The Development Of Canada's North Essay

1735 words - 7 pages

Canada's far north has always been one of the nation's poorest and troubled regions. Isolated, underdeveloped and often neglected by the rest of the world, the region, inhabited largely by aboriginal peoples, is troubled by widespread unemployment and substance abuse. With little do to and employment very scarce it is easy to see how these systemic social problems can arise. However a new day appears to be dawning for the peoples of the north as multinational mining companies are converging on the area setting to develop the regions fledgling diamond industry and turn Canada's north into one of the worlds leading diamond producers. This new era offers northern peoples much greater employment opportunities as well as hope for the social and economic future of the region. Mining and spin off industries such as polishing and cutting have already given Northern communities, such as Yellowknife a much needed boost to local economies. As multinational diamond firms converge to develop mines and related businesses, towns like Yellowknife are poised to usher in a new era of prosperity, growth and development for the peoples of the North.While hope for the future is quite high the industry is clearly in its early stages. The Diamonds were discovered just over ten years ago in 1991 at Point Lake, some 300 kilometers northeast of Yellowknife . The surrounding region of Point Lake now contains two diamond mines, the Ekati and Diavik mines, which are under operation as well as two more scheduled to be underway by 2006 . While the industry may be young it is growing extremely fast to the point that Canada is already one of the globes top three diamond producers and according to statistics Canada, 2.8 billion dollars worth of the precious stones were mined from 1998-2002 . Even in this early stage mining has clearly become the focal point of the North's Economy which can be seen in Table 1 which demonstrates the dominant factor that mining is in the North West Territories economy.Table 1 .Capital expenditures by sector, by provinces and territories(Northwest Territories)20012002200320042005Actual Preliminary actual IntentionsTotal construction and machinery and equipment$ millionsN.W.T. 1,401.3 1,350.3 816.8 1,189.6 1,622.5Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting x 0.4 x 0.7 0.9Mining and oil and gas extraction 1,100.9 935.6 443.5 757.8 1,183.3Utilities 10.8 10.7 19.8 18.3 20.8Construction 4.6 4.0 2.2 3.1 4.0Manufacturing x x x x xWholesale trade 10.9 1.9 1.9 3.6 4.0Retail trade 10.6 10.1 28.9 20.2 19.5Transportation and warehousing 41.8 54.4 37.4 43.3 59.8Information and cultural industries x 24.8 17.2 30.4 25.0Finance and insurance 5.2 3.7 6.2 1.6 1.9Real estate and rental and leasing 5.9 10.4 8.9 10.7 15.5Public administration 77.8 142.2 103.9 126.1 111.6Housing 52.7 101.0 102.4 133.1 136.0x : suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics ActNote: This survey collects data on the intentions for capital investment and the...

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