Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 29, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Province tardy, city scrambles to rescue option A delay in receipt of promised provincial funds for the purchase of 206 acres of land for north-side industrial park expansion forced city council into some last-minute scrambling Monday. Council authorized Deputy Mayor Vera Ferguson to ask A. W. Shackleford, owner of Majestic Theatres Ltd., which owns the land, for a further extension of the city's op- tion to purchase the land. A two-week extension, which expires Thur- sday had already been granted on the city's option to buy the land for an acre Mayor Andy Anderson told council he d had assurances from five cabinet ministers that provincial financing of the deal had been approved. But, he said, nothing has been received in writing, let alone a cheque. Mayor Anderson was to be in Edmonton to- day to ask about the sitution. The city has to get the option extended or pay out by Thursday to see the deal through, City Manager Allister Findlay told council. The 206 acres, owned by Majestic Theatres Ltd., is a key part of the some 465 acres the city intends to develop as its new industrial area. The rest of the land is already owned by the city. Ultimately, the development is seen as pay- ing for itself through sale of land to in- dustries, but provincial financing is needed to get the project started. Provincial assistance was promised this summer by two cabinet ministers in visits to the city. District The LetWnridgc Herald Second Section Lethbridge, Alberta, Tuesday, October 29, 1974 news Pages 13-24 Horner fails Lang's homework 'They don't know what we're trying to do' MONA THORBURN Council tables fluoride bylaw Second and third reading of the fluoridation bylaw was tabl- ed by city council Monday pending action by the Lethbridge Safe Water Committee-on a recount of fluoridation plebiscite ballots. "We are going to ask for a recount before Mona Thorburn, a committee spokesman, told council Monday. She said the committee has received reports of discrepancies in the counting of the fluoridation vote in which fluoridation was approved by a 348-vote majority, but 296 ballots were spoiled. "I'd, go as far as to say the fluoridation vote was she added. "In-West Virginia, on the same question, a supreme court justice ruled that one's fundamental rights shall not be submitted to a vote. "Thef Lethbridge Safe Water Committee will continue to carry the torch antil every man, woman and child is free of this compulsory fluoridation or any other compulsory drugV' Miss Thorburn said. But when asked by Aid. Bill Kergan if the committee intended to tafceitie-ptebiscite further to ajcowt to test its replied: "We're taking it one step at a time." Bus fares free during Winter Games City bus trips will be free to all during the Canada Winter Games Feb. 11-23. City council Monday agreed to that and other city contributions to the winter games pot, requested by the Canada Winter Games Society. The free bus service will cost the city an estimated in lost fares, while the city will donate another 000 worth of free bus trips to all games participants. But council did save the city by voting down a suggestion it host a reception for the media during the games. "The media will get hosted, toasted and roasted said Deputy Mayor Vera Ferguson. "They'll be hosted by a different group every night and the city of Lethbridge would just get lost in the happy hours she said after Aid: Vaughan Hembroff suggested the best way to get favorable publicity was to keep the media people "well oiled." Council also concurred with city administrators in turning down a couple of other re- quests. Painting the water tower at 3rd Avenue and Mayor Magrath Drive, with a Winter Games message is not a good idea, it decided. And placement of Winter Games banners at the entrances to the city would not be practical. Vandals damage fence About damage to a fence in Indian Battle Park, believ- ed to be the work of vandals, was reported to Lethbridge city police Monday by the Lethbridge Community Services Department. Four posts in the fence were broken and eight 16 foot planks were either burnt or broken. The damage is thought to have been done between Friday and Monday. By TERRY McDONALD Herald Staff Writer EDMONTON Agriculture Minister, Hugh Horner lashed federal agriculture and tran- sportation policy makers Monday for programs opposed to what he termed "a meaningful confederation." Dr. Horner, speaking at the banquet of the Canada Grain Council semi-annual meeting, attacked the Canadian Wheat Board, the Canadian Grain Commission, CP Rail and Canadian National. But he saved his-strongest barbs for Otto Lang, federal minister responsible for the wheat board, who addressed the meeting Monday morning. Apologizing several times through his speech for shaking up the congenial atmosphere of the banquet, the minister said he felt it was tune federal policy makers learned "what we are trying to do out here." Dr. Horner said Mr. Lang wrongly claimed the federal feed grains policy is im- plemented and "behind us." "I must say that I am more little Jji.t sad that the federaP minister responsible for the wheat board could come to Alberta without any contact with our government be rude and inappropriate when he states that the feed grains policy is implemented and is behind us. HUSHED AUDIENCE "It isn't It hasn't been. And we woukTexpect from those people who are involved in the federal hierarchy the balance of that feed grains policy that we were promised and that is an equalization between meat and Dr. Horner told a hushed audience. The minister also said he was disappointed so much attention was given by federal policy makers to the country's grain gathering system' "which I think frankly is pret- ty good." "We don't hear enough about the real blocks (in the system) that we have found over the years. "It isn't good enough to just complain about the transpor- tation- on railways between that gathering system and the ports because the major block we've fought with... over the last 40 years is getting that grain through those he said. "And the federal minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board would have done a lot more in Alberta today if he would have announced a major program of port expan- sion in the cities of Vancouver and Prince Rupert." Moving on to the railroads and the railway executives seated among meeting delegates, Dr. Horner said he is not convinced that railroads are not already getting com- pensatory rates, regardless of how railroad spokesmen say otherwise. CROWSNEST RATES "They've never been willing to put their costs on the table" so the Alberta government will not accept any interference in the traditional Crowsnest Pass grain hauling rates, basically unchanged since they were first adopted in 1896. Railroads have repeatedly claimed in recent years the rates are far below cost, and4he federal govern- ment has recognized this claim by paying subsidies to the railroads. Mr. Lang said Monday he personally has begun to think that the benefit of the low rates should now be transferred grain producers should get a more direct benefit of the policy. He suggested if producers got a payment but then paid the railroads the regular freight rates for hauling grain, the producers would still get the benefit of the Crow rates and the railroads would not be motivated to revitalize their systems. Dr. Horner said railways "have never been able to answer the question as how the Northern Alberta Railway, moving grain at Crow rates, never lost any money. Taking aim at the wheat board, Dr. Horner told of a federal regulation which he called "silly nonsense" under which rapeseed is shipped to the West Coast with 10 per' cent dockage, then the provin- cial government provides rail cars to haul that dockage back into Alberta to be fed to livestock. ABANDONMENT "And if you can tell me that's economical or sensible or reasonable... then I'd like to hear about the minister said. He said rail line abandon- ment must be undertaken between two equal partners in confederation the federal government and the provinces. He forecast "serious problems'- in rationalizing rail line abandonment Trucks won't be using 5th, 9th N.; city to improve north truck route i is By ANDY OGLE Herald Staff Writer City council Monday took two positive steps towards resolving the truck route dispute that has alternate- ly upset both truckers and residents of 5th and 9th Avenues N. since it first became an issue in August. Aldermen voted unanimously to authorize expenditure of funds to im- mediately improve the existing north boundary truck route, including pav- ing the north end of Stafford Drive and grading and gravelling 26th Avenue N." Council also unanimously agreed with the wording of an amendment to the bylaw that will prevent truckers from using 5th and 9th Avenues N. as through routes. But the bylaw still has to go back to council for third reading before it comes into effect. In approving the road im- provements and the bylaw wording, council appeared to be searching for some sort of compromise solution that would satisfy residents by getting the trucks off their streets, but would alscrappease the truckers. Aid. Vaughan Hembroff suggested that council could pass the bylaw but delay putting it into effect until Dec. 31 when upgrading of the 26th Avenue N. route should be completed. A resolution by Aid. Bill Kergan that 9th Avenue N. be designated a temporary truck route until reasonable alternate routes could be provided was not the compromise most aldermen had in mind. It was soundly defeated 8-1. "I'm against the use of any residen- tial street as a truck said Aid. Hembroff. "We can't run over the top of people that live there." That seemed to be the majority at- titude of council although some sym- pathy was expressed for the plight of truckers trying to make a dollar. Aid. Kergan and Aid. Vera Ferguson said they had both taken rides in trucks units" over the 26th Avenue N. truck route and had their teeth rattled. Even Brian Winchester, a 5th Avenue resident who presented a brief representing the views of several parents and home and school associations from the area, said the parents are not anti-trucker. "Indeed we support the truckers in their request for a through truck route, but not on either 5th or 9th he said. 'We submit that when it comes to a choice between the safety of thousands of school children and pre- school children and the convenience of local truckers, the choice is obvious and one which we hope council will make he said. "I assure you we are concerned with the safety of the Aid. Ferguson told him. "But the decision is not black and white like most things in life there might have to be a she said. Some aldermen wanted immediate consideration of paving the entire north boundary route, but City' Manager Allister Findlay said that would probably cost in excess of million and would have to be con- sidered in conjunction with other road projects. Next time declaration may BURNING BAN LIFTED give renters right to vote THIS WEEK Renters may not have to go to city hall to register in the next civic election, but they may not be enumerated either. Aid. Bill Kergan told city council Monday during a debate on a resolution by Aid. Bob Tarleck calling for im- plementation of the enumera- tion system, that the Municipal Election Act also allows voter declaration at the polls. Under this system a voter simply declares his eligibility at the polling station and is allowed to vote, Aid. Kergan said. A penalty of a fine or six months in jail is provided to prevent abuse of the system, he said. City Manager Allister Findlay told council Red Deer and Medicine Hat used a similar system in their local elections this year. Those cities, he said, used their assessment roles as a voters' list. Anyone else made a declaration at the polls. who called the voter registration system used here discriminatory because it automatically en- titled property owners to a vote while requiring renters to register at city hall, agreed that this might be the solution. "It seems to answer the basic objection I have to the political inequality of the pre- sent system and if it can achieve the same end and save I'm for he said. He agreed to table his mo- tion after City Clerk John Gerla said a meeting of city clerks will be held in Ed- monton Thursday to discuss the election and such aspects of it as voter registration, enumeration or declaration. Council unanimously approved the tabling motion. But debate on the resolution prior to the tabling motion was sharp, with Aid. Kergan saying he did not agree that voter registration dis- criminated against renters. "To say these people are se- cond class citizens is nonsense as taxpayers register when they pay their taxes." he said. "If they're interested enough in voting, I'm sure they will take the time to register and in my opinion the persons who takes the time to register will take the time to he said. Aid. Tony Tobin disagreed. "In the past election renters under the .anti- deluvian system we have.were not provided with an oppor- tunity to he said. Aid. Bill Cousins said that if the city spends money to enumerate people, those that don't vote should be penalized. Non-teaching negotiating Non teaching employees in Lethbridge schools met Mon- day with Lethbridge Public School Board negotiators, a union official reports. Ian Downey, Lethbridge field representative for the Canadian Union of Public Employees, said talks between the board and CUPE Local 290 were progressing well. The local represents non teaching employees of the Lethbridge public and separate schools, and Lethbridge County. City residents now have another six days to put their lingering piles of autumn leaves to the torch, thanks to Aid. BUI Kergan. Saying that the original two week burning period from Oct. 1 to 15 ended too early, Aid. Kergan engineered the extra days of burning through city council Monday. He first had to get council approval of an amendment to the burning ban bylaw, then had to get unanimous council approval to give the amended byiaw three readings and finally had to get the resolu- tion setting the new burning period of six days passed. "The snow could be flying in a week if we don't do it now we may as well forget said Aid. Kergan looking pointedly at Aid. Vera Ferguson. She was joined by Aid. Vaughan Hembroff in voting against the bylaw but the rest of council voted for it and Aid. Kergan carried the day. Residents will be able to burn outdoors during daylight hours from today through Sun- day. Alberta's golden era of energy may sour like Midas touch By AL SCARTH Herald Lefistawre Bwen EDMONTON A hint of the Midas touch lurks in the background of Alberta's energy bonanza Everything the provincial government touches is expected to torn to gold in these days of a billion dollars more for the coffers each year from oil and gas. More money for education, homeowners, renters, senior citizens the government will provide the mass of details. Only it will use one of the slickest and expensive propaganda departments to do it. That department the public affairs bureau spent a lot of time and money creating an image for the government. Said the bureau of its creation, wjhich in- cludes the new "Alberta" logo: "The overall objective of the program is to provide amore positive, consistent image of the government of Alberta and as a result to bring about a Commentary feeling among Albertans and those who serve Albertans that we are all forking toward the same positive goals, in hattnony, and all un- der the same strong banner." Marching together under a government banner, unfortunately, has a more sinister than harmonious ring to it. The bureau costs SZ.4 million a year to run. Last week. Premier Peter Lougheed warn- ed that the golden era of energy what be labelled the "energy opportunity" for Alber- lans and Canadians last winter would Wink shut as quickly as it blinked open. "We remain deeply concerned about this province's ability to sustain its prosperity over the kmger he told the opening day of the legislature. "Perhaps we have another decade to diversify our economy In its rush to diversify, however. Alberta may be creating some monsters. To handle the rapid expansion of the northeastern oil sands, one of world's largest energy caches, the government ap- pointed an administrator dabbed to varying degrees as a czar or colonial governor. He has the power to overrule a dozen statutes in the interest of getting housing, education and hospitals to the exploding population of the region. Is that trampling of democracy worth the oil which will create more prosperity and jobs in Alberta? That is the question critics of the government have posed. Alberta also faces thorny problems outside its control. An American partner. Shell Explorer Ltd.. last week dropped out of its participation in an oil sands project with Shell Canada Ltd. The premier blamed the situation on "a concern by the United States of not being able to rely in the long-term on supply from the oil sands or elsewhere He said it demonstrated the lack of an effective energy arrangement between Canada and the United States. In general, he said, "when the crunch came as it did last winter where American supply fell behind American consumption needs, quite obviously the American government. unrelated to Canadian policy, was going to start to ensure that risk funds for drilling operations found their way into the U.S." The province now feels compelled to fill the vacuum left by the departing partner..Its Alberta Energy Company will consider in- vesting in the sands. The company has alreadv been given rights to huge natural gas reserves at Suffield in Southeastern Alberta. Yet. unsettled market conditions have forc- ed the province to delay issuing shares in the "citizen participation" company. And a proposal for a second such company, the Alberta Resources Growth Company, has been shelved until the energy company proves its mettle. The slowdown on the energy companies mark two patches where Midas gold may have brought too-quick dreams of a gilt- edged province. The third area is the oil sands The premier announced last week that an overall develop- ment policy, promised in the throne speech last winter, would be delayed. Lower than world market oil prices and uncertainty over federal energy policies were to blame for the delay. Thus. Alberta finds itself in the uncertain position of appointing an all-powerful com- missioner for a region whose very future is uncertain. And strange as it seems, the province is worried about its billion-dollar annual bonanza in oil and gas royalties. It is receiv- ing a handsome 10.8 per cent interest on its surplus funds. But their final disposal has broad implications for both the province and the nation. A statement of only "broad parameters" of investment would be possible by next winter. Meanwhile, below the oily gloss, criticisms of tow salaries for health workers, compared to neighboring energy-poor provinces, are be- ing heard. And from the other side of the fence, fears that generous settlements will fuel inflation. Alberta has already expressed concerns that its investments can now Up delicate national financial scales It is realizing that being the rich relation is not an easy task.