The co-president of the Agent Orange Association of Canada says an independent panel looking into the use of toxic chemicals in Ontario will be "ineffective."

The panel is looking at the use of the herbicide 2,4,5-T, which is similar to the deadly chemical Agent Orange. The herbicide was used extensively in Ontario to clear brush in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

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The herbicide 2,4,5-T was used in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. It was used by the Ministry of Natural Resources and private forest companies, the Ministry of Transportation and Ontario Hydro (now Hydro One). (mnr.gov.on.ca)

Carol Brown Parker said people expecting the panel to be an in-depth look at the use of 2,4,5-T in the province will be disappointed.

She said the Ontario panel reminds her heavily of a New Brunswick Inquiry looking into similar toxic substance use.

"And it wasn't a successful outcome here," she said.

"I know that [people are] hopeful, but I hope they don't get their hopes up because I don't think it's going to turn around the way they think it will."

'Big mistake'

Brown Parker said the panel should be looking for traces of Agent Orange, and not just one portion of the chemical.

"That, in my opinion, is a big mistake because they used 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T. They just didn't want to use the word Agent Orange, in my opinion."

Brown Parker said she's concerned this narrowing of the panel's scope is just one way it will be ineffective. The 2010-established panel isn't independent enough and is taking too long to issue its report, she added.

Brown Parker said she expects some individuals will get compensation for the impact herbicide 2,4,5-T has had on their lives. However, that financial help will likely be minimal and difficult to access, as it was in the New Brunswick Inquiry.