Feds unveil spray probe

By Maria McClintock, Parliamentary Bureau, CP
Wed, August 17, 2005

The federal government launched four fact-finding projects into the use of Agent Orange, Agent Purple and other toxic defoliants used at CFB Gagetown over the last 40 years.

Yesterday's announcement comes two months after the feds came under fire from current and former residents of the military base who revealed horrific tales of exposure and subsequent illnesses, including cancer.

The feds will contract outside experts to handle the projects: Collecting a list of all people living on the base when herbicides were used; reviewing the history of herbicides at CFB Gagetown from 1952 to the present and the environmental impacts; a health study to assess risks to human health; and a study to examine whether there are higher rates of illness in the area compared to the rest of Canada.


It's not known how much it will cost to conduct the projects, said Indian Affairs Minister Andy Scott, who made the announcement on behalf of Defence Minister Bill Graham

Victims say time is running out for answers. "There are a lot of us who are sick and there are a lot of us who will never see the end of this," said Kenneth Dobbie, who worked on the spray programs in the '60s and is battling illnesses.

The feds launched a limited investigation into the testing of deadly Agent Orange and Agent Purple on the base in 1966 and 1967 after the Sun's Greg Weston revealed a quiet pension payment linked to the sprays.

Area residents accused the feds of lying and engaging in a "cover up." Previous story: Families bid final farewell Next story: Chopper downed

Keep up the good work we are waking up in Canada too!