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OTTAWA — New money for a treatment centre for those living with the effects of chronic mercury poisoning comes as a ray of hope for a northern Ontario First Nation that has spent the past six decades in the shadow of a decades-old water contamination scandal. retaining qualified water plant operators. In 2014 Japanese scientists testing people on the Grassy Narrows and Whitedog First Nations found that 90 per cent had symptoms of mercury poisoning. OTTAWA — New money for a treatment centre for those living with the effects of chronic mercury poisoning comes as a ray of hope for a northern Ontario First Nation that has spent the past six decades in the shadow of a decades-old water contamination scandal. Grassy Narrows Chief Rudy Turtle says the work included a $3.8 million upgrade to their water treatment plant is completed, along with a $2.4 million water service extension. (The concept for the mercury treatment centre in Grassy Narrows) In December 2018, former minister of Indigenous services, Jane Philpott committed to advancing the construction of the care centre. "Our community members have suffered for so long," Grassy Narrows First Nation Chief Randy Fobister said in a recent interview. “Our community members have suffered for so long,” Grassy […] The Bimose Tribal Council HUB offers trained professionals to remotely monitor and operate the treatment plant, with the First Nation’s consent. The work included upgrades to the water treatment plant, as well as the extension of water service to Mission Road and Snake Point. The reserve, legally known as English River Indian Reserve 21, is just over 41 km 2 of land located about 55 km northeast of Kenora.There are 1,594 registered members of Grassy Narrows First Nation (also known as Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek), 971 of whom live on-reserve (2019). Another example [is] geographic location and remoteness: Putting money toward a treatment plant may work for one community, but not another, where it may break all the time because of permafrost.” As outlined in the May report commissioned by Grassy Narrows First Nation, mercury in the water around Grassy Narrows can be cleaned up right now. At the time, the federal government committed to a new water treatment plant and repair of the existing plant at Neskantaga. There will also be a small dock with direct access to the water. The site is on a hill and all rooms will have view of the lake with plenty of sunlight. Grassy Narrows has seen little taken by provincial or federal agencies to address mercury contamination in the Wabigoon River, which is the tributary connecting Dryden—where the former mill is—and Clay Lake. The water treatment plant at Grassy Narrows is not designed to pre-treat surface water, which could eliminate that chemical reaction. 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