Canada: Random Facts and Trivia

Some random facts and trivia for the country of the world Canada, population near the border, natural resources, Quebec problems.



Because of forbidding geography and weather, most of Canada is sparsely populated. More than 2/3 of the population lives within 100 mi. of the U.S. border and 90% lives within 200 mi. The 40% of Canada's land mass lying above the 60th parallel is the most sparsely settled land on earth after Antarctica.

There are 16,000 Eskimos in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. Once nomadic, with strong family ties, they are dependent now on trading posts. Initial contact with white traders brought severe health problems for the Eskimos. In the early 1950s, 1/7 of the Eskimo population was in tuberculosis sanitariums.

Canada has immense and varied resources. It is a major producer of barley (2nd among world producers, 1972), oats (2nd in the world, 1972), and wheat. Its mineral resources made it the world's premier producer of both nickel and asbestos (1971), and 3rd in production of gold (1971). Canada's forest reserves have made it the world's leading producer of newsprint.

As recently as 1970, the Canadian Career Directory had 3,268 listings of jobs open to men, with 1,244 open to women. Sex-based wage differences are also common.

French Canadians in Quebec have felt threatened by assimilation since the British conquest 200 years ago. During the "Quiet Revolution" of the 1960s Quebec was transformed from a rural, agrarian, strongly traditional society to a modern, urbanized state. The Front de Liberation Quebec responded with terrorist activities and urged French Canadians to demand independence. French Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau lashed back with severely repressive police actions. But it was not just a political movement. It was a social revolution, caused by industrialization and the impact of mass communication, especially television. This social revolution:

.....has led to a transformation in the image of a good life and the good society that most French Canadians hold. Instead of a vision of self-sufficing farm families linked together by parish institutions, asking only that the state protect them from outside influences, there has been substituted a basically urban model: one that resembles substantially that held by North Americans from Texas to Toronto.....

F. Scott and M.Oliver, eds. Quebec States Her Case, Toronto, 1964.

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