Thalidomide survivors say they were belittled by Disability Minister Kent Hehr

first_imgOTTAWA – Members of a thalidomide survivor group allege that patients were belittled in a face-to-face meeting with Kent Hehr, the federal minister for persons with disabilities.Fiona Sampson, a thalidomide survivor in the meeting, said Hehr degraded patients with his remarks.She said he apologized this fall after a letter was sent to the Prime Minister’s Office.The survivors are calling on the federal government to honour a pledge to compensate them with a lump sum payment of $250,000 and increased annual pensions.They say patients have received lump sum payments of $125,000 each, noting they are struggling to make ends meet due to the extent of their disabilities.In December 2014, the House of Commons passed a unanimous motion with a commitment to provide “full support’ to Canadian thalidomide victims who were born with physical disabilities due to the effects of the drug during pregnancy.last_img

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