Canada 2041 Sustainability issues and solutions


Before we can discuss how to make Canada more sustainable for 2041 we need to address the issues that Canada faces. The issues that i have chosen are based on the four units we've studied in class


For the past few decades Canada's population has been reliant on immigration and without it our population could be zero in the next twenty years. There have been many waves of immigration from Europe and Asia from 1861 to 1901.In the 1930s people began noticing a decrease in the amount of immigration happening in Canada from 123,000 a year to less than 16000 due to the great depression. Because of the economic and social issues facing Canada people were pushed out and pulled into the United State because of job opportunities in factories. After world war 2 there was a baby boom because of all the soldiers coming home. Between 1941 to 1971 the baby boom was the only thing contributing to the growth in natural increase which is the difference between the number of births and deaths between a given amount of time without including migration. Since 2001 the natural increase rate has only counted for 1/3 of Canada's population. It's also predicted that the natural increase rate will continue to decline. Since now the natural increase rate does not account for most of Canada's population and the children from the baby boom are now either retired or near retirement it's been predicted that there will not be enough Canadian born children to take over the work force and Canada's population could rely on immigration to fill up the work force and keep Canada's population afloat.

This graph shows that since the late 1990s and early 2000s Canada has been dependent on immigration

One of the major issues with canada's population is that it could become dissapear in 20 years if there was no immigration because the natural birth rate has been so low since after the baby boom. Also since there are so many senior citizens now because of the baby boom there may not be enough children to take over the work force in the future which could also affect the pension of seniors. My solution would be to have more immigrants that can help fill the work force and make up for the older population in canada and help with economic growth. If Canada increases the amount of immigrants it accepts it could solve its population problem and this solution would benefit the baby boomers by helping their pensions and all of the younger people in the work force would get higher pays because they wouldn't have to contribute as much to pensions.

Another issue with the population of Canada exists in the FNMI community. While researching my industry and resource I found that the FNMI community in Alberta is heavily affected by the oil and natural gas industry. Not only is their water supply being contaminated by the oil industry but because it affects the water it in turn also impacts things like their food supply. For example fishing is a major food source for the FNMI people that live near the Athabaska but since toxic water from the tailings ponds is affecting the health of fish by giving them tumors. They don't feel safe drinking that same water. Studies even showed that chemicals found in those tailings ponds can be cancerous but still nothing is being done about it.

Resource and industry

The first issue i'll be discussing is an issue related to the resources and industries of Canada. The specific resource i'll be focusing on is oil extracted from the Alberta oil sands. Oil extraction done in canada is mainly based in the alberta oil sands in the athabasca, cold lake and peace river regions. It's done in one of two ways either open pit mining or insitu. Open pit mining is like normal mineral mining, when bitumen (which is heavy and thick oil) is located close to the surface it will be extracted by open-pit mining. When the bitumen is located closer to the ground the land will be completely cleared (trees, and animal habitats) to ensure oil is properly extracted. Next, two pipes are drilled into the ground - one with steam to make the bitumen thinner and the second to extract the oil. The main issues that I think exists with oil extraction is how this human activity affects the physical environment of Canada. Unfortunately there is oil that lies underneath the boreal forest and the oil sands have been known to affect the forest for example this industry has been known to clear 470 km of the forest annually.

Alberta Oil Sands

Production of oil from oil sands also causes many issues for Canada. After oil is extracted from the oil sands it's taken to a crushing facility. It requires a large amount of water to produce oil for example it takes about 2 to 4.5 barrells of fresh water, mainly from the athabaska river to produce 1 barrell of oil. The oil sands use more water per year than the entire city of Calgary. The water that oil sands uses to extract and produce affects the population of Canada because it's from the athabaska river which is also used by the indigenous community of Alberta, there have even been petitions about the oil sands polluting the water and affecting the health of the Fort Chipewyan people.

My solutions to the problems with Canada's resources and industries would be to use an alternative to fresh water like non-drinkable water or saline groundwater because we may have an abundant supply of water but only 7% of our water supply is renewable. If we could help protect our drinking water supply I feel like that should be a top priority. I feel like this would also solve the problem of Canada's population being affected by toxic water. The FNMI community would be able to drink water from the athabaska river without being afraid for their health and be able to fish and hunt again.

Using oil and natural gas can have many impacts on the physical environment. using oil and gas are responsible for 1/3 of canada's greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to melting glaciers, acid rain and global warming. Oil that leaks from vehicles can also enter our sewer systems, water supply and contaminate soil making it toxic and not suitable for growing vegetation.

This has been said many times before but using an alternative to cars or walking could have an effect on the amount that we pollute our water. Or instead try carpooling or using the bus. If you don't want to do this try opting for a more eco friendly car next time your buying or thinking of getting one.

Livable community

A livable community is one that has a good transportation system, housing, a waste management plan, and energy plan.

Another issue that we explored in class that effects Canada and livable communities is urban sprawl, which is when houses use up big lots, with windy roads that cause car dependency. Most urban sprawl is caused in areas like Brampton by cul-de- sacs. These cul-de-sacs are built all over Brampton and most people probably live in one. They cause thing like global warming, acid rain and climate change by causing car dependency. If the roads were less windy and there was more incorporated into them there wouldn't be as much car dependency. A solution to urban sprawl would be smart growth meaning we would build multi home units, build up instead and incorporated more into neighborhoods.

Cul-de-sac neighborhood

In this website I adressed the issues that are present in the four units that we have discussed in Geography. The first unit that I talk about is population, some issues that exist in Canada's population are death and birth rate and the natural increase in population compared to migration. The second and third unit that I adressed was issues present in resources and industries and the physical environment of Canada. Some issues that i mentioned were the amount of fresh water that is used to produce oil and how pollution in Alberta make up 1/3 of Canada's emissions which contributes to things like global warming and climate change. The fourth unit that I addressed was livable communities and the issue that I mentioned was urban sprawl and how it affects our air which impacts climate change as well.


Created with images by scazon - "Flag of Canada"

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