The city of Sudbury is situated in Northern Ontario, and is the most populous city within the region, with more than 157,000 people. The area of Greater Sudbury is a municipality that was just recently created. In the year 2001, the towns and cities of the former Regional Municipality of Sudbury, and several previously unincorporated geographic townships, merged to become Greater Sudbury. By land area, it is the largest city in Ontario, and the seventh biggest municipality by area within the nation.
Constituting its own independent census division, Greater Sudbury is not part of whichever district, county or regional municipality. Only four other cities within Ontario have this status: Ottawa, Toronto, Kawartha Lakes and Hamilton.
As a mining and mill town, Sudbury has a colourful labour past. In the year 1944, the city's mine workers succeeded in establishing a union with the certification of the Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Local 598. Two companies, Inco and Falconbridge, attempted to destabilize the union by setting up their own puppet unions, the Falconbridge Workers Council and the United Copper Nickel Workers Union which the workers referred to as "Nickel Rash". The workers rejected these puppet unions. The very first mine workers' strike occurred during 1958 following several years of unrest. Smaller strikes also happened in the late 1960s.
The city of Sudbury has had several challenges reaping economic benefits due to taxation issues, in spite of having a tremendous amount of large nickel deposits within the area. Before the creation of the Regional Municipality of Sudbury in 1973, the city was not allowed to levy taxes against the mining businesses, whose facilities were situated within outlying company towns, such as Copper Cliff, Coniston, Frood Mine and Falconbridge. The city of Sudbury tried to solve the problem by annexing the company towns, but the Ontario Municipal Board always denied the requests of the city.
The ability of Sudbury to directly levy municipal taxes on mining businesses has been limited when compared to other Ontario cities, whose primary employers operate in other businesses. One local newspaper called Sudbury City "a city without a city's birthright," due to its taxation issues. However, mining remains a vital industry in Sudbury.
Sudbusry City has managed to overcome these obstacles to create a diversified economy, by creating a centre of government, commerce, tourism and research. The city's biggest single company has for a long time been the Vale nickel mine. However, the proportion of people hired by Vale has declined from 25 percent during the 1970s to less than five per cent of the city's workers these days. The mining industry is now outranked by education, health care, hospitality services, public administration, retail trade and mining machinery making.
Sudbury has also face various labour problems. Like for instance, there was a recent strike at Vale lasted from the summer of the year 2009 to the summer of the year 2010. These problems have has less of an effect on the general financial system than previous years.