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Ontario Increasing Mercury Disability Benefits

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The Ontario government is taking immediate action to ensure people who receive mercury disability payments are properly compensated by retroactively indexing payments to the rate of inflation.

Members of Grassy Narrows First Nations and supporters gathered next to the Wabigoon River, just across Hwy. 594 from the mill site for a vigil dedicated to those from their community who have suffered from mercury poisoning. Photo by Chris Marchand

More than 200 people in the communities of Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong receive these payments that were frozen since 1985.

“Increasing these disability payments will help change people’s lives for the better,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “These payments have been frozen for over 30 years and that is unacceptable. This is one small part of the work we are doing to address the longstanding challenges faced by people in Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong.”

The government said it remains committed to cleaning up the mercury contamination in the English and Wabigoon Rivers.

This includes establishing the English and Wabigoon Rivers Remediation Trust, which set aside $85 million in dedicated funding to remediate the mercury in the English and Wabigoon Rivers

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