ModernCanada (get references)Canada is the second largest country in the world. It is located onthe northern American continent bordered by three oceans, the Atlantic, pacificand arctic. The county stretches across six time zones, and is divided into tenprovinces and three territories in the north. Ottawa is the capital of Canada.Canada’s physical features are built from the mix of geological andmeteorological facets. The most notable feature is the Hudson’s bay which isthe second largest bay and the largest bay that freezes over in winter. Itprovides a drainage basin that hydrates about half of the entire country. Sixty percent of all the worlds’ lakes andthirty percent of all the worlds fresh water can be found in Canada.
This isdue to the Canadian Shield which is a large plateau of exposed pre Cambrianigneous rocks that harbours little soil and vegetation but offers a field ofmining. Canada has some of the world’s richest deposit of metals. Other factsabout Canada include; about forty percent of the country is covered in forests,one tenth of the world’s forests are found in Canada, over sixty percent of theworlds polar bears live in Canada. Itis a diverse and large country with French and English origins beingpredominant.
Canada’s population (insert picture) references According to the 2016census, Canada is now home to thirty five million people. Compared to 1871Canada’s population was only three and a half million people situated in theeastern part of the country in the four founding provinces; Ontario, Quebec,New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. At the begging of the twentieth century thanksto immigration rates Canada’s population grew fast that the 1931 censusnumerated ten millions Canadians. Following a large baby boom in the 1940’s,fifties and sixties the 1966 census numerated twenty million Canadians. Canadareached thirty million in 2001 where immigration was booming at took over thedeclining fertility. Canada’s annual rate of population growth in the last fifteenyears was the highest among the group of seven countries; Canada, U.
S.A, UnitedKingdom, Japan, Germany, Italy, and France. Over one third of Canada’spopulation live in the country’s three largest cities, Montreal Toronto andVancouver. It is the least densely populated place onearth. In fact; Nunavut, Yukon, North West territories all together areconsidered the most sparsely populated areas in Canada with about one hundredand ten thousand people. Growingpopulation and immigration rates(references) paraphrase red partsAccordingto 2016 census data, seven and a half million people born aboard were reportedcoming to Canada through the immigration process. That is a proportion of morethan one in five people.
The1871 census enumerated approximately 600,000 foreign-born individuals which is sixteenpercent of the population. The majority of who were from the United Kingdom,Ireland, United States, France, and Germany. At the beginning of the twentieth= century Canada’s borders expanded and encouraged an influx of immigrants tosettle in the prairies, North West Territories and British Colombia., as aresult the foreign born population rose significantly to two million people in 1921.
Immigration slowed between 1931-1945 due to the economic crisis and World WarII. Canada welcomed a lot ofimmigrants between 1954-1980 from Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Greece,who settled in Ontario British Colombia and Quebec. Starting in the 1960’sCanada opened its doors to more immigrants from other countries due to changesin the immigration policies.
Themajority of people arrived between 2011-2016 were immigrants born in Asiaincluding the Middle East. The composition of the population of eachprovince and territory has become more diverse and has made Canada what it istoday.Talk about crowding next to the USborders Insert the projected Canadianpopulation picture from far away from a full house Ontario’s Natural and urban environment Ontariois the second largest province in Canada, it consists of variable landscapesthat offer many lakes, rivers, and streams. Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron,Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario all together consist of one fifth of theworld’s fresh water and it is where eighty percent of Ontario residents gettheir drinking water from. Ontario has many provincial parks and protectedareas than span the areas of over nine million hectares which ensures theprotections and conservation of the natural landscape for future generations.Industrializationand greenbelt project Ontariohas a population of fourteen million people which eighty five percent of livein the cities surrounding the shores of the Great Lakes. The western shore ofLake Ontario is called the Golden Horseshoe. It is the most industrialized andfasted growing region in Canada housing the largest number of people and citiesincluding; The Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton, Niagara Falls, and St.
Catherine’s. Developmentin Ontario has been fast. Cities have been growing substantially Urbanareas in Canada have seen a massive growth during the period of 1971-2001 wherethey have increased from approximately 14,000 to 30,000 square kilometers. Ontariohas one of the highest rates of land use in Canada and most of thesedevelopments have occurred in the Golden horse shoe which is extremelydiverse. These developments threaten the diversity and integrity ofnatural habitat through pollution, greenhouse gas emission, and humanactivities. Talk about urban development and thengreenbelt How is Ontario developing was created and how it is protected nowand integrated into the landscape Why was the greenbelt established (notinto too much detail about it)Greenbelt(Importanceof greenbelt)Constanturbanization leads to habitat loss and fragmentation and imposes threats forspecies that are at risk in that area which needed to be protected.
The idea ofthe Greenbelt was proposed in 2003 by former prime minister Dalton McGuinty inorder to fight climate change and to put a cap on urban development. TheGreenbelt Act was established in 2005 in order to maintain the integrity of TheGolden Horseshoe in terms of agricultural land and ecological habitats andwildlife. It also ensures the control and reduction of the risk from dailyresidential and industrial activities. Before the Greenbelt was establishedthere had already been plans for the conservation of land which the Greenbeltplan expanded on such as; the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and theNiagara Escarpment Plan ().The plan also works in unison with the Endangered Species Act, the Growth Planfor the Greater Golden Horseshoe, and The Provincial Policy Statement (). Now the greenbelt covers more than twomillion acres of Ontario land which means it is larger than Prince EdwardIsland. It serves very important ecological roles; it provides agricultural,environmental, cultural protection. TheGreenbelt has three important natural habitats that provide a great niche formany species.
The Niagara Escarpment which is made of various elevationsincluding the highest elevation in Southern Ontario, and it houses some of theoldest trees in Ontario. The Oak Ridge’s Moraine created by glacial flows andit contains over sixty streams and rivers. The moraine also serves as amigratory lane for mammals and birds. The moraine is constantly facing pressuredue to urban development andif I could add a personal story in; I was once approached by a friend architectthat had a building plan next to the Oak Ridge’s Moraine who asked me toprovide her with a letter requested by the TRCA as an Environmental Sciencegraduate stating that her construction plans would cause no negative effects onthe habitat and wildlife existing there.
I did not take the offer not onlybecause I was not qualified to provide such a letter, I did not want to be heldresponsible. The Carolinian life zones found at the borders of LakeOntario are literally one of a kind not found anywhere else in Canada. The rarehabitat is due to a combination of warm temperatures, large amounts of rainfalland low presence of frost. Due to its rarity, it is home to the most diversehabitats and houses many threatened species.
Themost prominent habitat in the Greenbelt is its forests which take up abouttwenty four percent which unfortunately are often fragmented. According to the David Suzuki Foundation; theforests economic value in the Greenbelt estimates about $5,400/year/hectare. Anotherfeature of the Greenbelt is its wetlands which include; lakes, mashers, bogs,swamps and fens.
These make up twelve percent of the Greenbelt and they provideflood control, climate control, and provides habitat for many species at risk.Grassland makes up less than one percent of the total area and they are themost endangered ecological ecosystem found in Canada. Grasslands are importantbecause they also control climate, control water runoff, but they are underthreat from urban development and agricultural land use. Biodiversityin the greenbelt Asmentioned earlier, there are currently seventy eight species residing in theGreenbelt which are under threat of extinction. The health of an ecosystemdepends on the balance between the biotic and abiotic components. Any change tothe ecosystem whether it is the removal of an unfavourable organism with theuse of pesticide or the removal of woodland in order to clear space for newsubdivisions can destroy that balance in the ecosystem and leads to anunhealthy, non-functional environment.
The Greenbelt Act helps ensure that these species at risk have acontinuous and permanently protected landscape that is necessary for not onlythe ecological health of Ontario, but also human health. The Greenbeltalso raises awareness and consciousness of the public for the importance ofbiodiversity. Threatsto the greenbelt speciesThearea undergoes great amounts of pressure from urban development. Developmentlocated in unfavourable sites could be critical to the health of an ecosystemif placed on a corridor that connects two habitats needed by certain speciesfor the completion of their lifecycle. The development includes clearing landfor agriculture, low density cities and housing development, and roads.
Once anarea has been fragmented it loses its resiliency to change and therefore itweakens the system, many species therefore lose their ability to persist due tothe lack of food and shelter followed by a decline in populations. As thesehabitats get smaller and more fragmented the forest loses its interior corehabitats and it increases the exposed edge habitats and this leads to the edgeeffect. Edge effects are more susceptible to predators, invasive species, andparasites. The Greenbelt currently has about thirty percent of its naturalcover including forests and wetlands remaining. Thirty percent is the minimumrequired in order to maintain the integrity of a landscape as a recommendationby Environment Canada.
Climate change is also a major threat to the diversityof the Greenbelt; it will be more problematic in fragmented lands. As nativespecies make their move northward to a more suitable habitat, invasive speciesthen can occupy the vacancies where they might distort the natural habitat.Resiliency could act as a buffer in order to battle the effects of climatechange. The resiliency of the Greenbelt comes from habitat connectivity; theconnection allows for animals and plants to relocate as the temperaturechanges. GreenbeltProtection Humansrelay on functioning ecosystems which provides us with healthy drinking water,prevention of soil erosions and floods, temperature regulation, and clean air. TheGreenbelt was created in order to conserve the natural heritage of Ontario. Afragmented ecosystem loses the ability to provide ecosystem services such assoil retention and water drainage therefore the Greenbelt should be protectedfrom developmental pressures. There arethree land use plans for the Greenbelt; the Niagara Escarpment Plan which wasdeveloped in 1985 and was the first environmental large scale plan in Ontario.
It highlighted the importance of corridors and core habitats in land useplanning. It has been thirty two years since the plan had been in place andeven though there had been habitat destruction because of aggregate extractionin specific areas, the forested areas in the protected land has grown more thandouble as compared to the unprotected surrounding areas. The second plan is theOak Ridge’s Moraine Conservation Plan established in 2001; this plan targetedthe rolling hills and valleys found in the Greater Toronto Area which providedthe area with drinking water and housed many species at risk. These plansprovide developers with limits on where not to extract and build due to fragilehabitats.
The final plan which is the official Greenbelt Plan established in2005 covers the area protected by all these plans. Due to population growth inToronto the Greenbelt plan was designed to protect systems and not onlyfeatures, these systems are the natural heritage land and the agricultural land.The plan restricts urbanization, development, and any damaging activities inkey natural heritage areas in the Greenbelt. Even though the Greenbelt isheavily protected, aggregate extraction is still the major threat to thehabitats. The Endangered Species Act established in 2007, and the Species atRisk Act were both passed in order to protect the threatened species fromdevelopment and also to start population recovery efforts. (MAYBE TALK ABOUTTHE OTHER TWO PLAN) Howthe greenbelt is impacting development Thereis an increasing demand for land in Ontario as the Greater Toronto Areacontinues to develop. Since the Greenbelt is so heavily protected, it enforceslimits on development. Ontario is seeking a balance between environmental needsand economical needs and therefore has placed a limit on what and wheredevelopers can build.
As the demand rises with limited land supply developersare now forced to build up than out which increases the density per squarekilometer. Increased density in any area is a benefit Restrictionson land and charges on development are the main reasons why houses in the GTAare increasing in price. Developers have to go through extra steps in order toensure their plans are approved which means more time is required and thereforemore money spent. The Government of Ontario is consulting on the expansion ofthe Greenbelt in order to protect water resources.
There had been approximatelyten thousand hectares of land encompassing rivers and wetlands that connect toLake Ontario added to the Greenbelt in 2017 which are all important inproviding drinking water to communities, and provide waste management and stormwater services. Although the expansion will drive up housing costs even higherand limit options, it is extremely necessary in order to support growth in a sustainablemanner. The Government is currently studying seven regions which add up tothree hundred and forty five thousand hectares in order to decide whether theyissue the new Greenbelt expansion to limit development and to determine newboundaries of the Greenbelt depending on the sensitivity of the environmental habitats.
The intention of the expansion is not to restrict growth; its purpose is todetermine how and where growth will take place in order to have a functionalnatural and built environment. (put threat to greenbelt pic)Althoughthere are future plans for the expansion of the Greenbelt, eleven thousandhectares of it are threatened by development. The provincial Government haveabout six hundred and fifty requests being proposed from developers in order toclear land from the Greenbelt for development. According to the Erin Shaperowho is the Environmental Defence Program manager there is plenty of pre-approvedland available for development, but nevertheless developers have their eyes onthe protected land in the Greenbelt especially in York Region. The Greenbelt ispermanently protected and Kathleen Wynne made it clear that there are onlyexpansion plans and no intention of lifting any land restrictions in thefuture.
According to (howeffective is policy article) there is a need to improve the current policiesin order to protect the wetlands in the Greenbelt, to restore ones that havebeen altered, and to minimize potential threats from developers. -100Million Canadians Inorder for the world to live sustainably, scientists have provided two means ofmeasurements for humans in order to understand how much are humans taking upfrom the earth’s resources and how much is made available for us by the earth.The ecological footprint is a measure of the demand for natural resources byhuman activity and is a tool for assessing whether our demand is too high forwhat the earth is providing. Biocapacity is a measure for how much does theearth supply us with renewable resources. If an area’s ecological footprintsurpasses its biocapacity, then that area is unsustainable and eventually willrun out of renewable resources if it continues to consume more than what is available.According to the Global Footprint Network, Canada is the sixth country in theworld with one of the largest ecological footprints. Canada’s ecologicalfootprint of 2014 was 8.
28. This means that each person requires 8.28 hectaresin order to supply their demand and manage their waste. Canada’s largeecological footprint is mainly due to its large carbon footprint through theburning of fossil fuels.
WithCanada’s low population it is difficult to transition into an eco-friendly infrastructure.Currently Canada is using very inefficient and polluting methods oftransportation, energy and heating systems. Transportation accounts for the largestsource of green house gasses due to the ownership of private vehicles. This isfollowed by heating systems of building and residential homes, and thegeneration of electricity from the burning of fossil fuels.
The low population limitsthe amount of money acquired from tax payers which then limits the country’soption to switch to technology that is energy efficient such as electrictransit system, green energy generation, and the replacement of our currentgeneration of energy using fossil fuels. (FULL HOUSE). The three most populated cities;Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver are in need of an infrastructure update If Canadawere to reach a 100 million, Ontario Vancouver and Montreal would be the mostcrowded Ontario ecological footprint and biocapactiy tothink about how the density of the Golden Horseshoe will change in order toplan accordingly. · Is it possible for Canada to reach100m· what would Canada look like with100m· do we have enough jobs· extrapolating to the futureCanada population Do we have enough resources to sustain? Biocapacity Greenbeltexpansion if 100 million Canadian (pros) Greenbeltthreatened if 100 million Canadians (cons)How will thegreenbelt be affected what will happen to 1. Wetlands 2.
Natural agriculture3. Ecosystem health/ speciesdiversity terrestrial 4. Symbiotic relationship withhumans, animals and diff species 5. Groundwater recharge 6. Forests Planning out the greenbelt for the next 70 years