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Baranyai: Let’s hope justice system doesn’t fail Grassy Narrows too – London Free Press

by ahnationtalk on June 10, 202417 Views

Jun 10, 2024

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. It’s a warning we often recall at pivotal moments that echo the darkest parts of our history. So it is especially awful, during national Indigenous history month, to witness the injustices of Grassy Narrows once again rear their mercury-tainted heads.

Grassy Narrows First Nation is the site of one of Canada’s worst environmental disasters. The northern community of some 1,000 sits near the Ontario-Manitoba border, downstream from a Dryden pulp and paper mill once owned by Reed Paper Group. Half a century ago, a neighbouring chlor-alkali plant – another Reed subsidiary – used mercury to make chlorine, used to bleach paper at the mill.

Between 1962 and 1970, the mill was responsible for dumping nine tonnes of mercury into the English-Wabigoon River system. Mercury poisoned the fish that were a staple food source and a mainstay of the local economy. It poisoned the water. It poisoned the air.

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