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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 27, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta Wodntiday, Oclob.r 27, 1971 THE UTH2RIDGE HERALD 5 Paul Whitelaw One year after upheaval in Quebec The quiet was almost uncanny. A hazy sun broke Ihrough the clouds, casting the warmth of an Indian Summer over this city, and the day began as a veritable celebration of au- tumn. It was the type of morning that can sometimes make prob- lems seem very remote, and bad memories as hazy as tho light that filtered Ihrough tho remaining leaves of the trees on the southern slope of Mount Royal. On a morning such as this, it was difficult even painful to recall that it was one year not three or five, that the kidnapping of James Cross from his home on the side of the mountain triggered the most serious political crisis in Canada's history. It was an uncanny feeling to remember the events of last October on such a quiet morn- ing, to 'recall how easily this city then the nation were Peter Desborals shocked into a state of crisis. Bad memories have been con- veniently refined and con- densed, but hopefully not enough to keep us from ask- ing: What did it all mean, how have we changed, and what did we learn? We are still too close to the crisis to know whether cen- tury from now October 1970 will be remembered as a turn- ing point. Perhaps the histor- ians will decide that the death of Maurice Duplessis or the first television broadcasts by the avant garde intellectuals of Radio Canada in the 1950s were more of a political watershed. But one thing is certain: We have changed. First, the kidnappers of Mr. Cross, then the terrorist cell that abducted and murdered Pierre Laporte could bring democracy close to disintegra- tion. We saw how ineffective our traditional safeguards of law and order RCMP, provincial and municipal police and tho army could be in combatting a small group of Anarchists in- tent on destroying the govern- ment. We also found that some of our most prominent political leaders were capable of "poli- tical as Quebec na- tionalists have come to call it: intimidation and demogoguery. Mayor Jean Drapeau annihil- ated his already weak opposi- tion in the municipal election that was held one week after the death of Mr. Laporte when he accused the chief opposition party, Front D'Action Politique, of being an FLQ front. Tho charges have never been sub- stantiated. Many Quebecers, who were living through a life-and-death drama, were another mayor, Tom Campbell of Vancouver, He suggested, apparently ser- iously, that the War Measures Act could be used to rid his city of hippies. Canadians saw a new dimen- sion of (heir prime minister, when Pierre Tralcau decided in the early hours of Oct. ]G to invoke L h e emergency mea- sures legislation because of an "apprehended insurrection." The long-term political effect of Mr. Trudeau's strong re- sponse to the terrorist threat is still difficult, to assess. But it appears, one year after Mr. Cross's abduction, that the prime minister has neither gained nor lost a significant part of his public support be- cause of his actions last fall. While Mr. Tmdeau may have fallen out of favor with some left-leaning intellectuals, he has probably risen in the estimation of many more conservative people who could not forget his radical younger days. The effects of the October crisis on Quebec's volatile pro- vincial politics have been more pronounced. The actions of the Trudeau and B o u r a s s a governments An outsider's view of Ontario's election rVTTAWA Haiing been an Ontario-a r i-aryan for a grand total of eight weeks, I can hardly write an insider's comment on the provincial election. But as a recent arrival from one of the nine less devel- oped provinces, Quebec in this case, I have been struck by the differences between politics here and in other parts of Can- ada. And I've found myself wondering if Election '71 in On- tario is what Election 1984 is going to be like for the rest of us. In terms of material pro- gress, Ontario already is a liv- ing forecast of conditions which other provinces can ex- pect to encounter in years to 1 come. Although its population is only about one third of the Canadian total, Ontario has half of Canada's shopping centres and half of the color television sets in the country. Its total wages and salaries ev- ery year now amount to more than the combined wages and salaries of all the Maritime provinces including Newfound- land, all the Prairie Provinces and British Columbia. The average income of tax- payers in Toronto, Ottawa Windsor and Hamilton is high- er than in any metropolitan centre outside of Ontario. And the average number of persons per family in Toronto (3.5) is the lowest of any Canadian city with the exception of Victoria. In other provinces, election campaigns are made of prom- ises to achieve the kind of life that Ontario has now. So Elec- tion '71 in Ontario should reveal something about the political future that awaits the rest of Canada when all of us arrive at this blessed stage. The most striking thing, to an outsider, is the amount of money spent on the campaign. Millions of dollars have been lavished in the past few weeks on television, radio and news- paper advertising, films, post- ers, travel and an astonishing variety of hoopla. It's probably a sterile line of thinking but, as an outsider I couldn't heln wondering about the effect of this kind of conspicuous con- sumption on other parts of the country, particularly where the natives have always suspected that their sacrifices are the foundation of Ontario's prosper- ity. And as a Quebecker, 1 also couldn't resist asking myself whether there really is much difference between giving sev- eral hundred thousand dollars to an advertising agency for a slick campaign film and giving the same amount to hundreds of local organizers for more di- rect forms of vote-buying. There might be a difference if the money contributed to a healthy discussion of issues. But the Ontario campaign showed that most of the money is spent on creating super- ficially attractive images of party leaders. One of the final public opinion polls of the cam- paign revealed that among voters who preferred Premier William Davis, the most impor- tant single reason was that they 'liked' him. Wow the result of several mUlion dol- lars of this kind of "invest- ment in democracy" is a Pavlovian mouth watering re- flex at the mention of a politi- cian's name. If the process goes any further, they'll have to dispense with the thought- provoking business of writing an "X" on a ballot and simply ask for a grunt of approval. All the party leaders were given the same treatment. The end result was that voters had a choice of three of the nicest guys you would never want to have a drink with. Beneath this battle of mini- personalities, there was, if you looked hard enough, a cam- paign of issues. It was more promising as an omen for the future. While the rest of tho country was scrambling for a dollar, any dollar, Ontario was debating the problems of a prosperous society. Economic nationalism was an important issue. In Toronto, the continued growth of the city was taken for granted and there was con- cern about the effects of de- velopment on people. There were a few smaller, more primitive and decidedly unattractive issues scurrying through the underbrush of the So They Say We've been approaching the whole subject of wage and price controls in somewhat the same fashion that a conservative clergyman approaches an ero- tic statue. He knows he must look at it, but he doesn't want anyone to see him do it. John Kenneth Galbraith. campaign; the questions of slate support for separate schools and the position of French-speaking Canadians in the school system. Still lethal in Quebec and certain other provinces, in Ontario these is- sues have turned into exotic if slightly dangerous household pets, like alligators in the bath- tub. You don't feel like stirring them up but the significant tiling was that they stayed in the bathtub in Ontario and didn't, as in certain other places, try to take over the whole house. Finally, as an outsider, I was strongly conscious of the difficulty of defeating a gov- ernment in a prosperous and highly developed society such as this. When economic discon- tent is not strong enough to lever a government out of of- fice, when there are no old- fashioned issues of race, lan- guage and religion to galvan- ize voters, when the party in power has huge campaign funds and the best tactical ad- vice in the business, when all the leaders are nice guys and the appeal of all parlies aimed at the political centre, where is the motivation for change? And when a system reaches this degree of self satisfied stabil- ity, doesn't this in itself be- come a problem? It's a problem that other pro- vincial governments would love to have by 1984. But the On- tario campaign of 1971 shows .that money doesn't buy every- thing. Only an election now and then. (Toronto Star Syndicate) WAYNE BAKER WAYNE BAKER SUGGESTS FOR EASY WINTER CLOTHES CARE SEE THIS GENERAL ELECTRIC GAS DRYER With features like 3 Temperature Selection Safety Start Switch Permanent Press Cycle Automatic Cool Down Porcelain Tub Porcelain Top 3 Way Venting NOW ONLY Not As Illustrated MATCHING 2 SPEED AUTOMATIC APPLIANCE and TV CENTRE 812 Ave. S. Phone 328-1673 or 328-1332 Directly Across From Enenons' Downtown Showroom EASY TERMS GRAIN TAKEN IN TRADE FREE DELIVERY ANYWHERE IN S. ALBERTA. served as a catalyst which con- tributed to the increasing polar- ization of Quebec politics. "There has been a gradual decrease in recent years in the number of people who were un- decided on the separatist ques- tion. This taking of sides was speeded says Maurice Pin- arri, a McGill university socio- logist who is conducting an ex- tensive study of separatism. Professor Pinard notes that the drift toward separatism by the intelligentsia has contrast- ed with a stronger law-and- order stand on the part of many working and middle-class peo- ple. The preliminary findings of his research project have sub- stantiated a survey showing strong popular support for the post-crisis suggestion of Quebec Justice Minister Jerome Clio- quette that all Quebecers be re- quired to carry government identity cards. Premier Bourassa's credibil- ity among the politically impor- tant intellectual community in this province was badly hurt by appearances of cabinet division and indecision during the early days of the crisis. Many observers believe Mr. Bourassa's performance during the trying days last fall, when he appeared to let Ottawa lead the way, will be as damaging in tile next provincial election as any failure in his economic platform. Indeed the economic effects of the political kidnappings and Mr. Laporte's murder may not be known for several years. However, the drain of potential investment from the province is continuing, and even the top man in Montreal's urban com- munity government, Lucicn Eaulnier, admitted last month that some firms are moving facilities out of Quebec. Perhaps because of the FLQ, or the language controversies that have continued to trouble Quebec, Mayor Drapeau said a few days later that only "timor- ous" investors had been leav- ing Quebec while the "brave" remained. It was disconcerting for many to hear that the prov- ince is the home of only the "brave." The separatist Parti Quebec- ois, the democratic political group whose leader, Hene Le- vcsque, denounced the methods of the FLQ, survived (lie crisis unscathed. In fact, the PQ apparently picked up some strength as a result of the polarization pointed out by Pro- fessor Pinard. The Parti Quebecois attract- ed 36.2 per cent of the popular vote in the byelection which chose Liberal Jean Coumoyer, now Quebec's labor minister, to succeed Mr. Laporte. That was an increase of nearly one per cent over the 1970 general elec- tion results. One year after the kidnapping of Janies Cross, what have we learned? Even people who supported Prime Minister Trudeau's diffi- cult decision to implement the War Measures Act may now question the usefulness of such potentially dangerous legisla- tion. Of the 500 people who were arrested under the Act, only about 60 were ever charged. More than 30 people are still in a judicial limbo, neither being prosecuted nor having charges dismissed, after the govern- ment decided this summer that it was too difficult to proceed with the cases. The record of convictions in those cases that have gone be- fore the courts has been unim- pressive. Hopefully, we have learned not to take our way of life as much for granted as before, and have reassessed Quebec's special frustrations and contrib- utions as a partner in Confeder- ation. Hopefully, we will not forget, how close we came to chaos in October 1970. And, hopefully, Canadian au- thor Hugh McLennan was cor- rect when he told a Free Press reporter recently that the phrase "Two Solitudes" the title of a book about Quebec's French and English communi- ties may be becoming obso- Iclc. Mr. McLennan wrote the book pointing up the roots of Quebec's separatist problem more than 25 years ago. But not enough people look notice. He said last week that the FIX} crisis, bombs and demon- strations of recent years have made English-speaking Quebcc- rrs more aware of the neces- sity of integrating into Quebec life. What of the FLQ? A report on police and public safely issued by Mr. Choquctto this summer noted that political terrorism has become entrench- ed in Quebec society. The terrorists' chief strength lies In the confusion and fear they can instil. Perhaps the enormous shock of last fall has taught Qucbcc- ers nml other Canadians how to cope. (Herald Quebec Bureau) Canadians care enough to be ashamed By Cliark'S King, in The Ottawa Citizen A few years ago, on a sunny September afternoon in Czechoslovakia, I stood a dozen paces from Communist President Antonin Novotny, listening to lu'm address a crowd of stolid partisans on the grounds of the Brno industrial exhibition. There wasn't a security man in sight. It occurred to me at the time that it would have been simple to pull a gun from my pocket and disptach one of Europe's most detested dictators to his proletarian re- ward. Not many years later, I stood shivering in the cold at Moscow's Sheremietyevo Ail-port, watching Premier Alexei Rosy- gin stride across the tarmac to receive Britain's Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Again 1 nearly brushed shoulders with two of the world's best known politicans. I could have, had I wished, earned some kind of notoriety (or even, from certain quarters, praise) by tripping them up or screaming an obscenity in their faces. The opportunities have been endless. As a newsman, I have been alone in conversa- tion with Rhodesia's Ian Smith, shared a private lunch with President Kaunda of Zambia, and been ushered through the tall black door of 10 Downing Street for group discussion with Prime Ministers Sir Alec Douglas-Home and Harold Wilson. I've sat a few yards from President de Gaulle at press conferences, taken the up elevator with Cuba's Fidel Castro (the cigar snroke stayed in my clothes for a attended a Greek Cypriot wedding performed by Archbishop Makarios, and followed the Pope on his meanderings through the Holy Land. All of them, without exception, were defenceless against a man with murder on his mind. Of course it is true that a working jour- nalist must often endure a screening by security authorities before mixing with, or even approaching major world leaders. But no such formality can take account, of what motive may lurk in a man's mind. If I'd wanted to kill, or even throw a punch at any one of them, I. could have done so without difficulty. All of which heightens the depression I feel to discover that my own country less safe for a visiting VIP than those Communist or fascist police slates where oppression of tlie people in an everyday fact of life. It doesn't help to be reminded that these offences to dignity and decency can occur only because we arc free people free to speak out, to demonstrate and hurl in- sults at guests of our country's govern- ment. does it even begin to justify such behavior. Our American neighbors have long accustomed to the dangers that lurk in street crowds. Too many presidents have been assassinated for them ever to take chances. And yet killings continue, and no leader is safe without an impenetrable wall of security dividing him from the people. It is a tragedy Hie Americans ir.ust live with, perhaps forever. Canada and Britain have been more for- tunate, but perhaps we have teen in a fool's paradise. It's within the memory of most of us to recall when Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent walked alone from Sus- sex Drive to his office; when even John Diefenbaker, at the height of his adulation and acclaim, could stroll with an aide to the Chateau Laurier to pick up the out-of- town papers. And fortunately, it is still possible for most of our politicians to wan- der alone on the streets, often without being recognized. But OK sudden attack on Premier Kosy- gin on Parliament Hill is a grim reminder that ah" of our leaders arc vulnerable to the act of a madman or seeker of noto- riety, and all we can do to prevent tragedy must be done in the interests of global good neighborlincss and civilized behavior. No one knows this better than those members of the RCMP whose task it was to protect the Soviet premier during his visit. And no one among us can he more rat- tled, angered and embarrassed that the at- tack took place despite all precau- tions. Mr. will know at least that we care c... gh to be ashamed. Is there a rishl to work? The Montreal Gazette rPHERE was always work to do, so we used to believe, if we wanted it badly enough. Edouard Dutremble and William Engbla, unemployed fathers of four and six respectively, wanted it badly enough to work on Sunday to finish a job of painting. They were prosecuted, as a consequence, for violation of the Lord's Day Act and fined ?10 over the maximum. The severity of their sentences suggests examples were being made of them. Ex- amples of what? Examples of what hap- pens to those who work on Sunday? Or examples of what happens to the unem- ployed who compete for jobs that might be done by established contractors who, as the presiding judge remarked, pay taxes. The City of Outremont, in whose name they were prosecuted, is quite rightly appealling the sentences. This incident, and all that it implies, il- luminates the extent to which the unem- ployed are prevented from finding work on their own. Health Minister Munro esti- mates 13 per cent of welfare recipients are capable of working if they can find jobs. What are their chances of doing so? Slen- der at best. Job openings in most trades are filled on a seniority basis. Where there isn't a unicn, the waiting lists arc lengthy. Self- employment in the professions is in- creasingly restricted by licensing require- ments. Odd for UK most part, re- quire permits whose cost can't be met by the unemployed. Our society has become so over-organized that the individual who is willing to turn his hand to amy honest job, as long as it pays, is increasingly pre- vented from doing so by an encroaching jungle of regulation. Thai's not all. Of the 13 per cent of wel- far recipients cited by Mr. Munro, more than 70 per cent of them want to work if work can be found. But what happens when they do find work? Every dollar earned is matched by a dollar reduction in welfare benefits. The part-time worker is no bet- ter off than he would have been had ha stayed on welfare. In practice, lie could be worse off. The welfare recipient moving into the ranks of the employed must have a job which not only pays him as much as he had while on welfare, it has also to pay hint enough to meet such additional costs as health premiums, medicines, unemployment in- surance and income tax. Otherwise he is better off to remain on welfare. On the one side, we've organized our- selves to protect existing employment against the competition of the unemployed. On the other, we've organized social bene- fits in such a way that the unemployed are encouraged to remain in that condi- tion. We're trapping a progressively larger proportion of society into a condition of mind-numbing acceptance of a condition of bare survival. It's not good enough for the advanced so- ciety we claim to be. That condition won't be changed by simply increasing welfare payments. It won't be changed until Uiere is a thorough overhaul of the basic con- cepls of welfare assistance as well as the jungle of self-serving restriclions wliich combine together to deprive Canadians of their right to work. BBC rejects Sesame Street The Christian Science Monitor rpHE bad tilings the British are saying about "Sesame Street" are true: too American, authoritarian, middle class, and hard-sell. But these criticisms of the American television show for preschoolers say as much about British fears of cultural dilu- tion as they do about the aggressive Amer- ican ethos and energy of the show itself. And they miss the chief criticism of the show, which is, paradoxically, the dangers in its very success with the viewing public. When tlie British Broadcasting Company announced a month ago it would not air tlie show this fall, there was quite a stir. Actually, ycii-g Britons are seeing it any- way on British commercial TV, though not on the government network. Tlie first criti- cisms of the series' initial programs ran pretty much along the lino of the BBC's a month ago, with the added complaint that the programs were too long. Mostly, how- ever, tlie first programs were praised. It will take a while to learn whether Sesame Street vill hold a place in the British TV market. But it is now shown in SO other nations, which is a sign of sorts of the pro- gram's export success. IU domestic success was underscored the other day when tho. U.S. Commissioner of Education announced .1 million grant to the Children's Television Workshop. The puts out Sesame Street for preschoolers on Ihe Public. Broadcast- ing Service network has premiered a second scries, called the Electric Com- pany, stressing reading for sevcn-to-10- year-olds, on Oct. 25. Again, in our view, the main clanger of Sesame Street is its very success. The British putdowns of Sesame Street as a "laugh-as-you-Iearn" or "animated-wall- paper" program arc in part right. Tlie barrage technique, (he repetitions, main- tain a noise and animation level which may be fine for the duration of the pro- gram, tat which need to be countered with television of a different, perhaps more re- flective, pace. The point is that there is more than one way to make programs for children. And Americans would do themselves a disser- vice if they institutionalized Sesame Street, as if it were the American way to chil- dren's television. After all, there is more than one way to learn. All of us have had several teacliers who were good for as, but who may used vastly different ap- proaches. So with children's television. Sesame Street is being over-lauded causo it is doing what it docs well. But it is opening the door for public television, it may be closing the doer to di- versity in children's TV programming. And it may be spreading a suggestion that children's TV can take the place of other kinds of instruction, activity, and onlcr- fainmcnl youngfolk need. ;