Allegations of bias, staff departures hit mercury compensation board - 2018-05-05
The disability board that compensates mercury pollution victims in Indigenous communities near Dryden, Ont., is in turmoil, with its chair under pressure to leave and its longtime neurologist quitting after an allegation of bias.
In a letter sent in late 2017 to provincial and federal officials, leaders of Grassy Narrows First Nation said they had "serious concerns" about board chair Margaret Wanlin and the doctor appointed to assess adults, Winnipeg neurologist Stefan Pacin. "These concerns include a perceived bias against, and insensitivity toward, Indigenous Peoples."
The Mercury Disability Board, set up by government officials in the mid-1980s to compensate those who can show doctors they suffer symptoms consistent with mercury poisoning, has approved claims from 350 applicants who suffer from tremors, loss of muscle co-ordination, slurred speech and tunnel vision.