Memorandum from F.A.G. Carter [Meeting with Alberta Officials and others on May 16] to Mr. Haney (26 May 1975)

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Date: 1975-05-26
By: F.A.G. Carter
Citation: Memorandum from F.A.G. Carter to Mr. Haney (26 May 1975).
Other formats: Click here to view the original document (PDF).


May 26, 1975


Meeting with Alberta Officials
and others on May 16

Attached is a copy of a note from Ms.
Susan Green dated May 15, which set out the
itinerary for the visit which Mr. Robertson
and I made to Alberta on May 15-16. In the
event, everything worked out the way the
schedule indicates, except that Harry Hobbs
was sick, and the lunch was hosted by Chip
Collins. In turn, Chip was called to Cabinet
and was not able to spend the hour and a half
with us which he had planned. He expressed
particular disappointment at this, and Mr.
Robertson and I promised to spend time with
him if he so desired on his next trip to
Ottawa. I rather think he will take advantage
of that offer. The series of meetings during
the morning with the officials of Federal and
Intergovernmental Affairs was quite fascinating.
It was a bit as if we entertained two senior
officials from Edmonton by sitting them down
with, gay, one of the Desk Heads and two or
three junior support staff. I suspect it gave
the Alberta people the feeling of having had
a real chance to show us what sort of a team
they had built up. In one way, it was quite
naive, but in another way, it was absolutely
charming and very much conducive toward feelings
of goodwill. Sometime we might think of treating
Visitors to something of the same here.

Each of the discussions wandered over
many areas and rarely got down to serious
business. There were, however, several points
worth keeping in mind:

1. Tom Nisbet spoke of Alberta’s interest in
communications and of its philosophical
support for Quebec in seeking provincial
control over private broadcasting. There
is a pretty strong feeling in Alberta,
and probably throughout the West, that
Canadian broadcasting in English, both
public and private, is a reflection of
Toronto, and of nowhere else. We all
recognized the limited amount of talent
yet available in Canada and the possible
need to concentrate it in order to get
maximum benefit. Such a concentration,
however, soon leads to everything being
coloured by the geographical location
where the concentration occurs. The
problem then is to find the ideal compro-
mise between greater efficiency through
concentration and greater regional sensi-
tivity through decentralization. Provincial
government broadcasting organizations, like
Radio-Quebec, could perhaps perform a vital
function in producing programmes with a
regional flavour which could be used over
the public and private broadcasting
systems. One could even have a require-
ment for all stations to use at least a
certain proportion of regional material.

2. Mr. Nisbet spoke of a new kind of general
agreement which Madame Sauvé is apparently
organizing with all provinces pertaining
to the environment and covering “structures
for working together”. Alberta likes the
concept and would like to get on with the
signing of the agreement, but Madame Sauvé
seems to be dragging her feet. It was
suggested to us that it is being held up
until several provinces are ready to sign.
we promised to try to find out what the
story was. Mr. Nisbet pointed out that
Alberta is anxious to have a working
arrangement in place to avoid the sort
of problems which arose a few months ago
when Madame Sauvé criticized publicly the
Alberta government’s handling of the
environmental aspects of oil sands deve-

3. Ken Kyle indicated to us that Alberta would
probably be difficult to convince on several
aspects of the federal proposals for an
income security system. While he did not
elaborate, it was quite clear that Alberta
will wish to administer the whole system
itself. It also seemed that there may be
some fundamental differences of view on
the definition of who constitutes the
working poor.

4. We discovered that Alberta was not making
use of and had apparently never heard of
the special arrangements we made several
years ago for access to the federal govern-
ment telephone lines. This is a question
which Valerie Dufour might pursue. I have
not seen a recent report on how the system
is working or whether it is working at all.
Perhaps someone could let me know.

5. We also learned from Ken Kyle that he is
to be married on July 10. I will certainly
want to send him something for the occasion.
If there are any old timers in the Office
who were here when Ken was here and would
like to join in to make it a small “office”
gift, please bet me know.

6. We had only a short time with Peter Meekison
and no special problems arose. Later, however,
we had a few moments with both Peter and the
Honourable Lou Hyndman just after our meeting
with Premier Lougheed. We were able to raise
the question of the publicity “deal” which
was recently concluded with Manitoba. Both
expressed an interest and I will be sending
a copy of the exchange of correspondence to
Peter, so that they can think bout it.

F.A.G. Carter

c.c. Mr. Gwyn
Mr. Gravelle


May 15, 1975

Mr. F.A.G. Carter,
Deputy Secretary, Federal Provincial Relations Office,
Government of Canada.

Dear Mr. Carter:

Please be advised that the following meetings have been
arranged for you:

9:45 – A car will call at your hotel to take you to your
first appointment.

10:00 – Mr. Tom Nisbet, Director of Resources & Development,
Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs,
5th Floor, Blue Cross Bldg.

10:45 – Mr. Ken Kyle, Director, Social & Cultural Affairs,
Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs,
5th Floor, Blue Cross Bldg.

11:15 – Dr. J. Peter Meekison, Director, Research & Planning,
Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs,
5th Floor, Blue Cross Bldg.

12:00 – Lunch, hosted by Harry B. Hobbs, Deputy Minister,
Executive Council.President’s Room, Edmonton Club.

2:00 – A.F. Collins, Deputy Treasurer, Treasury,
5th Floor, Blue Cross Bldg.

3:30 – Premier Lougheed,
– Honorable L. Hyndman,
– Dr. J. Peter Meekison
Premier’s Office, Rm. 307, Legislature Bldg.

Evening – free

Susan Green,
Sr. Intergovernmental Officer.

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