Is Canada The Best Country In The World? By: Michael Fu

Canada is a country in North America, covering an area about 9.998 million kilometres squared. It is known for their decent living environment and a democratic political system. This was originally a country which started off as empty when the First Nations first discovered the land in the early 1830s, but through time it began attracting people, starting from the leaders of Europe’s most prominent countries, England and France. A lot of policies have changed over time and today Canada is a country that has people from all over the world. However, how are their lifestyles like here? Do they enjoy the climates throughout the year? What about the jobs this country offers? Or the community this country offers them to live in? These are some factors that impact how good a country is. In the end, looking at the overall statistics and Canada may just be the best nation in the world today.

Canadian Flag
Map of Canada's Economy
Jonathan Toews, Canada's biggest hero.

Changing Populations: Immigration

This is a factor which Canada dominates more than other countries. Facts including this countries’ immigration policies, First Nations lifestyles and demographic statistics show that Canada is an overwhelmingly pleasant place to stay in for now. To this day, Canada has a fair amount of residents who have originated from different parts of the world, as it is still a young country (150 years since Confederation).

In 1906, Canada’s Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier signed the first Immigration Act, allowing residents from England and France to come to Canada permanently through some simple applications. Over the next 60 years, Canada opened immigration entries to some European countries, including Portugal, Italy and Germany. In 1976 the official Immigration Act was signed by Pierre-Elliot Trudeau, changing immigration processes so it would be easier for people from Asia, Oceania and richer parts of Africa to come. Some great things about Canada’s immigration policies today include that it allows anyone to come to this country as long as they have completed their immigration process and have a clean subject record (no crimes, warrants).

Wilfred Laurier, Prime Minister who signed Immigration Act

The points system requires the immigrant applying to receive 67 points for their skills including factors with education and work experience, age, family already living in Canada, ability to speak languages or special skills, which most people can attain. Overall, it is true that Canada’s immigration policies over the years have made it very convenient and pleasing for residents of other countries to apply, also the long-time appointed democracy in the government system gives everyone freedom to speak and vote for a leader who they feel will make them happy, so this is why Canada’s immigration has always been seeing successful numbers.

Canada's Immigration Point System

Changing Populations: Demographics

If we currently look at Canada’s demographical statistics, our population densities are actually at a pretty reasonable rate. Often said, there are nations around the world which has great amounts of populations, however, sometimes the amount of land and systems are not enough to support it, which is not really a good thing. There are different ways how demographists measure the amount of people there are in a country and in the end, they should total up the Population Growth rate.

Canada’s population change statistics has always been a stable one on top of the world, however, in the past, even we’ve had the times when we’ve had a sudden growth in population and then slowly saw the number drop down again. For example, during the early 1900s, where the overall population was small, people with big families immigrated here to start a farm, and with the lack of technology and wealth at the time around the world, plus the upbringing of World War I, the birth and death rates were high, making the natural increase rate slightly showing in the positives. Meanwhile the net migration rate (immigrate minus emigrate) were both fairly low, slightly favoring immigration, since Canada was still young at the time. If you add the estimated sums of the Natural Increase Rate and the Net Migration Rate, then the Population Growth rate would be pretty high in the positives, meaning the population was still increasing in Canada at the time. The world had a low life-expectancy back in the day, and as it was slowly getting better this was how Canada’s population was changing. From the early 1900s to about 3 decades after World War II, Canada’s population was growing rapidly. There was even a period of time called baby-boomers, but even with that, this country never over-populated. They are one of the largest countries in the world.

Now, the changes in our country’s population is not as large, because everything is becoming more developed, therefore the times of baby-boomers or large amounts of immigrants coming from Europe and Asia are not going to reach those numbers again, unless another great plague or some sort of World War breaks out again. Even during the 1900s-1960s, Canada’s population was not very large at all compared to the countries in the rest of the world. As of right now, the population growth rate remains pretty stable, as the natural increase and net migration trends make up the final totals. To start off with, most Canadians have a lifespan of 78 years. The fertility rate is just 2.1 births per woman now, so don’t be very high total births in the years to come. The total death rate has actually doubled down since 1986, from 600 deaths per 1000 people to 300. That’s pretty incredible. The natural increase rate is now only 3.64 births per 1000 people, which is a stable, if not low number.

See how our country is seeing a decrease in births per women.

In previous decades, Canada’s immigration rate used to be 40 people arriving out of 1000, but now the number has dropped to 10, which is still a decent amount, only not as much as before. The amount of people leaving is the 24th lowest in the world at 5.6 departures per 1000 thousand people, and that’s what the country wants to see, because they want residents to be happy in their country, which they are. The net migration rate shows that Canada’s overall come-leave totals are a positive 5.6/1000 people in immigration. Canada’s overall population growth rate right now is 9.24 people out of 1000, solid number. So these years, the population is still increasing, only though not as quickly as how it was in the past, and from the reason we look at, it’s reasonable. The country is more developed today, there are more people who are employed and can afford for their health to live up to the 78 year average lifespan that there’s no need for high birth rates. Most Canadians have jobs good enough for them to afford their own house, cars and education, which is very important and something not all countries’ residents can get. Canada’s global population changes are very stable right now, this is what no doubt makes this one of the best countries in the world, how changing populations define for the residents of a country.

Canada's Population Growth Rate

Canada’s Physical Geography

There are a few ways of how we can determine Canada’s physical environment. For example, we arrange different areas of the country into 7 regional landforms and look at the climate and precipitation amount, how the country was originally formed (it’s rock formations, glaciers and plate-tech tonic originals, as well as the country’s vegetation characteristics. Overall, many people who have maybe visited Canada in the past or think they know something about our land is that it’s mostly cold, snowy with a lot of open land for farming and it’s very moist here. I think the best way to detail Canada’s physical environment is to look at the landform regions as each of them are somewhat different, which is good for someone who lives in Canada and they suddenly want to move somewhere else for a better environment. With many unique environmental formations in Canada, there are more tourist attractions to visit.

This is what you'll find in Canada.

On Canada’s West Coast, the Western Cordillera as well as parts of the Canadian Shield and Innuition Mountains, which covers British Columbia and a little bit of the Yukon. Anyone who has visited British Columbia or lives in that area would likely tell you that it rains every day even though the temperatures aren’t relatively cold. Some things that may affect those physical environmental behaviors may relate to nearness to water areas and ocean currents. This is how the majority of BC’s precipitation is formed, through orographic rain formations. As the Pacific Oceans surround the west coast of Canada and the warm ocean currents form over the rocky mountains changing into warm rainstorms in the West coast areas. As we travel more up North on the West Coast of Canada, the amount of rainfall will decrease (because Yukon is no longer nearest province to water, Alaska in USA is) while the temperatures are cooler (relief and elevation). Even though there is not great amounts of vegetation, there are very interesting rock formations and plenty of forests in this area of Canada, making it a great place for those who love sight-seeing in the rain to enjoy.

Western Cordillera

Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are known as the Prairie provinces of Canada. Surrounding their areas mostly cover the Canadian Shield and Interior Plains. Their physical environmental characteristics is a little bit different than British Columbia. For instant, they do not have as much rain as the areas to their west, or as many forests and mountains. The temperatures in the majority of cities coastally are relatively cold in the winter time and gradually warmer during the summer (between -8 to -25 degrees Celsius in January, 11 to 23 degrees Celsius in July). Most of the Prairies get their precipitation in the Winter through snowfall while it is mostly dry during the summer with small amounts of rainfall throughout the province. This is because the Prairies get their precipitation through heat convection, as the ground heat and plant water evaporates and the water cycle forms cool rains. During the winter they get a decent amount of snowfall. There were no interesting plate-tech tonic or glacier formations in this area, however, most of the Prairies are made of melted igneous and metamorphic rocks, when passing by Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, be sure to expect a lot of flat land as elevation is quite low, however, the medium air masses provide a fine space for lots of farming from spring to autumn (no issues with permafrost, soils are healthy so no calcification issues and no leaching problems), while there are also many valuable resources in the area which can be extracted.

The Praires, Canada
The Praires, Canada

Ontario and Quebec are too of the largest provinces in this country, and are located on the south-central part of Canada. The landform regions that surround it are the Canadian Shield (largest landform in the country at 4800 000 squared kilometres) as well as the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes lowlands. Physically looking at these two large areas, they have few amounts of precipitation while the temperatures is cool in the winter (from 5 degrees to -17 degrees Celsius) while it’s very warm in the summers (from 17 degrees up to 32 degrees Celsius). There are some interesting rock and glacier formations in the provinces as well which has created some unique points of interests. That’s just a basic overview of central Canada. The area gets their precipitation through frontal connections, when a cold temperature front and a hot weather meet and it usually forms rain. There are some really great tourism attractions which have been formed such as the Niagara Falls, Banff National Park and Rocky Mountains and the Mont Tremblant in Quebec City.

Niagra Falls, Ontario
The St. Lawrence Lowlands

On the East Coast of Canada locates the harbours and Atlantic freshwater areas of Canada. Covering the harbours are New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador. As part of the extended St. Lawrence Lowland and Canadian Shield area, the climates conditions are slightly cooler as we head closer to the North Atlantic Ocean. During the winter time, the majority of the cities (Halifax, St. John’s, Moncton) are all cool (from -11 to 1 degrees Celsius) with large amounts of snowfall (400 millimetres), while it is a little bit warmer in the summer (15 to 23 Degrees Celsius). Two factors affecting this area’s climate is their nearness to water (surrounding them are lakes, rivers and oceans) and ocean currents, as often on the Atlantic Coast, water temperatures tend to be cooler. Most of their precipitation is frontal, that’s why they get snow. Even though heading to the East and most of Canada’s land is flat and water-based, they still have some pretty interesting points of interests that would give their residents and those outside a good time. For example, the Gross Morne National Park in Newfoundland provides plenty of outdoor summer activities including valley climbing, camping and boating. Many of the geological formations on the Atlantic Coast are surrounded by water, such as the Cape Spear Lighthouse in New Brunswick so it’s a good place to visit every once in a while. The climate conditions are very stable too.

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. On the Southeast Coast of Canada.

Last, we have Canada’s Northern Coast, the Innuition Mountain and Artic/Hudson Bay Lowland areas covering Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. While they have some of the largest amounts of land, probably the least amount of people live there, because the geographical formations of the weather and climate conditions make it rather difficult for people to adjust. Only Inuit’s have managed to live there for a few centuries. During the winter time, these areas mostly get a temperature of from -15 to -45 degrees Celsius, with 200 millimetres of snowfall. The highest summer temperature is 4-5 Degrees Celsius. Obviously since it is so close to the North Pole, latitude plays a factor in the area’s climate, it’s just so far away from the middle of Earth. It has very high elevations while ocean currents from the Artic are almost freezing. What’s most interesting about Northern Canada is that it’s got so many interesting glacier formations. A lot of polar bears are found in that area, and they have very large moving ice sheets, icebergs and pieces of moraine. Ice fishing is probably the most prominent activity in this area, since that’s how most of their land is formed. Vegetation is not good in the area, because after the farmlands in James Bay, permafrost becomes an issue as temperatures turn cooler. These are Canada’s 7 landform regions, they all have different, yet stable climate conditions and unique activities/ points of interests that were physically formed.

Canada's North Coast.

Canada’s Natural Resource and Economy

When looking at a country’s qualities, it is very important to talk about how great or how poor they have their economies arranged. A country’s economy is divided into 4 industries and they all fill their role in making money for themselves and to the country. Then, a country needs to win trades in resources with other countries, which becomes more difficult as many policies are created for the process. The most important part of looking at a country’s economy is to know whether or not the residents are employed. Overall, I think Canada has a very developed economy as in all 4 industries, they are working very well and the country is making a decent amount of income with their resources.

Canadians are mostly employed in industries using the resources listed above.

It starts off with the extraction of natural resources. Amongst many lists that I have read, Canada is 4th amongst the world when it comes to amount of raw materials, and their value sits at around 33.2 trillion dollars. Canada is best known for the extraction of these resources: natural gas, fish products, forestry, minerals, energy and agriculture. Each of the provinces in Canada work hard every day to dig out these resources, which they get paid at around 10-15 dollars per hour. In British Columbia, that is where most of the forest products (wood) and Pacific fisheries found. Alberta is richest for their oil platforms as it is worth over 1.4 trillion dollars in total, which is not bad. Also, a lot of minerals are produced too in that area, as well as cattle. Entering the prairie areas, they are definitely best known for the extraction of agriculture, probably if you ever go to Saskatchewan or Manitoba, you’ll find a lot of space where farmers just grow large fields and have crops/animals everywhere, that’s just an example of where all the food we eat comes from, and it’ll probably get sent to other countries too through this process. Ontario is well known for their energy while mining, fishing and agriculture is continued to be extracted on the East Coast. It may not seem like a lot, but considering Canada’s land space is very large, they can actually extract a lot of resources out there, which will obviously be helpful in continuing on their industrial work.

The Oil Sands in Alberta is an example of a very large primary industry.

After the resources get extracted, the Canadian truck drivers will deliver them to factories, where they will be produced into usable material. For example, the trees that were cut down in British Columbia may get sent to a factory a few hours away and get produced into solid pieces of wood, which can then be converted to tables, chairs and paper etcetera. The quality of the products which get produced in the end are always pretty good, because remember, labour is not a problem here in Canada, most of the workers earn satisfying wages. They even pay their garbage collectors and plumbers well, so that proves it right there, so it’s a very developed economy right here. After the raw materials are produced to usable products, then begins the process of selling and trading for Canadian economical people. In Canada’s tertiary industry, that is the process of selling the goods to the people in Canada, so the people can use it to provide services for the rest of the country, for example, police officers use the mined products for body armor to keep the people in their community safe, and that’s very important because it shows how people of all different professions use the natural resources in Canada. In a quartiary industry, that’s where the business people work with the government to make trades both domestically (to their own country people) and internationally (trade with other countries).

Showing off some of Canada's quartiary industries.

In the trade markets, that is when Canada shows off the value of the resources and the work they’ve put in producing goods out of them to the rest of the world. Some of Canada’s biggest trade partners are the United States (about 760 000 deals total per year) with about 52% of them being exports (over 350 billion dollars made of selling products). Meanwhile, they spend about 315 billion dollars importing US products, so our country makes profit of a few billion dollars to still be able to afford the good resources from our trading partners with 67% of their trades going with the Americans. Canada trades about 4% with the Chinese, although it’s a trade deficit of around 35 billion with the Asians. With all the countries in which Canada trades with, their export value is around 540 trillion dollars while their import is around 507 trillion, so the value of their exported goods is definitely at a trade surplus right now, which proves that it’s the Canadian Way. Honestly, Canada has a really developed, fair and money-making economy. It does not have issues with child labour or break the trading policies (tariffs for example), so anyone who is a non-dependant resident will get job opportunities, make a satisfying amount of money and be able to afford all the goods Canada brings in. So, 3 geographical factors which Canada is pretty dominant in, wow.

Canada's Top 15 Trade Partners

Canada’s Population Distribution

The final Geography unit talks about how Canada has used up their land overall the last century and a half toward helping increase or settle the rapidly increasing population. Overtime, a lot of changes have been made to the different communities in our country. When it first confederated in 1967 and our nation was known to be a largely unoccupied area with loads of open space, areas of geological formations and natural resources/valuable goods were occasionally found. Now, it is not so much the same, as Canada obviously wanted to expand its population, it’s economy and be a bilingual nation, so the political leaders had to do their part and expand some areas into more of a city. They’ve replaced some open fields, forests and park space with buildings, houses, stores, factories, airports and highways. Yes, obviously the way I’m explaining things, it doesn’t look like Canada has done very well in this category. However, actually, I feel that despite some certain issues involved in expanding our urban community, our land overall is pretty stable, it’s a well-balanced country with still a reasonable amount of open space, farmlands and rural areas. When we look at Canada’s economic statistics from the previous topic, that’s what makes us believe that Canada’s urban distribution is doing just fine for now.

Canada's population land use was 81% farmland before the end of World War II. Now a portion of the country has been changed into urban use to balance the lives.

A reason why we may think that Canada has been expanding their urban distribution far too much is because that is what it seems like in our most prominent cities. For example, if you look at Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, it’s easy to believe that based off the amount of buildings, stores, restaurants, factories and airports around the country, they are pretty much an urban community full of people driving cars. That may be true, especially looking at their downtown areas, however, people who think they know social studies often tend to forget that those are also very large cities, and often in the southeast coast, they have districts that divide them into small farmlands or open space for provincial/national parks. Look at Winnipeg, Northeast you would find a lot of grass, fields and farms. In the Greater Toronto Area, driving East to Oakville after you pass the factories, commercial centres and houses, there is a small road that leads to Bronte Creek Provincial Park, and it’s all farmland from there. It is true that some cities like downtown Toronto are overpopulating, but it looks okay as long as it doesn’t get worse. I’ve travelled a lot over the last few years through car around Ontario, which is considered to be one of the most urban distributed areas and every few hours we’d see loads of farmlands, small towns and rural distributed areas, like in Prince Edward County. There are a lot districts and counties that still have rural settlement, only though they’re less noticeable now.

A lot of buildings, stores, transportation routes and houses have replaced the open space like this, but Canada remains very famous for it's National and Provincial Park space as well as agriculture space.

The overall statistics referencing Canada’s population distribution are not that bad. About 55% of the land is now used for urban settlement, which makes sense considering our population is now at around 33 million. The other 45% is used for rural use, and that’s pretty stable. Having a well-balanced population distribution is important because we need both those kinds of environments to maintain a successful country of residents who make money, live a happy life and contribute to the country’s economy. So, this is why Canada should be considered as the best country in the world. Statistics have shown our population growth is pretty balanced, there are different climate conditions around the country and unique physical formations; a developed economy to help Canadians find jobs easily and steady use of land for a variety of human uses. Who wouldn’t want to live in Canada?

Canada is a unique and interesting country to live in. The residents here get to enjoy different experiences every day. It is perhaps the best country in the world.


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