For almost 50 years, the river system—a foundational element of the Grassy Narrows culture—-that the community relies on for food and water has been contaminated with mercury as a result of industrial pollution. The provincial government has reviewed Rudd's new report but disagrees with it, according to a spokesperson for Ontario's Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. He said his community will allow construction workers to enter the community despite the fear of COVID-19. "We made these recommendations in the 1980s and our report was put on the shelf.". Several Japanese doctors who had been involved in studying Minamata disease in Japan travelled to Canada to investigate the mercury poisoning in these people. But he said community members are still leery of using tap water, relying instead on shipments of bottled water delivered to the community each week. A First Nation of about 650 people near Ontario’s border with Manitoba, Grassy Narrows’ water was contaminated by tonnes of mercury dumped into its water system by an upstream paper mill. After six decades of suffering the effects of a mercury contamination in the English-Wabigoon River in northwest Ontario, Grassy Narrows is hoping more funding for a treatment home the federal government promised to build will provide long-term care for hundreds battling chronic health problems. "Our community members have suffered for so long," Grassy Narrows First Nation Chief Randy Fobister said in a recent interview. "What we found out quite quickly was that there was no trust between Grassy Narrows and the government of Canada, and in some senses, rightly so," he said. John Rudd is a research scientist who examined the mercury pollution in the English - Wabigoon river system 30 years ago. Tap water that is contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals. "He was terminally ill with the mercury poisoning that was dumped in our waters," his aunt Lorenda Kokopenace said. Box 500 Station A Toronto, ON Canada, M5W 1E6. In 1962, Dryden Chemicals Ltd. began operating a chlor-alkali plant in Dryden, Ontario. The federal government committed up to $19.5 million to each community for the construction of facilities to meet the needs of residents living with methylmercury poisoning. Audience Relations, CBC P.O. New technology has made remediation even more viable, he said. With little money and no local grocery store, residents have continued to eat the fish throughout the years. To date, 1,064 people from Grassy Narrows and nearby Wabaseemoong (formerly Whitedog) First Nations have applied for compensation for the health impacts of mercury poisoning, according to the Mercury Disability Board. McGill Sociological Review, Volume 4 (February 2014): 43-66 Natalia Ilyniak University of Manitoba Abstract: Using an environmental injustice framework, this paper explores how the case of mercury poisoning in Grassy Narrows,an Anishinaabe community in Northwestern Ontario, exists as part of broader colonial processes in Canada. Water bottles are seen at the local water supply site on the Grassy Narrows First Nation, in northwestern Ontario, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. Dryden is located about 130 km upstream from Grassy Narrows. Residents of Grassy Narrows First Nation, about 100 kilometres northeast of Kenora, Ont., have grappled with long-standing mental and physical health issues due to toxic mercury levels in the nearby English-Wabigoon River. That points to an ongoing source of contamination, possibly leaching from the old chemical plant, Rudd said. Japanese experts in mercury poisoning have expressed concerns that the board's criteria for compensation are overly restrictive. The water was deemed fit for human consumption again just this October, which Fobister said came after years of work on water treatment facilities and local pipes. Grassy Narrows declared a state of emergency over its unsafe drinking water in 2015, after a boil-water advisory had already been in place for nearly two years, as it tried to get more information from the federal government about the safety of its water. Decades of government inaction. So have many in Wabaseemoong Independent Nations, also known as Whitedog First Nation, about 130 kilometres away. High levels of mercury contamination in the English-Wabigoon River system, discovered in 1970, caused very high levels of mercury exposure among people residing in the First Nations communities of Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong. The province says its ongoing monitoring of the facility shows no evidence of leaching. Miller said previous plans for treatment facilities were delayed as Indigenous communities pushed for more comprehensive federal funding. Canada’s Supreme Court sided with Ontario Friday on who bears responsibility for remediating a mercury waste disposal site on Ontario’s Wabigoon and English rivers. Natural recovery stalled 30 years ago, Rudd said, noting that levels of mercury in some waterways in the area are five to 10 times "what they should be.". "When the fish are healthy, the land is healthy, and maybe, maybe then the youth, 50 years from now, they'll have good health.". "I hope it'll become a state-of-the-art place where we can study the effects of mercury poisoning," he told a news conference last week. They also found two other disinfectant byproducts considered possible carcinogens. The government promised to fund the building of a new water treatment plant in the community next to the mercury treatment centre. Grassy Narrows elder: ‘When you have mercury you have it for life’ – Dec 3, 2019 Bowater, which eventually became Resolute, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009. A report commissioned by Grassy Narrows First Nation to investigate the mercury contamination found that cleaning up the community’s water supply is already feasible. Meanwhile, Fobister said he fears his community will bear the consequences of the mercury contamination until the river is cleaned up, noting such a process could prolong the ordeal for several more generations of Grassy Narrows residents. Meanwhile, Fobister said he fears his community will bear the consequences of the mercury contamination until the river is cleaned up, noting such a process could prolong the ordeal for several more generations of Grassy Narrows residents. The contamination closed the commercial fishery that was the foundation of the economy at Grassy Narrows First Nation. Grassy Narrows declared a state of emergency over its unsafe drinking water in 2015, after a boil-water advisory had already been in place for nearly two years, as it tried to get more information from the federal government about the safety … Grassy Narrows First Nation, or the Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation, is a small First Nations community in northwestern Ontario. It is feasible to clean up some of the decades-old mercury contamination in Ontario's English-Wabigoon River system near Grassy Narrows First Nation, according to new research by three experts in the field. Grassy Narrows First Nation received a settlement in 1985 from the Government of Canada and the Reed Paper Company that bought-out the Dryden Pulp and Paper Company and its sister-company Dryden Chemical Company. "We've seen the announcements, but we haven't seen the outcomes," he said. He said he hopes to see both projects begin in the spring. Seven new COVID deaths in Saskatchewan, 559 new cases, 500 ... Have the Weyburn Review delivered to your Inbox every week! "The promises are great, but we need to see solutions, we need to see actions, we need to see these problems actually solved," Conservative MP Gary Vidal, his party's critic for Indigenous Services, said in an interview. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson, Seven new COVID deaths in Saskatchewan, 559 new cases, 500 recoveries. Community members in Grassy Narrows are still dealing with the legacy of mercury contamination, which is related to the bleaching of paper at the Dryden mill upstream between 1962 and 1970, when an estimated nine to 10 tonnes of mercury were released into the water. What follows is a statement released by Minister Murray and David Zimmer, Ontario’s Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. Miller said the mercury treatment facilities have potential to fill a unique place in the Canadian health-care system. Fobister said ground testing is already taking place in the area where the two facilities should be built. You can, 'Believe in science': EU kicks off COVID-19 vaccine campaign, Pornhub removes all content by unverified users, says site has been unfairly targeted, The Nature Conservancy of Canada suggests leaving your old Christmas tree in your backyard, Update on eHealth Cyberattack and Potential Privacy Breach, Detailed technology presentation heard by Cornerstone board members, First quarter financial report shows Cornerstone on track. Opposition critics said they will wait to see it take concrete shape before offering praise. Between 1962 and 1970, the company dumped an estimated 9,000 kg of untreated mercury into the English-Wabigoon river system, upstream from Grassy Narrows and Whitedog First Nations. "The problem is being perpetuated," he said. Reed Paper in Dryden, Ont., dumped chemicals in the river in the 1960s and early 1970s, resulting in mercury poisoning among First Nations people who ate fish caught in the area. Rudd said the source of the ongoing contamination needs further study, but the feasibility of remediation does not. Grassy Narrows: Why Ontario decided not to clean up mercury, Wynne won't commit to Grassy Narrows mercury cleanup, Mercury levels still rising near Grassy Narrows, report says. She is the lead author on a March 2017 report that documented large levels (many times the background level) of mercury downstream of the chlor-alkali plant and low concentrations upstream of the plant. Fobister said his community of about 1,200 residents continues to struggle with tainted water long after the initial mercury contamination took place. , 559 new cases grassy narrows mercury contamination 500... have the Weyburn Review delivered to your Inbox every!! 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