Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 2, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 LETHBRIDGE HERALD Tuesday, October 2, 1973 Where are they? The most surprising aspect of the Syncnicle oil project is the fact that en- vironmentalists have been relatively quiet since the announcement of the deal. Discussion has centred on the two questions of whether or notAlberta has sold its birthright tor the traditional mess oi pottage and why the federal government thinks it has the right to protect the Canadian consumer from a potential hike in the price of oil. Possibly it is not generally understood that present oil sands mining operations are a strip mining process and that a large part of the face of Alberta is going to be re-made ii the oil sands are to be mined. Just how large an area may be involv- ed was graphically demonstrated by Premier Peter Lougheed in his television program announcing the Syncrude contract. Great Canadian Oil Sands Limited, the first producer in the area, uses giant bucket wheel excavators to strip away 70 feet of overburden in order to mine the oslsands. Syncrude plans to employ the same method, although it expects to use draglines instead of bucket wheel ex- cavators. Oil sands also exist at much greater depths and several companies are ex- perimenting with in-situ recovery methods, but to date these have not proven productive. Syncrude's environmental co-ordinator says his company is paying more than lip service to environementa) con- siderations and according to Mr. Yurko, one cent a barrel, or approximately million over the life of the project, will be set aside for reclamation. (It should be noted that this represents less than two-thirds of one per cent of the expected net profits over a 25-year-period.) The spending of money does not neccssarly guarantee results, as medical research has shown. And company an- nouncements on reclamation goals should always be taken for propaganda proven otherwise. The rapid U mover ot disillusioned foresters on the Kaiser staff in the Crowsnest Pass coal mining area should give warning that a company's practice is sometimes different from its public statements. Even the existence of government regulations does not guarantee that they will be applied or that they will be effec- tive. Environmental issues depend, ul- timately, on the extent of public concern and call for unceasing vigilance. As for expectations, it is a fiction to maintain that a strip-mined landscape can be returned to its original condition. However. Albertans should expect that ledarnation ellorts will return the oil sands area to a state that is aesthetically pleasing and ecologically stable if they are concerned. Reaping the whirlwind More trouble is looming for Asians liv- in Africa President Jomo Kenyatta ot Kenya seems to have decided it is time to deprive Asians ol their citizenship, their property, and finally their right to remain in what has been their country. It was just over a year ago that lioneral Idi Amin. the dictatorial ruler of I'gaiKJa. the world by issuing a decree that I'ganda's Asians must leave (lie country. In effect, the expulsion orders amounted to confiscation of property too. as notice was so brutally short that disposing ot businesses and personal property was really a matter of taking whatever was offered. While most ol the world was shocked at the arbitrariness of this action, the governments ot Kenya and Tanzania were not In tact, both made it clear they concurred in General Amin's views concerning Asians, and regarded it as onh j matter of time belore they follow- ed his example Rumblings from Nairobi indicate tha't the time has come, at least in the case ol Kenya. In line with his announced policy of as he calls it, Kenyatta has been issuing small batches of quit notices, these are blunt orders to sell out and leave the country, and nearly all go to Asians. Last year just over 300 were issued. This year the total has already passed 1500. and the word is that there is to be a further speed-up. Most Asians living in Kenya, or anywhere else in black Africa for that matter, are tradesmen of one sort or another, many of them proprietors of small, family-run businesses. They have never been especially popular with the native population, for reasons that are the same all over the world: they are foreigners, and they have prospered more than the natives. That doesn't mean they are necessarily hated, or even deeply resented. Rather, they have been looked upon as simply necessary to the conduct ot business. Now. Africans feel they can handle these things on their own. so the Asians are being told to move along. A year ago. when Amin issued his first expulsion orders, there were more than Asians in Uganda. Tanzania and Kenya. While many have left, either un- der quit notices or voluntarily, there are still many thousands clinging to their livelihoods and property, hoping that somehow the inevitable won't happen. But it will: the racial wind has been sown too long and too deep for there not to be a whirlwind. Is hunting slipping? Is Southern Alberta past its peak as one of the top outdoor regions of North America'? Is this question particularly applicable from the standpoint of the hunter, es- pecially the man who has been visiting here very fall looking for the ring- necked pheasant'' For years the south country was promoted in many corners of the world as an area where many species of wildlife could be found in their natural environment and bountiful game was there for little more than the taking. The tourist industry, particularly hotels, motels and restaurants, relied heavily on the hunting business. As the tourist business of the summer holidays tapered off sharply, the slack was picked up almost immediately by the hunters. There was special interest in bird hunting during the 1960s when chartered jet aircraft left France for Lethbridge and Southern Alberta two years in succession. The French literally had a day' visiting the Canadian West. Is Southern Alberta still interested in this phase of the tourist industry? We now have more biologists and game managers than ever before. While there has been considerable encroachment on the habitat and environment of game birds and animals in recent years by other forms of industry, we should, at least in theory, still have good supplies of game around If the tourist industry lets hunting slip, the resident sportsman may also become complacent. Truly a saint By Doug Walker Or Gerald Rogers thinks Elspeth must be a saint to put up with me and our children. At le.ist that is what Klspeth reported to me one Sunday after church. I hasten to assure Dr. Rogers that I have a high regard lor my wile, even if our children don't or pretend they don't. I can even agree a saint in the New Testament sense in which all church members with their usual assortment of taults qualify for that appellation. 'Now look, just as worried as you are about this cattle rustling Where ignorance is bliss By Maurice Western, Herald Ottawa commentator OTTAWA The quarterly report of the Food Prices Review Board is a particular- ly interesting example of the technique, relied on by the Government as an essential weapon in the fight against inflation. There is nothing in the report which is likely to be of direct assistance to the housewife on her shopping errands. It may be true that the price tags on certain products reflect the erratic behaviour of the Peruvian current but such information will certainly not slow the re- morseless whirring of the cash registers in the super- markets. Monitoring, nevertheless, is considered to have value. It is presumably of psychological importance. It conveys an im- pression that a form of control is being exercised since highly placed persons are keeping vigilant watch on the behaviour of prices. Beryl Plumptre and her associates have done their best to reinforce this im- pression. They have brought together statistics on prices; they have analyzed various movements and attempted to explain them: they have taken hopeful note of advancing in- comes and new government subsidies. They have also ven- tured a cautious but re- assuring glance into the near future and announced a fin- ding. "It is the board's view that food prices in Canada are not rocketing out of control." If the expectation of higher prices has encouraged anti-so- cial activity, such as the pur- chase of freezers (roundly condemned by Eugene Whelan. the minister of it is arguable that Mrs. Plumptre's glad and official tidings may have marginally beneficial results. At the same time the board's choice of language is somewhat unusual. While the term "rocketing" may indeed, be found in the body of the report, the context is dis- quieting. It occurs in a quota- tion from an FAO report dated Sept. 16, 1973, which reads as follows: "The world food situation in 1973 is more difficult than at an., time since the years immediately following the devastation of the Second World War. As a result of droughts and other un- favourable weather con- ditions, poor harvests were unusually widespread in 1972. Cereal stocks have dropped to the lowest level for 20 years. In the new situation of worldwide shortage, changes are occurring with extraor- dinary rapidity. Prices are rocketing, and the world's biggest agricultural exporter (United States) has had to introduce export allocations for certain products." There is a question to be asked about monitoring of this character. What would have been the effect on prices if the Board had been in operation throughout 1973 and had been assisting us at quarterly inter- vals with reviews dis- tinguished, as this one is, by the forward look? The report summarizes what actually happened in 1973. This backward look is an interesting guide to what the forward look might have been in January, or April, or June. Thus we read: "The year 1973 has seen the sharpest rise in food prices in more than two decades. In- creases this year have exceed- ed by far those registered in the middle and late 1960s. In the first eight months of 1973 retail food prices averaged 13.3 per cent higher than in the corresponding period in 1972. In August, the latest month for which the Statistics Canada Consumer Price Index is available, the increase from a year earlier was 15.8 per cent. Both figures are well above the average increase of 7.6 per cent registered in 1972. In the United States, a similar pattern of food price es- calation has been recorded. In the face of these prospects, it is only reasonable to assume that candid forecasts by the Board would have intensified panic buying. The stampede to department stores would have sent the price of freezers rocketing into the stratosphere. It is true that such reports would have had educational value. Fortunately consumers were spared the education. If the present report is of value, it is because the Board, after the summer price surge and more recent fluctuations, is now able to say that "many of the circumstances of soar- ing prices have been arrested." It is to be hoped that this finding is correct for the future credibility of the Board will obviously depend on the accuracy of its present forecasts. Row erupts over aboriginal policy By William Harcourt, London Observer commentator SYDNEY There are fears that racial tensions may be building up in Australia after government officials in Darwin abducted a seven- year-old Aboriginal girl, promised in marriage to a middle-aged Aboriginal, from white foster parents and returned her to her tribe. White Australians are shocked by the government's action and editorials in many newspaper have obvious racial overtones. The mass circulation Sydney Sun. runn- ing a banner headline, front- page story, complains that Nola Brown (her family name is Garanamba) "had been brought up since soon after birth in the same way as any little white girl." Australians are "horrified and repulsed that a little girl could be put to such terror with the apparent help of Australian government of- ficials What kind of law is it that shows no concern for the feelings ol a child dragged kicking and screaming back through centuries of time and According to the minister lor Aboriginal affairs. Mr. Gordon Bryant, the over- riding principle of govern- ment policy is "community self-determination." He says. "Self-determination is defined as Aboriginal communities deciding the pace and of their future development as significant and respected components within a diverse Australia." In line with this policy, Mr. Bryant has refused to interfere with tribal lore in Nola's case, apart from criticizing his department's meptness. But the curious behavior of local officials of the Aboriginal affairs depart- ment is being questioned. For years, before the Labor parly won the last federal elections in November. 1972. the department was under the control of a conservative Country Party minister. The Darwin Aboriginal welfare of- ficials are known to be ultra- conservative and this, more than bungling, could have been involved in their behavior. The incident has proved a political embarrassment to the government, but Prime Minister Gough Whitlam stands firm on his government's determination "to end the long record of in- justice, repression, neglect, the record that has marked out treatment of the Aboriginal people for two cen- turies of white civilization on this continent." And, unfortunately, it seems in the Nola Brown case that justice fora people as a whole means injustice to one seven- year-old girl. Letters Overhead passes It seems to me that those concerned are treating the matter of overhead passes in the same way that the federal government treats railway level crossings. They do not put up gates until there is some fatal accident. No one who knows how busy the main streets are at the times when children go to and from school, no one who knows how badly some motorists behave with regards to flashing red lights and pedestrian crossings, no one who respects the life of our children can deny that the construction ol overpasses is an essential tiling. Why then are they not built? Not much has been said of the need for one at 13th Street and 10th Avenue crossing but 1 think one is as vital here as anywhere else. There are cer- tain matters that we parents and taxpayers have to take in hand in order to get action; this seems to be one. I do hope however that whoever is responsible will not let it come to this but will realize that these are as essential (even more essential) as the bridge to the west side. "CONCERNED" Lethbridge. Government beef control Otto Lang tells me he has everything firmly in hand. He is "giving us" big money for last year's crop and he is promising us bigger money for this year's crop and if the figures don't add up it's because nobody this side of Ottawa should be thinking for himself anyway. Our duty is to provide the grain, and take vhat we are given, without question or comment, and to remember that the east and its politicians rule the roost. We should recognize that there is. and always has been, a very powerful motivation for the seemingly destructive agricultural policies of federal governments. The new feed grains scheme has left everyone in a quandary with its complications and conflicting polarities, but the pattern is emerging now. If the cattle feeding industry in the West is to be decimated by this latest brain-child, just remember that these feeders have been getting a little too cocky and independent. They've been buying their barley outside wheat board and government control They've been operating an in- dustry all their own and not jumping when Ottawa They've been ex- panding and integrating their operations wholly outside the realm of political direction and these ideas aren't receiv- ed with approval in certain quarters t o d a y W li e n farmers can operate signifi- cant acreages, sell their total crops to their own feeding companies, buy. fatten and sell their own cattle, all without permit books and regulation it just doesn't fit the modern trend of things. Many of these same feeders, with some help from the cow-calf ranchers, threw a big monkey-wrench into a vital area of an intricate master plan when they squelched C176. Then they all helped bounce a cabinet minister or two. and that hasn't set too well on Parlia- ment Hill. The beef industry is the cornerstone of independence in agriculture today, and the portion of the beef industry centred in the West can look for very little help from a collectivist oriented government. A government drawing its entire support from an area of the country where a man with 000 cattle to sell would be con- sidered a menace. Without any vestige of a marketing board, no quotas or restrictions, no salaried marketing officials, no skyscrapers in Winnipeg, the beef industry has shown it can thrive There's a way to frag- ment it, to undermine its self- reliance, and above all to eliminate its capability for self-direction from blade of grass to finished T-bone. It will take a time for all the lit- tle pieces to fall into place, but we can rest assured that our eastern politicians are on the side that will lead us to eventual government control L. K. WALKER. Milk River. Riondel misrepresented After reading the article by Deryk Bodington (complete with pictures) in the Weekend Magazine. (May 5th. 19731 about the small mining town of Riondei we decided it must be the Utopia everyone is looking for and decided to visit it. We crossed Kootenay Lake at Balfour to Kootenay Bay and proceeded the six miles over a very winding blacktop road to the much publicized village. When we asked the ferrymen, en route, what they knew about Riondel they started laughing and asked, "Are you another one of the folks who have read that ar- They recommended that we should see it to satisfy ourselves but reported that many had sought it out, as we were doing, and had returned both amused and angry and had found the article to be un- true. He said it would only take us half an hour to see it all. Well, it took us about an hour. We drove all around, missing the curling rink somewhere, couldn't see a soul except one man on his lawn and a shack with a bunch of long-haired, bearded and perhaps dirty hippies men and boys and some women. The streets were sparsely treed, there were no sidewalks of any kind and the town had only three well kept lawns. The rest hadn't been cared for. We finally located two priests and two parishoners outside a little run down church. The priest asked, "Do you want to buy the town. We want to get rid of it and a small down payment will take it all." We asked him where that wonderful place with the fountain was located and he laughed saying. "Go down this road very slowly as you might miss it. The water isn't runn- ing any more." We found three nice new houses but the rest are all the run-of-the-mill mining town houses. How this reporter (who must be ;i pitted photograph- en yol such beautiful pictures is hard to believe. The foun- tain photographed is dried up. located in a very small yard, nothing like the photograph ,md is not a huge fountain as the writer reported The golf course substantiates the reporters claim. 1 can agree Riondel is a great place if you have only enough money to barely sur- vive and the one dollar per year taxes is enough for all you get. You are miles from hospital and doctor facilities, there is no health centre and only one very small grocery store. I question how cherries, apples and plums survive without the attention of an orchidisf. The people we talked to think the Weekend's article is a huge joke. They laughed saying, "I guess you got suckercd in by that ar- ticle.too." It's too bad Riondel has been misrepresented and I think this inexperienced writer should go back and rewrite the article as it ac- tually is. HARRY UNGER Kolowna. B.C. PUT YOUR AAdNEY WHERE THE HUNGRY MOUTHS ARE The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St S Lftthbndge, Alberta IETHBRIDGE HERALD CO LTD Proprietors and Publishers Published 1905-1954 by Hon WA BUCHANAN Second Class Wail Registration No 0012 Member of The Canadian Press and the Canadian Daily Newspaoer Publishers Association and the Audit Bureau of Circulations CLEOW f.'IOWf MS UMnr.ind Publisher THOMAS H ADAMS DON PILLING WILLIAM HAY Managing Fcnlor Associate Editor ROYMILFS DOUGLAS K WALKER Advertising Manaqpr Editorial Page Editor "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"