Canada is largely defined by its size, as the second-largest country in the world, and sparse population, with about 75 percent of Canadians living within 100 miles of the United States of America. The Canadian population is also highly concentrated around its cities, outside of southern Ontario.
Canada is a large country with a landmass of 9,970,610 square kilometers. Being a large country, Canada has a wide range of ecosystems. Lakes and rivers cover 7 percent of the country. The southern part of Canada is temperate and the northern regions are sub-Arctic and Arctic.. In northernmost Canada only 12 percent of the land is suitable for agriculture due to the harsh climate, resulting in most of the population of Canada living within a few hundred kilometers of the southern border.
Canada’s culture and market-based economy very much resemble that of its southern neighbor, the USA. Some of Canada’s biggest industries involve the extraction of natural resources, including oil, gas, and uranium. The country also has strong banking and technology sectors.
Environmental Issues of Canada
With the Arctic warming faster than any other biome recently, Canadians are particularly concerned about the impacts of climate change. The country generates enormous wealth from its oil and gas operations. However, the oil and gas industries account for a quarter of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, with the oilsands being the most carbon-intensive.
The oil extracted in Alberta’s oils ands reserves is shipped in pipelines in its bitumen raw form. The debate about whether Canada should build new pipelines is still ongoing due to worries about climate change, pipeline leaks, oil tanker spills, and First Nations rights. The Keystone XL pipeline proposal was rejected by President Obama but has since been approved by President Trump. Other planned pipeline proposals such as the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and Energy East pipeline have been abandoned.
A large amount of the Canadian population lives in urban areas and cities are notorious for their poor air quality. Environment Canada has singled out air pollution as a major concern as it affects wildlife, vegetation, soil, and water. The government agency has said air pollution from urban areas causes acid rain and contributes to climate change.