×

Celebrate Catholic Education Week – April 30th to May 5th

Click here for more information!

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

×

Celebrate Catholic Education Week – April 30th to May 5th

Click here for more information!

More Local News

Hydro pole fire causes large power outage

Kenora Hydro crews are working to repair a powerline that caught fire on the Keewatin Line. Power has been out in Keewatin, Norman, and parts of Kenora since 4 a.m. The powerline is difficult to…

Power Outage affecting Keewatin, Norman, and parts of Kenora

Extreme weather has created a massive power outage in Keewatin, Norman, and parts of Kenora. Kenora Hydro crews are working resolve the issue. The power went out shortly before 4 a.m.

School Buses Cancelled

The Northwest Student Services Consortium has made the decision to cancel buses for the whole region Tuesday April 25. This includes Kenora, Sioux Narrows, Dryden, Vermilion Bay, and Sioux Lookout.…

'We have an extreme shortage of child psychiatrists,' manager

It can be a tough time of year. Exams, tests and culminating activities are starting to pile up. At this point, youth dealing with a mental health crisis may be sent to an acute care unit in Thunder…

Shelter adjusts operations to help clients in wintry weather

Patti Fairfield is the executive director for the NeChee Friendship Centre.The snow and rain is making it miserable for pedestrians. For those without a place to stay, it can be even more difficult.…

Chief negotiator for Ontario named in softwood lumber dispute with U.S.

A name has emerged to represent Ontario's interests in the ongoing softwood lumber dispute between Canada and the United States. Jim Peterson will be the chief negotiator in support of the province's…

Coney Island footbridge removal delayed

The Coney Island footbridge removal has been delayed at least one day due to the snow. The hope is that the weather will cooperate tomorrow. If not, city crews will attempt the removal on Thursday.

Ol' Man Winter not finished just yet

The Trans-Canada is open again in both directions between Vermilion Bay and Kenora. Highway 71 is also open in both directions. However, we may not be finished with winter just yet. Forecaster Geoff…

Highway 17 closed from Vermilion Bay to Manitoba border

The snowstorm hitting northwestern Ontario is causing accidents. Highway 17 has been closed at Vermilion Bay all the way to the Manitoba border. Check back for more details. OPP advises against…

OPP advises against travel during snowstorm

Ontario Provincial Police are stopping eastbound traffic on the Trans-Canada at the Airport Rd. Junction. Truckers are being redirected into Kenora from the bypass. Elsewhere, two vehicles were…

Weather sidelines City of Kenora buses

City buses are calling it a day. Poor weather conditions have lead to City of Kenora buses stopping for the reminder of the day. Buses are still scheduled to return to the roads tomorrow. For more…

Heavy snowfall expected through the day, and overnight

Hopefully you didn't put your snow suit away just yet. Environment Canada Meteorologist Geoff Coulson said we're in for quite a bit of snow today and overnight. "We've got a pretty big weather system…

Kenora residents set for snow

With projections of over 20 centimetres of snow expected to continue until tomorrow morning, most of Northwestern Ontario was taken by surprise by the storm. Kenora resident Harvey Dyck says he…

Early dismissal for school buses

The Northwest Student Services Consortium has made the decision to dissmiss school buses early in Kenora/Sioux Narrows, Dryden and Vermilion Bay areas. The dismissal will be at approximately 1 this…

Students hear about the importance of women in trades

Female students from St Thomas Aquinas, in Grades 10 to 12, gathered for a special dinner to hear from Jamie McMillan yesterday. The Journeyman spoke about the importance of having women in the…

Pool tile project moving forward, mayor

Kenora Mayor Dave Canfield is hoping overdue work in the city pool will finally get done. After last week's council meeting, he offered an update on the project. "It's like all the stuff that's gotta…

Snowstorm on its way from the south

If you're travelling tomorrow -- or planning outdoor work -- you might want to keep an eye on the forecast. Between 10 and 20 centimetres is expected, along with gusting winds. Environment Canada…

Kenora police to analyze increase in assaults

Kenora police are hoping to prevent violent crime. Detachment commander Paul Van Belleghem says officers are taking a close look at an increase in assaults this year. "By using our analytics and our…

Sunday Smiles closes with a comedy of contortions

Contortionist Elizabeth Gaumond shows off her flexibility, as she falls asleep on a step ladder (Courtesy Bertrand Lemoyne)What could go wrong? When three clowns try to change a lightbulb, how long…

Break-in prevention tips offered

Kenora police are encouraging home owners to take precautions. Officers are responding to a pair of break-ins in the south side. Installing an alarm, adding a deadbolt and trimming shrubbery around…

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

Search the Biz Guide

Upcoming Events

The Screen for Life Coach is Back!

20 April 2017 9:00 am - 27 April 2017 6:00 pm

Kenora Recreation Centre, Kenora





We're Back!

20 April 2017 12:00 pm - 27 April 2017 5:00 pm

Kenora Recreation Centre, Kenora





Al-Anon Family Group

25 April 2017 7:30 pm - 17 April 2018 8:30 pm

St. Andrews United Church,, Kenora





The Screen for Life Coach is Back!

20 April 2017 9:00 am - 27 April 2017 6:00 pm

Kenora Recreation Centre, Kenora





We're Back!

20 April 2017 12:00 pm - 27 April 2017 5:00 pm

Kenora Recreation Centre, Kenora





Al-Anon Family Group

25 April 2017 7:30 pm - 17 April 2018 8:30 pm

St. Andrews United Church,, Kenora





Habitat for Humanity - Kenora Chapter - Family Selection Info Session

26 April 2017 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Seven Generations Education Institute, Kenora





Surviving Grief to Live Again Workshop

27 April 2017 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Minis Hall Super 8 Kenora, Kenora





Login