General Articles

Cross Country

April 15 1948
General Articles

Cross Country

April 15 1948

Cross Country

THE MARITIMES

A WEALTHY Prince Edward Islander, fortunate enough to own property in every one of the province’s 15 constituencies, could theoretically cast 30 votes in a provincial general election if he started early and traveled hard all election day. And so could his wife. But the Islander who owns no property has just one vote.

This long-standing anomaly was attacked for the first time in the P. E. I. Legislature recently when Dr. W. J. P. MacMillan and his Conservative followers denounced it as undemocratic. They wanted greater equality for voters. Premier Jones was noncommittal, but some of his supporters thought there should be some change.

The reason some Islanders have more than one vole is that each constituency elects two members one chosen by the electorate at large and one voted on by the property owners only. But, if a man owns property in the division other than the one in which he lives, he and his wife may vote there, too, both on the property-owners’ roll and on the general roll.

The Liberals who are inclined to favor a reform wouldn’t abolish the property-owners’ vote, but, they would restrict it to his own constituency.

* * *

King’s County jail, P. E. I., is taking no more Customers until May 1, has shipped its four occupants off to Queen’s County Jail in Charlottetown. Officials reason: shortage of fuel.

* * *

Life sometimes must be a bit complicated for Arthur C. Pettipas. By day he’s fo be found in his office at Halifax City Hall, where he is supervisor of health in the Health and Welfare Department. Come five o'clock Health Supervisor Pettipas of Halifax puts on his hat, goes down to the dock, Continued on page 72

Continued on page 72

Cross Country

Continued from page 14

crosses the harbor on the ferry and becomes His Worship, Mayor Pettipas of Dartmouth, his home town.

Mr. Pett ipas became Mayor of Dartmouth at the last election. Like Mayor Gee Ahern of Halifax, his daytime boss, he is an honorary life member of the Halifax Press Club. Both are veteran newspapermen, were respectively news editor and sports editor of the same Halifax papers.

QUEBEC

Alban Perras, the Mayor of Greenfield Park, a Montreal suburban community, thinks he has one answer to the high price of housing. Mayor Perras is also a builder and contractor and his solution is simple: he erects

foundation, walls and roof and sells the house in that state, leaving the buyer to finish the interior himself.

For $2,950, the buyer of a Perras house gets a two-story cottage built on his own lot, finished in Insulbrick with gable ends in white asbestos board, complete plumbing with copper piping, cement foundation with cellar, insulated with rock wool batts to the eaves and roofed with asbestos shingles. Floor area is 22 by 24 feet. There are a living room, dining room, kitchen and den downstairs, two bedrooms and I a three-piece bathroom on the second floor. Windows and doors are calked i and glazed.

In one of the eight Perras cottages ¡ so far finished, the man of the house has installed hardwood floors, plasterboard walling, electric wiring, roof insulation and a heating system—all for $600. If outside labor were employed it was estimated the cost of these items would rise to about $800. Allowing $200 for a lot, this would bring the total outlay to around $3,900

* * *

Adoption by Roman Catholic Quebec of the fleur-de-lis flag has been acclaimed from a surprising quarter. The Historical Society of French Protestants in Canada, meeting in Montreal, sent a message to Premier Duplessis praising his choice of what they said was a Protestant flag. The flag, the historians said, was first introduced to Canada in 1555 by a party of French Protestant settlers who were sent to the mouth of the Saguenay by Admiral Coligny, a Huguenot leader later slain in the Massacre of St. Bartholomew. The colony came to an end when further Huguenot immigration was forbidden by the King of France.

ONTARIO

The newcomer to Southern Ontario runs into a situation that hits him both in the eyes and the pockethook. First he notices the alarming “flicker” in the lights (the natives and old-timers have got used to it and aren’t aware of it any more). Then he discovers that his radio, washing machine, electric refrigerator and electric clock won’t work; he’ll have to have them rewired.

The cause of this is the 25-cycle current distributed in Southern Ontario from just east of Toronto as far west as Windsor by the Ontario Hydro. It’s the last large 25-cycle island left on a continent which is almost uniformly 60-cycle. This means that most industrial and household electrical j equipment is built for a current that reverses itself 60 times a second; for Southern Ontario special equipment has to he built for current that reverses itself 25 times a second.

The Hydro now has worked out a program to eliminate this island by

1963 and make the whole province 60-cycle. The cost will be staggering— an estimated $191 millions—but it won’t cost the householder a cent. Hydro inspectors will call on every home in the zone, take a census of the equipment to be converted. They will undertake to supply a 60-cycle motor in exchange for the old one.

* * *

The 25-cycle system is one of the reasons Southern Ontario has suffered such a severe power shortage this winter. Power from neighboring regions, which are all 60-cycle, couldn’t be brought in to ease the dearth.

Display lighting had been restricted all winter to save power. No electric signs shone except those supplied by private sources of power. Windows of retail stores were dark.

But the saving wasn’t enough and, one day, without warning, the master switches were pulled in Toronto, Hamilton and other Southern Ontario cities. In homes, all the electrical equipment stopped. Stores and theatres were plunged into darkness. Bread spoiled in bakery ovens. Traffic lights went out. Manufacturing plants rolled to a stop. After periods varying from half an hour to an hour and a half, the lights went on again.

The cuts were expected to last as long as extreme low water prevails in some of the Quebec streams which provide power for Ontario.

THE PRAIRIES

It may take 10 or 20 or even more years, hut experiments under way at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon may cause a revolution in prairie agriculture. Researchers there are at work on a wheat that can be sown once and will then come up year after year.

One big step toward perennial wheat has been taken by Prof. L. H. Shebeski. He crossed wheat with a hardy perennial grass and after 10 years has developed a few plants with normal wheat heads hut with a stock that stays green even after the wheat has ripened. The following spring the same roots send up another wheat stalk.

The plant Prof. Shebeski developed is too tender for the prairie climate. Before it can be sown on a wide scale it will have to be toughened to cold, drought, insects and disease.

Perennial wheat would mean a tremendous saving in seed and labor costs. Its heavy root structure would aid soil and moisture conservation and the straw would probably have more feed value than that from annual wheat.

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Priscilla Mansfield, an English mannequin and photographer’s model, visited Vancouver, and pronounced: “North American women are dowdy; Vancouver women are the dowdiest of the lot.”

There was an immediate reaction. Newspapers scurried about asking women what they thought. A good many admitted the charge. It was the weatherman’s fault, they said; how could you dress smartly when you never knew when it would rain?

But most men sprang to the defense of their womenfolk. Said one Vancouver booster: “Maybe the odd

sprinkling of rain is tough on frills, but that same rain makes Vancouver women the healthiest and best-complexioned on the continent.”

A Vancouver paper ran a photo of three smartly dressed girls in a downtown crowd, as evidence to deny the dowdy charge. Gleeful Victorians recognized them: three high-school girls from the island city in Vancouver on a shopping trip.