Ottawa answers the protests by reversing 30 rejected Agent Orange claims

Canada’s government is taking back the decision to eliminate compensation for dozens of Canadians affected by the spraying of Agent Orange.

Reportedly, about 30 people are going to receive payments according to the program, which aims at compensating soldiers and their families harmed by the exposure to the defoliant in the 1960s. The spray program took place at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in New Brunswick in 1966 and 1967.

All in all, 13 people rejected for filing late and 17 who filed for primary caregiver compensation will soon be receiving $20,000 cheques.

Recently, several families raised their voice for their right to receive the funds while the Veterans Ombudsman publicly criticized the government for its decision.

Therefore, Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney has finally decided to be more flexible. It seems like the department cannot disregard the protest of those whose claims were previously rejected.

Initially, the program had a controversial condition that required people to be alive on Feb. 6, 2006 – the date the federal Conservatives came to office. Later, the clause was removed, which allowed spouses to make a claim.

A sum of $114.5-million was allocated, with the bulk used for payments of $20,000 each.

According to the government officials, there will be very little money left in the fund once the program expires Friday.

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