No fewer than 16 groups have come out against the Ontario provincial government for the resumption of clear-cutting on Grassy Narrows First Nation territory.
The signees of a March 30 letter from social justice organizations, faith groups, trade unions and environmental organizations called on Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne “to immediately withdraw the province’s 10 year plan for clear-cut logging on the traditional territory of the Grassy Narrows First Nation.”
Clear-cutting is not only harmful to the environment and the habitats upon which the Grassy Narrows Algonquin people depend, but it also runs the risk of introducing yet more mercury into the environment, the letter’s authors pointed out. The mercury stems from the dumping in the 1960s into the river by a pump and paper mill. Well-documented health problems persist to this day, the letter pointed out.
“It’s shocking that the province would risk making the situation even worse for the people of Grassy Narrows by logging their forests against their will,” said Maude Barlow, chairperson of the Council of Canadians, in a statement. “The first priority must be to clean up the contaminated river system and address the urgent health needs of the community.”
The following groups endorsed the letter:
Amnesty International Canada
Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers)
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
CUPE Ontario?Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury
Council of Canadians?
David Suzuki Foundation
Indigenous Environmental Network
KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
Mining Injustice Solidarity Network
No One Is Illegal - Ontario
Ontario Federation of Labour
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation
Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) - Ontario