OTTAWA — A B.C. veteran says Canada should follow the United Kingdom’s recent lead and apologize for recklessly handing out an anti-malaria drug that has been described as being “the worse form of friendly fire.”
In an appearance this month before a parliamentary committee probing alleged misuse of Mefloquine, a British minister acknowledged that the MPs had heard considerable testimony about soldiers suffering crippling long-term neurological and psychiatric problems after taking the drug.
“I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to any former or current service personnel affected,” said Mark Lancaster, the parliamentary undersecretary of state and minister for defence personnel and veterans.
The apology was music to the ears to Canadian veterans and those who have advocated on their behalf since the federal government began dispensing Mefloquine to paratroopers during the ill-fated 1992-93 mission to Somalia.