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Geog162 Chapter 11 Canada as a Whole.docx

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Simon Fraser University
GEOG 162
Michele Wiens

Chapter 11 Canada as a Whole Regional Analysis Common themes For BC, Western Canada, Atlantic Canada, and the Territorial North, there's a need to -increase economic diversification; increase natural resource processing -ensure sustainable resource development For BC and other regions, there's a need to -negotiate land claim agreements with Aboriginal peoples to settle past obligations and remove uncertainty over land ownership -work at resolving and modifying issues/challenges in resource based industries Challenges for Ontario -achieve acceptable compromises with provinces, Aboriginal peoples, and francophone majority in Quebec -achieve sustainable resource development for northern Ontario -maintain competitiveness in manufacturing and resource industries to rival other parts of North America and the world -be cautionary in north-south trade alignment and dependency on the US Challenges for Quebec -resolve its political place within Confederation -define its economic place within the North American and global markets (like Ontario. Quebec is part of the industrial heartland of Canada and an important industrial area of North America) -resolve tensions in northern Quebec among Cree The centralist/decentralist faultline Will centralist tendencies prevail? What will happen with transfer payments which enable Ottawa to exercise greater control over the nature and range of provincial activities? What will happen with natural resources of provinces? Will the federal government exercise authority in that sector? (and inflame provinces) If there is potential wealth to be had? Will decentralist tendencies gain strength? Provinces are challenging the strong tendencies toward centralization by rallying for more power. Will Stockwell Day former Canadian Alliance leader, continue to gain popularity as a provincial rights exponent? Will reformed parties gain popularity for espousing provincial rights? The French/English Faultline Is the basis for cultural conflict and tension as significant today? The Canadian debate is not just about language but also concerns the preservation of francophone culture in the context of a largely anglophone nation But at this point In Canadian society, economic differences between francophones/ anglophones have waned and there is a focus on multiculturalism-is there less of a threat of a truncated Canada? The Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal Faultline Aboriginal peoples are agitating for a new relationship, demanding better treatment and recognition of past and continuing Injustices. They are forming transnational alliances. Will past Injustices be resolved by Canadian government? One of the most important developments in the Aboriginal policy in the 19905 was the creation (1991) and a 5 volume conclusion (1996) of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. From that, the federal government outlined an Action Plan for Aboriginal Peoples (called Gathering Strength) (1998) 1998 Action Plan for Aboriginal Peoples What was one of the most significant aspects of this? The plan began with a Statement of Reconciliation in which the federal government recognized the past legacy of injustices and apologized for the abuse of Aboriginal children in the residential system The federal government committed $350 million to healing centres to deal with the effects of this abuse The Plan's main objectives are to ensure meaningful change from the past, strengthen Aboriginal government and community, and negotiate claims in good faith Primarily, the apology (reconciliation) offers hope Immigration Challenges Changes in perspective British (historically) ‘how can the existing population benefit from immigrants’ compared with ‘how society can benefit immigrants’ Immigration influxes-accommodating, adjusting policies Multiculturalism policy -contentions that it can hamper development of Canadian identity -regional patterns of immigration and implications Canadian Identity What defines Canadian? Health care (one of Canada's most successful and popular public programs) CBC (CanCon) Tough gun control (one of the most restrictive policies in the world) Deference to authority/mild-mannered (within family, workplace, etc-a legacy of British rule) Valuing of diversity (Canadians value this more than Americans) Canada's Health Care System Why it’s Important to Canada It's an important symbol of community and national identity (a representation of mutual support and concern). It expresses equality In face of disease and death Canadians' confidence in the system has been badly shaken in the 90s Canadians are concerned that cost-cutting by federal and provincial governments has put their health at risk. There are pressures to reform the system Universal Health Care Issues Cutbacks and Loss of Services In 1995, federal transfer payments were $30 billion and by 1998, they dropped 17% to $25 billion. Now, more money's going back into the system, but what was the effect of the cutbacks? Caused a change in level of health care services? Cuts have been felt by Canadians Nurse layoffs, waitlists, hospital closures, and elimination of beds Alberta's Bill 11 (Ralph Klein) Threatens to erode public health care; a stepping stone to a two-tier system (private/public) Arguments for and against Effects on Canadians Health Care and the future What are we getting for our money? Reform is required We need to know more about the effectiveness of services and what works and what does not We can't go on doing the same thing. Money's flowing into the system again. We need to figure out how to better manage our system. This requires expansion of the information base (Health Infoway Initiative) Privatization would lead to higher overall costs CBC Television and Radio-Canada CBC Television is a unique system; heavily subsidized by the fed government and has a crown corporation, CBC Radio Canada, as one of its main engines (US television relies far more heavily on corporate sponsorship} CBC's Mandate Offer programs that are uniquely Canadian Contribute to shared national consciousness and identity Give expression to regional and linguistic differences as well as reflect the country’s multicultural spirit Provide programming that informs, enlightens, and entertains What's the Can Con clause? Canadian content (CanCon) is an important provision. TV broadcasting must set aside 60% of their daily schedule for Canadian content programs. (Is this a violation of a citizen's right to freedom of expression? Or, is it protection of Canadian culture?) With the advent of new technologies, CanCon may become obsolete because regulations won't be reinforcible (e.g. it won't belong before everything on www will be available on TV) Canada and US Are the media realms different? Canadians and Americans largely inhabit the same media universe. The American experience becomes part of the Canadian experience Yet, powerful media tradition has taken root In Canada (CBC, Macleans, Globe and Mail, ClY). These institutions are likely to face challenges as new info technologies begin to displace old media but the institutions have loyalties that won't be erased easily Canadian media How strong is It? Could the Canadian media system stand on its own if It weren't propped up by protectionist legislation? Is it strong and vibrant enough to withstand the pressure of the border? Or, would it be crushed by the elephant? (Using Pierre Trudeau's famous analogy, “Canadians are lying in bed with an elephant”) Cultural connections with the US Is there hope for Canada's culture? In a broad sense (e.g. as a way of life), is Canadian culture distinctive? Evidence is subtle. What are key phrases of the constitutions/significance? -the basic law of a country: expresses the values upon which a country is formed Cultural connections with the US Is there hope for Canada's culture? In a narrower sense (e.g. arts, entertainment, and media) is Canadian culture distinctive? Many would say that our culture is a unique mix of many Influences. Canada's culture has been influenced by Aboriginal peoples, the French and British founding peoples, and other cultural groups who ar
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