Federal veterans ombudsman listening to concerns about Agent Orange use

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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FREDERICTON The issue of a wider compensation package for those affected by the spraying of Agent Orange at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in the 1960s may not be dead.
National veterans ombudsman Patrick Stogran, a retired colonel, said his office is listening to people who have concerns.
"We're also accumulating evidence with the assistance of veterans who have been doing the research," Stogran said.
"We're accumulating data, precedents from our counterparts to the south, (and) from other like-minded militaries who have been (affected) by Agent Orange."
Stogran will be at the Fredericton Legion on Friday as part of a cross-country public consultation process.
Once he's sure he has an overall insight of the issue, he said he will weigh in. But, he added, he has no executive authority and his recommendations aren't binding.
The federal government announced a $95.6-million compensation package in the fall of 2007 for veterans and civilians affected by the U.S. military's spraying of Agent Orange at CFB Gagetown, but attached a number of strict conditions.
Among other things, payments were considered for primary caregivers of qualifying individuals who died on or after Feb. 6, 2006 - the date the Conservative government took office.
Bette Hudson, a Lincoln, N.B., resident who speaks for a group called Widows on a War Path, lost her husband to cancer in 2004 at the age of 64. Although he was at Gagetown from 1964-66, his death didn't fall within the parameters identified by the federal government.
She said she is encouraged by the ombudsman's interest.
"He is quite interested in getting to the bottom of what is going on and what has gone on with the chemical debacle here at Base Gagetown," Hudson said. "He's an ombudsman and someone we can go to and present our case."

Organizations: Canadian Forces Base Gagetown

Geographic location: FREDERICTON, Gagetown, U.S. Lincoln

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  • Kenneth
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Would someone please hand out or print a schedule of where and when National veterans ombudsman Patrick Stogran will be in BC (Nanaimo more specifically,) as part of his cross-country public consultation process. I an a few more of us would like to be present and to give life stories and evidence.

    Thank you in advance.


    Cpl. Kenneth H. Young CD (ret)