Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell says the Wynne Liberals are illegally trying to shift responsibility for the cleanup of mercury contamination in the English-Wabigoon River instead of helping communities suffering the consequences of decades of mercury poisoning.
“Two days ago we learned the government’s plan for cleaning up the Wabigoon River is to offload this responsibility onto somebody else,” explained Campbell during question period this morning. “The Ontario government intends to make Domtar responsible for cleaning up the mercury, even though decades ago the Ontario government formally declared that Domtar is not responsible for cleaning up the mercury.”
Ontario’s Superior Court previously ruled it illegal for the provincial government to pass responsibility for the cleanup to another party. The mercury contamination dates back over 40 years, to a previous owner of the mill site. Since then, residents of the Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong First Nations have been dealing with the devastating consequences of multi-generational, community-wide mercury poisoning.
“The premier is well aware that Ontario’s Superior Court has ruled that it is illegal to offload their responsibility. She doesn’t care that what she is doing is illegal. She knows that she will lose this latest court battle,” said Campbell. “Her goal is not to win. Her goal is to delay. All the while, families in Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong are literally dying of mercury poisoning.”
Campbell called on Kathleen Wynne to stop delaying the cleanup, asking, “Will the premier listen to her conscience, stop this pointless delay and get to work cleaning up the mercury once and for all?”