Man drops case against province over alleged use of Agent Orange

A Malakwa man was forced to drop legal action against the province over his alleged exposure to industrial herbicides…

Larry Heal says his exposure to industrial herbicides used by the province have had a negative impact on his health.

A Malakwa man was forced to drop legal action against the province over his alleged exposure to industrial herbicides, including Agent Orange.

Larry Heal says he was advised by his lawyer not to pursue legal action against BC Hydro as 30 years had passed and, under the province’s statute of limitations, the case would be thrown out.

“I’d have all of BC Hydro’s lawyer fees to look after, so, on my lawyer’s advice I figured I’d take a step back,” says Heal.

Heal says his lawyer also asked him to sign a release agreement with the province which, in consideration of waiving his legal costs, would prevent him, or anyone related to him, from pursuing future legal action against the province over his “exposure to chemicals between 1961 and 1978.”

Heal says he will not sign the form, which is undated and contains no letterhead.

“They say we’re not admitting any guilt… then, on the other hand, they do so much to cover themselves, there’s nothing they left out,” said Heal. “If I signed that, it would be impossible to ever get anything.”

Heal’s legal action would have revolved around the province’s use of industrial herbicides in the 1960s and 70s next to his childhood home in Cherryville.

BC Hydro records obtained through a freedom of information request show that in 1976, a mix of  the herbicides 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T), diesel and water were used to treat 62.56 acres in the Vernon-Monashee area, and 98.2 acres in the Nicola Valley area.

Another document dated Nov. 14, 1967, shows the province’s Highways department had used thousands of gallons of 2,4-D and 2,4-T, mixed and combined, throughout the province.

Banned by Canada in 1985, Agent Orange is comprised of equal parts 2,4-D  and 2,4,5-T, a chemical that, as a result of the manufacturing process, contains a toxic, carcinogenic dioxin believed to cause a variety of ailments, from skin disorders to birth defects and cancer.

“If you seen how badly exposed we were to the stuff, and for how many years, you cannot deny my family should not have something just for the exposure, let alone whether it caused any problems. Because the worry of all the cancer and all the stuff that we’re going to get from it is huge,” said Heal. “We had more exposure than probably most people in Vietnam got when they sprayed, because we lived right in it. It was in our water and everything.”

Heal says he is not backing down and is considering his options.

 

In April 2012 the NDP called on the province to initiate an investigation into the use of Agent Orange along B.C.’s highways and power lines.

 

 

Just Posted

Shuswap girl’s love of hockey pushes her to new heights on major midget team

Summer training with Salmon Arm Silverbacks offers sense of confidence

Tempering the Okanagan cannabis legalization ‘gold rush’

Retail selling of marijuana offers potential business opportunities and pitfalls

Salmon Arm RCMP seeking car involved in hit and run

Small blue car struck a young man near Okanagan Avenue and 20 Street Monday

Shuswap homing pigeon in need of new abode

Carrier pigeon wearing outdated identification band takes up residence in Yankee Flats

Dog control ramping up on Okanagan Rail Trail

RDNO taking extra precautions to ensure dogs remain on leash

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Misspelling B.C. toddler’s plane ticket leaves travel agent on the hook for $1100

Mom and toddler couldn’t get on flight from Iran to Vancouver

B.C. cancer patient’s case exposes gaps in care for homeless people: advocates

Terry Willis says he’s praying for a clean, safe place to live to undergo the cancer treatments he needs after he was denied chemotherapy because he lives in a Victoria homeless shelter.

Trump boasts of America’s might, gets laugh at UN

President Donald Trump received an unexpected laugh at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

Campers causing a mess along Okanagan River Channel

Homeless people frequently camp along the pathway next to the channel in Penticton

Federal use of A.I. in visa applications could breach human rights, report says

Impacts of automated decision-making involving immigration applications and how errors and assumptions could lead to “life-and-death ramifications”

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Most Read