Grassy Narrows mothers invite premier for lunch
Grassy Narrows mothers are hosting a fish fry on the lawn of the Ontario Parliament today, and they are hoping Premier Dalton McGuinty will drop in for a bite.
McGuinty was invited to the Queen’s Park fish fry, where a number of people from Grassy Narrows are raising awareness about the debilitating effects of mercury poisoning that the community still deals with today.
“Every day mothers in Grassy Narrows must choose between hunger and feeding their families our traditional fish diet. We are asking that McGuinty step in our shoes for one meal, so he can understand why we say no to pollution and destructive industrial logging that brings even more mercury into our fish,” says Judy Da Silva, a Grassy Narrows mother.
The fish fry takes place at noon on June 6 on the south lawn of Queen’s Park.
It comes as Grassy Narrows has brought concerns over mercury to Ontario’s capital.
A group of youth from the community just completed a 2,000km walk from Grassy Narrows to Toronto, where they spoke at a rally on June 4. And a team of Japanese researchers released a report on mercury poisoning the same day, stating that while mercury levels in fish have been decreasing over the past decades, the effects of mercury on human health continues to ravage the community.
According to a press release put out by Grassy Narrows, the report confirms what many Grassy Narrows mothers have known for years, that mercury poisoning is still dramatically impacting their community. Some Grassy Narrows mothers report delayed language development, cerebral palsy, seizures, and other illnesses in their children –symptoms linked to fetal mercury poisoning.
Grassy Narrows has a list of demands for the Ontario government, including funding a Grassy Narrows-run environmental monitoring centre, compensation for those affected by mercury poisoning and ending logging on Grassy Narrows territory.
The mercury poisoning in the community is related to the Dryden pulp mill, which dumped over 10 tonnes of mercury in the English-Wabigoon River fifty years ago.
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