NDP pushes for action on Grassy Narrows

NDP Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Critic Michael Mantha called on the government to release a detailed plan for addressing the long-standing mercury contamination of the English-Wabigoon River.

This morning during question period, Mantha questioned the sincerity of the government’s promise to “[identify] all contaminated sites and [clean] up the English-Wabigoon River of the mercury that has been poisoning the Grassy and Wabaseemoong First Nations for two generations.” 

Mantha, MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin, urged the government to release details of an earlier meeting with Grassy Narrows First Nation Chief Simon Fobister, asking: “Will the Premier tell this Legislature and the people of this province exactly what promises the Premier made to Chief Fobister in a meeting held with him on February 10?”

Experts on mercury contamination are concerned that the government is ignoring possible contamination sources.

“A report released yesterday, funded by this government, says there is ‘strong evidence’ of an ongoing source of mercury contamination at the old mill site down the river of Grassy Narrows, yet this government has said repeatedly that the mill site is not an ongoing source of mercury,” said Mantha. “Why has this government never bothered to test the river next to the Dryden mill?”