Is Canada The Greatest Country?

By: Yashish

My Opinion

In my opinion, there can't actually be a greatest country in the world, as long as negative factors exist. Every last area in the world has at least one negative factor including Canada. So as long as these factors exist there can't be a single greatest country in the world.


Although Canada isn't the greatest country in the world, I think it can be considered as one of the best countries. Due to the reason, that Canada has many positive factors but some negative factors as well.

Unit 1: Changing Populations Positives

Births and Deaths in 2013

In 2013, there were much less births because there is no longer any need for large families as children are now too expensive and there is no longer any time for families as women are in the workforce. Along with this there is also access to contraceptives.

There is also a much lower death rate. Due to, the access to healthcare and medicine, knowledge of illnesses, improved nutrition and the fact that there is almost free healthcare. Although, the death rate is gradually increasing, but this is due to the aging population.

Overall, with the average natural increase rate, Canada can be considered as a great country.

Settlement Patterns

Canada has many various settlement patterns including clustered, scattered, perimeter and linear. Clustered and scattered are found all around Canada including Mississauga and Toronto. Perimeter can be found in mountainous regions and linear is found near some rivers and highways. Overall, these assist the people in Canada as they can live in the pattern they prefer.

Key Waves of Immigration

In Canada's history, there were many key waves of immigration, when Canada assisted people in escaping problems they were facing.

-For example, from 1900-1910, there was Settlement of The West where immigrants from Eastern Europe were allowed into Quebec. In 1911, over 400 000 people came to Canada.

-From 1941-1960 refugees of war were allowed into Canada to help them escape their problems

-From 1971-1980,Political Refugees and boat people from places such as Uganda and China came to Canada

-Closer to today, from 1981-2000 there was quite a large amount of immigration from the East such as, Hong Kong, India, China etc.

-There are many more including the Draft Dodgers and southern Europe from areas like United States, Italy, Portugal and Greece

Pull Factors in the Past

There were many pull factors that attracted people to come to Canada, even in the past. Some pull factors include,

-From the 1600s to 1920, during the Canadian Expansion many people were attracted to Canada due to the better environment and job opportunities such as the job oppurtunity with the railway

-From 1920-1960, during War Time, many people came to Canada due to the fact that there wasn't any war, better education, job oppurtunities and a better government

-From 1960 to present day, during Post War, people came to Canada because of the education, healthcare and safety. Along with this, there was also money, food, free voting and a better government.

Crime Rate

Whether or not Canada's crime rate is a positive factor is disputable and is mainly an opinion based question. Although, in my opinion Canada's crime rate is a positive factor because over the last 20 years Canada's crime rate has dropped drastically from its peak in 1991. This is showing that Canada's amount of crimes is reducing every year and Canada is just becoming a better country over time leading to this being a positive factor.

Education Rate

Canada has a much better educational system than many other places all around the world. Many areas in Canada have free education which is extremely beneficial as most of the people in Canada will end up having a job. This differs from other countries as people have to pay for education, such as Russia in which parents must pay for education after their child is 12 years old. This is also why Canada has a great employment rate. Between 1999 and 2009, the amount of adults aged 25-64 with university or college education increased from 39% to 50% which is demonstrating how Canada's educational rate is increasing steadily.


Canada has an amazingly beneficial healthcare system it provides people with almost completely free healthcare(depending on the issue). Many countries in the world aren't provided with free healthcare resulting in higher death rates but this isn't the case with Canada. Here is some interesting information.

  • Canada's life expectancy was at 80.1 years in 2011
  • Its infant mortality rate was at 4.8 in 2011
  • Canada's physicians per 100 000 people was 214
  • Its healthcare costs as a percent of GDP was 10.1%
  • The government pays almost 70% of health costs in Canada

Population Growth and Dependency Load

Canada's population in 2012 was a massive 34.88 million a significant increase from its 30.77 million in 2000. Its annual change is at 1.1% according to World Bank. Its fertility rate is at 1.63 births per women in 2011. The dependency load in Canada was at 44.38% in 2011. Which means that there is a decent amount of people working in Canada. This is demonstrating that Canada doesn't decrease in its population so people generally tend to stay in Canada because of its many positive factors.

Unit 1: Changing Populations Negatives

Aboriginals Unequality

Aboriginal people were forced out of their land because of their different ways of living. With no planning, infrastructure or economy set up, Aboriginal people were restricted to small tracts of land known as Reserves. The destruction of traditional ways of living, combined with the poorly organized set-up of reserves resulted in poverty for the Aboriginals in the reserves. Many Aboriginal people died due to lack of shelter, food, health care and money. To worsen the problem the Canadian government put restrictions on relief efforts to reserves, resulting in an even higher level of poverty. On average, 55.6% of Aboriginal people living in Canadian cities were poor in 1995.

In 1999, First Nations people experienced a large burden of many infectious diseases. Related to this, the tuberculosis rate among First Nations people remained high compared to the Canadian population as a whole. Dental decay rates for Aboriginal children in Ontario are two to five times higher than rates among non-Aboriginal children. They don't get enough treatment to properly cure their illnesses.

In 1991, the unemployment rate of Aboriginal peoples was almost twice the Canadian average 19.4 percent compared to 10 percent. In 2001, Aboriginal youth 15-24 were twice as likely to be unemployed. Only 31 percent (about half the Canadian average) of the Aboriginal population, living on reserves had a high school education.

In 1969, only 800 Aboriginal peoples had a post-secondary education. By 1991, the it was only 150,000.

As you can see, Aboriginals even closer to today are being treated unequally and unfairly. Although, Canada is trying to support the Aboriginals more and we can expect to see some changes in the future.

Barriers to Immigration into Canada

There are many barriers that prevent people from coming into Canada some of these are fair while others aren't. Some barriers include,

  • Health Barriers (People with dangerous diseases aren't allowed in Canada as it is a risk of spreading the disease, fair)
  • Criminal Record (People with serious criminal records aren't allowed to come to Canada due to safety risks, fair)
  • Money Barriers (People who don't have enough money aren't allowed to immigrate to Canada either, which isn't fair as they might just be trying to escape problems occurring where they are living.
  • Language Barriers (Only people who can speak the national languages, English and French are allowed in Canada which also isn't fair because they might not have been taught the languages but because of this they can't immigrate to live a better life)

People are allowed into Canada depending on their experience and if they can contribute to Canada's growth. 250 000 people are allowed into Canada every year. 2/3 of immigrants are economic immigrants (chosen by what they can do to contribute). Family immigrants are people that are sponsored by family members and brought to Canada. Refugees are people coming to Canada to escape cruel and torturous punishments, poverty or other problems occurring in their home country but only 1/10 are allowed which in my opinion, isn't fair. Most immigrants arrive from China, India and the Philippines and they tend to make up 1/3 of the overall intake availability

Overall, this factor is disputable in whether or not its negative as it is opinion based and depends on whose view you look at it from.

Canada's Immigration History

Canada’s Immigration History is definitely a factor that reduces its greatness because although it is true that Canada allowed many people to immigrate, for many people there were terms to the immigration. The fact that Canada allowed many people to immigrate here around World War One and World War Two is one of the few things that we can actually be proud of today.

Many people that wanted to immigrate were influenced to come to Canada because it was offering free land. But when they actually immigrated to Canada they learned that the land being offered wasn’t very healthy or fertile. Their land wasn’t capable of growing crops. But the immigrants weren’t warned of that. That isn’t the only thing we shouldn’t be proud of, another reason is due to the fact that not everyone was allowed entry to Canada just the few people that met the correct terms were given entry which wasn’t very fair because they were just trying to escape from problems that were already occurring where they lived.

Another thing we shouldn’t be proud of, is the fact that many First nations children were taken away from their families and were forced to go to residential schools which were underfunded, in the school the children were basically tortured and they were forced to be educated in a completely different way than they were used to. Those First Nations children, were taught an entirely new language and their religious beliefs, values and perspectives were changed from that of which they were taught by their parents, the children were also punished if they spoke their original language.

Another event, but in recent years, included the Jews that had been living in Germany in the 1930s. These Jews living in Germany anticipated future troubles approaching and made a decision to leave before something could happen to them, after a short time period over 900 Jews decided to set sail and they arrived in Canada. Although once they approached the land, some of the Canadian officials denied them entry into the land, so they had to return to Germany. Many of these Jews ended up being killed a few years later, when the Holocaust occurred. Immigration policies in Canada were extremely strict towards the approaching Jews but even after many large protests inside Canada to change these strict policies, no changes had occurred due to the government being inconsiderate towards all these Jews and thinking it wouldn't be good for their reputation to allow these Jews to enter. Only a few Jews were allowed entry into Canada but it was only because they would have been able to contribute to Canada's growth. Although, after World War 2 the unfair immigration policies had changed and the Jews were given entry. Before a few years, related to this event, occurred another harsh event. A large ship filled with over 370 immigrants from India had set sail to Vancouver but they were prevented entry just like the Jews. An estimated 20 immigrants among the 376 were allowed entry into the foreign land but the rest were told that they had to return back to India. This was due to the immigration policies at the time which restricted various Asians from entering Canada who didn't possess the skills that would help Canada grow. Present day these type of events rarely occur and if they do its only to ensure the safety of Canadian citizens, people who carry dangerous diseases and terrible criminal records aren't allowed entry, as they might bring harm to Canadian citizens.

Even though all these reasons are very important, in my opinion the main reason that we shouldn’t be proud of Canada’s Immigration History is because many people that immigrated to Canada weren’t charged, but the Chinese immigrants were charged a head tax even though they were just trying to help Canada become a better place to live in, by building a railroad. When some of Chinese immigrants made it into Canada they were forced to help build the railroad and even though they were paid, the money earned was extremely little. But luckily in the future they were given their head tax money back.

Overall, with all these negative events and many more, Canada's greatness is significantly reduced.

Unit 2: Interactions In The Physical Environment Positives

Plate Tectonics

Canada has a rich history of not facing many serious natural disasters this is because of Plate Tectonics. Canada lies on the North American Plate which normally only makes collisions in the West Coast with the Pacific Plate which is why only places in the West of Canada tend to experience some sort of natural disaster and other places in Canada don't. Overall, with almost complete safety from natural disasters Canada can be considered great.

Vegetation Regions

Canada homes many different types of Vegetation and soils and rocks which is a significant part in determining whether or not Canada is the greatest country. As Canada, houses many different types of plants it is considered great but not the greatest.

Tundra: The Tundra is the most northerly vegetation region in Canada but is starting to face a lack in vegetation. It homes a few stunted trees, small shrubs, mosses, liches and very little humus due to the lack of vegetation. Tundra plants tend to bloom, grow and mature very quickly but because of the cold and dry climate, vegetation is lacking but not missing. The nature of the soil is water logged.

Boreal and Taiga Forest: They are the largest vegetation regions of Canada. In the north is the Taiga forest while the Boreal is in the south. It homes coniferous trees, evergreens, white & black spruce, and pine. The humus layer beneath is also very shallow. The type of soil is grey top soils, wet climate soils and the acidic needles make the soil acidic.

Mixed Forest: They are located in Eastern Canada and faces very warm Summers and very cold Winters. It is in a transition zone between Boreal and Taiga forests. It has deciduous trees, coniferous trees, maple, ash, oak, birch, spruce, fir, pine and many more but today little remains. Its soil is deep grey-brown soft topsoil that are rich in minerals and well suited for plants.

Deciduous Forests: They are located in South Western Canada, but are very small. They face lots of precipitation but most have been cleared because of farming. They endure long hot Summers and mild Winters. They home hardwood trees and deciduous trees. They have soil similar to that of Mixed Forest's but more humus and less acidic. They have dark brown and humus rich soil.

The Grasslands: They are located in the southern part of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta but are too dry. The available moisture is in the Eastern part of the region. The warm dry climate limits the vegetation there. There is limited humus in the calcified brown soils and rich black soils. They home the richest soils in Canada.

Cordilleran Vegetation: They home a variation of vegetation due to the temperatures, rainfalls and soils. The type of soil that they home aren't any specific ones, they home all types of soils.

West Coast Forest: They are located in the West Coast and face just mild climate enabling them to have lush forests and large trees. The lush vegetation provides lots of plant minerals to make humus. The rainfall leaches minerals deep into the soil.

Overall, with all this vegetation Canada can obviously be considered as a great country.

Landform Regions

Canada is great because of its Landform ​Regions it is home to the Western Cordillera, Interior Plains, The Canadian Shield, Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Lowlands, The Appalachian Mountains, and The Arctic Lowlands. These places have very interesting history's and are studied by people from around the world, people come to visit these places to investigate their history or to just enjoy the area. People are interested in learning about Canada's history of tectonic plates and how these Landform Regions were formed as a result of the collision of various plates. They also have many interesting features, such as, the Canadian Shield it is home to the world's oldest rocks. With such attractive and ancient Landform Regions Canada is one of the greatest places to live in.


Mountains are formed as a result of the collision of various tectonic plates and people from all around the world are attracted to Canada because of its amazing and beautiful mountains.

Millions of people come to Canada every year to go skiing because of its amazing mountains such as the Rocky Mountains or the Appalachian Mountains. People can go skiing in almost every province excluding Prince Edward Island. People are highly attracted to British Columbia and Alberta due their ski resorts making them two of the most visited places, especially in the winter time. People come to Canada's mountains not only because they want to go skiing but also because of the hiking experience. With so many mountains to climb why not come to Canada.

When there's opportunity to hike and go skiing down so many mountains there's no questioning that Canada's mountains make it a great place to live in.


Canada faces different temperatures and weathers because of 6 major factors.

Canada's latitude plays a large role in its climate because Canada is located at 62.2270° N and 105.3809° W. At this latitude, Canada doesn't face major heat or extreme coldness. Along, with this Canada doesn't face high amounts of precipitation either as its not very close or very far from the equator. Canada is located near many bodies of water including the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans so ocean currents coming from these oceans tend to change the temperature of nearby areas to match it. Along with this, as warm ocean currents warm the air above, the warm moist air creates increased precipitation. Canada faces prevailing winds from the equator and north pole so the winds don't make Canada too warm or too hot. As it is near oceans as well, when air masses originating from the oceans arrive in Canada they release some sort of precipitation. Canada isn't at a high altitude either, which reduces its coldness and precipitation. It also has many relief barriers such as the many mountains which force air to pass over it where it cools, condenses and results in precipitation in nearby areas. Canada is near many large bodies of water which moderate temperatures and cause increased precipitation.

Overall, with all these factors Canada's climate is affected highly but does allow it to keep its great climate.

Unit 2: Interactions In The Physical Environment Negatives

Climate Change

Canada appears to be very great but many factors are causing climate change to occur which is an extremely dangerous problem.

There are numerous causes to the climate change some include the changing ecosystem, the Greenhouse Effect, the CO2 buildup, the Carbon Balance, Land use changes, enhanced atmospheric arasols, greenhouse gas emissions, Earth's change in orbit and Earth's Solar Energy Budget.

Climate change impacts the land in many ways it causes invasive insects, forests species will decline, areas of permafrost will decrease as ice starts melting, there will be failing slopes, Grasslands replacing forests, decline in snow, risk of more natural disasters and some areas may face droughts.

It will also impact water/ice, it results in rising sea levels, vanishing coasts, storm surges, coastal flooding, thinner sea ice, less predictable rainfall, crops needing more water, shortage of water, reduced flow of freshwater, melting ice, impact on marine animals and increased flood potential.

Finally, there will also be negative impacts on people they will need to endure changing air, greenhouse gas emissions, extreme weather, bad climate, changes in land use, less space for snow mobiles, weather related disasters, longer Summers and shorter winters and the constantly changing ice will make living very difficult and dangerous.

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Pollution in Canada isn't a very serious problem as littering fines are enforced, but it is still a problem that must be solved for Canada to be considered great. Canada, overall, doesn't have as much pollution as areas like India and China which have dangerously high amounts.

Air pollution in Canada is caused mainly, by industrial and vehicular emissions, agriculture, construction, wood burning and energy production. A recent report found that Canadian companies added 73% more to air pollution than companies in the United States. It was also found that Canadian companies released 29% more respiratory toxins into the air than the U.S. While overall pollution levels have dropped, it was found that oil sands pollution has increased by 20% since 2009. According to a 2009 study, Alberta’s oil sands are one of the major causes of air pollution in all of Canada. Alberta's oil sands are set to cause growing levels of acid rain, leading to an increase in water contamination in the area. Acid rain will cause Canada's lakes and rivers to become further acidified. This is a problem as it decreases levels of surface water calcium killing plants and marine animals. As a result of Canada's icy winters, salt is needed in order to deice slippery roads. The primary ingredient of road salt is sodium chloride. Road salt, while helping cars and people to gain traction in the winter, can have serious consequences for soil and results in them being badly poisoned killing many plants.

Overall, with Canada still facing many problems related to pollution it can't be considered great as the local ecosystem and environment will slowly start to get poisoned and will eventually result in many dangerous after effects.

Unit 3: Managing Canada's Resources and Industries Positives


Canada has four different types of industries that people work in they are the Primary Industries, Secondary Industries, Tertiary Industries and Quaternary Industries.

The Primary Industry deals with the production of primary products such as mining for minerals, growing crops, farming, etc. They work in the worst conditions compared to the others but luckily just 4.1% of Canada's work force works in this industry. They are located in parts of Canada where the appropriate resources can be found such as the Prairies for agriculture. Other areas around the world include Russia, United States, Australia and Brazil.

The Secondary Industry deals with manufacturing and constructing products. They get goods imported from the Primary Industry and work with them. They aren't located in many places around Canada but are located in places around the world such as China where labor costs are lower than Canada's. 20.7% of Canada's work force is in this industry.

The Tertiary Industry is the industry that provides services, rather than the goods themselves. The Quaternary industry similar or part of this industry, as well. They are found in many places around Canada but mainly in large towns and cities where services can be provided for the most people. 75.2% of Canada works in this sector.

The Quaternary Industry is similar/part of the Tertiary Industry it is a knowledge based industry that provides information to people rather than services or goods. Companies invest in this industry to ensure further expansion. Some examples of jobs in this industry include teachers, financial planners and market research consultants.

Overall, with the different amounts of people in different sectors of the work force Canada can be considered as one of the greatest countries.

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Canada has many resources that make it great, people are able to get the resources they need, without having to struggle to get them. Canada has many resources such as nickel, zinc, uranium, lead, copper, gold, silver, coal, potash and pulp. Canada is able to export these resources to get different types of resources we don't already have to make living much more comfortable.

Canada's Prairies are huge suppliers of wheat, canola and other grains. Therefore most people in Canada don't need to farm to get these resources leading to Canada's benefit. Canada also has the natural resource of fishes which is very helpful as it is a great source for food for many people. Countries all around the world import fish from Canada proving that Canada is lucky to have fish. Although, Canada is not managing to keep control of how many fishes are being killed each year which is leading to a massive loss in the amount of fish in Canada's fishing industry. So people need to be more aware of the amount of fish being killed. With access to plenty of food people can live comfortably in Canada.

Not only this, but Canada also has access to the resource of wood which is renewable and can be used to create plenty of products such as paper. So people can continuously get the products they need without it running out but people need to be aware that trees are being cut down to quickly, and one day, at this rate, we will run out of trees. Although, overall people can live comfortably knowing that trees are natural resources in Canada.

Luckily, Canada also has access to many renewable sources of energy such as natural gas which is powering the cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc. that people are using every day. Canada has access to hydroelectricity due to dams located in places such as Niagara Falls and these are powering massive amounts of areas. At the same time, people don't need to worry about running out of water as water is a natural resource. Although, people can try to use less of the water so it can last for future generations. Canada has people using wind power also, which is an excellent source of energy because it is renewable and there aren't worries of it running out. Along with this, places all around the world are using the sun as a source of power as it is obviously one of the best and most reliable natural resource. People are using solar panels to power their homes and people are trying to make new inventions that are solar powered. Overall, with Canada having access to so many renewable sources of energy, people never need to worry about running out of power and can live a comfortable life.

People in Canada have access to fresh water, as it is also one of Canada's natural resources. This plays a tremendous role in making Canada more comfortable great because without water no one would be able to actually survive, and since people in Canada have access to fresh water they are extremely lucky as all around the world there are places where people have no access to fresh water (like Africa) leading to high death rates. There are also many places with fresh water being cost quite high prices so it's basically unobtainable. Thus, Canada is very lucky to have access to the fresh water natural resource, as it is a necessity.

Canada does lack many resources though, but Canada has so many healthy connections all around the world that they can get these resources without struggling leading to people having access to plenty of resources. Overall, with these resources Canada is definitely great.

The James Bay Project

The James Bay Project is a series of hydro electric dams, based on the La Grande River in northwestern Quebec in Canada; it is also part of the Canadian Shield. Construction began in the 1970s and the dams are still operating today. It is one of the largest hydroelectric systems in the world, and all of the dams combined can cover the size of New York.

The James Bay Project makes Canada a better country. The project has both positive and negative factors however the positives slightly outweigh the negatives. This is because it shows that Canada is trying to be more environmentally friendly by finding alternate means of energy, such as hydro electricity which is also renewable. The James Bay Project is able to support over half of Quebec. Some of the negatives are mercury pollution, local climate change, changes in migration, and the big change in landscape. The construction of the dams meant that many small rivers had to be diverted into one larger river. A small number of Cree villages and peoples were also affected. There are some negatives in the construction of the dams, however the project has benefited millions more with cheaper and more environmentally friendly methods of energy.

Overall, the James Bay Project does influence Canada's greatness in a positive way but also a negative way.

Global Connections

Canada's global connections impact our country in huge ways. With the connections we have around the world we are able to import products to get different ones we wouldn't normally get here. Although we import many products, we also export many products which is how we get more goods and money. Canada is also considered to be a trading country because its total trade value is worth more than two-thirds of its Gross Domestic Product. Canada has such great connections that it gets oranges all the way from Florida. Canada imports food from all around the world including the United States, EU, Mexico, China and Brazil.

Canada has connections to sweatshops located all around the world including places like Mexico and Bangladesh. Due to the sweatshops, people in Canada have access to clothing such as jeans. This is possible solely because of Canada importing products from the sweatshops. As long as Canada maintains healthy connections with places like Mexico and Bangladesh people will be comfortable knowing that they can get great clothing products. Although, due to the shipping charges, prices in Canada for imported products are quite high. Even though we do get clothes from the sweatshops, people should be aware that these sweatshops have people working for extremely low salaries and people start working from the age of 10, so sweatshops are not the best source to get our clothing.

Canada has amazing connections with the United States, in fact it accounts for about 52.4% of Canada's total imports and 77% of the total exports. Canada and the United States import and export a massively wide variety of products. Although, they mainly import and export automobile parts to create new vehicles that are sold in both countries. Without the United States almost half of the people in Canada wouldn't have a vehicle to drive. With great connections with the United States, we are able to easily get various products.

Along with the United States, Canada has a great relationship with China. It accounted for about 10% of Canada's total imports in 2008 and for about 2.2% of its total exports. Products all over Canada have "Made In China" imprinted on them. This is because Canada has great connections with China and is able to get a massive variety of products from them. Canada mainly gets electronics from China though, as it's much cheaper to import it from there rather than creating it here. Due to the costs of importing products, many products in Canada that are made in China are priced highly. Overall, without great connections with China, Canada wouldn't have most of the products it has today.

Canada not only imports products but the government also gets skilled workers from various places to come and work in Canada. From all around the world, Canada gets nurses, doctors, lawyers, engineers, people capable of starting new companies and other skilled workers to come and help Canada grow. This is why Canada has such an extraordinary work force and is also why Canada is so multi-cultural because family members of the relatives come to Canada to live with them, therefore benefiting Canada while also increasing its population.

These are just some of Canada's connections, Canada has a massive amount of countries that it connects with, to benefit Canada. Canada imports and exports many products and is why Canada has such an amazingly wide variety of products. It also gets skilled workers from various places to benefit Canada's work force. Overall, Canada has great connections with many areas and that is what helps Canada grow as a country.​​​​

Unit 3: Managing Canada's Resources and Industries Negatives

Natural Resource Challenges

Canada is facing a large loss in its natural resources, this is because people are no longer trying to keep our supply of resources sustainable for the future. Many people are overusing various different resources, for example in the fishing industry people are over fishing killing more fish than anticipated by people. This is leading to a loss in our fishing industry. People are also not trying to keep our most important resource of all, water, sustainable. People are wasting our freshwater supply for various useless reasons people are leaving the tap on when brushing their teeth, taking extra long showers, and also overusing hydro electricity because at this rate hydro electricity will use up so much water that there won't be much left for future generations. With all this occurring, in Canada it does impact Canada's greatness drastically in a negative way.

Albertan Oil Sands

The Albertan Oil Sands are an area in Alberta that is rich in oil. The project includes many different companies that are all trying to extract oil from the sands. In the past, entrepreneurs had marked this area with potential. Construction began on oil plants and such in the 1960s. The first plant started operating in 1978. The popularity of these oil sands grew in the 2000s decade. As of 2005, about 760 000 barrels are produced per day in this area.

The Albertan Oil Sands project makes Canada lose its greatness. There are many negatives involved in the project. Many Aboriginal villages had to be closed down for the construction of oil related equipment. Fresh water supplies also had to be diverted for use in oil extraction, which means that the water supplies are dwindling.

The project also creates extreme amounts of pollution. The water used in oil extraction turns toxic and includes arsenic, PAHs, mercury, and titanium. This water has to be stored in special pools, but can sometimes leak into the rivers. It results in many toxic ponds, extremely harmful to Canada's environment. These chemicals increase the risk of cancer and certain diseases. Fish are also affected by this water and are unsuitable to consumption. Lots of forests have to be cut down so that companies can access the sands as well. Alberta’s oil sands are one of the major causes of air pollution in all of Canada. Alberta's oil sands are set to cause growing levels of acid rain, leading to an increase in water contamination in the area. Acid rain will cause Canada's lakes and rivers to become further acidified. This is a problem as it decreases levels of surface water calcium killing plants and marine animals.

Overall, the Albertan Oil Sands project does impact Canada's greatness but only in a negative way as there are so many harmful after-effects and dangerous amounts of pollution.


Canada is very lucky to have access to the natural resource of wood from trees and forests but deforestation is occurring a lot and the natural resource might disappear for future generations. Deforestation is the permanent removal of a forest from an area, and the alteration of the previously forested land to other land zone uses. In Canada, clear cutting and other harvesting practices are used as part of sustainable forest management to provide timber for producing paper and wood products but this is different than deforestation however, because the area is replanted or allowed to regenerate naturally, renewing the forest. Canada’s 396.9 million hectares of forest, other wooded land and other land with trees make up about 10% of the world’s forest cover. In 2010, an estimated 45,000 hectares were deforested in Canada, although, Canada only resulted in 0.3% of the world's deforestation but it can be reduced.

In the agricultural sector, the amount of forests that have been cleared for pasture or crops accounted for almost half (43%) of the deforestation in 2010. The remainder was caused by resource development and transportation (34%, urban expansion and recreation (12%), forestry (mainly forest roads, 10%); and hydroelectric infrastructure (2%). About 2/3 of the deforestation occurred in Canada’s Boreal forest, mainly in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Deforestation in Canada is driven by economic growth, demand for resource development and the need to build infrastructure. Efforts to reduce deforestation must therefore be balanced opposite other goals, such as expanding the economy, diversifying economic activities and supporting community employment. As a result, its difficult to find effective solutions. Governments and industry are trying to better understand and reduce deforestation in Canada. Recognizing that a more stable approach is needed, provincial governments are using innovative practices such as integrated landscape management (ILM). Integrated landscape management is basically planning land uses over an entire landscape and encouraging different land users to work together. Overall, if Canada is able to reduce its part in deforestation it will increase its chances of being known as a great country.

Unit 4: Livable Communities Positive Factors

Levels of Development

There are 3 categories of development they include developing countries, newly industrialized countries, and developed countries. Development of a country is measured by considering factors such as the Life Expectancy, Wealth, Natural Increase Rate, Food Supply, Education level and healthcare.

Developing Countries which are also known as less development countries are nations with lower living standards, underdeveloped industrial base, and low Human Development Index. Developing countries are those that have a low standard of living. In developing nations general levels of living tend to be low for the vast majority of people. These low levels of living are displayed through low incomes (poverty), inadequate housing, poor health, limited or low education, high infant mortality and low life expectancy. Rapidly increasing populations in developing countries due to the causes and effects of underdevelopment. These countries' birth rates continue to be high due to wide spread poverty, ignorance and social and religious factors. Due to high birth rate, the dependency load is about half of the population as against one fourth in developed countries. Developing countries tend to have low life expectancy some areas are as low as 47 years, in Sierra Leone. They usually have really low GDP per capita, which measures the total value of goods and services a country produces per year in areas such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo have a GDP of just $400. Countries' development are also measured by their Natural Increase Rate which is the birth rate subtracted by the death rate. Some countries have values as low as -2.2 which means that they're in a situation where there are more people dying than being born, leading to under population, while others may have a value of 29.9 where much more people are being born than dying leading to overpopulation. Food supply is another important factor that determines levels of development, it is measured by the percent of undernourished people, developing countries tend to have values as high as 75% where much over half the population is unhealthy. Developing countries are also classified on their education level or the literacy rate which is the percentage of the population that can read and write some developing countries have values such as 43% where over half the population isn't educated. Healthcare is another important factor and is measured by the # of Doctors per 100 000 people, some countries may have as low an amount as 5 where most people won't get treatment. Canada is considered great because it doesn't have any of these factors but places like Uganda and China do.

Newly Industrialized countries are the countries that have not achieved the status of being fully developed but have surpassed the standards of a developing country. Newly Industrialized countries tend to be experiencing rapid economic growth. Some factors that Newly Industrialized countries might have are rapid growths of urban centers and population, strong capital investment from global partners, large national corporations operating in numerous areas, an increasing open-market economy, enabling free trade with others around the world, alterations from agricultural to industrial economies, strong political leaders and increased social freedom and civil rights. Countries such as India, that are Newly Industrialized have a life expectancy of about 65 years, which, is a good value but could be better. They tend to have the average amount of money but might be more wealthy depending on many other factors such as the population. Their natural increase rate is more or less, similar to that of developing countries but can be around developed countries as well. They normally tend to have a good food supply so not many people are undernourished it can reach to amounts such as 10-25%. Normally, almost everyone can read and write but it depends more on the people themselves. Healthcare tends to be values such as 250 doctors+ per 100 000 people. Canada doesn't fall under this category as well, enabling it to be great.

Finally, Developed countries are those such as Canada, who have a greatly developed economy and an advanced technological infrastructure compared to other countries. Some characteristics they normally have are advanced medical services, abundant food supply, fresh water supplies, good housing condition, both low birth and death rates, high life expectancy, high human development index, they tend to fully utilize human and natural resources, stable non-corrupt government, better environment and atmosphere, enforced and strict laws, better roads, technological advancements, better educational rates, lower unemployment levels, wealthy citizens, great levels of industrial development and post-industrial economies. Countries such as Canada have a life expectancy as high as 82 years such as Canada, great GDP values of greater than 40 100 per person, per year. Low natural increase rate, such as 2.41 in Canada based on per 1000 population. A great food supply with almost all healthy people. A high literacy rate of at least 90% and great healthcare with at least 500 doctors per 100 000 people. Canada falls under all of these factors and can be considered great because of it.

Overall, as Canada is a developed country and has such amazing characteristics it can definitely be considered great.

Urban Areas

Canada is considered a great country because of its various Urban Areas. They include Manufacturing Cities, Transportation Hubs, Tourist Cities, Government Centers and Resource-Based Communities.

Manufacturing Cities are towns and cities that came into existence due to various people coming together to live near factories and other areas where they can work to produce and distribute manufacturing goods. Overall, they are Urban areas where goods are mass produced in factories. Sarnia, Ontario is a city that owes its existence primarily due to the presence of manufacturing.

Transportation Hubs are urban places that have become established and grown because they have the ability to provide important transportation routes to various people throughout the area. They are focused in areas with greater populations to assist the most possible people. For example the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885, was built to provide people with faster transport than ship throughout the area. Winnipeg's early growth resulted from the fact that it was a major hub for railways that were built across the country. Port Cities of Vancouver and Halifax have developed as important transportation hubs because of ships, trucks and train routes that connect throughout the cities.

Tourist Cities are the Urban Places that develop as a result of a physical or human feature that people are attracted to see or experience. They are located near basic jobs because money that supports the local economy arrives from outside the community. For example some people may come to Canada to see the Rocky Mountains or the CN Tower.

Government Centers provide services to people at local, regional and national levels. Government services range from provision of garbage collection at the municipal level, through healthcare at the provincial level, to old-age pensions at the federal level. For example, Fredricton was founded in 1783 by United Empire Loyalists, who came to Canada from the United States after the American Revolution because they preferred to live in a British colony. Fredricton eventually became a capital city and provided government services to the colony.

Resource-Based communities are those communities in Canada that are only present due to the presence of a natural resource near there. Villages, towns and cities that are established to develop a resource are known as resource-based communities. They grow where resources such as trees, copper, fish, etc. are located. Flin Flon, Manitoba is existent today due to the capability of mining that is located near the area.

Overall, Canada can be considered a great country because of its variations of urban areas that make it so appealing and unique.

Land Use Zones

Canada features many different types of land use zones so everything has a specific area where it is located these many land use zones include Residential zones, Transportation zones, Commercial zones, Industrial, zones, Institutional zones and recreational zones.

Residential zones are the areas where people live. In most cities all around the world it takes up the most land. It often takes up 30-50% of the developed land. There are two factors that people consider when deciding to live in a residential area. First is the residential density which is the # of housing units per hectare. Where land values are low, usually on the outskirts of the city, single family homes on large lots are common. Where land values are high, such as downtown or major transportation routes, higher density buildings are made to pay for the expensive land. Another factor people consider is the age of the community some people prefer to live in older communities which aren't very common while others prefer newly developed communities.

Transportation Zones normally take up 1/3 of the land in most Canadian cities, it is used for highways and roads. It takes up so much land because everyone needs a route for their method of transportation. Most people tend to live near transportation zones due to the capability of being able to travel at almost any given time.

Commercial zones are those zones made for commercial activities such as the buying and selling of goods. These are extremely important to a community's economy as they bring more jobs and money into the community. There are 6 types of Commercial zones Local Services, Neighborhood Plazas, Community Shopping Centers, Power Centers, Malls and Central Business Direct.

Industrial zones make up 6% of developed land they include factories, companies some buildings, etc. There are four different types of industries CBD industries, Ribbon Industries, Suburban industrial parks and suburban business parks. Not many factories are found around Ontario because it focuses on the tertiary industry and not the secondary.

Institutional zones make up 10% of urban area and is occupied by schools, hospitals, government offices, places of worship, etc. these areas are essential in making a great country as those are what attract people to come to an area in the first place.

Recreational zones make up 7% of urban land they are normally for the open public available for rent or just new land entirely. These normally get occupied by other Land use zones quickly.

Overall, with Canada being made up of so many different Land Use Zones, it can easily provide many services proving Canada is great.

Residential Density

Canada has many numerous different cities each with different variations of densities. People wanting to live in a specific area investigate the area's density prior to deciding to live there. The three different types of densities include High Density Areas, Medium Density Areas and Low Density Areas.

High Density areas are those areas that have large populations nearby and land is expensive. These areas tend to be filled with large buildings and many major transportation routes. These areas are focused in the center of cities where the most people possible can access it. As jobs are normally available there, many people decide to live in high density areas.

Medium Density Areas are the areas that are focused on townhouses, malls, schools, etc. for the local people that don't enjoy living in apartments and populated areas. These areas are normally created the most as more and more people look to live in houses near the most needed areas such as schools.

Low Density Areas are the areas where there are mainly detached houses and small stores, these areas can vary in costs and are usually in older but rich communities. Many people own large tracts of land in these area as they are cheap areas.

Overall, with Canada having all of these different densities it can suit everyone's needs and desires thus leading to Canada being a great place to live.

Unit 4: Livable Communities Negative Factors

Aging Communities

All over Canada there are areas that are no longer inhabited by people when they can be better used to suit other people's needs. Although Canada seems to be very developed and populated, there are some areas that are completely abandoned due to it either being in a bad community or just because it is very old. These areas are difficult to identify but they exist. These areas waste precious areas of Canada and just result in worse environments and dangerous neighborhoods. These areas reduce the chances of Canada being sustainable for the future as well, due to the reason that they won't be able to be of any use for future generations. People that live in and want to live in Canada will feel that some areas are not suitable for living, such as these areas, these old and run down communities will repel the people of Canada from living here. Thus leading, to a decreasing population and overall bad reputation.

There are many possible solutions to overcome this problem. One solution is that we can renovate the areas because this way the areas can be used in much better ways that benefit Canada rather than just wasting the spare area. This solution is not only very beneficial, it’s also one of the best because it is saving more money than completely replacing those areas and is obviously using the area in a much better and productive way. Another solution to make is to completely tear down and replace those areas because they are just wasting the area when the area can be used for much better purposes that would suit Canada’s needs. If we tear down those areas we are free to build whatever we need and have a large space so we can create something that would benefit Canada and increase its sustainability.

We can build buildings, homes, forests, etc. that would help Canada be more sustainable. This solution is very helpful and beneficial, but it does cost a lot of money and does increase the pollution to Canada so people need to be aware of the risks of this solution. A final method to make Canada more sustainable and solve this issue is to allow the area to be used as open space so people can do whatever they want with it because this way there would be a low cost and less conflict so people would be happy with the solution. This is also one of the best solutions because it benefits everyone and makes better use of the area.

Overall, these are the types of areas that are slowly decreasing Canada's chances of sustainability and its greatness.

Urban Sprawl

Urban sprawl is currently one of the largest and most serious problems occurring in Canada. Over 40% of Canada's developed land is occupied for residential purposes. The continuation of the urban sprawl results in the construction of more roads which lead to longer commute times and increasing traffic jams. A city in Canada experiencing urban sprawl is Mississauga, it has been facing urban sprawl from the time it was formed because the city wasn't designed in the same way as others. It is actually a combination of smaller towns that decided to unite and become a single city in 1968. When the highways were being built, the developers did not expect Mississauga to expand so widely.

Most of Canada's residents own and operate a car every day. This id due to people feeling that public transportation systems are not comfortable or efficient enough to be used. More cars means more parking lots which may mean wasted space and is bad for the environment as well as the economy.

Many people arrive in distant places from their home city like from Mississauga to Toronto because that is where they work. These commuters do not like the daily traffic jams but don't take public transit as they feel its inconvenient or that the wait times and costs are too much to afford.

Along with this many businesses also need to export and import many goods which leads to more trucks being on the road everyday. Many companies in Canada own and operate trucks, which create traffic jams on highways as they drive slower. Instead of using trucks, trains could be used as they are faster and will not take up space on the highway.

Solutions to this problem are difficult to develop. One possible solution is to improve public transportation. The current public transit is not very efficient and have long waiting periods. This is because of how much urban sprawl there is in Mississauga.

With the increasing urban sprawl, it is harder to develop public transit as more locations will require services.

Another option, is an obvious one, people that live within 30 minutes of their work place can just walk to the area or ride a bike because they create no pollution and don't cost much money either. People overlook these obvious ideas because they have cars but don't realize all the occurring pollution.

Overall, Urban Sprawl is a serious issue in Canada affecting people all around the area, not only does it waste time, it creates so much pollution but can be prevented easily. With urban sprawl occurring, Canada can't be considered a great country due to all of the negative results.

Public Transit: Walkable Cities

Municipal Waste Generation

Canada's municipal is creating extremely high amounts of waste. In fact in 2008, Canada produced 777 kg of municipal waste. Its municipal waste has been slowly increasing since 1990. Any waste that is collected by municipalities is considered municipal waste. According to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) municipal waste is the waste collected from households, office buildings, institutions, and small buildings. Any type of waste produced falls under this category.

Increases in municipal waste generation are related to urbanization, types and patterns of consumption, household revenue, and lifestyles. Canada’s per capita income and average household disposable income have been steadily increasing since the 1980s, leading to increasing household consumption rates and disposing rates. In other OECD counties where urbanization and disposable household income are also high, municipal waste generated per capita is substantially lower than in Canada. Japan had generated 377 kg per capita of municipal waste in 2008 (2 times less than Canada!), while Norway generated 470 kg per capita in 2009.

Municipal waste results in the increasing risks of environmental problems including habitat destruction, surface and groundwater pollution, and other forms of air, soil, and water contamination. Incineration of the waste creates toxic substances, while landfills emit methane (which contributes to global warming) and other gases.

In 2008, nearly 13 million tonnes of waste were generated by Canadian households. Of this, more than 8.5 million tonnes were disposed of in landfills or incinerators; the remaining 4.4 million tonnes were disposed through recycling, reuse, or composting. Paper fibres and other organic materials made up the largest proportion of household material that was recycled and composted in Canada. Landfilling the most common way to dispose of waste in Canada. Most municipal waste goes to landfill, with only a small percentage incinerated. Environmental concerns about landfills include the leachate and landfill gases that contaminate groundwater and surface water and contribute to climate change.

There are many ways to help stop this, for example there can be a strict limit on the maximum amount of waste a household can produce, they can also try to come up with alternate methods of getting rid of waste so there are less after effects but overall, if Canada continues to produce these large amounts of waste it will never be considered the greatest country.

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Overall, I hope you learned a lot of information about Canada and its many positive and negative factors, that have influenced my final decision of Canada not being the greatest country in the world but one of the greatest countries.

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