Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford is offering assurances local waterways will be cleaned up for Grassy Narrows and Whitedog members.

"We will work closely with those Indigenous communities," he told the legislature yesterday.

Rickford is also the minister responsible for Northern Development, Mines, Enery and Indigenous Affairs. In his response to questions from Keewatinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa of the NDP, Rickford said he was 'intimately familiar' with the First Nations and willing to 'correct a wrong.'

Leaders of the two communities had been working with the previous Liberal government at Queen's Park. Chiefs have noted the issue of mercury contamination is ongoing, as there are studies showing sources of contamination flowing into the river.

Both First Nations also have issues with drinking water that have been separate from the legacy of mercury contamination.

"We will also be working (with) and challenging our federal government partners to make sure that those two communities have safe drinking water. The federal government must step up to ensure this," the minister said.

Rickford added he also intends to follow through on measures to improve water quality in the Lake of the Woods watershed.

For more information:

Queen's Park - Question Period video archive

Mercury impact in Grassy detailed

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