“It’s a real insult” – Agent Orange compensation offends former employees

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Ontario government workers who were exposed to the chemical 2,4,5-T – an ingredient in the infamous Agent Orange – have been left outraged and offended at the compensation packages offered.

Hundreds of workers filed claims of exposure after the province apologized in 2013 and directed people to make claims with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

Since then, almost 500 claims of exposure have been filed from workers who used the chemical to clear bush along highways, railways and hydro lines.

However, as compensation has started flowing, many former employees have come forward to voice their disdain.

Renfew resident Ronald Deshane handled the chemical while working for the Ministry of Transportation – he has since suffered from several serious health problems, including prostate and skin cancer.

The WSIB didn’t dispute Deshane’s exposure but offered little in terms of remuneration.

"After 50 years of neglect, my entitlement would be somewhere around $1,500," he said. "To go to the extent that they have to make this a very small problem is something that is not human," he added.

Carol Brown Parker, the head of the Agent Orange Association of Canada slammed the settlements and said they were offensive to ex-employees.

"Two-thousand? Pardon me, but it's a joke. It's a real insult to them,” she said. "[It] certainly does not justify what happened to them and for the medical expenses, loss of employment, possible standard of living.”
  • Sarah on 2015-04-09 2:29:40 PM

    Appalling, insulting, shameful .... etc.

  • Tom from Burnaby BC on 2015-04-09 3:45:00 PM

    Boy this article sure hits home.

    My friend as a young man joined the US army to fight in Vietnam were agent orange was used unbeknownst to soldiers.

    When he returned to Canada he became weak and when he got the news through his soldiers association that he was probably suffering from the affects of agent orange.
    We requested information and Don then knew he was going to die.

    The soldier association wrote to the US gov. requesting benefit help and they advised that they could not help him as it was an undeclared war?

    I helped him put a letter together along with his doctors findings and we sent it off.

    After many phone calls later to the US base handling his claim and many months they advised it was in appeal and because of so many claims it may take a year.

    Unfortunately he died and along with that his claim died also.

    I am really surprised to see any form of agent orange still being manufactured anywhere in the world as it is definitely proven to be a carcinogenic that kills not only weeds but people also. Look in the history.

  • Tom from Burnaby BC on 2015-04-09 3:47:55 PM

    One thing I forgot to mention in my last post, is not to go after money but medical benefits that will help these peoples quality of life until they die.

    Medical benefits are a better source of income as they do cost lots of money going forward.

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