Greg Scott: CBC program sparked outrage in Nelson in 1970

News items from 50 years ago from the Nelson Daily News

The Nelson Daily News, seen here in the 1970s, upped its print run in response to a labour dispute at Pacific Press in 1970. Photo: Touchstones Nelson

Dateline Feb. 2, 1970

The 83 per cent affirmative vote on the sewage treatment plant referendum Saturday enables city council to proceed with planning but it will probably be Labor Day 1971 before a primary treatment plant at Grohman Narrows is operating. If no trouble is encountered getting funds from CMHC, construction might begin in the fall of this year.

Mayor Louis Maglio stated that “It indicates to me that the people of Nelson are conscious of the problems of continued polluting of the river.” He expects no problems obtaining funds from CMHC as “sewage treatment to halt dumping of raw sewage is a No. 1 priority.”

Dateline Feb. 4, 1970

A Canadian Broadcasting television show on Notre Dame University has been called “distorted reporting,” by Rev. J.F. Postma, assistant to the president, NDU. Dr. D.F. Larder, acting president of NDU, and members of the NDU advisory board, were out of town and unavailable for comment.

“The show was the worst piece of unbalanced and distorted news reporting I have seen in a long time,” said Father Postma. “It’s a shame to let such a show go by.”

The Daily News received a number of telephone calls from irate citizens, also disturbed about the show.

“The worst thing I ever saw — it made Nelson look like Sandon,” said one woman caller. “They showed old buildings on Vernon Street and the prefabricated buildings only at Notre Dame,” she said.

An emergency meeting of city council was called at which a video was given close scrutiny by Mayor Maglio who stated that they had received a barrage of phone calls about the program and that council was not happy with the program.

“We are also unhappy that CBC never came to us. If they felt it was necessary to make statements about the future of Nelson, they could have at least come and talked it over with some of the civic officials,” said Mayor Maglio.

The CBC half-hour program Hourglass dealt with the application by NDU to be included under the provisions of the Universities Act and thereby become a public institution.

Dateline Feb. 4, 1970

It may not seem like summer, but merchants in the city are about to go on summer hours. City council passed an amendment to the store closing by-law, extending summer hours to include all 12 months of the year. This means that shops may open on Mondays from now on.

At first aldermen were inclined to extend summer hours from May 1 to Dec. 31, but it was pointed out that Nelson is developing as a year-round tourist centre and that it would be silly to maintain the regular hours for the remaining four months of the year.

A questionnaire was distributed to 145 city businesses and of the 58 that were answered, 17 expressed a desire to remain open all day Monday, 28 did not want to open and 11 others had no opinion.

Dateline Feb. 6, 1970

A Canadian Pacific Railway spokesman Thursday denied a statement made by an interviewer Tuesday night on CBC-TV program that “the Nelson railway yards, we are told, are being phased out.”

“There is absolutely no truth to this statement and we are at a loss to explain what provoked the interviewer to make such a statement,” said Dow Alexander, superintendent of CP Rail’s Kootenay Division.

Mr. Alexander said 17 employees have been moved to Nelson within the past year following the introduction of a customer service centre at Nelson to serve the Kootenay Division, and that increased activity in the East Kootenay in the prospective movement of substantial volumes of coal would also produce economic benefits to Nelson.

The disturbing comment came on the TV show Hourglass, during interviews with officials of Notre Dame University, who indicated the institute was having financial problems. The interviewer said that Nelson and its economy had not kept pace with other cities. He added that its only source of employment was a sawmill and railway yards, which, “we are told, are being phased out.”

Dateline Feb. 17, 1970

The Nelson Daily News has increased its press run by more than 500 papers in order to fill the void left by the suspended publication of both The Vancouver Sun and Province. These additional copies of the News are being distributed to news agents throughout the Kootenay-Boundary.

The normal press run of the News is almost 10,000 papers, which are distributed as far east as Fernie, as far north as Golden and as far west as Midway. Labor troubles at Pacific Press Ltd., which publishes both the Sun and Province, resulted Sunday in the cancellation of contracts with pressmen, mailers, editorial, advertising and other employees.

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