Canada is a country that faces issues that are very similar to those faced by the United States. It has a predominantly immigrant population who have settled over a large area and come from a variety of different backgrounds as well as with varying levels of experience and educational background. Creating a nation from widely disparate elements and fostering the growth of a vibrant and united community have been major challenges for both countries. Canada, despite its vastly larger land area, has a population that is only a fraction of that of the United States, and is, in comparison to the United States, a country that is going through rapid development.
The fact that Canada is behind the times does not imply that the country is backward in any way; rather, it indicates that, with a population of over twenty-two million people dispersed over such a vast area, the country lacks both the need and the people to fully exploit her potential riches at the present time. However, she has only been a nation for a fraction of the time that the United States has been. Her industries are highly developed and efficient, and she boasts a thriving farming and fishing industry on an enormous scale. Since the first Federation was established, which covered only a small fraction of the land area that Canada currently occupies, Canada's economic, industrial, and social problems have generally been far more straightforward than those that the United States has faced.
Agriculture, fishing, and timber are the country's most important exports, with mining and processing of minerals and oil becoming increasingly important as the economy grows. However, the United States, with its advanced mechanical development, is more important as a producer of finished goods from its own resources and imported materials, for which she is reliant on Canada for a large proportion of the total. Another of Canada's problems is the control of a vast area of unproductive polar regions, which is currently under its control. This is an area that requires special attention in order to realise its full potential. Canada, along with Russia and Denmark, bears responsibility for the well-being of the Eskimo people, who have only very recently begun to progress beyond a relatively primitive stage in their development.
If we take a look at a map of the entire continent of North America, it is clear that the land surrounding the Great Lakes, which are located in the middle of the continent, is the hub of activity and wealth for both countries. It is in this region that the major industrial centres are located, and it is in this region that raw materials from the mines and farms of both countries are processed and transported to all parts of the continent and the world, as well as to supply both countries with the polar region, who enjoy the high standard of living for which both countries are famous, and which continues to attract immigrants from all parts of the rest of the world, are located. A country of vast and striking geographical contrasts, Canada is a land of extremes.
It stretches from the Great Lakes, which mark the southern border with the United States, to the North Pole in the north. It has the second largest land area of any single confederation in the world, after the Soviet Union. When we look at a map, the areas occupied by different land formations are immediately apparent. First and foremost, we can see the massive mountain ranges that stretch from south to north across the western side of the country. These mountains are unmistakably an extension of the Rocky Mountains, which dominate the same part of the United States as these. Although the mountains in Canada are not as high as those in the United States, they represent a significant departure from the region in the centre of the country, which is a continuation into Ontario of the great Mid-West plain of the United States.
To the east, there is the region surrounding the Great Lakes, where, as in America, the availability of inexpensive transportation and a fertile hinterland have an impact on the distribution of the population. The Canadian Shield, located north of the Great Lakes, is a flat and virtually uninhabited region with many lakes and swamps that is now primarily used for timber production and, further north, for hunting and trapping grounds. The arctic lands are located in the far north. The Northwest Territories, which are located north of the Arctic Circle, are primarily inhabited by Eskimos and are known as such. Because of these differences in geographical conditions, there are naturally differences in the lives of Canadians who live and work throughout the country. Because the land is so fertile and relatively easy to farm in the south and east, as well as because of the abundant mineral deposits and the easy access to the sea as well as to the central plains by way of the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes, this region is the most densely populated. Farming is the most important occupation in Canada, according to the census.
The Canadian government asserts that farming should be classified as an industry because of the mechanisation of the machines and methods used in the industry. On average, one worker on a Canadian farm can now produce enough food for thirty-three people, compared to the previous year. Due to the fact that there are still some small and unproductive farms, this means that on some of the large prairie farms, a single farmer can produce far more than this amount. In 1967, Canada celebrated its centennial as a nation, which serves as an excellent starting point for comparing the advancements made by Canadians in their farming methods over the years. It is also important to remember that in 1867, Canada was still in a relatively primitive stage of development when compared to its current situation. Today, nearly five times as much land is cultivated as it was in 1867, covering a total area of approximately 68 5 million hectares (170 million acres). For most of the year, more than 80 percent of the population lived on agricultural land; the towns were small, and many were isolated and cut off from the rest of the country for long stretches of time.
Canadian territory was first discovered in 1497 by John Cabot, and settlement only began in the second half of the sixteenth century. In contrast to the United States, most settlements were established for the purpose of trade, particularly in furs, and the famous Hudson's Bay Company was established in the early years to serve as a major trading organisation. In the development of Canada, the presence of immigrants and representatives from both England and France at a time when England and France were at war in Europe was one of the most significant factors. In a unified country where both French and English are official languages, the constant clashes between the two nationalities continue to present issues of language and precedent. Other nationalities are outnumbered by immigrants of French and British descent, who account for a disproportionate share of the population. In a country with a total population of twenty-two million people, there are approximately nine million people of English descent and six million people of French descent, with a further seven million people of other nationalities.
While Canada has successfully assimilated these elements into a single nationality, Quebec, the country's main French-speaking province, continues to advocate for the preservation of French connections in a modern Canada, thereby preventing the greater assimilation that has been achieved in the United States, according to some estimates. In addition to the immigrants who have arrived in Canada, there are the indigenous people who have lived there since before European colonisation. There were Indian settlements all over the southern part of Canada, which were gradually pushed back by the immi- grants towards the western mountains as the immi- grants expanded. It was in the eighteenth century that an agreement was reached between the English settlers and the Indians, under which the Indians were guaranteed a section of land to use for permanent hunting grounds in exchange for land that had been taken over by the new settlements.
The Indians are now being carefully integrated into Canadian society, and many of them are employed in government and the professions. At the same time, efforts are being made to preserve Indian culture, which has only recently been supplanted by more modern ways of life, and Indian art and crafts are being meticulously preserved. The Eskimos faced a problem of integration that was very similar to this one. More than 13,000 Eskimos live in northern Canada, and until the twentieth century, they had been accustomed to living in conditions that had not changed in hundreds of years. A significant number of problems associated with modern life existed for the Eskimos, as with the Indians, because they lacked resistance to European diseases and were constantly in danger of being exploited by the traders who came to visit them.
As part of its effort to alleviate the hardships that the Eskimos experienced during the long winter months when food supplies were scarce and death and disease were constant threats, the Canadian government has implemented a comprehensive programme of assistance, modernization, and modernization assistance. Hunting and fishing are still the most important sources of income for the Eskimos, and an increasing number of projects are being implemented to improve living conditions and maximise the potential of this largely unexplored territory. The Eskimos continue to lead a very different lifestyle than the majority of Canadians. Despite the fact that their traditional igloos are disappearing, sledges and fur clothing are still common modes of transportation and dress, and the Eskimo language is still spoken in many parts of the world. Many Eskimos follow in the footsteps of the Indians, relocating to larger cities in order to find work and live a more modern lifestyle alongside the rest of the population. The prairies of Western Canada are home to three-quarters of all cultivated land in the country. As is the case in the United States, this is primarily used for grain and livestock, with some dairy products thrown in for good measure.
This produce is critical to the success of Canada's international trade. All farm produce accounts for 25 percent of total Canadian exports, with grain and grain products accounting for more than two-thirds of total exports. Russia, China, and other countries with large populations but small or unproductive farmland are now receiving massive shipments of grain from the United States. Meanwhile, Canada maintains its traditional markets in the United States and the United Kingdom, while expanding in these other areas as well. Exports are important, but sales of livestock and dairy products are almost as important, if not more so. The government of Canada provides a wide range of services to farmers, including research, advice, and financial assistance. Reclamation, irrigation, and farmland rehabilitation are all being worked on at the same time. Many areas of central Canada are affected by droughts, particularly in Alberta, where there is now approximately 220,000 hectares (550,000 acres) of irrigated land, according to the government. In order to increase the fertility of the soil in an agricultural community, soil improvement is also very important. A great deal has been accomplished in this area, particularly in British Columbia. For the purpose of speeding up the sale of farm produce, there are Boards for each type of produce, such as wheat and milk, that are in charge of overseeing the pricing and distribution of the goods produced by the farmer, as well as guaranteeing him a fixed minimum price for his inventory. Farming, while prevalent in central Canada, is also extremely important in the country's eastern regions.
Along the strip of land that runs parallel to the coast, there is intensive dairy and fruit cultivation, and the farmers are also well-known for the high quality of their vegetables they produce. tion. Many areas of central Canada are affected by droughts, particularly in Alberta, where there is now approximately 220,000 hectares (550,000 acres) of irrigated land, according to the government. In order to increase the fertility of the soil in an agricultural community, soil improvement is also very important. A great deal has been accomplished in this area, particularly in British Columbia. For the purpose of speeding up the sale of farm produce, there are Boards for each type of produce, such as wheat and milk, that are in charge of overseeing the pricing and distribution of the goods produced by the farmer, as well as guaranteeing him a fixed minimum price for his inventory. Farming, while prevalent in central Canada, is also extremely important in the country's eastern regions. Along the strip of land that runs parallel to the coast, there is intensive dairy and fruit cultivation, and the farmers are also well-known for the high quality of their vegetables they produce.
The fishing industry is another important industry in Canada. In the beginning, the abundance and quality of cod shoals off the east coast of Canada attracted settlers, and the first discoveries of the continent were almost certainly made by Norse fishermen following the cod across the north Atlantic as they made their way across the continent. Every year, the fishermen of Newfoundland harvest enormous quantities of cod for consumption in the province as well as for salting and exportation. One of the more unlikely markets for Newfoundland cod is the Mediterranean region, particularly southern France, where it is in high demand as a meal for Friday, which is a fast day in many religious traditions. At the time of the 1949 census, Canada controlled more than 25% of the world market for salt cod, which was in high demand as a cheap, long-lasting food, particularly in the years following World War II, when food supplies were still in short supply.
However, as conditions improved in the 1950s, the cod fisheries found themselves with a shrinking market for their products, which had been produced using methods that had remained virtually unchanged for nearly 200 years. A development plan was developed and put into effect, resulting in the fishing industry becoming one of the most efficient in the country while continuing to account for a significant portion of the country's exports. Located on the other side of the country, in British Columbia, is the centre of the other major fishing industry. If you look at the map, you can see that the coastline of British Columbia is made up of a series of bays and rivers, which creates ideal conditions for the highly profitable salmon fishing industry. Only a small portion of the total catch is sold fresh, with the majority being smoked or canned. Other types of fishing are also practised in Canada; lobster fishing, for example, is carried out off the coast of Prince Edward Island, and it provides a very valuable source of income for the local fishermen. For human consumption, freshwater fish is extremely important in Canada; the large number of inland lakes and rivers served as an important source of food centuries ago, when the first explorers arrived, and continue to serve in the same capacity today.
As opposed to many older countries with longer histories of continuous settlement, Canada's natural resources have not been depleted, and the fact that the country's population is so small in comparison to the total land area available means that her resources will be more than adequate for many years to come. Fishing is the second-largest and most important of Canada's primary products, but timber, which is the country's most important natural resource, is no less important than fishing. Canada's interior was covered in a dense forest when it was first discovered, and this was one of the most noticeable features of the country's interior at the time of its discovery. This made settlement difficult, but it also provided shelter and building materials, as well as firewood, for the pioneers in the early stages of their settlement. More recently, the price of timber has increased significantly as a result of increased appreciation and increased demand, and timber is now one of Canada's most valuable exports. One of the concerns with regard to timber is the issue of replacement. When the forest was cleared for settlement, the woodmen were thought to be performing a service by creating spaces and providing materials for building and agriculture; however, it has recently been discovered that a significant amount of valuable timber has been lost in this process, and that timber, unlike farming land, takes a long time to replenish itself. Intensive replanting has been developed since then, and the country is now assured of a future supply of timber because more trees are grown each year than are cut and used.
This is due to the fact that more trees are grown each year than are cut and used. The scope of the industry can only be fully appreciated when we examine trade statistics and realise that, in any given year, Canada receives more than £750 million in revenue from its timber exports after having fully met domestic demand for the product. The role of the woodcutter, also known as a "lumber jack," has shifted significantly over time. Working in the forests used to be a hard job done in poor conditions; you had to put in long, arduous hours during the long, cold winter and then spend the summer looking for another job or living off your wages from the previous winter. This was due to the fact that logging used to be a seasonal occupation. It was during the long, cold winter when the ice on the ground and in the rivers made it much easier to handle the logs; then, when the thaws came in the spring, the logs were floated down rivers to sawmills, aided by the rush of water from the recently thawed mountain snow. Methods and conditions have now been updated to reflect current times. Instead of the old diet of dry biscuits and salt cod, the men now eat proper meals. They also have modern equipment to work with and trucks to travel in, and the logs are now transported by safer methods than they were previously on the old log booms. Essentially, this was a large structure made of wooden planks that enclosed the logs and on which the men travelled down river to ensure that no logs floated away and in order to guide them to the mill. In addition to mining and processing minerals, Canada has a thriving petrochemical industry.
A number of valuable minerals, including nickel, asbestos, platinum metals, and zinc, are produced in large quantities in the country, which is the world's leading producer of these minerals. All of these are extremely important, both domestically and internationally. As well as cobalt and uranium, she is the second largest producer in the world. Cobalt is primarily mined along the Ontario shores of Hudson's Bay, and it was farther north that the then-more-exciting discovery of gold was made, that cobalt was discovered. When the famous Klondike rush began in the Yukon Territory in the last years of the nineteenth century, it drew a great deal of attention in Canada; while it did not produce the spectacular results that had been predicted, it did produce a significant amount of gold and opened up previously unexplored territory. Because the territory was so remote, the authorities insisted that any men who travelled up to the Yukon to prospect for gold must bring enough supplies to last them for at least two years before they were allowed to cross the border into the country. Since the Second World War, the mining industry has seen significant advancements in terms of technology and productivity. Rapid advancements in methods and equipment have made it possible to make advances on a previously unimaginable scale. The expansion of the minerals industry has had a significant impact on the country's transportation infrastructure. In the nineteenth century, the country was virtually devoid of efficient modes of transportation, with the exception of a few bad tracks that could be traversed by horses and waggons. The manufacturing industries required more cost-effective modes of transportation in order to reduce their costs and make access to raw materials more convenient. When it came to meeting this demand, railroads were a no-brainer. The Intercolonial Railway and the Canadian Pacific both expanded their networks to accommodate the growing demands of the developing iron and steel and gold mining industries.
The gold rush in the Yukon Territory in 1896 spurred the expansion of railways westward and northward, building on the trans-continental link established by the Canadian Pacific in the 1860s to transport supplies for the British Columbia gold rush in the United States. The servicing of sites has also prompted the construction of new railways, such as the Quebec-Labrador railway in the early 1950s, to serve the region. It was obvious that air development would be the best solution to transportation problems in a country with such vast distances, and ever since the 1920s, the area covered by air flights has increased, despite the fact that the railways have maintained their traffic because of the constant need to transport goods to and from industrial sites in large quantities. On this page, we've already discussed one of the most significant developments in North American trans- port history this century: the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which took place in 1959. This is a route that was built along the length of the great St. Lawrence River to allow ocean-going ships to reach the great cities in the heart of America's industrial heartland. If you look at the map, you can see how long the stretch of water is, stretching from the mouth of the river in Newfoundland to Fort William on the other side of Lake Superior, a distance of approximately 3,700 kilometres (2,300 miles). The construction of this great waterway began at the end of the nineteenth century with the construction of a canal system designed to accommodate large ships. The most difficult challenge was finding enough space to build locks to transport ships around the numerous waterfalls on the river, including, most importantly, around the Niagara Falls.
The Welland Canal, which connects Lake Ontario and Lake Erie and has a depth of 8 metres (27 feet), was finally completed in 1932 after years of construction. However, this was only the first stage of the project, and the final agreement on the shape of the seaway was not reached until 1954. The construction of the seaway, like other developments in Canadian transportation, was primarily motivated by the desire to aid the development of Canadian industry. Additionally, there were several significant advantages. First and foremost, the seaway served as the quickest and most cost-effective means of transporting ore from the Labrador ore mines to the great steel mills in the Mid-West, which were located on the shores of the Great Lakes. The construction of hydroelectric power plants resulted in a further advance in the development of power and natural resources.
The seaway also provided a means of transporting grain produced in the prairie states to the coast and other parts of the world in a timely and cost-effective manner. The primary industries that benefited were iron ore, grain, and coal, but timber movements were also significant. Combined with a variety of smaller commodities, they total more than fifty million tonnes of cargo, resulting in significant savings for both the producing and using industries in the United States. Since its completion, the seaway has undoubtedly made a significant contribution to the development of Canadian industry, and it will continue to do so as the country's economy grows and makes greater use of the low-cost transportation facilities that the seaway provides.