, we plan to issue a mini- catalog with selected special offers for spring planting. "We hope you will under- stand our present position and the reasons for writing this message to our whole customer list "In these troubled times we extend our best wishes to you and yours for the coming holi- day season and sincerely h'ope that 1975 will bring peace, prosperity and hope for all Canadians." In response to Mr. McConnell's letter, dis- appointing as it is, one has to say, "we understand." But, aside from the initial dis- appointment the McConnell letter gives cause for reflec- tion. In each of the years when McConnell had trouble obtain- ing labor, there were un- employment insurance benefits of more than billion paid out. In the spring months when he had trouble obtaining labor, the un- employment rate was run- ning at more than six per cent of the labor force. One might be forgiven for wondering how long Canada can afford such luxuries, even if they are financed out of sale of capital assets and non- renewable resources. And how long can the Government permit such labor and infla- tion situations to exist when they are forcing such well- established businesses to cur- tail activities. STEREO G. PHOTO 419 5th St. S. Phone 328-6661 Pentax Honeywell Sankyo Mr R. Ssutney, siles representative for McQunn Siles will be in our store Thursday, Fridiy ind Saturday with thi full lim of: PENTAX CAMERAS HONEYWELL ACCESSORIES SANKYO MOVIE EQUIPMENT Drop in and enter your name on the draw for a pair of Asahi Pentax 7x35 binoculars. Draw will be made Saturday, Nov. p.m. DEMONSTRATION TIMES: Thursday p.m. Friday p.m. Saturday p.m. rather than income through social said the paper, before getting into more conventional proposals about family allowances, pen- sions and guaranteed income experiments. The paper offered for dis- cussion with the provinces the proposition: "That as a means of meeting social needs that are now neglected or inade- quately met, governments should consider the establish- ment of a community employ- ment program. Its purpose would be to provide socially useful employment to people who have been unemployed for an extended period of time, either by reason of the lack of jobs in the areas in which they might reasonably be expected to look for work, or by reason of the 'employability' of the people concerned." The paper recognized problems. Such a program might attract workers from regular jobs, or put upward pressure on wages, or bring new workers flooding into the labor force. Lalonde was careful to make it clear he was presenting an idea for discus- sion rather than a blueprint for implementation. But it did seem that he had in mind some national program to ex- tend the concepts of the Local Initiatives Program and Op- portunities for Youth, or even to make the government the employer of last resort, will- ing to provide jobs for all those who could not find work elsewhere. The provincial governments agreed to discuss the idea and a federal-provincial working party of officials was set up with instructions to prepare several alternative models of a community employment program. That proved much more dif- ficult than anticipated in fact, impossible. Some of the officials were from labor departments concerned with the nuts and bolts of employ- ment and some were from welfare departments concern- ed with social security; some were from policy develop- ment offices interested in ex- perimentation and some were from operating departments and interested in mechanics; some were from provinces with a labor shortage and others from provinces with a labor surplus. By last February, the work- ing party had to report that the problems of hard-core un- employment and the concept of a community employment program were too com- plicated to be reduced to alternative proposals to be placed before ministers. The best that could be managed was to work out possible ob- jectives and mechanisms. When the federal and provincial ministers met in Edmonton in the spring, Man- power Minister Robert Andras, who had taken over responsibility for community employment from Lalonde, accepted the fact that a national program was not possible. Indeed, his own advisers were telling him that any attempt to impose a ready- made national program designed in Ottawa would be no more successful than the battery of programs already in place Manpower centres. Local Initiatives skill training, subsidies to move workers to jobs, and the rest. Andras suggested to the provincial ministers that Book review perhaps the best approach would be to work out bilateral agreements between Ottawa and each of the provinces interested. There have been discussions since, and it now looks as if each of the 10 provinces will exchange a letter of agree- ment with the federal govern- ment within a month or so. The agreements, however, will only prepare the ground for limited experiments for the next two or three years. The first task will be to select one or two communities in each province a small town, a rural area, a slice of an urban centre for pilot projects. Federal and provin- cial officials will then seek to contact local leadership in the community, or to stimulate leadership where it does not exist. The community will be ask- ed and aided to analyze its own unemployment problems and articulate its needs. In some cases it may be pre- judiced against hiring Indians, or the handicapped. In others, there may be significant dif- ficulties with ex-inmates of prisons or mental institutions. Still others may be one- industry towns in which the in- dustry is gradually failing and workers do not have skills to find other jobs. In many places, single mothers who could work are trapped at home, looking after children and drawing welfare. There are federal and provincial programs already available which could deal with some of these problems. But perhaps the community is not aware they are offered or needed, or possibly the regulations are drawn in such a way that they don't fit the local circumstances. So the first and possibly quite speedy response to com- munity problems when they are diagnosed will be to bring existing programs into operation. Another approach will be for the community to attempt to change the local work en- vironment for example, to persuade employers to hire native people, or to ask senior governments to come to the aid of a failing industry. A third approach will be to identify local needs for com- munity services, such as daycare centres, and to hire the unemployed to provide them. The emphasis will be on tailoring programs to local needs instead of imposing national programs on differ- ing communities. From the period of experimentation, a national program may emerge. But in essence, the object is to find out why all the man- power programs now in place do not work for the hard core of the unemployed. Why is it that, after an expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars on an army of federal and provincial schemes, we still have a serious unemployment problem? A federal official concerned with the community employ- ment experiment suggests that this approach, while low key and on a small scale, makes much more sense than introducing some ambitious, glittering and costly national program. He may be right, but it isn't going to do much for the five or six per cent who will be un- employed this winter. And one still yearns for an improvised, outrageous and brilliantly successful breakthrough such as Opportunities for Youth. Testimony of ignorance "The tenth planet" by Ed- mund Cooper (Longman Canada Limited, 214 The year is 2077, a melancholic time indeed, life on earth has become un- bearable, pollution and over- population have taken their toli and the last spaceship has departed for Mars, leaving the rest of the Earthlings to an inevitable fate: slow but sure death. Mars, already colonized, awaits the spaceship eagerly as it turns out. in vain. Sabotaged and subsequently ripped apart by explosions, it miraculously seals captain Idris Hamilton's body air tight into the control console, which is thrown beyond the or- bit of Mars and Pluto into Ihe orbit of Minerva, the tenth planet of the sun Five thousand years later, his orbiting body is freed by the Minervans (descendents of Mars, which like Earth has been destroyed by human By a freak ac- cident, his body had remained frozen and sealed perfectly in vacuum. Brain damage was only minor. With a brain on hand, the Minervans are able to furnish Idris. thanks lo a perfected technique of cloning, with a new body, identical with the original. He soon becomes a menace to this violence free, totalitarian but benevolent society. His wish to return to Earth after 5000 years is final- ly fulfilled when he is able to secure a spaceship for the long return trip. The book is a testimony of man's fallability and ig- norance, misplaced pride and questionable honor. It is im- aginative and fascinating reading material. HANS SCHAUFL Drug education From Rapport, monthly publication for the Alberta Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Commission A month or so ago the state of New York terminated its drug education program with dramatic suddenness. Following a very brief debate, the legislature voted to stop the program, not at the end of the fiscal year or even after due notice, but forthwith. It stopped, that afternoon. The program that was scrapped so abruptly was not a lightweight affair, hastily dreamed up in some back room by two bureaucrats and a politician It has been meticulously planned, over a considerable length of time, by the most highly qualified experts that could be found. Top notch educators, psy- chologists, doctors and media experts had collaborated to put together what was thought to be the best and most effective program for influencing high school students, a program thoroughly researched and tested before being implemented on a state-wide basis. Its sudden termination was not the result of public outcry or political pressure. There was no problem with funding, and it was not the usual case of an appropriation expiring and not being renewed. Nor was it the frequently encountered problem of theory not converting readily to practice. The problem was much more serious than that. It was found beyond any possibility of argu- ment that the program intended to dis- courage drug abuse, was actually spreading it. No doubt the experts will get together and analyze what happened, and come up with a plausible explanation for this reversal of effect. Like weathermen, the experts can always explain after the event why things did not turn out as predicted. But in the meantime, the program has been stopped, and all the funds and resources expended on it to date have been wasted or worse. This has serious implications for those interested in controlling drug abuse, and es- pecially for those who clamor for a drug education program in the schools: There does seem to be a case for making youngsters aware of the dangers of indiscriminate use of drugs, but whoever undertakes such a program needs to be very, very sure he knows what he's doing. To illustrate the pitfalls, imagine what un- doubtedly could occur in any classroom at the junior high school level. A class has learn- ed how heavily the excessive use of alcohol contributes to filling the jails and asylums, its staggering costs to industry, the slaughter it causes on the highways, and generally the savagery and degradation to which it reduces its untold thousands of victims. As surely as day falls night someone will ask "Why does the government allow this stuff to be Or a more sophisticated high-schooler might inquire "How come we keep hearing on the radio that Col. Macleod and his Redcoats stopped the whiskey Nice questions. indeed. Care to try explaining these things to a class of 12-year-olds? But even if the subject matter itself presented no difficulties, there would still be a problem, the one encountered in New York. It is a simple fact that repeatedly mentioning a topic provokes interest in it. As every advertiser knows, stressing the popularity of a product helps to sell it. Youngsters today are quite bright enough to realize that when the older generation takes the trouble to present arguments against a particular activity, it is because the activity is becoming popular, and there must be a reason for that. So let's find out. eh? And it has been proven a thousand times that scare tactics simply don't work on youngsters. The only approach that has any chance 01 eitectiveness is to tell them the plain, unvarnished truth. In a society in which 80 per cent of the adults consume beverage alcohol, that presents its own problem. Anywhere people gather to discuss the prevention of addiction, the topic turns to education, and inevitably someone says "We must get into the schools." Perhaps so. But whoever "we" is. had better know what "we" are doing. Dilemmas of modern man 5 Communications By Doug Walker, Herald editorial page editor Judging by audience reaction to comments made by various speakers at the Winnipeg Centennial Symposium on Dilemmas of Modern Man. the real dilemma in the area of communications is to be found in the love- hate dispositions most people seem to have toward the sources of their information. There are more sources of information all the time. These are sought out with increasing avidity. Yet they are at the same time seemingly despised and distrusted. Dr. Davidson Dunton. former chairman of the board of governors of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and now director of the Institute of Canadian Studies at Carleton University, pointed out that new means of communication do not knock out old ones; the new are added to the old. News- papers, magazines and books survive, as does radio, in the age of television and com- puter banks. Circulation of the printed word continues to increase even while more time is spent every year watching television and talking on the telephone. Mr. Pierre Juneau. chairman of the Canadian Radio Television Commission, reported that in Canada the time now spent watching TV averages three hours and forty-two minutes each day. He also said "Canadians are apparently anxious to regain the title of world champion telephone users, and last year they spent a million years talking 'down the line'." Despite all the time given to the sources of information there is an evident disillusion- ment with it all. When Dr. F. Kenneth Hare, professor of geography and physics at the University of Toronto, at the session on world perspectives, said he is humiliated by what commands the headlines in newspapers in North America, he was applauded. Likewise, when Lord Ashby speaking at the session on education, said that standards of TV programmers are lower than the public they serve, there was another round of applause. The sins of commission and omission of the various media, whenever touched upon, seemed to evoke manifestations of hostility. Granting the culpability of the media, there arc probably deeper reasons for the negative feelings. One of these is undoubtedly what Mr. .Juneau called the "new nightmare of in- formation overload." The sheer weight of the information thrust upon people daily is overwhelming. Then the allocation of respon- sibility Jo agencies specializing in the sifting of information results in another anxiety producing situation: the suspicion of un- trustworthiness. There is a widespread feel- ing that the news media suppress some things and fabricate others. And the fact that ownership of newspapers is concentrated into fewer and fewer hands increases the apprehension about possible mismanagement of the news to serve special interests. Perhaps the deepest reason for negative feelings is the grave fear of "cultural im- peralism" resulting in the homogenization of people. A system of intercontinental satellites certainly gives a huge advantage over those "whose only reply may be a drum or a flute, or at most a local radio or televi- sion station." as Mr. Juneau observed. The need for regulations and the exercise of responsibility seem obvious. Not much control is imposed on newspapers in the western world real freedom of the press has disappeared in many other parts of the world, however. Dr. Dunton. a journalist in his earlier years, believes "the sense of responsibility and traditions of newspapers still result in a pretty healthy variety of infor- mation and opinion going out to people." But he also thinks the question of press respon- sibility has become just as important as the principle of press freedom. In the electronic forms of communication, control is inescapable. Radio and television depend on the use of frequency channels fixed by international agreement and require national allocation. As well as licensing there are some other concerns to which a controll- ing body like the CRTC must give attention. As the networks of radio, television, com- puter and cable converge toward a single system of communications there arises a concern about "maintaining a balance between the overwhelming solidarity of systems and diversity of iocai and regional needs and aspirations." in the words of Mr. Juneau. There is also the danger of relying on a single pool of talent and overworking it. While both Dr. Dunton and Mr. Juneau wrestled with the dilemmas of communica- tion generally from a national perspective the chairman of the session, the Hon. Jeanne Sauve. federal minister of the environment, took a global view. She said that increasingly man is being pushed toward? a consciousness of himself as one species, one family, almost one organism. It is ironic that at the very time that the problems of maintaining quality nf life demand a global approach there is a resurgence of nationalism, regionalism. tribalism. Converging communications systems pose problems such as that of cultural imperialism but they also give promise of being the means for better inter- national dialogue and understanding Hopefully, the latter will be the rase ON THE USE OF WORDS By Theodore M. Bernstein Unltind. Occasionally you will hear even a well-educated person say he dislikes "those kind of politicians." It is clearly a wrong locution because the singular noun kind should not be modified by a plural adjective. those. The reason for the error is What is foremost in the speaker's mind is Ihe plural Politicians rather than the singular kind. Bui. understandable or not. the construction is not proper. One way to cor- rect it is to 'that kind of politicians." but that sounds clumsy A better way is lo say. "politicians of that kind If the speaker had in mind a few diffcrenl brands of wardheelers. he could say. "those kinds of politicians.' Thai construction is acceptable when the reference is to something concrete like politicians or bananas, hut when the reference is lo something ah.Mrar! the noun would have lo be singular those kind? of reasoning." "those kinds of sculpture "those kinds of writing ;