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Regionalism And It's Effect On A Unified Canadian Identity

1691 words - 7 pages

The concept of regionalism has been used to show the social, economic, and politicaldifferences that exist between the regions of Canada since the days of confederation.Historically, Canada has developed in different manners depending on the location, leaving aregion much different from another. One of the major reasons for this can be seen through thegeography of this country. The natural land forms which are present in Western Canada, such asthe prairies, are much different from say the coastal proximity, for example, of Atlantic Canada.The climate in relation to the different geographical characteristics of Canada attributes to thedifferent life styles in these regions, ultimately changing their identities. This causes differencein economies of the regions, in turn affecting the political agenda of each region. The concept ofregionalism has caused many to attack other regions based on the claim that Central Canadamanipulates the rest of Canada economically and politically. This sparks a notion of regionalidentity as opposed to a Canadian Identity. I believe that the idea of regionalism forces us tofocus on the differences we have from other Canadians rather than looking towards our commontraits. We must not forgot the culture that is present in each region as it ultimately affects theirposition on matters economical and political. Regionalism is basically a result of a geographicarea transformed into a social area known as a region.The regions of Canada ; Atlantic Canada, Central Canada, The West, and The North make upthe differences of Canadian identity through the idea of regionalism. The regions differ based onculture, economics, and politics not to mention the geographical differences.The Eastern part of Canada known as Atlantic Canada, "is a geographic diversity drawntogether by economic and cultural history." Newfoundland/ Labrador, New Brunswick, PrinceEdward Island, and Nova Scotia make up the Atlantic region. Historically this region was thefirst area explored and settled by European settlers. They were drawn by the abundance, at thetime, of natural resources such as fishing as well as the fur trade, to name a few. Nowadays, theireconomy incorporates fishing, mining, forestry, tourism, service industries along with somemanufacturing dealing with the processing stage of certain natural resources. The culture of thisregion is very unique. With a large tie to European settlers the culture of these people has rubbedoff on the area. Atlantic Canada, as a region, is being forced to change politically andeconomically based on the greater success of the economies of the other regions in Canada,predominantly Ontario. Conrad believes that there is some way to keep the cultures and valuesof Atlantic Canada while at the same time restructuring the political and economic practices ofthis region."Subject purely to market forces, historically formed regions are constantly at risk oflosing their identity, becoming subject to the logic of global...

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