Wynne must answer for covering-up the truth about Grassy Narrows contamination: Campbell


QUEEN’S PARK—During question period on Tuesday, Ontario Kenora-Rainy River NDP MPP Sarah Campbell held the Wynne government accountable for covering-up the truth about mercury contamination from the Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong First Nations.

“The NDP has repeatedly confronted the premier and this government with evidence that people in Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong First Nations were still getting sick from mercury poisoning, including young people,” said Campbell. “But she has repeatedly insisted that the mercury contamination from the Dryden mill was contained. She even warned that a full clean-up might make things worse!”

A 2016 report commissioned by Domtar to assess the extent of the mercury contamination at the paper mill in Dryden reveals that the province has long been aware that the site remains contaminated. The report has been withheld by the Wynne government for over a year while First Nations people living in Grassy Narrows and along the Wabigoon River were told that the river would clean itself naturally over time. The Wynne Liberals have continuously dismissed First Nations concerns about contamination, brushing off New Democrats' concerns and repeated questions.

“The fact of the matter is that this government has had that report in its possession for over a year, and this government has always known this information,” said Campbell. “The minister did not let the people of Grassy Narrows know. Instead, a few months after receiving the report, he told this house that, ‘there is no source,’ of mercury contamination. The people of Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong First Nations deserve to know why they have not been told the truth.”

“Will the premier tell us when she knew about the contamination, and who gave the order to conceal the truth?” asked Campbell.