Forget the disasters they've been fingered for abroad. Canadian mining companies want us to believe they're held to a higher eco-standard here at home. But over the decades, they've ripped a path of destruction through huge swaths of this province. We map a few of these sins.
1. After Denison Mines and its various subsidiaries finished producing uranium for the Cold War effort, all 55 miles of the Serpent River Basin near Elliot Lake were polluted with radioactive waste. An astonishing 130 million tonnes of radioactive tailings have been left in ponds and 14 decommissioned uranium mines in the area.
2. Kam Kotia copper mine near Timmins has been labelled "the worst environmental disaster" in Ontario history -- some 200,000 tonnes of waste rock and 6 million tonnes of mine tailings on a site covering 48 hectares.
3. In Port Colborne, where Inco operated a nickel refinery from 1918 to 1984, the backyards and schoolyards of the city's east side are heavily contaminated.
4. After decades of gold mining upstream, the Pic River First Nation have had to replace water treatment facilities to remove cyanide from their drinking water.
5. Rio Algom's Stanleigh uranium mine near Elliot Lake sprang a huge leak in August 1993, releasing 2 million litres of contaminated water from its tailings site.
6. Goldcorp Inc., which runs the Red Lake Complex, Canada's largest gold mine, was found guilty in 2005 of three counts under the Ontario Water Resources Act: adding chemicals to sewage treatment without approval, constructing tailings areas at Red Lake without approval, and discharging 110,000 cubic metres of tailings effluent to the Bruce Channel of Red Lake without submitting a report.