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CFB Gagetown - Toxic Chemicals - 1956-1984

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Author Topic: CFB Gagetown - Toxic Chemicals - 1956-1984  (Read 8049 times)
Kenneth H. Young
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« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2009, 03:50:06 pm »

 Found in the Ottawa Citizen



By Dave Pugliese Thu, Dec 3 2009 COMMENTS(2) David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

 Filed under: Agent Orange, CFB Gagetown


Liberal Deputy House Leader, Marlene Jennings has introduced a motion calling on the Conservative government to assist those Canadians who were affected by the use of Agent Orange.


Press release from Jennings’ office:


“Between 1956 and 1984, countless Canadians have been exposed to the effects of toxic herbicides including Agent Orange, Agent Purple and Agent White,” said Mrs. Jennings. “It is the duty of this government to rectify this situation and to assist these victims and their families.”


Agent Orange is a highly toxic chemical herbicide that when used on plants, causes their leaves to fall off. Although it commonly used by the United States during the Vietnam War, according to documents obtained through the Access to Information Act in 2005, over three million litres of these toxic herbicides were sprayed as part of a testing program in the area surrounding Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, in New Brunswick, between 1956 and 1984.


“Approximately 315,000 Canadian soldiers trained at CFB Gagetown during this period of time,” said Ujjal Dosanjh, Liberal Critic for National Defence. “Hundreds of thousands of civilians, who used this training area for recreation, may also have also been exposed to these chemicals.”


Exposure to Agent Orange has been linked to numerous medical diseases, including various forms of cancer, tumours, and mental and physical disabilities.  Victims, and their children, have repeatedly demanded that the federal government hold a full public inquiry on the issue.


Mrs. Jennings’ motion, which is endorsed by the Agent Orange Association of Canada Inc., calls upon the government to conduct this inquiry. In particular, the motion demands that the federal government use the remaining $48 million previously allocated for ex-gratia payments to Agent Orange victims for an inquiry, as well as that this money be used for the medical testing of victims.


Mr. Rob Oliphant, who is the Liberal Critic for Veterans Affairs, expressed his support for the motion. “The Prime Minister, in 2006, promised to conduct an investigation into this matter. Now, almost four years later, victims continue to wait, while this government continues to sit on its hands,” said Mr. Oliphant.


Mrs. Jennings has reiterated her support for the victims. “These individuals were serving their country, and now are experiencing life-threatening medical conditions,” said Mrs. Jennings. “The Harper government has an obligation to get to the bottom of this issue and to stand up for all victims of this tragedy.”



Your Comments

 Marilynn Kirchgessner

PM Harper stood up in Woodstock, N.B in January, 2006 and in his pre-election speech promised, once elected, compensation for EVERYONE exposed to the SPRAYING FROM 1956-1984.  Not just for exposure to Agent Orange but our exposure to all the other just as deadly herbicides that DND sprayed during those 28 years.  Once elected, he did not do this.  He lied.  Instead, he made this an American issue by allowing compensation to only 2% of the people exposed to the few gallons of Agent Orange sprayed for 7 days in 1966 and 1967 by the U.S military.  What about the thousands of victims, both military and civilian, who were exposed to these deadly herbicides year in and year out for 28 years?  What about the military who trained there during those years and the civilians who live in communities surrounding the Base who were exposed? These people are sick, dying and too many have died already.  Nor has DND taken responsibility for what they did to.  We DEMAND a public inquiry so that the magnitude of what happened at Gagetown will be told to the world and the government will take responsibility for what they did and do the right thing!  We demand compensation for ALL exposed to ALL the chemicals sprayed during those 28 years by DND, as promised by Harper!

December 04, 2009



Kenneth H Young

Although the Liberal party of Canada under Mr. Martin had the chance to do exactly what Liberal Deputy House Leader Marlene Jennings is asking for here, they refused at the time when the Conservative Party MP's while in opposition and lead by Greg Thompson rants in both the House of Commons and the Senate Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs asked, no demanded the very same. Once in power absolutely nothing was done. Let's face it ex-gratia payments, where Ottawa accepts absolutely no guilt or responsibility for what they did to Canadian Soldiers, are nothing more then blood and hush money, which hasn't worked.


I myself wrote to the leaders and Veterans Affairs critic of all opposition parties requesting their Parties position on CFB Gagetown Victims and to date have only received replies from Peter Stoffer Veterans Affairs critic for the NDP, regardless of this the Agent Orange Association of BC. also endorses this motion.


We would have liked to see Mr. Ignatieff being a lot more vocal and supportive of this motion and maybe even joining hands with the NDP, and Block in a united front on this issue. However most of the Liberal MP's on the committee having just shot down bill C201 which would have benefited all veterans, there is much doubt in the minds of all veterans as to the sincerity of Liberal Party towards Veterans issues as well as this motion. I guess it is up to the Liberal Party to prove me wrong, or is this just another Stephen Harper-type Woodstock speech. But I will admit just like the Harper's speech, it looks good in print.


Only time will tell if this is too little too late to win the hearts and minds of Veterans and of course their over 600,000 votes. I suppose that if there is a full public and judicial inquiry in progress or if the government was forced to actually carry out what Mr. Harper promised in his Woodstock speech, it would go a long way to recover many of the life-long Liberals that the Party lost over the mishandling of this issue.


Cpl. Kenneth H. Young CD (ret)

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