Canada into the Future
Will Canada be the greatest country to live in 2035?
Introduction to the Canadian Future
- Change in Population
- Interactions in the Physical Environment
- Management of Resources and Industries
- Livable Communities
Change in Population
How Will Canada's Population Look Like?
Currently, Canada is on stage 4 of the demographic transition model with birth and death rates both low. Over the period to 2035, Ontario’s population is projected to continue growing moderately at an average yearly rate close to 1.1%. The provincial population is projected to grow from 13.5 million to 17.2 million by 2035, adding another 3.7 million people over 22 years. Over the time span of 20 years, as fertility rates stays low and aging population continues, this downward trend is predicted to continue. By 2035, only about 1/5 of population growth is expected to come from natural increase. By this time period, life expectancy is predicted to reach a higher age for both men and women thus making the country overpopulated.
Aboriginal people living in the oil sands region fear potential health impacts and have concerns about environmental impacts of oil sands development. As 11 million liters of toxic waste is being leaked into the Athabasca River per day, it later on seeps into the ground water intoxicating it causing rare cancers that can affect many Aboriginals. This will lead to a decrease in the Aboriginal population. The population has been decreasing since 2011 when there were 1,400,685 FNMI people to where as now there are 1,362,800. The life expectancy of First Nations people is about 5-7 years shorter than the general Canadian population while the Inuits live about 15 years shorter. With that being said, the Aboriginal population is slowly being wiped out.
Interactions in the Physical Environment
Canada is mostly affected by the 6 climate factors- Latitude, Ocean Currents, Wind and Air, Elevation, Relief and Nearness to Water. Latitude is a big reason why Canada is cool. When the sun's rays hit the surface of the Earth, the energy is dispersed among a larger area. If Canada was closer to the equator, we would have a warmer climate. Ocean currents affect the coastal provinces causing warmer winters and cooler summers. Elevation and relief cause the snowy and cold climate Canada has. Nearness to water is the last climate factor that affects this country. As an air mass travels over a large body of water it absorbs moisture. When that same air mass passes over land, the moisture may be released as precipitation, resulting areas closer to water receiving more precipitation than areas further away.
A polar vortex is something that effects Canada. It is a large pocket of very cold air, typically the coldest air which lies upon Canada and the Northern Plains during the winter season. The vortex is capable of delivering subzero temperatures for several days. When the strong air from the Eastern or Western Pacific weakens, the polar vortex will circulate itself back to the northern regions near the North Pole.
Canada’s Physical Regions
- The Cordillera
- The Prairies
- The North
- The Canadian Shield
- The Great Lakes
- The St. Lawrence River
- The Atlantic
The North is located in the most northern areas of the country. The land in The North is called Tundra. This is because, this region is below zero degrees Celsius and is dry all year round. Having such a cold climate, tress do not grow and the region has short and cool summers.
The Canadian Shield is found in the middle of Canada. This region is consisted of hills, highlands, plateaus, lowlands, plains, rivers and lakes. Industries found in this region include mining, forestry and power production. The main mineral mined in this region is nickel. Forestry in this region is able to provide a high number of employment for people. Majority of power production is hydroelectricity.
The Great Lakes Lowland region of Canada covers most of Southern Ontario. Hills and plains formed in this region are formed of the sand, dust and mud left from the ice glaciers from multiple decades ago. The climate in this region is known for having cold winters and hot summers. Many industries such as manufacturing, construction, power generation, mining, agriculture, forestry and fishing can be found in this region.
An important region of Canada is the St. Lawrence River. The region is made up of three plains which are made up of many layers of sediment rich soil which is helpful for agriculture. The climate can have various climate changes from tropical to arctic conditions. Summers can be extremely hot and humid while winters can be cold to a great extent.
The Atlantic covers eastern Canada. This region has many plains, highlands, mountains and lowlands. Rainfall and temperature isn't consistent. Ocean current can effect the weather of the region by bringing storms, heavy fog, rainfall or snowfall. Some natural resources found in this region are forestry, mining and fishing.
Canada's Vegetation Regions
The country is also consisted of 7 vegetation regions which include:
- Boreal Forest/ Taiga
- Arctic Tundra
- Mixed Forest
- Deciduous Forest
- West Coast Forest
The Boreal Forest is the largest vegetation region. It is covered by plants that are capable of surviving cool summers and long, cold winters. The Mixed Forest region is helpful for agriculture due to its rich soil it has to offer. Deciduous Forest is great at creating humus for the soil. The Cordillera Vegetation is in the west coast of Canada and has too high elevation for suitable vegetation. The West Coast Forest is good growing conditions as there is good humus. The Grasslands are prairies which are too dry for trees to grow in, but because of the humus and flat land is good condition for agriculture as well.The Arctic Tundra is the second largest vegetation region in the country. This region is is treeless because of its low and summer temperatures and short growing seasons.
Climate Change in the Future
Global warming is going to impact Canada greatly in the future. The average yearly temperature in the country has warmed up by 1.6%. Climatologists believe that the annual temperature average by 2100 might be from 1° to 4°C. There has been an increase in temperatures during the winter and spring and now the warming trends are affecting the far north. With strong warming in high-latitude regions, it will affect the future climate greatly. Sea level is likely to rise, possibly by an average rate of about 5 cm per decade over the next 100 years, mostly because of the thermal expansion of water and the melting of glaciers. Changes may include the amount and distribution of precipitation and the risk of extreme weather events such as heat waves, heavy rainfalls and related flooding. With that being said, many regions of Canada will be affected by the change in ocean environment. We could be seeing extreme sea level changes, wave regimes and ice conditions.
Greenhouse emission gases play a major role in global warming right now and in the future as well. They will be related to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and the reduction of forests. With the these activities increasing as time goes by, it's soon going to be impossible to help reduce greenhouse gases affecting the climate.
Managing Resources and Industries
Canada has many resources such as mining, fishing, forestry, fossil fuels and many more. Canada exports a majority of its resources for other goods and services such as textiles. One of the most important resource is oil. This is going to be very demanded in the future. If the country has tripled since the 1950's, that means we are going to need 3 times as much as oil, wood, coal, uranium, electricity, portable water, and of course space so we have space to live. Unfortunately, we have less resources than we need for the amount of people Canada so scientist have to find a way to replace all these resources with eco-friendly products to not only help the environment but because there isn't any other option. There is many options to sustain the resources we have today but it may be difficult with having people over-consuming them. We can help save forestry as long as we re-plant the trees that have been cut down so animals can not only have a healthy wildlife but so they maintain the ecological balance. If Canada were to preserve air quality by limiting or eliminating the discharge of harmful chemicals into the air and by minimizing the sources of air pollution, we can help change the drastic affects that climate change will have in the future but with so many people driving individually to work rather than carpooling, this may be a very difficult task.
Issues Canada will be Facing
An issue Canadian cities are facing today is overpopulation and pollution. Day by day, cities are getting more populated and congested making it difficult for some people to live in certain cities. This is because of urban sprawl. Urban sprawl is the expansion of human populations away from urban areas into rural areas. Urban sprawl will definitely be a problem in the future. As more people come there are going to be more government expenses which is also going to increase the GDP of Canada. More congestion means more people per kilometer increasing the population density. Congestion will increase pollution which will enhance global warming. There will be less open/ natural space for us. The effects of urban sprawl are health issues, increase in traffic, impact on social lives and environmental issues. Canada will also be facing obesity. With each individual consuming more than they need, the population is going to have an increase chance of having obesity and diabetes.
Resolutions to Future Issues
Urban sprawl is going to be bad for communities in the future and it can only be controlled by people. If people are going to go to developing communities, it'll help give more space for other cities meaning less congestion. With a lot of space, there will be a decrease in traffic resulting a decrease in pollution. This can impact global warming positively. To make more space for people, we are probably going to have to cut trees down and use up our natural space. This is going to impact the environment negatively but it's our only option as the future needs more space or urban sprawl is going to impact Canada terribly. A reason urban sprawl is a big problem is because of low land cost, lack of urban planing, and a rise in standard of living. To put this to an end, we'll need more urban planners, and raise land prices as well as the cost of living. By doing this, it will help the society will realize that they only need so much space for there families and get smaller homes resulting more space for living. A way to reduce obesity, diabetes and the increase intake of food is to increase prices of groceries, but mostly fast food restaurant prices so the society will choose fruits and vegetables to snack on rather than junk food. This will help them be healthy and reduce the number of people who are obese in the general population.