Friday, December 19, 2014

CFB Gagetown Agent Orange victims urged to seek compensation

NDP veterans affairs critic Peter Stoffer is encouraging all military personnel and civilians affected by defoliant spraying at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown to file a claim with Veterans Affairs Canada in light of veteran Basil McAllister's recent court victory.

Last week, the federal Veterans Review and Appeal Board awarded McAllister disability compensation in relation to his exposure to Agent Orange and other chemical defoliants  used at the base in Oromocto, N.B., in the 1960s. The decision came after a Federal Court of Canada order in October that the board rehear McAllister's case.
McAllister, 83, of Burton, says he has prostate cancer, which has spread to his bones. He has also had skin cancer and kidney failure and has Type 2 diabetes.
“The biggest fight that I’ve had is with my own government," McAllister said Tuesday. 
“I’m very disappointed that we as veterans who have volunteered to give our life for our country have to do this to get proper compensation.”

NDP Veterans Affairs critic Peter Stoffer says there is no excuse for the federal government to deny soldiers and their families affected by chemical defoliants used at CFB Gagetown their rightful compensation. (The Canadian Press)
​"Basil fought for almost 10 years to obtain compensation and assistance from Veterans Affairs Canada," Stoffer said during a news conference at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 6 in Moncton on Tuesday.
"He was repeatedly denied assistance but did not give up. I am proud of Basil's win on this issue," he said.

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