Letter to the editor: Clean up pollution now in Indigenous communities
Decades of neglect, Oct. 24
The environmental commissioner of Ontario is right to condemn years of inaction by government in addressing toxic pollution in Indigenous communities.
The lack of information being provided to communities about their exposure to deadly toxins is alarming. Long-term exposure to toxic substances, such as mercury and benzene, have devastating and fatal consequences. The release of toxic substances into our air and waterways has long-term impacts on the health of the ecosystem, as well as our drinking water and food sources.
KAIROS Canada echoes commissioner Dianne Saxe’s concerns that while the provincial government has committed to conduct a health study, urgent action is needed to start cleaning up the contamination now. Non-action will continue to expose communities to unacceptable levels of pollution.
We urge both the federal and provincial governments to prioritize the health of Indigenous communities and to respect the rights of Indigenous peoples to a clean, healthy environment.
Beth Lorimer, ecological justice program coordinator, KAIROS Canada, Toronto
Published in the Toronto Star on October 26, 2017