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2014-07-29 at 13:20

First Nation says Ontario has known about mercury poisoning for years

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By tbnewswatch.com

GRASSY NARROWS FIRST NATIONS, Ont -- Members of this northern ontario First Nation community have unveiled a provincial report they say proves Ontario has known about ongoing mercury poisoning issues for five years.

The Dryden paper mill dumped 10 tons of mercury in the English River system over a decade during the 1960s.

The province considered the issue closed when it paid Grassy Narrows and neighbouring Wabaseemoong First Nation $10 million in 1985. 

But in 2009, Ontario commissioned a report showing the long-term effects of mercury poisoning continues. The province never made that report public.

Grassy Narrows Chief Roger Fobister Senior says his people are being declined Mercury Disability services, and he's demanding action. 

It's now illegal to fish commercially in the river system, but the government suggests personal fish consumption only be moderated.  Treaty 3 Grand Chief Warren White spoke to both Canada and Ontario in bold terms. 

The Former Chief of Grassy Narrows is seeking justice for the survivors of mercury poisoning. 

Steve Fobister Senior, who is dying from mercury poisoning is set to begin a hunger strike. 

He's demanding the mercury board be restructured to meet the needs of Grassy Narrows and that a facility be built for survivors of mercury poisoning. 

 

(TBT News)


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Comments

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mystified says:
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that after mercury was detected and you were compensated that you shouldn't eat too many fish per year and you wouldn't have any problems. I have relatives who live in Kenora and they eat the fish and they don't have any problems.
7/29/2014 10:53:45 PM
whitecrow says:
In the 60's it was a Japanese group that had researched the problem in Japan . It was called Minimata ( sp?) disease . They were brought here at that time and convinced the Government that it was Mercury poisoning from the mill . 10 million may seem like a lot of money back in the 60's but more than 50 years later mercury is still a problem in that same river system .
7/30/2014 2:04:37 AM
nvjgu says:
Mercury is everywhere, it's naturally occurring.
7/30/2014 6:23:38 AM
Glyder says:
Yes, it is naturally occurring, but no, it is not "everywhere". It is a rare metal, but used in many things.
7/30/2014 12:33:47 PM
nwhewitson says:
In the 1960s we knew a great deal about mercury poisoning. I would obviously like an explanation for why the government paid out the $10 million and not the company but that's another debate. The mercury contamination continues today. It's largely settled, but it's in the bottom of lakes and rivers along the Wabigoon/English system and continues to work its way up the food chain, into the walleye and continues to poison people. The issue is not closed. Far from it. Support needs to continue. All the money in the world does not make the poisoning go away or repair the environment. Take a drive up Highway 71 some time and look at that beautiful part of the world, the fact that it's poisoned and un-fishable is heartbreaking.
7/30/2014 8:32:10 AM
northervoice says:
The previous has no idea about mercury exposure. I was exposed working in Dryden 11 years ago ,the government denied it even with blood tests.(They told me it was from eating fish in Dryden, which I did not) Currently I have 5 doctors, I am still being monitored for mercury. Till you have had it you have no idea how much it destroys your life or what is left of it.Maybe you have had to much YellowSnow.
7/30/2014 9:07:07 AM
conker2014 says:
Why are they still drinking water that was contaminated with mercury over 50 years ago?



FYI in 1985 $10 million dollars is about $23 million in 2014 dollars.

I think they could have build that survivors facility with that kind of cash.
7/30/2014 9:52:05 AM
Big Al the Peoples Pal says:
For those interested, there is more here.
http://www.ctvnews.ca/mercury-still-damaging-health-of-grassy-narrows-residents-report-1.835131
I doubt you can clean up a whole river system without spreading the mercury and making the issue worse.
I also think one could monitor mercury in fish and water very easily by doing sampling of the same.
I agree that people do need support.
Also as NVJG stated mercury is naturally occurring in many lakes throughout Ontario if not the world. Eating fish with mercury from lakes that never saw effluent from the Dryden Mill can make one sick. There are publications that outline fish consumption limits in Lakes in Northwestern Ontario.
7/30/2014 12:03:48 PM
fairlane says:
I think the big question to ask is WHY the people are being denied Mercury Disability services. Only then should be make judgements.

Yes, they were compensated 25 years ago. But just like an insurance claim, you can't keep claiming for the same thing. They tell you not to fish, and you still fish...well, then there needs to be some accountibility on their part.
7/30/2014 2:27:50 PM
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