24 Dec Schreyer invitation to Lennon protested
WINNIPEG — Premier Ed Schreyer’s invitation to Beatle John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono visit Manitoba’s 100th birthday parly next year has produced a controversy more vocal than anything else so far initiated by Manitoba’s New Democratic government.
Open-line radio shows yesterday were filled with complaints phoned in by citizens who say they want no part of Lennon’s visit.
The invitation itself was extended by New Democratic legislature member Russ Doern on a national television show Sunday Lennon agreed to attend. Doern said he was extending the invitation on behalf of Premier Schreyer.
Yesterday Doern appeared on one radio hot-line show, and attempted to calm irate phoners by telling them that Manitoba could handle the estimated 50,000 to 75,000 people he expected to turn out to meet Lennon.
Doern said he didn’t agree with callers who suggested that Manitoba would provide a haven for hippies during the Lennon visit, and said there would be ample provision for crowd control.
Doern’s statements had little effect on the callers, who continued to register their complaints.