Join Kenora Catholic on May 3rd at their Community Consultation for your chance to win an Apple IPad Mini 4:

Click here to learn more.

The province has released a joint statement on mercury contamination in the Wabigoon and English River system. It was released earlier today on behalf of indigenous affairs minister David Zimmer, as well as Environment Minister Glen Murray.

Together, the ministers say they're working with the federal government and First Nations on determining all the contaminated sites, as well as the best approach to remediation. It comes after new information about potential contamination in Dryden near the Domtar mill. The province is also looking at reforming the Mercury Disability Board.

The statement reads as follows:

 

Good Morning,

On Friday, Premier Kathleen Wynne, along with Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray, met with Grassy Narrows Chief Simon Fobister and David Suzuki.

Minister Zimmer and Minister Murray have released the following joint statement:

“Mercury contamination has had a profound impact on the people of Grassy Narrows First Nation and Wabaseemoong (Whitedog) Independent Nations, and has to be properly addressed. On behalf of the Province of Ontario, we are completely committed to working with all partners to identify all potentially contaminated sites, and to creating and implementing a comprehensive remediation action plan for the English Wabigoon River. We are addressing mercury contamination in the river by collaborating with the First Nations and other partners on solutions based on the best available science and research. We have also been actively engaging the Federal Government and look forward to their contributions and assistance.

Right now, we are in the middle of a two year process designed by Dr. John Rudd, who leads the expert team that is advising Grassy Narrows and is funded by the province.  This work will inform the extent of the mercury contamination in the river and determine which remediation options may be the most appropriate for each site, including enhanced natural recovery and capping.

We are committed to ensuring the First Nations’ rights and interests are at the forefront of decision making around options and implementation. As this is the home of the people of Grassy Narrows First Nation, the Wabaseemoong Independent Nations and other communities, their input into which remediation options for the contaminated sites are selected and implemented is necessary, as there may be benefits and risks associated with each of these site specific interventions.

New information regarding potential mercury contamination at the Domtar Industrial Site in Dryden has also come forward in the last few weeks.  We are now conducting a full and rigorous mercury contamination assessment on the entire mill site, working closely with First Nations and Domtar. The results of this assessment will be shared with the communities. We need to be sure unequivocally if the site is an ongoing source of mercury, and if it is, then we need to work with partners to take all measures to stop further mercury from entering the river.

We understand the Federal Government is also committed to working with the province and Grassy Narrows First Nation and Wabaseemoong Independent Nations on the remediation work and we look forward to working with them as a key partner. We are also committed to working with Grassy Narrows, Wabaseemoong and the Federal Government to explore the best options for reforming the Mercury Disability Board process so that it aligns with the best interests of the two First Nations.

We will continue to work with the First Nations through regular meetings, and we are committed to providing updates on this work to the public. We know there continues to be significant work ahead for all and we are completely committed to working together with the First Nations and the Federal Government to ensure sufficient actions are taken.”

For more information:

Mercury shouldn't be disturbed, researcher

Environmental group reports second source of mercury

Province pushed for plan to clean up mercury

Researchers set to begin waterway samples near Grassy

Province, Grassy reach agreement on mercury

2014 Report on Research results for Minimata disease in First Nations Groups in Canada (Preliminary report)

Province, Grassy reach agreement on mercury

World Health Organization - Fact sheet on mercury

Mercury Disability Board

Grassy Narrows and Islington Indian Bands Mercury Pollution Claims Settlement Act

More Local News

KCDSB tackles Earth Day

It's Earth Day and it's time to help out our environment. Students from the Kenora Catholic District School Board did their part as they cleaned up 220 pounds of garbage in neigbourhoods around their…

A late and quick thaw

It sure is a difference from last year. Ice is still dominant on Lake of the Woods and Ice Patrol Pilot, Tim Armstrong offers an update. “The lake was 99 per cent open water last year. This year it’s…

Join Kenora Catholic on May 3rd at their Community Consultation for your chance to win an Apple IPad Mini 4:

Click here to learn more.

CPR reports 'challenging quarter'

Delays due to weather are having an impact on CP Rail's balance sheet. “This was a challenging quarter, as we battled extreme weather and unprecedented demand, specifically in the northern reaches of…

Good year for Copperfin

At last week's annual meeting, Copperfin CEO Dennis Alvestad reported the net imcome for the credit union was up seven per cent to $2.5 million. “This past year has been both challenging and…

Two charged at Shoal Lake

On Tuesday, members of the Treaty Three Police Service’s Street Crime Unit conducted a traffic stop on the First Nation Territory of Shoal Lake #39. As a result of the traffic stop, officers seized a…

Tenants need help

Roughly 15 tenants, including elders, lost everything in last night's fire in downtown Kenora. Staff from Sunset VCARS (Victims Crisis Assistance and Referral Service) have been involved since the…

Hospital workers rally in Kenora

The Lake of the Woods District Hospital and Kenora’s Greenbelt were both host to health-care workers from the Canadian Union of Public Employees on Wednesday, as they rallied for increased workplace…

$5,000 fine after TIPS call

A hunter is facing $5,000 in fines and a two-year hunting suspension for illegal hunting activity. Court heard that on November 23, 2017, conservation officers with the Ministry of Natural Resources…

Assault charges in Dryden

A 40-year-old Dryden resident is in custody. John Adolphus Lenny has been charged with assault with a weapon and failing to comply with a probation order. The charges come after an altercation with a…

Fire on Matheson

Tenants -- including a kitten named Pinky -- escaped without injury. They watched from a distance as firefighters battled an early-morning fire at 14 Matheson Street in Kenora. Insp. Jeff Duggan from…

KenoraOnline.com is Kenora's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Upcoming Events

Regional Coordinator Palliative Care Volunteer Program

24 April 2018 7:00 pm

Minis Hall Super 8 Kenora, Kenora





Al-Anon Family Group

24 April 2018 7:30 pm

St. Andrews United Church,, Kenora





Junior Wolves Program

25 April 2018 9:30 am - 10:15 am

Open Roads Public School, Dryden





Regional Coordinator Palliative Care Volunteer Program

24 April 2018 7:00 pm

Minis Hall Super 8 Kenora, Kenora





Al-Anon Family Group

24 April 2018 7:30 pm

St. Andrews United Church,, Kenora





Junior Wolves Program

25 April 2018 9:30 am - 10:15 am

Open Roads Public School, Dryden





Kenora Catholic DSB Family Art Nights - Grade 1 to 6

25 April 2018 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

St. Louis School, Kenora





Let's Pretend: After School Theatre Fun presented by TryLight theatre

25 April 2018 5:30 pm

Trylight Theatre, Kenora





Login