Apr 3, 2020 10:24 AM. Grassy Narrows wanted the government to set up a $88.7-million trust to pay for construction and maintenance of a survivor’s home as well as a care centre for people with mercury poisoning. New money for a treatment centre for those living with the effects of chronic mercury poisoning comes as a ray of hope for a northern Ontario First Nation that has spent the past six decades in the shadow of a decades-old water contamination scandal. Grassy Narrows declared a state of emergency over its unsafe drinking water in 2015, after a boil-water advisory had already been in place for nearly two years, as it tried to get more information from the federal government about the safety of its water. Fishing is central to their culture, traditions and economy. COVID-19 vaccine will help, but the devastation will continue for many Canadians, Canada keeps its options open on future U.S. auto emissions alignment, Big movies for Christmas from Tom Hanks, George Clooney and Wonder Woman, Focus on infrastructure, involve community to fix reserve water issues: observers, Grassy Narrows, Ottawa sign agreement for mercury care home, Ottawa accused of 'stalling tactics' over mercury treatment facility, Support award-winning independent journalism with The study is the first to directly support Grassy Narrows’ long held belief that their people are dying young because of the ongoing impact of mercury poisoning … By Maan Alhmidi | News, Politics | December 7th 2020. Water bottles are seen at the local water supply site on the Grassy Narrows First Nation, in northwestern Ontario, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. "Our community members have suffered for so long," Grassy Narrows First Nation Chief Randy Fobister said in a recent interview. Meanwhile, Fobister said he fears his community will bear the consequences of the mercury contamination until the river is cleaned up, noting such a process could prolong the ordeal for several more generations of Grassy Narrows residents. First Nations people from Grassy Narrows, Ont., continue to suffer the effects of mercury poisoning more than 40 years after commercial fishing was closed, a new report shows. KENORA – Grassy Narrows First Nation is getting a treatment centre for Mercury poisoning and issues resulting from long-term exposure to the element from the waters of the English River – Wabigoon Water system. Water bottles are seen at the local water supply site on the Grassy Narrows First Nation, in northwestern Ontario, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. The government promised to fund the building of a new water treatment plant in the community next to the mercury treatment centre. Grassy Narrows First Nations chief hails more funding for mercury treatment centre. ", Last week, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller described the lack of action on the local mercury contamination as "an aberration in our history.". Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services … The federal government committed up to $19.5 million to each community for the construction of facilities to meet the needs of residents living with methylmercury poisoning. Two weeks ago, a test found lead in the tap water at the community’s school, Fobister said. “The promises are great, but we need to see solutions, we need to see actions, we need to see these problems actually solved,” Conservative MP Gary Vidal, his party’s critic for Indigenous Services, said in an interview. The federal government had pushed for a design that was more like an assisted-living home, while Grassy Narrows had drawn up its own blueprint for a facility that gave specialized care to mercury poisoning patients. Grassy Narrows First Nation moved closer to its goal of building a care home on reserve for those sickened by industrial mercury poisoning after the federal government signed an agreement to cover the entire projected cost of construction. The mercury care home is one of two distinct projects that the federal government has been working on with Grassy Narrows First Nations leadership. "From birth, even today, you get stuff that affects the nerves," Fobister said. His mother had mercury poisoning in her system when she gave birth to her son, Shane. Chief Rudy Turtle signed the framework agreement with Indigenous Services Canada Thursday, which commits $19.5 million towards the construction of the mercury care home. They also found two other disinfectant byproducts considered possible carcinogens. The new plan in the fiscal update would see the feds devote $28 million to the projects in 2021-22, $32 million the following year, and $70 million in each of the next two years. Fobister said his community of about 1,200 residents continues to struggle with tainted water long after the initial mercury contamination took place. The new plan in the fiscal update would see the feds devote $28 million to the projects in 2021-22, $32 million the following year, and $70 million in each of the next two years. “What we found out quite quickly was that there was no trust between Grassy Narrows and the government of Canada, and in some senses, rightly so,” he said. "It's great news for a whole community … We're finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel.". OTTAWA — New money for a treatment centre for those living with the effects of chronic mercury poisoning comes as a ray of hope for a northern Ontario First Nation that has spent the past six decades in the shadow of a decades-old water contamination scandal. "We've seen the announcements, but we haven't seen the outcomes," he said. Residents of Grassy Narrows First Nation, about 100 kilometres northeast of Kenora, Ont., have grappled with long-standing mental and physical health issues due to toxic mercury levels in the nearby English-Wabigoon River. "When the fish are healthy, the land is healthy, and maybe, maybe then the youth, 50 years from now, they'll have good health.". “Our community members have suffered for so long,” Grassy Narrows First Nation Chief Randy Fobister said in a recent interview. In the 1960s, a pulp mill upstream dumped an estimated nine tonnes of mercury into the river system, contaminating the fish and making them dangerous to eat. The water was deemed fit for human consumption again just this October, which Fobister said came after years of work on water treatment facilities and local pipes. Grassy Narrows First Nations chief hails more funding for mercury treatment centre. Grassy Narrows reminds Canada of unkept promises as AFN sets its priority agenda. Construction was scheduled to start in the fall, but by December that hadn’t happened and Turtle, along with other community members, were in Ottawa criticizing the government for taking so long. “When the fish are healthy, the land is healthy, and maybe, maybe then the youth, 50 years from now, they’ll have good health.”. Residents of Grassy Narrows First Nation, about 100 kilometres northeast of Kenora, Ont., have grappled with long-standing mental and physical health issues due to toxic mercury levels in the nearby English-Wabigoon River. The fiscal update said the funding, set to start flowing in fiscal 2021-22, would allow community members from both Wabaseemong and Grassy Narrows, also known as Asubpeeschoseewagong, to stay close to home while receiving treatment. After years of advocacy by the communities, Ottawa reached agreements with both Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong earlier this year. This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Grassy Narrows First Nations chief hails more funding for mercury treatment centre. This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. File photo by The Canadian Press/Paul Chiasson. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 3, 2020. The fall economic statement released last week saw the Liberal government earmark $200 million up to fiscal 2024-25, plus $300,000 ongoing, to support the building and operation of mercury treatment centres in both communities. The lack of clean drinking water in First Nations communities across Canada exacerbates an already dismal situation … The work to build a mercury treatment facility in Grassy Narrows First Nation will continue in 2020, with a renewed commitment from the federal government. “Part of that trust is putting the money away in a trust (fund) to be used for the community to treat their people, so that they can live in dignity.”. The mercury care home is one of two distinct projects that the federal government has been working on with Grassy Narrows First Nations leadership. Miller pegged the timeline to finish the buildings at between 18 and 36 months. The $17 million project was announced in 2017, but only two per cent of the work has been completed. OTTAWA — New money for a treatment centre for those living with the effects of chronic mercury poisoning comes as a ray of hope for a northern Ontario First Nation that has spent the past six decades in the shadow of a decades-old water contamination scandal. Young people from the Grassy Narrows First Nation in northwest Ontario are fighting for a healthy future for themselves and their community. Early death linked to mercury in Grassy Narrows. Grassy Narrows First Nation, or the Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation, is a small First Nations community in northwestern Ontario. Last Updated Apr 3, 2020 at 1:28 pm EDT. Miller said the mercury treatment facilities have potential to fill a unique place in the Canadian health-care system. They also found two other disinfectant byproducts considered possible carcinogens. Miller said the mercury treatment facilities have potential to fill a unique place in the Canadian health-care system. “From birth, even today, you get stuff that affects the nerves,” Fobister said. "What we found out quite quickly was that there was no trust between Grassy Narrows and the government of Canada, and in some senses, rightly so," he said. Residents of Grassy Narrows First Nation, about 100 kilometres northeast of Kenora, Ont., have grappled with long-standing mental and physical health issues due to toxic mercury levels in the nearby English-Wabigoon River. The government promised to fund the building of a new water treatment plant in the community next to the mercury treatment centre. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2020. Phone: (403) 343-7105Newsroom: (403) 342-6397Advertising: (403) 342-8616, We strive to achieve the highest ethical standards in all that we do. By: Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press Posted: 12/6/2020 6:06 AM Mercury levels higher in Grassy Narrows residents who died young, new study finds Apr. April 3, 2020 — Ottawa, Traditional Algonquin Territory, Ontario — Indigenous Services Canada Yesterday, in the spirit of collaboration, trust and mutual respect, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services and Chief Rudy Turtle of the Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek (Grassy Narrows First Nation) signed a framework agreement to provide federal support … Opposition critics said they will wait to see it take concrete shape before offering praise. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 3, 2020. Campaigning against mercury poisoning. Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press Kenora-Rainy River MP Greg Rickford offers insight and comments on this important move to help the people in Grassy Narrows. "It affects the youth (with) common signs of symptoms like what you get from mercury poisoning like rashes. 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