NDP Environment Critic Challenges Premier to Put Promises in Writing
Miner and News | Friday, November 25, 2016
Ontario NDP environment critic Peter Tabuns (Toronto Danforth) called on Premier Wynne to put her government’s promises in writing regarding a clean up of the mercury contaminated Wabigoon River. “Yesterday, (we asked) the Liberal government to commit once and for all to clean up the Wabigoon River of the mercury that has poisoned the people of Grassy Narrows,’” said Tabuns during Question Period at Queens Park on Thursday, Nov. 24.
Tabuns demanded the Premier take action on the promise by Ontario Environment and Climate Change Minister Glen Murray that the cleanup will be made to the satisfaction of the Chief and the health of the people of Grassy Narrows.
Tabuns referred to a statement he attributed to Grassy Narrows Chief Simon Fobister inviting the premier to put the commitment in writing.
“It couldn’t be clearer. Will the Premier immediately contact the Chief to sign the commitment for cleanup Grassy Narrows once and for all?” challenged Tabuns. “Now that the Minister has finally committed, when will the premier begin to clean up the Wabigoon River.”
According to Grassy Narrow band council, many of its residents still suffer from the toxic effects from the discharge of 9,000 kg of mercury from a paper mill into the Wabigoon River in the 1960s and in some areas close to Grassy Narrows the mercury levels in the river sediment are still rising. Forty-five years after the dumping was curtailed, mercury levels in the river remain in the highest risk category.