Canadian Geography

Will Canada Be The Greatest Country To Live In Come 2035?

The Future Holds......

As the world continues to evolve, everything will start to change for every country, whether it will be for the better or for the worse. However if we were to travel into the future of 2035 the question for us Canadians is whether or not, will Canada be the greatest country to live in? In my opinion, I believe that in 2035 Canada will still be one of the top countries to live in. We have many things planned for the future that will affect our population, land, environment, climate, resources, and urban sprawl positively, and that will help us to sustain Canada continuously.
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CHANGING POPULATIONS

Current Trends to Future

Population & Immigration: As of now, Canada - the second largest country in the world has a population of 32,675,834 people (October 2014) with over 98% of them being immigrants and descendants of immigrants. However just accepting immigrants into our country is not enough to sustain our country economically and solve our birth rate crisis because it would take years for them to get used to everything in Canada, get a job, raise a family, etc. Currently, 6.6% of the population in Canada are unemployed and with the country taking in at least 220,000 people every year just from immigration, is not enough, as the number would need to be doubled in order to keep up with the demanding growth of labour forces. Therefore Canada has been (trying to) attract more young and skilled workers however, for numerous years, Canada has been at an all time low birth rate in the world rankings, although the baby boom in 1946 - 1965 spiked the charts it gradually decreased again and caused a more aging/older population in the future (2014). We are currently in the 4th stage in the Demographic Transition Model (low birthrate, stable population (no growth), and low death rate) and we are also starting to move to the 5th stage where death rate starts increasing and everything else starts declining. The factor that caused us to have the population we have now is because of the..


1. Education of Women
- women are now pursuing more job and educational opportunities

- women are more knowledgeable and smarter

- this causes the lack of time for raising children

- as education for women increases it decreases the fertility rate

2. Industrial Revolution

- started 1760 in England

- new manufacturing and starting to advance to technology

- by 1890 most of Western Europe and all of North America, experienced an exponential

growth in population

3. Green Revolution

- began during 1940s-1960s

- the use of machines and fertilizer increased crop yields

- better crops would mean better food = better nutrition

- better nutrition = longer life
4. Agricultural Revolution

- people moved to urban areas

- settlements are located near good, fertile soil

- occurred during the 18th century and end of 19th century

5. Healthcare

- health care got better

- longer lifespan

- infant mortality rate very low

- no need for more children to fill in others

- death rate low


FNMI (First Nations, Metis, Intuit): The First Nations are only 2.6% of the total Canadian population and Metis with 1.4% and finally the Inuits with 0.2% of the Canadian population. This means that only a mere 4.2% of Canada's total population are the FMNI in total. Despite being a low percentage of total population, they are also Canada's youngest population. This is due to their high fertility rate and short life expectancy, survey shows that the FNMI's median age would range from 24-30 (different for each group) while the rest of Canada's non-FNMI population age median are in the 40s. However the FNMI have a lack of self government and treaties are their downnfalls. When the First Nations signed the treaties, they misunderstood most of what was being dealt and they gave away huge amounts of land that their ancestors used to live, and hunt on, as well as losing their rights. Because of that, they are now forced to live on reserves that do not even have enough to sustain and provide many of the FNMI population. Therefore many FNMI people have begun to move to large urban centres and live their in order for a brighter future, and in 2035, most, if not all of the FNMI population would be living in urban.

INTERACTIONS IN THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT

Physical Features & Climate...

In Canada, there are 8 main landforms - the Western Cordillera Region, the Interior Plains, the Canadian Shield, the Hudson Bay Lowlands, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Lowlands, the Appalachian Region, the Arctic Lowlands, and finally the Innuitian Mountains. Each one of these landform regions have distinct features to distinguish them from the others, and are located in parts across Canada.


  • The Interior Plains
The interior plains are located in North America. They stretch from the Arctic ocean to the gulf of Mexico. 1300 km wide at south and 275 km wide at the North. The plains in Canada are located in the parts of Northwest Territories, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. They were first formed during the Paleozoic Time Era (about 1.85 billion years ago). When you think about the plains, your first picture is usually flat land that stretches on for kilometers. Although in fact the Interior Plains actually is made up of rolling hills, deep wide river valleys and land that slopes down gently from west to east. Much of Canada's oil and gas resources come from Alberta & Saskatchewan. The plains have good ,fertile soil to grow healthy crops (mostly wheat) and where the climate is too dry or too warm for crops, and cattle are raised for their meat. Since the Interior Plains were covered by shallow inland seas in the past, sediments from the Canadian Shield and The Rockies flowed to these seas and over the years compressed into Sedimentary Rocks. Part of the Sedimentary Rocks, are coral reefs that formed near the surface during the Paleozoic Era, they are now broken down under the many layers of Earth underneath the Plains....In this region, latitude does affect the south of this area - it's hot but in the north it's colder but not as cold as Nunavut, a tad warmer. Also the Plains are not near any large bodies of water so it's more drier and hotter, and also elevation does not effect this region, because of its landscape. Wind air masses do affect these regions because jet stream passes through this region. It’s near the cold air mass and the hot air masses and since it’s a continental region it will have less precipitation, therefore it’s more drier than maritime region.
  • Innuitian Mountains
Unlike the Interior Plains, the Innuitian Mountains are located up North surrounded by the Arctic Ocean up in Nunavut and the NorthWest Territories and were formed during the Mesozoic Era. They extend from the South-West to North-East about 130,000km and they elevate up to 1,830 metres and more. There is a very small population of 29,474 people living in the Innuitian Mountains and living through the nail biting cold. With harsh cold climates, there are very few animals that live in the Innuitain Mountains, and they are the ones who can survive in the cold such as Polar Bears. It is surprising that the cold mountains even have a summer but they are very short but intense summers producing small, beautiful flowers and plants in a variety of colours and grass as well. Tourism attractions are very popular because many people like to view the large mountains and ride on boats and sight seeing the animals and landscape. There are 4 main industries including Fishing, Fur Trade, Hunting and Mining. Whaling (whale hunting) is the biggest as the whales are sought for their oil and meat. Many metallic and non-metallic mineral resources can also be found in the mountains such as zinc, iron, copper, fossil fuels (coal), etc, but the main ones are gold, lead, copper, nickel, and diamond mining. Because of the high elevation it makes the climate cold and the cold air mass adds to the coldness mixing with the Arctic Ocean causing snow. In the region there are also many bays, sounds, channels and straights such as Jones Sound, Lancaster Sound, Bryan Channel, Mercy Bay,etc.
People would think that we would generally have a snowy, cold climate, but in reality there are many factors that influence our many different climates.
  • Latitude
Canada is further up North away from the equator, therefore the Sun's rays are spread over the area and less concentrated and the country is colder.
  • Ocean Currents
The ocean currents carry the warm water to the North and the cold water back to the South. By doing this the ocean can increase or decrease the temperature of the land.
  • Relief
Is the difference between the elevations of land. When air is forced to rise on a high raised part of land, the temperature gets colder and condensation increases. The rain starts to fall and when it passes over the mountain temperature increases but condensation decreases.
  • Elevation
The higher up the landform the colder it gets. This explains why the regions in Canada with almost no mountains or areas of elevation (like the Interior Plain) are warmer than regions with high elevations (like the Innuitian Mountains).
  • Wind Air Masses
The air masses carry moisture from the ocean and large bodies of water causing precipitation to some regions. They also affect how cold or warm the location is depending on the wind (hot or cold).
  • Nearness to Water
This affects the precipitation of the region and will usually show if the region is a continental region or a maritime region. If the location is near a large body of water, it will receive more precipitation then the ones that are not, causing it to be a maritime region.

How Will Climate Change Alter Canada's Physical Environment?...

Climate change is defined by "a long-term shift in weather conditions identified by changes in temperature, precipitation, winds, and other indicators. Climate change can involve both changes in average conditions and changes in variability, including, for example, extreme events." and can be caused by natural causes, or by human causes. Natural causes in climate change includes..


  • changes in volcanic activity
  • the orbit of Earth around the sun
  • solar output
  • changes in solar radiation
  • etc.

and ever since the Industrial Revolution, green house gases in the atmosphere has increased at least 10 times of in the solar output of energy. This is mainly caused by human activity and we affect climate change by...


  • burning fossil fuels
  • changing land for agricultural purposes
  • changing land for forestry
  • etc.

This has changed the Earth's climate heavily over the years as the planet starts growing warmer and warmer as more greenhouse gases build up and are trapped in the atmosphere. Canada located near the North, above the equator is going to be one of the countries that will be having a difficult time dealing with it because our country has ice. Global warming means that the hot dry areas would become more hotter and drier and the wet areas would just become more wetter. Ice in Nunavut and on the mountains are all melting all over Canada at a fast pace causing sea levels to rise and this will cause a string of natural disasters. There will be increased amounts of flooding because of the rising sea level and forest fires because of the rising temperatures and dryness will cause dry winds increasing the chance of tornadoes/hurricanes and precipitation/ lightning because of liquids evaporating.

MANAGING CANADA'S RESOURCES & INDUSTRIES

Current & Sustainable Use of Resources...

Canada's most valuable resource in the future will be WATER. Over 70% of earth's surface is covered by water and of that 70% only 1% is drinkable water for us humans and the rest is made up of salt-water and frozen fresh water (in ice and the soil). In Canada our 5 Great Lakes provide clean drinking water for all of Canada, and we have 7% of the worlds renewable drinking water. If we protect the lakes and wetlands and areas that could purify water we could keep renewing the water and everyone would still have drinking water. Using is sustainably and wisely will give us a continuous flow of water and not drying it out to quickly in a few years by saving energy/water. Because of the water, it will influence many people from Africa and the East to come to Canada because their lack of clean drinking water, sanitation is taking a toll on their health and population.

Global Connections...

Globally, Canada is connected to almost every country to trade, (some countries more so than others), and has signed many agreements, deals and contracts. In the future I think that Canada would be involved even more with trade because of the world depleting its resources to quickly and because Canada has water- an important necessity of life. With prices and taxes and demands rising we will need to depend on other countries as well to import goods that we would need. An outbreak of Ebola has recently occurred, and that means trading goods such as equipment, tools, etc are also more needed, as well as helping the countries by sending over doctors, engineers, etc. Free trade is also a big thing as Canada has agreements with some countries such as NAFTA - the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, US and Mexico for free trade.

LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES

Issues Canadian Cities Are Facing...

Like every country, Canada has its own issues to deal with, such as increased greenhouse gas emissions, waste, cars, pollution and more use of water and energy. One of our largest issues are cars (transportation). Over 80% of Canada's population live in large urban centres, and because of urban sprawl, making us travel unnecessary long distances, then we are becoming more dependent on cars. Waste management is also getting trickier to handle as we are using more than we need and only 1% of what we spend and buy, we keep and the other 99% are trashed and dealt with either dumping them in landfills or burning them (both causes pollution). Urban Sprawl is also causing us to expand onto environmentally sensitive areas as well as good fertile agricultural land for building more houses and commercial uses.

Why Is Urban Sprawl Concerning to Canadian Cities?...

One of the largest impact of urban sprawl will be on the environment of Canadian cities because when we are expanding onto agricultural lands or environmentally sensitive areas we are causing the-
  • "Destruction of wildlife habitat”
  • "Introduction of non-native invasive plants and animals into natural areas.”
  • "Increased human and pet exposure to diseases such as rabies and Lyme disease.”
  • " Increased risks of water pollution from oil and gasoline washing off paved surfaces and from pesticides, lawn fertilizers, and other chemicals.”
  • " Increased potential for flooding and soil erosion due to impervious surfaces such as concrete or pavement.”
  • "Decrease in groundwater for wells and irrigation caused by abundance of impervious surfaces.”
  • "Increased risk to life and property from wildfires.”

But not only that we are increasing pollution in the cities we are ruining our health as well, because as we become more car-dependent and surrounded in smog, we are causing the lack of exercise (which leads to poor health) and more asthma (from inhaling the large amount of C02 and other chemicals in pollutants).

Dealing With The Issue Of Urban Sprawl...

So how can we all work together to control this sprawl? We plan smarter, save more and we work more by...
  • "Smart Growth is characterized by street trees, wide sidewalks, a light rail, bike lanes, and a mix of residential and commercial establishments. High-density development makes this plan more environmentally sustainable."
  • "New Urbanism, known as the anti-suburban ideal, makes private homes more public. Houses are closer together, are front-facing, and have porches, which leads to more community interaction. Sidewalks and public transportation decreases dependence on cars."
  • "Urban Growth Boundaries are limits drawn around a city to prevent urban sprawl. While boundaries increase density, they also lead to the land inside becoming more expensive."
  • “If you are moving, choose a home that is within a 30-minute walk, bike or transit ride from work, school or shopping. If you are not moving, try to get out of your car more and help reduce the many problems associated with being car-dependent.”
  • “Learn more about what is going on your community: listen to the radio and read the local newspapers. Most cities in Canada are faced with a range of urban sprawl issues — road expansion, poor transit, new shopping malls and mega-stores, new suburban development, and stresses on existing water and sewage facilities. You can't get involved if you don't know what's going on.”
  • “Take your concerns to the next level. Contact your city planning department and convey your concerns and ideas. Talk to your mayor or city councillor about strengthening the best qualities of your city and redirecting plans to build out.”
You can help control urban sprawl by talking with your neighbours, friends and family to raise awareness and take initiative by volunteering or joining leadership programs and join a cause. Making a decision is not easy but making the right one will one by one lead to a good outcome, and in Ontario (and other provinces as well) it is said that many mayors/leaders could of stopped urban sprawl forcefully a long time ago, but it was because of the people they couldn't, because they gave us what we wanted- more space, more stuff for cheaper, but we don't realize that we are digging a grave for ourselves. There are many foundations you can support such as the David Suzuki Foundation, he has made a report on how to stop urban sprawl in our communities and empowering the citizens, but you don't have to join a foundation to make a difference. All across Ontario, in schools, community centres, libraries, etc. are offering ways to help deal with the issue of urban sprawl and gain more knowledge to stop it.
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Conclusion

In conclusion, Canada would be a good choice to live in, come 2035 because of our resources, and healthcare and environment. With free health care and most of the worlds drinking water and a friendly community, and good living spaces, this country is definitely better than most other countries that are smaller and developing. In the future many people would want to immigrate to Canada looking for job opportunities because Canada is offering more for the skilled workers. Therefore in 2035, Canada would be one of the best countries to live in.