Top environment ministry officials had serious concerns that a plan to clear-cut log a swath of the boreal forest near Grassy Narrows, Ont., would release mercury into the already contaminated area, according to internal government emails in recent years.
“Yes, logging introduces Hg (mercury)!” one scientist wrote to a colleague. In another email, the former director of the branch that oversees scientists charged with monitoring Ontario’s environment observed that “no one is tracking the downstream implications” of the logging plan.
Despite these worries, the ministry in 2014 rejected a request by Grassy Narrows First Nation for an environmental assessment of the potential impact of the 10-year logging plan. That plan is on hold pending a court challenge by Grassy Narrows. As part of the challenge, email exchanges between ministry officials obtained by Grassy Narrows through a freedom of information request have been entered by the community as evidence in court. read more >>