6 in custody after white substance dumped in front of Queen’s Park

Police have six people in custody after a group of protesters dumped a foamy white substance in front of the main entrance at the Ontario legislature in Toronto Thursday morning.

Police say demonstrators protesting mercury levels at the First Nations community of Grassy Narrows poured a white substance from a barrel onto the ground forcing authorities to block off the area.

READ MORE: Teens from Grassy Narrows First Nation demand action on mercury poisoning

Police say the fire department and a hazmat team has been dispatched to the scene to determine the exact nature of the substance but initial reports indicate it is not toxic.

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Several protesters dressed in hazmat suits and face masks held a sign that read, “When will you clean it Wynne?,” on the front lawn of the legislature building.

Const. Victor Kwong said the six people in custody have not been placed under arrest and it’s unclear if they will face any charges.

Some Grassy Narrows residents suffered mercury poisoning since Dryden Chemical dumped nine-thousand kilograms of it into the Wabigoon and English River systems during the 1960s.

READ MORE: Report calls for mercury dumped in Wabigoon River in 1960s to be safely removed

The government closed the local fishery that formed the basis of the Grassy Narrows economy, but some residents ignored the order to stop eating the fish.

Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Minister David Zimmer and Environment Minister Glen Murray is scheduled to visit the Grassy Narrows First Nation next week.

Zimmer and Murray, along with technical experts, will meet with Grassy Narrows leaders to discuss various reports about mercury contamination in the area and how to clean it up.

Police block off the front entrance of Queen’s Park after protesters dumped a white substance near the front entrance on June 23, 2016.

Global News

-With a file from

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