Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

September 14, 2007 17:11 ET

Opinion-Editorial: Agent Orange

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 14, 2007) - There has been much written and said over the past few days about our government's responsible approach to tackling the issue of Agent Orange tests at CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick 40 years ago.

First, let me say how proud I am that our government has acted in such a fair and compassionate way on a file that successive governments ignored for four decades. Our $96.5-million package of ex-gratia payments to eligible recipients reflects our government's commitment to supporting our Veterans and doing the right thing for Canadians.

We expect about 4,500 Veterans, military members and civilians will be eligible for the one-time, tax-free $20,000 ex-gratia payments.

The details are straight-forward and represent a principled, transparent and accountable response by a responsible government.

The package also demonstrates yet again how our government is acting on issues important to our Veterans.

In just 19 months, we are spending $523 million a year more serving our Veterans than was in the last Liberal budget.

This new money is going toward a variety of initiatives. For example, we have implemented the New Veterans Charter, which represents the most sweeping changes to Veterans' services and programs in 60 years; we have adopted a Veterans Bill of Rights; we will soon name Canada's first Veterans Ombudsman; and we are opening five new operational stress injury clinics to serve our Veterans and serving CF members.

We are taking such action because our Veterans deserve it. They have earned it.

I invite you to visit our Veterans Affairs Canada website to learn more about our Agent Orange package and the other work our government is doing on behalf of our honoured Veterans.

Sincerely,

The Honourable Greg Thompson

Minister of Veterans Affairs

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    613-992-7468