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September 25th, 2018

Jagmeet Singh and Charlie Angus commit to bring justice for Grassy Narrows

KENORA - On Monday, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh joined NDP Critic for Indigenous Youth, Charlie Angus, in Grassy Narrows First Nation, where they heard first-hand about the impact of mercury contamination in their water.
A mill upstream in Dryden dumped mercury into the English-Wabigoon River in the 1960s and early 1970s. The contamination forced the closure of a commercial fishery, devastating the community's economy. Fifty years later the residents in the community can't drink the water or eat fish caught in the river system, and many are dealing with the complications of mercury poisoning.

“This is a community situated in some of the most beautiful lakes and rivers imaginable and yet the people can't even drink the water,” said Singh. “The land and their source of food has been poisoned and the Liberals have turned a deaf ear.”

Singh and Angus visited with members of the community, whose true name is Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation, and saw first-hand the effects of mercury poisoning in the faces and bodies of children, adults and seniors. Research has shown that 90% of the population of Grassy Narrows show signs of poisoning.

“People here have been abandoned by the federal Liberals who have done nothing to help with the clean-up of the river,” said Angus. “We have made a commitment to be a voice for Grassy Narrows because Liberal MPs and the Liberal government are missing in action.”

Singh and Angus also emphasized they will fight hard to ensure more funding for education in the community and close the funding gap for Indigenous education across the country.