Author Topic: I will send my sixth application for Agent Orange compensation  (Read 1761 times)

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"... it's not so much the money ... it's more that the government has a responsibility to each individual ..."

Will the Harper Government ever fulfill its SACRED OBLIGATION to those affected by Agent Orange. Canadians are dying, men, women and children... and Mr Harper and the conservatives, after promising RELIEF PRIOR TO BECOMING PM, (A PROMISE BROKEN on the back of the dead and suffering veterans), has now ABANDONED the Agent Orange victims as has the Harper Government abandoned Canada's sons and daughters who have suffered the consequences of war in Astan since 2006, as the Harper Government will abandon our WW2 and Korean veterans at St Anne de Bellevue...

When will it be YOUR TURN!!!!

Most likely, right after those half billion dollars in cuts the Harper Government is going to inflict upon Canada wounded warriors, military, RCMP and police service officers... are you going to roll over?

Or get off your duffs and  fight... fight... fight...


I will send my sixth application for Agent Orange compensation
Published Thursday December 29th, 2011

Agent Orange | Editorial of Dec. 21 prompts Barbara Gill to try again

As I write this, it is Christmas Eve Day. The sun is shining and the clean crispness of winter has arrived. Yesterday's snow is pretty.

I have been catching up on The Daily Gleaner reading and was jolted out of my quiet, peaceful interlude by your editorial of Dec. 21.

You related Debbie Bertrand's poisoning by Agent Orange while an army child in the 1960s at CFB Gagetown, and now her terminal lung cancer diagnosis.

Her inability to receive the $20,000 ex-gratia payment spurred your headline, Death and Deadlines, citing your view that the Agent Orange compensation plan must be flexible.

I have nursed those with lung cancer. Debbie Bertrand is trying to breathe. How fortunate I feel today that my lungs still breathe in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, to those of us still able to do so.

In Ms. Bertrand's case, you stated that while the cancer had obviously been present and growing prior to her diagnosis, she missed the "deadline" for the ex-gratia compensation.

You quoted Ms. Bertrand, "... it's not so much the money ... it's more that the government has a responsibility to each individual ..."

I was, for many years, not a big fan of litigation, class actions and protests against government decisions. Then Jim Cadger, a Canadian veteran, now deceased, entered my life. I began to think more about the need for watchdogs other than official oppositions to the government and labour unions, both of which I have been involved.

I began to question my diagnoses of liposarcoma of the leg in 2001 at age 50 and again in 2008 age 57. Why had I been in bed for almost a year at age 24 with sarcoidosis that affected my lungs and joints? And was the sarcoidosis the mitigating factor in kick-starting a long history of chronic pain?

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia at age 28 and have coped with that aspect of my life for 36 years now.

The extended family were part of my upbringing. Our family was also integrated in terms of the family business, at one time employing directly or indirectly hundreds of people. Like Debbie Bertrand, I too was in the "line of fire" during the sixties. In the summers I lived with my grandparents in Maugerville while my mother, siblings and extended family escaped the heat of the milliard in Fredericton to Lower Jemseg.

I, instead, helped my grandmother Gill on the farm and accompanied my grandfather on his chores.

My grandparents' farm was within the bull's eye for Agent Orange spraying - located on the Fredericton side of the famous "Big Potato" in Maugerville.

My own applications for ex-gratia acknowledgement of my exposure to Agent Orange were motivated by Mr. Cadger's urging. After I was denied for the fifth time. I gave up. It had become a negative experience for me.

Then I read your editorial.

Over the next few days I will submit that sixth request for review with copies to appropriate ministers of the Crown, Merchant Law Agent Orange Class Action and The Agent Orange Association.

That letter will cite my childhood diaries, of which Veterans Affairs Canada has appropriate copied pages, which are now held at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick. My adolescent handwriting proves my presence on the farm at the time of spraying.

I will include a quote from Veteran Affairs Canada Director Donna MacDonald's June 4, 2008 letter that states "... confirm your presence within the 5 km perimeter of CFB Gagetown during June 1st to September 30th of 1966 or 1967. I will remind Veterans Affairs that they should listen to the taped conversation held in April of 2010 when one of their employees told me to submit witness letters as "that is your proof."

Securing these letters was time consuming for both me and the individuals involved.

I will remind Veterans Affairs that the left hand doesn't seem to know what the right hand is doing. I will state it is a splitting of hairs when Client Relations Director Stephane Breau writes "you do you meet the definition of a resident" (this is not a misquote) and in the same letter states "a resident is a person who ordinarily lives at a place that has always been, or that has been adopted as, his or her dwelling place and to which the person intends to return when away from it, A person can have only one place where he or she is a resident and it cannot be lost until another is gained."

I will remind Veterans Affairs Canada that I have had four periods of disability during my life and that I have now been on disability for four years, that Soft Tissue Sarcoma, a medical condition that the U.S. Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (IOM) is found to be associated with exposure to Agent Orange. Liposarcoma is a soft tissue sarcoma.

I agree with Debbie Bertrand's statement, " ... It's not so much the money ... it's more that the government has a responsibility to each individual ..." Surely Veterans Affairs could at least help defray her upcoming funerals costs and allow the ex-gratia payment.

I agree with your editorial of Dec. 21 that the Agent Orange compensation plan must be flexible.

Barbara J. Gill lives in Fredericton.

Canadian Veterans Advocacy - One Veteran One Standard

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