Quebec veteran ends hunger strike
QUEBEC - A former Quebec soldier ended his hunger strike Tuesday after reaching a deal with Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney to help ailing war veterans.
Pascal Lacoste, who suffered two temporary drops in blood pressure Monday, was taken to the hospital Tuesday after he emerged from Blaney's Levis, Que. riding office with a deal in hand.
The 38 year old claims he was poisoned by depleted uranium while serving in Bosnia in the 1990s.
He had vowed to stop eating until the government accepted his requests for decontamination treatments and his demand to recognize soldiers could have been contaminated by uranium.
Since beginning his hunger strike Saturday, Lacoste has had nothing to eat or drink, only taking the occasional medication.
Jean-Christophe de le Rue, spokesman for the minister, said Blaney offered to create within 30 days an advisory board to study veterans' health issues, starting with uranium. Lacoste consulted with veterans who are supporting his cause and decided to take the deal.
``The minister also offered to arrange medical assistance for him and extended that offer to all veterans,'' de le Rue said, noting Blaney is ``very happy'' Lacoste is not endangering his health anymore.
Lacoste said he has suffered from a degenerative neurological condition, infertility and chronic pain for more than a decade.
On a Facebook page supporters claimed ``victory!'' after the deal was announced.