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PSYCH 2AP3 Study Guide - Potash, Megaproject

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Geoffrey Hall

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Western Canada
Primary sector is still important but manufacturing and service sectors are growing in importance
Marginal/peripheral position: distance removes geographically from centre of power in Ontario, Ottawa and Quebec but it is
growing in terms of political prominence
Settlement is recent compared to eastern and central Canada
Key Topic: Agriculture
oThe character of the region has changed as so has agriculture
oAgricultural regions: Fertile Belt, Agricultural Fringe, Peace River Belt
Late 20th Century, early 21st Century
oRapid urbanization  transition from rural to urban
Ex. growth in Calgary/Edmonton corridor
oIncreased economic diversification  shift away from agriculture
oIncreased political power at provincial level: the perception (by Westerners) that there is a motivation for not being
oWestern separatism: support in Alberta for western separatism
What kind of a region is this?
oOutside perceptions (flat, wheat, oil)
oPrairie provinces - 3 political units (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta)
The term “prairie” only applicable to southern part of region, relating to a dry grassland ecosystem so only
a small part (Southern Saskatchewan) is true prairie environment (only 1/3 of area)
“The west” – What about BC?: labels don’t fit the way we perceive space
Western politics – CCF (NDP), Social Credit, Reform
Western allocation and the prairie psyche
‘Next Year Country (see pg. 322): farmers think optimistically (weather wise, crops etc.) – that attitude
prevails in their way of thinking
Statistics Canada report:
oAlberta responsible for 87% of new jobs in the past year
oMost jobs in construction, mining and oil/gas
oTwo labour markets in Canada: (1) Alberta and Saskatchewan and (2) the rest of Canada
o“….given the global demand for resources, ‘the West is the best theme will continue…”
<80$ per barrel = tar sands become uneconomical (concern in the region)
Economic Diversity in Western Canada 2012 based on GDP diagram
oDiversified economy
oEnergy is the largest, then construction, finance and real estate
oManufacturing is only 7.2%
Physical Geography
Parts of two physiographic regions – Canadian Shield and Interior Plains (and small part of HBL)
Prairie: dry grassland ecosystem (semi-arid)
Northern part of three provinces covered by boreal forest
Question regarding regional boundaries – should are of Canadian Shield by included
oLook at comparison of two maps
oBones rationale for including these areas  provinces and territories are the bases for regional scheme (easier to
Geologic structure of the region: interior plains underlain by sedimentary rocks  fossil fuels
oBoreal forest = Canadian Shield
Four leading mineral resources: oil, gas, coal, potash
oInfluences by glaciation because entire area was covered by ice sheets at one point
o“Interruptions” in elevation – Missouri Couteau, Manitoba Escarpment
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