To the Chippewa Nation of Georgina Island
To all residents of York Simcoe who rely upon Lake Simcoe for pleasure and commerce,
The Provincial Government (s) and the history of Grassy Narrows
In the case of mercury poisoning, as has happened at Grassy Narrows, the procedure lasts years and is anything but painless. In fact it is tortuous !
Mercury, is a potent neurotoxin, and has sickened generations who consider walleye a dietary staple. Physical symptoms of mercury poisoning include loss of muscle co-ordination and tunnel vision. Fetuses are particularly vulnerable to cognitive damage. The younger generation at Grassy Narrows continue to have symptoms of mercury poisoning.
The severe effects include paralysis, coma and death.
A Japanese scientist, Dr. Harada and first tested community members of Grassy Narrows in 1975. He found people with mercury levels more than three times the Health Canada limit in Grassy Narrows and seven times the limit in nearby Whitedog. When Harada returned after 20 years, all of the people who had tested over the limit were dead.
Grassy Narrows Chief Simon Fobister said: “For decades I have been seeking justice for my people for mercury poisoning, searching for answers, searching for help. Never once was I told that mercury poison is still under the mill, right next to our river. I was told over and over that the mill site was cleaned up and that the problem ended in the ’70s. I now see that was a deception and my people have paid the price with their health.”
Since the problem of mercury poisoning was discovered in the late 60’s, the Province of Ontario has been governed by the following Premiers …
- John Robarts
- Bill Davis
- Frank Miller
- David Peterson
- Bob Rae
- Mike Harris
- Ernie Eaves
- Dalton McGuinty
- Kathleen Wynne.
And over these past 47 years what has happened to protect and serve the plight of Indigenous People when and where it seemed to matter most ?
What have the affected received ?
Well …. Indigenous People have received promise after promise, delays ad nauseum, the odd meaningless handout here and there, falsehoods galore, another government study now and then, — but absolutely nothing to correct the injustice and return the lands to their original state.
A payment of $ 16.7 million was made in 1986 … 32 years ago … and the governments then washed their hands of the issue.
But the mercury poisoning remains to this day and the First Nation members continued to suffer and die over these additional generations.
The recent announcement that $ 85 million is being set aside to clean up the mess is a typical government announcement with an election on the horizon. …. Too little – too late…..and who knows if it will actually get done in a reasonable time frame.
Compare this financial commitment to the $ 41 million, seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars ( $ 41,750,000.00 ) that the Federal Liberals have given to:
Ahmad El Maati,
and Omar Khadr.
Sitting governments of every stripe and color have dodged and evaded the Grassy Narrows / Indigenous issue for half a century. They’ve been able to do this because no-one in the Provincial Legislature had the nerve to shout out on behalf of the effected. Those muted elected officials simply played “ Follow the Leader “ to keep their political careers.
And when the newly proposed Keswick waste treatment plant egests it’s 40 million litres of alleged “ high purity reclaimed water “ into Cook’s Bay and Lake Simcoe,…. EVERY DAY…
Will the whole process start all over again ?
There is a significant difference in having me – David Loft – as your elected representative when compared to any other candidate.
HERE’S THE DIFFERENCE …..
An elected candidate from any existing party is compelled to vote in the manner that the Party leader dictates. This candidate can only follow the wishes of said Party leader. To voice an opinion contrary to the whims of the leader is political suicide. Such an elected candidate, if in power, is virtually helpless other than to have the ear of the Party leader on occasion. He or she cannot criticize nor embarrass the sitting government into action nor bring media attention to the failings of any particular issue. You are at the mercy of the Party leader.
This issue is also easy for any political leader to avoid for the simple reason that there were 9 leaders before him upon which to transfer the blame.
I GUARANTEE THAT I WILL HARRASS THE SITTING GOVERNMENT OVER ISSUES SUCH AS THIS AND THE POOR AND INADEQUATE TREATMENT AFFORDED TO ONTARIO’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLE.
I have absolutely nothing to gain by avoiding the issue ! … no Party favours, no plum appointments, and no wrath from a Party leader. I can criticize, ask embarrassing questions, draw constant media attention to the issue at hand and, every day, every single day, I can demand action.
I’ll MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD AND MAKE IT MATTER !
As your elected MPP, I promise you that I will energize your ballot !