Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 20, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
2 _ THE IETHBRIDGE HIRALD Tuojday, June 70, 1971 HE IETHBRIOGE HIRALD Tuojaay, Jim. f 1 Torv MP claims employee fired by Liberal public relations nw Break. Pain Walt Is In campaign early on in Mr department eontinncHi tliat Mr man By PAUt, JACKSON Herald Ottawa Bureau OTTAWA Alberta MP Ged Baldwin caused a ripple of ex- citement in (he House of Com- mons Monday when he raised the possibility that a govern- ment employee had been fircil by an official of a Toronto pub- lic relations company that had masterminded the 1968 election campaign of a federal cabinet minister. Mr. Baldwin, MP for Peaco River, Alta., end Progressive Conservative House leader, de- scribed it as a "horrible situa- tion" when a non-government employee can lire someone who works for the government and then receive confirmation of lira dismissal from an actual gov- ernment official some lime later. The case is complex, but seemingly contains all the in- gredients of a minor ever though one aspect of the scandal had fallen apart by late ast night. The situation, said Mr. Bald, win, involves 35-year-old. Nor- man Severud, who until last week held down a job as Ontario information chief for the federal Opportunities for Youth Program. Mr. Baldwin suggested.in the Commons that the man had been suddenly dismissed from his post because he had been made a scapegoat for several OFY projects which hod gone sour and received bad [lublicily. The Alberta MP said he was given only a day's no- tice. What's more, asked the Al berta MP, was it true that Sev- erud was not fired by a govern- ment official, but by John Wat- kinson, member of tha public relations company of Break, Pain and Watt, and a company "with very close relations with the Liberal party." Break, Pain Watt Is In charge of information services for OFY. Outside the Commons, Mr. Baldwin said he understood the company worked on the 1308 el- ection campaign of External Af- falrs Minister Mitchell Sharp. However, Mr. Sharp's office said this statement was not true. But a spokesman said it was possible that a "Mr. Break" did work as a voluntary citizen In a campaign early on In Mr. Sharp's political career. It was not known if he was the same Break of Break, Pair, and Watt. The day after Mr. Severud was fired by Mr. Walkinson, a letter was written to him on government letterhead nolepa- per confirming Mr. Watkinson's action. It was signed by Pierre O'Neil, director of Information for Secretary of State Gerard Pelleticr's department. On Monday, an official of the department confirmed that Mr. Watkinson had actually fired the man. However, he said the movo was based on a decision of the "This is a shocking said the Alberta MP. "Surely, a government employee should not have his future career placed in the hands of a public relations company under con- tract to the government." Mr. Baldwin indicated that the letter confirming the firing signed by Mr. O'Neil was ap- parently evidence that Mr. Sev- srud was a government ployce as opposed to being em- ployed by the public relations company. Mr. Severud has said he plans to hold a press confei ence in Ot- tawa today. Secretary of Stale Pellelier was not in the Commons Mon- day, but Labor Minister Martin O'Connell took the questions as notice. Crop indexes behind CALGAKY (CP) Kain across Alberta last week im- proved average soil moisture conditions considerably, a 1- though the general crop condi- tion indexes remained slightly behind last year, the Alberta Wheat Pool reported today. In Its weekly crop report, the pool reported the crop con- dition indexes were near 95 per cent of normal for wheat, oats and barley. This was slightly less than at the comparable time last year. Sub soil moisture was esti- mated at 7S per cent of capaci- ty, compared with 72 per cent a week earlier. The pool also reported that some early sown wheat was in the shot blade stage, some rapeseed was in bloom and winter wheats were beginning to head out. Several areas missed by the rains now are experiencing seriously dry conditions. South- em Alberta is most in need o! precipitation, although districts east of Edmonton and Stettler also reported dry conditions, The pool said crop conditions improved with good rainfall in several Peace River districts But, many points in that region also were still In need of niois lure. Weed problems In Alberta ap- peared normal for this time of year. Grasshoppers, especially east of Brooks, had caused some crop damage. Flea beetle activ- ity had been most damaging in the drier areas. Control mea- sures were under way to limit Committee to tackle cost squeeze' REGINA (CP) The three I creases was causing concern Prairie health ministers Mon- among the Prairie provinces. day agreed to establish an in- The federal plan would tie terprovincial committee to grant increases to increases in tackle one side of the health the jross national product, cost squeeze and expressed In a joint statement, the min- new cost-sharing arrangement, islerjs said: The committee to he estab- "Revised federal provincial lished will include ttoce offi- health care financing arrange- cials from each of the four ments must include provisions Western provinces and will for ensuring that the federal study common approaches to government will share respon- conlrol health costs. sibility, along with the prov British Columbia, which was inces, in meeting any adde ID p.m.) Wildhortse. 8 a.m. Lo t p.m.