Tuesday, May 22, 2018

GRASSY NARROWS AT ELECTION TIME


Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "Ontario leaders pledge to clean up mercury contamination in Grassy Narrows". Yes every provincial election there is more talk about doing what should have been done thirty years ago. The parallels with what is going on here in Elmira are amazing. The time frames are similar. The players are similar (Ontario Ministry of Environment) as are some of the contaminants namely Dioxins as well as Mercury. The result in both communities includes toxic river sediments and contaminated fish.

The mercury is courtesy of Reed Paper dumping 9,000 kilograms of it into the river back in the 1960s. There were further studies done a year ago that included one suggesting that there may still be ongoing leakage of mercury into the English-Wabigoon River system. This is in part because mercury concentrations have not decreased in the last thirty years which would have occurred otherwise through dilution and uptake by fish. Similarly here in Elmira concentrations of Dioxins/Furans and DDT are not decreasing in the Canagagigue Creek since the major investigation back in 1995-97.

I reported here about Grassy Narrows issues on February 19/17 and March 1/17. Over another year has passed with the Liberal government promising money and claiming that preliminary work is starting. That "preliminary" work apparently includes efforts to stop the ongoing leakage of mercury into the river. They've known where it's coming from for over a year (at the very minimum) yet they haven't physically isolated or removed the source. What the hell!

Then they are the Progressive Conservatives under Doug Ford. He stated that a Tory government would make it a priority to as quickly as possible clean up the contamination. Oh please! The Torys (Conservatives) just like the Liberals have had decades in power to do just that and haven't lifted a finger. If they won't clean up Elmira with the contamination moving into the Grand River and towards large communities such as Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge, Brantford etc. then why would they clean up the English-Wabigoon system for the sparse population up there? Isn't democracy just grand.

The only difference here in Elmira is that our authorities at all levels are participating in the sham of public consultation and the sham of polluter driven "investigations" and "clean ups". Here the authorities at least feel that they have to pretend that they are constantly monitoring and constantly looking for solutions. Dr. Dick Jackson walked after he'd had enough of the scam.

1 comment:

  1. If I remember from my career there are other issues with the First Nations as much of this is on their lands. The issues are monetary and political and they also have to be addressed on top of the money spent or promised to be spent cleaning up these contaminated areas. That to me is also an important but not made public issue.

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