CTV.CA, OCTOBER 13, 2006
OROMOCTO, N.B. — Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson says he hopes to take a compensation package to federal cabinet this fall for people who say they were harmed by defoliant spraying at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown.
Thompson says he expects the proposed compensation to be around $20,000 per person, but he says the federal cabinet ultimately will approve the amount.
The money could be handed out by 2007 to people who say they are suffering because of the spray programs.
Hundreds of people who worked on the New Brunswick base and lived near it from the 1950s to the 1980s are claiming health problems as a result of the aerial sprays, which included U.S. military tests of such powerful defoliants as Agent Orange and Agent Purple.
John Chisholm, a veteran who is battling cancer which he believes was triggered by Agent Orange exposure, says he is disappointed the compensation likely will be relatively small.
But he says people are dying and will take what they can get in compensation from the government.