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Nov 21, 2017

Historic Legislation Introduced to Clean Up Mercury Contamination Poisoning Grassy Narrows First Nation

Ontario has recently introduced historic legislation to clean up the mercury contamination that has impacted Grassy Narrows First Nation for generations. First dumped into the Wabigoon river by a paper mill in Dryden in the 1960s, the mercury has had devastating effects on the health, culture and economy of Grassy Narrows downstream. The people of Grassy Narrows have fought for decades to have the river – their lifeblood – remediated, and community members fairly compensated for their losses. Grassy Narrows recently learned from a confidential report that the mill owners and Ontario have known since at least the 1990s that the soil and groundwater at the mill site continue to be extremely contaminated with mercury. The report supports what Grassy Narrows has long suspected: that they and their river system continue to be poisoned by mercury from the mill site.

Adrienne Telford represents Grassy Narrows First Nation in its dealings with the provincial and federal governments over the mercury poisoning, including with respect to their efforts to remediate the English-Wabigoon river system.  The historic legislation that was introduced in the legislature on November 14, 2017, ensures that Grassy Narrows is an equal partner in the remediation of the river system. A copy of the Bill can be found here.

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