Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 15, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Monday, October 15, 1973 A valuable commodity A growing awareness that land is a limited and possibly endangered resource has brought demands for government action to protect agricultural and recreational areas. Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Prince Edward Island have already begun to reexamine land use within their borders with other provinces moving in that direction. P.E.I, faced with farmland decline and its shoreline transferring from Canadian to U.S. ownership has tried to curb land sales to all non-residents of the island. B.C. has introduced its controversial land-freeze legislation to halt speculation of agricultural land for residential pur- poses. Municipalities are recommending which regions should be permanently frozen for farm and green-belt purposes, which should be temporarily frozen sub- ject to later review and which are available for development. Land use plans and proposals are not new, nor have they been confined to lef- tish governments. Ontario, worried over the encroachment of cities on valuable food-growing acreage, has been con- sidering the possibility of halting ur- banization of the countryside. Canada's land is a limited, non- renewable resource demanding a mul- titude of uses (each important to a par- ticular segment of society) it should be reserved to, provide maximum benefit for the greatest number of Canadians with top priority given to land for food production. Professor Nevin S. Scrimshaw of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology points out that until recently until really only yesterday North Americans were worried about surplus crops and acreage but now most of the 50 million unused acres in the U.S. agricultural bank have gone into produc- tion leaving only land of doubtful value remaining. The same situation applies around the globe: the good land is all in use. With remaining agricultural land threatened by spreading urbanization, even in Southern Alberta, it is interesting that the County of Lethbridge, on a tie vote, refused to approve a local businessman's dream of a residential recreational subdivision on 320 acres of prime agricultural land immediately south of the jail road, east of the city. The local proposal submitted by J. A. Jarvie, necessitating an amendment to the county's zoning bylaw which prohibits small acreages in that par- ticular area, called for 113 one-and-three acre residential sites, a townhouse development for retired farmers and ranchers, a restaurant and clubhouse, stables and an equestrian riding area. Subdivisions can be implemented on hillsides, in coulees or on rocky slopes, devoid of fertile soil. But every inch of prime land will be needed if scientists' predictions that mushrooming world population and production will reach earthly limits bringing a collapse of in- dustrial society within the next century are to be avoided. Help students get rides Getting to the university from down- town Lethbridge will continue to be a problem at least until the new bridge is completed. The city provides a few bus trips daily but these are not always con- venient. The person with a car is not bad- ly off but again it is not always con- venient to drive. Yet cars leave down- town Lethbridge for the university at least every few minutes from early morning to late at night, and most of them have only one or two occupants. Hitching a ride is in order but rather chancy. So, putting all these factors together, isn't the obvious course to make it easier for pedestrians to catch a ride to the un- iversity? And once over, it's no trick to catch a ride back? The mechanics for doing this might be simply to obtain city hall's permission to erect a small open shelter on the north side of 1st Avenue between 4th Street and the brewery. The shelter could be aopropriately identified "to the universi- ty only." All motorists going from the south side to the university would have to go by it, and if they were inclined, they could stop to pick up anyone in the shelter. Similarity, there could be a shelter on 5th Avenue N for northsiders. Hitch-hikers for other destinations than the university would be on their own, as at present; indeed, their lot would be im- proved, for motorists not university bound would not assume these were students wanting a ride to classes. Those who would benefit from such an arrangement should be charged with making it. The city and the taxpayers need not be involved, except to give the project their blessing. With winter knocking at the door, time should not be wasted if the idea has merit. ART BUCHWALD Baseball a la Crecque WASHINGTON The game of baseball can be Greek to a lot of people, particularly if you are Greek. I had the pleasure of watching a World Series game on television with Melina Mercouri, the Greek actress who was in Washington with her director, Jules Dassin Miss Mercouri didn't want to watch the game but Mr. Dassin had his heart set on it. he said, "this is the World Series. I've got to see it." "What countries are Miss Mer- couri wanted to know. "No countries are playing. It is between two American teams." "Then why do they call it the World she asked. "I guess because to Americans it is the most important thing in the world. You see, baseball is the national pastime." "In Greece we have better the actress said. Mr. Dassin agreed, "but you can't show them on television." "I don't care. I want to see the White House and the Capitol and the Pentagon. I don't want to sit in this hotel room looking at a stupid game." -It's not stupid. Let me explain it to you. Look at the screen. There are nine men on each team." "Who is the man in the blue suit with the life Miss Mercouri wanted to know. "That's the umpire. He's neutral." "I like them. He's dressed much better than the others." "Now pay Mr. Dassin said. "There are four bases, including home plate. The man with the bat stands at home plate and tries to hit the ball which is thrown by a man called the pitcher." "And the rest of them just stand around do- ing Miss Mercouri said. "No, that's not so. If the man hits the ball, they must try to catch it and put him out." "That's all they "Well, they also have to bat when it is their turn. Now watch. The pitcher has just thrown a ball." "The man didn't try to hit the Miss Mercouri said. "No, he didn't, because the pitch was a ball." "I know it was a ball. I can see." "You don't understand. It was a bad ball "Why don't they play with good balls? I thought America was a rich country." "They do play with good balls. But if the ball doesn't go over the plate, it's called a ball. Now look, he just hit a foul ball. That's a strike Miss Mercouri looked at Mr. IJassin in- credulously. "A bad ball is a ball, and a foul ball is a strike? Why isn't a bad ball a foul ball? Tell me, who is on "Nobody is on Mr. Dassin said. "It's called a strike. Watch, you see, the man just hit a fly to centre field." "You saw a man hit a fly on Miss Mercouri asked. "Not a real fly. It's called a fly if it goes in the air." "I want to see the Supreme Miss Mercouri said. "Wait a minute. The next batter is the best player on the team. Let's see what he does. Look, he just made a long drive into centre field and he has a double." "A double "Just a double. He has two bases." "I don't see Miss Mercouri said. "It's two up and two down and a man on second." "Who's up and who's "Never mind. If they get one more out, they'll retire the side." "Can we go sightseeing if they retire the "No, because then the other team is up at bat" "It's a stupid Miss Mercouri said. Mr. Dassin was getting desperate. Sudden- ly he thought of something. "Do you know, the best hitter on the Athletics is a For the first time Miss Mercouri took an in- terest in the game. "What's his "Joe Rudoupoplous. They call him Joe Rudi for short." "Come on, Joe Miss Mer- couri shouted. "Hit the foul ball over the home plate and show them you can double the bases with two up and two down and don't forget to retire the "That's Mr. Dassin said. "You're getting the hang of it. Now, isn't this better than "Are there any Greeks on the other Miss Mercouri wanted to know. "Just Willie Mr. Dassin said. "Just Willie Mays." ON THE HILL "As a taxpayiog consumer, take comfort in knowing there would be something seriously wrong with you If you did not have a persecution complex Curb pension plan borrowing By Bruce Whitestone, syndicated commentator The Canada Pension Plan is in danger of becoming something like Frankenstein's monster, a runaway spending machine. The provincial use of Canada Pension Plan con- tributions has become part of a mechanism that affects not only the pension plan but also provincial government spending and the entire in- vestment process. What emerges here is a pattern of borrowing from the Canada Pension Plan by provincial governments and then increased spending by these same governments because of the easy access to the pension fund money. The legislation which set up the Canada Pension Plan provides for the investment of the funds that accrue from monthly contributions, less the estimated amounts needed to pay benefits and costs. These funds are made available to each province, based on their contributions. The provinces are able to borrow from these funds, sub- ject only to supervision of the federal department of finance to insure that proper controls are maintained. In general, this easy access to funds by provincial governments leads to unwise spending programs; there are not the normal constraints im- posed by lenders. In other words, the provincial governments do not need to go through the process or cost of borrowing money on the market and use underwriters to market such bond issues. As a result, it is almost a foregone conclusion that governments would be tempted by an "easy come, easy go" attitude. The money burns a hole in the pockets of many provincial treasurers. The huge reservoir of funds generated by the Canada Pen- sion Plan provides a cash flow which continues almost in- dependent of the business cycle. Hence, over-all govern- ment spending and taxing measures, its fiscal policy, is out of control of the normal constraints of the legislature. Many who favor govern- ment control and operation of various parts of the economy criticize free enterprise for its failings and then engage in operations which undermine the free enterprise system. Intra-government borrowing and short circuiting the free market by borrowing from the Canada Pension Plan's funds illustrate this trend. If a province needs funds, it should deal directly in the market. Borrowing from the Canada Pension Plan fund is an intermingling of two different functions: the needs of the provincial treasuries and the right of the pension fund contributors. If a provin- cial government borrows at an advantageous rate, ob- viously the pension fund is lending at a disadvantageous rate. If the provinces did not borrow these funds, there would be an incentive to max- imize the yield on these funds and, obviously, the money would flow to the most productive and rewarding sec- tors of the economy. Over-all, encouragement should be offered to make all pension funds "work they should be invested as ef- ficiently as possible. The en- tire economy would benefit if these funds were handled by the free market in place of the bureaucrats. The Canada Pension Plan would have to be amended to permit each province to run its own fund. If the yields on the pension funds could be im- proved, a near certainty under a free enterprise regime, con- tributions could be decreased or benefits raised. If the Canada Pension Plan were revised and each province were able 10 operate its share of the pension fund independently of governments, pensioners no longer would be deprived of a fair return on their savings. However such an arrange- ment could cause difficulties with respect to portability as individuals move between provinces. Under the national medicare plan, contributions vary from province to province and the same could apply under the Canada Pen- sion Plan. To prevent pen- sioners from flocking to provinces paying the highest benefits, there would have to be some residence re- quirements so that, for ex- ample, a person would draw benefits from the province where he made the majority of his contributions for the last five years of his working career. The beneficial effects of decentralized control as they could develop here are well known The free marker could provide very beneficial results, not only to the pen- sioners, but to the Canadian economy as well. At the present, there is real irony in a situation which allows governments to disregard the best interests of pension plan contributors. After all, the only purpose of government should be to help its citizens, not unnecessarily harm them. Unreliable measurements By Dian Cohen, syndicated commentator MONTREAL The September jobless figures were released last week as well as the Consumer Price Index. Both sets of figures customarily provide ammuni- tion for politicians and con- sumers, and other interested parties to ride their particulai hobby horses. No one seems overly con- cerned about our five per cent plus unemployment rate it will come back into vogue in another few months. But cer- tainly the announcement of the August cost of living index set off a flurry of excitement in Ottawa, and a couple of step-gap restraint measures by the government. Heralding the September figures, Con- sumer Affairs Minister Herb Grey announced that his department will investigate the cases of price gouging dug up by the Feed Prices Review Board. More and more frequently, officials both in the govern- ment and in the civil service are suggesting that neither the unemployment nor the cost of living statistics are above suspicion, and that both are unreliable as sole guides to the state of the economy. As long ago as last March, the Governor of the Bank of Canada, Gerald Bouey, said he no longer had faith in the validity of Canada's un- employment rate. The central bank's annual report made it clear that at least part of the government considered the jobless figures inflated as a result of generous unemploy- ment insurance benefits. Even in the United States, where no new unemployment insurance act was there to cloud the issue, many in- dependent observers have come to believe that the jobless rate may not be as reliable an over-all indicator of economic well-being as it was thought to be in the 1950s and 1960s. More attention is being paid to the fact that all workers are not exact sub- stitutes for each other in the labor market, and that serious labor shortages can occur in different industries at different times without an over-all shortage of job seekers. It will be some time, however, before any of us will have better numbers to work with. The Economic Council of Canada announced almost a year ago that it would look into the jobless figures. No report has yet been forthcoming Statistics Canada has em- barked on an million exer- cise in improving its measure- ment of the labor force. But it will take at least two years of quality control checks before StatCan will switch over from the present survey to the new one. In Montreal recently, the chief of the retail prices divi- sion of StatCan, I.H. Penpraze, made it quite clear that the Canadian consumer price index is very far from being a measure of the true cost of living. For one thing, the pattern of consumer spending has chang- ed in the past 16 years, but the importance or "weight" given to the various items in the CPI is still based on a consumer survey taken in 1957. A more recent survey shows that in the CPI, the importance of food in the average Canadian's shopping basket is overstated by more than 10 per cent. This means that the whole index is more sensitive to shifts in feed prices than it should be. In addition, the Index records the price changes of a fixed basket of goods and ser- vices as they affect urban families whose incomes in 1967 averaged This "target" group represents only a minority of the pop- ulation. The index uses 1961 as its time base. The sample basket of goods and services was up- dated in 1967. At best, the CPI reflects the tastes and buying habits of Canadians as they were six years ago. The failings of both the labor force survey and the consumer price index are not unique to Canada. Indeed, in terms of the rigorous con- ditions under which the sur- veys are taken, they are both among the best indicators in the world. Both are now in the process of being modernized. Statistics Canada is planning to develop a consumer price index specifically for old age pensioners, for the poor and for people living in smaller towns. Unfortunately it will he late into the seventies before any of these new statistics see the light of day. Until then unfortunately, politicians, who have difficul- ty making sound economic decisions ever, when they have all the evidence, will have to rely on statistics whose reliabilif is being called in- into question. By Joe Clark, MP for Rocky Mountain "The Conservatives should vote' with the NDP on every possible issue, just to get that government out of there." That was the advice of a normally mild-mannered man, as we spoke in his foothills home early in Oc- tober. It's a suggestion which many Rocky Mountain residents would support. The problem is. it probably wouldn't work for two main reasons. First, the NDP will do everything possible to keep Mr. Trudeau in power, because the NDP desperately wants to avoid an election. Second, there is a con- stitutional precedent which would let the Trudeau govern- ment stay in office, even after defeat on a major issue. It is known as the "Pearson because it is the device Mr. Pearson used, after his government was defeated in early 1968, while he was holidaying in the Bahamas and other Liberals were away from Parliament. Instead of dissolving Parlia- ment then, he immediately called for a vote of con- fidence, and won that vote. Mr. Pearson's argument was that Parliament had voted against a specific measure, but still wanted his government in office. What happened in fact was the Liberal MPs were hauled back to Ottawa, and deals were made with minority par- ties, to muster a majority for the second vote. Mr. Trudeau could do the same thing. If the Opposition parties combined against him on a specific matter, he could simply call a second vote (of and (he NDP would fall obediently into line. Neither the Liberals, nor the NDP, want to rely on the Pearson precedent first, because there is a possibility that constitutional lawyers would say it doesn't apply on a really major issue, like a ma- jor budget vote, second, because it would emphasize that the Liberals and the NDP are in bed together. People say that the NDP holds the "balance of power." That might have been true when this Parliament started. It isn't true now. In order to hold a you have to be prepared to go either way. The NDP will go only one way with the Liberals. Their reasons are simple and selfish. First, they think it would be easier for the NDP to win votes against a Trudeau government than against a Stanfield government. For one thing, a Stanfield govern- ment would be new, and voters would be inclined to "give it a chance." Second, the NDP would lose a lot of seats in an early elec- tion. One NDP MP confided privately that they might fall as low as eight seats they now hold 31. (Their problem isn't money union check- offs give them a better regular income than other parties their problem is that they have lost substantial support, including among key workers, who feel betrayed. The NDP is caught in a vicious circle. By supporting the Liberals, the NDP loses ground, by defeating the Liberals, the NDP would lose elections. That is why David Lewis is searching desperate- ly for a "magic issue" that might make voters forget about his behavior. Unfor- tunately for Alberta, the issue he seems to have settled on is The NDP has broken with the Liberals on only two significant issues corporate tax measures, and mortgage legislation. In both cases, they knew before they voted that the government would have a majority without the NDP. The rules of Parliament give them warning. The rules require the Conservatives, as the largest Opposition party, to vote first, and speak first, thus showing our hand. We amended the tax bill, and supported the mortgage measure, so the NDP knew it was safe for them to stand op- posed. And even if the govern- ment had fallen, there was always the Pearson Precedent. Letters Defends village It is with very mixed feelings that some of the residents of Riondel read in The Herald (Oct. 2) a letter from Harry Unger of Kelowna describing his visit to Riondel How much real knowledge of a place can one obtain by riding around in a car for an hour? It must have been a terrible disappointment to him not to see the famous fountain in full spate but "dried up." Does he not remember the very dry summer we had and the need to conserve water? The description "a little run-down church" particular- ly made me angry. Both our churches are lovingly tended and are a pleasure to enter, but perhaps Mr Unger did not bother to do that? He also states that he only saw a bunch of some men and boys and some women. One is tempted to ask who else he expected to see? That is the only kind of people we know. We even have some babies in the town! We are in the process of accepting offers from doctors who wish, to reside and prac- tice here and we have a health clinic once a month. I can assure Mr Unger that cherries, apples and plums survive very well and we have had bumper crops this year. No mention was made of our lovely beach which has been wel! used by visiting campers throughout the summer and the surrounding mountains and views of Kootenay Lake obtainable from most spots in Riondel. I am glad the golf course ruet with his approval! We like Riondel as it is even without sidewalks as we are a country village but with plenty of recreational facilities. Even if the Weekend article seemed over colorful the CBC Hourglass program on Riondel was the exact op- posite and tried to show us as an old shanty town. Perhaps we are actually something between the two! GLADYS WOOLLOFF Riondel, B C. Wants good hockey So we have Junior hockey The first game had 27 penalities and four majors to each team. The second game1 11 game misconducls, five 10- minute misconducts and eight majors. Officiating is blamed, but I think the referee did a good job. What kind of referee would he have to be in order to beat that record? I think a player who gets a major should have his picture put in The Herald together with a half column write-up. Why do these scouts come into town and take the promis- ing players away? The big cities have lots more promis- ing players. Lethbridge has always been a Hockey town, and we are en- titled to see good hockey. Our players look like nice clean cut types and, given the chance, I think they would put up a good brand of clean hockey which would attract the fans If the juniors stayed for five years, they would move up into the seniors and we would get used to seeing and en- couraging good play t would like to see more passing, make the game wide open, this would help the players to avoid getting into arguments which results in penalties. DICK FISHER. Lelhbridge. "It says here I'm going to change my job." The lethbridge Herald SOi 7th SI S Lethbndge. Alberta LETHBRIOGE HERALD CO. LTD.. Proprietors and Publishers Published 1905-1954, Dy Hon W.A BUCHANAN Second Class Mail Registration No. 0012 Member of The Canadian Press and the Canadian Doily Newspaper Publishers' Association and the Audit Bureau of Circulations CLEOW MOWERS. Editor and Publisher THOMAS H ADAMS General Manager DON PILLING WILLIAM HAY Managing Editor Associate Editor ROY MILKS DOUGLAS K WALKER Advertising Manager Editorial Page Editor 'THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"