Calgary Herald from Calgary, Alberta, Canada on September 24, 1981 · 3
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Calgary Herald from Calgary, Alberta, Canada · 3

Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Issue Date:
Thursday, September 24, 1981
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Nation n THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 1 981 A3 Criticism draws ire of counsel for land inquiry By Susan Ruttan ( Herald s'dtf writer) EDMONTON A parade of cabinet ministers before the Brennan land inquiry was to continue here today with the appearance of two more ministers. Attorney-General Neil Crawford and Economic Development Minister Horst Schmid were scheduled to testify as the investigation continues into land speculation and influence peddling surrounding cabinet's June 9 decision to annex 32,000 hectares of land around Edmonton for city expansion. The inquiry is being conducted before Mr. Justice William Brennan of Court of Queen's Bench in Calgary. A news report quoting an anonymous Social Credit spokesman saying the hearings are a whitewash drew the ire of inquiry counsel Jack Smith Wednesday. Smith demanded an explanation from Social Credit lawyer John MacPherson, who assured him the statement came neither from himself nor Social Credit House Leader Ray Speaker. "I can't control the Socreds, sir," MacPherson told Judge William Brennan. Taking the stand Wedesday were Housing Minister Tom Chambers and Recreation and Parks Minister Peter Trynchy. Both denied leaking secret cabinet information about the annexation boundary, or about government land banking northeast of Edmonton, to outsiders. However both Chambers and Trynchy said they received two letters each from former attorney-general Jim Foster prior to the June 9 decision, lobbying on behulf of developers who wanted their land included in the annexation area. Smith told the hearing the same two letters, dated May 5 and June 1, were sent to every cabinet minister. Foster also lobbied Chambers in person, as he had Municipal Affairs Minister Marvin Moore. "Mr. Foster was in the habit of dropping by my office from time to time for social reasons to chat about different things," Chambers testified. "On one occasion he did come by and mention to me that he was representing I think it was Carma Developers ... he left me a submission," the housing minister said. Foster lobbied on behalf of the proposed Heritage Valleys project just south of Edmonton, trying to get it included in the annexation area. The June 9 decision only included half of the Heritage Valleys land. Heritage Valleys was sponsored by West City Land Management Ltd., a company largely owned by Carma Developers Ltd. Chambers said he thought an engineer connected with the Heritage Valleys proposal, George Walker, also dropped material off at his office about the project. Chambers said he sees Walker "regularly". Trynchy 's testimony centred on land he had an interest in west of Edmonton which. Smith said, fell within the annexation boundaries. Land included in the new city boundaries is expected to rise in value. Trynchy testified he was one of 10 persons who had shares in a company called Ten Pin Holdings Ltd. which had an interest in six hectares of land west of Edmonton. He said he never attended any company meetings, nor had he visited the property, and he transferred his shares in Ten Pin to his accountant, David Stewart, when he entered the cabinet in 1979. Smith said that although Trynchy turned his shares over to Stewart and gave him power of attorney over them. Stewart failed to take the shares down to corporate records and put them in his name. Under questioning by Mac Pherson. Trynchy acknowledged that he had learned the approximate location of the Ten Pin land in April in a conversation with Stewart. He confirmed that he had voted in cabinet on the annexation decision, despite his connection with Ten Pin. Trynchy told MacPherson he could not explain why he was listed as a director of Ten Pin in a document at the Registrar of Companies. Much of Chambers' testimony focussed on his department's secret purchase of 2.800 hectares of farmland northeast of Edmonton, between CFB Namao and Fort Saskatchewan, for a land bank. About half of this land bank was later included in the annex-tion. Chambers said that in 1976. cabinet had approved a policy of banking land around Edmonton, Calgary and other major centres in the province. In 1979 that policy was broadened to include growth centres like Cold Lake, he said. In the summer of 1979, several months after the city of Edmonton had applied for expansion of its boundaries. Chambers said he met with Mayor Cec Purves to talk about a possible land bank. He said Purves was never told where the land for the bank was to be purchased. Chambers said within his own department, only three officials, plus his secretary and executive assistant, knew of the land banking proposal. Royal Trust was hired Nov. 1, 1979 to buy on behalf of the government. 10 salesmen Royal Trust's Edmontor manager of commercial and industrial investment, Robert Ellis, told the inquiry that his 10 salesman working on the land bank purchases knew they were buying for the government, but were sworn to secrecy. They were to tell prospective sellers they were acting for "a board of directors out of Toronto that would be making the final decision and paying cash". Questioned by the provincial government's lawyer, Howard Irving, Ellis said the fact that the secret buyer was paying cash soon made it an open secret that the buyer was the Alberta government. "The general consensus was that it would be the provincial government land-banking," he said. A story in the Edmonton Journal on Dec. 22, 1979 speculating that the government was land-banking in the area fuelled the rumors, Ellis said. Chambers said the first time other cabinet members heard of the land bank was when he went before cabinet's priorities committee Dec. 3, 1979 seeking $10 million to begin buying land. Members of the priorities committee are Premier Loug-heed, Provincial Treasurer Lou Hyndman, Energy Minister Merv Leitch, Attorney-General Neil Crawford, Moore, Hospitals Minister Dave Russell and Agriculture Minister Dallas Schmidt. Land purchases apparently went so well that Chambers returned to the committee on Dec. 17, 1979 to seek, and receive, another $30 million to buy land. By the time The Journal story appeared Dec. 22. "Royal Trust had concluded agreements with a substantial number of land holders," Chambers said. The iind banking was not slowed as a result of the rumors, he said, and the speculation eventually died down. In December. 1980 the Local Authorities Board made its recommendations on new boundaries for the city of Edmonton, recommendations which excluded most of the northeast land bought for the bank. Chambers said he wanted the entire land bank excluded from the new city boundaries, but Moore wanted about half includ-' ed. Moore's view prevailed. On April 14. 1981 cabinet members were presented with a booklet, called the Red Book, which Moore's department had prepared showing proposed annexation boundaries and showing the land bank area. "That would be the time cabi net in general became aware of the land bank." Chambers said. The booklet was revised, and reference to the land bank removed, before it re-emerged as the Blue Book and was presented to the Conservative caucus on April 23. The land bank was finally made public June 12. I M I ' i ' ROD SYKES . credible leadership By Gordon Jaremko (Herald staff writer) Social Credit leader Rod Sykes is reaching into his party's once powerful past to show Albertans that the organization has a future. Senator Ernest Manning, who was undefeated Socred premier for 25 years, is stepping back into the provincial political ring to give his blessing to Sykes' leadership. Opposition is "vital" and Sykes, the "aggressive" former Calgary mayor, can reconstruct Social Credit into "a viable alternative to the government." Manning said in a brief, rare interview. Manning confirmed he has accepted invitations to welcome delegates to the Socreds' annual meeting in Edmonton in late October and to address a fund-raising event for Sykes this fall. Socred house leader Ray Speaker said Manning's reappearance is his first return to provincial politics since he retired as premier Dec. 12, 1968. While the 75-year-old Manning has confined himself to federal affairs since he was appointed to the Senate in October, 1970, his rare speeches and public appearances have drawn wide interest, Ex-premier gets award EDMONTON (CP) Senator Ernest Charles Manning, former premier of Alberta, was appointed the first member of the Alberta Order of Excellence Wednesday. The order was established in 1979 by the provincial legislature to recognize persons "who have rendered service of the greatest distinction and of singular excellence for or on behalf of the residents of Alberta." Manning, a member of the Canadian Privy Council and a Companion of the Order of Canada, was appointed by the order's six-member governing council. now ONLY $3S8 Regular S623 36" Heat Circulating ZERO CLEARANCE FIREPLACE While Supply Lasrs ECC0 FIREPLACES Ph. 230-5431 4216-12 St. N.E. Ve'll help you find a job in a hurry! Watch The Calgary Herald's employment columns. Manning pi SB B j&S W mm k a TO DOCK $ ERNEST MANNING , . symbolic comeback cms yfces high attendance and enthusiastic applause. In an interview. Sykes termed Manning's public rebirth as "symbolic." Although Manning modestly said his reappearance has "no significance." Sykes and Speaker indicated they hope even a symbolic comeback by the former premier will be a potent political force. Sykes stressed that he is out to demonstrate that Social Credit once again has "credible leadership." Speaker said that Manning stands for "more stable, reserved and conservative values" which appear to appeal widely to all generations as the turbulence and radicalism of the 1960s fades from popular memory. Speaker and Sykes have recruited Manning's right-hand organization man for decades, Orvis Kennedy, to act as consultant and train Socred agents going into the field. The Socred house leader added that he and Sykes will keep in constant touch with Manning to use his "wealth of experience and up-to-date knowledge" as a "primary resource." The Manning-Kennedy combination was formidable. The Conservatives under Peter Lougheed went up against the old team twice and came off badly bruised both times, losing a byelection in 1966 and winning only six seats in the 1967 general election. Speaker blamed Manning's long absence on "communications breakdown" between the former premier and his successors at the Socred helm, former party leaders Harry Strom, Werner Schmidt and Bob Clark. Speaker and Sykes indicated that Social Credit. Alberta's government for 36 years until the Tories beat the low-keyed Strom in 1971. has gone underground in an intensive search for funds and candidates. Most of the 79 legislature constituencies have no local Socred associations and the candidates, once found, will be expected to revive party organization in their areas, said Sykes. 4 MRKS OB LAST 2 DAYS OFFER ENDS SEPT. 30 30 OFF ROYAL DOULTON LAM BETH WARE 20 AND 45 PIECE SETS AVAILABLE IN OUR CALGARY. MEDICINE HAT AND RED DEER STORES I R KS JEWELLERS Toronto shooting Officer ki on routine c TORONTO (CP) One Metropolitan Toronto Police constable was shot to death Wednesday, another was wounded and the man accused of shooting them was in hospital today with severe wounds to the lower body. Const. Percy Cummins. 38. a father of two young children, was shot in the neck shortly after he and his partner. Const. Michael Jones. 35. answered a routine call to investigate a disturbance at a house. Police were unwilling to describe the exact sequence of events, but said the two officers confronted a man on the second floor of the three-storey house. A struggle ensued and the man somehow grabbed a gun belonging of the officers. Cummins was hit and Jones was wounded in the hand before reinforcements arrived and shot the man when he turned the gun toward them. Desmond Pert, 21, who police said moved into the dusty frame house on the city's west side just two weeks ago. is charged with first-degree murder. Police had no motive for the killing and offered few details on what the original problem was at the house. A woman who lives near the house said she heard her neighbor shrieking from her porch. "There's a crazy man, crazy man, up the stairs" just before police arrived. The wounded were whisked to nearby St. Joseph's Health Centre after the shooting, but Police Chief Jack Ackroyd announced at 7:50 p.m. MDT that Cummins was dead. Deputy Chief Jack Marks said it was Cummins's first day back on patrol after spending the last year WINDOW BLINDS ALL KINDS CURTIS & LOUCKS LTD. 634A- 17th Ave. S.W.. 262-9444 CLOSED MONDAYS What do you do when your tomboy takes a tumble off her ten-speed? MS HCTff iff. ttjffiSrZt (S3 SSsxSr Fri., Sept 25th 7:00 p.m. Blackfoot Inn. Burbank Room 5940 Blackfoot Trail S.E. Calgary. Alberta also Free Weekend Seminar Sat.. Sept. 26 and Sun.. Sept. 27 9:00 a m. For more information call (4031 288-3520 in a training and development program. Pert, on a stretcher with a white sheet pulled over his head, was hustled into a waiting ambulance about midnight and moved downtown to St. Michael's Hospital. His head slumped occasionally while doctors and nurses worked on him in the ambulance. Jones left the hospital about an hour later, an angry expression on his ashen face and his hands jammed in the pockets of his wind-breaker. A 14-year-veteran of the force and father of two boys aged 18 months and six years, Jones was accompanied by his wife, who is 7'i months pregnant. Police would not say when Pert might appear in court, or if more charges might be laid. Staff Insp. Colin Pitts, unit commander of 11 Division where Cummins had worked since joining the force in 1970, said the Barbados native was "very promising and very intelligent. An absolutely fine human being who could get on with anybody." None of the police involved in Wednesday's shooting was wearing bulletproof vests, but Chief Ackroyd said "it wouldn't have made any difference. The officer was shot in the neck." Asked if the murder would renew calls for capital punishment. Ackroyd said: "It's not an issue we continually raise. Of course, whenever this type of thing happens, it comes up." He added that the government has shown no willingness to change its stance against capital punishment. In the last nine years six other Toronto policemen have been shot to death on he job. LIVE OR FRESHLY BOILED $999 EXH SPECIAL TREAT BAKERS DOZEN (13) 36 BOAT RUN C&NNER SIZE-HARVEST OF THE ATLANTIC Thank you for the overwhelming support by the thousands of lobster lovers! Because of this support, we are forced to offer another canner special this weekend. Each bakers' dozen (13) is packed in our colorful carry-out box, complete with 6 lobster bibs and serving suggestions. RAINCHECK HOLDERS Pick up lobsters at both locations Friday afternoon, Saturday 'till noon. Thank you for your understanding. PRICES IN EFFECT QUANTITIES FRU SAT., SUX. LIMITED

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