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Geog162 Chapter 7 British Columbia.docx

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Simon Fraser University
GEOG 162
Michele Wiens

Chapter 7 British Columbia Physical Geography Complex physiography within the Cordillera -combination of mountains, plateaus, and valleys extending from southern BC to Yukon; it has at least 10 mountain ranges (Coast Mountains and Rockies are most prominent); it strongly influences climate -narrow continental shelf with several islands -small north east portion of BC (Peace River district) is part of the Interior Plains -diversity in terms of topography, soil, vegetation, climate -little arable land (Fraser Valley, Peace River, Okanagan, Thompson) Urban Geography -similar to Ontario and Quebec with a core-periphery arrangement of the population in BC -population core is in the south west corner here over 60% of residents are concentrated -major urban centers are within this core (Vancouver, Victoria, etc) -much of the province is sparsely populated, clusters in the Okanagan and Thompson Valleys and on Vancouver Island north of Victoria Periphery or Core -within the province, the south west part of BC serves as the core with a large surrounding hinterland that provides raw materials (lumber, fish, minerals, etc) -a resource economy is dominant but high tech, services, and tourism is growing, primarily in the Vancouver/Victoria urban cluster -although BC’s economy is becoming more diversified, it still has a small manufacturing base A Strong Sense of Regionalism -BC has a very regional nature, due in part to the north/south trending mountains which tend to cut the province off from far away Ontario, Canada’s hinterland BC’s Basis of Economy Forestry-a cornerstone of BC’s economy -many changes in the industry -less accessible timber available -restrictions of provincial government and establishment of wilderness areas of mature forest -attempts to increase processing (manufacturing) Forest Renewal Act (1994)-provincial government’s more sustainable approach to managing forests; stumpage fees doubled to finance replanting Other Industries Fishing-has suffered over-exploitation -conflicts with forestry and hydro industry on spawning grounds -conflicts with division of salmon catch (commercial, Native and sports fishers) Mining-many multinational companies in BC -capital investment is high; risky ventures (e.g. Northwest Coal Project) Hydro-Columbia, Peace, Nechako Rivers -conflict with flooding of reserves, spawning BC’s Trade Orientation Trade Partners -Pacific Rim location gives BC access to Asian economy -a strong Asian economy in the 80s and early 90s benefitted BC -high immigration from Hong Kong to BC brought skills, capital and Asian business connections -the 1997 slowdown in the Asian economy was felt in BC (decreased demand for imports) -there is a large US market for lumber products Historical and Human Geography BC started growing around the time of the gold rush (1858) but experienced a demographic explosion between the completion of the CPR in 1885 and the end of WWI in 1918. The CPR opened up the country By 1921 population of European origin was 500,000 Asian origin 40,000; Aboriginals from 40,000 to 20,000 1929 was the Great Depression; exports slowed, prices dropped; on the prairies, farmers abandoned farms and fled to BC, adding to unemployment The populations of Chinese had been instrumental in building the railway but faced stiff discrimination -Japanese as well from 1941-1949 Examples of Discriminatory Policy in BC and Canada Chinese Exclusion Act (1923) -day of humiliation; prevented Chinese from entering Canada Head Taxes, no right to vote, travel restrictions, etc Segregated Schools (English/Chinese) -even in the 1940s, facilities and professions at UBC were closed to Chinese -in Victoria, Chinese weren’t allowed to swim in Crystal Gardens 1941-bombing of Pearl Harbor -1942 order in council to remove those of Japanese descent from the West Coast and restrict their movement BC’s Population and the Centralist/Decentralist Faultline BC has made huge population gains since 1867. Most of the population increase comes from immigration and interprovincial migration. Since the 1970s more Canadians have resettled in BC than any other province
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