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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 9, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 48 THE UETHBRIDQE HERALD Oclobw 9, 1974 TRUDEAU DIEFENBAKER Trudeau, Dief s differ on issue of House reform OTTAWA (CP) It's no surprise that opposing political par- ties should have dissimilar views on parliamentary reform, but the gap between the philosophies of Prime Minister Trudeau and his only living predecessor is extremely wide. The argument centres on the fact that Parliament still runs on basically the same system handed down by Britain.in 1867. Mr. Trudeau considers this system outmoded and wants to streamline it. John Diefenbaker, Conservative prime minister from 1957 to 1963, sees Mr. Trudeau as a political opportunist whose ideas will throttle the 107-year-old institution. The present system takes up too much valuable time, says Mr. Trudeau. Proposed legislation frequently becomes en- meshed in a web of parliamentary wrangling that can drag for months. Cut debate Of paramount importance was more efficient use of the Com- mons' time by restricting debate. Mr. Diefenbaker sees this as a threat to muzzle the opposi- tion and said in the House last week it is a repeat performance of Mr. Trudeau's move a couple of years ago to shorten debate. "Those rule changes turned this House into a puppet, to be pushed around by the prime minister and those associated with him." Mr. Diefenbaker said Mr. Trudeau's latest proposals will not get Commons approval "unless they are based off the principle that we in the opposition have rights." The Liberals now have 141 of the 264 Commons seats while the Conservatives have 95, the New Democrats 16 and Social Credit 11. Together the one independent, this is a total of 123 in op-, position. Need recognized Mr. Trudeau, however, said he is "perfectly aware that a ma- jor parliamentary reform is only possible if aU members, regardless of party affiliation, are in favor of this reform." The last major change was in 1968 when the system of having the whole House 'examine all bills and estimates was handed over to about 20 special committees. The old system meant, as a government spokesman put it, that "everything was going through the same pipe." The com- mittee system means business goes through many pipes and if one thing is going slowly, it doesn't hold up all other business. Committees also allow members to probe mo than they could before. Mr. Diefenbaker wants the old system restored. "The first thing that must be restored to Parliament is this right: That ministers shall stand in their place and shall be questioned individually in this chamber on their ex- penditures." Mr. Trudeau considers second reading, where any MP can de- bate a bill, a major block to progress. Other obstacles he sees are the daily question period, and the need for cabinet ministers to be in the House for questioning each day. He also wants to eliminate the Senate's power to veto a bill the Commons has passed. Mr. Diefenbaker argues that it is every member's right to participate in altstages of debate; the government does not answer enough ot the questions now; it is the ministers' obliga- tion to be available for questioning and he accused the prime minister of proposing Senate reform only to take the public's eyes off what is going on in the Commons. The Right Dosage On November 2, 1966 the Medical Health Officer announced that fluoride tablets were avail- able at the Health Unit for anyone desiring them. PLEASE NOTE: The doctor carefully explain- ed that small children and infants would receive SMALLER dosages in drop form, while older children take the very small tablet Therefore, he said A DIFFERENT PRESCRIPTION JS NEEDED FOR EVERY MEMBER OF THE FAMILY. How can every member of the family get the required dosage when fluoride is put in the water supply? How can you arrange that two children drinking widely different amounts of water both get the right dose of fluoride? YOU CANT. The Public Health Service realized this obvious mis- conception when it stated, "You can lead a child to the sink but do you really know how much water he will drink? Or. C. 8. Ross, 8.A; M.O: CM; of Graven- hurst Ontario said: "One might think what real benefit might be available from this chemical could best be achieved by periodically coating the enamel of a child's teeth with some form of fluoride and by giving him dally small amounts of fluoride. The argument of the promoters of fluor- idation is what the mother might forget to see thai the child takes his daily pill. In other words, be- cause of the possible thoughtlessness of some parents !he entire population must be forced to take fluoride which they do not want and which _ in some cases may cause serious harm. This is S surely carrying paternalism to the utmost limit of absurdity." 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