Governor Signs Resolve Requesting Recognition of Environmental Hazards at the Military Training Cent in Gagetown, New Brunswick
April 2, 2014
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 2
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531
AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage signed today LD 1632, “Resolve, Directing the Commissioner of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management to request the Federal government to Recognize Environment Hazards at the Military Training Center in Gagetown, New Brunswick and the Resulting health Risks and Disabilities Suffered by Certain Members of the Maine National Guard.”
The Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management has been diligently pursuing the recognition of the environmental hazards that Maine’s service men and women may have been exposed to at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown with the Department of Veterans Affairs since 2005.
This resolve will support federal legislation that has been submitted in the House and Senate by Maine’s Congressional Delegation.
For decades members of the Maine National Guard trained at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in New Brunswick. In 2007 the Canadian government admitted to working with the United States military in testing the herbicides Agent Orange, Agent Purple, Agent White and other unregistered pesticides at locations around the base in the late 1960s and began paying one-time settlements to its own veterans who served on the base.
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs has not recognized any correlation between the symptoms experienced by Maine National Guard soldiers and their exposure to harmful chemicals used at the training base.
“Maine’s military members have sacrificed so much in service to our State and Nation.” said Governor LePage. “It is our duty as a country to take care of these brave men and women when they return sick or injured and I urge the Department of Veterans Affairs to act swiftly on righting this wrong.”
Information about Canadian Forces Base Gagetown can be found on the Bureau of Veterans’ Service website at http://www.maine.gov/dvem/bvs/. There is a questionnaire that they would like all Maine National Guard veterans who trained at CFB Gagetown to fill out and send to the Bureau. The questionnaire will assist in identifying the healthcare issues Maine Guard soldiers are experiencing that may be connected to their time at Gagetown.