Is Canada the greatest country?

Is Canada the best country to live in?

Where does Canada stand?

There are about 200 countries in the world as of today. Each country has its own ethnicity, culture, infrastructure, flag, currency and most importantly, way of living. However, there is a great variation between the quality of life in all these countries. Of all the countries that I have seen, I believe that Canada is the best country to live in for several reasons. Lets get into details.
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Population and Immigration

A country of cultures

Canada is one of the countries in the world, where perhaps very few people can say that they are purely Canadian in ancestry, unless they are aboriginal. At some point, 96% of our population had immigrated over from a different country. The result is that Canada is a culturally diversified and accepting country. We have citizens from every corner of the world, who have come over at some point in our centuries old history. Our first prime minister was also an immigrant, which shows how immigration forms the basis of our population.
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The result of this is a country that accepts and respects the values of everyone. People have comes to Canada for many reasons such as escaping prosecution, war or famine. And we gladly accept them all.

A sustainable population

Canada has a population of 35 million people. Most of it is concentrated in Ontario and Quebec. Our population is currently very small for our land size. Our fertility rate sits just above the 2 children mark so our natural increase rate is rather low.However, our population is still growing. Canada is taking in nearly 250,000 immigrants per year, with plans to increase that number. This massive inflow of immigrants is what keeps our population up. By 2060, the population of Canada is expected to be at 50 million people.
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An abundance of resources

Our current population density is roughly 4 people per square kilometer. About 80% of the country's land is uninhabited. This creates a vast gap between the number of people and the area of our land. This vast gap has allowed Canadians to live in the luxury of every resource on Earth. The huge area of our country means that it will likely never be over populated. At a healthy population density of 50 people per square kilometer, Canada could easily maintain a population of five hundred million people. From oil and natural gas to agriculture, we have an abundance of everything. This has allowed us to live comfortable lives, while exporting most of what we produce to foreign countries. This has also given us one of the best stable economies in the world.

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A very long life

Canada has one of the highest life expectancy in the world. At an average life expectancy of 81.4 years, we have the thirteenth highest life expectancy in the world. This number has greatly increased in recent years as we have striven hard to improve our healthcare system. Canada has free healthcare for everyone, a major difference from many countries in the world where healthcare is terribly expensive and not very efficient. We have the best medical technologies available in the world, which have allowed us to become one of the world's leaders in healthcare.
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An educated population

Most of Canada's population is literate. We have free schooling available to everyone, up till grade 12. Our universities have often been named as some of the best in the world. The result has been an educated population, with thousands of qualified experts in every field. Our education system has been rated 7th best in the world by Edudemic and is constantly improving. This has led to a very learned and knowledgeable population in Canada
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Immigrants' hub

Canada has a total of 6.7 million foreign born immigrants, or roughly 20% of the population. Those immigrants have mostly come over to Canada in the late 20th century or the 21st. Canada constantly ranks as the best country in the world to immigrate to, ahead of our commonwealth cousins of Australia and Netherlands. It has been described as the most immigrant friendly country in the world, easy to settle in as well as a culture that readily accommodates everyone. But why do people immigrate to Canada in the first place? What are their reasons? Well, here they are:


  • Free Healthcare: Canada has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Many people choose to come here to escape the outrageous healthcare expenses in their home country.
  • Peaceful Atmosphere: Canada hasn't been involved in a war since World War 2 and has excellent diplomatic relations with 180 countries. People come here constantly to escape war and conflict in their home countries.
  • Freedom of Speech: Canada has absolute freedom of speech, while protecting the rights of everyone. People come here to escape oppression in home countries.
  • Vast job opportunities: According to Stats Canada, there are 18 million active jobs in all sectors in Canada, with thousands created every year. This is the main reason that people come to Canada
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Climate and Landforms

A climate for everyone

Canada is often known as one of the coldest countries in the world. And for the most part, it is. The temperatures can reach to harsh -60 degrees Celsius in the winter. However, that is not all there is to Canada's climate. Canada's 13 provinces and territories have greatly varied climates that befit everyone. From the freezing winters of the Arctic to the cool springs of Ontario and British Columbia, Canada's diversity in climate is as great as the diversity in its population.
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A balance of seasons

Canada is mostly a country of climate extremes, which makes it hard to choose a region because of its climate. If somebody was immigrating to Canada, our climate wouldn't probably be the reason.

However, the region we live in( Great Lakes and St.Lawrence Lowlands) still has a good climate. Southern Ontario's highest recorded temperature is 40 degrees ( with humidex) and the lowest is around -30. The climate here gives us a full taste of all seasons.

In winter, there are plenty of activities to do here as we receive plenty of snow. Skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing and sledding are all very popular. However, the temperature is still not too low so it us enjoyable, unlike places such as the territories where winter makes life unbearable.

In spring, the snow thaws out and nature is alive once more..It is a very scenic time of the year with plenty of birds and green everywhere.

In summer, the temperature shoots high and lots of activities such as swimming can take place. People tend to enjoy it a lot. It is not as hot as some parts of Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Manitoba and Alberta.

And finally, autumn makes trees lose leaves and turn into a variety of colors, which is very fascinating to see. It is a unique process to view as few places on earth have this season. Autumn also has reasonably good weather with some cold winds and rain.


This has turned Southern Ontario into a popular spots for tourists, especially in the spring and summer. Southern Ontario has a more stable climate mainly because of the great lakes. The Great Lakes have a tempering effect, reducing cold in winter and reducing heat in summer. Regions around the Great Lakes have a humid climate, which makes it easier to bear the freezing winters.

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Refreshing B.C

British Columbia arguably has the best weather in Canada. The province is located on the western edge of Canada, right next to the Pacific Ocean. This strategic location has invariably changed its climate compared to the rest of Canada. The Pacific Ocean brings warm ocean currents in winter that warm the air above them. This air is then blown to the cities such as Vancouver and Victoria. The pacific Ocean also brings strong prevailing winds in winter that stabilize the cold winter winds from the Arctic.

British Columbia has a climate much warmer than the rest of Canada. This has made BC the most popular place for tourists to visit in Canada. Temperatures rarely dip below -10 in winter, and even stay above 0 for the most part. In the summer, the Pacific Ocean again has a major impact on the region's climate. The climate is usually cool, even in the summer.

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The Frozen Territories

Canada's three territories are cold places. The topmost territory, Nunavut has parts inside the Arctic circle. The territories have small populations of mostly Aboriginal people. They are one of the coldest places on Earth. If you have a love for the winter and cold, Canada's territories could be your next home. The coldest place in North America is Snag, located in the Yukon Territory
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Resources in landforms

Canada is a very diversified country in terms of landform regions. We have many different kinds of land forms, from rolling hills to piercing mountains, frozen deserts to endless prairies. These land forms are one of the regions that Canada has excelled in so many areas of agriculture and tourism. People coming to Canada can witness a variety of landscapes. Activities such as hiking, bird watching and exploring are hugely popular. Without any doubt, one can say that Canada is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Lets explore a few of the different landform regions of Canada below, and find out what makes Canada one of the most resourceful countries in the world
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Great Lakes and St.Lawrence Lowlands

The Great Lakes and St.Lawrence covers 46,000 km squared. It is the smallest landform region in Canada. Yet, it houses half our population. 70% of Canada's goods are manufactured here. The lowlands are beside the St.Lawrence River and the Great Lakes. They comprise of gently rolling hills, forests, hundreds of streams and rivers ad flat lands. They are located in Southern Ontario and Quebec. This region has some of the best natural features in Canada. It has a variety of trees and rich fertile soil that is used to grow crops such as apples ,peaches ,cherries,hay ,corn,grapes ,beans ,tobacco and many other fruits and vegetables.This means that there is an abundance of food and water. It also has plenty of natural resources so there are many manufacturing industries Ike brick and tile manufacturing. Resources such as copper, aluminum, zinc, lead, cattle grain, water, gold are found in vast majorities in this region. It is heavily industrialized. This means that many of the things we use are made locally. The trees in the area are mostly deciduous trees.

The region also comprises the world famous Niagara Falls, one of the largest waterfalls in the world.

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Western Cordillera

The Western Cordillera region is located on the west coast of Canada. It comprises of mountains that run close to the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The Western Cordillera mountains have great height, rugged appearance and the only glaciers in Canada apart from Arctic. The natural resources of the Cordillera are forestry (this is the biggest industry in the region), agriculture, mining (iron, lead, zinc, silver, copper and nickel) and fisheries (the west coast is famous for salmon).
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The Appalachians

The Appalachians are rolling mountains that run along the east coast of Canada. They have wide glacial valleys, fertile rivers and deposits of non metallic minerals. The Appalachian region is rich in coal and fish. Zinc, lead, potash, salt, asbestos, copper and gold are mined in the Appalachian region. Cod, salmon, pollock, halibut, redfish, herring, swordfish, sole, flounder, haddock, clams, oysters, scallops and lobsters are harvested here.
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The Canadian Shield

The Canadian Shield is the largest landform region covering nearly half of Canada. It comprises of relatively flat land, with round hills of rock, scenic rivers, waterfalls, lakes, rock outcrops and forests. The Shield is one of the world's richest areas in terms of mineral ores. It is filled with substantial deposits of nickel, gold, silver, and copper. Throughout the Shield there are many mining towns extracting these minerals. The largest, and one of the best known, is Sudbury, Ontario.
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Interior Plains

The interior plains are large fertile areas of flat land that cover much of the prairie provinces. The Interior Plains contains large amounts of non-metallic minerals and gas deposits. Oil, gas gypsum, coal, and potash are minerals that are usually exported to other places. Resources like Rivers, forests and rich soil are generally used within the interior plains.

Water, Water and More Water

Canada has plenty of resources but none more valuable than water. It is estimated that Canada has 20% of the world's freshwater resources, more than any country in the world. Ontario and Quebec specifically have thousands and thousands of lakes, rivers and streams. This abundance of water makes Canada one of the best countries for manufacturing goods, transportation and shipping. It also means that Canadians are always provided with fresh water in their homes everyday at very low costs.
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Canada's economy

Canada

Canada's economy is one of the best in the world. With a GDP of 1.3 trillion dollars, we have the 15th largest economy in the world. However, we have a tiny population in comparison so even 15th place is outstanding. The reason that most people come to Canada is to find a job. Our job market is enormous, with millions of great opportunities. The reason that Canada has prospered so far in its economy is the abundance of resources, as mentioned before. To be very straightforward, a land this rich and plentiful was never meant to hold such a small population. But because it does, we now enjoy all the riches it offers, with Toronto leading the way in the services sector that dominates the market. Lets get into details about some of the greatest achievements for Canada's economy and the resources we have.
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Trade

Canada is a net importer. Our export value narrowly exceeds our import value. Because of the wide manufacturing industry, we export a host of things. These include motor vehicles and parts, industrial machinery, aircraft, telecommunications equipment; chemicals, plastics, fertilizers; wood pulp, timber, crude petroleum, natural gas, electricity and aluminium. Canada is one of the only developed countries in the world that is a net exporter of energy. Our energy supplies far exceed our needs. As of 2014, Canada's net export value was 529 billion dollars, while net import value stood at 524 billion dollars. The USA accounted for 76.4% of our exports, with China, UK, Japan and Mexico coming in next. The most exported materials were oil and motor vehicles. Canada's automotive industry is one of the greatest in the world, as we will get into later. As for our imports, they consist mainly of motor vehicles and parts, industrial machinery, aircraft, telecommunications equipment; chemicals, plastics, fertilizers; wood pulp, timber, crude petroleum, natural gas, electricity and aluminum. Just as our exports, most of our imports come from the USA
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Agricultural Giant

Canada is the 5th largest exporter of agriculture in the world. Modern technology, combined with huge farmlands has given us the potential to grow a lot of food. On average, a Canadian farmer feeds 120 people. The agricultural industry employs 2.2 million Canadians. We produce enough food to feed more than double our population. That is why so much of what we grow is exported.The agriculture and agri-food industry contributes over $100 billion annually to Canada's gross domestic product (GDP). (That's more than the national GDP of 2/3 of the world's countries). Here are some of the achievements that we have in the agricultural industry.
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We produce about 80% of the world's maple syrup

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We are the world's largest exporter of flaxseed, canola, pulses and durum wheat

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The food and beverage processing industry is one of the largest manufacturing industries in Canada with annual sales worth $98.8 billion. It accounts for 16% of total manufacturing shipments and for 2% of the national GDP. It's the largest manufacturing employer and provides jobs to 283,000 Canadians.

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Energy Sector

Canada has one of the largest deposits of fossil fuels and minerals in the world. We are one of the only developed nations that export our energy. Canada has vast reserves of oil, the third most in the world.We are the 4th largest producer of natural gas, with proven reserves of 58.2 trillion feet. Canada has 10 billion tonnes of coal, an amount that could produce more energy than all its oil and gas combined. We are the 5th largest producer of coal in the world. 98% of our energy is exported to the USA, while we use only a mere 2%. This shows the strong influence of USA on our energy sector, but also just how much energy we have in this country. Canada will continue to have electricity far after other countries have run out.
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Canada's hub of controversy: The oil sands




The oil sands in Alberta are one of the largest reserves in the world. They have an estimated 166 billion reserves of oil, and cover an area larger than England. There extraction is one of the most important contributing factors to Canada's economy. It employs an estimated 133,000 people according to Energy Alberta,
Recently, the oil sands have come under major controversy in other Canada and other countries. People have argued that the oil sands extraction causes too much harm to the neighboring first nation communities, causes too much pollution, environmental damage and contaminates the land and water around the refineries and extraction sites. They therefore propose a straightforward solution, to close down the oil sands extraction and look for another source of income to our economy.

I on the other hand, propose the opposite. The oil sands are one of Canada's largest source of income. The estimated worth of the oil in the oil sands is 5.3 trillion dollars if we take the current oil price ( 32$ per barrel). We need that money to support our economy. We can and should think of more effective ways to extract the oil sands and dispose it's waste. That way, we can make sure that everyone is happy. However, if we just stop extracting oil, it will cause our economy to collapse. 133,000 people would lose their jobs directly, along with thousands of others that work in energy companies such as Suncor, Petro Canada, Enbridge and Imperial Oil.

Therefore, we cannot stop extracting oil from the oil sands. The oil sands are an asset too big to give up for Canada. I think that instead of stopping to extract them, we should start looking for new ways to extract them efficiently, while causing little or no harm. Some of these ways could include restoring the land after oil is extracted, storing the emissions from the refineries instead of letting them out in the open, finding ways to store the poisonous waters and toxins that are created from the oil extraction process and communicating with the locals to find a better solution to their problems.

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Liveable communities

Settlement Patterns

Canada has a variety of different settlements that existing different regions. These settlement patterns are based on the environmental surroundings and are very well established. Canada's cities have modern infrastructures that support the needs of its citizens.

Dispersed

Settlements in the territories are usually dispersed as the natives they hunt and fish for food.

Grid

Ontario's concession system is based like a grid so each person has an equal amount of land.
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Sustainable Cities

Canada's cities have taken many steps over the years to ensure that they are sustainable. We have developed many ways to make ourselves efficient and curb our fast rate of urban sprawl. Researchers in Montreal have discovered ways to grow food in the city and distribute it locally. Many builders in Toronto are taking an interest in revitalizing green spaces along the lake shore, transforming unused sites into public sites, recycling water so that it can be used again and recycling carbon into useful products. The result is that Canada's cities are very clean, sustainable and a pleasure to live in.
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Combating Urban Sprawl

Urban sprawl is a major problem in most developed and even developing countries. Th cities get larger and larger and green spaces are rapidly disappearing. However, many cities have come up with ways to slow down urban sprawl and are actively implementing them. Some of these ways include defining clear boundaries, upgrading transit systems, rebuilding older communities and demolishing old buildings and houses to make way for new development.
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References


Agr.gc.ca,. (2015). We Grow a Lot More Than You May Think - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). Retrieved 22 January 2016, from http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/about-us/publications/we-grow-a-lot-more-than-you-may-think/?id=1251899760841


Edudemic.com,. (2016). The Top 10 (And Counting) Education Systems In The World. Retrieved 22 January 2016, from http://www.edudemic.com/learning-curve-report-education/


Government of Canada, S. (2016). Work - Employment Rate / Indicators of Well-being in Canada. Well-being.esdc.gc.ca. Retrieved 22 January 2016, from http://well-being.esdc.gc.ca/misme-iowb/.3ndic.1t.4r@-eng.jsp?iid=13


Mathews, J., & Mathews, V. (2015). The Fact Sheet: Prepare To Be Amazed By Canada’s Agricultural Industry. TalentEgg Career Incubator. Retrieved 22 January 2016, from http://talentegg.ca/incubator/2015/02/16/fact-sheet-canadas-agriculture-industry/


Wikipedia,. (2016). Economy of Canada. Retrieved 22 January 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Canada


Wikipedia,. (2016). List of the largest trading partners of Canada. Retrieved 22 January 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_largest_trading_partners_of_Canada