5 Intriguing Issues Faced By Canada’s environment

Canada's Environment

Environmental problems are one of the most serious but also among the most neglected issues facing humankind today. It severely impacts the region’s biological diversity, leading to threats to the country’s natural environment. Environmental problems are not concentrated in a particular area but are a global menace. In this regard, Canada’s environment also faces alarming threats, which, if not corrected, may be disastrous for the nation.

Environmental issues are often a result of the over-exploitation of natural resources. Their irregulated use is the main cause behind the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These gases are a major reason behind the global rise in temperature, which causes climate change.

Environment Control Bodies

The world, in general, and Canada, in particular, is facing the effects of the over-utilization of the limited natural resources present on earth. Canada’s environment is facing rising temperatures, melting ice-caps, and severe heat waves to suffer from. The duty to liberate the Canadian people from this mess falls squarely on Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial governments. The responsibility for the safe disposal of non-degradable resources and other toxic substances lies with the local governments of Canada. On the other hand, the federal government frames key environmental policies.

Sensing the urgency and importance of environmental problems in Canada, the federal government had created the Environment Canada as back as 1971. Although in 2015, the then the federal government changed its name to Environment and Climate Change Canada, with a great focus on Climate change. As per the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, Environment Canada is entrusted with the cleaning of environmental waste.

Here are listed some of the most adverse issues faced by Canada’s environment.

1) Oil Sands And Pipelines

Canada's environment

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Introduction

Oil extraction is a major environmental issue in Canada. The magnitude of wealth generation by oil and gas explorations is huge, and it helps fill the state coffers quickly. The lucrative nature of this business prevents any government from taking actions that would adversely impact it.

How It Impacts?

The damage these oil operations cause to the delicate fabric of Canada’s environment is unparalleled. These explorations alone lead to a near-about one-fourth of greenhouse gas emissions. The oilsands are especially carbon-extensive, further deteriorating the environment.

Much of the oil sand exploration in Canada is centered around the Alberta province of Canada. These explorations in Alberta make it among the top industrial projects in the world. On the other hand, Pipelines are another issue of contention in national politics and are widely opposed by non-governmental organizations. Projects like the Energy past pipeline and Enbridge Northern Gateway have to be canceled to conserve biodiversity.

Measures Taken

The government of Canada has taken several major steps which could be beneficial for the conservation of biodiversity. The administration has placed several carbon-capturing technologies and carbon taxes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These have been particularly effective in reducing the percentages of pollutants by more than 30 percent in the past three decades.

2) Air Pollution

Air Pollution

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Introduction

Air Pollution is the most familiar form of environmental degradation. We are hindered from enjoying the environment because of air pollution, in general, and smog. However, eliminating certain pollutants for ecological protection may show up immediate worthwhile effects. Pollutants like methane, carbon dioxide, ozone, and lead produce significant positive impacts on their eradication.

How It Impacts?

It has unfavorable impacts on the health of both humans and wildlife—air pollution adversely the migration and breeding of migratory birds in Canada. The general health of the public also takes a dip with air pollution. Humans have to suffer from problems with eyesight, headaches, and most prominently, Asthma. Smog leads to haze and poor visibility, which reduces our ability to see the natural environment.

Pollutants like ground-level ozone affect agriculture and reduce its quality. Moreover, soil and water quality are negatively impacted, which permits the food grown to be contaminated. When we have access to this food, we run the risk of getting sick.

Measures Taken

Department of Environment and Climate Change wing of the government of Canada keeps a record of emissions data in the country. They have framed rules and regulations regarding these emissions. Canada has also formed a coalition of several other countries called the Climate And Clean Air Coalition. These partners aim to combat the growing damages of air pollution to the world’s and Canada’s environment.

3) Climate Change

Canada's Environment

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Introduction

You must have heard about climate change. Climate change is the most frequent and common term used to describe the rising global temperature levels. It also leads to shifting precipitation patterns and melting of ice caps and glaciers. It is an excellent result of dense forestry for agriculture, industry, or other development. The biodiversity remains severely disrupted, and wildlife and migratory birds lose their abode. This negatively impacts the climate.

How It Impacts?

Scientific data and the latest technology demonstrate how global temperatures have been rising in Canada and other countries. Environmental protection becomes a challenging subject, given the extent of influence climate change has. One of the major incidents of climate change in Canada’s environment has been the recent heatwave in British Columbia, where nearly 200 people have lost their lives. The melting of polar ice caps increases the risk of Canadian cities getting flooded.

Measures Taken

Environment and climate change Canada has framed various regulations to oversee and protect the environment and climate. Several social organizations have access to the public, which initiate environmental report research to preserve the environment. Environment Canada has the responsibility to prepare an annual government report after adequate research.

4) Over-Utilization Of Natural Resources

Canada's environment

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Introduction

Proper utilization of natural resources serves as a good escape key from environmental degradation to environmental protection. These resources are mainly used to generate electrical energy, which serves as one of the development essentials. Over-utilization of these resources is among the prime factors responsible for greenhouse gas emissions.

How It Impacts?

Apart from the depletion of natural resources, its over-utilization also has several other effects on the environment. It is often reported how the soil is damaged from continuous mining and other similar activities. Over-utilization of resources leads to biodiversity coming at risk. Also, once the natural resources near extinction, it is feared that their market prices will sky-rocket. Thus, it is imperative to control ourselves from the over-use of these resources, or else we are getting too great environmental unrest.

Coal is an example of the over-utilization of natural resources. Canada is rich in coal deposits, and it is essential for the energy needs of Canada. Out of the nearly 67 million tonnes of coal produced, 56 million tonnes were alone used in energy generation. Canada’s dependence on these non-renewable sources of energy is harmful to Canada’s environment. The nation must opt for clean sources of energy.

Measures Taken

Environmental enforcement officers are responsible for the implementation of regulations passed by Environment Canada. Their environment report lays down the field in which rules are required to protect the local biodiversity. On the other hand, the safety of Canadian wildlife affected by natural resources lies with the wildlife enforcement officers.

5) Heat Waves

Canada's environent

Photo by Dan Gold, Unsplash, Copyright 2021

Introduction

Canada’s Environment has faced severe heat waves in recent years. The heatwave of 2021 was the most powerful. It was regarded as once in a century phenomenon, with the Lytton village of Las Vegas recording the highest temperature in Canada at 46.9 C. These waves are expected to be more frequent and deadlier in the 2040s and result from global warming and climate change.

How It Impacts?

The heatwaves had taken 808 lives in just a week, from June 25 to July 1. These figures are only of the western Canadian province of British Columbia. In this same period, average deaths for the past five years due to the heat dome amounted to no more than 198. This tells us about the sheer velocity with which the heatwave struck.

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.

Measures Taken

The civic authorities install public showers to give the British Columbians respite from the dreadful environment. Beaches are opened, and emergency services are kept ready for any unfavorable outcomes. Wildlife enforcement officers are particularly kept on hold as they might be needed to enforce regulations and guidelines for wildlife safety.

The provincial government has asked scientists to study the heat dome. Based on their report, the government is supposed to make preparations for the future.

Canada’s Environment is a sensitive and delicate issue to deal with. It faces a lot of challenges and has to be resolved amicably with the public-government partnership. Canada is a beautiful country with wonderful lakes, wildlife, and people. We must preserve and conserve the environment for the future of our planet and hand it over to our future generations in the best way we can.

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