Segments in this Video

Miner in Timmins (04:19)


Gold's importance to the economy has faded, decreasing the likelihood of revitalization in gold mining. Shawn Turcotte, a third-generation miner, had hoped his son Shane would find a safer, more secure job. Shane has been working at the mine for seven years and enjoys the work.

Gold and Colonialism (04:56)

The search for resources has always driven exploration and colonization in the Americas. Chad Boissoneau, First Nations chief, recounts the story of how Canadian explorers first came to their land in the late 1800s; the Mattagami were forced to resettle further away from Timmins.

Economy in Timmins (03:42)

With a mine planning to close in 2021 and decreasing logging operations, most younger residents of Timmins are moving south. Dan Andreata explains how older residents cannot afford to sell their homes and leave. Orval Turcotte, Shawn's father, has always worried about the lack of sustainability.

Timmins, a Company Town (04:02)

Timmins was founded during the transition of mining towns going from frontier towns to company towns. Northern Ontario was developed with business interests held above the needs of workers and residents. Economist David Robinson believes the reliance on the mine is a way to oppress workers.

Miner Mindset (04:38)

Shane and fellow miner Bobby Cyr describe mining as a monotonous routine; they try to ignore possible dangers. Both men are willing to work 12-hour shifts or give up days off because the pay is good.

Miners' Union (03:53)

The first union formed in 1910 and held a strike in 1912, which led to the deportation of numerous immigrant miners, mostly from Ukraine and Poland. Most union organizers were interned during World War I and the union dissolved after the war. Another push for unions in the 1930s proved successful and conditions in the mines improved.

Miners' Health (09:15)

Work related injuries or health problems is a part of mining. Orval thinks preserving health for retirement is better than accumulating wealth. Lung diseases, like silicosis, have been common among miners since the mines opened.

Mining Changes (03:11)

Mining is moving to automation and digitization. Though it reduces the risk to human life, it changes job requirements and decreases the number of jobs. There is little diversity in the Timmins economy.

Timmins and First Nations (05:30)

In the last few years, mining and logging companies have been acknowledging First Nations land treaties in Northern Ontario. The Mattagami have impact benefit agreements so they can benefit from the work happening on their land. Many First Nationers are moving into Timmins.

Future in Timmins (07:43)

Shane helps his friend Tyler Mateev get a job in the mine. Shane is not worried about his mine closing; he can find another mining job somewhere else if necessary.

Credits: Northern Gold: After the Rush (00:39)

Credits: Northern Gold: After the Rush

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Northern Gold: After the Rush

Part of the Series : Northern Gold
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As Timmins grew, miners fought successfully to improve their working conditions. Today, the city faces an uncertain future as mines close down. Multi-generational mining families like the Turcottes continue to work below ground - mining is in their blood. As the city evolves, recent immigrants and Indigenous communities are embracing new possibilities with hope and resilience.

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL190430

Copyright date: ©2019

Closed Captioned

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