Agent Orange cases to be referred back to the Minister
On November 29, 2017, the Board’s Chairperson advised the Minister of Veterans Affairs of his decision to refer all Agent Orange applications back to the Minister for further consideration, per subsection 85(1)(b) of the Pension Act and 86(b) of the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act.
This decision was brought about as a result of a number of Federal Court decisions. These decisions, when reviewed as a body of law, have made clear that the Department and the Board have been incorrectly evaluating Dr. Dennis Furlong’s Fact Finders’ Report when adjudicating Agent Orange exposure claims.
The Court’s conclusions led the Board to determine that Veterans in these cases have suffered a substantial breach of procedural fairness. It is for this reason that it has decided to refer such cases back to Minister. This will ensure that all Veterans with an Agent Orange claim receive a first-level decision based upon the law as it has been interpreted by the Federal Court, and will fulfill the Board’s obligation of procedural fairness to the Veterans that come before it.
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