Joint Statement by Ontario NDP Environment Critic Peter Tabuns, Indigenous Affairs Critic France Gélinas, and MPP for Kenora-Rainy River Sarah Campbell
Queen’s Park – “In light of the latest revelations that the federal government has been holding on to thirty year-old data that shows the devastating impact of mercury exposure in the development of children of Grassy Narrows, New Democrats call on the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to release all health data the government possesses to the people of Grassy Narrows, which they have a right to access.
Serious questions remain about the Ontario government’s claims to transparency and accountability: Was the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care aware of Health Canada reports showing elevated mercury levels in the umbilical cords of babies in Grassy Narrows? If so, then why was this information kept secret? If the Minister was unaware of these studies then how can the Ontario government legitimately claim that it has been monitoring the impact of mercury contamination on the people of Grassy Narrows?
Given the provincial government’s responsibility to the people of Grassy Narrows it’s hard to fathom that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care did not have prior access to this recently released Health Canada information.
Instead of waiting for the next story to detail the unacceptable neglect of the health and well-being of the people of Grassy Narrows, New Democrats call on the Wynne government to fully release all of the information they have about the environmental and health impacts from the mercury contamination of the English-Wabigoon River system, and to act immediately to clean up the mess.”