The Economy and Environment of Canada

The Economy and Environment of Canada
1. The expression ?official area of Canada? refers to the actual landmass
of the country, thereby including all inland bodies of water, whereas
?Greater Canada? includes external peninsular and coastal bodies of water
(e.g. Hudson and James Bay).2. As Hamelin stated, Canada has been both blessed and cursed by isolation
and accessibility. Settlement was not possible in Canada until a relatively
recent historical period. The Canadian coastline, at any point, is too
great a distance to allow for regular trade via sea, thus creating an
economic dependancy on the United States, Canada?s oldest and original
trading partner. This, however, has given Canada a relative amount of
safety, being too inaccessible in historic battles. Given Canada?s great
expanse, it was forced to create an extensive communication/transportation
network, the first wind from the bellows of Canadian industry. Because of
Canada?s size there are a variety of industries available for cultivation,
however because of this diversity no one particular industry is focused
upon and none are truly achieving their economic potential.

3. The average Canadian?s view of Canada is one of a giant land mass
extending from west to east, capped by hundreds of archipelagoes. The
extent northward is often taken for granted given the practically
nonexistant population (there are no large centres in the north) and the
severed land.

4. There are few people living in the area north of 60 degrees for a few
very obvious reasons. The sheer isolation is enough to drive any person
from the area. There are no major commercial centres, and trade
international trade is near impossible. The distance from Canada?s single
largest trading partner (The U.S.) is practically imeasurable. Even if that
were not the case, sources of income are hard to come by given
encironmental conditions. Mining and other resource based industries must
deal with insurmountible cost and risk.

5. The most obvious agreements between the US and Canada are the fta and
the impending nafta. These economic agreements superficially remove trade
barriers by eliminating tariffs and allowing the free exchange of goods,
however the deal is much deeper than most realize. In the original fta
there are practically no environmental safeguards; we have all but sold our
life blood (natural resources, most notably water) to the usa. It appears
on the surface to be an act of sheer economic desperation designed to hold
firm the trust and support of America with little thought for future
stability. The nafta will see a surge of industry head south in search of
cheap labour and lower taxes; the effect on the Canadian economy may be
devastating, however the effect on our environment will be twice as
harrowing seeing as most of Canada?s air borne pollution problems originate
in the US. The ramifications of industry relocating in Mexico, with even
lower environmental standards than the US is terrifying. Cultural contracts
abound, however subtle and unspoken they may be. Canadian television is all
but controlled by the US; even Canadian stations are inundated with
American product; our press is filled with American news while our radios
play American music. This influence is impossible to escape from, and most
do not bother trying.

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