TORONTO, JUNE 1, 2016 — A diverse group of celebrities, musicians, artists and advocates — including Margaret Atwood, Rachel McAdams, Jane Fonda and Phil Fontaine — has joined the David Suzuki Foundation’s call to clean up massive mercury contamination that has plagued the Grassy Narrows First Nation community in northern Ontario for generations. In the 1960s, a pulp mill dumped more than 9,000 kilograms of mercury, a potent neurotoxin, into the English-Wabigoon River.
“For over half a century, mercury has severely poisoned the river that is the lifeblood of the Grassy Narrows First Nation and their neighbours,” said renowned broadcaster and scientist David Suzuki. “We must not delay; it is time to make their watershed healthy again so it can sustain future generations.”
Earlier this week, scientists released a report concluding that remediation of the English-Wabigoon watershed is possible. The report was supported by leaders from the First Nation, who are demanding the Government of Ontario commit to cleaning up the watershed.
Tomorrow, residents from Grassy Narrows will finish their 1,700-kilometre trip from Grassy Narrows to Queen’s Park during the River Run march. Participants will call on Premier Kathleen Wynne to take immediate action to clean up the watershed so it can safely sustain Grassy Narrows’ families, culture and economy.
Today, the David Suzuki Foundation is also asking concerned citizens across Canada to join the call to restore the Grassy Narrows watershed by sending a message to provincial and federal leaders.
The list of prominent Canadians who have signed the letter include David Suzuki, Stephen Lewis, Rachel McAdams, Wade Davis, Margaret Atwood, Ed Begley Jr., Graeme Gibson, Naomi Klein, Leanne Simpson, Jane Fonda, George Stroumboulopoulos, Phil Fontaine, Mark Hancock (CUPE), Maude Barlow (Council of Canadians), Alex Neve (Amnesty International), Robyn Benson (Public Service Alliance of Canada), Bilan Arte (Canadian Federation of Students), Ghislaine Maxwell (TerraMar Project).
For further information, please contact: Jode Roberts, David Suzuki Foundation, 647-456-9752, firstname.lastname@example.org @joderoberts