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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 17, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 39 THE LCTHBRIDOE HERALD October Program aimed at revitalising farm industry farmers opt to leave land By DOUG SMALL OTTA Nearly 000 farmers have been given government grants worth 8 million during the last two years because they've sold their land to help other small, but more aggressive, farmers improve their lot A total of 179 of these more ambitious farmers have used the fledgling federal- provincial small farms development program to enlarge their holdings and operations. Agriculture Minister Eugene Whelan reports in a written Commons reply to Don Mazankowski that more than million in special credit has been granted by the Farm Credit Corp to these relatively small operators to buy up other farms The program has two aims To help young, aggressive farmers expand and to help poorer farmers retire or leave the land for other work It has slowly evolved since being an- nounced Dec 6, 1971, as a seven-year, plan aimed at making farming more businesslike All provinces but New- foundland have signed agree- ments to implement the pro- gram, though Quebec joined only two weeks ago First to join, July 14, 1972, was Alberta where 745 farmers have used it to sell out and retire or move to other jobs Critics complain that the program is yet another government move to rid the country of small, family- operated farms. Mr Mazankowski. whose riding is in Alberta, says he is "op- posed in principle to any scheme that will reduce the number of farmers HELPS ON OR OFF But supporters say the plan helps family farms become "economically giving rural families the option of improving their lot on or off the farm "The young farmer, and the farmer who wants to expand his land base to bring his. in- come up to a reasonable level, can buy land without taking any real financial risk." Mr Whelan said in a recent speech Most proponents of the plan emphasize the advantage to struggling farmers and play down its effects on the declin- ing farm population The 1971 census showed the numbers of farms had dropped to slightly more than from five years earlier and nearly in 1961 And a recent review of the small farms program by two agriculture department ex- perts says between and farm families, about one-third of those remaining, require the kind of assistance offered by the adjustment plan "It is expected that many of these would find better oppor- tunities outside sociologist Mongi Mouelhi and economist Walter Bruns write in the bi-monthly Canadian Farm Economics publication. OLDER ONES OUT The writers say the farms sold under the program average 195 acres, of which 106 are undc-i cultivation Average age of sellers was 57 and more than half had reach- ed retirement age About a third of those who sold farms took other full or part-time jobs and about one-quarter took advantage of a special feature of the program to re- tain their farm homes after selling their land. Buyers had an average age of 39 and ranged from 20 to 58 years old. Average value of their land before they took part in the program was 433 and after. Size of the average farm increased to 223 from 142 cultivated acres Buyers are only given special credit if they have less than worth of assets and they do not have to mortgage their land as securi- ty when buying another farm Down payment on sales of or less is plus a registration fee. A buyer, to be eligible, must already operate a farm Mr Mazankowski says this is a particularly offensive shortcoming "The real vacuum in agriculture is the lack of any incentive that encourages young people to get into the business. There's no incentive to the new farmer in this or any other program Sellers, on the other hand, have ample encouragement to leave the land. The program offers eligible owners of small farms a grant of plus 10 per cent of the sale price to a maximum grant of if they sell Sellers, however, lose the right to the government grants, if they sell to others who either "continue to operate the farm as a separate, uneconomic farm unit" or who use the land for non-farm activities Sears Here's our very best Kenmore automatic. Racked with every stitch imaginable. Reduced by for 3 days only Now that's an offer you can't refusa 98 179 Reg. 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Judge damaged by publicity GRANDE PRAIRIE (CP) Publicity surrounding a provincial court judge suspended from sitting here has done him "irretrievable says the Grande Prairie Bar Association "Even if he is cleared of the allegations, he has been damaged by the news coverage of his lawyer Don Patterson told a three-member board holding its first public hearing into the administration of justice in Alberta's lower court system. Provincial Court Judge M. F Mclnerny has been suspended from sitting in Grande Prairie until charges against him are investigated by the provincial court ad- visory committee His status as a judge is not affected and he will preside in Edmonton until the allegations have been reviewed Mr Patterson suggested that in cases such as the one involving Judge Mclnerny, a senior judge should first in- vestigate the charges in an in- formal manner before a for- mal inquiry is started if necessary PROTECTION URGED Another Grande Prairie lawyer Lorraine Ouellette, said provincial judges should be protected by legislation from premature publicity when complaints against them have been laid Media reports "of necessary in- quiries concerning a provin- cial judge should be uncon- ditionally forbidden until the inquiry has taken place and the decision has been arrived at" Max Wyman. president of the University of Alberta and one of three board members, questioned why provincial judges should be immune from premature publicity when no one else is Mrs Ouellette replied that judges must feel they should not be afraid to rock the boat Another board member, Ted Bower, editor of the Red Deer Advocate, said he saw nothing wrong with the stories about the judge The board, headed by Mr. Justice W J C Kirby of the Alberta Supreme Court, also received a brief from the Grande Prairie daily new- spaper that said not enough in- quests are held in the area The Herald-Tribune said in- quests should be called when there are cases of suspicious deaths prior to the laying of criminal charges, when there are deaths of children by beating and when multiple fatalities occur in traffic ac- cidents INFLUENCE JURIES Dr Wyman said he did not think a coroner's inquest was always the best way of in- vestigating an accident "The only thing an inquest does is provide publicity Mr Patterson says the local bar association that in- quests may be redundant "All of us have been startled by some of the irrelevant comments the jury has made for recommendation Mr Justice Kirby said news reports about inquests could influence juries if the person testifying is later charged with a criminal offence The hearing was scheduled to continue Tuesday, but was adjourned after all briefs were submitted Monday. Mr Justice Kirby said the report will probably not be ready un- til at least next June. Dispute develops over CDC offer INKW YORK (CP) A dis- pute has developed between leading Wall Street brokers and a New York bank over the wording of the offer by Canada Development Corp (CDC) to buy 10 million shares of Texasgulf Inc the giant mining company The rift is over the deadline specified in the offer for those who now want to take back stock which they had agreed to sell CDC at a share The date is crucial because the price of Texasgulf stock has moved higher than the price CDC offered to pay for the stock The stock closed at on the New York Stock Exchange Monday, up 62Vi cents a share from Friday's close. The bank involved in the dis- pute is Schroeder Trust Com- pany, which has been acting as depositary for CDC. The leading firms involved in the dispute are reported to include E F Mutton and Co Shearson Hammeill and Co Dean Witter and Co., and Mer- rill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith. CDC says it has bought roughly Texasgulf shares for which it delivered in a cheque for approximately million before the start of trading last Thursday, Oct 11 Several New York brokers now maintain, however, fiat they had been assured vertal- ly by representatives of Schroder Trust that the sha-es could be withdrawn as lateas Friday, Oct 12 A CDC spokesman we quoted here as saying Tie CDC was "bound only by wiat is on file with the US Securities and Exchaige Commission (SEC) In its statement filed vith the SEC and made public (ct 5, CDC maintained that'the terms of its offer provOed that "shares heretofore or hereafter tendered may be withdrawn at any time (Tior to their purchase by CDC James Wolfensohn, Resi- dent of Schroder Trust, said he had no information is to the number of shares invdved in the dispute but said it was "considerably less" than the one million shares wiJely mentioned on Wall Street A spokesman for Shearson said the company was "holding Schroder respon- sible" for any withdrawals made ;