Canadian General Information
By Jake Yeon
Environmental Issues of Canada (Acid Rain)
Factories burning coal, cars, and trucks release chemicals that pollute the air. When chemicals from the factories join the water in the clouds, they form acid rain. Huge amounts of acid rain can damage or even kill trees and pollute the lakes enough to kill fish, 50-75% of the pollution that causes acid rain comes from the US (winds bring the pollution north towards Canada. 1970'S were the time when the Great Lakes had high levels of water pollution due to acid rain. Fishing was unsafe;animals and plants were being killed. Factories used the lakes as a place to dump waste. In 1972, the US and Canada created and agree on the first "Great Lakes Quality Agreement", pledging to clean up and protect the Great Lakes ecosystem.The goal of this agreement is to restore lake environment and prevent further damage. They worked together to reduce amount of water and chemicals dumped into lakes.
Environmental Issues of Canada (Canadian Shield)
The Canadian Shield is a large area of thin rocky soil around the Hudson Bay. It is very important to Canada's economy. 1.5 million people make their living in the mining industry. The Canadian Shield contains much of Canada's mineral wealth, including diamonds. Mining is the biggest industry in this area. About 85%of this nation's iron ore comes from the Quebec-Newfoundland border. The Canadian Shield has a large amount of gold, silver, zinc, copper, and uranium. However, blasting and digging with heavy machinery causes the land around where the explosion or intense digging and be damaged and environment ruined. Mining processes actually release harmful chemicals into the air which cause acid rain. Thankfully, Canada's government has passed new laws. Miners must reduce the amount of mining in the shield, and they must reduce the extraction of raw minerals, but focus on manufacturing goods like cars.
Environmental Issues (Timber)
With almost half the land covered in forests, Canada is a leading producer of timber products. In Canada, the biggest timber provinces include British Colombia, Quebec, and Ontario. Citizens of Canada are concerned that logging is destroying the forests. Most Canadian timber companies cut all the trees in a given area, leaving large treeless gaps in the forests. This is called clear-cutting. This reduces water quality, and can cause erosion and kill animal habitats. Government and industry are working together to manage use of the forests. Hundreds of million of seedlings are planted each year, and over $100 million is spent yearly by the logging industry themselves to protect wildlife and their habitats.
Canada has a federal, parliamentary democratic constitutional monarchy. Since Canada was ruled by Great Britain, the monarchy of Canada is actually the queen of the United Kingdom, which is presently, Queen Elizabeth II, but she has very little political power. Instead, she picks a governor-general, who is a person who stands for the monarch. There is also a prime minister, who holds the most political power; he or she works very closely with the legislature. The current governor general is David Johnston, while the prime minister is Stephen Harper. The governor general is appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister and he or she serves a 5 year term. The prime minister is elected by indirectly elected by the people. The Senate is members appointed by the governor general with advice from the prime minister, and the House of Commons are members directly elected by the people and they serve for a five year terms. Citizens must be 18 or older to vote, but voting is not required by the law. Citizens vote for members of the House of Commons, which is elected indirectly by the Prime Minister.
Canada's History Europe Colonization (Part One)
Canada has a vast and long history. It started when native people from Asia 12,000 years ago. They crossed the Bering Land Bridge that joined Russia to Alaska. 12 tribes made up the first nations. One of the first tribes were the Inuits. Some of them still live in Canada today. In 1999, Canada's government gave the Inuits the Nunavut Territory in northeast Canada. The very first explorers to settle Canada were the Norse invaders from the Scandinavian Peninsula In 1000 CE, they built a town on the northeast coast of Canada and established a trading relationship with the Inuits. However, the Norse deserted the settlement for an unknown reason. Europeans did not return to Canada until almost 500 years later... In 1497, Italian explorer John Cabot traveled to Canada's east coast. Cabot claimed an area of land for England (his sponsor) and named it Newfoundland. Almost 40 years later, Jacques Cartier sailed up the St. Lawrence river in 1534.; He claimed the land for France and French colonists named the area that Cartier claimed New France. In 1608, Samuel de Champlain built the first permanent settlement in Quebec. The population grew slowly in Quebec. The British colonized parts south of New France. This lead to the French and Indian War in 1754. Great Britain conquered Quebec and forced France to sign the Treaty of Paris in 1763.
Canada's History Europe Colonization (Part Two)
The Treaty of Paris gave British control of all land east of the Mississippi River, expect for 2 islands off of Newfoundland. The Quebec Act allowed French to stay in Quebec, but continued to control the region. The Quebec Act guaranteed the French the right to maintain their culture. In 1776, America gained independence from Great Britain, which initiated a huge cultural change in Canada. Americans who did not believe in independence moved to Quebec, and they were called loyalists. The result was that Quebec began to have people who spoke English and French. Many of these people did not want to live among French speaking Canadians. Cultural differences between the two sparked many conflicts. in 1774, the British passed the Quebec Act. The result of this is that it gave French Canadians in Quebec the right to continue practicing the Catholic religion and allowed French civil law. Loyalists were irritated with the new political power of the French. They could not own land or have representation in Quebec's government. The difference among the two groups eventually led to the re-division of the country. Most English speaking citizens lived in Upper Canada (Ontario) and most French speaking citizens lived in Lower Canada (Quebec).
Canada's History (Part Three)
In 1812, the French and Great Britain worked together against the US. The war ended up as a draw, but it defined the US- Canadian border increased and also increased a sense of Canadian nationalism. After the war of 1812, French and Britain Canadians realized that they hated being under British control. In 1832, Canadians began to rebel against British control.In 1841, upper and lower Canada was reunited establishing the very first province of Canada. Around the 1860s, Canadian leaders discussed the confederation of all British North American colonies. So therefore, the British North American Act, creating a federation union of Canada. In 1886, they increased travel from Canada's east coast to west coast which created new provinces and territories. In 1898, territory was established to meet the needs of the growing population from the gold rush. Around 1905, provinces were created so that the government could collect taxes to pay for the growth of population. In 1949, provinces joined Canada in order to have help building roads and railways. Around 1999, territory was created so that the Inuits (Yes, they still lived in Canada. Props to them!) could have their own land and government.