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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 29, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta I t t f of railroad may be abandoned within two years' By TERRY McDONALD Herald Staff Writer EDMONTON Some miles of rural railroad branch lines could be abandoned in from "one to two years" if the federal government allows the freeze on abandonment applications to expire at the end of this year. That is the prediction of Donald Dever, secretary-general of the Canada Grains Group. Dr. Dever told The Herald Monday that miles are "obvious candidates" for abandon- ment'and are made up of two categories: 500 miles of line that hasn't seen a single shipment of grain pass over it in six to 10 years, and approximately miles affected by grain company elevator closures. All other Prairie branch lines fall in the categories of having to be evaluated to see if they should or should not be abandoned or ob- viously being vital to the grain handling system. In an address to the semi-annual meeting of the Canada Grains Council here Monday, Otto Lang, minister in charge of the Canadian Wheat Board, did not indicate what the government would do about the freeze. He said he was giving careful consideration to the Grains Council recommendations sent him a month ago that advocated letting the freeze ex- pire. But he is also weighing arguments in favor of keeping the freeze in effect. Mr. Lang said he thinks many people are worrying unnecessarily over whether or not their rail line will be abandoned. He said the basic'railroad network will remain the same as it is today. Dr. Dever, in his report to the council Monday, explained how he envisions the situation should the freeze be allowed to expire. "It is January, 1, the branch line freeze has ended. What happens? Very little he said. "Some lines will be proposed for elimination, low density lines many with no traffic some because there is no grain and some because the condition of the line won't allow traffic safely. "Is there any point in retaining any of these? This the CTC (Canadian Transport Commission) must resolve. Under the Canada .transport act, the procedures of abandonment are spelled out clearly Assessment must be mcde and hearings must be held. "Those.opposing abandonment of any line can appear and the evidence weighed. Only then, can the final decision for or against be made. This will take time. "So I don't envision any wholesale aban- donments of lines without full and healthy debate Eventually producers, railways and elevator companies will have a base established as to the-probable future of many lines. As a result, each segment will be able to plan more Dr. Dever said. CP Rail 'has applied to abandon six lines in Alberta, all in the southern portion of the province. They are: Cardston to Glenwood, 27.7 miles; Cassils to Scandia, 23.4 miles; Hamlet to Irricana, 21.4 miles; Rosemary to East Coulee, 65.4 miles; Suffield to Hays, 34.8 miles; Raley to Whisky Gap, 21 miles The tethbrldge Herald Freight rate LETHBRIOQE, ALBERTA, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 1974 15 Cents 44 Pages Nixon has surgery LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP> Former president Richard Nixon's surgeon said today that "Mr Nixon is doing well" following an operation to stop a blood clot in his left leg from travelling any further toward his heart or lungs. Dr. Eldon Hickman, who performed the hour-long operation, said Nixon's condi- tion is "stable." He said Nix- on returned to his room at Memorial Hospital Medical Centre here for recovery. Nixon's personal physician had said the operation was re- quired because the clots in Nixon's leg posed a threat to his life. "With the threat the clot could become a pulmonary embolus, we placed a mild clip partially occluding but not completely occluding the Hickman said. He said the clip is permanent He said the operation was uneventful and_that the, formeFpresident ing in the normal manner." idea opposed By TERRY McDONALD Herald Staff Writer EDMONTON Opposition has started to swell against a suggestion by Otto Lang, minister responsible for the Canadian wheat board, that the Crowsnest freight rates agreement be abolished after 78 years. Mr. Lang told the Canada Grains Council's semi annual meeting here Monday that, as part of a new national transportation policy, another way must be found to compen- sate farmers. The railways need rates reflecting the "true cost" of providing grain transportation. Grain loading stopped as inspectors book off VANCOUVER (CP) Federal government grain inspectors booked off .sick for the second day in a row today Bill Longmuir of the Cana- dian Grain Commission said most of the 48 West Coast inspectors had called in sick. The book off comes only two weeks after Parliament ended the seven week grainhahdlers' dispute. The inspectors grade grain unloaded from boxcars and transferred to ships. They issue certificates of quality which are necessary before grain can leave Canada. Only alfalfa pellets, which don't need certificates, were mov- ing Monday. A spokesman for the Public Service Alliance of Canada, which represents the inspec- tors, said he had no idea when they would be back on the jobs. The inspectors belong to primary products inspection group within the PSAC. Their contract expired July 28. They can legally strike seven days after receipt of a conciliation board report by the public ser- vice staff, relations board A spokesman for the federal agriculture department said the earliest date for a legal strike would be Nov. 12. The PASC is seeking a 25 per cent wage increase effec- tive July 28 of this year, 12 per cent effective July 29, 1975, plus a cost -of- living adjust- ment equal to the 1974 con- sumer index change. The federal treasury board is offering an eight per cenf increase this year and eight per cent next year with no cost of living adjustment, also in a two year contract. In the old contract, inspectors averaged a year. Inflation talks to be general Father visits twins Separated Siamese twins, Alta and Clara Rod- riguez, received a visit Monday from their parents, Salvador and Farida Rodriguez. It was the first time the father had seen the twins since they were separ- ated at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia. Inside Classified...... 2023! Comics............18; i District............15 i i Local Markets...........19 Sports.........10-12: Theatres............7 i TV..............6: Weather............3 i OTTAWA (CP) Federal officials say the prime minister is not expected to promote discussion of specific topics when he hosts a meeting with the premiers here Wednesday to discuss inflation and economic pol- icies. The federal view is that Prime Minister Trudeau is re- sponding to a request for talks in general terms on how to lower inflation and unemploy- ment rates. The meeting comes after an acnd public exchange in Sep- tember between the premiers and the prime minister on whether such a session would be useful. Participants are giving a low key advance billing to the afternoon of private conver- sation, which is to begin with a lunch, at Mr. Trudeau's residence. A federal official said in a background report that one objective is to make sure the machinery for co-operation is in place. It was the premiers who asked for the meeting. This was one of results of the 15th annual premiers conference in Toronto in September. 'Any politician that gives away his own money instead of the people's deserves trouble.' LOW TONIGHT 35; HIGH WED. W; SUNNY, MILD. Guerrillas recognized as West Bank leaders RABAT, Morocco (AP) The Arab summit conference has recognized Yasir Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organ- ization (PLO) as the leadership of a future indepen- dent Palestinian state to be established after the West Bank of the Jordan River is liberated from Israel. But the Arab leaders are leaving Egypt, Syria and Jor- dan a free hand in peace nego- tiations with Israel Labor plans to take over key industries LONDON