Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy has called for an immediate blockade of logging operations if the Ontario government’s plan to allow clear-cutting of mature trees within the Grassy Narrows First Nation territory goes forward.
Grassy Narrows First Nation is calling for a thorough environmental assessment of the newly approved plan for clearcut logging on their Territory – an important test of Ontario’s environmental laws. Grassy Narrows is concerned that the planned logging could harm the health of their families by raising mercury poison levels in local fish. The logging plan makes no mention of mercury, even though Grassy Narrows Territory is the site of Canada’s most infamous case of mercury poisoning arising from 9,000 kg of mercury that was dumped into a local river by a paper mill upstream in the 1960’s. Scientific studies indicate that clearcut logging in the boreal forest can raise mercury in fish to unsafe levels.
Grassy Narrows – Today the Wynne government approved plans for another decade of clearcut logging in Grassy Narrows Territory against the will of this Indigenous community. The decision has ruined Christmas in a community already struggling with the long term health impacts of mercury poisoning. The Whiskey Jack Forest Management Plan 2012-2022 plans for dozens of large clearcuts on Grassy Narrows Territory, some nearly the size of pre-amalgamation Toronto.