Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 26, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
42 LETHBRIDGE HERALD September 26, 1973 Cholera not only 'disease' in Italy DAVID WILLEY London Observer HOME The cholera epidemic in Italy has provided startling evidence of the tailings of many aspects of Italian public life from the paralysis of the Rome bureaucracy to the way dustmen are recruited in the city of Naples, and even of the slanting of the state- controlled television news. Ask About The NEW INVISIBLE Multicocal Lens (MULTILUX) OPTICAL PRISCRIPT1ON CO. The breakdown of the nation's health services is perhaps the most obvious aspect of maladministration revealed by the epidemic. It took five days from the time the first cholera cases were confirmed in Naples for the health ministry in Rome to start mobilizing vaccine supplies for the infected areas. The incredible story of mud- dle and delay was headlined in one weekly newspaper: "Ex- cellency, there's a virus in the waiting Because of a misprint cables were sent to hospitals warning them to watch all patients who had been in contact with the military (a confusion between the Italian words for the offending molluscs, and the word for soldiers. TASTY TREATS! Interested in some good old-time recipes? Then don't miss Margo Oliver's food feature in Weekend Magazine this Saturday. She offers receipes she picked up from members of the 4-H Club at the PEI Centennial, as follows: Thimble Cookies, Great Grandma's Potee, Raisin Corn Bread, Long Johns, Sultana Cake, Sausage Meat, Scripture Cake, Ginger Snaps. IN YOUR LETHBRIDGE HERALD WEEKEND MAGAZINE The presidential plane was mobilized to fly anti-cholera vaccine to Naples when it would have been simpler and quicker to dis- tribute it by sending a truck down the motorway, a dis- tance of only just over 100 miles. Since April 1972 the state has handed over many of its powers to the new regional ad- ministrations that have been set up all over Italy. Public health and hospitals are now administered locally but the health ministry in Rome remains responsible for such matters as contagious dis- eases, university clinics, scientific research, and control over the phar- maceutical industry. Even the constitutional court has had to admit that it finds it difficult to distinguish where the powers of the central govern-. ment and the local authorities begin and end. The country's mortality rate through infectious dis- eases is appalling. Italy has a worse record for typhoid and viral hepatitis than many African countries. There are four times as many typhoid cases as in Greece or Spain. Experts fear that cholera may well become an epidemic dis- ease in southern Italy as a result of the latest outbreak. A scapegoat was found for the epidemic fairly early on the humble mussel, a popular dish eaten raw. The govern- ment banned the gathering, sale, transport or import of all shellfish and ordered a com- bined attack on the mussel beds of Naples, which was carried out with a vigour that contrasted strongly with the lethargy shown over normal prophylactic measures. Police frogmen cut millions of mussels from their beds while helicopters hovered overhead and hundreds of riot police stood by on the shore to pre- vent trouble from the indig- nant mussel fishermen of Naples who saw their livelihood being taken away from them. The Government order, however, failed to pre- vent the hawking of shellfish round the streets of Naples and health regulations were simply not obeyed. Once again the lack of a social or civic Conscience in Italy was there for all to observe. The biggest and most ob- vious enemy to health in Naples, however, lies in the mounds of decaying rubbish in the streets. For over 10 years no new dustmen have been taken on by the city of Naples and there are only about active municipal workers to remove the garbage thrown away by getting on for three million people. The workers' average age is 55. The reason for the failure to recruit dustmen in a city clearly bursting with un- employed is a simple one: jobs in this part of Italy are subject to political and per- sonal patronage and disagree- ment between the local political parties and bosses over how the municipal employment cake was to be divided meant stalemate and cholera in the streets. the cholera epidemic provided an interesting example of the slanting and omission of domestic news by the state controlled radio and television monopoly, RAI. Night after night television reporters were stressing that the situa- tion was under control as the number of dead mounted. In a stinging editorial entitled "The Silences of the the leading Milan newspaper CORRIERE DELLA SERA commented that the only thing that was under control was the radio and television news iself. MAIN INDUSTRY Agriculture is Canada's prime industry, although it employs less than eight per cent of the labor force. Syncrude announcement For McMurray an anti-climax FORT McMURRAY, Alta. (CP) The announcement that Syncrude Canada Ltd. will proceed with plans for an million oil sands plant 25 miles north of here came as no real surprise to residents of this town. There was no dancing in the streets and the bars did their usual amount of business. "Actually, it is all very anti climatic." Chuck Knight, chairman of the town board, said following Premier Peter Lougheed's televised an- nouncement Tuesday night. "There were always some doubts but we were all op- timistic." Mr, Knight proclaimed Sept. 24 a eivic holiday for the town's businessmen and school children "sort of a celebration of the an- nouncement." However. Fort McMurray, about 225 miles northeast of Edmonton, is not planning any Sears Save 14% to 29% The rich, vivid colours of these high-fashion sheets are nothing less than dreamy! So practical too. Because they're 100% and Pfcrma-Prest! new stripe in or 'Petal over Lilac, Pink, Gold or Blue floral print on white background. twin flat or fitted Reg. Twin ea Double ea Queen ea Twin ea Double ea Queen ea Pillow ea '128 Ihreads per scj in Bedding Linen this is best value Available from coast to coast in Canada through all Simpsons-Sears stores and selected catalogue sales offices, this very special offer is the sincerest effort Simpsons-Sears can make to bring you merchandise that combines fine quality with the lowest possible price. Order by phone. Call 328-6611 Free delivery. Simpsons-Sears Ltd. at Simpsons-Sears you get the finest guarantee satisfaction or money refunded and free delivery Store Hours: Open Daily from a.m. to p.m. Thursday and Friday a.m. to p.m. Centre Village Mall, Telephone 328-9231 special events to mark the oc- casion. Almost immediately after the announcement, there appeared to be a conflict. Premier Lougheed said Syncrude would proceed with the oil sands extraction plant provided the federal govern- ment co-operates by not im- posing price regulations on synthetic crude oil. Construction of the plant, in- volving about workers, depends on federal co- operation because the four' company consortium that owns Syncrude insists that synthetic crude be exempt from price regulations, the premier said in his televised speech. However, just hours before Premier Lougheed went on the air. federal Energy Minister Donald Macdonald told reporters the federal government has not yet decid- ed to exempt synthetic crude from the export tax or price regulations. "The government is not yet ready to make a major deci- sion on some hypothetical tar sands project." Mr. Mac- donald said. "We would like to know the full nature of Syncrude's proposals first." But he has said that the Syncrude project has nothing to fear from federal energy policies. Imperial Oil Ltd.. Atlantic Richfield Co. and Canada Cities Service Ltd. each own 30 per cent of Syncrude. with Gulf holding 10 per cent. "The decision to proceed with the Syncrude project is also conditional upon a ruling that royalties paid to the Alberta government under the agreement will be fully tax deductible by the par- ticipating said Jerry McAfee, president of Golf'Oil. Oplimislie Frank Spragins, Syncrude president, said he is op- timistic Ottawa will be reasonable. "We just want the federal government to leave us he said. "We're look- ing for that decision not to interfere. If they will not restrain prices and our revenue, that's all we ask." Federal income tax is in- volved because Alberta will try to "participate from an Alberta standpoint in the profits of the company." Mr. Spragins added. "It is essential from an in- come tax approach that the royalties the provincial government collects be classified as a true royalty and subject to reductions for tax purposes." While government and com- pany officials concern themselves with problems such as whether to impose price regulations on synthetic crude, officials at Fort McMurray are pondering some more basic questions for example, where to put the extra people who would arrive with the new oil sands plant. The plant, the largest in- dustrial facility ever built in Alberta, will eventually have a permanent staff of and will create more than new jobs throughout the province. iVlay rise It is expected to swell Fort McMurray's population to 17.- 000 from the current The town is going to have to find immediate shelter for the construction workers Who will begin pouring in during the next few months. It will be no easy task. Construction workers already are living in tents at Centen- nial Park and apartments now under construction. "We're going to have to move in trailers and some kind of row Mr. Knight said. "We're not even going to be able to think about permanent houses for these people. "We've undergone some growing pains in the past. We're going to undergo some more." .Jack Shields, president of the town's chamber of com- merce, said the government decision on Syncrude will change Fort McMurray's im- age as a one company town. "In the past, we've been a GCOS (Great Canadian Oil Sands Ltd.) town. Now we're going to be able to say we're an industrial town. "We need to lose that one company town image." Pi epni iiii; The first heavy equipment will move into the Mildred Lake site north of Fort McMurray gefore the end of the month to clear away muskeg. In a year, the founda- tion for the oil sands extrac- tion plant complex should be completed. Tuesday night's announce- ment will speed up en- vironmental activities at the site. Before the plant is com- pleted in 1978, the cost of en- vironmental research most of which will be handled by Alberta based consulting firms will run into millions of dollars, says Jim Nalbach. Syncrude's environmental co- ordinator. "We are doing much more than paying lip service to en- vironmental Mr. Nalbach said. During the last three years, Syncrude has spent a year on ecological research: by next year this is expected to double. Rail and air transportation services will be upgraded to support the Syncrude development. "If this development is go- ing ahead, the NAR Northern Alberta Railways will join forces with its owning com- panies. Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railways, to meet every demand placed on says K. R. Perry, general manager of Northern Alberta Railways. Pacific Western Airlines (PWAi last May added 117 seats a week each way to give Fort McMurray five morning flights a week and three even- ing flights. More seals When the company changes its schedule Oct. 28, 'it will add another ,350 seats per week each way and increase total service to 11 flights weekly, says Rhys Eyton. PWA vice president in Edmonton. Premier Lougheed. in giv- ,ing the go ahead to Syncrude. also announced formation of the Alberta Energy Co. which residents of the province will be able to invest in the Syncrude plant. The company has an option to purchase 20 per cent of the equity in the Syncrude plant up to six months following its completion, as well as par- ticipate in ownership of the synthetic crude oil pipeline and a power plant each valued at million to fuel the Syncrude development. Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Don Getty said he an- ticipated first issuing of shares in the Alberta Energy Co. will probably be made to Albertans next year and would probably involve million to million worth of equity shares. Albertans will get first choice; then the shares would be available to the rest of Canada. The provincial government will retain a 50 per cent share in the com- pany's equity. Premier Lougheed announc- ed a royalty calculating agree- ment by which the province is to take 50 per cent of Syncrude's profits, compared with present conventional royalties which average 20 per cent of the gross production from oil fields. Royal ties now are tax deductible. Aijreemenl The premier told a news conference Wednesday the royalty agreement will be up for review at the end of a 10 year period following the plant's start of operations. He had estimated the royal- ty return to Albertans during the 25 year term of the agree- ment would be more than billion. But Bob Clark, provincial Social Credit house leader. questioned the premier's op- timism. "1 would want to check that billion figure very carefully before I have billion worth of Mr. Clark I old a news conference. He said Great Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., which has been operating the first plant at the Athabasca oil sands in northeastern Alberta, has lost million from its operations so far. Premier Lougheed has said if there arc losses "we have- added a provision to protect I he government in terms of royal tics." This provision was for a royalty of 7.5 per cent of the gross value of the plant's production if it was not turn- ing profit after five years of v operation. However Syncrude could apply initial losses against future profits in calculating the amount of royalties to bo paid under the profit sharing agreement.