Canada is world’s second-largest country (a whopping 10 million sq km in size). Canada is impossible to dislike and it’s a wonder everyone is so nice, given the weather. It’s cold, as in world’s-coldest-country cold (based on average temperatures nationwide). Snag, a town in the Yukon, recorded North America’s coldest temperature ever: minus 62.8°C. Canada is rich in oil, timber and other natural resources, that in turn have propelled Canada to a very enviable standard of living.
Of course, the country has a few issues. The most pressing ones are shaping up to be immigration, provincial squabbling, and striking a balance between economic growth and protecting the environment.
Let’s look at immigration first. Canada takes in the world’s largest per capita annual immigration numbers – around 250,000 people a year, of whom 43% go to Toronto. While this is cool in multicultural terms – allowing you to shop for Buddha trinkets in Vancouver’s Chinatown, chow on curry in Toronto’s Little India, or sip a Vietnamese café au lait in Montréal – it also causes growing pains. Mainly, it’s becoming difficult for Canada to maintain its high-caliber social and physical infrastructures in the face of such relentless population growth.
Furthermore, the processes for extracting and developing the resources come at a high environmental price. The massive expansion of Alberta’s oil sands production has been tagged as the single biggest factor behind Canada’s wretched performance in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.