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Independence of Agent Orange panel head challenged

NEWS RELEASE GILLES BISSON, MPP TIMMINS-JAMES BAY *************************** MPP Gilles Bisson questions MNR appointment of chair for the Agent Orange fact-finding panel QUEEN'S PARK - In the Legislature today Timmins-James Bay MPP, Gilles Bisson, q
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NEWS RELEASE

GILLES BISSON, MPP TIMMINS-JAMES BAY

*************************** MPP Gilles Bisson questions MNR appointment of chair for the Agent Orange fact-finding panel

QUEEN'S PARK - In the Legislature today Timmins-James Bay MPP, Gilles Bisson, questioned the McGuinty government over the independence of the panel looking into the use of Agent Orange in Northern Ontario during the 60s, 70s, 80s.

In mid-March the government announced the creation of a fact-finding panel that will look into the use of agent orange in Ontario.

The panel will be chaired by the University of Guelph professor Leonard Ritter.

“Mr. Ritter worked for the federal department that was responsible for the approval and the use of Agent Orange at the time he was working there. How independent can he be if he is in fact the very person who is responsible for the approval of Agent Orange in the first place?” asked Bisson.

Dr. Ritter worked for the pesticides section of the Environmental Health Directorate throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

“I don’t doubt that Dr. Ritter is qualified. That’s not the issue. The issue is, he was at the federal department that allowed the use of Agent Orange at the time, and my question to you is: Why would you appoint somebody who clearly had a vested interest in the use of Agent Orange?” asked Bisson.   *************************** ///



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