NEW DEMOCRATS PUSH FOR FEDERAL ACTION ON AGENT ORANGE

OTTAWA – With the Ontario government facing mounting criticism about the use of Agent Orange in Northern Ontario, new evidence is emerging that Transport Canada also used “large amounts” of the dangerous chemicals at airports.

“I have spoken with family members of hydro and forestry workers who have suffered cancers, miscarriages and birth defects from exposure to Agent Orange in Northern Ontario,” said Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus. “We now learn that between 1955 and 1974, while working at rural and regional airports in Northern Ontario, employees were expected to mix and spray the chemicals without protective clothing. “

During question period in the House of Commons today, New Democrat Carol Hughes (Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing) joined Angus in asking the federal government to release all documents pertaining to the use of Agent Orange at federal airports and other federal operations.

“The fact that government officials have been aware that workers, families and entire communities were poisoned and yet have chosen to keep silent is devastating,” said Hughes. “The government must tell the truth. We need to know where, when and how much of this dangerous chemical was used.”

“The federal government is still not adequately compensating the victims of Agent Orange use by the Department of National Defence,” said Angus. “They must acknowledge their failure and speed up the process get all those affected treatment and compensation if necessary.”