In eastern Canada, there are four forest belts, each of which has its own flora. Pure deciduous forest is found only in the extreme south of Ontario.
In the area of Point Peli National Park, black oak, walnut (pecan) and even mulberry grow. In other areas of the south, mixed different types of pine prevail typical of Ontario, Quebec and the provinces of the Atlantic coast (except Newfoundland and Labrador).
To the north of the Newfoundland – Cote Nor – Lake Superior line, taiga coniferous forests begin, dominated by spruce, fir and pine. Moose, virgin deer, beavers, black American bears and bald eagles live here.
Behind a wide strip of forest-tundra stretching at James Bay level, in the Hudson Bay basin, there is a tundra zone. The nature here is stingy and easily wounded, only mosses and lichens grow in this zone. Huge herds of Canadian caribou deer, North American relatives of European reindeer, roaming this tough space with musk ox, polar bears and polar owls roam the tundra.
Various species of whales and seals live in the Arctic bays and the St. Lawrence River, and about 800 species of fish live in plankton-rich coastal waters.
Ontario and Quebec are Canada’s largest forest suppliers. Many Canadians strongly doubt that reforestation is keeping pace with the extent of logging. The great lakes and St. Lawrence River are very polluted – primarily by industrial effluents. Predatory cod fishing off the coast of Newfoundland almost destroyed its stocks; the number of game in the forests is declining.
Environmental measures taken by the federal and provincial governments, such as the 1995 National Climate Change Program (NAPCC), are being implemented slowly. In addition, the conservative government elected in 2006 evades its obligations regarding the Kyoto Protocol ratified in 2002.
Everything is very simple: white people took the land from the redskins. Therefore, the indigenous people of Canada eke out a miserable existence on reserves, remaining on the sidelines of society. This is common knowledge. But it’s better not to talk about this with Canadians on the streets of big cities. They will say that the Indians receive benefits, make fortunes in the arms and drugs trade, and do not pay taxes. As often happens, the truth is somewhere in between.
Although the Canadian Indians were not destroyed during such bloody wars as those that once raged south of the current Canadian border, they always treated the white majority badly. When beaver skins served as money in Canada, the Indians made a living by earning or reselling them. But then the government concluded a series of dubious treaties or, without them at all, appropriated the lands of the Indians, and the indigenous population, which was reduced due to the epidemics of tuberculosis, smallpox and measles, was sent on a reservation.
Only now the number of Indians has reached the previous level. But for more than 600 thousand “Indians with status” (recognized by the state as indigenous people) this is not a reason to rejoice. 70% of them are unemployed. According to other indicators characterizing acute social problems, such as drug addiction, suicide, crime, they also far exceeded the average Canadian level. However, now the Indians are no longer helpless pawns in the chess game of those in power.
Since in 1975, the Cree Indians, for 225 million Canadian dollars, lost to Quebec part of their hunting grounds on the shores of James Bay for the construction of hydroelectric power stations, they are increasingly insistently demanding land and monetary compensation from the authorities. And after the events in the Oka, their demands became even more resolute. In 1990, in the village of Oka, near Montreal, the Mohawk Indians from the Kanesatake Reservation survived a 78-day siege, during which three thousand soldiers and policemen opposed them.
They went to the barricades after the owners of the local golf club decided to expand the playing field at the expense of the old Indian cemetery. This action brought the Indians success and at the same time showed how deep the abyss separating the whites and redskins.
Since then, the indigenous people regularly hold noisy actions in defense of their rights to self-government. Nevertheless, there is no unity among the Indians: militant traditionalists are fighting with the “conciliators”, dissatisfied leaders of the tribes are in conflict with the leadership of the Assembly of Indigenous Tribes – the inter-regional shout of the Indians of Canada.
Of the more than 900 thousand Canadian Indians in the east of the country, about 400 thousand live, with about half of them on reserves. The largest of them are: the Grand River in Ontario – 22 thousand (Iroquois), Canaeway in Quebec – 8500 (Mohawks), Aquasasnas in Ontario – 13 thousand (Mohawks), Wiquemicong in Ontario – 6000 (anishnabek), Mashteuyach in Quebec – 4900 (Montanya).
To preserve the number of wild animals, federal and regional authorities set quotas for their capture and shooting and support the development of various research projects.
In the protection of biotopes, some provinces collaborate with private entities: New Brunswick, for example, Wildlife Habitat Canada, and Prince Edward Island with Dax Unlimited. Canada has 43 national parks; By 2005, the goal set as early as 2000 was achieved: the territory of national parks amounted to 12% of the total area.