'Poisoned' veteran begins hunger strike outside minister's office
By: The Canadian Press 11/4/2011Article Link
LEVIS, Que. - Armed with little more than a sleeping bag and a few pillows, a former soldier who says he was poisoned while serving overseas has started a hunger strike outside the riding office of Canada's veterans affairs minister.
Pascal Lacoste blames his declining health, including chronic pain and a degenerative neurological disorder, on depleted-uranium poisoning he believes he contracted in Bosnia in the 1990s.
The 38-year-old Quebec City resident began fasting at noon Saturday and vowed not to eat again until Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney recognizes that he and other soldiers were contaminated with depleted uranium.
That would allow Lacoste to be covered for the decontamination treatment he requires at a U.S. hospital, he said.
"I had a big breakfast this morning and now I won't eat or drink water, and I'm waiting for the minister's decision," he said in a phone interview. "I'm ready to fight for justice."
The Veterans Affairs department maintains it's unlikely any Canadian soldiers were contaminated with depleted uranium because few, if any, ever came into contact with it while in service.
In a statement, Blaney's spokesman Jean-Christophe de le Rue said that specialists are available to help Lacoste.More on link- mod edit to bring headline in line with latest story developments -