Canada's Environment Canada's Environment

5 Intriguing Issues Faced By Canada’s environment

Environmental issues are among the most severe crises that the government of Canada is facing in today’s world.

Contrary to common opinion, these problems are widespread rather than specific to one area. The biological diversity of many areas is severely harmed. This puts the natural habitats of many animals and people in jeopardy.

Overall, the world could suffer if all the dangers we face are not addressed swiftly. One of the main factors is the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which is a by-product of the overuse of natural resources.

These gases have a direct effect on the earth’s temperature. This includes altering the climate and contributing to global warming and pollution concerns.

The effects of overusing the planet’s limited natural resources are also felt in Canada’s environment. It experiences extreme heat waves, melting ice caps, and rising temperatures.

Canada’s authorities are working hard to liberate the people from this mess. The federal department has developed critical environmental policies to deal with many issues. 

In particular, the responsibility for the safe disposal of non-degradable resources. Here are some of the most adverse issues facing Canada.

1. Oil Sands And Pipelines

Oil Sands And Pipelines
Photo by Built Robotics on Unsplash

 

Energy and gas provide an enormous wealth, contributing to the country’s financial well-being. Since this industry is so profitable, no leaders would dare take any moves that would harm it.

But there’s no denying this production is also causing significant environmental issues.

 

What does it impact?

The harm these oil operations cause to Canada’s delicate balance is unmatched. These explorations alone lead to about one-fourth of greenhouse gas emissions.

Much of the oil sand exploration in Canada is centred around the Alberta province of Canada<span data-preserver-spaces=”true”>. These operations in Alberta make it among the top industrial projects by the Canadians.

Despite known environmental disadvantages, there was a race to profit from this fuel in the middle of the 1990s by driving up the prices.

With a large portion of the output going to the US in 2004, Canadian tar sands oil production had surpassed a million barrels per day.

On the other hand, pipelines are also a hot-button political topic. Many believe the Energy East pipeline1 and the En bridge Northern Gateway must be decommissioned in Canada as soon as possible to protect biological diversity.

 

Measures Taken

The Canadian government has made many key moves that could help preserve. The administration has implemented several carbon-capturing systems and carbon taxes.

These have been very successful in the previous three decades, lowering the percentage of pollutants by more than 30%.

 

2) Air Pollution

Air pollution in Canada
Source: Shutterstock

Introduction

Air pollution is the most familiar form of environmental pollution. These pollutants include methane, carbon dioxide, ozone, and lead. Eliminating these pollutants will allow Canada to gain a better quality of life.

 

What does it impact?

It has unfavorable impacts on the health of humans and wildlife. Air quality pollution adversely affects the migration and breeding of migratory birds in Canada.

The general health of the public also takes a dip because of pollution. Smog leads to haze and poor visibility, which reduces our ability to see the natural Canadian environmental stability.

Humans have to suffer from problems with eyesight, headaches, and, most prominently, asthma.

Moreover, the soil and water quality of bodies of water like rivers or lakes are negatively impacted, which permits the food grown nearby to be contaminated.

 

Measures Taken

For years now, the Department of Environment and the government of Canada have kept a record of emissions data in the country.

They have made many rules and regulations to control emissions using that data.

Canada has also formed a coalition with several other countries called the Climate and Clean Air Coalition. These nations want to stop the growing harm that pollution is doing to the environment.

3) Climate Change

Climate Change
Photo by Chris LeBoutillier on Unsplash

Introduction

You must have heard about climate change. It is the most frequent term for rising global temperature levels. 

It negatively impacts Canada’s biosphere. Furthermore, it also leads to shifting rainfall patterns and melting ice caps and glaciers.

What does it impact?

There is scientific proof that temperatures have risen in many cities. One prominent example of this environmental change is the recent heat wave.

In British Columbia, there have been approximately 200 fatalities.

Measures are taken to fight climate change

Many measures to protect the environment and combat climate change have been adopted. Many social organizations conduct environmental reports and studies independently.

The House of Commons formally recognized a national climate emergency in Canada in 2019.

The nation has implemented policies to mitigate climate change, including carbon pricing, emissions trading, protecting water from contamination, and climate change funding schemes.

Under the Paris Agreement, Canada has committed to decreasing its greenhouse gas2 (GHG) emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

Then, in July 2021, the government updated the Agreement plans by establishing a new goal to reduce emissions by 40–45%, plus 15% extra.

4) Over-utilization of Natural Resources

Natural Resources
Photo by Denis Agati on Unsplash

It’s no secret! Limiting natural resource usage is a great way to reduce environmental damage. These resources are mainly used to produce electricity and are one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions.

What does it impact?

Apart from the depletion of nature’s resources, their over-utilization in modern society has numerous other effects on the environment. Continuous mining and other similar activities often report how the soil is damaged.

A prime example of overusing the earth’s resources is coal. Canada is rich in coal deposits, which are essential for Canada’s energy needs. Of the nearly 67 million tonnes of coal produced, 56 million tonnes were used alone in energy generation.

Canada’s dependence on these non-renewable sources of energy is harmful to the environment of Canada.

Thus, we must control ourselves from overusing these resources, or we will face too much environmental unrest.

Measures Taken

Environmental enforcement officers are responsible for implementing Environment Canada’s regulations. Their environmental reports lay down the field in which rules are required to protect the local biodiversity.

5) Heat Waves

heat waves
Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Introduction

In recent years, heat waves have been common in Canada. Due to global warming and climate change, these waves are expected to be more frequent and deadlier in the 2040s.

The heatwave of 2021 was the most powerful. It was regarded as a once-in-a-century phenomenon, with the Lytton village of Las Vegas recording the highest temperature in Canada at 46.9 C.

What does it impact?

The average death for the past five years due to the heat dome amounted to no more than 198.

However, June 29, 2021, was the hottest and deadliest day in the country’s history, with 300 deaths alone. It was on this day that the temperature rose to 46.9 C.

This death tells us about the sheer velocity with which the heatwave struck. Furthermore, it led to a significant loss of marine life, decreased agriculture yields, and fuelled wildfires.

Measures Taken

The environment of Canada is a sensitive and delicate issue to deal with. It faces many challenges and has to be resolved amicably with the public-government partnership.

The Canadian provincial government has requested experts to investigate the heat dome. Based on their report, the government plans to prepare countermeasures for the future.

Wildlife enforcement officers are kept on hold as Canada might need them to enforce regulations and guidelines for wildlife safety.

Parting Thoughts

Rapid climate change and biodiversity loss are significant challenges Canada is currently dealing with. And it is clear now that we only have years to handle these existential dangers instead of decades.

However, working together can slow the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Canada is a beautiful country with wonderful lakes, wildlife, and people. It must preserve and conserve the environment for the future. We hope the knowledge above reassures you that there is still reasonable hope if we take immediate action.

  1. Garcia, Amanda, Amer Obeidi, and Keith W. Hipel. “Two methodological perspectives on the Energy East Pipeline conflict.” Energy Policy 91 (2016): 397-409. ↩︎
  2. Jeffry, Luqman, et al. “Greenhouse gases utilization: A review.” Fuel 301 (2021): 121017. ↩︎

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