GENERAL ARTICLES

Cross Country

August 15 1944
GENERAL ARTICLES

Cross Country

August 15 1944

Cross Country

® B.C Puts "Chill" on Bookies

# Bees Overcrowded in Alberta ® Women Want Postwar Jobs

# N. S. Coal Outlook Gloomy

British Columbia

VANCOUVER policemen have adopted a novel technique for knocking the city’s betting establishments out of business. In the jargon of the bookie, this is known as “putting the chill on the customer.” It is as simple as it is efficient.

A burly policeman walks into the shop serving as a blind for the lucrative betting trade—(usually a softdrinks store or tobacco shop)—and sits down. He stays there until relieved by a brother officer. They ask no questions but turn a forbidding gaze on potential customers. Bettors, leery of discussing track odds in the presence of a policeman, usually retreat without spending a cent. It’s bad for the betting business and many of the shops have had to close. Effectiveness of the “sit-down” technique is confirmed by the news that a special wire service to race tracks in California, Toronto, Florida and other parts of the continent has been discontinued.

Before police adopted “the chill” they found it difficult to secure convictions against the men who handle the thousands of dollars wagered illegally on the race tracks. Now Vancouver bookies find life increasingly difficult.

West coast housing problems have hit a new snag. Occupants of about 200 houseboats moored at a Vancouver wharf have been served with eviction notices.

Reason: A city tugboat company has acquired the property for the construction of a $75,000 marine repair basin.

The hundreds of people living in the boats moored to the wharf —many of them squatters who pay no rent—-have refused to move unless other anchorages are provided reasonably close to the war industries and factories in which many of them are employed. Even if housing ashore was available—which it isn’t—few of the boat homesteaders want to give up their floating homes. Their plan to fight eviction is a new headache for Vancouver’s city council, the Harbor Commission, and the tugboat company.

For the first time in its history British Columbia has had to import electrical power from the United States. Lack of rain and a recent ruling by the federal fuel controller were blamed for the temporary shortage. Vancouver’s power supply was hard hit when fuel oil for a local power plant was cut to one quarter of the 50,000 barrels a month previously used. Instead of the nine million kilowatt hours a month normally produced by this plant, its output shrunk to 2,250,000 kilowatt hours. By importing power from the U. S., officials managed to stave off the rationing of power previously considered.

Thrown into sharper focus by this event was the possibility of a vast postwar power development in the Arrow Lakes region of the Columbia River Valley. At the request of the Federal Government, which is paying half the costs, two B. C. survey parties have already begun a study of the area’s power potentialities.

Arrangements by which the province will take over the properties of the B. C. Electrical Company, located within jurisdiction of the province’s municipalities, have been completed. The plan devised by Cabinet members and municipal representatives calls for the province taking over all company properties and then working out a partnership arrangement between the province and municipalities similar to that in Ontario' between the Hydro-Electric Power Commission and local commissions. This is B. C.’s first step into the field of public ownership.

Prairie Provinces

This year Canada is sending 46 geological and topographical parties into her sprawling northwest, and those authorities hiring men to do maintenance work on the several works projects recently completed north of Edmonton have let it be known that they want permanent workers—men who will bring their families with them and settle in the hitherto unpopulated areas.

Men accepting these jobs are being assured that the Dominion Government will undertake surveys to see what facilities for education and health are required to promote permanent settlement in Canada’s northwest.

Believed to constitute some kind of Canadian record is the fact that one out of every 10 persons in Edmonton owns a bicycle. Statistics reveal that 10,170 bike licenses have been issued in the Alberta capital

where bicycles have become so popular that cafes theatres, even churches, have had to build bicycle parking frames.

Alberta’s beekeeping industry has grown to such proportions that apiarists are complaining of crowding and overlapping. From a comfortable 2,800 in 1942, the number of beekeepers in the province has grown to 8,000 this year and a record honey crop is expected. In the Eastern Irrigation District of southern Alberta conditions have become so crowded that beekeepers have been put “on their honor” not to locate their hives too close to hives set out by their neighbors.

North America’s first Socialist Government is now in office at Regina, Sask., headed by Premier T. C. Douglas, former Baptist minister, printer’s devil and

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onetime lightweight boxing champion of Manitoba.

Here’s the rest of the lineup:

C. M. Fines, provincial treasurer, 38-year-old former school principal, Regina alderman and president of the Saskatchewan section of the CCF Party.

J. W. Gorman, K.C., attorneygeneral, mayor of Moose Jaw since 1940, a graduate of the University of Toronto in political economics.

Maj. George H. Williams, Minister of Agriculture. Veteran of the First Great War, three years’ service overseas in this war; active among Saskatchewan farm organizations.

J. H. Broeklebank, Minister of Municipal Affairs. One of the organizers of the Grain Growers’ Association, the United Farmers of Canada and the Wheat Pool in Saskatchewan.

.0, W. Valleau, provincial secretary ancLMinister of Social Welfare, M.L.A. for six years; advocate of better working conditions for laborers.

J. L. Phelps, Natural Resources

Minister, director of the United Farmers of Canada.

J. T. Douglas, Highways and PublicWorks Minister, provincial organizer for the CCF Party in Saskatchewan, a graduate in agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan.

Woodrow Lloyd, Minister of Education, at 30 youngest member of the Cabinet, has served nine years on the council of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, member of the Senate of the University of Saskatchewan.

John Sturdy, Minister of Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, secretary of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation from 1935 to 1940, assistant director of the Canadian Legion Education Services overseas.

L. McIntosh, Co-operative and Industrial Development Minister, president of the Prince Albert Taxpayers’ and Householders’ Association, is on the provincial executive of the State Hospital and Medical League.

C. C. Williams, Minister of Labor, former Manitoba telegraph operator, mayor of Regina since 1941.

One of the Government’s first moves was to cut the salaries of its Cabinet ministers from $6,000 to $5,000 a year.

Douglas also gave warning that some of the province’s 13 boards and commissions, which he labelled “an unnecessary expense,” would be done away with.

* * *

Observers are counting on a billion bushel grain crop in western Canada this year. Because of drought conditions in many sections of the prairies, early prospects were not bright. Now, however, grain authorities anticipate a 500 million bushel crop of wheat and another 500 million bushels of coarse grains. In 1943 the wheat crop was only 285 million bushels.

* * *

Cattle were grazing peacefully in the bush country near Prince Albert, Sask. Suddenly, as darkness came after a hot day, the cattle, sheep and a few horses began dropping dead. By morning 60 head of cattle, four horses and more than 20 sheep—$10,000 worth of farm animals—lay dead in the grass. No one knew why.

Vets, government entomologists and botanists were called in to track down the mysterious night killer. It took two days to solve the mystery. The killer: an insect known as the Simuiiida— more commonly called the “black fly.” Attacking the animals in swarms, the flies had literally bitten them to death, then vanished as swiftly as they had come.

* * *

When the Canadian Army closed its training centre at Brandon, Man., it set off a chorus of protests from indignant Manitobans who alleged that Army axe wielders had destroyed more than 5,000 useful utensils washtubs, pails, plates, pots, coal scuttles, muffin tins, etc., many of which were of heavy galvanized material —the kind civilians cannot buy. Residents of Brandon and adjacent areas resented the fact that the goods were not offered to the city’s Patriotic Salvage Corps or made available for civilian use.

Military authorities explained that the equipment had been condemned by the camp medical officer; that it was chipped, dented, rusted, unsanitary. Acknowledging the public outcry, Defense Minister Ralston promised an investigation.

Manitobans were indignant, too, when the strawberry crop near Winnipeg was plowed under. Growers excused themselves by pointing out that it cost them $4.50 a day for labor and weeding; that their wholesale ceiling on berries was $2.88 per case and that a good picker averaged only two crates a day. Housewives weren't placated. They said they’d have been glad to pick the berries themselves— even to have paid for what they picked.

Ontario

Ontario's women war workers want to stay on the job after the war. A survey conducted by one large union among 1,000 of its female workers disclosed that 86% of them have no intention of being pushed back into the kitchen after the Germans and Japs are defeated. To the question, “If a job is available, will you continue to work after the war?” 84% of the married women and 95% of the single women quizzed answered "yes.” Widows were 100% in favor of keeping postwar jobs.

* * *

Ottawa thinks it has something to crow about in its Red Cross Blood Donor Clinic. When a prominent member of the clinic recently returned from Chicago, full of {»raise for the great blood donor job being done there, she was amazed to discover that the job being done in Ottawa is 13 times

greater, per capita, than that of the Windy City. Here are a few of the figures upon which the Ottawa clinic and its 500 (mostly voluntary) workers pin their record: 30,000 names on the active clinic list; 73,000 bottles of blood collected and shipped from May, 1941, to mid-1944; shipments averaging 1,200 bottles a week; a record week of 1,400 bottles.

* * *

While recruiting officers at Winnipeg’s Military District No. 10 were reported adopting direct mail tactics to enlist men for the Canadian Active Army, recruiting officials from Toronto’s M.D. No. 2 went them one better by launching a door-to-door recruiting campaign. There, Army NCO’s from the district depot began visiting prospective draftees at their homes or places of business, outlining for them the advantages of volunteering for “General Service” with the Army rather than accepting service only with home defense units, as is their bption under Canada’s heatedly debated system of Army callups. With RCAF and Navy recruiting almost at a halt for the time being, most of Canada’s draft-eligible men are being funnelled into the Army—and recruiting officers prefer them to sign on for service anywhere.

Quebec

Under summery skies which promised but brought no rain through one of the year’s worst heat waves, hundreds of residents of a half dozen northern Quebec mining communities battled for their lives and their homes as fire, ancient enemy of the bush, swept the country near Val d’Or. Before the flames liad been subdued the village of Pascalis, 16 miles from Val d’Or, had been wiped out, one mine had been gutted, several others threatened and the town of Cadillac had been evacuated. Residents of the town of Perron, only a quarter of a mile from Pascalis, were ready to flee when fire fighters beat hack the flames, then only 200 ft. from their dwellings. The Golden Manitou mine, producing thousands of tons of zinc for war, was surrounded on three sides but saved when hundreds of miners, stripped to the waist, stopped the fire a few hundred feet from the mine. Val d’Or itself was threatened. Around it through the bush bulldozers cut a fire protection ring, 100 ft. wide. Then came the rain, and as weary fire fighters and relief officials surveyed the hundreds of homeless and millions of dollars worth of timber damage they found consolation in the fact that at least no lives had been lost.

* * *

Quebec sanatoria have been hard hit by the shortage of competent workers. Some have had to remain empty despite a long list of patients awaiting treatment in T.B. institutions. Authorities are worried by the lack of T.B. hospital facilities. They point out that Quebec’s death rate from tuberculosis is 80.2 per 100,000 cases compared with an Ontario figure of 28.2 per 100,000.

Ending its fiscal year with a gross surplus of $4,693,755.83 Montreal recently celebrated the most prosperous year in its municipal history—a year marked by the return of the city’s autonomy after several years of supervision by the Quebec Municipal Commission. Finance Director L. Roberge announced that Montreal’s finances had never been in such a liquid condition. The city only recently refinanced its 100-year-old debt contracted hack in 1843 when the municipality borrowed a little less than $250,000 in London, England. When

refinanced this year that debt had grown to almost 1,000 times its original size—to $220 millions.

The Maritimes

Leading New Brunswick Liberals in their bid for re-election on Aug. 28 is Premier J. B. McNair, who assumed leadership of the Liberal Party when former Premier A. A. D y sart resigned to accept a judgeship. Dysart led the Liberals to a sweeping victory in 1935, then repeated his victory in 1939, following which he dropped out of politics.

Progressive Conservatives in New Brunswick are headed by 53-year-old Hugh Mackay of Saint John, who took over the reigns of the party from E. C. Squires in 1940. A graduate of McGill University, Mackay is a prominent broker and director of several large industrial concerns. •

The CCF Party, fresh from its landslide victory in Saskatchewan, will be making a bid for increased prestige in the Maritimes. At present the Socialists have no representatives in the New Brunswick legislature and were not expected to make any serious hid for power. Observers predict they will be content to contest probably a dozen of the province’s 48 ridings rather than launch a province-wide campaign. At the time of writing they had not named a provincial leader and their campaign was being directed by P. C. Milton, a Moncton grocer and president of the CCF organization in New Brunswick.

At dissolution the Liberals held 26 seats, the Progressive Conservatives 17 and five were vacant.

G. P. Burchill of South Nelson, N.B., ex-president of the Maritime Lumber Bureau, thinks wartime industrial controls should be retained after the war. Burchill recently told a gathering of New Brunswick lumbermen that such controls were essential if inflation

is to be avoided in the postwar era.

Many Maritime lumbermen think the postwar years will bring a new era of prosperity for them. They are particularly optimistic about the possibilities of markets in Great Britain and are hoping this matter will be discussed by the United Kingdom postwar planning committee slated to visit Canada later on.

Ever since 1939, when he became Minister of Mines and Labor in the Nova Scotia Government, 51-year-old Lauchlin D. Currie, onetime pit boy in the Cape Breton coal mines, has been harping on the need for some definite program to assure the future of the province’s coal mining industry, which provides one fifth of Nova Scotia’s income. He has repeatedly called for greater federal assistance in solving Nova Scotia’s thorniest problem. But when he stepped off a train from Ottawa one day not long ago, he was a gloomy man.

Burdening him was the knowledge that Nova Scotia’s coal production in 1943 was only 6,044,806 tons— 1.167,202 tons less than in 1942 and the lowest since 1933. Production per man was the lowest since 1900. Said Currie:

“...Of one thing I am absolutely certain. If coal production per man continues after the war at its present low level the coal industry in Nova Scotia is doomed within 10 years.”

Even as he spoke, 1,200 Pictou County miners, disgruntled with their hours of work, went or strike.

* •* *

Doctors in Prince Edward Island are having “script” trouble. If any of the Island’s 90,000 inhabitants wants a drink of liquor he has to get a doctor’s prescription. Last tightening of the prohibition law reduced the number of “scripts” available to each medical man to only 50 a month. Now doctors find they have long waiting lists of “patients” and not enough liquor prescriptions to go around.