Caution: The Hole is a documentary which will make you angry.
The National Film Board’s documentary, The Hole, chronicles the history of mining in Ontario, specifically around the Sudbury region where Inco made its fortunes. The most dramatic take-away lessons we learn are:
- Mining companies actively suppressed the unionization of their employees for 40 years. This included hiring thugs from a private police force operated by Pinkerton’s in the USA.
- Mining corporations have done far more long-term harm to the Canadian environment than any benefits they’ve delivered to the country, save the incomes which they are forced to pay employees.
- Mining corporations are “above the law” and evade any responsibility for the toxins which are discharged in the air, water and land.
- Local politicians are powerless to stop the corporate harms generated by multinational mining companies.
- Federal politicians, past and present, allow mining companies to act with impunity through “limited liability“. This means that no matter how high the financial costs are to clean up after harmful mining operations, corporations are not liable for those costs. It falls on taxpayers to subsidize these global corporations.
- The public dissemination of these harms was done through Canada’s National Film Board, one of the few outlets for public broadcasting in the Western world. The NFB is not dependant on corporate revenues through advertising.
Find out more about The Hole at http://www.nfb.ca/film/hole_story/