Tuesday, July 05, 2005


This is a new radio station which will begin brocasting in a few weeks. They will play Classic Rock!!! It's about time the Capital can listen to good old songs!!!

Charles 04_07_05 077


From: Carr, Jody (LEG)
Sent: July 4, 2005 10:18 PM
Subject: - AGENT ORANGE UPDATE - July 4, 2005

Tonight I attended an outreach meeting with Col. Ryan Jestin, Commanding Officer – Base Gagetown at the Sir Douglas Hazen Park Center, Oromocto, NB.

Col. Jestin invited myself and several veterans, including the President of the NB Black Watch Association as a first meeting following the Public Meeting on June 23, 2005 at Base Gagetown where Col. Jestin committed to undertake soil, water, and vegetation testing for dioxide and other chemicals throughout the training areas of Base Gagetown rather than limit the testing to only the plots where Agent Orange and Purple were tested in 1966 and 1967.

The purpose of the meeting tonight was to gather input, on where the samples for the tests should be collected, directly from veterans who were involved or inadvertently affected by the Chemical Spray Program. As we know, 2,4,5 T and 2,4 D were mixed and used throughout the training grounds as a herbicide to defoliate trees and brush as early as 1956. We also know that many veterans and civilians were directly and/or inadvertently exposed to these chemicals. Dosages of the mixtures in the mid-50’s and early 60’s generally contained higher levels of dioxin than mixtures used in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

The testing of samples from the training grounds of Base Gagetown will be conducted this summer by an independent company chosen by open tender. It will also be open ended to allow for more testing later if the need arises. All results will be released to the public.

I want to sincerely thank Col. Ryan Jestin from Base Gagetown for his openness and willingness to work with Veterans and Civilians on this file. I am truly proud of him and the leadership he is displaying. He is more than interested in hearing from anyone else who might know of specific locations and sites that should be included in the testing. If you would like to share with him specific locations please contact me, I will either pass along the information or put you in direct contact with Col. Jestin (your preference).

Again, simply put, the Federal Government has acknowledged compensation for one veteran exposed to Agent Orange at Base Gagetown ( 2 others were for exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam), they have a moral and ethical obligation to provide and gather information through an open/independent process that will lead to the compensation of all people directly affected, veterans and civilians, from exposure to highly toxic chemicals used as part of the chemical spray program at Base Gagetown.

A communications center for civilians and veterans has been established at Base Gagetown in the Canex Mall. The toll-free number is 1-866-558-2945. Please call or drop in to give information regarding chemical exposure and/or receive information regarding the initiation of a claim.

Grace Getty, a nursing professor at UNB Fredericton, is proceeding with a proposal to undertake a health assessment of the communities surrounding Base Gagetown. The first phase will indicate the incidence of cancer and other illness in this area compared to other areas of NB.

It is expected the Federal Government will announce very soon its response to the public reaction to the Chemical Spray Program at Base Gagetown and the affects on Veterans and Civilians.

Today I attended the funeral for Murray MaGee. He was interviewed by Don Dickson on CBC TV recently. He was a private contractor who worked cutting wood on Base and claimed his illnesses (and those of his brothers) were a result of exposure to chemical spray at Base Gagetown. He will be sadly missed. He asked that his memory live on with the Agent Orange issue. I told his wife Abby that I would keep working on this issue until is gets resolved and all people directly affected, veterans and civilians, have been compensated by the federal government.

Thank you everyone for being in touch.

MLA, Oromocto Gagetown

357-3407 (t)

357-7101 (f)



Anyone who wishes to send a sympathy note to Bernard Richard? You can do so by leaving a note in this blog!!!! It will be very much appreciated!!!!


My deepest sympathy!


There’s one big disadvantage being away from your hometown and poor.

If something disastrous happens? It’s almost an impossible task to make it home quickly.

This was the case on April 6th 2004.

I received an email from my cousin telling me that a tragedy happen in Shediac.

My friend Mike Cormier’s son Remi was run over by a school bus.


I quickly wrote an update on this emotional issue and phone my Priest.

The question was – What can I say or do to help the family?


Once again, the Priest came out with some good word of wisdom.

We don’t understand now but we will in the future.

I sent a sympathy card to the family. I couldn’t phone the parents because I didn’t wish to disturb them in their time of mourning for their loving son.

I watch the news and saw the family follow the coffin of poor little Remi. His brother Justin had his head down and the parents were in very bad shape.

I felt bad that I couldn’t attend the funeral.

Months later, I phoned and had a nice little chat with the mother- Nadine. She was still down but ok I guess.


While attending the 50th anniversary of my uncle and aunt. I noticed Mike < father of Remi > walking by me to attend the ceremony.

He had his head down but look ok.

I remember down at the shipyard, a father lost his only child to a . After months of mourning, he returned but his friends would always asked him if he was ok?

Once again, he would return home!

This case with the Cormier’s was different because I knew an inquest on their son would begin this week. Some family members told me that this just wasn’t the place but I have known Mike since he was a kid and I had some questions.

I knew it’ll be years till I see him again so this was the time to get a few stories out from the father!

Just to show you how bad they took it! They built a very nice home from scratch.
I’m certain that the home is worth well over $100,000!!! After they witnessed their son run over by the school bus? They quickly put the house for sale.

There’s no way in the world that they could live in that area because every instance they would look out their picture window?


They would be reminded of Remi!

I began a conversation with Mike and he opened up!

Mike is a very stubborn individual and he made certain that his son death will not be vain.

What I found very odd is that the bus driver never sent the family a letter of apology!!!!

My God? That’s terrible! Some people just don’t have a conscious I guess!


The inquest will definitely come out with a few recommendations but the question is this?

Why did the bus stopped on the other side of the street?


The bus driver was on his first day of duty and I don’t believe this is enough time for training especially when it comes to the children.

What I found very interesting is the part that Mike said those school buses are not safe!

Why don’t the school buses are not with the transit buses in the Cities?

If that would have been the case?

Remie would still be among us today!


Another concern was the Government can wait 10 years to act on these recommendations!!!!

I told Mike - Hey? I have been waiting for 6 years to have a study done on Ritalin!


Mike and Nadine are very strong individuals.

They will never be the same again but they will fight on for the sake of Remi’s brother - Justin.

They must and will remain strong for Justin’s sake!

Something good must come out from this tragedy!

One other issue Mike told me was the same tragedy happen in Quebec 4 months after Remi was killed.


Question? How many other fatal accidents has occurred across Canada that we don’t know about?

Are these school buses dangerous?

Are they killer buses?

This inquest will asked some good tough questions and the Cormier family will make certain that their son death will not be in vain!!!!!


Here’s some stories in the newspapers about the inquest. I will post them in my blog all week long!

May God give them the courage to have the strength to hold on during this very emotional inquest!

NB Telegraph-Journal | Provincial News
As published on page A1/A2 on July 5, 2005

Mother watched as school bus ran over son


Nadine Cormier stared into her young son's vacant eyes
and knew he was .

During the opening of a four-day coroner's inquest
into five-year-old Remi Cormier's , his mother
testified she was watching from a window when her
youngest son was hit by his school bus in front of
their Cap-Bimet home last year.

"I ran to him, I was just wearing hose. I didn't
have shoes on, but I didn't notice," a tearful Mrs.
Cormier testified Monday in Moncton's court building.

"When I got to Remi, I knew he was . His eyes were
open, they were fixed. Then I saw the top of his head
was open."

Clutching a stuffed Dalmatian toy that belonged to
Remi, Mrs. Cormier said Remi and his older brother
Justin took the bus every morning from their Cap-Bimet
home to nearby Grand-Barachois in southeastern New
(Andrew Philips/Telegraph-Journal)
Family spokesman Al Breau says the last year has been
a very painful one for Remi Cormier's parents and
older brother.

But on this particular April morning, Mrs. Cormier
said the bus driver, who had just taken over the route
temporarily, stopped on the opposite side of the road
rather than directly in front of their home as had
been the norm.

"They never had to cross the street," she said. "The
bus didn't stop, it went past Justin. That's what was
strange. Remi moved forward in front of the bus and it
was still stopped. Then the wheels began to move."

Michel Cormier, Remi's father, said he and his wife
had to console Justin, who is now 11, to let him know
the tragedy was not his fault since he was on the bus
already when the younger boy was struck.

Mrs. Cormier described Remi as a very likable little
boy who had "an interesting character" and many
excellent qualities.

"He brought us much happiness," she said, her eyes
welling up often. "He was very nice looking, but once
you knew him, he was even more nice-looking on the

At the start of the 2003-04 school year, Mrs. Cormier
said Remi was very excited about beginning
kindergarten and taking the bus.

Together, the mother and her two sons read a pamphlet
on school bus safety given to her as part of Remi's

"He knew where his bus stop was, he knew he had to be
quiet on the bus and listen to the driver," she said.

Mrs. Cormier said she hopes "all of the facts come
out" during the inquest, which continues today with
the jury learning about school-bus safety and
testimony from RCMP reconstruction experts.

"Remi was simply going to take his bus. I want to know
whether he (the driver) got the training he should

"This should not have happened."
Pathologist Dr. Emmanuel Maicas also testified Monday
that Remi died from "cranial trauma" caused by a
complete skull fracture.

Other witnesses described the scene near the Cormiers'
home, including Denise LeBlanc who said she saw the
bus's front and back wheels run over the boy.

Paramedic Karen Gallant pronounced Remi at the
scene and tried to keep people away from the young
boy's body pending the arrival of police.

"Someone came to say, 'the bus driver was really upset
and needs help. He's in shock,' " Ms. Gallant

Afterwards, family spokesman Al Breau said the last
year has been very painful for the family, who moved
to another home last summer to escape the constant
reminders of Remi's .

"This has been a tough time for the entire family,"
said Mr. Breau, who was Remi's step-grandfather.

"There's a huge loss and it's hard.

"I can't even put myself in their shoes."

Times & Transcript | Metro Moncton
As published on page A1/A2 on July 5, 2005

Inquest probes boy's
Five-year-old struck and killed by school bus; Parents
say inadequate driver training to blame

Times & Transcript Staff
Rémi Cormier

Nadine Cormier drew her strength from a small stuffed
Dalmation that wore a Catholic saint's medal around
its neck.

Yesterday morning, Cormier clutched the toy close and
occasionally plucked at its fur as she relived the
death of her youngest son, Rémi Cormier.

The dog, named Picot, was Rémi's favourite toy, she
told reporters following the first day of a four-day
coroner's inquest in Moncton.

Both Nadine Cormier and her husband, Michel Cormier,
told the inquest's five-person jury that they believe
inadequate bus driver training led to their son's

"I hope the facts will come out and that it shows Rémi
was simply going to take the bus as he did every day,"
Nadine Cormier said, "and the driver put the life of
my two children in jeopardy that day, and I want to
know why."

The inquest has been called to find out how and why
five-year-old Rémi, a kindergarten student at Père
Edgar-T. LeBlanc School, was struck and killed by his
school bus on the Cap-Bimet Road, on April 6, 2004.

Coroner's inquests are fact-finding missions and are
not intended to assign blame. Instead, the jury is
expected to draw recommendations aimed at preventing
similar s.

An RCMP investigation ruled out any criminal charges
against the bus driver. In November 2004, the Cormier
family filed a civil suit against the province and
School District 11, which is responsible for
Shediac-area French-speaking schools. Memramcook
lawyer Jacques Gauthier, who attended yesterday's
hearing, is representing the Cormier family.

The inquiry opened yesterday with Nadine Cormier's
account of how her two children, Remi and his older
brother, Justin, now 11, always caught the school bus
at the end of their driveway.

"They didn't have to touch the asphalt," Cormier said
in French, through a translator.

"They never had to cross the street."

The Cap Bimet Road is a -end lane that runs
perpendicular to the seaside. Typically, the boys' bus
would move toward the shore down the Cap Bimet Road,
then turn around at Paturel's fish processing plant
(now known as the Barry Group NB Inc.) and stop in
front of the boys' home at 54 Cap Bimet Road, where it
would pick them up.

April 6 was different.

Nadine Cormier often watched from the front window of
her house as the children boarded their bus. On that
day, Rémi had been in the back seat of the family car,
perhaps looking for something, and the rear driver's
side door was open. She peeked out of the house to
tell him the bus was coming, and wished him a good
day. Justin was already outside, waiting at the end of
the driveway.

To her surprise, the bus didn't drive all the way to
the fish plant to turn around. Instead, it stopped in
front of her house, on the opposite side of the road.

The bus didn't stop where Justin was, but drove beyond
him, and stopped past the house. Justin had to cross
the street in a diagonal line, then walk in front of
the bus, in order to board.

Rémi, who Nadine Cormier said was always told to
follow his big brother, closed the door to the car and
also crossed.

"I never showed him how to cross the road, because he
never had to do it," she said.

She said he was wearing a light grey jacket with a
bright orange stripe, and a grey and black backpack
with the image of a large orange basketball on the

From her vantage point, Nadine saw Rémi's little legs
as he stepped in front of the bus.

"I saw the wheels move forward, and I knew Rémi wasn't
on the bus yet, " she told the inquest, her voice

"It was like the bus was chasing him."

She ran outside through the gravel and snow, her legs
clad only in hose. Just as she leaped out the
door, she saw the bus' front passenger wheel hit him.

When she got to him, she told the jury, she knew he
was ; his eyes were open and fixed, and he had
severe head injuries.

She ran back into the house, where her husband Michel
Cormier was on the phone with 911. Together, they
returned to the scene, where Michel Cormier covered
his son's body with a jacket.

The bus, meanwhile, continued moving away, until it
reached the fish plant and turned around, then
stopped. Nadine Cormier said she didn't remember the
driver exiting the bus.

Nadine Cormier also described how Rémi suffered from
eczema and allergies, and occasionally took Benadryl
to ease the itching. On April 6, she'd given him
Benadryl around 6:30 morning, she said, and he'd had
his usual breakfast of toast. She said she didn't
believe that he was feeling any effects from the
that day, because he took it so often.

Like most of those attending the inquest, coroner
Merrithew was visibly moved by Nadine Cormier's

"I'm going to start crying now myself," Merrithew
said, thanking her.

In his account of the , Michel Cormier pointed
out that the bus's safety arm was extended, preventing
Rémi from crossing the road completely.

"He closed the (car) door and adjusted his backpack,
and was sort of jogging, and when he stopped in front
of the bus, he started to run," Michel Cormier said.

"He was running for his life."

Michel Cormier described how he once met the boy's
regular bus driver, and how he learned later that the
driver on April 6 was someone different.

Workers on their way to shifts at the Paturel plant
were among the first to arrive on the scene. Denise
LeBlanc told the jury she had stopped her car behind
the bus in response to its flashing lights. She
noticed that the bus was picking up the kids on a
different side of the road than usual.

She said she watched in horror as the bus hit and
rolled over Remi with its front passenger wheel, then
its back passenger wheel. She didn't notice whether or
not the bus's safety arm was extended.

Witnesses agreed that the road conditions weren't
slippery that day, and that about a centimetre of snow
was on the ground. Roland Bourque, a former Paturel
employee who was also at the scene, said he noticed
bus tire tracks in the slush that ended in a little

The jury heard of a chaotic scene as the family and
witnesses awaited emergency workers. Ambulance
attendant Karen Gallant said once they arrived and
determined that the boy was she and her partner
were the first on the scene crowd control became a

Called as an expert witness, pathologist Dr. Emmanuel
Maicas reviewed his report, which showed that
Rémi died of severe head trauma. He also bore bruises
on his hands and scratches on his arms and legs,
consistent with dragging.

The hearing resumes this morning at 9:30 a.m. at Court
of Queen's Bench in Moncton.