The Agent Orange Association of Canada Inc. is committed to obtaining full disclosure and accountability from our Governments, both past and present. The spraying of over three million litres and kilograms of the carcinogenic herbicides, Agent Orange, Agent Purple and Agent White on CFB Gagetown and surrounding civilian communities from 1956 to 1984 has been covered up for decades.
The phrase "Delay, Deny - Until You Die." has become the Governments' philosophy
Over one billion grams of 2,4-D, 2,4,5-T, Picloram, Dioxin and Hexachlorobenzene were sprayed over less than 181,000 acres during this time, poisoning hundreds of thousands of military troops and civilians by direct exposure or substantial spray drift.
Our Government has told us that 315,000 Canadian troops were trained in the chemically soaked training area during the period of 1956 to 1984.
But it doesn't stop there.
The Maine National Guard trained for over thirty summers in the sprayed forests of the training area. Twenty British regiments, including the Royal Scots Guards, the Green Howards and the Royal Hampshires were amongst the British troops who lived in the poisoned landscapes for months at a time.
Over 14,000 British troops lived in tent cities from the mid-sixties to the late seventies in the training area of CFB Gagetown unaware they were in the midst of a poisoned environment, a chemical nightmare.
In addition, reservists, boy scouts, cub scouts, militia units and army cadets used the poisoned training area for training, camping and recreation.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians used the training area as a recreational area over the decades. Military families hunted, fished, picked the apples at the expropriated farms, picked the blueberries, swam in the rivers and lakes, hiked and walked through a poisoned landscape unaware they were being exposed to some of the deadliest poisons ever made. They swam in poisoned water, drank it, drove on the dusty roads and choked on the poison dust of passing cars.
Everyone did. It was a perk of living in the PMQ's, our own private recreational area. Totally unaware of the horror that would come to haunt their lives.
There were no warning signs, no gates, and no information about the extent of the chemical sprayings. Everyone remembers the spray planes going about their business of swathing the forests, fields and waterways in a blanket of carcinogenic herbicides.
The repeated sprayings over the years resulted in a wasteland of vast tracts of land where nothing grows and no birds sing.
The picture below, 40 miles wide and 60 miles long, was taken by satelliite in 2007 of the training area and surrounding communities, shows the defoliation damage that still exists after more than 40 years. It makes a graphic statement of such proportions it can only be called....
"AN ENVIRONMENTAL & HUMAN DISASTER"