Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford is offering assurances local waterways will be cleaned up for Grassy Narrows and Whitedog members.

"We will work closely with those Indigenous communities," he told the legislature yesterday.

Rickford is also the minister responsible for Northern Development, Mines, Enery and Indigenous Affairs. In his response to questions from Keewatinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa of the NDP, Rickford said he was 'intimately familiar' with the First Nations and willing to 'correct a wrong.'

Leaders of the two communities had been working with the previous Liberal government at Queen's Park. Chiefs have noted the issue of mercury contamination is ongoing, as there are studies showing sources of contamination flowing into the river.

Both First Nations also have issues with drinking water that have been separate from the legacy of mercury contamination.

"We will also be working (with) and challenging our federal government partners to make sure that those two communities have safe drinking water. The federal government must step up to ensure this," the minister said.

Rickford added he also intends to follow through on measures to improve water quality in the Lake of the Woods watershed.

For more information:

Queen's Park - Question Period video archive

Mercury impact in Grassy detailed

More Local News

Lawyer fired after comments about 14-year-old

The services from a Toronto-based lawyer representing Kenora – Rainy River Districts Child & Family Services have been terminated, following claims that a 14 or 15-year-old girl is a “sexually mature…

City of Kenora seeking public opinion on fixed water and sewer fees

The City of Kenora is looking for your input. They've released a survey regarding the fixed service fee for water and sewer services. The fixed service fee is based on the cost of providing water and…

Ice patrol underway

Kenora's Ice Patrol pilot -- Tim Armstrong -- is already posting images of what the lake looks like, as the spring melt gets underway. Last year, he declared the lake was clear of ice May 14. This…

'Constructive discussion' at justice meeting

The Grand Council Treaty 3 hosted a two-day workshop last week, with a focus on reducing the number of First Nations people in the criminal justice system. Grand chief Francis Kavanaugh says more…

UNDRIP bill passes second reading unanimously

Kiiwetinoong member Sol Mamakwa wants to see clean drinking water and better housing in First Nation communities. So, he is calling on Queen's Park to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of…

Keewatin-Patricia waits for details

Reforms to education may help some students in the northwest. Sean Monteith from the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board explains. "The banning of cell phone use by students in classrooms for…

A vision for reconciliation

A two-day workshop at Wauzhushk Onigum will help pave the way towards reconciliation. "We are at a point now, where we have some direction," says Martin Camire of Reconciliation Kenora. "We had to…

Ottawa to help skills training

Ottawa is offering additional funds for skills training, through their spring budget. Kenora MP Bob Nault made the announcement, after visiting with the prime minister -- as well as the minister…

Developer balks at utility costs

David Luby had a straightforward message for Kenora city council. Unless he got help with water and sewer costs, he couldn't afford to build an 11-unit sub-division. "In past history, the town has…

Rickford 'cleaning up the (hydro) mess'

The provincial government is promising to keep its promise by lowering hydro rates by 12 per cent, as well as limit future rate increases to the rate of inflation. Earlier this week, Energy Minister… is Kenora's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.