NDP demands Wynne keep promise to Grassy Narrows and clean up mercury contamination

During question period Tuesday, the NDP’s environment critic, Peter Tabuns, demanded that Premier Kathleen Wynne respect the people of Grassy Narrows and clean up the mercury contamination of the English-Wabigoon River, after Wynne’s 2017 budget left out any mention of it, or of Grassy Narrows.

“The people of Grassy Narrows have been suffering from mercury poisoning for over 40 years,” said Tabuns.  “After the premier met with Chief Fobister of Grassy Narrows, in February, Chief Fobister and the media reported that she committed to cleaning up the mercury contamination at Grassy Narrows.

“Yet in the budget last week, there was no money set aside to stop the mercury poisoning or even a mention of Grassy Narrows. 

“Why did the premier break her promise?”

Tabuns told the legislature of the lasting effects on mercury poisoning on the people of Grassy Narrows, and the case of 14-year-old Azraya Ackabee-Kokopenace.

“Azraya died last year after leaving hospital. No cause of death is known but her brother died from exposure to mercury poisoning in 2014,” Tabuns said.

“This is a community that is living a tragedy. 

“Will the premier put the money on the table and stop the poisoning of this community?”