Geo western Canada.odt

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5 Apr 2012
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Western Canada March 7th 2012
Alberta
Saskatchewan
Manitoba
Physiographic Regions:
Cordillera (Alberta)
Interior plains
Canadian Shield
Hudson Bay Lowlands (Manitoba)
Physical attributes
Interior plains and Canadian Shield ... productive agriculture, mining, forestry and water power
Western Sedimentary Basin provides the Petroleum (Mainly Alberta)
Cordillera edge ... Banff and Jasper national parks (some mining and logging)
Hudson Bay Lowland (hydroelectric capability)
Continental climate
cold, dry winters and hot, dry summers
wet and dry years, high evapo-transpiration rates, droughts, varying soil conditions and short
growing season (orographic effect for Alberta and Saskatchewan, arctic winds, Manitoba has
more black soil in Manitoba thanks to the gulf of Mexico)
Poor location (distance to main markets and ports)
Population
Dominion Land Act (1872) first wave of settlers (mainly from Ontario) 2nd wave (Great Britain)
3rd wave (central and Eastern Europe)
Historical: rural landscapes of small farms and villages
Aboriginal: just over 500,000
Population lives mainly in the south (north has less than 5% of population)
Signs of western alienation (eg, United Grain Growers, CCF/NDP, reform/Alliance Party)
Voting patterns (strong NDP vote, now strong Conservative vote)
Urban Centres: Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg
National Energy Program
Benefits/Costs for Canada (1960's)
Decrease dependency on oil imports for Canada (Energy security Increase)
Increases Canadian Ownership of oil industry ... increased tax revenues for Ottawa through
increased revenues of producing provinces
Increases manufacturing/employment (jobs and taxes)
Increase $ for social programs
Benefits/Costs for Eastern Canada
(1960's/70's) earlier stimulation of petroleum industry allocates Ontario to West (Atlantic and
Quebec were losers)
Oil refining expanded in Sarnia (+ Ontario)
Pre-NEP
1979 Ottawa refused to match domestic oil price with higher world price (industrial East +)
Refineries in East subsidized (Atlantic Canada and Quebec +)
Benefits/Costs for Alberta (Saskatchewan and BC)
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