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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 2, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Wvdnmday, October 2, 1974-THE LETHBRIDOE HERALD-43 John Turner: a man on the spot By VICTOR MACKIE Herald Ottawa Bureau OTTAWA The man on the spot in the first session of the 30th parliament will be Finance Minister John Turner. In the last parliament he, along with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, rejected the Progressive Conservatives' proposals for price and wage controls. He pooh poohed that proposal as unworkable and urged the house to trust the Liberal government to com- bat inflation and unemploy- ment without resorting to controls. His budget introduced last May which led to the July 8 election, rejected wage and price controls. It put forward tax changes and other proposals for fighting inflation and high unemployment The commons did not like that budget. A majority of its members voted against it and brought down the government. Prime Minister Trudeau in the subsequent campaign cleverly challenged Progressive Conservative Leader Robert Stanfield to ex- plain how the Tory plan for price and wage controls would work Both Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Turner spent much of their time on the hustings at- tacking the Tory plan. They spent little time defending or explaining the Liberal proposals Mr. Stanfield found himself continually defending his anti- inflation program, so much so that he never really went on the offensive. It was during the Liberals terms in office that inflation gained such a hold on Canada's economy and unemployment soared. But the Liberals were never called upon to answer for their failure to cope with these threats to the economy The Conservatives and the New Democratic Party, both smarting under the defeats administered by the Liberals, will be out to show up the government's anti-inflation policies as inadequate. Mr. Turner will be forced to de- fend those policies constantly in parliament this winter as all signs point to a rising rate of inflation and un- employment. When he took on the finance job that has de- stroyed the career of more than one ambitious politician in Turner stipulated that he would carry the job through to the election. But he had no intention of carrying on in that portfolio after the election The i rime minister is no fool however. He realized that if he put a new man in at finance that the new minister could duck economic questions with the excuse that he had only been in the job for a few months. The questions would therefore be directed at the prime minister. Mr. Trudeau does not like economic questions, they are tricky and full of unseen potholes into which an unwary leader might stumble and destroy his credibility. Far. far better to have the man who was responsible for the government's policies up to its defeat, carry on in the new parliament. He would have to bear the brunt of the questioning and the attacks that are sure to be launched by the opposition this winter. Consequently Mr. Turner was sounded out as to his readiness to carry on where he left off and while not overly enthusiastic about continuing in Finance Mr. Turner likes to be where "the action is." John Turner has never been one to back off from a fight. He likes competitive politics just as he likes competitive sports, so he agreed to con- tinue as finance minister through the tough winter that lies ahead. He may well regret that decision It could be that the prime minister left him no choice. After all tiie prime minister had logic on his side and Mr. Trudeau is a great man for logic. He could point out to Mr. Turner that it was on Turner's budget that the minority government came a cropper therefore the finance minister owed it to the government to carry on and bring a revised budget before the new parliament And Mr. Tomer would never Suspended constable dismissed MONTREAL (CP) Robert Samson, sentenced last week to 60 days in prison 'for contempt of court, has been dismissed from his post as a constable of the force, an RCMP spokesman said Friday. Superintendent J. L. Gaudm said Samson's dismissal for conduct unbecoming a police officer took effect Thursday Samson was given notice of his pending dismissal last Sun- day, he said, but failed to hie an appeal within the man- datory fourday period. RESPONSE LIMITED HULL, England (CP) A documentary film made by the post office to show fishermen the danger of foul- ing cables with their trawls netted an audience of precise- ly one. The movie, entitled The Catch Nobody Wants, has become "the film nobody an official com- plained. JOHN TURNER Informal chat Opposition Leader Robert Stanfield, centre, talks with Claude Wanger (PC-Saint-Hyacmthe) left, and Social Credit party leader Real Caouette on the first day of the new session of Parliament. O Canada version revised OTTAWA (CP) Sometime before the new ses- sion of Parliament ends, Canadians will be memorizing a revised version of 0 Canada The version, introduced twice since 1968, cuts out two of the "stand on guard" phrases. The words of the new ver- sion: 0 Canada! Our home and native land! True Patriot love in all thy sons command. With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The true north strong and free! From far and wide, 0 Can- ada, we stand on guard for thee. God Keep our land glorious and free' O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. 0 Canada, we stand on guard for thee. back away from a challenge. Obviously Mr. Trudeau was counting on this when he pro- posed that the finance minister carry on. It offers a "challenge" he would point out. What other portfolios could he offer Mr. Turner that the finance minister would consider equally challenging? Perhaps transport, where Transport Minister Jean Marchand has been com- plaining that the government has no transport pob'cy. Or perhaps external af- a post always regarded as a very senior portfolio in the Ottawa scheme of things. But in recent years the posi- tion of secretary of state for external affairs has been downgraded somewhat with Ivan Head, foreign affairs ad- visor to the prime minister, taking over some of -the responsibilities of that position. This was illustrated clearly recently when Allan MacEachen, the new secre- tary of state for external af- fairs, went off to the United Nations to speak on Canada's foreign policy. Almost simultaneously Mr. Head in Ottawa was being in- terviewed by the Canadian Press. He suggested that Mr. Trudeau will pursue a more vigorous foreign policy now that he nas won such a convincing re election at the polls It will be a "more moral policy" said Mr. Head, an appointed official He got bigger headlines in the newspapers and more attention on TV and radio than did the foreign af- fairs minister's speech at the UN Mr. Turner would never stand still for that sort of treatment The most challenging post in the Canadian government today is the finance minister's job. Mr. Turner has taken up that challenge with a gleam in his eye. It should not be quite as difficult as it was in the last parliament when everything he did or proposed had to take into consideration the possibility that the NDP might react by withdrawing their support. The government is safe with a comfortable majority. In that respect this new sitting of the house of commons will be considerably different from the last parliament which had an uneasy and worrisome existence. The Liberal strength in the new house has climbed to 141 members. The Conservatives have declined to 95 and the NDP only have 16 members. The Social Credit party is down to 11 and there is one independent member. Some of the effective mem- bers on the opposition side will be missing. These include sucr- NDP'ers as David Lew s. Barry Mather, Frank Howard and Grace Maclnais. Missing from the Tory benches will be such vigorous MP's as Tom Bell, John Lundrigan and Paul Hellyer. The Credalistes have lost Gilles Caouette, heir apparent to las lather. Mr Turner can thank his stars Owl Mr. Lewis has been defeated and decided not to seek re-election Lewis was one of -the most powerful voices in the opposition ranks. He would have hammered the finance minister hard, there is no one quite able to match him today in the new hosse for elo- quence and tough speeches. Sears loors lows. 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