Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

September 12, 2007 11:25 ET

Canada's New Government Delivers a Fair and Compassionate Plan for Canadians Connected to Agent Orange Testing

FREDERICTON, NEW-BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - Sept. 12, 2007) - Today, the Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs, was joined by the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, to announce that Canada's New Government will offer a one-time, tax-free ex gratia payment of $20,000 to eligible recipients connected to the testing of unregistered U.S. military herbicides, including Agent Orange, at CFB Gagetown.

To be eligible for the ex gratia payment, individuals must have been diagnosed with a condition associated with Agent Orange, as determined by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine. Individuals must also have worked or trained at CFB Gagetown, or lived in a community any part of which is within five kilometres of CFB Gagetown when Agent Orange was tested in 1966 and 1967.

"Canada's New Government regrets that so many years passed with this issue not being addressed, and that so many Canadians waited and worried while their questions went unanswered," said Minister Thompson. "Today we are proud to announce a plan that is fair and shows compassion to the thousands of Canadians whose lives have been so affected. We believe that this plan is responsible, transparent, and will help to bring closure to this longstanding issue."

"We may never fully know what happened when Agent Orange was tested at Canadian Forces Base in Gagetown in 1966 and 1967, but our government has always stood firm in doing what is right for Canadians and showing our dedication to Canada's brave men and women in uniform," said Minister MacKay. "Delivering this ex gratia payment demonstrates our commitment to do the right thing."

Those who believe they may be eligible for the ex gratia payment may visit the Veterans Affairs Canada Web site for more information (www.vac-acc.gc.ca) or call 1-888-854-1803.

The deadline for applications is April 1, 2009.

BACKGROUNDER

Agent Orange Ex Gratia Payment

The Government of Canada is offering a one-time, tax-free ex gratia payment of $20,000 related to the testing of unregistered U.S. military herbicides, including Agent Orange, at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Gagetown in New Brunswick during the summers of 1966 and 1967.

The deadline for applications is April 1, 2009.

Eligibility

To qualify for the ex gratia payment, individuals must have been alive on February 6, 2006 and meet the following conditions:

(a) Between June 1, 1966 and February 6, 2006, the individual was in the process of being diagnosed with any one or more of the following medical conditions:

- chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

- soft tissue sarcoma

- non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

- Hodgkin's disease

- chloracne

- respiratory cancer (of the lung/bronchus, larynx or trachea)

- prostate cancer

- multiple myeloma

- early onset transient peripheral neuropathy

- porphyria cutanea tarda

- type 2 diabetes

- spina bifida;

(b) the individual must be diagnosed with any one or more of those medical conditions no later than April 1, 2009; and

(C) at any time from June to September of either 1966 or 1967 the individual or, in the case of an individual diagnosed with spina bifida, a biological parent of the individual must have:

- worked or lived at CFB Gagetown;

- been posted to or trained at CFB Gagetown; or

- resided in a community of which any portion laid within five kilometres of the perimeter of CFB Gagetown.

Individuals may apply on their own behalf, or as the primary caregiver of an individual who passed away after February 6, 2006, and would have been eligible for the ex gratia payment. If you are applying both on your own behalf and as a primary caregiver, you must submit two separate application forms.

For more information or to apply, visit the Veterans Affairs Web site (www.vac-acc.gc.ca) or call 1-888-854-1803.

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    613-992-7468
    or
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Richard Roik
    Director of Communications
    613-996-4649