OTTAWA –Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes questioned the Federal government today about the First Nations people of Grassy Narrows who have been showing signs of mercury poisoning while being exposed to mercury levels Health Canada deemed acceptable. Hughes called for the guidelines Health Canada uses to determine safe levels of mercury to be changed in light of this development.

“Last week, doctors reported that people in Grassy Narrows who were exposed to levels of mercury deemed safe by Health Canada still show signs of poisoning,” stated Hughes, the NDP Critic for Aboriginal Health. “Pulp mills that used the mercury cell process operated in Thunder Bay, Hamilton and Saskatoon. Potentially, over a million Canadians might have been exposed to levels of mercury that Health Canada considers safe.”

“Will the Health Minister demand that Health Canada change its guidelines? And will the minister initiate a study of the health of those who have been exposed to this mercury pollution? ”

“Canada has always been a champion of environmental issues, and yet we have mercury poisoning in our own back yard,” said Tania Cameron, Federal NDP Candidate for Kenora. “Mercury poisoning will have a lasting generational impact, and the Canadian government needs to recognize the damage this is causing for the First Nations community of Grassy Narrows and for the environment.”