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CFB Gagetown - Toxic Chemicals - 1956-1984

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Author Topic: CFB Gagetown - Toxic Chemicals - 1956-1984  (Read 7603 times)
Kenneth H. Young
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« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2009, 08:14:49 am »

Protest planned for border town

Published Friday May 1st, 2009

Derwin Gowan

ST. STEPHEN - Protesters from across Canada will come to St. Stephen May 19 to demand a public judicial inquiry into spraying chemical defoliants at CFB Gagetown, says a Canadian Forces veteran who is organizing the demonstration.

Gary Goode said the group will include former soldiers, environmentalists and politicians. They will assemble at the St. Croix Public Library parking lot and march up Milltown Boulevard to the New Brunswick Southwest constituency office of Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson.

"I think you're going to be quite surprised what's going to happen there," Goode said by telephone Thursday from Fernie, B.C.

The lineup of speakers includes Peter Stoffer, New Democratic Party MP for Sackville-Eastern shore in Nova Scotia, as well as Conservation Council of New Brunswick officials David Coon of Waweig and Inka Milewski of Miramichi.

The group Veterans Widows on the Warpath will attend, Goode said.

The group will demand a public judicial inquiry into what Goode calls a cover-up related to the health effects of spraying chemicals to kill vegetation in the training areas at CFB Gagetown over 30 years from the 1950s to the 1980s.

"It was a whitewash to limit our government's liability and culpability," Goode said.

These chemicals - Agent Orange, Agent Purple and others - were different formulations of 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T that released other chemicals called dioxins that cause cancer and other health problems.

Goode, a native of Springhill, N.S., served three years in the Canadian Army, all with the Second Battalion, Black Watch Regiment of Canada, at CFB Gagetown from 1967 to 1970.

In 1966 and 1967, Canadian authorities allowed Americans to spray defoliants at CFB Gagetown, Goode said.

He left the army and operated heavy equipment in Alberta and British Columbia.

He began to have trouble with pneumonia in 2003 and doctors diagnosed a tumour on his right lung in March 2005. The lung was removed a month later.

He joined the class action lawsuit underway now.

In Goode's view, Thompson did not keep promises he made as an opposition MP to deal squarely with victims of chemical spraying, and has not moved on a full inquiry. For this reason the group chose to demonstrate outside his St. Stephen office.

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