A group of teenagers from the remote Grassy Narrows First Nation were ejected from the Ontario legislature today for wearing T-shirts reading: "water is sacred."
The teens travelled 1,700 kilometres from the northern reserve near the Manitoba border to demand the province take action to clean up the mercury that has poisoned local rivers, lakes and fish – and made people sick – for decades.
A report released earlier this week said it was possible for the mercury to be safely cleaned up, but the government is reluctant to take action without more study on what exactly should be done.
Premier Kathleen Wynne told the legislature the government wants to make sure any remediation efforts won't stir up more mercury in sediment and make the situation even worse.
The teens from Grassy Narrows then put on identical T-shirts with their message that water is sacred, but that's considered a protest in the legislature so the Speaker had them removed from the house.
Sixteen-year-old Draven Kirkness doesn't think the government could make the situation any worse and said he and the other teens just want clean water.