On July 30th, 1974, a room filled with 137 cadet members was being informed on explosive devices when a mixed up live-grenade exploded, killing six cadets and injuring up to 65 of them. Psychological traumas were allegedly accentuated by the Forces’ handling of the situation, questioning cadets to a point some came to think they were responsible for the accident.
After years of hard fought battles, the cadets were granted financial compensation by the Federal Government two years ago. Despite reaching out to over one hundred of them, eight cadets still remain unaccounted for. They are: Yan Ross Anderson, Jean Huot, Sven Engles, Jacques Demers, Michel Parizeau, Pierre Trudel, Jean-Guy Haché and André Vaillancourt. Most of them were aged 14-15 when the accident happened, making them 58-60 years-old today.
Gerry Fostaty was Sergeant of 10 Platoon, D Company at the time of the tragedy. He wrote the book “As you were: The tragedy of Valcartier” and fought long and hard during nine years to have the government acknowledge the accident and grant the cadets compensations that were provided to military members’ staff at the time.
“We are using every tool at our disposition to reach out to all cadets present that day. Networking, Social Media, standard media; every means possible for theses cadets and their families to get the compensations they should have been granted almost 44 years ago,” he says.
Company D’s former Sergeant major, Charles Gutta, adds, “We are working really hard at finding those men. I’m expecting some positive development by next week. We may have only five left to locate.”
Each cadet present in the room at the time of the accidental explosion is eligible for $42,000 with an additional financial award going up to $310,000 for seriously injured individuals. It is also possible for families of deceased cadets to claim the financial compensation for an amount going up to $58,000. In addition to this, all cadets will see their related health-care costs – non-covered by their respective provincial systems – covered in their entirety, for life, by the Canadian Armed Forces.
If you know any of the cadets present that day, you may ask them to dial 1-844-800-8566 or email [email protected] to claim their must deserved compensation. They have one year left (March 2019) to follow thru the protocol set in place.