Valcartier Part One

37 years ago, an accident on a military base in Valcartier, Quebec left six cadets dead and more wounded. Many of the cadets who survived remain traumatized by what happened that day and some have been trying get help from the Federal Government. But Ottawa hasn't been forthcoming. We talk to a cadet who survived the accident, as well as the author of a new book about the incident and a Canadian soldier who has been trying to help the cadets get some support.

Today's guest host was Tom Harrington.

Part One of The Current


It's Tuesday, May 24th.

Stephen Harper is attending the G8 in France this week.

Currently, between meetings, the Prime Minister looks forward to taking in France's iconic fake vineyards.

This is The Current.

Valcartier Part One

We started this segment with a CBC news report from July 30th, 1974 - following a horrifying accident at the Canadian Forces Base in Valcartier, Quebec. Somehow, a live hand grenade had made its way into a box of dummy ammunition used to teach cadets about explosive safety. The grenade's pin was pulled during the exercise.

In the end, six teenage cadets were killed and fifty four injured in the explosion. And even though 37 years have passed since that bloody day, echoes of the blast remain. Gerry Fostaty was an 18-year-old Sargeant in the reserves that summer and he was in charge of a platoon at Valcartier. He was one of the first people on the scene after the blast, and has recounted that day in his new book As You Were: The Tragedy of Valcartier. He was in Toronto. Charles Gutta was the company Sargeant Major that day and he was in Ottawa this morning. And Peter Van Kampen was a 15-year-old cadet back then. He joined us from Sarnia, Ontario

*** We should warn you that there might be some graphic descriptions involved, so be advised, if you're squeamish, or have any young ones around. ***

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