The Council of Canadians was at the annual River Run event in Toronto in June 2016 demanding justice for Grassy Narrows.
The Council of Canadians is celebrating the long overdue announcement that the mercury contamination at the Grassy Narrows (Asubpeechoseewagong) First Nation in northern Ontario will be cleaned up.
The Toronto Star reports, “The Ontario government is committing $85 million to finally clean up the mercury-contaminated Wabigoon River that has poisoned the people of Grassy Narrows First Nation and nearby Whitedog First Nation for generations. The ‘comprehensive remediation action plan’ will also involve finding all contaminated sites that could be leaking mercury into the river.”
The CBC further explains, “The mercury was dumped into the river by Reed Paper, upstream of the First Nations in Dryden, Ont., in the 1960s and early 1970s. It has never been cleaned up. That has resulted in more than 90 per cent of the population in the communities showing signs of mercury poisoning, according to research released in September 2016 by Japanese experts who have been studying the health of people there for decades.”
That article adds, “Preparation work on the river will be completed this summer with remediation starting in early 2018.”
Grassy Narrows Chief Simon Fobister says, “This river is the lifeblood of my people. For too long we have suffered from this preventable tragedy. May this be the beginning of a new era of hope for my people, and may justice flow at long last.”
The Council of Canadians congratulates the people of Grassy Narrows along with all organizations and individuals who fought so hard for this outcome.
We first expressed our solidarity with this struggle in April 2010.
For numerous campaign blogs about this issue over the years, please click here.