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.”